Fujifilm X-A3 vs Sony A6500
The Fujifilm X-A3 and the Sony Alpha A6500 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2016 and October 2016. Both the X-A3 and the A6500 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixels.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm X-A3 and the Sony Alpha A6500? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-A3 and the Sony A6500 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X-A3 can be obtained in three different colors (silver, brown, pink), while the A6500 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A6500 is somewhat larger (3 percent) than the Fujifilm X-A3. Moreover, the A6500 is markedly heavier (34 percent) than the X-A3. It is noteworthy in this context that the A6500 is splash and dust-proof, while the X-A3 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. Yet, since both cameras are based around an APS-C sensor, their respective lenses will tend to have similar dimensions and heft. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Fujinon X Lens Catalog (X-A3) and the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog (A6500). Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.
Concerning battery life, the X-A3 gets 410 shots out of its NP-W126S battery, while the A6500 can take 350 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Fujifilm X-A3||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||339 g||410||n||Aug 2016||399||ebay.com|
|2.||Sony A6500||120 mm||67 mm||53 mm||453 g||350||Y||Oct 2016||1,399||ebay.com|
|3.||Fujifilm X-T200||121 mm||84 mm||55 mm||370 g||270||n||Jan 2020||699||amazon.com|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T30||118 mm||83 mm||47 mm||383 g||380||n||Feb 2019||899||ebay.com|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A7||119 mm||68 mm||41 mm||320 g||440||n||Sep 2019||499||amazon.com|
|6.||Fujifilm X-A5||117 mm||68 mm||40 mm||361 g||450||n||Jan 2018||399||ebay.com|
|7.||Fujifilm X-E3||121 mm||74 mm||43 mm||337 g||350||n||Sep 2017||899||ebay.com|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T20||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||383 g||350||n||Jan 2017||899||ebay.com|
|9.||Fujifilm X-A10||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||331 g||410||n||Dec 2016||399||ebay.com|
|10.||Fujifilm X-A2||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||350 g||410||n||Jan 2015||399||ebay.com|
|11.||Fujifilm X-T10||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||381 g||350||n||May 2015||799||ebay.com|
|12.||Fujifilm X-A1||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||n||Sep 2013||399||ebay.com|
|13.||Panasonic GX8||133 mm||78 mm||63 mm||487 g||330||Y||Jul 2015||1,199||ebay.com|
|14.||Sony A6600||120 mm||67 mm||69 mm||503 g||810||Y||Aug 2019||1,399||amazon.com|
|15.||Sony A6300||120 mm||67 mm||49 mm||404 g||400||Y||Feb 2016||999||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony A77||143 mm||104 mm||81 mm||732 g||470||Y||Aug 2011||1,399||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony NEX-7||120 mm||67 mm||43 mm||400 g||430||n||Aug 2011||1,349||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
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 X-A3 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 71 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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 1 percent smaller. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Even though the X-A3 has a slightly larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the X-A3 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 3.92μm versus 3.91μm for the A6500), 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 A6500 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Fujifilm X-A3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. 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.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|13.||Panasonic GX8||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.5||12.6||806||75|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
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 X-A3. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Fujifilm is limited to 1080/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the A6500 has an electronic viewfinder (2359k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the X-A3 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Fujifilm X-A3 and Sony A6500 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|1.||Fujifilm X-A3||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|2.||Sony A6500||2359||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||11.0/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Fujifilm X-T200||2360||n||3.5 / 2780||swivel||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||n|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T30||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||n|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A7||none||n||3.5 / 2760||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|6.||Fujifilm X-A5||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|7.||Fujifilm X-E3||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||n||n|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T20||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||n|
|9.||Fujifilm X-A10||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||n||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|10.||Fujifilm X-A2||none||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6/s||Y||n|
|11.||Fujifilm X-T10||2360||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||n|
|12.||Fujifilm X-A1||none||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6/s||Y||n|
|13.||Panasonic GX8||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|14.||Sony A6600||2359||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||11.0/s||n||Y|
|15.||Sony A6300||2359||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0/s||Y||n|
|16.||Sony A77||2359||Y||3.0 / 921||full-flex||n||1/8000s||12.0/s||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony NEX-7||2359||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0/s||Y||n|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One feature that differentiates the A6500 and the X-A3 is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The A6500 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the X-A3 offers no blur reduction with lenses that themselves do not provide optical image stabilization.The X-A3 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 information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, both cameras under consideration feature 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 Fujifilm X-A3 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The X-A3 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A6500 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
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 Fujifilm X-A3 and Sony Alpha A6500 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Fujifilm X-A3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|2.||Sony A6500||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|3.||Fujifilm X-T200||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T30||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A7||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Fujifilm X-A5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|7.||Fujifilm X-E3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T20||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|9.||Fujifilm X-A10||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Fujifilm X-A2||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Fujifilm X-T10||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|12.||Fujifilm X-A1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|13.||Panasonic GX8||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|14.||Sony A6600||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||YES||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony A6300||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Sony A77||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Sony NEX-7||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the A6500 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The X-A3 does not feature such a mic input.
