Canon M5 vs Sony A6500

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Introduction

The Canon M5 is one of the greatest, digital mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera that was officially announced on September 15, 2016, and released 2 months later, in November 2016, as the first camera in the M-series that holds an integrated electronic viewfinder, along with numerous features that makes this camera be versatile enough to be even used by vloggers!

On the contrary, the Sony A6500 was released at the same year, more precisely – on 6th October 2016, and it is yet another piece of art by Sony, due to the fact that this digital mirrorless interchangeable lens camera is exceptionally well-made, and as a matter of fact, it employs a vast variety of features with the intention to make the user satisfied by it and capable enough to shoot well-defined images and videos!

The battle’s gonna be intense for sure, since both cameras are unique and share multiple things in common. That’s why, let’s dive into action and find out which camera would be more suitable for you in case you decide to invest in one of these cameras!

Head To Head Comparison

Canon M5

The Canon EOS M5 boasts an attractive, and compact, two-tone body that is half covered in rubber, half finished by a dark metallic gray top plate, and although the main material is plastic, the EOS M5 does not look nor feel cheap, but exactly the opposite!

For your information, this model measures 3.5 x 4.6 x 2.4″ (HWD), weighs approximately 15.1 ounces and it has an integrated, modest grip that feels comfortable on touch and by default, the inclusion of a rubber coating makes everything feel better since you will enjoy shooting with this camera regardless of the amount of money you’ve been actually doing that!

Also, the EOS M5 has a very simple and nicely organized control layout even though there are numerous buttons. On the top plate, the left side is occupied by a single Mode dial, a hot shoe sits on the top-center, whereas on the right,there’s a programmable “Dial Func.” button, an EV compensation dial, a dedicated M-Fn button and a shutter release button positioned on the grip.

On the rear, nearly all of the controls are set on the right-handed side, while on the top and center, you’ll notice the presence of the viewfinder and the LCD screen for which I will talk right now.

The OLED electronic viewfinder packs 2,360-million dots, covers up to 100% of the field and what’s also great is that it is very sharp even though it measures only 0.39″, still, your shooting experience will undoubtedly be delightful!

The LCD screen is big, it measures 3.2″, has a resolution of 1.62m dots, its is touch-enabled and it can tilt upwards for 85-degrees and down for 180-degrees, hence, you will have multiple angles to shoot from on one side which by default means that you can be more creative once you start shooting. I’d also like to mention that the visuals produced look stunning because the display is very clear, so, you shouldn’t worry literally about anything because you will have a convenient view regardless if you’re shooting outdoors or while previewing your captured content.

Moreover, the connection options consist of a 3.5mm microphone jack, 2.5mm remote control jack, micro HDMI port, single memory card slot that supports SD/SDHC/SDXC media and supports UHS-I speeds, a micro USB 3.5 port, and it is both, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled, so as you can see, you will have multiple ways through which you can transmit your photos and videos!

When it comes to the performance, the EOS M5 employs a 24.2MP CMOS (APS-C) sensor, a DIGIC 7 Image processor that ensures a continuous shooting rate of 7 fps or 9 fps with an AF lock along with boosting the image clarity, built-in 5-axis digital image stabilization, a strong 49-point AF and an ISO range that stretches from 100-25,600!

If you opt to shoot JPGs, the M5 brings good news for you! This model handles the noise really well up to ISO 3200, because starting from ISO 6400, noise starts to pronounce more due to the in-camera reduction that appears to be slightly more aggressive than it should be in my opinion, whereas, at ISO 25,600, images are unusable since there isn’t a single camera that succeeds to output superb images at their highest ISO settings.

RAW images are way more clearer for instance, at ISO 6400, although the noise is present, details remain virtually untouchable, while at ISO 12,800, noise becomes prominent and I wouldn’t recommend you to go that far.

Last but not least, the EOS M5 is also capable of recording videos. Namely, it can record 1080p videos in Mp4 format at 24/30/60fps, and the footage quality is filled with lifelike colors, and has an overall, crystal-clear definition. However, I would suggest you to take advantage of an external mic if you want the footage to have a better audio representation due to the fact that the built-in mic tends to capture a background noise. A lot.

Sony A6500

The Sony A6500 has a handsome-looking, and compact body that measures 2.6 x 4.7 x 2.1″ (HWD), weighs approximately a pound without a lens attached and if you make a close inspection at these dimensions, you can easily conclude that this camera is awesome for travelers, hobbyists, and novices who love to shoot photos anywhere they go!

Aside from being a compact and stylish camera, the A6500 is very durable as well, due to the fact that Sony has utilized a weather-proof sealing which makes this camera strong enough to resist moisture, splashes, and dust, with the intention to maximize your ability to shoot in a variety of different terrains!

