Sony has gone a long way towards addressing the issues many reviewers identified with the α6300. The deepening of the buffer memory will please sports shooters as well as bird and animal photographers as will the improvements to the stabilisation system.
The relatively small size and light weight of the α6500 make it ideal for travellers, for whom the inclusion of 4K movie recording presents a distinct advantage over cameras with only 1080p resolution.
Touch-screen controls make the α6500 a good choice for spontaneous shooters, including street and documentary photographers and casual snapshooters.
The camera’s solid construction and dust and moisture resistance make it usable in many situations where a cheaper camera would be vulnerable. Sony’s E-mount range of lenses for cropped-sensor cameras covers focal lengths from 10mm (15mm equivalent in 35mm format) to 210mm (315mm equivalent), which will cover most potential users’ requirements.
The α6500 is also compatible with the FE lenses designed for Sony’s ‘full frame’ cameras, although they tend to be larger and heavier than the cropped-sensor lenses.
Just over a year after reviewing the α6300 in April 2016, the latest model in this series, the α6500 has arrived on our desk. It has many of the same specifications as the previous model but extends sensitivity by a stop and more than doubles the buffer memory capacity, without changing the capture rate. The in-body image stabilisation (IBIS) system and shutter mechanism have been improved and the new camera acquires a touch-screen monitor plus a re-designed menu system.
Angled view of the Sony α6500 with the Zeiss Vario-Tessar E 16-70mm f/4 OSS lens. (Source: Sony.)
The α6500 is offered in body-only format or paired with Sony’s E PZ 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS lens. We received the body on its own, along with the E 35mm f/1.8 OSS lens, which is reviewed separately.
Physically, there’s not much difference between the α6500 and the α6300 so owners of the older model would only feel the need to upgrade if the changes listed below would benefit them. The camera is slightly (4.5 mm) thicker and less than 50 grams heavier than the α6300, with a slightly deeper grip and a soft eyecup but much the same layout and controls.
The following list outlines the changes Sony has made when producing the α6500.
1. A more powerful LSI chip has been added to the front of the BIONZ X Image processor, resulting in improved light-gathering capabilities, reduced noise and increased readout speeds to enable more frames to be stored in the buffer memory and benefit video recording. Improvements to the image processing algorithms improve the reproduction of fine details and textures.
2. The new 5-axis SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilisation system compensates for five different types of camera shake encountered during handheld shooting and claims to provide a shutter speed advantage of five EV steps. When an E-mount lens with OSS is mounted, pitch and yaw are compensated in the lens and horizontal, vertical and roll axes are compensated in the camera body.
The system will also function with lenses without built-in optical stabilisation as well as A-mount lenses when used with a compatible mount adapter and third-party lenses and adapters. If a lens with a SteadyShot switch is attached, the settings can only be changed with that switch.
3. The 3-inch TFT monitor has a new touch panel overlay that supports touch focusing. Users can shift the point of focus by dragging a finger across the screen while framing shots with the viewfinder. This touch-and-drag function can also be used to control focus pulling when shooting video clips.
4. The shutter mechanism has been redesigned to withstand 200,000 release cycles and includes a new braking mechanism and elastic padding to reduce shutter shock. The top shutter speed remains at 1/4000 second, even with the electronic shutter.
5. The menu has been redesigned to make it easier to find settings. There are six groups of settings, the first two separately covering stills (14 pages) and movie (9 pages) functions, followed by a two-page Wi-Fi folder, a single Application page, two pages of Playback settings and a seven-page Setup folder. The folder tabs are colour coded and maned. But there’s still quite a bit of toggling required to find many items. Sadly, we weren’t able to use the touch panel to navigate the menu on the review camera.
6. Auto white balance can be tweaked with a new Priority setting, which offers three modes: Standard, Ambience and White. The Standard and Ambience settings retain the warm colour casts but we found the White priority setting eliminated most of the residual warm tones in shots taken under incandescent lights and all the cast from shots in LED lighting, producing close to neutral colours in both cases.
