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The Alpha A6500 was introduced by Sony in October 2016. It belongs to the Mirrorless Cameras category.
Sony is well-known and shouldn't require further introduction, please see our manufacturer's page for more digital cameras by Sony.
The Alpha A6500 features a CMOS sensor in APS-C size that has an area of approximately 24 x 16 mm² (0.93" x 0.61").
This infographic compares the Alpha A6500's sensor to other common formats:
(The 1-Euro coin used for scale has a diameter of 23.25mm, slightly smaller than a US quarter.)
Note: APS-C sensors made by Sony are slightly larger than those from other manufacturers.
The Alpha A6500's image sensor has an effective resolution of around 24 megapixel. The resolution is above average and will be sufficient for the foreseeable future. Photos with this resolution can easily be printed in A2 size or larger, even if unwanted parts of the photo have to be cropped.
The Sony supports taking images in RAW. RAW images are stored as they come from the sensor, without any in-camera processing or sharpening. Converting to JPEG or other formats takes place on the computer, using software like Adobe Lightroom or Sony's RAW converter. This involves one extra processing step but almost always results in superior image quality. Some filters, like converting to monochrome (black and white) will only yield decent results when used with RAW images.
The Alpha A6500 features a mechanism for automatic sensor cleaning.
|Sensor area||23.50 x 15.60mm²|
(0.93" x 0.61")
|Resolution (physical)||25.00 megapixel|
|Resolution (effective)||24.20 megapixel|
|Pixel size||15.30 µm²|
All compatible E Mount lenses can be mounted to the Alpha A6500.
Currently, approximately circa 50 E Mount lenses are available, not counting lenses by third-party manufacturers. Further lenses can be connected via suitable adapters.
|Mount||Sony E Mount|
The Alpha A6500 uses an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 2.36 megapixel, an excellent value for a viewfinder like this which makes the camera a joy to use.The magnifcation is c. 0.70x, an above average value for an electronic viewfinder.
The infographic illustrates the viewfinder magnification of the Alpha A6500. The black area represents a magnification of 1x, corresponding to natural size. The red frame indicates the largest viewfinder magnification in any digital camera on the market today (0.85x).
Tip: If the viewfinder image of the Alpha A6500 is fuzzy, us the little wheel next to the viewfinder to adjust the sharpness.
The Alpha A6500's shutter speeds range from 1/4000s to 30s.
|Max. shutter speed||1/4000s|
|Min. shutter speed||30s|
The Alpha A6500's sensitivity goes from 100 ISO und 25600 ISO, a very useful and practical range.
|Min. sensitivity||100 ISO|
|Max. sensitivity||25600 ISO|
The Alpha A6500 supports all common metering modes.
The Sony will also allow spot metering, a must for challenging motives.
The Alpha A6500's auto focus processor uses 425 AF points (or sensors). A basic rule of thumb says that the more AF points you have, the better. More AF points mean a better chance to have a point at the location of interest in a scene, a big plus in challenging situations (e.g. when panning the camera).
Manual focus is also possible with the Sony, a plus in tricky situations or for some creative freedom.
The Alpha A6500 features a built-in flash with a range of up to 6m (20 ft.). That range will work for most situations.
A flash or a trigger for remote flashes can be attached to the Sony's hotshoe. Very useful for indirect flashes or for trigggering remote flashes.
The Alpha A6500 features a monitor with a diagonal of 75.00mm (3.0 in.) and a resolution of c. 0.92 megapixel. That's about average.
The camera's display is articulated, a plus for selfies and other challenging situations.
The Alpha A6500's monitor can work as a touch screen, just like a smartphone. That can be very useful, for example to pick AF points, but keep in mind that touch screens usually don't work when wearing gloves.
Display characteristics at a glance:
When recording videos with the Alpha A6500, the highest supported resolution is 3840 x 2160 pixel, in other words 4K Video.
The camera features a connector for an external microphone, a neccessity for good video sound. A built-in mike will record everything in front and to the sides of the camera which is mostly not desired. Internal microphones also tend to record camera sounds like focus beeps.