In addition, this model is easy to handle and operate as well, there isn’t a huge number of buttons and the ones that exist are intuitively positioned so that you can easily reach them and adjust the picture depending on what you want to achieve in a specific moment.

On the top, the left side remains free of buttons, at the top-center, there’s a hot shoe, and on the right, you can find a single Mode dial, that is accompanied by two programmable, C1 and C2 button that sits above the shutter release button.

If you view from the rear, you can notice that the top-left corner holds a viewfinder, an LCD screen sits below it, whereas, starting from the top and all the way down to the right, there are multiple buttons that are a bit squeezed, although I don’t think that you will find remarks using them.

For your information, the viewfinder is of 2.36M-dots, has an OLED panel and its optics provide 1.07x magnification along with a field coverage of up to 100% This is awesome if you ask me, because the viewfinder is not only crisp, but it covers a vast area which by default means that you will have a clear sight and be capable to capture every object you want!

Speaking of the screen, well, it measures 3″, has a 921k-dot resolution, it is tiltable, hence you can tilt it up and down, but, you won’t be able to face it forward for selfies, and let’s not forget that it supports touch input which will definitely play a great role once you opt to navigate between menus and etc. Sadly, the Sony has failed to make it more responsive, because even though it is very sharp to shoot with, it is quite laggy as well in some situations, so, I really think that Sony could have done a better job here.

Moreover, the connectivity options of this camera consist of an HDMI port, 3.5mm microphone input, single memory card slot that supports UHS-I, micro USB port, and in comparison to the M5, this model has a built-in support for Wi-Fi as well, lacks Bluetooth but it has support for NFC. Therefore, I will leave this up to you to decide which one is better when viewed from this aspect.

Performance-wise, the A6500 combines a 24.2MP APS-C Exmor sensor, has a built-in 5-axis image stabilization, burst shooting speed of 11 fps, a wide, 425-point AF system and an ISO range of 100-25,600 which can be expanded up to ISO 51,200, so let’s see what can you expect from this camera in practice.

This model does a quite good job in terms of handling the noise throughout the ISO range. JPGs look superb when taken at ISO 100 which is therefore, the clearest setting. At ISO 1600 details and color accuracy are very strong, and here, noise starts to appear but it does not affect the image quality, negatively. At ISO 3200, blur becomes more visible although images are still usable, whereas at ISO 6400, noise is yet again, well-controlled. At ISO 25600 -51,200 blur is indeed significant, and I wouldn’t recommend these settings if you opt to shoot JPGs.

On the contrary to JPGs, RAW images handle the noise way better because even between ISO 12,800 – 25,600 details are strong, but of course, if you push the camera to its boundary, at ISO 51,200 images are unusable, hence, avoid this setting as much as possible.

In the end, I’d also like to mention that the Sony A6500 video performance is better than its competitor – the M5 because it records 4K videos at 30 fps/24fps, 1080p videos at 50p/60i/50p/50i/24p/ and there’s even an option to push the frame rate up to 120fps.

Clearly, the Sony A6500 shows itself as better in this aspect, and if you’re interested in recording videos, well, you’ve found the camera!

Feature Comparison

Canon M5 Sony A6500
Camera Type
Mirrorless
Mirrorless
Megapixels
24.2
70 Pixels
ISO Range
100-25,600
100-25,600;51,200
Flip-Out Screen
Yes
Yes
AF Points
49 AF Points
425 AF Points
Viewfinder
Yes
Yes
Touchscreen
Yes
Yes
Video Recording
Yes
Yes
Sensor Size
APS-C
APS-C

Conclusion

Finally, we reached the final stage of the article, the stage in which I have to bring a short head to head comparison of the cameras and announce the winner. Ready? Let’s go!

If you opt to shoot Street photography, the A6500 offers a better performance and convenience in comparison to the M5, whereas, the results of Sports photography are nearly identical, although the A6500 offers a slightly better performance thanks to its faster burst shooting speed and its AF points.

For Portrait photography, although both cameras are strong, the A6500 wins once again, and the same can be said for Daily photography!

Furthermore, the EOS M5 beats the A6500 by having a 0.2″ larger display, 75% higher resolution screen ( 1,620k vs 922k-dots), a selfie-friendly LCD screen and a support for UHS memory cards.

On the contrary, the A6500 has a faster continuous shooting speed, packs 376 more focus points, employs a weather sealing, has a higher battery life (~350 vs ~295 shots) and color depth, as well as outputs a better performance in terms of video.

Overall, I think that the winner is the A6500 because it has strong, all-round performance.