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Thursday, 06 October 2016


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Looks like a nice upgrade. But why releasing it now instead of at Photokina?

The only thing I don't like with the a6x00 series is the lack of a second proper control wheel.

If you are looking at it for possible video use - Where is the microphone jack?

[I'm just a "stills" photographer. Or, as we said back before the Flood, a "photographer." --Mike]

I can see the 24/1.8 Zeiss and the 55/1.8FE Zeiss as a perfect two lens outfit with this body.

[You and me both!! --Mike]

I've used an NEX-6 and a6000 for most of my newspaper/web work (including video) during the past 2 years. The addition of IBIS is a great thing, since I often use an old Nikon 180mm f2.8, a Nikon 24mm f2.8, and an elderly Canon FD 50mm macro lens with adapters. Might be time to add the a6500 to the bag and retire the NEX-6.

What a surprise after Photokina. After moving through a Nex6, A6000, and now using a borrowed Nex7. I found it incrediously the A6300 was released without IS and maybe a touch screen. Now it is all there with the release of A6500. It seems though, that this philosophy of camera designs is evolving for the Marketing people (new car philosophy) and not the Camera people. It seems that 3 very similar models are recently released within 2 years or so and some of the new and big features were all there with new technology, all along (IS and touchscreen). There Is my little rant for todays post, and I am going to also be ordering a new A6500.
And my inspiration this morning will have me walking with my borrowed NEX7 with the Zeiss 55/1.8FE (87.5mm). Finally I will have the perfect camera, for only only another $1400.

I would be all over the Sony APS-Cs . . . If only they had a decent selection of primes in "traditional" focal length equivalents. I've been waiting for years now, but only the "full frame" side of the E mount family gets any love from Sony or third parties.

Given its price and specifications, the Sony A6500 seems designed to stand toe-to-toe with DSLRs such as the Nikon D7200 and Canon EOS 80D; maybe even the Nikon D500 and Canon EOS 7D Mark II, although that seems more of a stretch. It will be interesting to see what types of photographers will like and use it most, given the lenses available and how they are priced.

That crummy 1/160 flash sync limit would be intolerable for me. It makes daylight flash-fill pretty impractical.

And in-body image stabilization is, in my opinion, a suspect technology that's prone to fail. IS/VR belongs in the lens—where it's also prone to fail, but can deliver better accuracy when it works. A light tripod and quick-release head renders this a non-issue, and makes composing so much easier and more effective; especially with an L-plate on the body. It's a shooting habit you can learn to love.

Looks like Sony has ticked off pretty much every box I wanted in the camera body for an upgrade from my NEX-6. I do wish the price was lower, although it's probably reasonably competitive.

Unlike Mike, the video capabilities interest me almost as much as the stills. Regarding Daniel's comment, the specs say the A6500 does have a microphone jack. What it lacks is a headphone jack to monitor the audio. If you want that from Sony, you'll need to move up to the FF A7 series. I'll be curious to find out if, like the A6300, the A6500 has sharp 4k video but slightly underwhelming 1080p output.

Interesting looking camera.
Does it have focus magnification and peaking for those of us who use old MF lenses ?

New viewfinder, too! Okay, now they got me. With everything else as good as it is, viewfinders are the final (if not inital) interface frontier.

Selling the A7. Let's see how the A65 (I know, marketing) is received.

Ditto on lack of a second control wheel. Also, no uncompressed raw, apparently. And why hasn't Sony seen fit to introduce a hi-res sensor shift mode a la Olympus and Pentax?

@Daniel The spec sheet says XLR mic adapter required.

Regarding the comment by Peter Gilbert, I think that the 55/1.8 FE may be overkill. A lovely choice, but unnecessarily expensive on an APS-C camera.

For some time I have been carrying an A6000 with the 24/1.8 Zeiss and a Nex-6 with the Sony 50/1.8, and have been quite satisfied. The Sony 50/1.8 has received excellent comments from other people, so I am not alone in my opinion of it.

It has the limitation of use on an APS-C body, but that does not affect me and will not affect use on the A6500. I can easily see myself switching to the A6500 with the 24/1.8 Zeiss and the A6000 with the 50/1.8 Sony. Since the 50/1.8 has stabilization in the lens, that would give me stabilization in both cameras, which would not be the case with the 55/1.8FE Zeiss.

For my personal usage, using the 55/1.8 FE would be a scenario that validates the old saying, "Better is the enemy of Good Enough".

- Tom -

I had similar thoughts with regarding the A6300, and am very interested to hear what this is like. Lenses? More likely the f/2.8 30mm and 60mm Sigmas for me.

Pity there are no native, quality WA primes.

The rx100 mkV was the more interesting camera at that announcement.

