STILL WORTH BUYING?! The Sony a6500?

what’s up guys in today’s tech your talk we’re gonna take a look at one of Sony’s top aps-c mirrorless cameras the a 6500 this camera shares a lot of its core specs with the really popular a 6300 but with some improvements we’re going to talk about why this is a camera that a lot of people are choosing for photography as well as video and also whether it’s a good choice for vlogging and creating YouTube content in general when we look at this line of Sony mirrorless cameras you’ve got the a6000 as the entry-level the a 6300 as the mid-level camera and then now the a 6500 more towards the top of the market my goal with every product review is to give you an overview of the features of the product but more as they relate to real-life use if you find it helpful please let me know by giving it a like and then hitting the subscribe and notification buttons for more camera and tech reviews this will be a pretty detailed review and there are both pros and cons to each camera so if you’re

serious about your research I recommend you take the time to watch this video to the end this camera has some really great specs so let’s start off by looking at some of the key features Before we jump into the detailed review the a 6500 is a mirrorless camera that has a 24 point 2 megapixel aps-c CMOS sensor with 425 auto focus detection points it also has the new BIONZ X processor which helps with speed performance and image quality sony also incorporated an improved buffer which makes it possible for photographers to continuously shoot 11 frames per second and up to 300 consecutive images if you’re shooting JPEGs and a hundred consecutive images if you’re shooting in RAW now you can shoot 4k video at up to 30 frames per second and Full HD or 1080p at up to 120 frames per second we also have five access in body image stabilization which offers more stable video when shooting handheld and the a 6500 finally incorporates a touchscreen that can be used for autofocus both when it’s used in live view and as a touch pad when using the really nice electronic viewfinder another nice feature for video users is the 3.5 millimeter mic input which lets you use an external

microphone for better audio and it also has Wi-Fi with NFC so that you can easily move images to your mobile device and even control the camera using an app alright so let’s jump into these features in a little more detail the a 6500 comes with a really impressive twenty four point two megapixel aps-c CMOS sensor with front and LSI which stands for large-scale integration and this is basically an additional chip that provides more processing power this new processor does a really nice job as reducing noise and increasing readout speeds which is great for video as always with cameras the bigger sensor the better because a larger sensor can use more information to create a better image with more detail and better dynamic range now Sony paired up the aps-c sensor with the new BIONZ X processor which together allow for continuous shooting at up to 11 frames per second now this is super impressive if you’re shooting JPEGs you can shoot over 300 consecutive images and if you’re shooting raw you can still shoot over a hundred consecutive images that’s pretty insane and the new processor also makes the camera very responsive and fast to operate so it turns on really fast and you’re pretty much ready to shoot photos or video right away

from a photography standpoint this is a super solid camera it takes upstanding images with great color and clarity and I’ll get into this more in the next section but as far as video goes you can shoot 4k video as well as Full HD or 1080p so this is a great setup for both photographers and videographers and the image quality from this camera is really impressive next I want to talk about some of the major strengths of this camera video resolution and frame rates for video as well as the image resolution for photography but the a 6500 can record UHD 4k video at 24 and 30 frames per second and Full HD or 1080p at up to 120 frames per second and this is really impressive for a small mirrorless camera now choosing a frames per second setting really has to do with what you want your final video to look like so if you want a more cinematic look that’s a little bit softer you’d use 24 frames per second and if you want more crisp and sharp video then you can go with 60 frames per second I like to go somewhere in-between so all my videos are shot at 30 frames per second and I don’t know how familiar you are with 4k but 4k video

