The A6500 Announcement in Review – Sony Shocks Everyone Part 1.

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The a6300 only came out 7 months ago, but SONY announced the a6500 today, which shocked almost everyone. I believe that I follow camera rumours as closely as any human, and until about 8 hours before the announcement, there was no indication that this camera was going to be coming out anytime soon, much less today.

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I’ll run through the specs of the a6500, and I’ll cover the RX100 V in another post, for clarity.

  • The a6500 is, of course, an APS-C camera, and it has a redesigned 24.2 MP sensor. E-mount just like its predecessors.
  • It has a touchscreen! So many people have been begging for a touchscreen on SONYs forever.
  • It has 5-axis IBIS! This is also a huge deal. They’re claiming 5 stops of stabilization with their IBIS, which is huge if true. I think maybe the new Fuji or Olympus might offer 6 stops, but 5 is still incredibly useful.
  • It shoots 4K of course, with no pixel binning (this is good). This is at 100mbps.
  • It shoots 1080p up to 120fps, as is pretty standard for new mid-to-high end mirrorless cameras now. This is also at 100mbps.
  • It offers S-Log shooting, for more flexible color grading.
  • It’s “dust and moisture resistant” – I assume this means it’s not really weather sealed per se, but has at least some seals.
  • The stupid SONY app store is there, doing what it does (charge you money for extra features after you bought a $1400 camera)
  • The a6500 has 425 AF points (yikes!)
  • It shoots 11fps continuous, or 8fps in live-view continuous
  • No headphone jack.
  • Redesigned menus.
  • No word on if they solved the a6300‘s overheating issues.
  • Street price is $1399 and it’ll ship in November in North America, December in Europe.

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My first thoughts:

  1. Very interesting that SONY was able to keep this and the RX100 V under wraps. I was personally keeping a very keen eye out for any RX100 V rumors, and there weren’t any credible ones for ages. I was giving up.
  2. A lot of complaints are surfacing already from people who bought the a6300 recently. This camera is $400 more though, so it’s not like they got totally burned – but I know if I had bought an a6300, I’d regret not having this option, even at the extra price.
  3. In general, the reception I’m seeing around the web is very positive, though. This is a great camera, just loaded with great specs.
  4. The 4K overheating from the a6300 is still a big question mark. This was one of the biggest complains about the a6300, and SONY must have known it was a huge issue. When the a6500 rumor broke last night, some people were speculating that the body would be bigger, to solve overheating, but it’s not (and personally, I thought that was a ridiculous assumption – the a6— line is largely defined by the body size).
  5. The other big knock on the SONY E-mount line in general is the relatively shortage of lenses. This announcement didn’t mention any lenses, so that’ll be an ongoing process I’m sure.

2 COMMENTS

    • You could probably still return it if you got it from somewhere decent! The new camera is a lot more expensive though, so it’s not like you got completely burned – it really depends on whether you need IBIS and the other new features or not. Personally, I’d pony up the extra $400 if I was choosing, but everyone has different needs.

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