Sony Alpha A6500 Mirrorless Digital Camera Review

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Updated July 22, 2022
96 Expert Rating

There are a lot of options when it comes to choosing a mirrorless digital camera, and the Sony Alpha A6500 is a good choice at a modest price. Even though it doesn’t beat out our top choice for the best digital camera for filmmaking and the best digital camera, there’s still a lot to like here about the quality images and videos this APS C camera can shoot. Of particular interest is the addition of in-body image stabilization, which was previously only available in the Sony Alpha 7 series, including the Sony Alpha A7 III Mirrorless digital camera.

Alternatively, if you need helpful tips about a digital camera’s advantages over traditional film cameras, as well as why you should take the lens off a digital camera, check out our info articles.

Related: Sometimes, size matters. For a camera that produces 2D/3D, you should definitely check out the unique Sony Bloggie 3D review.

Why We Like It – Sony Alpha A6500 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Even though the Sony Alpha A6500 Mirrorless Digital Camera doesn’t add much when compared to its predecessor, the A6300, the addition of an in-body image stabilization system is impossible to ignore. With several autofocus modes like AF C, Contrast Detection AF, and Eye AF, photographers are sure to capture high-quality still images and video.

  • In body image stabilization that was previously only available in the Alpha 7 line
  • Fast and accurate AF system with especially great eye AF
  • Small, easy-to-handle camera body that improves on overheating issues found in previous models
  • LCD screen is often too slow to be useful
  • No headphone jack for monitoring sound during video recording

Image Quality

The image quality is a significant selling point of the Alpha A6500 thanks to the great AF system, high-quality APS C image sensor, and wide ISO range. Several reviewers note the ability of the Sony Alpha A6500 Mirrorless camera to photograph quick motion with ease. The E mount means this mirrorless camera is compatible with all FE lenses, meaning even greater image quality is possible with the right setup. The biggest issue many faced regarding image quality came when recording 4k video: many reviewers note that the rolling shutter is highly visible in this mode.

Ease of Use

The AF system on the Sony A6500 Mirrorless digital camera is probably the biggest contributor to its user-friendliness. Each focus point of the 425 available is selectable for catching the best in-focus shots a photographer could ask for. The LCD screen, while technically adjustable, doesn’t move as well, nor does it run fast enough to be useful for movie recording. For photographers who want a far superior experience with the LCD screen, the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is a better choice. There is also only a single memory card slot on the Sony A6500, meaning you can’t utilize a backup card with this mirrorless digital camera.

Battery Life

Battery life on the Sony Alpha A6500 mirrorless digital camera is decent, but not great. CIPA rates this camera for 310 shots through the electronic viewfinder and 350 via live view. As for video recording, this camera should last about 105 minutes of continuous shooting. While not the worst battery life, there is definitely room for improvement here. Fortunately, spare batteries are cheap and easy to come by, so anyone taking their A6500 Mirrorless digital camera out and about would be wise to invest in a few extras.


The Sony Alpha A6500 Mirrorless digital camera has a camera body composed of a strong magnesium alloy that is weather-sealed for additional durability. Reviewers were happy with this camera’s ease of handling, thanks to the lightweight body and deep grip. Surprisingly, this camera is only slightly heavier than its predecessor, the Sony Alpha A6300, and that only comes from the added stabilization system. This is a great camera for traveling and for the advanced hobbyist that wants to take a mirrorless camera for a spin.


For photographers that already had a camera from the Sony Alpha series, the Alpha A6500 doesn’t offer much in the way of new features. However, for many, the addition of in-body image stabilization is an important one that makes dropping money on an upgrade worth it. The E mount also contributes to the value of this camera, because it means you can mount lenses with any necessary features. The Sony Alpha A6500 Mirrorless digital camera is a great camera for many photographers, but it doesn’t quite compete with the older Sony A6100.
However, if the Sony A6500 is easier to find on sale and with free shipping, new users should definitely consider it.

Sony Alpha A6500 Mirrorless Digital Camera Wrap Up

The Sony Alpha A6500 Mirrorless digital camera is good, just not great. The video features on this camera are good enough, but the missing headphone jack and unresponsive LCD screen make this camera obsolete for any serious filmmaker. The in-body image stabilization is a fantastic addition that was sorely missing from previous models, and the AF system on this camera is fast and accurate for superb quick motion photos. If this camera fits your needs, and you can find it at a nice price, it’s more than worthy of consideration.

Related: For entry-level photographers, you might want to consider starting with the easy-to-navigate Sony Alpha A6000 mirrorless camera.

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