The Sony A6500 Is The Company’s New APS-C Flagship Camera

4K video and a touchscreen top the spec sheet on this new mirrorless camera

Sony A6500
The Sony A6500 is the top-end APS-C mirrorless camera in Sony's lineup.Sony

It seems like not long ago that we first met the Sony’s then-flagship APS-C mirrorless camera, the A6300. Now, there’s a new top dog in Sony’s APS-C lineup in the form of the A6500, which adds a few key features to an already excellent camera.

In terms of the imaging sensor, not much has changed, maintaining the same resolution and crazy 425 phase-detection autofocus points. It is, however, now part of a 5-axis image stabilization system that promises up to 5-stops of vibration reduction.

The sensor is paired with Sony’s BIONZ X processor as well as a new Front-End LSI, promising noticeably better noise performance and operating speed. It can now hit a maximum ISO of 51,200 (expanded) and has a total buffer capacity of 307 frames when shooting in high-speed mode.

A really welcome new feature is the addition of a touchscreen display. In addition to enhancing the new video features (more on that in a minute) it also provides an improved method for interacting with the menus. It can even be used when the camera is up to your eye.

It seems like not long ago that we first met the Sony’s then-flagship APS-C mirrorless camera, the A6300. Now, there’s a new top dog in Sony’s APS-C lineup in the form of the A6500, which adds a few key features to an already excellent camera.

In terms of the imaging sensor, not much has changed, maintaining the same resolution and crazy 425 phase-detection autofocus points. It is, however, now part of a 5-axis image stabilization system that promises up to 5-stops of vibration reduction.

The sensor is paired with Sony’s BIONZ X processor as well as a new Front-End LSI, promising noticeably better noise performance and operating speed. It can now hit a maximum ISO of 51,200 (expanded) and has a total buffer capacity of 307 frames when shooting in high-speed mode.

A really welcome new feature is the addition of a touchscreen display. In addition to enhancing the new video features (more on that in a minute) it also provides an improved method for interacting with the menus. It can even be used when the camera is up to your eye.

Interestingly enough, the section about video is the longest part of the press release, and with good reason. The camera captures 4K footage (3840 x 2160) by collecting 6K information and then over-sampling to 4K. If you’d rather have frames than resolution, it can also do 120 fps at 1080p with a bitrate of 100 Mbps. That’s a lot of data to move around.

In terms of design, the camera has a magnesium alloy body and a shutter tested to 200,000 releases. Of course, it also has built-in Wi-fi and NFC, which is pretty much a given at this point in the game.

So, while the A6500 isn’t a monumental upgrade over the A6300, it certainly does add some noteworthy features. It will be available for $1,400, body-only. At least on paper, this feels very much like an A7-series camera with a smaller sensor.

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