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Oliver Daniel

More love for the Sony A6500?

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Thanks for the review Oliver. I'm about to get a Crane (so good to hear that is a nice gimbal) and in next 2 months have a decision to make. Sony or Panasonic. I'm a wedding shooter and leaning towards Sony and this camera as one of my cameras. I've seen numerous excellent wedding videos made with A6500s and a few people I know have moved to them and can't speak highly enough of them. 

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The A6500 is a good upgrade over the A6300, makes me wonder why they even bothered to bring a model for such a small time between.

Override option for the overheating warning and IBIS together is worth the premium.Extra Fn button and touch screen are icing.

I wonder what the next APS-C Sony will be like? But I feel like it will be quite a while until a better model will come out to fix the rolling shutter and screen dimming (my two main complaints).

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1 hour ago, mercer said:

Wow, looks great... what are those images from?

 

Those images are from a music video I made in Blackpool UK last week, using the A6500 exclusively,mostly in 4k, Slog2, 18-105mm kit lens only. All handheld. Natural lighting. 

Video out in a month. 

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These cameras are disappointing, I can't believe that the guy Paul Cryer would buy one for weddings! That is a no go in any way.

I do not know where you live, but it the Greek summer, there is no way you can use these cameras for anything more, than a 3rd or 4th camera during the night party, and even then (because here you have to record some parts of the party continuously) you certainly need a workhorse camera for the party (C100s or NX/GH4 are our most common tools, depending the budget). We use the a6300/a6500 at night, were the high ISO performance is really something, but the 18-105 is 4f, and you loose what you gain, e.g versus my 2-2.8f 16-50S lens, while the 18mm aren't that wide, and you need wide more than tele in these situations. This lens, is nothing special, but his in built stabilizer is really good, and for the money I consider it as the best Sony bargain lens.

Let's see some facts, in one wedding that we had NX1/GH4 and the newly bought a6300, we used the a6300 only for a smaller portion of time, and still you used 4 batteries (while 2 in the other 2 cameras) and we had to charge at all times, because you never knew when the batteries would be depleted. The dim of the screen is crazy, the camera is almost unusable, seriously, imagine your screen to dim in the Greek summer! This is not a camera for a southerner, or northerner (depending where you stand on the globe!). Also, we could never trust a camera that overheats in these conditions, while my NX cameras, and my friends GH4 can record for hours straight (tested while recording live performances, and some unbelievably hot summer noons).

The ergonomics and menu system are probably worst in business, while the a6500 is a bit better (I haven't used it extensively, it seemed a bit better than the a6300), the small and relatively light body can be a burden with a bigger lens (it is a nightmare using it with an EF adapted lens, believe me!), I would say that the 18-105 is the maximum for the a6500, for the a6300 even this seems unbalanced. I rather have a smaller and lighter camera like my NX500 for when I want light, and my NX1 for when I want something more professional with better ergonomics and grip, I am 100% that the next professional Sony mirrorless cameras will be more dSLR-like than before. Some things just work, and are tested for decades.

Lack of touch controls (the a6500 gimmicks are no good for video users) is something out of the previous decade, and we are almost over in this one...

One of the most important factors for me, that no one talks about, is the fact that the 1080p of these cameras (a6300/a6500) is unbelievably bad "1080 video is surprisingly poor by current standards, even taking a step backward from the original a6000, and falling far behind what the company's own RX100 cameras are capable of."

and the crop isn't helping either, "the 120p and 100p modes of Full HD video are shot using a smaller, 1.14x crop in from here and 30p 4K imposes a still tighter, 1.23x crop."

The rolling shutter is to seen to believe how bad it is, certainly worst than my NX1, and the NX1s 1080p is near the top 3 of cameras with the lowest rolling shutter, and I am shooting 1080p like 95% of the time anyway.

"a7s II FF 1080p --- 30.3 ms (29.5-31.2)
a7s II FF 4K ------ 30.4 ms (30.2-30.6)
a7s FF 1080p ------ 30.5 ms (30.1-32.0-30.5-30.3-29.2-30.9)
XT2 4k ------------ 30.7 ms (30.5-30.7-31.2-31.2-30.8-29.9)
NX1 4K ------------ 30.9 ms (30.6-31.6-31.4-30.7-30.2)
NX1 UHD ----------- 32.6 ms (32.9-32.0-32.9-32.5)
a7R II 4K S35 ----- 33.3 ms (35.6-32.2-32.8-35.3-32.6-31.1)
RX100 IV 4K ------- 36.6 ms (36.4-36.7) (without stabilization it's slightly faster: 35.7)
a6300 4K 24fps ---- 39.0 ms (39.2-38.9)"

and these are the cameras with the lowest RS

"BM 4.6K (2K crop)--- 6.3 ms (official)
1DX II 1080p 60&120- 6.7 ms (6.6-6.7)
NX1 1080p ---------- 7.9 ms (7.7-8.0-8.1-7.8)
NX500 2.5k --------- 8.6 ms (8.2-8.8-8.9)"

some of my thoughts.

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@fuzzynormal of course! we all express opinions here, and personal views!

