Are you looking for the perfect upgrade to your current camera? Or have you always worked with a DSLR and have decided that it is time to go mirrorless? No matter what you’re looking for, Sony’s line of mid-range mirrorless full-frame cameras is for you. The Alpha 6300 and 6500 are two of the best cameras that Sony has to offer. A whole new world of innovative cameras are waiting for you, and once you’ve made your choice, the whole new side of photography will be open to you.
To help you find the perfect camera, we have decided to pit the A6300 and A6500 against each other to find out which is the best camera. We will be looking at their most outstanding features, their pros, and cons and what other users have to say about each. By the end of it all, you should have a clear idea of what to do next. Let’s dive right in.
Table of Contets
- 1 Sony A6300 vs A6500: Pros & Cons and Features
- 2 Sony A6300 vs A6500: Verdict
Sony A6300 vs A6500: Pros & Cons and Features
No camera is built alike, which is why we need to pay careful attention to what they have to offer. Both cameras have interesting features, but do they have the features you’re looking for? Let’s find out.
1. Build and Handling
The A6300 has a flip up/down 16:9 ratio screen. We can tell from the shape of this screen that the camera’s intended uses are stills and video shooting. The A6300 is stronger than all its predecessors’ thanks to the fact that the front, top and rear covers as well as the internal frames are made from magnesium alloy. This durable metal ensures that the camera is tough but still light enough to prevent your arms from getting tired too quickly. Comprehensive dust and moisture resistance measures prevent water and dust from entering the body.
These measures include a protective double-layered structure that completely seals over panels and components, as well as proper sealing around the buttons and dials. This camera was designed to endure a photographer’s lifestyle. The rigidity of the camera body and lens mount provide a solid foundation for mounting and using large, heavy lenses such as telephoto lenses and lenses used for movie shooting.
The A6500 looks a lot like the A6300. The frame is made out of magnesium, while the power switch, battery hatch, and controls are plastic. The A6500 is thicker than the A6300, and a little heavier thanks to a few extra components. The A6500 has deeper grip is one change that we approve of since it helps us to get a better hold of the camera. The A6300 only had one custom function button, the A6500 has two between the shutter button and the mode dial.
The A6500 offers a built-in flash, a multi-interface shoe, and an electronic viewfinder, as well as two large dials – a command dial and another for changing the shooting mode.
The back of the A6500 follows a familiar formula, with a handful of well-marked controls and the loosely moving control wheel allowing you to look at your images and navigate menus. The menu system is simple, with 35 separate screens that Sony decided to color-code, this makes it easier to use the menu and it is something that the A6300 could use. As mentioned before, the A6500 has almost the same exterior as the A6300, including the tough outer body, extensive weatherproofing and reliable lens mount.
2. Sensor and Processor
The Sony A6300 features a new 24.2 MP Exmor® CMOS sensor. The sensor has copper wiring and efficient circuitry that make it possible to lower the wiring layer and boost light collection efficiency, to get a wide sensitivity range up to ISO 51200 that produces low-noise images. The copper wiring ensures that the readout speed is raised, and increases the potential of advanced 4K and Full HD 120fps shooting. The enhanced power, speed, and efficiency of the BIONZ X™ image processor complement the new image sensor. Thanks to an algorithm that is primed to the capabilities of the new sensor, the device creates stills and videos with excellent resolution and produces incredible details and texture, especially at mid-to-high ISO settings.
The A6500 uses an APS-C image sensor with 24.2 megapixels plus thin wiring layer and large photodiode substrate which works well for efficient light collection. This impressive sensor works with a BIONZ X™ image processing engine, the image sensor has a wide sensitivity range of ISO 100-51200 with low noise. As with the A6300, the sensor’s copper wiring layer allows the camera to shoot videos in 4K and Full HD.
3. Autofocus System
The A6300 has 425 focal plane phase-detection AF points to provide wide AF point coverage. The A6300 provides incredible AF speed thanks to the efficiency of the image processing engine that is able to handle a lot of information accurately. New High-density Tracking AF Technology selects the right AF points to cover the area around the subject with about 7.5 times more density than the A6300’s predecessor. The A6300 boasts focal plane phase-detection AF even when an A-mount lens is mounted using the right Sony mount adapter.
Fast Hybrid AF also makes video autofocus precise, so it’s invaluable for 4K recording. This system in the A6300 has adjustable AF Drive Speed and AF Tracking Sensitivity, this allows you to fully realize your vision by manipulating focus. You can also use the AF while enlarging an image area on the viewfinder or LCD screen, for finer adjustment of focus. This system is great for macro shooting since accurate focusing is necessary.
A Lock-on function automatically keeps focussing on a moving subject. You just have to align the target frame and the subject to be tracked and press the center button. The camera can detect a subject and if you lose it, the Lock-on function will resume when the subject comes back on the screen. The Eye AF is available in AF-C mode in the A6300. This function allows it to automatically focus on and track focus on a subject’s eye, as the face moves, giving you more freedom to frame a shot.
