Samsung NX1 vs Sony A6500
The Samsung NX1 and the Sony Alpha A6500 are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2014 and October 2016. Both the NX1 and the A6500 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Samsung has a resolution of 28 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Samsung NX1||Sony A6500|
|Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Samsung NX mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|28 MP, APS-C Sensor||24 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 100-25600 (100-51200)||ISO 100-25600 (100-51200)|
|Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)||Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 1036k dots||3.0" LCD, 922k dots|
|Tilting touchscreen||Tilting touchscreen|
|15 shutter flaps per second||11 shutter flaps per second|
|Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|500 shots per battery charge||350 shots per battery charge|
|139 x 102 x 66 mm, 550 g||120 x 67 x 53 mm, 453 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Samsung NX1 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Samsung NX1 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 views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A6500 is considerably smaller (43 percent) than the Samsung NX1. Moreover, the A6500 is markedly lighter (18 percent) than the NX1. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
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 battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Samsung NX1»||5.5 in||4.0 in||2.6 in||19.4 oz||500||Y||Sep 2014||1,499||Samsung NX1|
|Sony A6500«||4.7 in||2.6 in||2.1 in||16.0 oz||350||Y||Oct 2016||1,399||Sony A6500|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2« »||5.6 in||3.3 in||1.8 in||17.5 oz||350||Y||Jan 2016||1,699||Fujifilm X-Pro2|
|Fujifilm X-T2« »||5.2 in||3.6 in||1.9 in||17.9 oz||340||Y||Jul 2016||1,599||Fujifilm X-T2|
|Nikon D7200« »||5.4 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||27.0 oz||1110||Y||Mar 2015||1,199||Nikon D7200|
|Nikon D7100« »||5.4 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||27.0 oz||950||Y||Feb 2013||1,199||Nikon D7100|
|Nikon D5300« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||16.9 oz||600||n||Oct 2013||799||Nikon D5300|
|Panasonic GX8« »||5.2 in||3.1 in||2.5 in||17.2 oz||330||Y||Jul 2015||1,199||Panasonic GX8|
|Panasonic GH4« »||5.2 in||3.7 in||3.3 in||19.8 oz||500||Y||Feb 2014||1,499||Panasonic GH4|
|Pentax K-3« »||5.2 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||28.2 oz||560||Y||Oct 2013||1,299||Pentax K-3|
|Samsung NX500« »||4.7 in||2.5 in||1.7 in||10.1 oz||370||n||Feb 2015||799||Samsung NX500|
|Sony A6600« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||2.7 in||17.7 oz||810||Y||Aug 2019||1,399||Sony A6600|
|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|
|Sony A77« »||5.6 in||4.1 in||3.2 in||25.8 oz||470||Y||Aug 2011||1,399||Sony A77|
|Sony NEX-7« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||14.1 oz||430||n||Aug 2011||1,349||Sony NEX-7|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The A6500 was somewhat cheaper (by 7 percent) than the NX1 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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.
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 tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 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.
With 28MP, the NX1 offers a higher resolution than the A6500 (24MP), but the NX1 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.63μm versus 3.91μm for the A6500). Moreover, the A6500 is a much more recent model (by 2 years) than the NX1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the NX1 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Samsung NX1 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the NX1 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 32.4 x 21.6 inch or 82.3 x 54.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 25.9 x 17.3 inch or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 21.6 x 14.4 inch or 54.9 x 36.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Sony A6500 are 30 x 20 inch or 76.2 x 50.8 cm for good quality, 24 x 16 inch or 61 x 40.6 cm for very good quality, and 20 x 13.3 inch or 50.8 x 33.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Samsung NX1 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-51200. The Sony Alpha A6500 offers exactly the same ISO settings.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Samsung NX1||APS-C||28.0||6480||4320||4K/30p||24.2||13.2||1363||83||Samsung NX1|
|Sony A6500||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.5||13.7||1405||85||Sony A6500|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-Pro2|
|Fujifilm X-T2||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-T2|
|Nikon D7200||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.5||14.6||1333||87||Nikon D7200|
|Nikon D7100||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.2||13.7||1256||83||Nikon D7100|
|Nikon D5300||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.0||13.9||1338||83||Nikon D5300|
|Panasonic GX8||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.5||12.6||806||75||Panasonic GX8|
|Panasonic GH4||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||23.2||12.8||791||74||Panasonic GH4|
|Pentax K-3||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/60i||23.7||13.4||1216||80||Pentax K-3|
|Samsung NX500||APS-C||28.0||6480||4320||4K/30p||24.8||13.9||1379||87||Samsung NX500|
|Sony A6600||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||23.8||13.4||1497||82||Sony A6600|
|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|
|Sony A77||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.0||13.2||801||78||Sony A77|
|Sony NEX-7||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60i||24.1||13.4||1016||81||Sony NEX-7|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. 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).