I try to use - and test- equipment in working conditions, because that is the ultimate (and only) test for me, and my results are definite, as there are no middle solutions.

Just weddings here are very demanding, and this camera isn't destined to used like a work-horse, more like a work-bunny! As I said, if you are working long hours on a hot environment then it isn't the camera for you, then, it depends of the use.

Weddings in Northern Europe and North America probably are less demanding.

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Look great.      Better for my purposes as a second camera than M4/3 would be (mostly for stills) though still more expensive than I would like for a back up.

One question, I have just seen the video on using ETC (Extra tele converter?) in the GH5 and that looks ok but it is only 1.4x or only 2x or 4x? while the Sony's have a much better variable version (clearzoom to 2x digital zoom to 4x).     Have you tried that in video for 4k?      It just means you can use a lens like a fast prime (like a 85 1.2) as a short zoom or use some APSC lenses or even M4/3 lenses and remove vignetting with little loss of quality (1.1 or1.3x might be all that is needed) .      Works great on the A7s for FHD but that GH5 video just got me curious about it for 4K?

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3 hours ago, Phil A said:

The A6500 is a good upgrade over the A6300, makes me wonder why they even bothered to bring a model for such a small time between.

Override option for the overheating warning and IBIS together is worth the premium.Extra Fn button and touch screen are icing.

I wonder what the next APS-C Sony will be like? But I feel like it will be quite a while until a better model will come out to fix the rolling shutter and screen dimming (my two main complaints).

Probably not that long. The new a7 mark 3 cameras will very likely come with a new processor/sensor, and that tech will filter through to the next a6500 variant.

The a6500 successor will probably be an extremely capable camera.

3 hours ago, Kisaha said:

These cameras are disappointing, I can't believe that the guy Paul Cryer would buy one for weddings! That is a no go in any way.

I do not know where you live, but it the Greek summer, there is no way you can use these cameras for anything more, than a 3rd or 4th camera during the night party, and even then (because here you have to record some parts of the party continuously) you certainly need a workhorse camera for the party (C100s or NX/GH4 are our most common tools, depending the budget). We use the a6300/a6500 at night, were the high ISO performance is really something, but the 18-105 is 4f, and you loose what you gain, e.g versus my 2-2.8f 16-50S lens, while the 18mm aren't that wide, and you need wide more than tele in these situations. This lens, is nothing special, but his in built stabilizer is really good, and for the money I consider it as the best Sony bargain lens.

Let's see some facts, in one wedding that we had NX1/GH4 and the newly bought a6300, we used the a6300 only for a smaller portion of time, and still you used 4 batteries (while 2 in the other 2 cameras) and we had to charge at all times, because you never knew when the batteries would be depleted. The dim of the screen is crazy, the camera is almost unusable, seriously, imagine your screen to dim in the Greek summer! This is not a camera for a southerner, or northerner (depending where you stand on the globe!). Also, we could never trust a camera that overheats in these conditions, while my NX cameras, and my friends GH4 can record for hours straight (tested while recording live performances, and some unbelievably hot summer noons).

The ergonomics and menu system are probably worst in business, while the a6500 is a bit better (I haven't used it extensively, it seemed a bit better than the a6300), the small and relatively light body can be a burden with a bigger lens (it is a nightmare using it with an EF adapted lens, believe me!), I would say that the 18-105 is the maximum for the a6500, for the a6300 even this seems unbalanced. I rather have a smaller and lighter camera like my NX500 for when I want light, and my NX1 for when I want something more professional with better ergonomics and grip, I am 100% that the next professional Sony mirrorless cameras will be more dSLR-like than before. Some things just work, and are tested for decades.

Lack of touch controls (the a6500 gimmicks are no good for video users) is something out of the previous decade, and we are almost over in this one...

One of the most important factors for me, that no one talks about, is the fact that the 1080p of these cameras (a6300/a6500) is unbelievably bad "1080 video is surprisingly poor by current standards, even taking a step backward from the original a6000, and falling far behind what the company's own RX100 cameras are capable of."

and the crop isn't helping either, "the 120p and 100p modes of Full HD video are shot using a smaller, 1.14x crop in from here and 30p 4K imposes a still tighter, 1.23x crop."

The rolling shutter is to seen to believe how bad it is, certainly worst than my NX1, and the NX1s 1080p is near the top 3 of cameras with the lowest rolling shutter, and I am shooting 1080p like 95% of the time anyway.

"a7s II FF 1080p --- 30.3 ms (29.5-31.2)
a7s II FF 4K ------ 30.4 ms (30.2-30.6)
a7s FF 1080p ------ 30.5 ms (30.1-32.0-30.5-30.3-29.2-30.9)
XT2 4k ------------ 30.7 ms (30.5-30.7-31.2-31.2-30.8-29.9)
NX1 4K ------------ 30.9 ms (30.6-31.6-31.4-30.7-30.2)
NX1 UHD ----------- 32.6 ms (32.9-32.0-32.9-32.5)
a7R II 4K S35 ----- 33.3 ms (35.6-32.2-32.8-35.3-32.6-31.1)
RX100 IV 4K ------- 36.6 ms (36.4-36.7) (without stabilization it's slightly faster: 35.7)
a6300 4K 24fps ---- 39.0 ms (39.2-38.9)"

and these are the cameras with the lowest RS

"BM 4.6K (2K crop)--- 6.3 ms (official)
1DX II 1080p 60&120- 6.7 ms (6.6-6.7)
NX1 1080p ---------- 7.9 ms (7.7-8.0-8.1-7.8)
NX500 2.5k --------- 8.6 ms (8.2-8.8-8.9)"

some of my thoughts.

