Sony a6500 Vs a7S II – Which Camera Is Better For You?

At the end of this article, you’re going to find out between Sony a6500 Vs a7S II, which camera is better for you. Today, we’ll be doing an in-depth review of both of these cameras, looking at their strengths, weaknesses, and similarities.

Sony a6500 Vs a7R II
Sony a6500 Vs a7S II
Get the Sony a6500 now! Get the Sony a7S II now!

The whole aim of this Sony a6500 Vs a7S II article is to find the best camera for you. If at the end of this article you do not see either of these cameras fit for your specific needs, don’t be forced to purchase anyone. Click here to find other cameras that may tickle your fancy.

Just before we begin, we have to warn you that this is a pretty lengthy read. This is because of the wealth of information inside this article. However, if you do not have the time or the patience to read through the whole article, below is an overview of the Sony a6500 Vs a7S II.

Sony a6500 Vs a7S II – Comparison Overview

The main aim of the Sony a6500 Vs a7S II comparison is to find out which camera is better for you. First, we have to tell you that both of these cameras are really good cameras and one is not outrightly better than the other.

Looking at the features, what we can see is that one camera is better in certain situations, while the other is better in other situations. Therefore, picking the camera that is right for you would have to be picking the camera whose features suit your specific need. However, if we were to judge the features of both these cameras, we would have to say they’re pretty good all round.

The Sony a6500 is better for photographs, except in lowlight. While the a7S II is better for video recording and taking pictures in lowlight.

Throughout this Sony a6500 Vs a7S II article, we explain extensively, which scenario which camera would be better for, using real-life examples to paint you a picture.

Sony a6500 Vs a7R II
Sony a6500 Vs a7S II
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Sony a6500 Vs a7S II – Cost To Performance Ratio

One thing people always want to know is the cost to performance ratio. Well, because our main aim Sony a6500 Vs a7S II, we have to say the Sony a6500 has a better price to performance ratio. As at the time this article was released, the a7S II costs almost double the a6500.

The singular fact that we can be comparing these two when they have such a significant price difference, tells you that the Sony a6500 provides you with more value for money. Therefore, if you’re on a budget, but you want something excellent, you get yourself the a6500. However, if you do have the money to spend, and the a7S II performs the tasks you desire better, it’s still good investment.

Sony a6500 Vs a7S II – Comparison Of The Key Features

 

Sony a6500

Sony a7S II

Megapixels 24 12
ISO (light sensitivity) 100 – 25600 (expands to (51200) 100 – 102400 (expands to 50 – 409600)
Continuous shoot rate 11 Frames Per Second 5 Per Frame Second
Weight 453g 627g
Sensor Cropped Full-frame
Headphone jack No Yes
Viewfinder magnification 0.70x 0.78x
Touchscreen Yes No
Built-in Bluetooth Yes No
Internal flash Yes No
Buffer (JPEG) 231 shots 63 shots
Buffer (RAW) 110 shots 28 shots
  Get the Sony a6500 now! Get the Sony a7S II now!
Sony a6500 Vs a7R II
Sony a6500 Vs a7S II
Get the Sony a6500 now! Get the Sony a7S II now!

We know that a lot of photographers don’t like to look at spec sheets. Most of us prefer to see how the camera works, hands-on! If you’re one of these photographers, then you’re in luck! Below is a video that explains the Sony a6500 Vs a7S II with a hands-on approach.

The video first sees the expert explaining the different features in the two cameras. He then proceeds to show different shots (photos and videos), taken by the two cameras, in different situations.

Speaking of situations, let’s see which situations each of these cameras is best for.

Sony a6500 Vs a7S II – Which Camera Is Better In Different Circumstances?

Sony a6500

Sony a7S II

The first thing you want to look at before buying a camera, or anything at all, is your budget. If you do not have the money for it, you can’t buy it, no matter how good, or how much you want it.  

With that said, if you are on a tight budget, consider going for this camera. It costs nearly half the price of the Sony a7S II and has really competing features.
If you’re looking for something that’s affordable, then this is not the camera for you. However, if you’re a professional that’s looking for something that would be useful, no matter the cost, this camera has some amazing features.  

Many of these features justify the price of this camera’s price, while some just leave you thinking “why?”.  