For me, the most interesting thing about this announcement is the touchscreen. Not only for the fact that it's the first time they have added one to a high-range model, but also becuase of the way it's used to move the focus point while the camera's EVF is held up to the eye. As far as I know, this is the first such implementation, and I think it's going to be an incredibly useful feature.

[The GX8 also has that, and it's a feature I really liked a lot on that camera. The X-T2 does more or less the same thing but with a joystick that is, um, a joy to handle. Works a treat. But the touchscreen solution seems just as good. --Mike]

The price and features beg serious comparison with the A7 II. How much is a larger sensor worth, versus the compactness of small lenses and no finder hump? (The A7 is not that big, after all, but the lenses are.) Which gives you more lens choices? Does the market for 24mp mirrorless cameras with viewfinders really span all the way from $550 to almost $2000?

I was up until 2 am making the announcement page for B&H. Sony didn't tell us until 5pm the day before because they didn't want it to leak. At 10pm it was on sonyalpharumors.com

I was able to play with it for about an hour. To me it's pretty much the same as the GX8 in respect to the size, weight and handling. [They have it up on camerasize.com already. The Sony is appreciably smaller and a little lighter. —MJ] I used to own the GX7. According to Sony, the hand grip is deeper, the rolling shutter should be better but not 100% fixed and the overheating should not be an issue. Like Tom said, I wish they would put a second control wheel or give me more lenses where I can control the aperture on the lens itself. I now own the Sony A7RII and I would consider getting this as a back up camera, I really like it. It is strange though to have a 4K camera with no mic input.

I take that back about the mic, it has some kind of adapter for XLR inputs that I have not seem yet. From the sony page:

Terminals expand connectivity
The camera supports line input from professional-standard audio devices with XLR terminal, with use of a separately sold XLR adaptor kit (XLR-K2M/XLR-K1M) that enables connection with various high-end microphones. This camera also supports clean HDMI output that allows uncompressed 4K and Full HD movies to be output to an external recorder or monitor.

Yay! Anti-YIPS camera! I too have suffered this malady and welcome this camera. I tried the Oly versions with anti-shake but their menu systems had me continually flummoxed. Somehow, though Sony's menu system is not the most user friendly, I can wrap my mind around it and my NEX 7 is a good camera. Problem? Not fond of the available lenses with IS. Now, the 24mm Zeiss is a player as well as the great Sigma lenses in e-mount. I've always been a great fan of the three lens system and Sigma's 19, 30, and 60mm lenses fit perfectly. From what I've gleaned online, their 30mm lens is superb.

I am a Fuji shooter for several reasons, but the most important one is I can change ISO with a dial. Having to dive into a screen to do that is analog to changing aperture thru a menu button. I just dont understand how can someone make a serious camera without that option. Even Leica doesn't get it. That is why I would never get a Sony.

Yikes! You got me with the "Zeiss" thing. I, too, have always wanted a Zeiss lens, so how can I be here trying to talk you out of that? My Bad.

[No worries. We're just talkin'. --Mike]

I don't understand this preoccupation with menu systems.

Once I've set the camera up I only go into the menu to format the card or set the date and time.

I really couldn't care less about the menu system.

Running a couple of years behind the pack, this looks good to me for 2018. My new (reconditioned=cheap) OMD EM5 II confirms the value of the Olympus 5-axis in-body stabilization in countering a disruptive tremor. If Sony expropriated it in full and can move today's cutting edge 25MP APS sensor as well as Olympus flings about its older and smaller one this could be worth the price.

My new camera is the GX8 - thank you for pointing out the sale! (I did use the TOP portal to B&H, in case you're wondering). The GX-7 also has the touch to focus feature.

(The GX-7 with the P20 now becomes my de facto XT100. )

[Also a really lovely camera. It's hard not to own that viewfinder--I really like the tilt-up feature. --Mike]

I'm with Dave van den Mark on this one, I think cooling one's jets might be the order of the day. And as he (or I guess it was I originally) suggested, you should at least rent the Fuji 18-55 and see if the OIS works for you. There are reasons why Canon and Fuji consider OIS to be better than IBIS, and that is the because OIS can stabilize against a larger range of lens movement than IBIS. My assumption is you'll still get the A6500, but I wonder if you'll find the images as to be as nice as from the X-T1. I read the blogs from photographers every day that have switched from Sony mirrorless to Fuji because the look of the Sony files leaves them cold. But, horses for courses....

Some homework you may want to do while you are waiting. Download some RAW files from the a6300...


... and play with them in Lightroom.Getting to know the capabilities of 6300 images will give you some idea of what the 6500 can do.

The Sony may be a better camera for you than the Fuji, but what about working with the images in Lightroom? Generally I think Lightroom does a better job in rendering color and tonality with Fuji files than with files from any other camera maker.

Looks like my a6000 will have a companion sometime soon.

