Tech Review – Sony Alpha a6500 unbiased review

The Sony Alpha range is a powerful series of cameras that make use of the mirrorless camera technology. This is relatively new and has a few advantages over the DSLR variety that people have been using the past 2 decades or so. Sony was a leader in the digital camera era of the 2000s and to further their endeavours they bought Konica Minolta in 2006. Based on the technologies they gained access to by that buy-in they developed the Sony Alpha line.

Mirrorless cameras do not have a viewfinder and the screen shows a live feed directly. One of the larger benefits of this kind of camera is that it is compact, a lot more so than a DSLR. It also has less blur which can be caused by the mirror flipping inside.

The speed is a lot faster too as it forgoes that step and shoots directly, allowing one to shoot successive shots at a higher speed. For video as well these cameras work better as a DSLR cannot use phase detection focus while the mirror is up, which is why sometimes we see the video blur while the camera is trying to tighten the focus while shooting.

Sony’s Alpha A6500 is a powerful contender in this category and has done very well. With many photographers getting behind this technology and also this specific model. You can buy it online through shopsy, daraz or telemart etc.

General specs

October 2016 saw the Sony Alpha A6500 come into the market, it was a fairly quick upgrade given the previous model was only a few months old. The body was in fact very similar to its predecessor, something regular users appreciate. This way they do not need to get used to a whole new set of buttons and can learn the new model a lot quicker. A lot of photography relies on comfort of use, this kind of build keeps the customers at ease and in the flow of work too.

The images are viewed on a 2.36-million-dot OLED screen that is clear as can be and is visible in daylight even.

The image shooting capabilities are from a high-end spec range. Shooting vivid and crips images at 24.20MP. This megapixel power combined with the Log Gamma mode allows users to produce very high contrast and dynamic images. Log-Gamma is a mode that is similar to HDR. There is 5-axis image stabilization built into the body that makes for very stable shots. This is ideal for shots taken from a vehicle or while walking, something people who cover events or shoot wildlife appreciate a lot. The ISO range is powerful and only has noise towards the top-end.

This camera can do a burst shooting at full resolution at a rate of 11 frames per second. All this is contained inside a dust and moisture resistant body.

Video recording abilities

As we already mentioned the video recording on this camera is better than DSLRs. There are multiple reasons for this, among them is the zebra patterning which keeps a close eye on the exposure. One also benefits from a 425-point phase-detection focus system. This makes for a very quick adjustment in case focus slips a bit, keeping the frame in proper focus. Shooting takes place at 6K, making use of the entire sensor and then later the camera scales it down into 4K. This is a way to maximise quality. The codec in use is XAVC-S which has a 100Mbps rate. The frame rate is also high, shooting at 120fps.

Chipset power with the LSI

To keep the internal workings streamlined Sony opted to put the Large-Scale Integration (LSI) chip into the Alpha A6500. The image processing algorithm is also beefed up. These two combined process images a lot faster and the latter also compensates for ISO related noise. The LSI chips is also able to handle Dynamic Range Optimization so it makes the shadows pop, increasing the overall image dynamics and allowing images to be used without edits in case time is of the essence.

Connectivity and the rest

The Sony Alpha A6500 is built with WiFi, NFC and Bluetooth as well. This all works in tie with Sony’s suite of PlayMemories Camera Apps, including Smart Remote Control. The Bluetooth can geotag images with GPS location information from a smartphone.

The ports on this camera include a Multi Micro USB 2.0 terminal, a Micro HDMI (Type-D) connector, Multi-Interface hot shoe and a 3.5mm external mic jack (the A6500 does include a built-in stereo microphone). The Multi USB can also support an RM-VPR1 wired remote control and tethered remote shooting from a Windows or Mac computer running Sony’s Remote Camera Control utility. This allows you to change the camera’s settings or even record images to both the camera and the computer.

The A6500 doesn’t include a headphone jack or a verticle grip connector. This is a bit of a bummer for people shooting video as monitoring audio becomes difficult. Along with the fact that this camera eats away at the battery a lot faster than others. This, of course, is due to the large screen it has to power, along with high-grade processing. The Ultra HD video recording drains the battery even faster, roughly at 1% per cent for a minute of video.

The ups and down

Overall this is a great camera. It has great shooting abilities for video and still images both. Connectivity for wireless and wired both are ample. The shooting speed and processing speed are more than ample.

The lack of a headphone jack is something Sony really let videographers down with. The other major downside that comes to mind is the battery time. If you plan on being out and about for a while or have a longer video shoot planned, a few extra batteries would be needed.

Aside from that this a powerhouse, performing at the top level of the camera market. The build quality is something one can feel from the outside to the inside, with the quality results speaking for the internal bristle.