Through the course of this Sony a6500 Vs a7S II article, we would look at all those features.
If you like shooting rapid changing images, say you take photos of wildlife, or sports, then you want this camera.  

Shooting at 11frames per second, this camera will give you more images, clearer images, in a shorter time.
Basically, if you’re doing any professional videos, then you would find the a7S II the better option.   It has a full-frame sensor that captures video at a wider angle. It also has a really wide range of ISO to ensure you can shoot in all lighting conditions.
In the present age, shooting in 4K has become very loved and any camera that doesn’t support that is considered archaic.  

Well, this camera supports shooting in 4K and does so pretty well. However, the 4K image gotten from this camera has a little bit of warmth.
This camera can also shoot in 4K video and photos. Although having half the mega pixels of the a6500, this camera shoots slightly better in 4K.  

The color of the 4K image from this camera is a bit more saturated than that of the a6500.
The final scenario we would be talking about is nightlife. If you do a lot of photography in low-lighting conditions, then you might not like this camera.  

Although this has a reasonable maximum ISO, the higher the ISO, the more noise on the image. This noise is because of the fact that this camera processes a lot of pixels.
Because this camera comes with half the mega-pixels that the a6500 comes with, the photos taken with it on high ISO are not so noisy.   Yes, having high megapixels is not always a good thing. Continue reading to find out why.
Get the Sony a6500 now! Get the Sony a7S II now!
Sony a6500 Vs a7R II
Sony a6500 Vs a7S II
Get the Sony a6500 now! Get the Sony a7S II now!

Sony a6500 Vs a7S II – What Features Do They Have In Common?

These two cameras come from the same brand. They also belong to the same series. Looking at these facts, it is no surprise that these two cameras have a lot of similar features. So, in this section, we would be taking a look at those similar features.

Many of the features that come with both of these cameras have some differences, whether with implementation, or capacity, or other things like that. Because the main point of this article is finding which is better between Sony a6500 Vs a7S II, we would also be looking at the differences in implementation of these similar features.

Sony a6500 Vs a7R II
Sony a6500 Vs a7S II
Get the Sony a6500 now! Get the Sony a7S II now!

Don’t look at this as unimportant, simply because you’re here strictly for Sony a6500 Vs a7S II. You would find that something so small as a difference in capacity of a similar feature, might be make or break for you.


Mirrorless Cameras

The first and probably the biggest similarity between these two cameras, is that both of them are mirrorless cameras. With the emergence of new technology, and the rapid changes in the photography industry, many people are switching to mirrorless cameras.

If you’re using a DSLR, we’re sure you’ve had a few people hammer to you to go and get a mirrorless camera. But what is the importance? Why should you get a mirrorless camera? All your questions will be answered in this section of the article, let’s go.

First, let’s look at DSLRs. It stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex. If the new wave cameras are called “mirrorless”, it definitely means that DSLRs have mirror, right? Right!

In a DSLR camera, the light that the camera see is passed through the lens, to hit a mirror mechanism. This mirror mechanism consists of a mirror and a prism. The light that hits the mirror is split both ways. The first part is sent upwards to the prism. It then bounces of the prism, in order to make it horizontal again, and is sent to the optical viewfinder. The second part of the light is sent downwards to an autofocus sensor. Easy right?

You know that “click” camera sound? Well, that is caused by the mirror completely flipping up, to allow light hit the film directly, when the shutter button is clicked.

In a mirrorless camera, there is no mirror mechanism inside, no prism, no dedicated autofocus sensor, no optical viewfinder. The light is sent through the camera’s lens, straight to an electronic sensor. This sensor then converts the light to a digital image that is shown on an electronic viewfinder, or a small LCD screen, or both. This sensor is also responsible for autofocus.

Differences between DSLRs and Mirrorless Cameras

Now that we know what DSLRs and Mirrorless Cameras are, let’s look at the differences between them. We would also be killing many myths and misconceptions along the way. Let’s go!

 

DSLR Cameras

Mirrorless Cameras

Size One major difference between DSLRs and mirrorless cameras is their sizes.  

Because the DSLRs have to fit in the mirror mechanism, they are much bigger and heavier than mirrorless cameras.
On the other hand, mirrorless cameras only need to fit in one electronic sensor, and don’t need an extra autofocus sensor.

