If you follow me on social media you know that I picked up a Sony α6000 over a year ago and recently traded up to the α6300. The α6300 had everything I thought I wanted and needed in a camera — that is until now. Sony has just announced the Sony α6500 which adds one key feature that I would have liked to have seen in the α6300, 5-axis image stabilization. The α6500 has that in-body stabilization that is oh so nice to have combined with Optical Steady Shot in Sony lenses. While the α6300 and OSS lenses do a fine job, when you’re using lenses that don’t have OSS it’s a bit more challenging.
The other key feature that Sony added to the α6500 that the α6300 and α6000 both could have used is a touch screen panel. While I can live without it, I know many photographers who absolutely love their touch panel. Not having a touch panel is pretty much a deal breaker for many and a lot of the reviews I’ve read dinged the α6300 hard for not having it. The α6500 isn’t going to be cheap though: we’re talking $1400USD for the body only and that, my friends, is expensive.
Read on below for more of the key features of the new Sony APS-C flagship.
- 24.2 MP sensor – The α6500 features an APS-C image sensor with approx. 24.21 effective megapixels plus thin wiring layer and large photodiode substrate for light collection efficiency. Combined with BIONZ X™ image processing engine, the image sensor achieves a wide sensitivity range of ISO 100-512002 with low noise. The sensor’s quick-transmission copper wiring layer helps the camera to shoot movies in 4K and Full HD at 120fps (100fps3).
- 425 Phase Detection AF – With 425 focal plane phase-detection AF points helping to provide distinctively wide and dense AF point coverage, the α6500 focuses accurately, efficiently and reliably on subjects throughout the frame. Also, High-density Tracking AF Technology seamlessly activates AF points to cover and track subjects moving within frame with unerring precision.
- Fast hybrid AF – The α6500 features the world’s fastest4 (0.05 sec.4) AF speed. Such speed is achieved by integrating the Fast Hybrid AF’s autofocusing performance plus the BIONZ X™ image processing engine’s highly efficient, accurate handling of information. This makes for extraordinarily fast, accurate AF and tracking performance when shooting movies or stills. (1) Point of focus (2) Contrast-detection AF (3) Phase-detection AF
- 5-axis image stabilization – The α6500 compensates for five types of camera shake, extending opportunities to shoot steadier still images and movies. The new high-accuracy gyro sensor provides an image stabilization effect equivalent to a 5-steps-faster6 shutter speed. The camera enables you to zoom in on faraway subjects, snap detailed close-ups, capture night scenes and more ― all with minimal camera shake blur. (1) Yaw (2) Pitch (3) Roll
- Eye AF – The α6500 features the Eye AF function that detects an eye and focuses on it with pinpoint accuracy even when shooting with a fast lens with aperture fully open and therefore with shallow depth of field. Eye AF also works in AF-C mode, so even if the subject moves, the wide coverage of the high-density 425-point focal plane phase-detection AF sensor maintains very accurate focus on the eyes.
- Dust/Moisture resistant – Comprehensive dust and moisture resistance16 measures that help prevent water and dust from entering the body include sealing around the buttons and dials, as well as a protective double-layered structure that tightly interlocks panels and components.
The Sony α6500 is expected to ship in November. You can snag even more info on the Sony website. While I’m tempted by this new entrant into the Sony APS-C family, I think I’ll be waiting and saving my money for a Sony full frame body next time. What do you think of the new APS-C flagship camera from Sony? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.