Is the Sony A6500 5-Axis Stabilization Good for Video?

The Sony A6500 is truly a tech marvel. What I love about this camera is the picture quality at a high ISO use for a somewhat compact camera using a crop sensor (APS-C) format. With the Nikon 800, I would use up to ISO 3600 whereas, with the Sony A6500, it is much higher, so much higher!

The other use is the inbuilt stabilization built into the body and on the lens! With the stabilization, you can handhold a shot that would be blurry otherwise. I do not have the most steady hand when it comes to handholding.

The video shows me walking with the Sony A6500 and you can see the camera move up/down and side to side swaying motions. This is more prevalent as I’m walking with a limp due to my backache. It would be a lot worse and I’m sure you would see a dramatic change in the motion not being as smooth and a higher rate of rolling shutter effect without the stabilization. The follow-up video after this will show how smooth it can be with slow panning movements.

To me, I love the sharp focus the camera has maintained while shooting the video, though I wish I could have kept the shot more still in the motion.

This next video is me panning around Seattle Pier. Testing out 4k at 30 fps and 1080 at 120fps. Is it buttery smooth? I’ll let you decide.

The 5-axis works wonderfully for most, for me, I have a problem with it. If you see the two videos, the panning movements are smooth and the A6500 handles it like a champ. The up and down movements are visible. I will say this is not the fault of the camera to some degree as it’s counterpart or competitor the Panasonic GH5 handles the z-axis movements extremely well. I have the temperament of wanting to get from point a to point b in a nanosecond so I tend to rush my movements more than I should.

At this point, you’re thinking, “Well I should get the GH5 then…”

Yes and no, I thought long and hard about this as well. You can’t go wrong with either camera but I choose the Sony A6500 for its low light capabilities and 5-axis features. While the 5-axis is, in no way, superior to the GH5, it handles it well. You have to realize that the sensor in the cameras is another item of consideration. A smaller sensor means they will need to fit more megapixels into the sensor. While the APS-C sensor is not full frame, it’s still better than a micro 4/3 which would be considerably smaller. The reason the GH5 is able to handle z-axis better than the Sony A6500 is that the sensor movement can be covered a lot better inside the camera body. The sensor has more space to move around so is able to stabilize the shot better. The A6500 is best for handholding when taking pictures.

This picture below shows a handheld shot of Safeco Field at night. This was shot handheld at iso 3200 at 1/5 of a second!

Sony A6500 Test shots
Sony A6500 night shot – hand hold test – Safeco Field

As a person that loves taking pictures and videos, I love what the Sony A6500 can produce for me. I love the colors that the camera produces and the images are top notch. The camera is lightweight and portable. With the 18-105 f/4 lens, it is a great take-along camera! The price for everything is under $2000, affordable to a degree and will last a long time.

Sony A6500:
Sony 18-105 f/4 lens:
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