Canon M5 vs Sony A6500
The Canon EOS M5 and the Sony Alpha A6500 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2016 and October 2016. Both the M5 and the A6500 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixels. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Canon M5||Sony A6500|
|Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Canon EF-M mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|24 MP, APS-C Sensor||24 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 100-25600||ISO 100-25600 (100-51200)|
|Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)||Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)|
|3.2" LCD, 1620k dots||3.0" LCD, 922k dots|
|Tilting touchscreen||Tilting touchscreen|
|9 shutter flaps per second||11 shutter flaps per second|
|Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|295 shots per battery charge||350 shots per battery charge|
|116 x 89 x 61 mm, 427 g||120 x 67 x 53 mm, 453 g|
Body comparison: Canon M5 vs Sony A6500
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon M5 and the Sony A6500 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the M5 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A6500 is notably smaller (22 percent) than the Canon M5. However, the A6500 is markedly heavier (6 percent) than the M5. It is noteworthy in this context that the A6500 is splash and dust-proof, while the M5 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Canon M5»||4.6 in||3.5 in||2.4 in||15.1 oz||295||n||Sep 2016||979||Canon M5|
|Sony A6500«||4.7 in||2.6 in||2.1 in||16.0 oz||350||Y||Oct 2016||1,399||Sony A6500|
|Canon M50« »||4.6 in||3.5 in||2.3 in||13.8 oz||235||n||Feb 2018||779||Canon M50|
|Canon 77D« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||19.0 oz||600||n||Feb 2017||899||Canon 77D|
|Canon M6« »||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.8 in||13.8 oz||295||n||Feb 2017||779||Canon M6|
|Canon M100« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.4 in||10.7 oz||295||n||Aug 2017||499||Canon M100|
|Canon SL2« »||4.8 in||3.7 in||2.8 in||16.0 oz||650||n||Jun 2017||549||Canon SL2|
|Canon M3« »||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.7 in||12.9 oz||250||n||Feb 2015||679||-||Canon M3|
|Canon M10« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.4 in||10.6 oz||255||n||Oct 2015||499||-||Canon M10|
|Canon T6i« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||19.6 oz||440||n||Feb 2015||749||-||Canon T6i|
|Canon T6s« »||5.2 in||4.0 in||3.1 in||19.9 oz||440||n||Feb 2015||849||-||Canon T6s|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2« »||5.6 in||3.3 in||1.8 in||17.5 oz||350||Y||Jan 2016||1,699||Fujifilm X-Pro2|
|Nikon D5500« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||14.8 oz||820||n||Jan 2015||899||-||Nikon D5500|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||4.9 in||2.8 in||1.5 in||15.1 oz||330||n||Jan 2016||1,199||Olympus PEN-F|
|Panasonic GX8« »||5.2 in||3.1 in||2.5 in||17.2 oz||330||Y||Jul 2015||1,199||-||Panasonic GX8|
|Sony A6300« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.9 in||14.3 oz||400||Y||Feb 2016||999||-||Sony A6300|
|Sony A7« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||1.9 in||16.7 oz||340||Y||Oct 2013||1,699||-||Sony A7|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The M5 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 30 percent) than the A6500, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison: Canon M5 vs Sony A6500
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the A6500 is 11 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (M5) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Even though the A6500 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the A6500 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 3.72μm for the M5), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. The two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation.
The Canon EOS M5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600 The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A6500 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200..
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the A6500 has a markedly higher DXO score than the M5 (overall score 8 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 1.1 bits higher color depth, 1.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Canon M5»||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.4||12.4||1262||77||Canon M5|
|Sony A6500«||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.5||13.7||1405||85||Sony A6500|
|Canon M50« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/24p||-||-||-||-||Canon M50|
|Canon 77D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.3||971||78||Canon 77D|
|Canon M6« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Canon M6|
|Canon M100« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.5||12.9||1272||78||Canon M100|
|Canon SL2« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.4||1041||79||Canon SL2|
|Canon M3« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.8||11.8||1169||72||Canon M3|
|Canon M10« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.2||11.4||753||65||Canon M10|
|Canon T6i« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||22.7||12.0||919||71||Canon T6i|
|Canon T6s« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.6||12.0||915||70||Canon T6s|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Fujifilm X-Pro2|
|Nikon D5500« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1438||84||Nikon D5500|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||23.1||12.4||894||74||Olympus PEN-F|
|Panasonic GX8« »||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.5||12.6||806||75||Panasonic GX8|
|Sony A6300« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.4||13.7||1437||85||Sony A6300|
|Sony A7« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||14.2||2248||90||Sony A7|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the A6500 provides a better video resolution than the M5. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/60p.
