Canon M5 versus 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 megapixel. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.
Body comparison: Canon M5 vs Sony A6500
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon M5 and the Sony A6500. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button 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 – the M5 – represents 100 percent 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 the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Camera Body Specifications|
|Canon M5»||116 mm||89 mm||61 mm||427 g||295||n||Sep 2016||979|
|Sony A6500«||120 mm||67 mm||53 mm||453 g||350||Y||Oct 2016||1,399|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||206 g||235||n||Jan 2017||529|
|Canon 200D« »||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549|
|Canon 77D« »||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899|
|Canon M100« »||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||302 g||295||n||Aug 2017||499|
|Canon M6« »||112 mm||68 mm||45 mm||390 g||295||n||Feb 2017||779|
|Canon 760D« »||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||849||-|
|Canon M10« »||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||301 g||255||n||Oct 2015||499||-|
|Canon M3« »||111 mm||68 mm||44 mm||366 g||250||n||Feb 2015||679||-|
|Nikon D5500« »||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||420 g||820||n||Jan 2015||899||-|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||125 mm||72 mm||37 mm||427 g||330||n||Jan 2016||1,199|
|Panasonic GX8« »||133 mm||78 mm||63 mm||487 g||330||Y||Jul 2015||1,199||-|
|Sony A9« »||127 mm||96 mm||63 mm||673 g||650||Y||Apr 2017||4,499|
|Sony A6300« »||120 mm||67 mm||49 mm||404 g||400||Y||Feb 2016||999||-|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999||-|
|Sony A7« »||127 mm||94 mm||48 mm||474 g||340||Y||Oct 2013||1,699||-|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The M5 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 30 percent) than the A6500, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras 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 megapixel. 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.
For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.9||12.5||522||65|
|Canon 200D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.4||1041||79|
|Canon 77D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.3||971||78|
|Canon M100« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.5||12.9||1272||78|
|Canon M6« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Canon 760D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.6||12.0||915||70|
|Canon M10« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.2||11.4||753||65|
|Canon M3« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.8||11.8||1169||72|
|Nikon D5500« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1438||84|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||23.1||12.4||894||74|
|Panasonic GX8« »||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.5||12.6||806||75|
|Sony A9« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.9||13.3||3517||92|
|Sony A6300« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.4||13.7||1437||85|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
|Sony A7« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||14.2||2248||90|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for 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 variety 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 2300k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon M5 and Sony A6500 along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||-||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||2000||8.2||Y||Y|
|Canon 200D« »||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n|
|Canon 77D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||6.0||Y||n|
|Canon M100« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||6.1||Y||n|
|Canon M6« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||9.0||Y||n|
|Canon 760D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n|
|Canon M10« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||4.6||Y||n|
|Canon M3« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||4.2||Y||n|
|Nikon D5500« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||2360||n||3.0||1037||swivel||Y||8000||10.0||n||Y|
|Panasonic GX8« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||8000||10.0||n||Y|
|Sony A9« »||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||8000||20.0||n||Y|
|Sony A6300« »||2300||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||4000||11.0||Y||n|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||2000||16.0||Y||Y|
|Sony A7« »||2400||n||3.0||1230||tilting||n||8000||5.0||n||n|
Both the M5 and the A6500 are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. 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.
Arguments in favor of 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 affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (30 percent cheaper at launch).
Advantages 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.
- 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 build-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the A6500 is the clear winner of the contest (9 : 3 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the M5 or the A6500 handle or perform in practice. 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. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews 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|
|Sony A6500«||HiRec||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||1,399|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||-||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||529|
|Canon 200D« »||HiRec||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549|
|Canon 77D« »||-||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899|
|Canon M100« »||Rec||-||4/5||-||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499|
|Canon M6« »||-||80/100||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779|
|Canon 760D« »||Rec||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||849||-|
|Canon M10« »||-||-||-||rev||4/5||Oct 2015||499||-|
|Canon M3« »||rev||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679||-|
|Nikon D5500« »||Rec||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899||-|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||-||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||1,199|
|Panasonic GX8« »||Rec||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2015||1,199||-|
|Sony A9« »||HiRec||89/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Apr 2017||4,499|
|Sony A6300« »||Rec||85/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2016||999||-|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||HiRec||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999||-|
|Sony A7« »||HiRec||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,699||-|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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