Sony A6500 vs RX10 III
The Sony Alpha A6500 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III are two enthusiast cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in October 2016 and March 2016. The A6500 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the RX10 III is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (A6500) and an one-inch (RX10 III) sensor. The A6500 has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the RX10 III provides 20 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Sony A6500||Sony RX10 III|
|Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Sony E mount lenses||24-600mm f/2.4-4.0|
|24 MP, APS-C Sensor||20 MP, 1" Sensor|
|4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 100-25600 (100-51200)||ISO 100-12800 (64-25600)|
|Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)||Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 922k dots||3.0" LCD, 1229k dots|
|Tilting touchscreen||Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|11 shutter flaps per second||14 shutter flaps per second|
|In-body stabilization||Lens-based stabilization|
|Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|350 shots per battery charge||420 shots per battery charge|
|120 x 67 x 53 mm, 453 g||133 x 94 x 127 mm, 1051 g|
Body comparison: Sony A6500 vs RX10 III
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Sony A6500 and the Sony RX10 III is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display 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 side – the A6500 – represents the basis for the calculations 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 RX10 III is considerably larger (55 percent) than the Sony A6500. 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 and possibly misleading, as the RX10 III has a lens built in, whereas the A6500 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the A6500 and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.
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, 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.
|Sony A6500»||4.7 in||2.6 in||2.1 in||16.0 oz||350||Y||Oct 2016||1,399||Sony A6500|
|Sony RX10 III«||5.2 in||3.7 in||5.0 in||37.1 oz||420||Y||Mar 2016||1,499||Sony RX10 III|
|Canon G1 X Mark III« »||4.5 in||3.1 in||2.0 in||14.1 oz||200||Y||Oct 2017||1,299||Canon G1 X Mark III|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2« »||5.6 in||3.3 in||1.8 in||17.5 oz||350||Y||Jan 2016||1,699||Fujifilm X-Pro2|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||4.9 in||2.8 in||1.5 in||15.1 oz||330||n||Jan 2016||1,199||Olympus PEN-F|
|Panasonic GX8« »||5.2 in||3.1 in||2.5 in||17.2 oz||330||Y||Jul 2015||1,199||-||Panasonic GX8|
|Sony A9« »||5.0 in||3.8 in||2.5 in||23.7 oz||650||Y||Apr 2017||4,499||Sony A9|
|Sony RX10 IV« »||5.2 in||3.7 in||5.7 in||38.6 oz||400||Y||Sep 2017||1,699||Sony RX10 IV|
|Sony A6300« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.9 in||14.3 oz||400||Y||Feb 2016||999||-||Sony A6300|
|Sony RX100 V« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||220||n||Oct 2016||999||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony RX10 II« »||5.1 in||3.5 in||4.0 in||28.7 oz||400||Y||Jun 2015||1,299||-||Sony RX10 II|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||280||n||Jun 2015||999||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony A7« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||1.9 in||16.7 oz||340||Y||Oct 2013||1,699||-||Sony A7|
|Sony RX10« »||5.1 in||3.5 in||4.0 in||28.7 oz||420||Y||Oct 2013||1,299||-||Sony RX10|
|Sony NEX-7« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||14.1 oz||430||n||Aug 2011||1,349||-||Sony NEX-7|
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. 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.
Sensor comparison: Sony A6500 vs RX10 III
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony A6500 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony RX10 III an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the RX10 III is 68 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.7. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 24MP, the A6500 offers a higher resolution than the RX10 III (20MP), but the A6500 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 2.41μm for the RX10 III) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the A6500 is a somewhat more recent model (by 6 months) than the RX10 III, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.
The A6500 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during video recording.
The Sony Alpha A6500 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-51200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 64-25600..
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"). Of the two cameras under review, the A6500 provides substantially higher image quality than the RX10 III, with an overall score that is 15 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.4 bits higher color depth, 1.1 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.6 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Sony A6500»||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.5||13.7||1405||85||Sony A6500|
|Sony RX10 III«||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.1||12.6||472||70||Sony RX10 III|
|Canon G1 X Mark III« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Canon G1 X Mark III|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Fujifilm X-Pro2|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||23.1||12.4||894||74||Olympus PEN-F|
|Panasonic GX8« »||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.5||12.6||806||75||Panasonic GX8|
|Sony A9« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.9||13.3||3517||92||Sony A9|
|Sony RX10 IV« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Sony RX10 IV|
|Sony A6300« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.4||13.7||1437||85||Sony A6300|
|Sony RX100 V« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony RX10 II« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.0||12.6||531||70||Sony RX10 II|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony A7« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||14.2||2248||90||Sony A7|
|Sony RX10« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.9||12.6||474||69||Sony RX10|
|Sony NEX-7« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60i||24.1||13.4||1016||81||Sony NEX-7|
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).
