I had my heart set on owning a Sony A7SII for its superior low light imagery, 4K video and general portability, but the price was quite steep. Then Sony released the a6300 which seemed to pack most of the features from the A7SII into a less expensive APS-C sized sensor — something I could deal with if it weren't for the "rolling shitter" as the folks at DigitalRev put it. Then before I could even consider owning one Sony releases the a6500, which says to me that the a6300 was indeed a bit lacking in some features.
The a6500 continues with the legendarily speedy autofocus, but addresses the slow card writing errors and the rolling shutter issues that plagued the a6300. Also new is the addition of the touch screen interface.
My personal feelings are that this camera is an excellent all around camera. While you don't have the shallow depth of field that the full frame A7SII has, the price is less than half. This is a great portable camera that you can fit into a jacket pocket and travel around with. The 4K video is excellent and it really gets you about 90% of the way to an A7SII for a way more reasonable price.
From a video production stand point the a6500 offers high bit rate recording, 4K video, and portability. If this was the only camera you owned it would still be possible to shoot some incredible footage. Yes, there are "better" cameras out there, but this one is more tech than even the advanced shooter would use.
I would seriously consider adding this camera to my arsenal.
Chris Stenberg is a creative director, photographer, filmmaker, and traveller. In his spare time you can find him biking and boarding in the mountains of British Columbia.