Feature comparison: Canon M5 vs Sony A6500
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under consideration are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the M5 offers a slightly higher resolution than the one in the A6500 (2360k vs 2359k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon M5, the Sony A6500, and comparable cameras.
|Canon M5»||2360||n||3.2||1620||tilting||Y||4000||9.0||Y||n||Canon M5|
|Sony A6500«||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||4000||11.0||Y||Y||Sony A6500|
|Canon M50« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||10.0||Y||n||Canon M50|
|Canon 77D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||6.0||Y||n||Canon 77D|
|Canon M6« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||9.0||Y||n||Canon M6|
|Canon M100« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||6.1||Y||n||Canon M100|
|Canon SL2« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Canon SL2|
|Canon M3« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||4.2||Y||n||Canon M3|
|Canon M10« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||4.6||Y||n||Canon M10|
|Canon T6i« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Canon T6i|
|Canon T6s« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Canon T6s|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2« »||2360||n||3.0||1620||fixed||n||8000||8.0||n||n||Fujifilm X-Pro2|
|Nikon D5500« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5500|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||2360||n||3.0||1037||swivel||Y||8000||10.0||n||Y||Olympus PEN-F|
|Panasonic GX8« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||8000||10.0||n||Y||Panasonic GX8|
|Sony A6300« »||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||4000||11.0||Y||n||Sony A6300|
|Sony A7« »||2400||n||3.0||1230||tilting||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Sony A7|
One feature that differentiates the A6500 and the M5 is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The A6500 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the M5 has to rely on optical image stabilization in OIS-equipped lenses to achieve the same effect.The M5 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the A6500 does not have a selfie-screen.
The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the A6500 features an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The M5 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A6500 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.
Connectivity comparison: Canon M5 vs Sony A6500
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS M5 and Sony Alpha A6500 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon M5»||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M5|
|Sony A6500«||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A6500|
|Canon M50« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M50|
|Canon 77D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 77D|
|Canon M6« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M6|
|Canon M100« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M100|
|Canon SL2« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon SL2|
|Canon M3« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon M3|
|Canon M10« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon M10|
|Canon T6i« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon T6i|
|Canon T6s« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon T6s|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X-Pro2|
|Nikon D5500« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5500|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus PEN-F|
|Panasonic GX8« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic GX8|
|Sony A6300« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A6300|
|Sony A7« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7|
Both the M5 and the A6500 are recent models that feature in their makers' current product line-up. The A6500 replaced the earlier Sony A6300, while the M5 does not have a direct predecessor.
Review summary: Canon M5 vs Sony A6500
So what is the bottom line? Is the Canon M5 better than the Sony A6500 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS M5:
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1620k vs 922k dots).
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (30 percent cheaper at launch).
Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A6500:
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (8 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (1.1 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.3 EV of extra DR).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (120x67mm vs 116x89mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (350 versus 295) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A6500 is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 5 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the M5 or the A6500. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
Expert reviews: Canon M5 vs Sony A6500
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Canon M5»||Rec||82/100||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979||Canon M5|
|Sony A6500«||HiRec||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||1,399||Sony A6500|
|Canon M50« »||Rec||79/100||-||-||3.5/5||Feb 2018||779||Canon M50|
|Canon 77D« »||-||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899||Canon 77D|
|Canon M6« »||-||80/100||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779||Canon M6|
|Canon M100« »||Rec||-||4/5||-||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499||Canon M100|
|Canon SL2« »||HiRec||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549||Canon SL2|
|Canon M3« »||rev||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679||-||Canon M3|
|Canon M10« »||-||-||-||rev||4/5||Oct 2015||499||-||Canon M10|
|Canon T6i« »||-||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749||-||Canon T6i|
|Canon T6s« »||Rec||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||849||-||Canon T6s|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2« »||Rec||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||1,699||Fujifilm X-Pro2|
|Nikon D5500« »||Rec||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899||-||Nikon D5500|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||-||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||1,199||Olympus PEN-F|
|Panasonic GX8« »||Rec||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2015||1,199||-||Panasonic GX8|
|Sony A6300« »||Rec||85/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2016||999||-||Sony A6300|
|Sony A7« »||HiRec||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,699||-||Sony A7|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 100D vs Sony HX400V
- Canon 1Ds vs Canon T6i
- Canon 4000D vs Fujifilm X-T3
- Canon 5D Mark IV vs Fujifilm X-T2
- Canon 6D vs Nikon D3500
- Canon 77D vs Canon SL1
- Canon 800D vs Fujifilm X-T3
- Canon T7 vs Fujifilm X-E2S
- Nikon D750 vs Nikon D810
- Panasonic G2 vs Panasonic G7
- Panasonic LX100 II vs Panasonic GH5
- Sony A7 II vs Panasonic GH5
Specifications: Canon M5 vs Sony A6500
|Camera Model||Canon M5||Sony A6500|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF-M mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2016||October 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 979||USD 1399|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.3 x 14.9 mm||23.5 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||332.27 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||26.8 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.72 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.22 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-25600 ISO||100-25600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100-51200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 7||BIONZ X|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots||2359k dots|
|Rear LCD Size||3.2 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1620k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||9 shutter flaps/s||11 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter||Electronic Shutter|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Environmental Sealing||Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||LP-E17 power pack||NP-FW50 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||295 shots per charge||350 shots per charge|
116 x 89 x 61 mm
(4.6 x 3.5 x 2.4 in)
120 x 67 x 53 mm
(4.7 x 2.6 x 2.1 in)
|Camera Weight||427 g (15.1 oz)||453 g (16.0 oz)|
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