The Philippine unit of electronics giant Sony introduced recently its latest flagship APS-C sensor camera, the α6500, at a food photography workshop held at the Bonifacio Global City.
The latest addition to Sony’s line-up of mirrorless cameras shares the same 4D Focus system as the α6300 camera, which can lock focus on a subject in as little as 0.05 seconds, the world’s fastest AF acquisition time.
Similar to the α6300, the new α6500 features 425 phase detection AF points that are densely positioned over nearly the entire image area – the world’s highest2 number of AF points on any interchangeable lens camera.
The new model can shoot images at up to 11 frames per second with continuous auto-focus and exposure tracking and up to 8 frames per second in a live-view shooting mode. The camera also combines all the benefits of an electronic viewfinder with the immediacy of an optical viewfinder.
The camera can shoot at high speeds for up to 307 frames, thanks to its expanded buffer, which, along with the fast response speeds described above, are all achieved with the support of a new front-end LSI chip that has been added to the camera. This new front-end LSI also serves to enhance both still and video image quality.
The new α6500 also features Sony’s in-camera 5-axis optical image stabilization first introduced in the α7II, making it the first Sony APS-C sensor camera to offer this key innovation. Through a total revision of the internal design of the camera, this newly developed stabilization system fits entirely within a body that is nearly the same size as the α6300.
Te innovative 5-axis system provides a shutter speed advantage of 5 steps, ensuring that the full resolving power of the sensor can be realized, even in challenging lighting conditions.
The camera also comes equipped with touch-screen functionality, allowing users to lock focus on a subject simply by touching it on the screen, complementing its advanced AF system and video shooting capabilities.
Its touchpad functionality can be used for framing and shooting. Simply drag a finger across the screen to shift the focus point from one area to another.
It is also the latest Sony interchangeable lens camera to offer internal 4K video recording. It can shoot 4K (3840 x 2160p) videos in the popular Super 35mm format on the full width of the image sensor.
It also focuses exceptionally fast when shooting videos, thanks to its Fast Hybrid AF system, which combined with touch focusing brings professionally smooth focus shifts, while also offering adjustable AF transition speed and AF tracking sensitivity.
The camera supports the XAVC S codec during video shooting, which records at a high bit rate of up to 100 Mbps during 4K recording and 50 Mbps during Full HD shooting.
Other professional-caliber video features include the ability to record Full HD at 100fps at up to 100 Mbps, allowing footage to be eventually edited into 4x slow motion video files in Full HD (25p) resolution with AF tracking.
New on the α6500 is the incorporation of a ‘Slow and Quick’ (S&Q) mode that supports both slow motion and quick motion. In this mode, frame rates from 1 fps to 100fps can be selected in 8 steps for up to 50x quick motion and 4x slow motion recording . Footage shot in this mode can be previewed after shooting without the need for a PC-based post processing.
The camera also offers S-Log gamma recording for wide dynamic range shooting – approximately 14-stop latitude in S-Log3 gamma setting – and supports S-Gamut for a wider color space. Both options allow for greater creativity for processing video post-production.
Furthermore, shooters can now select, extract and save still images from movie footage directly on the camera. Approximately 8MP images and 2MP images can be extracted from 4K modes and Full HD modes, respectively.
The new α6500 features an APS-C sized 24.2 MP8 Exmor CMOS sensor that works together with a BIONZ X image processor and the newly developed front-end LSI to maximize processing power and achieve an impressive sensitivity range of up to ISO 51200.
The BIONZ X image processor and newly developed front-end LSI ensure superior image and video quality with low noise even when using higher ISO settings, in particular those at high sensitivity values where other cameras typically struggle. The LSI is also responsible for the expanded buffer depth for continuous shooting.
The new α6500 offers a refined design and adapts much of the functions of Sony’s acclaimed α7 II series while maintaining the mobility of the α6000 series. It borrows several design features that are from the α7 II series of full-frame cameras, including a robust lens mount, a recessed grip to improve handling, a larger release button, and ten custom buttons including ‘C1’, ‘C2’ and ‘C3’.
The camera sports a magnesium alloy body and features a high-durability shutter with a tested life span of approximately 200,000 release cycles.
It features the same high contrast, high-resolution 2.4 million dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder as the α6300 that offers corner-to-corner visibility. It also has an improved operation feel for its mode and control dials and rear face buttons, as well as a softer eyepiece cup for more comfortable usage.
The new α6500 boats of a new overall user interface that allows for smoother process for searching and adjusting menu settings, as well two new metering modes – Highlight, where exposure metering is focused on the brightest area of the frame, and Entire Screen Avg, which maintains an average metering for the entire image.
The camera is Wi-Fi, QR, and NFC compatible. It is also fully compatible with Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile applications for Android and iOS platform. The α6500 further offers location data acquisition via a Bluetooth connection to a compatible mobile device and an updated menu structure to deliver a smoother navigational experience.
The new Sony α6500 interchangeable lens camera is available in the Philippines for P81,999 (body only).