7. A new Slow and Quick mode in the Movie menu lets you choose from eight frame rates between one and 100 frames/second (fps) to create speeded-up motion or slow-motion movies in the camera. The effects of these settings are shown in the Sensor and Image Processing section below. These settings are only supported in FHD resolution with progressive scanning.
8. Still frames can be extracted from movie clips and saved in the camera via the Photo Capture function. But it can only be used when the clip is being played back and playback must be paused. The resolution is the same as the video frame, which means users can extract 8-megapixel stills from 4K movie clips.
8. Bluetooth has been added to the connectivity, providing the ability to transfer location data from a smartphone to geotag images.
Who’s it for?
The relatively small size and light weight of the new camera make it ideal for travellers, for whom the inclusion of 4K movie recording presents a distinct advantage over cameras with only 1080p resolution. Touch-screen controls make the α6500 a good choice for spontaneous shooters, including street and documentary photographers and casual snapshooters.
Finally, the camera’s solid construction and dust and moisture resistance make it usable in many situations where a cheaper camera would be vulnerable. Sony’s E-mount range of lenses for cropped-sensor cameras covers focal lengths from 10mm (15mm equivalent in 35mm format) to 210mm (315mm equivalent), which will cover most potential users’ requirements. The α6500 is also compatible with the FE lenses designed for Sony’s ‘full frame’ cameras, although they tend to be larger and heavier than the cropped-sensor lenses.
Build and Ergonomics
Like the α6300, the α6500 has a largely magnesium alloy body with metal used in the internal frames, rear cover, top cover and front cover. The deeper grip of the previous model is retained and the lens mount is strong and rigid enough to be used with large and heavy telephoto lenses.
The metal chassis of the α6500 showing the extensive use of magnesium alloy in its construction. (Source: Sony.)
The front panel is largely unchanged, save for the slightly deeper grip, which also contains the invisible Wi-Fi antenna. The lens mount still dominates this panel, with two microphone holes above it. The lens release button is the only other control on this panel.
Front view of the α6500 with no lens fitted. (Source: Sony.)
The top panel of the α6500 with no lens fitted. (Source: Sony.)
The main change to the top panel is the addition of an extra C2 button, bringing the total to two. You can register a set of frequently-used aperture and shutter speed combinations to each of these buttons and up to four settings to the memory card. These settings can be recalled quickly via the mode dial but, unfortunately, they can’t be set via the touch controls so you have to use the arrow pad for navigation.
The rear panel of the α6500 showing the control layout. (Source: Sony.)
The 3-inch TFT LCD screen on the rear of the camera now has a touch panel overlay but is otherwise the same as the screen on the α6300. It can be tilted up through roughly 90 degrees and down by about 45 degrees and has a resolution of 921,600 dots, which is about average for a modern camera.
The tilting rear panel of the α6500. (Source: Sony.)
The touch controls are fairly limited. You can select the point of focus with a fingertip and change focus by swiping your finger across the screen, the latter providing a useful way to pull focus when shooting movie clips.
You can also select the active area for initiating the touch panel, with a choice between whole screen, right half or right quarter. The initiating area defines where you put your fingertip to start swiping; once initiated, the whole screen is responsive until you lift your finger.
Compared with other touch-screen cameras we’ve reviewed recently, the α6500 was slow to respond and focusing lagged behind the fingertip movement. Focus pulling is also limited to the Centre Lock-On AF mode, which means you must re-set the touch function each time you change from shooting stills to movies ““ or put up with it defaulting to this setting when you shoot stills. (Other AF area modes are available for shooting stills but not video.)
The AF point arrays in the α6500. (Source: Sony.)