This makes them come in a much smaller package. For most people this portability is great. However, it also comes with its downside.
Battery Life Because DSLRs are big, they have enough space to carry huge batteries. Generally, a bigger battery equals bigger battery capacity.  

DSLRs have way better battery life than mirrorless cameras.
This is probably the biggest downside to mirrorless cameras. The average mirrorless camera comes with 350 shots, per full charge. Which most times, is just not enough!
Autofocus This is one that has split opinions. In the end, it actually depends on what price range of the market you’re on.  

Because DSLRs come with a sensor responsible for autofocus, they are really with autofocus.  And this is a necessary feature that comes in all DSLRs, across all prices.
On the flip side, mirrorless cameras do not have an autofocus sensor. They depend on the electronic sensor that is also responsible for converting light to digital images. This is where price point comes in.  

The higher end mirrorless cameras have the latest innovation and technology available for the electronic sensor. Because of that, the autofocus can compete with that of DSLRs.  

However, this technology is not affordable enough, yet, to be on lower end mirrorless cameras.
Viewfinder Optical viewfinder which sees the light, exactly as it is. Electronic viewfinder which sees the camera’s digital representation of the light.

Wireless Connection

Everyone is going wireless. It’s easy, it’s comfortable, it’s convenient. Both of these cameras come with wireless connectivity feature. We think that right out of the bag, we can see this as a common strength that these two cameras possess.

When we think of wireless connectivity, we immediately think of faster sharing, faster communication between devices. These are the benefits that having a wireless connectivity on your camera can bring you. Just at the touch of a button, or few, you can send images you just took to the internet. This makes sharing faster, and also keeps your work in case of memory corruption.

Also, with a wireless connection, you have interaction between your smartphone and your camera. In fact, both of these cameras come with NFC (Near Field Communication). This allows you to pair your camera and your smartphone. After pairing, you can use your smartphone to operate your camera, like a remote control.

Using your smartphone as a camera to control your camera, you can easily take videos of yourself, pausing and playing the recording with your smartphone. If you’re a youtuber, or a blogger, this is really helpful. Also, it helps you stay at a distance and still take cool photos and videos.

If you do crazy science experiments, or you’re a weather journalist, or a wildlife photographer, you definitely want to stay at a safe distance, but still capture the beautiful moments. With Near Field Communication, and using your smartphone as a camera, this is made possible.

Sony a6500 Vs a7R II
Sony a6500 Vs a7S II
Get the Sony a6500 now! Get the Sony a7S II now!

Electronic Viewfinder

This is one perk that comes as a result of these two cameras being mirrorless cameras. Just like we mentioned earlier, the light gotten by the electronic sensor in a mirrorless camera is transferred to a digital image. This image is then shown on an electronic viewfinder, or an LCD screen.

Some mirrorless cameras do not come with an electronic viewfinder and the photographer can only make use of the LCD screen. These two cameras come with both an electronic viewfinder, and an LCD screen.

The major benefit of the viewfinder over the LCD screen, is that use can use the inside of the viewfinder is not affected by the rays of the sun. Have you ever tried to take a photo with your smartphone when it’s sunny? If you have, you’ll know that it’s pretty difficult to actually see what you’re snapping. This is the same experience you would get if you didn’t have a viewfinder and had to shoot using the LCD screen.

Apart from just being a viewfinder, there are a lot of benefits that an electronic viewfinder has over optical viewfinders. With optical viewfinder, you’re seeing the light exactly how it is, rather than how the camera is going to take it. What this simply means is that changes to settings like ISO and exposure, can only be seen after the picture is taken. If you’re taking pictures in low-light, the optical viewfinder is practically useless.

However, with electronic viewfinders, what you see is already a digital image, and not raw light. This means that if you’re shooting in low-light, you won’t just see dark. Rather you would see as much light as your camera would, depending on the exposure and ISO settings. With electronic viewfinder, you can see how noisy your image would be.


Articulating Screens

To get the perfect shot, most times, you need to take from every angle. In some of these angles, you can’t look through the viewfinder to see what your frame looks like. In cases like this, you’ll need to look through your LCD screen to find the same.