Videos with the Sony Alpha A6500 at a glance:
|Max. resolution||3840 x 2160 pixel|
|...with frame rates||24 frames/second|
|CONNECTIVITY & WIRELESS|
The Alpha A6500 has Wifi connectivity already built-in. Use Wifi to transfer images to a smartphone or computer and to remote control the camera. With NFC, camera and smartphone can be paired without the need for passwords.
Another option to transfer images to the smartphone is Bluetooth (Note: Bluetooth connections will not always transmit images or videos with full resolution.)
In situations where wireless won't work reliably, a wired connection can be used.Typical for Sony, the camera supports device specific apps that can enhance the functionality of the camera and that can be downloaded from the internet..Connect the Sony to a monitor or TV set over HDMI.
The Sony connects to your PC over USB 2.0.
The Sony's connectivity at a glance:
What memory cards can be used with the Sony Alpha A6500?
The camera will accept all common SD HC and SD XC cards. Sony MemorySticks can be used, too.
With an average image size of 12 megabytes (JPEG, fine) a 32 GByte memory card would hold up to 2670 images.
Supported memory cards at a glance:
Memory Stick Pro Duo
Memory Stick Micro
Let's have a look at some other features of the Sony Alpha A6500:
The Alpha A6500 doesn't have a built-in GPS receiver. If you want to add coordinates to your photos, you'll have to do so in 3rd party software like Adobe Lightroom. However, with Wifi built-in, location data can also be added via a connected smartphone.
The Alpha A6500 features a built-in stabilizer. A plus when using legacy zooms or tele lenses without stabilizer.
A nice addition is the Sony's electronic level. The camera displays an indicator on the monitor that makes it super-easy to level the camera horizontally, very useful when doing architectural photography.
The camera has a built-in function to facilitate creating panoramas: While panning the Sony over the scene, the camera takes a sequence of images which are then automatically assembled to form a panorama.
The camera can create HDRs automatically. That saves you from manually creating sequences of images with variying exposure values.
The Alpha A6500 is not environmentally sealed against dust and moisture; keep that in mind in the rain and on the beach.
The Sony's features in a handy table:
The Sony Alpha A6500 works with a NP-FW50 LiIon battery. The battery lifetime is a generous 350 shots. Usually enough for a full day or more.
The battery can be charged over USB while in camera. Very useful, especially on vacation when most people bring a USB charger for their smartphone anyway.
The Alpha A6500's battery at a glance:
|Battery life||350 photos|
The Sony Alpha A6500's dimensions are 120 x 66.9 x 53.3mm³. (4.7" x 2.6" x 2.1"). That's the body only, without lens. The camera's weight is a reasonable 453 grams (14.6 oz.). Add to this the weight of the lens.
Front and top view of the Alpha A6500 with dimensions:
To put the size of the camera in context, here it is next to a typical ID card (c. 86mm x 55mm, about the size of a credit card).
The Alpha A6500 is not much bigger:
|Download||Specs, manual & software|
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Our rating of the Sony Alpha A6500
Sony's A6300 and A6500 are the manufacturer's flag ship mirrorless APS-C cameras with interchangeable lenses. The A6500 is the more expensive model and features a built-in five axis optical image stabilizer (OIS). Typical for Sony, the camera has an excellent and very comprehensive feature set: Wifi connectivity, 4K video, even a connector for an external microphone is provided. According to Sony, the A6500's autofocus system is the fastest in this camera category. The camera has a built-in electronic viewfinder (2.36 megapixel) with a magnification of c. 0.70x, a very good value given the size of the camera body.
If you don't need the latest or greatest, the predecessor Sony A6000 (2014) is worth a second look. No stabilizer or 4K video and less resolution in the viewfinder but everything else is pretty much identical for a much lower price.
Source of specifications and product images: Manufacturer. This page was generated by an experimental computer program. Errors and omissions excepted.
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