The autofocusing system is virtually identical to the system in the α6300, with the same hybrid array of 425 phase-detection points and 169 contrast-detection points, arranged as shown in the diagram above. This allows rapid subject tracking and Sony claims it can quickly activate a large number of AF points surrounding a subject and ‘intelligently’ adjust them in accordance with the subject’s motion, focusing in as little as 0.05 seconds.
A new C3 button has been added to the rear panel joining the AF/MF, AEL and arrow pad buttons in being able to have any one of 56 functions assigned to it. Different functions can be assigned to a single button for shooting and playback modes. (Some focus-related functions cannot be assigned to the arrow pad buttons.)
Fifty functions can also be registered to the Fn button on the rear panel, among them image quality/size/aspect ratio, drive/self-timer modes, ISO, white balance and flash settings and the various Creative Style, Picture Effect and Picture Profile settings. Ironically, movie quality and frame rate settings are not included.
The Creative Style and Picture Effects settings are the same as in the α7R and covered in our review of that camera. The Picture Profile system is designed mainly for movie recording, although one of its settings covers Still gamma.
The remaining settings cover pre-determined tone curves, which include the industry-standard Cine and S-Log settings. Users can adjust the black level, gamma curve and colour parameters (saturation, colour depth, colour phase, detail) in the camera and copy the settings to another picture profile number. We opted to work with Sony’s presets, which are as follows:
PP1: Uses the [Movie] gamma
PP2: Uses the [Still] gamma
PP3: Achieves a natural colour tone using the [ITU709] gamma
PP4: Achieves a a colour tone faithful to the ITU709 standard
PP5: Uses the [Cine1] gamma
PP6: Uses the [Cine2] gamma
PP7: Uses the [S-Log2] gamma
PP8: Uses the [S-Log3] gamma and the [S-Gamut3.Cine] under [Colour Mode].
PP9: Uses the [S-Log3] gamma and the [S-Gamut3] under [Colour Mode].
The setting you choose will engage a particular gamma curve, which defines the relationship between a pixel’s numerical value and its actual luminance in order to make hues and tones look natural. Each profile sets a specific gamma for a specific application. The Movie and Still gammas set optimal curves for each type of recording.
The four Cine gammas apply different tweaks, as follows:
Cine1: Softens the contrast in dark parts and emphasizes gradation in bright parts to produce a relaxed colour movie.
Cine2: Similar to [Cine1] but optimised for editing with up to 100% video signal.
Cine3: Intensifies the contrast in light and shade more than [Cine1] and strengthens gradation in black.
Cine4: Strengthens the contrast in dark parts more than [Cine3]. The contrast in dark parts is lower and the contrast in bright parts is higher than for [Movie].
The S-Log gamma and gamut are the same as those used on Sony’s professional video cameras and designed to produce ‘flat’ footage that will be processed after shooting. The instruction manual advises users that the parameters are shared for movie and still images, so different settings should be selected when you change the shooting mode. If you change Gamma, the available ISO range changes.
Unfortunately, the compartment in the base of the grip, which is shared by the memory card and battery is still very cramped, making it quite difficult to insert and remove cards. We would have expected a separate card slot in a camera of this calibre.
Battery charging is still via a USB cable, which means a charger is an optional extra. This arrangement is typical of cameras designed for amateur snapshooters and it’s rather clumsily implemented. Extra batteries and the separate BC-QM1 charger will cost you AU$99 each, which is a big ask, given the price of the camera.
The α6500 provides the same communications facilities as its predecessor, with both Wi-Fi and NFC. We’ve covered these functions in our review of the α7R.
Sensor and Image Processing
The 24.2-megapixel sensor in the α6500 is essentially the same chip as in the α6300 and covered in our review of that camera. Image sizes and quality settings are largely unchanged and, like its predecessor, the α6500 supports continuous shooting at up to 11 frames/second (fps) with autofocusing, along with 8 fps continuous shooting with live-view and two slower speeds (6 fps and 3 fps).