It is impossible for 30p to have rolling shutter delays slower than 33.3 ms, because that is the time delay before the next read commences. Likewise rolling shutter on 60p can't be any slower than 16.7 ms, and 120p can't be any slower than 8.3 ms (which is why RS on the NX1 is at that value, since the sensor is probably being read at 120 fps even though it is outputting 60 fps).

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4 hours ago, Kisaha said:

These cameras are disappointing, I can't believe that the guy Paul Cryer would buy one for weddings! That is a no go in any way.

Thankfully I know a good number of people who use them for weddings (mainly as a b/c or Gimbal cam to A7sii or A7rii) and have no issues at all with them. Including continuous running in ceremonies and speeches. Infact the feedback I'm getting is that it is a great little camera to use. I am in the UK though so it doesn't get that hot. Rain on the other hand!

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I actually was about to receive my a6500 yesterday but got cold feet last minute and had it send back (so I wouldn't get charged a restocking fee). My XT2 just produces such sublime SOOC images that I felt I'd find it too hard to let go. I do like the a6300/a6500 image too though and can see myself picking up the successor if they seriously improve the 4k readout speed and 1080p resolution.

Nice images Oliver.

PS. hit me up if you need extra crew ;) Im in Manchester too

Edit: also this affected my decision

 

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@Paul Cryer Exactly what I said, "mainly as a b/c or Gimbal cam to A7sii or A7rii" and in northern Europe (UK is so much northern than Mediterranean!) for a B or C it can be manageable.

I do not know exactly the 4K workflow, but here we mainly deliver in 1080p, if you do the same, better check some of your friends footage first.

Here, these cameras are used mainly by young people not know any different (or better), as the Sony cameras you are mentioned are the only ones have used in their life, or they used to have a Canon 600 something, or whatever cheap Canon could afford a few years ago. A7sII is the only Sony have a considerable use, and still, for video pro work is very far away from Canon C cameras.

Sorry if my first sentence was too much, we just had some hectic time with these Sonys last year (and I just did a few ceremonies, I am trying to avoid such events, as I detest them), and actually one of the guys is selling his, as the problems are too many for something so stressful as an expensive Mediterranean wedding. My other friend is keeping his as a Crane camera, but he is something as a camera collector, he has 5 or 6 already! 

Imagine a Chinese couple in Santorini paying good money, you just can't risk it!

Well, good luck!

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@Kisaha good to read the comments though. I was the same as you initially when people were telling me they were switching to this, especially with the overheating reports. I'll check out 1080P as well. A lot of wedding filmmakers over here in the UK have gone Sony, virtually all the big well known guys who do it have, possibly because a leading wedding filmmaker who is also a Sony brand ambassador and runs courses everyone goes on, so they all then go and switch to Sony after doing his course! I'm actually presently on a C100 MK2 but there are reasons I'm moving away. Panasonic GH5 is certainly a consideration though I did use to have a GH4 and didn't like using adapters (two times in a ceremony is stopped with 'lens not attached') and I had a few other issues with it too.

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4 minutes ago, Paul Cryer said:

@Kisaha good to read the comments though. I was the same as you initially when people were telling me they were switching to this, especially with the overheating reports. I'll check out 1080P as well. A lot of wedding filmmakers over here in the UK have gone Sony, virtually all the big well known guys who do it have, possibly because a leading wedding filmmaker who is also a Sony brand ambassador and runs courses everyone goes on, so they all then go and switch to Sony after doing his course! I'm actually presently on a C100 MK2 but there are reasons I'm moving away. Panasonic GH5 is certainly a consideration though I did use to have a GH4 and didn't like using adapters (two times in a ceremony is stopped with 'lens not attached') and I had a few other issues with it too.

C100mkII to a6500 is a leap of faith! The best workhorse camera around the world vs a spec-King, a realistically amazing video camera vs an on paper amazing camera!  

GH5 is a more reliable and well thought camera. To be fair, the a6xx series was never marketed as a professional camera series (the whole Sony APS-C line wasn't). The trend here is Sony as well, but most of the professionals (especially the older ones) are still Canon/Nikon fanatics.

I used to live in UK and the weddings there were nothing at all like Southern Europe, or other parts of the world, maybe you will be alright, I have a couple of friends in England working weddings and they do have A7sII/a6300(a6500) combo.

I just mentioned some facts that the cameras weren't good for me. People's needs and experiences vary, and thankfully we got a lot of good (and cheap) cameras these days.

Again, sorry if I sounded offensive! For pro video work, I would wait for the rumored C100markIII and FS5ii, I am even considering the new Ursa mini pro, which can take you from a run and gun gig, to a low budget feature film.

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