Sony Alpha a6500 vs Nikon D7100

  • APS-C
  • 24 megapixels
  • Sony E
  • 53
    Overall
  • 25
    Imaging
  • 71
    Features
  • 79
    Size
  • 0
    Price
  • APS-C
  • 24 megapixels
  • Nikon F
  • 45
    Overall
  • 19
    Imaging
  • 59
    Features
  • 71
    Size
  • 0
    Price

Sony Alpha a6500 vs Nikon D7100: a Complete Review and Comparison

Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!

In this review, we are going to make a detailed comparison of two cameras that fall into different categories. While the first model we are looking at, Sony Alpha a6500 belongs to a Semi-Pro Mirrorless category, the other model, Sony Alpha a6500 is a Semi-Pro DSLR camera. One of the key common traits of both cameras we are looking at is sensor. Both Sony Alpha a6500 and Nikon D7100, are equipped with the same 24.0 MP CMOS sensors.

Both cameras we are going to look at in our overview fall into two different categories - MirrorLess and DSLR. Keeping in mind all the distinctive features of each category, it will be hard to make a detailed comparison of these two models. However, we will do our best to make this review as unbiased and detailed as possible.

To get started, let’s take a look at some of the key features of Sony Alpha a6500 and Nikon D7100 and, after this, we can go on to our detailed comparison of these models.

Sony Alpha a6500 Key Features:

  • 24.0 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 25600 (Expands to 51200)
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • 3″ Tilting Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 11.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 120 x 67 x 53 mm
  • Weight: 453 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced Sony A6300.

Nikon D7100 Key Features:

  • 24.0 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 6400 (Expands to 50 - 25600)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3.2″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 6.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (60, 50, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps), 640 x 424 (30, 24 fps)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 136 x 107 x 76 mm
  • Weight: 765 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Replaced Nikon D7000. Compare
  • Replaced by Nikon D7200. Compare

Sony Alpha a6500 substituted Sony A6300.

Why is Sony Alpha a6500 a better choice than Nikon D7100

NFC Yes vs No Easy wireless connectivity with compatible devices
Image Stabilization Yes vs No All lenses are stabilized
Continuous Shooting 11 fps vs 6 fps 5 fps faster
Number Of Focus Points 425 vs 51 374 more focus points
Touch Screen Yes vs No Easy control of camera functions
Weight 453 g vs 765 g 312 g lighter
Max Video Resolution 3840 x 2160 vs 1920 x 1080 Higher Resolution Video
Dxo Color Depth 24.5 vs 24.2 Better color depth
Dxo Low Light Iso 1405 vs 1256 Better High ISO performance
Viewfinder Magnification 0.7 vs 0.63 0.07 better magnification

What are the key reasons to pick Nikon D7100 over Sony Alpha a6500

Storage Slots 2 vs 1 Extra storage slot
Flash Range 12 vs 6 6 better flash range
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 vs 1/4000 Faster shutter speed
Screen Size 3.2″ vs 3″ 0.2" larger screen
Screen Resolution 1,229k dots vs 922k dots 25% higher resolution screen
Battery Life 950 shots vs 350 shots 600 more frames with a single charge
Headphone Port Yes vs No Has headphone port

Key PROs of Sony Alpha a6500 and Nikon D7100

Screen Size 3″ | 3.2″ Large display
Viewfinder Electronic | Optical (pentaprism) Better framing and control
Raw Support Yes | Yes Better image quality
Sensor Resolution 24.0 MP | 24.0 MP Bigger prints and more details
AutoFocus Face Detection Yes | Yes Very handy for portraits
Microphone Port Yes | Yes High quality audio recording option
Bracketing Yes | Yes Useful for tough lighting conditions and HDR
Built-In Flash Yes | Yes External flash available
Flash Sync Port Yes | Yes Port for Flash Sync
Environmental Sealing Yes | Yes Shoot at tough conditions

Sony Alpha a6500 vs Nikon D7100: Comparing Two Models By Physical Characteristics

Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Sony Alpha a6500 and Nikon D7100 from the front view.

Sony Alpha a6500
Nikon D7100
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Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Sony Alpha a6500
Nikon D7100
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After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.

Speaking of weight, Sony Alpha a6500 is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 312g less than the Nikon D7100. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.

Comparing Sony Alpha a6500 and Nikon D7100 by the type of Sensor and Resolution

Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.

Are Sony Alpha a6500 and Nikon D7100 any different in terms of sensor type?

In terms of sensor type and resolution, these models are identical. Both Sony Alpha a6500 and Nikon D7100 come equipped with the same CMOS that has a resolution of 24.0 MP. Thus, if you are wondering, which option to choose, this is not a factor you should be looking at.

Take a look below to find the comparison of Sony Alpha a6500 and Nikon D7100 by the size of their sensors.

Sony Alpha a6500
Nikon D7100
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Sony Alpha a6500 and Nikon D7100 are identical by this indicator, as each feature a sensor of the same size. Thus, both cameras will provide the same level of control in terms of the depth of field if you use them with the same focal length and aperture.