What has changed is the buffer capacity, which Sony lists at 233 large/extra-fine JPEGs, 107 ARW.RAW frames or 100 RAW+JPEG pairs. This is more than double the buffer capacity of the α6300.
Movie recording resolutions and frame rates are almost identical to those in the α6300 but the new Slow & Quick settings extend the options available. The following settings are provided for PAL system users:
S&Q Frame Rate
S&Q Record Setting
4 times slower
2 times slower
Normal playback speed
Normal playback speed
2 times faster
2.08 times faster
4.16 times faster
4.16 times faster
8.3 times faster
8.3 times faster
16.6 times faster
12.5 times faster
25 times faster
25 times faster
50 times faster
If you want to record 4K movies at a bit rate of 100 Mbps or higher a card that is UHS Speed Class 3 rated is required. With camera’s default settings, continuous shooting is possible for approximately 29 minutes at normal temperatures. The maximum file size for AVCHD movies is 2GB, while MP4 movie recording will stop when the file size reached 4GB.
Clean HDMI output to an external recorder is supported, with the following options for the PAL TV system: 3840 x 2160 (25p), 1920 x 1080 (50p) and 1920 x 1080 (50i). Colour is recorded with 8-bit depth using the YCbCr colour model and 4:2:2 sub-sampling.
Playback and Software
Nothing much has changed in this area. The camera comes with a very basic printed manual that has a link to a more detailed online user guide. Neither is suitable for novice users, who will find it difficult to take advantage of some of the camera’s capabilities because the notes are too scanty or too difficult to follow.
The software must also be downloaded. But, again, its value is limited. Sony’s PlayMemories Home is available free of charge and is required if you want to import video clips recorded with the camera into your computer. But can’t be used for editing XAVC S clips and has limited functionality with AVCHD movies. Sony recommends the following video editors for photographers who want to edit movies taken with its 4K-enabled cameras: Adobe Premiere Elements, Apple’s iMovie 10, CyberLink PowerDirector, Pinnacle Studio 18 Ultimate and Sony Movie Studio Platinum.
Subjective assessment of shots taken with the review camera showed them to be similar to the shots we obtained with the α6300, although with a more neutral colour bias and slightly lower in saturation. Imatest confirmed our assessments and showed most hues to be close to the ideal values, the exceptions being in the middle reds and yellow-greens. Skin tones were close to ideal, although shifted slightly to the warm side.
The best JPEG images were able to meet expectations for the sensor’s resolution in the central zone of the image field, while the best raw files exceeded expectations by a comfortable margin (hence the high image quality rating). JPEGs were conservatively processed across the ISO and lens aperture ranges we tested.
Resolution remained high from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, inclusive, and then declined slowly but steadily with a steady drop thereafter for both JPEG and ARW.RAW files. The difference between centre and edge resolution across the camera’s sensitivity range was comparatively small, as shown in the graph of our Imatest results below.
Low light performance was generally very good with little visible noise in long exposures at ISO settings right up to 12800. Noise became visible at ISO 25600 but images were printable at output sizes up to about 10 x 15 cm. By ISO 51200 images had lost some of their warmer hues and become a little soft and noticeably noise-affected.
The performance of the built-in flash was disappointing, although it may have been due to the E 35mm f/1.8 OSS lens we had to use. The flash has the same specifications as the flash in the α6300 and, with a guide number of 6 is quite feeble. However, the camera seemed unable to compensate for changes in ISO when used in the P mode (the standard setting for our tests).
At ISO 100, flash shots were slightly under-exposed but by ISO 400 they were slightly over-exposed and continued to become more so as sensitivity was increased, mainly because the lens aperture didn’t begin to close down until ISO 1600. Shots were grossly over-exposed by this time so further increases in ISO failed to deliver usable images, even though the camera began to close the aperture down. The shutter speed remained fixed at 1/60 second, which probably accounts for the exposure problems.