actually shoots video that’s 4 times the size of Full HD so you’re getting that many more pixels to work with and I don’t want to spend too much time on that because I don’t want this video to get even longer but I’ll put a link in the description and up in the corner to another video where I’ll explain why you might want to shoot in 4k now there are some issues with this camera body overheating when shooting 4k video for prolonged periods of time there is a setting for auto power off temp which can be set to either standard or high and most people have reported around mid 20 minutes of recording time for standard setting and over an hour for high setting and of course these vary depending on the ambient temperature where you’re recording next let’s talk about slow-motion so as I said the a 6500 can shoot Full HD at 120 frames per second which is something that I absolutely love now depending on what your final output is at it gives you more flexibility than most cameras at this price range so for example I edit my videos at 30 frames per second so if I slow down one twenty to thirty I’m actually slowing things down by a factor of four alright let’s move on to lens options so the a sixty 500 uses Sony’s

amount and I’m showing it to you with a 16 to 50 millimeter lens together with a 1.5 crop factor of the aps-c sensor I’m getting a 24 to 75 35 millimeter equivalent with the built-in image stabilization now this is a pretty basic lens and will work great for beginners but it’s not a very fast lens so it only opens to 3.5 and at larger focal points it’s limited to 5.6 now what I’m talking about fast lenses I’m talking about how much light it actually lets into the camera and if that’s something that you’re interested in just let me know in the comments section below and I’ll create another video where I explain it but regardless this is where the advantage of having interchangeable lenses come into play because if you want a faster lens if you want to go wider if you want some more telephoto you can just buy additional lenses and then just swap them out and there are some nice options both from Sony and other vendors now not as many as you would for a cannon or a Nikon camera but there are some really nice options especially at the higher end I’ll put some links in the description to both lower end and higher end lenses that I think

would be a good match with this camera okay next I want to talk about autofocus and I’ll discuss this both for photography and for video the a 6,500 uses a 425 point phase detection system which Sony says can focus in as little as point zero five seconds and the system is then also used to be able to track moving subjects as they move through the frame what’s really nice about all these focus points for photography is that you can easily select off-center focus areas and then compose your images without having to get focus and then reframe for each shot you can use the touchscreen to tap on an area and then set it as the focus point or you can drag the focus point on the screen while you’re looking through the viewfinder now for video again I can select a static focus point by clicking anywhere on the screen again which is really nice if my subject is off-center like from doing an interview and I don’t want my subject to be right in the middle of the frame and then another option would be to select an object on the screen and then tell the camera to follow it and then keep it in focus I can also frame a shot with multiple layers and then tap to focus while recording and in the a 6500 will automatically switch

focus points and it performs this relatively fast and it doesn’t usually hunt for focus although I do notice that it tends to go beyond the focus point and then return to focus so overall the autofocus system is really good for video it’s not as good or fast as the Canon dual pixel autofocus which so far is my favorite but it’s still really nice if you’re shooting video vlogging or creating content for YouTube it’s gonna work really well for you one of the major things that I found frustrating is that the indicator of the focus point is a middle to dark gray square so after selecting a spot which you’ll see if I drag it it turns orange and then goes back to gray and I found that it’s difficult to see in various lighting conditions and I wish there was a setting where I could change that color if they just kept it orange or white another great feature of the a 6504 video is that it has a 3.5 millimeter mic input and it’s really great if you’re looking to up your audio game and get much higher production value because it lets you get much better audio than the on-camera microphone so you can easily connect a shotgun mic and mount it on top of the camera and you’re good to go this is a really light and compact setup and you can easily take this with you anywhere you can use this for vlogging or for recording

videos or anything else do you want to pick up directional sound instead of using the omnidirectional mic that’s on the camera that would pick up sounds from all directions equally we do have audio levels on the screen which is something that I love when I’m behind the camera because I don’t need to go into the menu area in order to check levels but because this screen doesn’t flip up I can’t see the audio levels when I’m in front of the camera so what I end up having to do is turn the camera around point the microphone this way and put it on the tripod then I can get my levels that I have to turn the camera around and turn the microphone and then I’m just assuming that it’s the same since the distance didn’t change and it’s not a huge deal it works but it’s one of those real-life situations where when you’re actually trying to use the camera a certain way these little things come up so this may not matter to most people but I like to point out what I’ve come across now I can also use the lavalier microphone if I don’t mind being tethered to the camera or I can even take it to the next level and go wireless by using my Sennheiser AVX with an XLR to 3.5 millimeter adapter so now I’m getting the performance of the lavalier microphone without actually being connected to the camera and I’m free to move around and still get perfect audio and it’s also easier for me to set audio levels that way because I can just walk behind the camera check out the levels and then when I go back in front of the camera it doesn’t really matter because the distance between me and the mic doesn’t actually change okay so let’s talk about the size weight