For Which Fields Of Photography Are Sony Alpha a6500 and Nikon D7100 Suitable?

If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.

This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Sony Alpha a6500 and Nikon D7100 in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.

Photography Type Sony Alpha a6500 Nikon D7100
Portrait Photography
93%
91%
Street Photography
97%
90%
Sports Photography
98%
90%
Daily Photography
49%
54%
Landscape Photography
97%
95%

Sony Alpha a6500 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Image Stabilization
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

No Significant Disadvantages

Nikon D7100 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • You might not like Nikon skintone
  • No Image Stabilization

Sony Alpha a6500 for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Image Stabilization
  • Large APS-C(23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (120 x 67 x 53 mm)

Nikon D7100 for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large APS-C(23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • Big battery life (950 shots)

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (136 x 107 x 76 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization

Sony Alpha a6500 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Fast Continuous Shooting (11.0 fps)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (425)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/4000s)
  • Small battery life (350 shots)

Nikon D7100 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (51)
  • Big size (136 x 107 x 76 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (6.0 fps)
  • Small Number of CrossFocus Points (15)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (1256)

Sony Alpha a6500 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (453 g)
  • Big size (120 x 67 x 53 mm)

Nikon D7100 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (765 g)
  • Big size (136 x 107 x 76 mm)

Sony Alpha a6500 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Good Dynamic Range (13.7)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

No Significant Disadvantages

Nikon D7100 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Good Dynamic Range (13.7)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Bad Max Native ISO (6400)

Comparison of Sony Alpha a6500 vs Nikon D7100: Final Verdict

Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Sony Alpha a6500 or Nikon D7100, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.

What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Sony Alpha a6500 and Nikon D7100 here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Sony Alpha a6500 deserves a higher Total Score than the Nikon D7100. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.

Sony Alpha a6500 vs Nikon D7100 Table Of Technical Specs

For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:

Sony Alpha a6500 Nikon D7100
General
Brand Sony Nikon
Model Alpha a6500 D7100
Announced Oct 06, 2016 Apr 25, 2013
Body Type Rangefinder-style mirrorless Mid-size SLR
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Sensor Size APS-C APS-C
Sensor Dimensions 23.5 x 15.6 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
Sensor Area 366.60 mm2 366.60 mm2
Sensor Resolution 24.0 MP 24.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 6000 x 4000
Max Native ISO 25,600 6,400
Max Boosted ISO 51,200 25,600
Min Native ISO 100 100
RAW Support Yes Yes
Lens
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Sony E Nikon F
Number of Lenses 83 287
Focal Length Multiplier 1.5x x
Macro Focus Range
AutoFocus
AF Touch Yes No
AF Continuous Yes Yes
AF Single Yes Yes
AF Tracking Yes Yes
AF Selective Yes Yes
AF Center Yes Yes
AF Multi Area Yes Yes
AF Live View Yes Yes
AF Face Detection Yes Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes Yes
AF Phase Detection Yes Yes
Number of Focus Points 425 51
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a 15
Screen
Screen Type Tilting Fixed Type
Screen Size 3″ 3.2″
Screen Resolution 922k dots 1,229k dots
Live View Yes Yes
Touch Screen Yes No
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Electronic Optical (pentaprism)
ViewFinder Resolution 2,359k dots 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 100% 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.7 0.63
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/4000 s 1/8000 s
Continuous Shooting 11.0 fps 6.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes Yes
Aperture Priority Yes Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes Yes
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization Yes No
Built-in Flash Yes Yes
Flash Range 6 12
Flash Modes Flash off, Autoflash, Fill-flash, Rear Sync., Slow Sync., Red-eye reduction (On/Off selectable), Hi-speed sync, Wireless Auto, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear curtain
External Flash Yes Yes
AE Bracketing Yes Yes
WB Bracketing Yes Yes
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes Yes
Average No Yes
Spot Yes Yes
Partial No No
AF-Area No No
Center Weighted No Yes
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Score 85 83
DxO Color Depth 24.5 24.2
DxO Dynamic Range 13.7 13.7
DxO Low Light ISO 1405 1256
Video Features
Video Resolutions 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM 1920 x 1080 (60, 50, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps), 640 x 424 (30, 24 fps)
Max Video Resolution 3840 x 2160 1920 x 1080
Video Formats MPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone Port Yes Yes
Headphone Port No Yes
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity Yes Yes
HDMI Yes Yes
USB USB 2.0 USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing Yes Yes
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof No No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 453 g 765 g
Physical Dimensions 120 x 67 x 53 mm 136 x 107 x 76 mm
Battery Life 350 shots 950 shots
Battery Type Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Model n/a EN-EL15
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes Yes
GPS Optional
Storage Type SD/SDHC/SDXC + Memory Stick Pro Duo SD/SDHC/SDXC x 2 slots
Storage Slots 1 2

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