The only way to obtain usable shots was to take control of the lens aperture. This meant setting f/5 with ISO 1600, f/8 with ISO 6400 and f/22 with ISO 51200 but even then some shots were over-exposed. At higher ISO settings the effects of high sensitivity were similar to those we found with long exposures.
With the default settings, the auto white balance setting produced similar results to the α6300, delivering close-to-neutral colours under fluorescent lighting and with flash but failing to eliminate the orange cast from incandescent and LED lights. The new White priority setting in the auto white balance mode delivered shots in which most of the warm cast had been neutralised. The camera provides enough in-camera adjustments to correct colours on-the-spot and raw files are easily colour corrected.
Autofocusing was fast in bright outdoor lighting and the camera was able to lock onto static subjects almost instantaneously when shooting both stills and movie clips. Tracking performance in movie mode was better than we found with the α6300, although it tended to be variable in low light levels, depending on how fast the subject was moving.
Video clips recorded in the 4K modes delivered an impressive amount of detail but the exposure system struggled with scenes that had a wide brightness range, whatever the resolution. blown-out highlights were common in all clips, despite adjustments to exposure compensation. The problems associated with focus tracking in the α6300 appear to have been largely solved and the camera was able to keep track of moving subjects right up to the edges of the frame.
Soundtracks were recorded with decent clarity, despite the small size of the built-in microphones. Their forward-facing position makes them very susceptible to wind noise and, although the camera includes a wind filter, it doesn’t completely eliminate the problem.
Our timing tests were carried out with a Panasonic 16GB SDXC I U3 card with a read speed of 95MB/sec. and write speed of 90MB/sec. This is the same card as we used for testing the α6300.
It took a little over a second for the review camera to power up for shooting, which is roughly the same as we found with the α6300 and not particularly fast for a CSC. Sony still hasn’t addressed the delays imposed whenever a new memory card is used because the camera has to ‘build an image database’ (a practice unique to Sony). This roughly doubles the start-up time.
Averaged across 10 shots, we measured a consistent capture lag of 0.01 seconds. This was eliminated when shots were pre-focused and as far as we were able to measure from the on-screen indicator, both Large/Extra fine JPEGs and ARW.RAW files took between 0.5 and 0.6 seconds on average to process.
Shot-to-shot times averaged 0.75 seconds without flash and 3.9 seconds with, both representing improvements on the times we measured for the α6300. In the high-speed continuous shooting mode, we recorded a burst of 128 Large/ Extra fine JPEG frames in 11.9 seconds with no sign of the capture rate slowing. This is roughly equivalent to the specified frame rate of 11 fps. It took a little over 90 seconds to clear the buffer memory and resume shooting.
When shooting a burst of ARW.RAW files in the same mode, recording paused after 110 frames, which were captured in 7.2 seconds, which at roughly 15 fps is faster than the JPEG frame rate. With RAW+JPEG pairs, the buffer capacity was reduced to 100 frames but the recording frame rate was essentially unchanged.
Without an indicator lamp on the top or rear panels (it’s on the base plate, next to the battery/card compartment), it was difficult to measure exact processing times for individual shots or bursts taken in the continuous shooting mode. For each of the bursts containing raw files, the camera remained locked for at least 30 seconds and the overall processing time was between 80 seconds and 1.5 minutes.
Sony has gone a long way towards addressing the issues many reviewers identified with the α6300. The deepening of the buffer memory will please sports shooters as well as bird and animal photographers as will the improvements to the stabilisation system.
Sony’s menu systems are still complex and difficult to navigate but the improvements in the new camera have made them a little more logical. The new Slow and Quick movie modes are fun but of limited utility.
It’s a pity we were unable to use the camera with the 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 PZ OSS lens, which is being offered with the camera by many re-sellers. The small size and relatively light weight of this lens, along with the angles of view it covers, make it an ideal partner to the α6500 for travel and street photography.
