Sony A6500 image quality: bright and punchy, but not unnatural
Considering the a6500 uses the same sensor and processor combination as its sibling, the a6300, I knew I was in for a treat when it came to image quality.
Colours are warm and well-saturated, without straying too far into unrealistic territory. The amount of detail at low ISO speeds (100-400) is also fantastic, while at speeds above this, the overall impression of detail in JPEGs is very good. Still, for finer details, you might get the best results shooting in raw format and applying your own processing later on.
Noise is something which only starts to become a tricky issue when you head to the ISO 6400 mark, making it a great camera for low-light shooting. The introduction of 5-axis image stabilisation for this camera is particularly helpful for sports and action photographers who may be using longer focal lengths. These lenses are big and heavy, and therefore more difficult to keep steady. Overall, the system does a great job of keeping shots sharp at the critical moment.
Sony A6500 verdict
The A6500 is one of the best compact system cameras around, and sits at the very top of the APS-C tree.
Capable of producing superb images straight out of the camera, its raft of high-speed features make it a particularly good match for anyone who likes to shoot fast-moving action subjects, be it wildlife or your pet dog.
That said, Sony sadly still hasn’t quite reached perfection. Yes, we’ve finally got a touchscreen, but you can only use it for certain things. The A6500 is also pretty expensive, and if you tend to shoot non-moving fare like landscapes, portraits and macro, you might be better suited to the A6300.
In that sense, the two cameras mirror the Fujifilm X-T2 and X-T20, which are their main rivals. Which you go for depends a lot on your preferences for a camera's controls and feel, as Sony and Fujifilm differ greatly here - but we reckon the X-T2 just edges it, thanks to its better frame rate and design.