Beyond 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 NX1 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 Samsung NX1, the Sony A6500, and comparable cameras.
|Samsung NX1||2360||Y||3.0||1036||tilting||Y||1/8000s||15.0||Y||n||Samsung NX1|
|Sony A6500||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||11.0||Y||Y||Sony A6500|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2||2360||n||3.0||1620||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.0||n||n||Fujifilm X-Pro2|
|Fujifilm X-T2||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||n||1/8000s||14.0||n||n||Fujifilm X-T2|
|Nikon D7200||optical||Y||3.2||1229||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D7200|
|Nikon D7100||optical||Y||3.2||1229||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D7100|
|Nikon D5300||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5300|
|Panasonic GX8||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y||Panasonic GX8|
|Panasonic GH4||2359||n||3.0||1036||swivel||Y||1/8000s||12.0||Y||n||Panasonic GH4|
|Pentax K-3||optical||Y||3.2||1037||fixed||n||1/8000s||8.3||Y||Y||Pentax K-3|
|Samsung NX500||none||n||3.0||1036||tilting||Y||1/6000s||9.0||Y||n||Samsung NX500|
|Sony A6600||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||11.0||n||Y||Sony A6600|
|Sony A6300||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n||Sony A6300|
|Sony A7||2400||n||3.0||1230||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n||Sony A7|
|Sony A77||2359||Y||3.0||921||full-flex||n||1/8000s||12.0||Y||Y||Sony A77|
|Sony NEX-7||2359||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n||Sony NEX-7|
One feature that is present on the NX1, but is missing on the A6500 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.
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, the A6500 is one of those camera that have an additional 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 Samsung NX1 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 NX1 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A6500 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The NX1 supports UHS-II cards (on its first slot), while the A6500 can use UHS-I cards.
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 Samsung NX1 and Sony Alpha A6500 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Samsung NX1||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.0||Y||Y||Y||Samsung NX1|
|Sony A6500||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A6500|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X-Pro2|
|Fujifilm X-T2||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||3.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X-T2|
|Nikon D7200||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Nikon D7200|
|Nikon D7100||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D7100|
|Nikon D5300||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5300|
|Panasonic GX8||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic GX8|
|Panasonic GH4||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic GH4|
|Pentax K-3||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Pentax K-3|
|Samsung NX500||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Samsung NX500|
|Sony A6600||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||YES||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony A6600|
|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|
|Sony A77||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony A77|
|Sony NEX-7||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-7|
It is notable that the NX1 has a headphone jack, which is not present on the A6500 This port makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process.
Both the NX1 and the A6500 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The A6500 was replaced by the Sony A6600, while the NX1 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Samsung and Sony websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Samsung NX1 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 Samsung NX1:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (28 vs 24MP) with a 8% higher linear resolution.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1036k vs 922k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (15 vs 11 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 350) on a single battery charge.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2014).
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 0.69x).
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (120x67mm vs 139x102mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 97g or 18 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years of technical progress since the NX1 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the NX1 is the clear winner of the match-up (13 : 7 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 Samsung NX1 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 NX1 or the A6500. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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 20D vs Samsung NX1
- Canon M5 vs Samsung NX1
- Canon SX720 vs Samsung NX1
- Canon XC10 vs Sony A6500
- Canon XTi vs Samsung NX1
- Fujifilm X-A3 vs Samsung NX1
- Fujifilm X-E2 vs Sony A6500
- Nikon D300 vs Sony A6500
- Nikon Z50 vs Sony A6500
- Olympus E-420 vs Sony A6500
- Panasonic S1 vs Samsung NX1
- Sony A6500 vs Sony H300
Specifications: Samsung NX1 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||Samsung NX1||Sony A6500|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Samsung NX mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2014||October 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 1499||USD 1399|
|Sensor Specs||Samsung NX1||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||28 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6480 x 4320 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.63 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.59 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-25600 ISO||100-25600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-51200 ISO||100-51200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DRIMe 5||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||83||85|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||24.2||24.5|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||13.2||13.7|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1363||1405|
|Screen Specs||Samsung NX1||Sony A6500|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2360k dots||2359k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1036k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Samsung NX1||Sony A6500|
|Autofocus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/8000/s||1/4000/s|
|Continuous Shooting||15 shutter flaps/s||11 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||150 000 actuations||200 000 actuations|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||YES|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||Single UHS-II||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Samsung NX1||Sony A6500|
|USB Connector||USB 3.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||no Headphone 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|
|Body Specs||Samsung NX1||Sony A6500|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||500 shots per charge||350 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
139 x 102 x 66 mm
(5.5 x 4.0 x 2.6 in)
120 x 67 x 53 mm
(4.7 x 2.6 x 2.1 in)
|Camera Weight||550 g (19.4 oz)||453 g (16.0 oz)|
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