The implementation of the touch-screen controls was limited and somewhat clumsy when you compare the α6500 with similarly-priced cameras from Olympus and Panasonic, which do a much better job. But the EVF is nice and bright with high resolution and a fast refresh rate that is really good for shooting movies.
Price-wise, the α6500 is on the high side for a camera with 4K movie support and it’s difficult to explain the AU$1200 disparity in the on-release price between the new camera and its predecessor (which also includes 4K video). At an RRP of AU$2299, the α6500 is on a par with Fujifilm’s X-T2, which is similar in size and weight and has the same resolution and sensor size but is superior in a number of ways.
The X-T2 has external dials for ISO, shutter speed and exposure compensation, a more adjustable monitor, a joystick for focus navigation, dual SD card slots that aren’t in the battery compartment and can handle the fast UHS II speed class 3 memory cards. It also boasts faster 14 fps continuous shooting.
Since the α6500 has been on sale for a while, discounting has already begun and you can expect to save at least AU$100 if you shop around. We found a couple of reputable outlets with the body priced at AU$2058 ““ rising to AU$2199 with PZ 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS kit lens.
B&H, which markets aggressively into Australia has the camera listed at US$1398.00, which equates to AU$1876.95. If you add approximately AU$56 for shipping, the total cost will be just under AU$2000. The body plus 16-50mm lens is listed at US$1546, which is just under AU$2076. Shipping will add just over AU$57 to the total price.
Since both body and kit prices are over AU$1000, you’ll need to add 10% GST to those figures. On the whole, although Sony’s prices are less competitive than those of other local distributors, we feel you’d be better off buying locally where you can get hands-on experience with the camera at your local store and benefit from Australian consumer protection laws.
Image sensor: 23.5 x 15.6 mm Exmor CMOS sensor with 25 million photosites (24.2 megapixels effective)
Image processor: BIONZ X
A/D processing: 14-bit
Lens mount: Sony E-mount
Focal length crop factor: 1.5x
Digital zoom: 1.4x to 4x (up to 8x for stills with reduced resolution)
Image formats: Stills: JPEG (DCF Ver. 2.0, Exif Ver.2.31, MPF Baseline compliant), ARW.RAW (v. 2.3), RAW+JPEG; Movies: XAVC S , AVCHD format Ver. 2.0 compliant , MP4 (all with MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 compression)
Image Sizes: Stills ““ 3:2 aspect: 6000 x 4000, 4240 x 2832, 3008 x 2000; 16:9 aspect: 6000 x 3376, 4240 x 2400, 3008 x 1688 plus Sweep Panorama: Wide: horizontal 12,416 x 1856, vertical 5536 x 2160, Standard: horizontal 8192 x 1856, vertical 3872 x 2160; Movies: XAVC S 4K: 3840 x 2160 (25p, 100M), 3840 x 2160 (25p, 60M), XAVC S HD: 1920 x 1080 (100p, 100M), 1920 x 1080 (100p, 60M), 1920 x 1080 (50p, 50M), 1920 x 1080 (25p, 50M), AVCHD: 1920 x 1080 (50p, 28M, PS), 1920 x 1080 (50i, 24M, FX), 1920 x 1080 (50i, 17M, FH), 1920 x 1080 (25p, 24M, FX), 1920 x 1080 (25p, 17M, FH), AVC MP4: 1920 x 1080 (50p, 28M), 1920 x 1080 (25p, 16M), 1280 x 720 (25p, 6M)
Image Stabilisation: Image Sensor-Shift mechanism with 5-axis compensation; up to 5 EV of shake correction (depending on lens)
Dust removal: Charge protection coating on optical filter and image sensor shift mechanism
Shutter (speed range): Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane shutter (30-1/4000 second plus Bulb); flash sync at 1/160 sec.