Both the X-A3 and the A6500 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The X-A3 was replaced by the Fujifilm X-A5, while the A6500 was followed by the Sony A6600. Further information on the features and operation of the X-A3 and A6500 can be found, respectively, in the Fujifilm X-A3 Manual (free pdf) or the online Sony A6500 Manual.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Fujifilm X-A3 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 Fujifilm X-A3:
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 114g or 25 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (410 versus 350) on a single battery charge.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (71 percent cheaper at launch).
Advantages of the Sony Alpha A6500:
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 6 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- 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.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A6500 emerges as the winner of the match-up (8 : 6 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. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Fujifilm X-A3 and the Sony A6500 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the X-A3 and the A6500 in practical situations. 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 summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Fujifilm X-A3||..||..||..||74/100||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2016||399||ebay.com|
|2.||Sony A6500||5/5||+ +||3.5/5||85/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||1,399||ebay.com|
|3.||Fujifilm X-T200||3.5/5||..||4/5||82/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2020||699||amazon.com|
|4.||Fujifilm X-T30||5/5||+ +||5/5||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2019||899||ebay.com|
|5.||Fujifilm X-A7||3/5||..||3.5/5||81/100||4/5||3.5/5||Sep 2019||499||amazon.com|
|6.||Fujifilm X-A5||..||+||4.1/5||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2018||399||ebay.com|
|7.||Fujifilm X-E3||4.5/5||+||4.5/5||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2017||899||ebay.com|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T20||5/5||+ +||5/5||82/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||899||ebay.com|
|9.||Fujifilm X-A10||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Dec 2016||399||ebay.com|
|10.||Fujifilm X-A2||4/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||399||ebay.com|
|11.||Fujifilm X-T10||4.5/5||+ +||..||80/100||5/5||5/5||May 2015||799||ebay.com|
|12.||Fujifilm X-A1||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||399||ebay.com|
|13.||Panasonic GX8||5/5||+||..||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2015||1,199||ebay.com|
|14.||Sony A6600||4/5||+||4/5||83/100||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2019||1,399||amazon.com|
|15.||Sony A6300||4.5/5||+||..||85/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2016||999||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony A77||5/5||91/100||..||81/100||..||5/5||Aug 2011||1,399||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony NEX-7||5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2011||1,349||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 760D vs Fujifilm X-A3
- Canon 800D vs Sony A6500
- Canon G15 vs Fujifilm X-A3
- Canon G7 X Mark II vs Fujifilm X-A3
- Canon SX520 vs Fujifilm X-A3
- Canon SX60 vs Fujifilm X-A3
- Fujifilm X-A3 vs Fujifilm X-E4
- Nikon D4S vs Sony A6500
- Nikon P950 vs Sony A6500
- Olympus E-M5 II vs Sony A6500
- Sigma fp vs Sony A6500
- Sony A6500 vs Sony A77 II
Specifications: Fujifilm X-A3 vs Sony A6500
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Fujifilm X-A3||Sony A6500|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Fujifilm X mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2016||October 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 399||USD 1,399|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X-A3||Sony A6500|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.7 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||368.95 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.92 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.50 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||85|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||24.5|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||13.7|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1405|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X-A3||Sony A6500|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2359k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X-A3||Sony A6500|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||6 shutter flaps/s||11 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/32000s||YES|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Fujifilm X-A3||Sony A6500|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X-A3||Sony A6500|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||410 shots per charge||350 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
117 x 67 x 40 mm
(4.6 x 2.6 x 1.6 in)
120 x 67 x 53 mm
(4.7 x 2.6 x 2.1 in)
|Camera Weight||339 g (12.0 oz)||453 g (16.0 oz)|
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