The A6500’s AF technology almost mirrors the A6300’s. There are a few improvements to some of the features. For example, the Eye AF function detects an eye and focuses on it accurately even when using a fast lens with aperture completely open. Eye AF also works in AF-C mode, so even if the subject moves, the AF sensor keeps an accurate focus on the eyes.
4. Movie Recording
The A6300’s movie features are considerable. Not only does it shoot 4K at 24p or 25p from its full sensor width, it also has a mic socket, a video-focused Picture Profile system, and records time code. The A6300 includes focus peaking and zebra stripes and boasts on-sensor phase detection. If that feature works half as well as promised then you will have the ability to re-focus as you shoot with little risk of focus wobble, making it easier to get amazing footage.
The A6300 is also compatible with Final Cut Pro and iMovie. Besides shooting in 4K, you can shoot in Full HD 120fps high-speed shooting, with AF tracking at a high bitrate up to 100 Mbps. The camera can record 4x/5x slow-motion movies internally when the frame rate is set at 30p (25p) or 24p. The A6300 allows line input from professional-standard audio devices with the XLR terminal, with use of an external XLR adapter kit that allows connection with compatible high-end microphones. Users can make in-depth audio setting adjustments and high-quality/low-noise sound recordings.
The A6300’s added emphasis on video recording becomes more understandable when you realize that its image quality is about the same as other cameras on the market, but its video capabilities are almost unmatched on the same market.
The A6500’s video system is virtually the same as the A6300’s. This range’s video technology is incredibly advanced for the price and is surprisingly good. When you first look at the camera, you wouldn’t be able to guess the featured video capabilities.
5. Battery Life
The A6300 is powered by the Sony NP-FW50, a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery pack. These batteries have a high energy density and low self-discharge and are used to power most portable electronic devices these days. The NP-FW50 operates at a voltage of 7.4V and has a capacity of 1020mAh. You can charge it from a standard electrical outlet via the Sony BC-TRW charger, which is sold separately. There are compatible alternatives that can be bought at a much more affordable price. According to the CIPA-rating, the A6300 should take about 400 shots per charge, while the A6500 can only take up to 350 shots per charge.
This number is achievable and can even be surpassed in some situations. Although this number does hinge on a variety of different factors, so you will have to keep a realistic view when planning to use your camera. The number of shots that you can get from the battery pack mostly depends on your photography style and habits. For example, if you rely on the LCD screen for extended periods of time, it will have a heavy impact on the battery life.
The NP-FW50 pack isn’t cheap. This has led to an opening for third-party suppliers to sell compatible battery packs at more reasonable prices. If you buy them from the right supplier, you could save up to 70% and feel as though you bought the real deal from Sony. That being said, the battery pack offered by Sony does come with a few assurances that third-party dealers can’t offer.
These promises include that the warranty of the camera is still valid should a battery-related failure occur, the battery pack will be able to take the promised number of shots per charge, that it will hold its charge even while you’re not using it, and that the manufacturing process adhered to the safety guidelines for Lithium-Ion batteries. If the price is more important than these factors, then you’d do well to look for a compatible third-party battery pack.
6. Wifi Connectivity
The A6300 and A6500 both share the same connectivity functions. You can use the PlayMemories Camera application download service that allows you to add exclusive functions to the camera’s feature set. For example, use Time-lapse which can record images at intervals and combine them, Smart Remote Control for control of settings from your smartphone or other devices, Liveview Grading, Star Trail, Smooth Reflection, Sky HDR (high-dynamic-range-imaging) and other apps.
The cameras also feature a One-touch remote that turns your smartphone or device into a viewfinder/remote control. One-touch sharing can transfer photos/videos to your device for SNS sharing. All this and more can be achieved by simply downloading the PlayMemories App.
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7. Image Quality
The boasts A6300 sharper and crisper images than it’s predecessor, but it does show strong moiré patterns in a red-leaf swatch. Some photographers have reservations about the A6300 being a stills camera. The 2.4 million dots electronic viewfinder has a higher resolution than before, but its 0.7x magnification (as 35mm equivalent) is smaller than other competitive models on the market.
In addition to this, the widescreen LCD gives a smaller view of photos compared to 3:2 and 4:3 screens used by other manufacturers. Another complaint has to do with the layout and lack of buttons and dials that don’t even compete with other models in the same price range. Although there is limited space on the slim camera body, there would’ve been enough room for another command dial if the manufacturer decided to put one on. Access to exposure compensation is unnecessarily tricky and a massive complaint about such an expensive camera.
Despite all of this, the A6300 stands out when it comes to image quality. The 24-megapixel sensor produces crisp photos which show off an impressive color palette. Photographers also praise the focus for being dependable in all situations. The noise levels are also wonderfully low for an APS-C sensor. We do have to point out that you can rely on JPEG processing working better with fine details than it does on out-of-focus areas.