Feature comparison: Sony A6500 vs RX10 III
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The A6500 and the RX10 III are similar in the sense that both feature an electronic viewfinder, which is helpful when framing images in bright sunlight. Moreover, their viewfinders offer an identical resolution of 2359k dots. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony A6500 and Sony RX10 III along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Sony A6500»||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||4000||11.0||Y||Y||Sony A6500|
|Sony RX10 III«||2359||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||2000||14.0||Y||Y||Sony RX10 III|
|Canon G1 X Mark III« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||2000||9.0||Y||Y||Canon G1 X Mark III|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2« »||2360||n||3.0||1620||fixed||n||8000||8.0||n||n||Fujifilm X-Pro2|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||2360||n||3.0||1037||swivel||Y||8000||10.0||n||Y||Olympus PEN-F|
|Panasonic GX8« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||8000||10.0||n||Y||Panasonic GX8|
|Sony A9« »||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||8000||20.0||n||Y||Sony A9|
|Sony RX10 IV« »||2359||Y||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||2000||24.0||Y||Y||Sony RX10 IV|
|Sony A6300« »||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||4000||11.0||Y||n||Sony A6300|
|Sony RX100 V« »||2359||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||2000||24.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony RX10 II« »||2359||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||3200||14.0||Y||Y||Sony RX10 II|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||2000||16.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony A7« »||2400||n||3.0||1230||tilting||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Sony A7|
|Sony RX10« »||1440||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||3200||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX10|
|Sony NEX-7« »||2359||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||4000||10.0||Y||n||Sony NEX-7|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The A6500 has a touchscreen, while the RX10 III has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, both cameras 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).
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the A6500 and the RX10 III write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.
Connectivity comparison: Sony A6500 vs RX10 III
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 Sony Alpha A6500 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Sony A6500»||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A6500|
|Sony RX10 III«||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX10 III|
|Canon G1 X Mark III« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon G1 X Mark III|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X-Pro2|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus PEN-F|
|Panasonic GX8« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic GX8|
|Sony A9« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony A9|
|Sony RX10 IV« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX10 IV|
|Sony A6300« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A6300|
|Sony RX100 V« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony RX10 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX10 II|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony A7« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A7|
|Sony RX10« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX10|
|Sony NEX-7« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-7|
Both the A6500 and the RX10 III are recent models that feature in their makers' current product line-up. The RX10 III replaced the earlier Sony RX10 II, while the A6500 followed on from the Sony A6300.
Review summary: Sony A6500 vs RX10 III
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Sony A6500 and the Sony RX10 III? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A6500:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 20MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (15 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.4 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.1 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.6 stops ISO advantage).
- Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- More compact: Is smaller (120x67mm vs 133x94mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 6 months after the RX10 III).
Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III:
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 922k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (14 vs 11 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the A6500 necessitates an extra lens.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (420 versus 350) out of a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in March 2016).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A6500 is the clear winner of the match-up (11 : 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.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the A6500 or the RX10 III. 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.
Expert reviews: Sony A6500 vs RX10 III
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). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Sony A6500»||HiRec||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||1,399||Sony A6500|
|Sony RX10 III«||Rec||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2016||1,499||Sony RX10 III|
|Canon G1 X Mark III« »||Rec||79/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Oct 2017||1,299||Canon G1 X Mark III|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2« »||Rec||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||1,699||Fujifilm X-Pro2|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||-||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||1,199||Olympus PEN-F|
|Panasonic GX8« »||Rec||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2015||1,199||-||Panasonic GX8|
|Sony A9« »||HiRec||89/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Apr 2017||4,499||Sony A9|
|Sony RX10 IV« »||Rec||84/100||4.5/5||-||5/5||Sep 2017||1,699||Sony RX10 IV|
|Sony A6300« »||Rec||85/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2016||999||-||Sony A6300|
|Sony RX100 V« »||HiRec||83/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||999||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony RX10 II« »||HiRec||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||1,299||-||Sony RX10 II|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||HiRec||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony A7« »||HiRec||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||1,699||-||Sony A7|
|Sony RX10« »||Rec||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||1,299||-||Sony RX10|
|Sony NEX-7« »||HiRec||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Aug 2011||1,349||-||Sony NEX-7|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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Specifications: Sony A6500 vs Sony RX10 III
|Camera Model||Sony A6500||Sony RX10 III|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Sony E mount lenses||24-600mm f/2.4-4.0|
|Launch Date||October 2016||March 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 1399||USD 1499|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.6 mm||13.2 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||366.6 mm2||116.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.2 mm||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.91 μm||2.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.55 MP/cm2||17.18 MP/cm2|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-25600 ISO||100-12800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-51200 ISO||64-25600 ISO|
|Image Processor||BIONZ X||BIONZ X|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2359k dots||2359k dots|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||1229k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||11 shutter flaps/s||14 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||Electronic Shutter||Electronic Shutter|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||Lens-based stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||MS or SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||NFC built-in|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||NP-FW50 power pack||NP-FW50 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||350 shots per charge||420 shots per charge|
120 x 67 x 53 mm
(4.7 x 2.6 x 2.1 in)
133 x 94 x 127 mm
(5.2 x 3.7 x 5.0 in)
|Camera Weight||453 g (16.0 oz)||1051 g (37.1 oz)|
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