and build now the a 6500 shares some of the same form factor or body size and shape as both the entry-level a6000 and the mid-range a 6300 so if you’re using one of those already then the a 6500 will feel very familiar in your hands it’s a magnesium alloy rangefinder style body and of course because it’s mirrorless camera it’s super compact and it also has really nice seals around the buttons for dust and weather resistance and the grip is also really nice and Sony covered this whole right side of the camera with this rubber material so you can get a really good and solid grip and never going to feel like this is gonna fall out of your hands Sony incorporated a high-resolution XG a true finder oullette electronic viewfinder and the image quality is outstanding it’s super bright and I promise you you’re gonna be impressed every time you look through it okay now we’re gonna take a look at the new 3-inch screen which is okay at best all right so the image quality is actually really nice on it and it can tilt down 45 degrees so you can do overhead shots like this and then it can also be tilted up like that 90 degrees if it’s on a slider or if you’re working in any situation where you’re positioned above the camera but now let’s talk about some of my issues with this screen so number one it can’t be flipped all the way up or to the side so it’s pretty much useless if

I’m in front of the camera and there’s no one behind the camera and I’m trying to use it and I want to point out that that has to do with how I use the camera so for a lot of people that may not matter at all if you’re just using this for photography or if you’re using this for video but you’re always behind the camera that doesn’t matter at all but the way I use it if you’re a content creator and you’re the only one there it’s something that you’re gonna notice because you can’t make sure that you’re framed correctly or the yeren focus and this is especially true if you’re gonna hand hold the camera facing you and walk around you’re not gonna get that visual feedback about your framing now with practice you’ll be able to do it but it’s not ideal so my second issue with the screen is that it’s only touchscreen ish so you can tap or drag to focus but you can’t actually use it to operate any of the functions of the camera or the menu or anything like that and I find that I try to do that a lot because I click on it for focus and then I hit the function button and the functions come up and because I just interacted with the screen I instinctively go to press on a setting and then when it doesn’t work I have to go back to using the buttons on the side and I don’t really understand why Sony did this they clearly invested in developing a touchscreen which can detect when I touch it but then they only used it for like one feature but it’s already

there but just make it work for everything and honestly at this price point I think it’s a fairly big miss by Sony and so the last issue I want to talk with regards to this screen has to do with brightness and my first impression was well this isn’t very bright and it’s hard to use with the little research I found out that Sony intentionally dims the screen when shooting 4k or 120 frames per second because of the overheating issues of the a 6500 now there is a setting for monitor brightness but it’s disabled in the modes that I just mentioned so if you’re shooting 24 30 or 60 frames per second in full HD or 1080p then you can use it and the screen is really nice and bright but for 4k or 120 frames per second especially outside on a bright day it’s pretty difficult to use now overall like I said the image quality on the screen is really nice and I just wish Sony added a few more features that would make this camera absolutely crush anything else at this range now the a 6500 also has Wi-Fi with NFC or near field communication which lets you pair it with the mobile device and then easily transfer images and movies and you can also control the camera now transferring files is really easy you just go to the menu and