Exposure Compensation: +/- EV in 1/3EV or 1/2EV steps (+/-EV for movies)
Other bracketing options: WB (3 frames, H/L selectable), DRO bracket
Self-timer: 2, 5 or 10 seconds delay plus continuous and bracketing modes
Focus system: Fast Hybrid AF (425 points phase-detection /169 points contrast-detection) with Wide, Zone, Centre, Flexible Spot (S/M/L), Expanded Flexible Spot, Lock-on AF
Focus modes: AF-A (Automatic AF), AF-S (Single-shot AF), AF-C ( Continuous AF), DMF (Direct Manual Focus), Manual Focus
Exposure metering: 1200-zone evaluative metering with Spot (Standard/Large) and Entire Screen Avg., Highlight) metering patterns
Shooting modes: Auto (iAuto/Superior Auto), P, A, S and M modes, Movie / Sl&Q Motion, Sweep Panorama, Scene Selection (Portrait, Sports Action, Macro, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Hand-held Twilight, Night Portrait, Anti Motion Blur)
Picture Effect modes: 13 types: Posterisation (Colour/B/W), Pop Colour, Retro Photo, Partial Colour (R/G/B/Y), High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera, Soft High-key, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-tone Monochrome, Miniature, Watercolour, Illustration
Creative Style modes: Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Clear, Deep, Light, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Autumn leaves, Black & White, Sepia, Style Box (1-6), Contrast (-3 to +3 steps), Saturation (-3 to +3 steps), Sharpness (-3 to +3 steps)
Picture Profiles: Yes (Off / PP1-PP9) Parameters: Black level, Gamma (Movie, Still, Cine1-4, ITU709, ITU709 [800%], S-Log2, S-Log3), Black Gamma, Knee, Colour Mode, Saturation, Colour Phase, Colour Depth, Detail, Copy, Reset
Colour space options: sRGB standard (with sYCC gamut) and Adobe RGB standard compatible with TRILUMINOS Colour
ISO range: Auto, ISO 100-25600 with expansion to ISO 51200 for stills
White balance: Auto (Standard, Ambience & White priority settings), Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent (Warm White / Cool White / Day White / Daylight), Flash, Underwater, Colour Temperature (2500 to 9900K) & colour filter (G7 to M7(57-step), A7 to B7(29-step)), Custom
Flash: Built-in GN6 (m/ISO 100) flash, coverage to 16mm focal length, approx. 4 sec recycle time
Flash modes: Flash off, Autoflash, Fill-flash, Slow Sync., Rear Sync., Red-eye reduction (on/off selectable), Wireless control, Hi-speed sync
Flash exposure adjustment: +/- 3.0 EV (switchable between 1/3 and 1/2 EV steps)
Sequence shooting: Max. 11 frames/sec.
Buffer capacity: 233 large/extra fine JPEG, 107 raw frames, 100 RAW+JPEG
Storage Media: Single slot for Memory Stick PRO Duo or SD/SDHC/SDXC cards (UHS-I compliant)
Viewfinder: 0.39 type colour XGA OLED EVF with 2,359,296 dots, approx. 1.07x magnification, 23mm eyepoint, 100% frame coverage, -4.0-+3.0 m-1 dioptre adjustment
LCD monitor: Tilting (90 degrees up, 45 degrees down) 3-inch TFT touch panel LCD with 921,600 dots
Playback functions: Single (with or without shooting information Y RGB histogram & highlight/shadow warning), 12/30-frame index view, Enlarged display mode (L: 16.7x, M: 11.8x, S: 8.3x, Panorama (Standard): 19.2x, Panorama (Wide): 29.1x), Auto Review (10/5/2 sec, Off), Image orientation (Auto/Manual/Off selectable), Slideshow, Panorama scrolling, Folder selection (Date/ Still/ MP4/ AVCHD/XAVC S HD/XAVC S 4K), Forward/Rewind (movie), Delete, Protect
Interface terminals: Multi/micro USB, PC interface, 3.5 mm Stereo minijack for mic, HDMI micro connector (Type-D)
Power supply: NP-FW50 rechargeable Li-ion Battery Pack; CIPA rated for approx. 310 shots shots/charge (viewfinder ) or 350 shots/charge (monitor)
Dimensions (wxhxd): 120.0 x 66.9 x 53.3mm
Weight: Approx. 453 grams (with battery and card)
Distributor: Sony Australia; 1300 720 071; www.sony.com.au.
