Sony A6500 – Overview & Thoughts
Sony had two big announcements this week, one of which was the Sony RX100 MKV (Mark 5) and the other the Sony A6500!
The shocking thing about the Sony A6500 is that the Sony A6300 was only released roughly 6months ago.
I have contemplated purchasing the Sony A6300 ever since its announcement. As much as I love full frame, I do feel APS-C has a place in my photography bag. It’s not a necessity, but definitely could be useful.
Since it’s not a necessity for me, I never did purchase the camera. Although I did come very close a few times…
The feature that draws me to the camera the most is simply it’s 4k video recording. As previously discussed in my Sony RX100 MKV (Mark 5) overview/thoughts, I do want to future proof my home videos into 4k and the Sony A6300 has up to 30min 4k recording. Despite it’s overheating issues, I still was drawn to this camera as my usage seems to be within 5min clips at a time.
However the issues that did put me off from this camera is the available lenses. Yes you can mount FE glass to this body, but it’s a smaller body which would have been off-balanced. The 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens is amazingly compact, however it is very soft. Then to get a better quality lens on this body, you’re then again stepping up in size.
So the main features for which the Sony A6500 is touting are IBIS, speed and touch screen.
IBIS (In Body Image Stabilisation) is always welcomed and after first experiencing that in Sony A7II, I can’t imagine shooting video without it! I only have prime lenses for Sony, none of which are stabilised, so having IBIS allows me to stabilise footage with incredibly shallow depth of field handheld.
The speed benefits are not only with the FPS, but with the buffer also! The buffer now allows for more shots to be taken and can be cleared much faster.
Steve Huff got his hands on the Sony A6500 and ran a test with JPEG and RAW. Naturally you could get more JPEG’s before the buffer clogged up, but the RAW performance is a huge step up.
Finally, the biggest feature for me is the touch screen!
Unfortunately it’s not a fully functional touch screen, meaning you can’t navigate the menus with it, but its a step forward where you can select focus points.
I love my Sony A7R II, but I will say selecting focus points is always been a bit of a faff with this camera. Within my Sony A7R II Review I did discuss that it’s a little fiddly selecting focus points as the dial is a little sensitive, so I could sometimes end up changing focus modes whilst trying to change focus points. So having it on the touch screen would be so useful to me.
The Sony A6500 sits above the Sony A6300 in the camera line-up, it is not a replacement. Instead, both models will sit next to each other on the shelves and therefore any Sony A6300 should not feel too worried about their cameras devaluing.
The Sony A6500 is roughly $400 more, not sure what UK pricing is as of yet, but with the current currency conversions, I feel $400 is a decent amount for the extra features provided. However, I do feel the Sony A6500 is still too expensive for me. I would be more inclined to make the purchase if the Sony A6500 was £1000 and then the Sony A6300 be around £650.
But I do appreciate Sony don’t produce these cameras for me personally and are priced to maximise profit from the photography community.
So on that note, I will be sticking with my current kit and not adding the Sony A6500 to my arsenal.
It is a very impressive camera, just not for me at this stage. Maybe once the price lowers or if they address the kit lens quality.