then hit sent to smartphone then connect to the phone and the images will be transferred now for remote control the app will let you take images and then start and stop video but then that’s pretty much it so for both images and video I couldn’t see the setting I couldn’t change aperture shutter speed ISO nothing I could just take the picture or start and stop the video so for photos it would work if I’m an aperture priority shutter priority or P because the camera gets to make the selection for me but like I said I still couldn’t see the settings that the camera selected so it was definitely less than ideal and again I’m gonna point out that that’s a feature that I would like that a lot of people probably aren’t gonna use so it’s not gonna matter to them but I just don’t understand why you’d make such an amazing camera and then skimp on such an important feature which is really just software okay so I want to talk a little bit about the skill level that’s required for using this camera now this is a very powerful camera it has way more features than most people are going to use but I still think it’s a great option for both beginners and advanced users now beginners come up the camera do most of the

heavy lifting now there are tons of presets and picture styles which really give some flexibility even without really having to understand how they work and more advanced users are gonna love the level of control that the a 6500 offers for both photographers and videographers there’s really so much that you can do with this camera and don’t let the small size fool you it’s very impressive I’ll say that the menu system is pretty good again if you want a lot of features you’re gonna get a big menu so sometimes you have to go in there and hunt for a particular feature that you’re looking for but again that’s just a function of being able to do so much okay so now I want to cover a few other features that might help you make a buying decision a Sony added what they call s and key or slow and quick video capture mode and this mode lets you capture Full HD or 1080p video at steps between 1 and 120 frames per second so this lets you slow down or speed up action in your video I wouldn’t use it for anything like the 120 frames per second because of the decreased bitrate just ignore that comment if you don’t know what it means but just

trust me that you want to use the actual 120 frames per second setting instead of s and cubic now will let you shoot in camera time-lapse as long as you don’t need anything slower than one image per second and there’s also a time-lapse app that you can buy for 10 bucks if you want allow more options and flexibility and to do more in-camera time-lapse and the a 6500 also offers five access steady shot inside image stabilization and depending on your choice of lenses you can add in lens image stabilization and this will help with handheld video as well as for photographers who are shooting at lower shutter speeds now of course for truly professional camera movement you’re gonna want to use a three axis gimbal and I’ll put some links in the description to some different gimbals that would work with this camera and then finally the a 6500 has a clean HDMI out which is awesome as basically what it means is that it can output what the camera sees or what you see on the screen but without the menu and the settings and that means you can use this camera for streaming so I think the a 6500 is a really good choice if you’re looking for a full-featured mirrorless camera it has outstanding

image quality for both photography and video the 24 point two megapixel aps-c sensor and the BIONZ X we’ll give you great low-light performance and you can shoot 11 frames per second at up to 300 consecutive images when shooting in JPEG and a hundred then shooting in RAW you can record 4k video at up to 30 frames per second and Full HD at up to 120 frames per second now interchangeable lenses offer you additional flexibility as your needs change or grow and there are some options at various price points so you can get really top-notch professional results there is a mic input which lets you connect an external microphone to the a 6500 and get better audio without having to record it separately and then sync it in post-production the touch screen is limited it works for autofocus and for displaying the current settings but it can’t be used to actually control the camera or to navigate the menu it’s small and portable and you’re getting a lot of power and a very small camera the built-in Wi-Fi lets you move images between the camera and a mobile device and even have limited control of the camera using the PlayMemories camera app more advanced users are gonna love all the manual settings and the controlled at the a 6500 offers but at the same time beginners are gonna be able to let the camera take charge

and make decisions for them the body alone sells for right under $1300 and a kit that I used for this video which includes the 16 to 50 millimeter lens sells for right under $1,400 which is really nice because the lens on its own sells for two hundred and seventy-three dollars so you’re saving a hundred and seventy bucks by buying them together I’ll put links in the description to all the items that I talked about in this video and those links will always be updated with the lowest prices whenever there are any specials or discounts or rebates I really hope this video gave you a good overview of the Sony a 65 hundred if it did please let me know by giving it a thumbs up tweet it share it and if you haven’t yet hit the subscribe and notification buttons for more camera and tech reviews you can always find me on Twitter Instagram and Facebook at tech gear talk good luck and see you soon

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