Based on JPEG files taken with the E 35mm f/1.8 OSS lens.
Based on ARW.RAW files processed with Adobe Camera Raw.
All shots taken with the E 35mm f/1.8 OSS lens.
Auto white balance with incandescent lighting. The top image shows the standard setting, while the bottom image is in white priority mode.
Auto white balance with fluorescent lighting.
Auto white balance with LED lighting.
Auto white balance with flash lighting.
30-second exposure at ISO 100, f/4.5.
13-second exposure at ISO 1600, f/6.3.
5-second exposure at ISO 6400, f/9.
3.2-second exposure at ISO 12800, f/11.
2-second exposure at ISO 25600, f/11.
1.6-second exposure at ISO 51200, f/14.
Flash exposure at ISO 100, 1/60 second at f/1.8.
Flash exposure at ISO 800, 1/60 second at f/5.
Flash exposure at ISO 1600, 1/60 second at f/5.6.
Flash exposure at ISO 3200, 1/60 second at f/5.6.
Flash exposure at ISO 51200, 1/60 second at f/22.
Sweep panorama mode showing the problems associated with moving subjects; ISO 100, 1/60 second at f/6.3.
16:9 aspect ratio setting; ISO 100, 1/500 second at f/8.
ISO 320, 1/60 second at f/2.
Low level artificial lighting (LED); ISO 4000, 1/80 second at f/1.8.
Dynamic range example; ISO 100, 1/60 second at f/3.2.
ISO 200, 1/20 second at f/5.
ISO 800, 1/4 second at f/8.
ISO 6400, 1/30 second at f/8.
ISO 51200, 1/400 second at f/8.
From ARW.RAW file converted into JPEG format with Adobe Camera Raw; ISO 100, 1/20 second at f/5.6.
Strong side lighting, ISO 100, 1/80 second at f/6.3.
Strong side lighting, ISO 100, 1/125 second at f/8.
ISO 100, 1/250 second at f/8.
ISO 100, 1/320 second at f/7.1.
ISO 100, 1/500 second at f/8.
Still frame from XAVC S 4K video clip; 25p 100Mbps.
Still frame from XAVC S 4K video clip; 25p 60Mbps.
Still frame from XAVC S HD 1080p video clip; 50p 50Mbps.
Still frame from XAVC S HD 1080p video clip; 25p 50Mbps.
Still frame from XAVC S HD 1080p video clip; 100p 50Mbps.
Still frame from XAVC S HD 1080p video clip; 120p 100Mbps.
Still frame from AVCHD Full HD (1920 x 1080) video clip; 50i at 24Mbps.
Still frame from AVCHD Full HD (1920 x 1080) video clip; 50p at 28Mbps.
Still frame from AVCHD Full HD (1920 x 1080) video clip; 25p at 24Mbps.
Still frame from AVCHD Full HD (1920 x 1080) video clip; 25p at 17Mbps.
Still frame from MP4 Full HD (1920 x 1080) video clip; 50p 28Mbps.
Still frame from MP4 HD (1280 x 720) video clip; 25p at 6Mbps.
Additional image samples can be found with our review of the Sony E35mm f/1.8 OSS lens.
RRP: AU$2,299; US1,400 (body only)
- Build: 8.9
- Ease of use: 8.6
- Autofocusing: 8.8
- Still image quality JPEG: 8.8
- Still image quality RAW: 9.0
- Video quality 4K: 9.0
- Video quality other: 8.5