Fujifilm X-E3 vs Sony A6500
The Fujifilm X-E3 and the Sony Alpha A6500 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2017 and October 2016. Both the X-E3 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-E3 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-E3 and the Sony A6500. 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 width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X-E3 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), 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 notably smaller (10 percent) than the Fujifilm X-E3. However, the A6500 is markedly heavier (34 percent) than the X-E3. It is noteworthy in this context that the A6500 is splash and dust-proof, while the X-E3 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-E3) 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.
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 want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Fujifilm X-E3||121 mm||74 mm||43 mm||337 g||350||n||Sep 2017||899||ebay.com|
|2.||Sony A6500||120 mm||67 mm||53 mm||453 g||350||Y||Oct 2016||1,399||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon M6||112 mm||68 mm||45 mm||390 g||295||n||Feb 2017||779||ebay.com|
|4.||Fujifilm X-E4||121 mm||73 mm||33 mm||364 g||380||n||Jan 2021||849||amazon.com|
|5.||Fujifilm X-T30 II||118 mm||83 mm||47 mm||383 g||380||n||Sep 2021||899||amazon.com|
|6.||Fujifilm X-T30||118 mm||83 mm||47 mm||383 g||380||n||Feb 2019||899||ebay.com|
|7.||Fujifilm X-A5||117 mm||68 mm||40 mm||361 g||450||n||Jan 2018||399||ebay.com|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T20||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||383 g||350||n||Jan 2017||899||ebay.com|
|9.||Fujifilm X70||113 mm||64 mm||44 mm||340 g||330||n||Jan 2016||799||ebay.com|
|10.||Fujifilm X-A3||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||339 g||410||n||Aug 2016||399||ebay.com|
|11.||Fujifilm X-E2S||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||n||Jan 2016||699||ebay.com|
|12.||Olympus PEN-F||125 mm||72 mm||37 mm||427 g||330||n||Jan 2016||1,199||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 RX100 V||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||299 g||220||n||Oct 2016||999||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony A7||127 mm||94 mm||48 mm||474 g||340||Y||Oct 2013||1,699||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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The X-E3 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 36 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 imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 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. 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-E3 has a slightly larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the X-E3 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. In addition, the X-E3 is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the A6500, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the X-E3 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The Fujifilm X-E3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 100-51200. 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. The X-E3 uses Fujifilm's X-Trans layout of photosites, while the A6500 employs the more common Bayer array.
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"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|5.||Fujifilm X-T30 II||APS-C||26.0||6240||4160||4K/30p||24.2||13.8||2144||85|
|12.||Olympus PEN-F||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||23.1||12.4||894||74|
|13.||Panasonic GX8||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.5||12.6||806||75|
|16.||Sony RX100 V||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70|
|17.||Sony A7||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||14.2||2248||90|
|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. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).
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 X-E3 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 Fujifilm X-E3, the Sony A6500, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Fujifilm X-E3||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||n||n|
|2.||Sony A6500||2359||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||11.0/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon M6||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||9.0/s||Y||n|
|4.||Fujifilm X-E4||2360||n||3.0 / 1620||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||n||n|
|5.||Fujifilm X-T30 II||2360||n||3.0 / 1620||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||n|
|6.||Fujifilm X-T30||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||n|
|7.||Fujifilm X-A5||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T20||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||n|
|9.||Fujifilm X70||optional||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||n|
|10.||Fujifilm X-A3||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|11.||Fujifilm X-E2S||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.0/s||Y||n|
|12.||Olympus PEN-F||2360||n||3.0 / 1037||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0/s||n||Y|
|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 RX100 V||2359||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||24.0/s||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony A7||2400||n||3.0 / 1230||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0/s||n||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-E3 is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The A6500 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the X-E3 offers no blur reduction with lenses that themselves do not provide optical image stabilization.
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-E3 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-E3 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-E3 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-E3||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|2.||Sony A6500||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|3.||Canon M6||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|4.||Fujifilm X-E4||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Fujifilm X-T30 II||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||3.2||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Fujifilm X-T30||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|7.||Fujifilm X-A5||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T20||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|9.||Fujifilm X70||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Fujifilm X-A3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Fujifilm X-E2S||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|12.||Olympus PEN-F||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||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 RX100 V||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Sony A7||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
Both the X-E3 and the A6500 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. The A6500 was replaced by the Sony A6600, while the X-E3 was followed by the Fujifilm X-E4. Further information on the features and operation of the X-E3 and A6500 can be found, respectively, in the Fujifilm X-E3 Manual (free pdf) or the online Sony A6500 Manual.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Fujifilm X-E3 and the Sony A6500? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm X-E3:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 116g or 26 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (36 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 11 months after the A6500).
Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha A6500:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.41x).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 8 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 fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in October 2016).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A6500 emerges as the winner of the match-up (9 : 7 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. 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-E3 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 comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the X-E3 or the A6500. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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-E3||4.5/5||+||4.5/5||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2017||899||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.||Canon M6||..||..||..||80/100||4/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779||ebay.com|
|4.||Fujifilm X-E4||4/5||..||4/5||..||4.5/5||4/5||Jan 2021||849||amazon.com|
|5.||Fujifilm X-T30 II||5/5||..||4/5||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2021||899||amazon.com|
|6.||Fujifilm X-T30||5/5||+ +||5/5||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2019||899||ebay.com|
|7.||Fujifilm X-A5||..||+||4.1/5||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2018||399||ebay.com|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T20||5/5||+ +||5/5||82/100||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||899||ebay.com|
|9.||Fujifilm X70||4.5/5||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||799||ebay.com|
|10.||Fujifilm X-A3||..||..||..||74/100||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2016||399||ebay.com|
|11.||Fujifilm X-E2S||4.5/5||..||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||699||ebay.com|
|12.||Olympus PEN-F||..||..||4/5||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||1,199||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 RX100 V||4.5/5||+ +||..||83/100||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||999||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony A7||5/5||+ +||..||80/100||5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,699||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted 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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1Ds vs Fujifilm X-E3
- Canon G9 X vs Sony A6500
- Canon SX510 vs Fujifilm X-E3
- Fujifilm X-E3 vs Fujifilm X-E4
- Fujifilm X-E3 vs Nikon D7000
- Fujifilm X-E3 vs Nikon Z7
- Fujifilm X-E3 vs Panasonic S5
- Fujifilm XP130 vs Sony A6500
- Nikon D3100 vs Sony A6500
- Olympus E-500 vs Sony A6500
- Panasonic FZ1000 II vs Sony A6500
- Panasonic L1 vs Sony A6500
Specifications: Fujifilm X-E3 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-E3||Sony A6500|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Fujifilm X mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2017||October 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 899||USD 1,399|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X-E3||Sony A6500|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.6 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||368.16 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||6.52 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||200 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 51,200 ISO||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||X-Processor Pro||BIONZ X|
|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-E3||Sony A6500|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots||2359k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X-E3||Sony A6500|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||8 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||no On-Board 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-E3||Sony A6500|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X-E3||Sony A6500|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||350 shots per charge||350 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
121 x 74 x 43 mm
(4.8 x 2.9 x 1.7 in)
120 x 67 x 53 mm
(4.7 x 2.6 x 2.1 in)
|Camera Weight||337 g (11.9 oz)||453 g (16.0 oz)|
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