The A6500’s featured multi-zone metering system doesn’t get muddled with tricky lighting, which is something that can’t be said for its competitors. The system meters exactly without under- or overexposure. The image noise stays stable across the sensitivity range when shooting JPEGs, and images look flawless even at settings as high as ISO6400.
It would be a great idea to use the A6500’s Low Noise Reduction setting as the A6500’s regular setting does tend to have an unsatisfactory impact on high-ISO images. The quality of JPEGs is also remarkable and can be used straight from the camera, and the pictures display fantastic levels of contrast and sharpness. The A6500’s DRO system can also enhance necessary shadow areas which make the pictures ready to use immediately.
8. Sony A6300 vs A6500: Pros & Cons
We have looked at some of the more notable features offered by both cameras. While they seem impressive, a balanced decision is made by looking at both the good and the bad. As usual, these cameras have inevitable pros and cons. It is your decision what you can and can’t live with. We’re just here to make this process a little easier.
Sony A6300 Pros:
- A powerful 4D FOCUS system nearly covers the whole sensor area and blends 425 on-chip phase-detection points along as well as 169 contrast-detection areas which result in meticulous focus in about 0.05 seconds.
- The hybrid AF system allows High-density Tracking AF Technology and can track moving subjects in different lighting conditions.
- Phase-detection points also allow the use of A-mount lenses with the optional LA-EA3 or LA-EA1 lens mount adapters as well as full AF compatibility.
- Silent Shooting mode uses an electronic shutter function for completely silent performance which is perfect when photographing in noise-sensitive areas. You can get up to 3 fps continuous shooting with autofocus and auto-exposure when you’re using this mode.
- The camera can also be powered with a USB connection to a computer or external battery to give you longer battery life when you are shooting video or using time lapse. You can use this connection to charge the battery.
- Unnecessarily complicated access to exposure compensation is out of place for a camera in this price range
- No joystick or touchscreen to reposition the AF point
- There isn’t much choice when it comes to zooms
This camera is a masterclass in the mirrorless market. It is at least half the weight of its predecessor with an array of impressive updated features. It is a traveler’s dream. The camera performs well in most aspects and many users are more than happy with the results. On the other hand, there are a few drawbacks when it comes to the building and handling. A few features are placed in odd spots and you have to struggle to get used to that. At the end of the day, this is a nice Jack-of-all-trades camera, but it is far from perfect.
Sony A6500 Pros:
- An incredibly quick autofocus system, but it works best with the prime lenses
- User-friendly touchscreen
- Good design and feel
- A beginner’s friendly camera
- Impressive image quality up to 25,600 ISO
- Perfect for traveling
- Works well in most weather conditions
- Touchscreen could be better
- Needs a third exposure dial
- Lack of a thumb joystick
- Mediocre battery life, external batteries are needed
- Auto white balance doesn’t change instantly
First off, the A6500 is a little more expensive than the A6300. What can you expect from the more expensive camera besides a few minor technical tweaks? Well, according to many users, quite a lot. The A6500 is more popular than its predecessor and receives higher reviews. There are a few cons that need attention, but none of them are major and can be dealt with quite easily. When creating the A6500, the manufacturers fixed a few problems that were bugging longtime users. In a nutshell, the A6500 is the sleeker, more advanced camera.
Sony A6300 vs A6500: Verdict
The A6300 is a Jack-of-all-trades camera and is what you need if you’re planning on shooting stills or video. The image quality matches, if not surpasses, all its competitors. The autofocus and 4K hit it right out of the park and puts the camera in a league of its own. It may take some getting used to, and it is a little tricky in some areas, but it is more than capable of getting the job done. It is also worth notign that this camera is more cost effective than its successor.
When it comes to the Sony A6500, the name of the game is speed, thanks to massively boosted processing speeds. You won’t believe your eyes when you use it the first few times You’ll be ruined for slower cameras. If you’re used to Sony’s A6000 series then you’ll love the A6500. The design hasn’t changed much from other models in the class. The color system and menu system is worth noting and makes for an incredible asset. The touch screen still has far to go, but it isn’t anything more than a minor inconvenience.
Choosing between these two cameras is tough. They are both good cameras with their strengths and weaknesses. At the end of the day, you are the only person who can choose the right camera for you. Your needs will be different from the next photgrapher and what you want might not be what everyone else wants. All we can do is make a suggestion.
Sony A6300 and A6500 are two popular, well-built and quality cameras that have the highest ratings. If you’re looking for a quality device, you have to choose between these two.
If we do have to decide on a verdict, then we’d recommend the A6500. A year ago, the A6500 was much more expensive and we would’ve gone with the much cheaper A6300. Now that the price has gone down, we prefer the A6500. As a photographer, novice or otherwise, you’d get a lot more value for a little more money. The A6500 has better features, image quality and is a lot faster. The A6500 is also a lot closer to more advanced models which will prepare you for the eventual upgrade. The choice is still yours, and you can’t go wrong when choosing between these cameras.
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