If you’re short on time, here’s a quick rundown of the Sony a6500’s review with its pros and cons, as well as a link to the camera’s most recent price on Amazon:
A Budgeted Photography and Filmmaking Powerhouse: Sony A6500 Review in Brief
Excellent Photo and Video Quality (24MP)(4K)
The Fastest Autofocus is available
Battery life is abysmal
The menu system is clunky
Sony’s lens lineup leaves me wanting more
What to Look for in a Travel Camera
When shopping for a new travel camera, there are a few features to look for:
Weight and size: By far the most important consideration when purchasing a travel camera. Because you will be carrying the camera around all day, sometimes up a mountain while hiking, the weight and size should be light enough that you can easily pack it away in your daypack with room to spare for other essentials such as a water bottle or a jacket.
Photo Quality: A smaller file size does not imply a loss of quality. Because you will be traveling, you will need a tool that will allow you to capture the highest quality image possible. Consider the sensor size (1 inch, APS-C, or Full Frame), which determines how large a pixel captures (the larger, the better), in-body stabilization for less blurry photos, and for technical shots – complete manual control of your manual settings.
Video Quality: Remember the days when you had to buy a specialized camcorder in addition to your camera to capture video. Nowadays, you can get a camera that has both great photography features and excellent video capturing capabilities. 4K capabilities, quick autofocus, and a maximum frame rate per second for slow-motion are all things to look for nowadays.
Lens Options: Because you will be traveling with it, you should choose a camera with a wide range of lens options so you can choose which one to buy for which situation. The focal length (wide-angle, portrait, or a combination of the two), the aperture (which determines how well it performs in low light and how soft the bokeh effect is (the lower, the better), and the support for autofocus are all important considerations.
Durability: Traveling exposes your camera to various harsh environments, so make sure it can withstand rainy, snowy, and dusty conditions. The gripping of the camera, material of the body and the available cases for protection are all factors to consider.
To get more detail You can also read this QUICK GUIDE TO CHOOSE BEST TRAVEL COMPACT CAMERA GEAR. This will help you to customize your travel camera gear.
Why Should You Purchase a Sony A6500?
The Sony a6500 is a mirrorless compact camera with a 24 Megapixel APS-C cropped sensor, which means the sensor is just one step bigger than the full-frame format but fits in a much smaller body that weights just 15.98 oz/453 g, satisfying our first requirements of size and weight.
With an APS-C sensor that is only slightly inferior to the full-frame equivalent, you are not sacrificing too much image quality for a smaller size. You’ll still get high-quality 6000×4000 images in a form factor that’s only slightly larger than a standard compact camera. It also has in-body stabilization, and when combined with an optically stabilized lens, you can say goodbye to blurry images. The The Sony a6500 also has three custom buttons and a dedicated manual mode, giving you the leverage you need to capture a more advanced image, such as the Milky Way. Another condition was met.
The Sony a6500’s video quality is among the best available for any camera of this size, thanks to its 4K capability, which produces sharper footage than its competitors. How so? Their cameras (Sony a6500 and Sony a7 series full-frame equivalent) use the total capacity of their sensor to capture 6K resolution videos, which are then downsized to 4K to improve the sharpness of their 4K footages. When you combine that with in-body stabilization, one of the fastest autofocus systems, and a small form factor, the Sony a6500 is unbeatable for video.
Lens selection is not Sony’s strong suit because they are one of the industry’s newer players. Still, suppose the last five years of Sony beating the competition for innovation is any indication. In that case, Sony is in this for the long haul, and their lens selection will only get better from here, especially with third-party companies like Sigma producing more lenses for the Sony E-Mount cameras.
With the 10-18mm f4 lens for wide-angle, the 18-105mm f4 zoom lens for general use, and the 35mm f1.8 lens for portraits, street photography, and bokeh beauty, Sony has covered the majority of the focal lengths you’ll require for the Sony a6500 APS-C E-mount. If you need a low-light wide-angle lens, the Sony a6500 is entirely compatible with the Sigma 16mm f1.4 lens.
Last but not least, the Sony a6500’s durability is simply outstanding. Its magnesium alloy body is environmentally sealed. It has a high-durability shutter and a recessed grip that helps you hold on to your camera better when you’re out and about.
These are the reasons I chose the Sony a6500, and I haven’t looked back since.
What I Really Like About the Sony A6500
Moving from a phone camera to a digital camera, and then to this one, was a huge move, and even after a year of pushing it to its limits every day, I still haven’t used any of the camera’s capabilities. Nonetheless, my encounter with it was delightful.
One of the best qualities of the Sony a6500 is its scale. With a lightweight lens like the Sony 16-70mm f4 Zeiss zoom lens, which covers the bulk of the critical focal lengths, you can be equipped for almost any situation when flying, all in a body half the size and weight of the full-frame counterpart.
