Sigma fp vs Sony A6500
The Sigma fp and the Sony Alpha A6500 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in July 2019 and October 2016. Both the fp and the A6500 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on a full frame (fp) and an APS-C (A6500) 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.
|Sigma fp||Sony A6500|
|Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Leica L mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|24 MP, Full Frame Sensor||24 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 100-25600 (6-102400)||ISO 100-25600 (100-51200)|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)|
|3.2" LCD, 2100k dots||3.0" LCD, 922k dots|
|Fixed touchscreen||Tilting touchscreen|
|12 shutter flaps per second||11 shutter flaps per second|
|Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|280 shots per battery charge||350 shots per battery charge|
|113 x 70 x 45 mm, 422 g||120 x 67 x 53 mm, 453 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sigma fp 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 Sigma fp and the Sony A6500. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures 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 somewhat larger (2 percent) than the Sigma fp. Moreover, the A6500 is markedly heavier (7 percent) than the fp. 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.
|Sigma fp»||113 mm||70 mm||45 mm||422 g||280||Y||Jul 2019||1,899||Sigma fp|
|Sony A6500«||120 mm||67 mm||53 mm||453 g||350||Y||Oct 2016||1,399||Sony A6500|
|Fujifilm X100V« »||128 mm||75 mm||53 mm||478 g||420||Y||Feb 2020||1,399||Fujifilm X100V|
|Fujifilm X-Pro3« »||141 mm||83 mm||46 mm||497 g||440||Y||Oct 2019||1,799||Fujifilm X-Pro3|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2« »||141 mm||83 mm||46 mm||495 g||350||Y||Jan 2016||1,699||Fujifilm X-Pro2|
|Fujifilm X-T2« »||133 mm||92 mm||49 mm||507 g||340||Y||Jul 2016||1,599||Fujifilm X-T2|
|Nikon D780« »||144 mm||116 mm||76 mm||840 g||2260||Y||Jan 2020||2,299||Nikon D780|
|Nikon Z50« »||127 mm||94 mm||60 mm||450 g||320||Y||Oct 2019||859||Nikon Z50|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||125 mm||72 mm||37 mm||427 g||330||n||Jan 2016||1,199||Olympus PEN-F|
|Panasonic S1« »||149 mm||110 mm||97 mm||1017 g||400||Y||Feb 2019||2,499||Panasonic S1|
|Panasonic S1H« »||151 mm||114 mm||110 mm||1052 g||400||Y||May 2019||3,999||Panasonic S1H|
|Panasonic FT7« »||117 mm||76 mm||37 mm||319 g||300||Y||May 2018||449||Panasonic FT7|
|Panasonic GX8« »||133 mm||78 mm||63 mm||487 g||330||Y||Jul 2015||1,199||Panasonic GX8|
|Sony A6600« »||120 mm||67 mm||69 mm||503 g||810||Y||Aug 2019||1,399||Sony A6600|
|Sony A6300« »||120 mm||67 mm||49 mm||404 g||400||Y||Feb 2016||999||Sony A6300|
|Sony A7« »||127 mm||94 mm||48 mm||474 g||340||Y||Oct 2013||1,699||Sony A7|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 A6500 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 26 percent) than the fp, 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sigma fp features a full frame sensor and the Sony A6500 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the A6500 is 57 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Even though the fp has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the fp has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 5.98μm versus 3.91μm for the A6500), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the fp is much more recent (by 2 years and 9 months) than the A6500, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the fp has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The A6500 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Sigma fp has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 6-102400. 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.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Sigma fp||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Sigma fp|
|Sony A6500||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.5||13.7||1405||85||Sony A6500|
|Fujifilm X100V||APS-C||26.0||6240||4160||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X100V|
|Fujifilm X-Pro3||APS-C||26.0||6240||4160||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-Pro3|
|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 D780||Full Frame||24.3||6048||4024||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Nikon D780|
|Nikon Z50||APS-C||20.7||5568||3712||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Nikon Z50|
|Olympus PEN-F||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||23.1||12.4||894||74||Olympus PEN-F|
|Panasonic S1||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/60p||25.2||14.5||3333||95||Panasonic S1|
|Panasonic S1H||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||6K/30p||..||..||..||..||Panasonic S1H|
|Panasonic FT7||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Panasonic FT7|
|Panasonic GX8||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.5||12.6||806||75||Panasonic GX8|
|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|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).