If your LCD screen is static, it doesn’t make any difference, because in an angle where you can’t look through your viewfinder, it is most likely that you can’t see your LCD screen if it’s straight-facing. This is where having articulating/tilting screens is very helpful. With tilting screens, you can tilt the screen in such an angle that you are still able to see it no matter the angle your camera is facing.


Microphone Jack

If you’re a vlogger, youtuber, cinematographer, or you do any kind of video shooting, this is absolutely huge for you. There is audio recording available in the camera. However, as we all know, those do not produce quality audio.

If you’re doing any sort of vide recording with your camera, you need an external microphone that would pick up quality audio. These two cameras come with a microphone jack. This microphone jack allows you to add whatever external microphone you prefer, one you think will give you the best sounding audio.


Face Recognition Focus

Just as the name implies, these cameras have the ability to locate a human face in a frame, and focus on it. This only applies when autofocus is set. When it is not, the face recognition highlights the face but only focuses on it when you choose to.

If you take a lot of portrait photos, this will help you get all the details you wish for, down to the number of freckles.

In the light of the Sony a6500 Vs a7S II, we have to point out that you will get better portrait photos with the a6500. This is because the a6500 has more pixels to work with, thereby, capturing in more detail.


Image Stabilization

When taking pictures and videos, we often have shaky hands. It takes a really long time for professionals to master taking photos and videos without their hands moving, and even then, it’s never perfect.

However, for many beginners, the effect of this slight movement is often felt a lot. Images appear blurry and shaky, and end up not coming out well. To solve this, many camera manufacturing companies decided to add image stabilization to their cameras.

With image stabilization, you are less likely to get blurry images as a result of slight movement of the camera. This effect is better seen when shooting video. With image stabilization, video taken will remain static, except the movement of the camera is very noticeable.

This might not stop the shakiness of your vlogs, you know, those ones you shoot while walking. However, it sure will keep your video stabilized if it’s held firmly and only moved slightly by the wind, or something.

Check out the video below to see the effect of image stabilization. The image on the right is the Sony a6500 which we’re reviewing today, which has image stabilization. The image on the left is the a6300. We had to use that, as both the cameras we’re using today have image stabilization.

Check it out:

Environmental Sealing

This feature helps you to keep shooting even when the weather is not friendly. With environmental sealing, you don’t have to pause your shoot simple because it’s about to rain. However, we do not advise that you stay outside when the weather is dangerous.


RAW Support

Both of these cameras allow you to save your images in their RAW format. Yes, RAW is a format for saving photos, just like JPEG. The benefit of RAW though, is that it is unprocessed and uncompressed.

Every camera shoots in RAW. However, if the camera does not support storage in that format option, it edits the image, adding things like contrast and exposure. This processed image is then converted to JPEG, which is then saved on the memory card.

On the other hand, if your camera does support storage in RAW, like these two cameras do, then your camera sends the unprocessed, uncompressed file to your memory card. This gives you a lot more information on the picture for you to work with when editing. One thing you need to know, though, is that RAW images are usually very large, because they haven’t been compressed.


Sony a6500 Vs a7R II
Sony a6500 Vs a7S II
Get the Sony a6500 now! Get the Sony a7S II now!

AE (Automatic Exposure) Bracketing

When in low-lighting conditions, exposure becomes a key factor to you getting really clear and sharp photos. While that is a known fact, getting the right exposure for a particular photo can be quite tasking.

What many people do is they take different shots, with different exposure settings, and then pick the one that works best for what they want. That’s a bit tasking, but it does the job, eventually, right? Well, not always. What happens when the moment passes before you can change the exposure settings and then take another photo?

That’s where AE bracketing comes in. With AE bracketing, you can get a variety of pictures, all at different exposure settings, from one shutter click. This is faster, and easier than having to take five different pictures and then check through them for which one works best. With AE bracketing, most times, you would get the picture with the right exposure settings on just one shutter click.

HDMI Output

If you want to see images on a larger screen, then you need your camera to have HDMI output. These two cameras come with HDMI output feature.