Since the body is so compact and compact, so are the accessories you’ll need for flying, such as the tripod and mirror, and trust me, you’ll understand this when you have to bring those things in your pocket every day. Not to mention the Sony a6500 accessories are usually less costly than those for full-frame cameras.
You can’t ask for anything more from a camera this size than a massive sensor that captures 6000×4000 resolution, a range of image profiles, and the 6K-downsampling 4K format.
I can’t remember the last time I used manual focus with the Sony a6500, and because I use it for travel, which often allows me to catch a moment randomly, I have to rely on autofocus the rest of the time, and the Sony a6500 does not disappoint.
I really like that the camera can shoot at 120 frames per second, allowing me to slow down the clip by 75% to produce the cinematic slow-motion look that I often use for my travel images.
Finally, there’s the price, which I feel is fair for what I do as a travel filmmaker and photographer. At about US$1,098.00 (body), I get all of the features of full-frame cameras (except the sensor size), as well as 4K capabilities, interchangeable lenses, improved autofocus, and stabilisation for less than half the price, which is more than I should have hoped for.
However, the Sony a6500 does have some flaws that I believe should be considered before purchasing the camera.
The Sony a6500’s battery life is pitiful. With heavy use (shooting RAW images and 4K videos), the 1020mAh battery barely lasted half a day, and I often have to search for a spare battery to last the whole day. Fortunately, the battery is compact enough that I can keep running with multiple spares.
As previously said, Sony’s lens range is not its strong point, and there are some lenses that I wish Sony had, such as a super wide-angle fast lens like the Rokinon 12mm f2.0 that supports Sony’s fast autofocus for gimbal function. I also want Sony’s official lenses were a little less expensive than they are now.
Since Sony has crammed so many features into their cameras, their menu structure cannot keep up, and I believe it needs a little revamping to fit all of the features. Any menu system behavior is illogical at times, such as not setting a custom white balance in-memory mode and the unwanted popup that appears every time you turn to memory mode, etc.
Overall, this is the best travel camera you can find.
As you can see, the Sony a6500 follows all of the requirements for a great travel camera. Also, it exceeds standards in specific ways, such as video quality, all for the low price of US$1,098.00 (body), which is less than most of its rivals and filled with more functionality.
Many of the disadvantages are inconvenient but not fatal, and all of them can be quickly solved by doing your homework, being organized, and finding workarounds that suit your workflow.
Overall, I can’t think of a more compact and efficient travel camera than this one. If you are a light traveler like me and looking for a professional camera, the Sony a6500 has everything you need.
Bonus: If the Sony a6500 is out of the price range, consider the recently launched but less costly Sony a6400 (US$ 898) or older mirrorless versions such as the Sony a6300 (US$ 848) and the Sony a6000 (US$ 640), which are less expensive alternatives to the Sony a6500.
If you can’t decide between the Sony a6400 and the Sony a6300, go for the a6400.
Update: The Sony a6400 is the company’s newest mid-range model, intended to fill the gap between the Sony a6500 and a6300. Since it is a current product, the Sony a6400 has gained from more unique features not used on the Sony a6500, such as an all-new autofocus system and a flip-out screen. However, the Sony a6400 lacks in-body stabilization, which will be critical when choosing a lens to go with it.
If you consider purchasing the Sony a6500, here are all of my suggested lenses and accessories to go along with your new camera. Follow all of the links below to see what choices you have if you purchase the Sony a6500:
Lenses and cameras
Zoom lens Sony 10-18mm f4 (for super wide-angle shots)
Sony’s 16-55mm f2.8 zoom lens (The best lens you can get on a Sony APS-C)
70-350mm f4.5-6.3 zoom lens from Sony (The most light-weight super-telephoto lens for a Sony APS-C)
Zoom lens Sony 18-105mm f4 (a general-purpose lens for videography)
Sony prime lens 35mm f1.8 (for street photography)
Prime lens Sigma 56mm f1.4 (for portrait and bokeh shots)
12mm f2.0 prime lens from Rokinon (for super wide-angle low-light shots)
Standard lens Sigma 16mm f1.4 (for wide-angle and bokeh shots)
Sony a6500 Alternatives
Sony a6600 body – A new model to replace the a6600 with a more robust battery, smoother autofocus, and is more expensive.
Sony a6400 body – Highly recommended if you choose a cheaper option with a faster CPU and faster autofocus but no built-in image stabilization.
Sony a6100 body – The most affordable new model for beginners or those with a tight budget.
So that’s it for my recommendations. I hope I am able to help you select your best camera gear. I did my best to give your best Sony a6500 review as per my own use.
Let me know in the comments if you have used this camera or looking to buy one based on my review. If you have come this far with me, then I am sure I can help. So I wish you good luck and a great travel experience. Don’t for your follow us on Instagram. For Now. Bye Bye