I agree that the lack of Sony-Zeiss APS-C glass is an issue, but some of those FE Sony-Zeiss primes are just beautiful on the a6000, and probably even better on the a6500 with IBIS.

My Zeiss primes for the a6000 are:

* The 24/1.8 that everyone knows and loves.
* The 55/1.8 (approx 82.5mm equiv.), which is definitely not overkill if you use that focal length. And it's really not that much bigger than the 24/1.8.
* The 35/1.4 (approx. 52.5mm equiv.), which is just "oh wow oh wow." Unfortunately it is kind of big and heavy. But oh wow.

There may be a FF Sony in my future at some point, which makes the 55/1.8 and 35/1.4 good investments, but I really like the a6x00 form factor and probably won't be able to resist this delightful new variant.

For various reasons, I've been contemplating purchase of a used A6300, but have been put off by the relatively high prices being asked for the ones I have found for sale.

Although I don't need any of the improvements or features offered by the A6500, I nevertheless consider its announcement to be great news, because it may cause the price of used A6300s to crater, just as the announcement of the A6300 did to the price of used A6000s.

If so, then this means I won't have to wait until the end of 2017 or early in 2018 to acquire one for a price I'm willing to pay.

Thanks, Sony! 8^)

I can't help but feel that all those Sony A6300 buyers that wanted a touchscreen LCD and IBIS feel a bit betrayed given that there is a "replacement" only 8 months later. It doesn't surprise me one bit as this is Sony's modus operandi. No doubt there will be an A6900 in a year or less.

And then there's the infamous compressed Sony RAW files. Ugh. Ming Thein did an exemplary job characterizing the problems with these a while back. No thanks.

I just do not resonate with Sony's photography products because they comes across as a consumer electronics company that is only interested in selling product. I don't see them a photography company as I do Fujifilm; photography is in Fuji's lifeblood. The reason I love Fuji's X-cameras they provide a deeply-considered and thought-through user experience that they were lovingly made BY photographers, FOR photographers. They inspire me to want to pick up the camera and get out and generate "work". By analogy, they remind me of Honda sport motorcycles for the same reasons. They both create engaging and compelling experiences that really grab you emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually, and won't let go. And I LOVE that about them. By contrast, Sony's cameras leave me completely cold. I cannot imagine, for example, Sony releasing a firmware update for a camera that was released 4 years and 9 months ago and, more to the point, is no longer in production as Fuji did yesterday for the venerable X-Pro1 (just as they did for the X100). Who else does that? And they do it not because they have to, but because they genuinely care about their customers.

I too have the yips, and would love to have in-body stabilization in my Nikon D7100 which I use with a collection of all-mechanical Nikkors.

I have fought shy of various otherwise ideal mirrorless cameras for a long time because of the all electronic lens offerings. Call me old fashioned, or miserly, or poor, but I like my lenses to be functional for decades without needing servicing.

Expensive modern lenses, such as the entirety of Sony's line, and much of Nikon's newer offerings, are hampered by their limited life electronics.

I'll bet you a dollar to a dime that these companies will not stock spare parts for even a decade. Also, it is a sure bet that they will ensure that the spare parts and servicing will cost almost as much as a new lens, should yours breakdown in the future.

This is simply wasteful—from every point of view but that of the shareholders of these companies.

It is wasteful financially.

It is wasteful environmentally.

It is wasteful from an engineering standpoint, because the optics will almost always stay aligned and perform to spec for decades longer than the electronic doodads will work.

I have been waiting to see Sony revive the dual control wheel configuration used on the NEX7. Maybe it is just me, but enjoyed that feature of the NEX7 about as much as I have enjoyed any control feature of any digital camera.

It has been fun watching Sony trot out the various mirrorless cameras. I can't figure out if it would be heaven or hell heading up Sony's new product development efforts.

Sony make great check-box-ticking cameras. Is that the way to buy?

"And then there's the infamous compressed Sony RAW files. Ugh. Ming Thein did an exemplary job characterizing the problems with these a while back. No thanks."

In the real world for real world pictures which is what cameras should be for for many people this is a complete non issue.

May I suggest you look at the FE 28/2 instead of the Zeiss Mike? With the 28mm you get two lenses in one if you ever want to use it on a FF Alpha, the price is attractive and the IQ is outstanding. I used it this past weekend on my a6300 covering the Austin City Limits Festival and I can hardly tell the difference between those lovely files and the ones coming from my a7RII.

There is one thing that is never mentioned that I dislike about IBIS. I am pretty precise when it comes down to framing my images. The camera however constantly tries to correct the small movements I voluntarily make to get the ideal framing of the image. With longer focal lengths this can get really cumbersome. And having to put IBIS on or off depending on the situation makes it more of a curse than a blessing.

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