Sony Alpha a6500 Review: The Best Mirrorless Camera for Photography Enthusiasts

The Sony Alpha a6500 is a powerful mirrorless camera that boasts impressive features designed for photography enthusiasts. With its lightning-fast autofocus system, high resolution, and efficient stabilization, it's no wonder why this camera has become a crowd favorite! In this review, we'll explore the ins and outs of the Sony Alpha a6500 and uncover why it's such a popular choice for photographers.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Sony Alpha a6500 article cover photo

Key Features

Oct 06 2016


24 megapixels


Sensor TypeAPS-C

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Sony Alpha a6600 thumbnail

Sony Alpha a6600

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Overview of the Alpha a6500

If you're looking for a high-quality mirrorless camera, the Sony Alpha a6500 is one of the top models on the market. With its advanced features and lightning-fast autofocus, it's a camera that's perfect for photography enthusiasts. Whether you're capturing wildlife in motion or taking stunning portraits, this camera delivers incredible performance in every situation. In this review, we'll dive into the specs and features of the Sony Alpha a6500 to help you decide if it's the right camera for you. So sit back, relax, and let's delve into the world of photography with the Sony Alpha a6500!

Sony Alpha a6500 Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Sony Alpha a6500 camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


Fast autofocus performance with 425 phase-detection AF points
High resolution (24MP) APS-C sensor for good image quality
In-body 5-axis image stabilization
4K video recording with full pixel readout and no pixel binning


Limited battery life
No headphone jack
No fully-articulating screen

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Sony Alpha a6500

Weather sealed
Dimensions120 x 67 x 53mm

Weather Sealing

The Sony Alpha a6500 camera is equipped with environmental seals that make it resistant to weather, preventing water and dust from entering the camera. If you enjoy outdoor photography and need a camera that can handle extreme conditions, the Alpha a6500 is an excellent choice.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderElectronic
Screen TypeTilting
Screen Resolution922k dots
Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a tilting 3.00" screen, with a display resolution of 922k dots. This makes the Sony Alpha a6500 not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. The camera also features a touch screen, which adds to its ease of use.


Alpha a6500 includes a electronic viewfinder with 2,359k dots of resolution with a coverage of 100% and a magnification of 0.7x. This feature enhances the camera's suitability for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Sony Alpha a6500 has a 24MP sized CMOS sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 24 pixels. Sony Alpha a6500 has a native ISO range of 100 - 25600 which can be boosted to null - 51200. It can also save files in RAW format which gives you a wider room for post processing.

Key Features

Oct 06 2016


100 - 25600

ISO Range

Extended ISOnull - 51200
Max resolution6000 x 4000 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


85 / 102

Color Depth

24.5 / 26.5

Dynamic Range

13.7 / 14.8

Low Light ISO

1405 / 4505

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Sony Alpha a6500 camera has excellent color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also excellent, allowing it to retain low amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is poor, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the Alpha a6500 is above average

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: APS-C



Connectivity, storage, battery

StorageSD/SDHC/SDXC + Memory Stick Pro Duo
Battery Life350 shots
Battery ModelNP-FW50
Wireless Connectivity


The Sony Alpha a6500 supports SD/SDHC/SDXC + Memory Stick Pro Duo with 1 slots for storage. This may suffice for everyday use. However, for professional applications such as wedding photography, it is not recommended as a memory card malfunction could lead to the loss of all footage.


The Sony Alpha a6500 uses the NP-FW50 model of battery pack. This is rated for 350 shots shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Sony Alpha a6500 has built in flash which is great for event photography and in low light situations. It also offers a flash shoe that allows you to attach external flashes. This provides more versatility in your lighting choices.


The Sony Alpha a6500 boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/4000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Sony Alpha a6500 includes two autofocus (AF) systems: contrast detection and phase detection, with 425 number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

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What is the sensor size of the Sony Alpha a6500?

The Sony Alpha a6500 features a CMOS sensor

Is the Sony Alpha a6500 weather sealed?

Yes the Alpha a6500 does have weather sealing.

When was the Sony Alpha a6500 announced?

The Sony Alpha a6500 was announced on Oct 06 2016

Does the Sony Alpha a6500 have in-body image stabilization?

Yes the Alpha a6500 does have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Sony Alpha a6500?

The Alpha a6500 has a native ISO range of 100-25600, which can be expanded to ISO null-51200 for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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