Sony A6500 3 Year Hands-On Review

It has been 3 years since I came to the decision to buy the Sony Alpha a6500 mirrorless camera and I've not regretted my choice for a single moment. At the time the specs were outstanding and it even outperformed some of the full-frame camera options that I had on my comparison list. Compared with its newer brother the a6600, it still has some features that would attract me to buy this camera again. Since I frequently travel, size weight and diversity are important.

Though it's often set that the in-body flash is not for real photographers, it's a great tool when all you can carry is one camera and you can use a white ceiling or wall to bounce off the flash light. The body is light, small and though the grip is not very deep, it's perfectly balanced. Initially I mostly used the 16-70mm f/4 Zeiss during my travels, which is the perfect lens for this camera.

Unfortunately this one recently got destroyed. (A story I will share in my review for this lens.) Eventually I would like to add one of the Sony Full Frame bodies to my kit, so to replace the broken 16-70mm, which is dedicated for APS-c, I purchased the Sony FE24-105G full frame lens. Bulkier, but even then, I still can comfortably carry the camera around just by its grip.

So what else makes this such a good camera. Well sturdiness and build quality. The lens that got destroyed was attached to this camera, but after full inspection by Sony, the body and all the internal mechanisms were not damaged at all. Now I did not buy it because I was likely to going to drop his camera, but it is always in top of my cary-on luggage, so build quality is an important factor.

Charging options. Yes, battery life is about 300 shots, but all you need to carry extra with you is the USB cable. It charges directly from any USB port. PC, iPhone Charger, Powerbank, or the USB wall outlets around on airports. I did mention I travel a lot, so this was a major decision point. No need to carry wall sockets and external battery chargers.

Performance wise it ticks all the boxes as well. 24Mega Pixels, 5-axis IBIS, burst of 11fps, 4K video without sensor crop, dynamic range of a full 13stops and great low ISO performance, facial detection and eye auto focus, etc... All which looks good on paper, but after 3 years of using this camera, I really became to appreciate all these great specifications. It hasn't let me down a single time.

Now there is always room for improvement. Only a tilting screen, poor menu layout and poor lid LCD to make viewing your images in sunlight very difficult. With the recent announcement of the Sony a7S III, it seems that Sony will tackle these issue in the newer full frame cameras.

Conclusion, are you looking for a compact mirrorless camera that is a great allrounder, easy to travel with, flexible with a full range of E-mount lenses and does not compromise in quality and performance, this is the camera I would recommend.

Please feel free to add your thoughts about this camera in the comments section.

© 2020 - Created by Leon Hazenoot

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