In what is bound to be one of the biggest leaps of the year, Sony just unveiled their first APS-C mirrorless with built-in image-stabilization. The new Sony Alpha A6500 looks extremely similar to its predecessor while boasting an all-new 5-axis image stabilization system effective to 5 stops. It also implementes Dual Image Stabilization by letting a stabilized lens handle pitch and yaw movements while the body handles roll plus both horizontal and vertical shift.
The Sony Alpha A6500 is built around an all-new 24 megapixels APS-C high-speed CMOS sensor with a 425-point Phase-Detect AF system integrated right into the sensor. The sensor has a standard ISO 100 to 25600 sensitivity range, expandable to ISO 51200. Paired with a powerful BIONZ X processor, the A6500 can capture full-resolution images at 11 FPS, albeit without Live-View. There is an unusually deep buffer for 233 JPEG or 107 RAW images.
In addition to its headline-grabbing 5-axis image stabilization system, this mirrorless offers 4K Ultra-HD video capture at 30 FPS and Full HD at 120 FPS. The compact body of the A6500 is weatherproof and features a 0.39″ EVF with Eye-Start Sensor, 2.4 megapixels, 0.7X magnification and 100% coverage. Dual control-dials plus a number of customizable buttons promise to make this camera highly efficient. Its 425-point on-sensor Phase-Detect AF is billed as one of the fastest in the world. Combined with a broad Contrast-Detect AF system, the A6500 is capable of tracking fast moving subjects around most of the frame.
The big deal is that having 5-axis stabilization in an APS-C mirrorless could take Sony beyond any other manufacturer of cropped-sensor mirrorless when it comes to low-light photography. Sony is already the only manufacturer of stabilized full-frame mirrorless digital cameras. They were already the only one too for APS-C mirrorless cameras with their A-mount SLT-series but now they also have a compact APS-C mirrorless with built-in stabilization. All other stabilized mirrorless use smaller Four-Thirds sensors.
We do not expect the Sony Alpha A6500 to remain in stock long after it arrives next month for a suggested price of $1400 USD or $1750 CDN. Should you want one, Adorama and B&H Photo are already accepting pre-orders.