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 fp relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Sigma fp, the Sony A6500, and comparable cameras.
|Sigma fp||none||n||3.2||2100||fixed||Y||1/8000s||12.0||n||n||Sigma fp|
|Sony A6500||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||11.0||Y||Y||Sony A6500|
|Fujifilm X100V||3690||n||3.0||1620||tilting||Y||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X100V|
|Fujifilm X-Pro3||3690||n||3.0||1620||tilting||Y||1/8000s||8.0||n||n||Fujifilm X-Pro3|
|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 D780||optical||Y||3.2||2359||tilting||Y||1/8000s||12.0||n||n||Nikon D780|
|Nikon Z50||2360||n||3.2||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n||Nikon Z50|
|Olympus PEN-F||2360||n||3.0||1037||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y||Olympus PEN-F|
|Panasonic S1||5760||Y||3.2||2100||full-flex||Y||1/8000s||9.0||n||Y||Panasonic S1|
|Panasonic S1H||5760||Y||3.2||2330||swivel||Y||1/8000s||9.0||n||Y||Panasonic S1H|
|Panasonic FT7||1170||n||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/1300s||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FT7|
|Panasonic GX8||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y||Panasonic GX8|
|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|
One feature that differentiates the A6500 and the fp is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The A6500 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the fp has to rely on optical image stabilization in OIS-equipped lenses to achieve the same effect.
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 Sigma fp 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 fp writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A6500 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The fp supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the A6500 can use UHS-I cards (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 Sigma fp and Sony Alpha A6500 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Sigma fp||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||3.1||-||-||-||Sigma fp|
|Sony A6500||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A6500|
|Fujifilm X100V||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm X100V|
|Fujifilm X-Pro3||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||none||3.1||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm X-Pro3|
|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 D780||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.1||Y||-||Y||Nikon D780|
|Nikon Z50||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Nikon Z50|
|Olympus PEN-F||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus PEN-F|
|Panasonic S1||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||full||3.1||Y||-||Y||Panasonic S1|
|Panasonic S1H||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||full||3.1||Y||-||Y||Panasonic S1H|
|Panasonic FT7||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic FT7|
|Panasonic GX8||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic GX8|
|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|
It is notable that the A6500 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the fp does not offer wifi capability.
The fp is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sigma. In contrast, the A6500 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the A6500 was succeeded by the Sony A6600. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Sigma and Sony websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Sigma fp better than the Sony A6500 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Arguments in favor of the Sigma fp:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- 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 (2100k vs 922k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.1 vs 2.0).
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 9 months of technical progress since the A6500 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha A6500:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (350 versus 280) out of a single battery charge.
- 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 file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (26 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in October 2016).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the fp comes out slightly ahead of the A6500 (12 : 11 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports 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 Sigma fp 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the fp or the A6500 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 expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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.
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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. 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. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Sigma fp 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||Sigma fp||Sony A6500|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Leica L mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||July 2019||October 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 1899||USD 1399|
|Sensor Specs||Sigma fp||Sony A6500|
|Sensor Format||Full Frame Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||35.9 x 23.9 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||858.01 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||43.1 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.98 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.80 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||6-102400 ISO||100-51200 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||Sigma fp||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||3.2 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||2100k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Sigma fp||Sony A6500|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/8000/s||1/4000/s|
|Continuous Shooting||12 shutter flaps/s||11 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/8000s||YES|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Image Stabilization||Lens stabilization only||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-II||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Sigma fp||Sony A6500|
|USB Connector||USB 3.1||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Sigma fp||Sony A6500|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||280 shots per charge||350 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
113 x 70 x 45 mm
(4.4 x 2.8 x 1.8 in)
120 x 67 x 53 mm
(4.7 x 2.6 x 2.1 in)
|Camera Weight||422 g (14.9 oz)||453 g (16.0 oz)|
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