Sony a6500 Vs a7S II – Features Unique To Each Camera

Sony a6500 Vs a7R II
Sony a6500 Vs a7S II
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Features Unique To The Sony a6500

Touch Screen

Remember the LCD screens we talked about earlier? Well, they are not just there to show you the digital image before you click the shutter. They also house the User Interface of the camera. Through this LCD screen, you can get into the settings of the camera and alter it as you wish. You can also view past shots through this screen.

On the Sony a6500, this LCD screen has a touchscreen feature, while the Sony a7S II does not. In this era of smartphones, tablets and even touchscreen laptops, it is really good that this camera’s LCD has a touchscreen feature.

Touchscreen is easier to use, and it is also easier to navigate through stuff by simply clicking on it, rather than having to click some buttons. This touchscreen has normal touchscreen functions like pinch to zoom in and extending your fingers to zoom out.


Built-In Flash

When taking pictures in lowlight with a high ISO, you can get a lot of noise in your pictures. Also, because this camera in particular has a lot of pixels, the noise is easily seen. So, when taking pictures in lowlight, sometimes it’s good to increase the ISO, and sometimes it’s better to use a flash.

In the case where a flash is absolutely necessary, it is pretty handy to have it in-built in your camera, rather than having to carry one around all the time. This means that your kit bag is kept small, and most times, all you’ll need to carry is your camera and your lens.

Most times, we get products and they work well for us the first time, but then after a while they just become useless. To find out whether the same is the case with this camera, below is a video that reviews the a6500 a year after it was first purchased:

Features Unique To The Sony a7S II

Sony a6500 Vs a7R II
Sony a6500 Vs a7S II
Get the Sony a6500 now! Get the Sony a7S II now!

Headphone Port

The Sony aR7 II is equipped with a headphone port. If you do any sort of video recording, this is absolutely beneficial. With a headphone port, you can connect your headphone to your camera. Once your headphone is connected to your camera, you can use it to monitor the audio quality as you’re shooting.

Without a headphone port, you would have to monitor the sound levels using the LCD screen and that is not very handy if you’re doing live recordings. This feature might look really small, but it is absolutely important. Having great video with poor quality audio is as bad a having bad video.


Maximum ISO Available

Well, in the light of the Sony a6500 Vs a7S II argument, this is one feature where the a7S II absolutely bosses the a6500. The maximum ISO available for this camera is double the maximum ISO available for the a6500.

This camera has ISO range of 100 – 102400 (expands to 50 – 409600). Although we know that there might almost never be a need for 400000 ISO, it is good to have a really wide range to work with. With this ISO range, you can work with almost any lighting condition and still get great shots.

Also, because the pixels are not as many as the pixels in the a6500, you get less noise when shooting with high ISO.

Check out the video below for a Sony a6500 Vs a7S II, shooting in low light, comparison:

Sony a6500 Vs a7S II – Unique Pros

Sony a6500

100% More Max Sensor Resolution (Megapixels)

The Sony a6500 comes with 24 Megapixels which is 100% more than the a7S II that only has 12 Megapixels. Having more megapixels means that there are more pixels that the camera can process, which means that there is a lot more information on the images.

There are many situations where having more megapixels is better. However, there is one where it’s not such a great thing. When taking normal pictures with proper lighting, having more megapixels is absolutely better. With proper lighting, you get clearer, sharper pictures.

Another huge advantage to having more megapixels is when you’re printing your pictures. The more megapixels your camera has, the larger you can print your pictures without them pixelating. This also works for zoom. With 24MP, you can zoom a photo up to 800% and still get a clear sharp image. While on the other hand, once the 12MP gets to 400% zoom, it starts to pixelate.

The one side when more pixels is not good is when you’re shooting in high ISO. Because they’re still so many pixels to work with, increased light sensitivity makes your picture noisy. However, this one factor was to small for us not to name having more megapixels are a pro, overall.


More FPS (Frames Per Second)

If you shoot video, or you shoot images continuously, then be concerned about this. Basically, FPS is the number of frames that your camera can capture, every second. The more FPS, the clearer and the more seamless your videos are.

For images, the more FPS, the more images your camera can capture before blurring one out, when you rapidly click the shutter button. If you photograph wildlife that’s rapidly moving, or maybe a sports event with people running, then this is especially important.

The a6500 can shoot 11FPS, while the a7S II can only manage 5 FPS.

