Sony Alpha a6500 body design and 24MP pixel count may lead one to believe that it’s a replacement for your mid-level a6300, but it is not: it is a higher-end product. Though it maintains the same hybrid AF system, viewfinder, video spec and 8 fps burst rate (with Sony’s implementation of live view), the a6500 adds a touchscreen, 5-axis image stabilization, more processing power and a deeper buffer.
Handling is not Sony Alpha a6500’s strongest point. The little body has a fantastic number of control points but the consumer experience surely benefits from extensive customization of the camera’s function buttons and its Fn menu. The touchscreen can be used to choose an AF point, which is a fantastic reply to the lack of a joystick, however the touch interface isn’t quite as sensitive as we have come to expect from contemporary cameras.
The Sony Alpha a6500’s autofocus performance is on par with similar-priced sports-oriented crop-sensor DSLRs : it is extremely quick to focus, highly reliable when subject monitoring and especially good at focusing wide-aperture lenses on individuals at close range, which makes it effortless to find the shot you want in a huge selection of circumstances. 11 fps shooting (8 with live perspective) and a profound buffer compared to its mid-level sibling makes the Sony Alpha a6500 a tempting selection for shooting sports.
The a6500 can shoot very impressive 4K/UHD footage or slightly less spectacular 1080 (although the ability to take 1080/120p can be helpful, regardless of the middling quality). Additionally, it has a wide assortment of support tools and image parameters, including super-flat Log gamma curves, to help users catch some exceptional video footage. Rolling shutter and temperature-limited shooting length count against its otherwise remarkable capability.
Picture quality is excellent, with class-leading detail retention and noise reduction in JPEGs, and elastic Raw documents with tons of dynamic selection. The shortage of in-camera Raw conversion is unsatisfactory at this level.
The Sony Alpha a6500 needs a greater level of customization to get the most out of it than many of its rivals, and its ergonomics can not compare to DSLRs whose ergonomics are iterated over decades. The touchscreen’s lack of responsiveness can be a little let down. However, its absolute capacity and versatility is outstanding. It has an superb autofocus system, superb image quality and kicks out a few of the best video footage we have seen.