Weight

One thing people really look for with mirrorless camera is that portability. This includes both the size, and the weight. Well, the a6500 weighs about 453g, which is 174g lighter than the a7S II.

Other unique pros of the a6500 include:

  • Affordability.
  • Higher color depth.
  • Higher dynamic range.
  • Easy settings and controls with touchscreen function.

Sony a7S II

  • The maximum ISO for this camera is 300% higher than that of the a6500.
  • LCD screen resolution is 1.299k dots, which is higher than that of the a6500 which is 922k dots.
  • The Sony a7S II, has a battery life of 370 shots. The a6500 has a battery life of 350 shots.
  • This camera is equipped with a headphone port.

Sony a6500 Vs a7S II – Common Pros

 

Sony a6500

Sony a7S II

Easy communication between camera and other devices. Because these two cameras come with wireless connectivity, it is easy for them to communicate, send and receive files, and so on, with another device.  

With the NFC, these cameras can use smartphones as remote controls.  

One thing to note though, is that this camera comes with Bluetooth.
This camera also has wireless connectivity. However, it does not come with in-built Bluetooth.
Shaky hands, stable images This camera has image stabilization enabled. Because of that, images and videos don’t come out shaky, even when your hands are shaky. Same as the a6500.
Flash Both of these cameras come with an external flash shoe. With this shoe, you can connect an external flash to get better lighting for your images and photos.  

One difference though, the a6500 is better in this respect, because it comes with in-built flash.
This camera also comes with an external flash shoe. However, it does not come with internal flash.
Different exposure settings, different images, one shutter click. This is made possible by AE bracketing. A feature which is available for both of these cameras. Same as the a6500.
  Get the Sony a6500 now! Get the Sony a7S II now!
Sony a6500 Vs a7R II
Sony a6500 Vs a7S II
Get the Sony a6500 now! Get the Sony a7S II now!

Sony a6500 Vs a7S II – Common Cons

 

Sony a6500

Sony a7S II

No GPS There is no GPS available for these cameras. Therefore, you cannot geotag your photos. Same as the a6500.
Battery life Both of these cameras do not have good battery life.  

This is mostly because they’re mirrorless cameras and are small and compact, with equally small batteries.  
This camera is slightly worse though, only capable of 350 shots per full charge.
Although this is not good battery life either, it is slightly better than the a6500 at 370 shots per full charge.

 

Sony a6500 Vs a7S II – What Do People Think About This Product?

Sony a6500

Sony a7S II

The first thing for many users when they pick-up any device is how easy it is for them to use. Well, with this camera’s touchscreen feature, it was really easy for people to use. So, they loved that part. This device was not so easy to navigate through, which was a bummer for many people. You have to get used to all the buttons to navigate through the menus and all. It would’ve been a lot better if it had a touchscreen feature.
Still speaking about ease of use, one thing that isn’t really mentioned a lot because it’s not so much a feature, is the camera’s grip. The camera has a really dip grip that your hand can hold properly. The grip on this camera is slightly firmer than the grip on the a7S II. This is because, this camera weighs more.
One thing people didn’t like about this camera was the battery life. A lot of people had experiences when they were out, about to take some nice shots and the battery just goes flat, very frustrating. People also didn’t like this battery life. People felt it took way too few pictures before dying.  

Because we see this is a pretty recurring issue, we advise that you get an extra battery so you don’t end up stranded while shooting.
Get the Sony a6500 now! Get the Sony a7S II now!
Sony a6500 Vs a7R II
Sony a6500 Vs a7S II
Get the Sony a6500 now! Get the Sony a7S II now!

Sony a6500 Vs a7S II – What Do We Think?

The trend throughout this Sony a6500 Vs a7S II has been quite consistent. You’ve seen all the features, the pros, and the cons of both of these cameras. If you’re still confused about which one to get for yourself between Sony a6500 Vs a7S II, here are a few tips:

Looking for something affordable? Get the Sony a6500 now!
Looking for something to take photos in good lighting conditions? Get the Sony a6500 now!
Looking for something to shoot videos with? Get the Sony a7S II now!
Looking for something to take photos in low lighting conditions? Get the Sony a7S II now!
Get the Sony a6500 now! Get the Sony a7S II now!

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