Travel mindfully.
Pursue creatively.
Live life with intention.

Travel mindfully.
Pursue creatively.
Live life with intention.

Is the Sony a6500 Weather Sealed? My 2+ Years Experience with the Camera

by Tom Shu

If you’re looking to pick up the Sony a6500 and are wondering if the camera is weather-sealed, you have come to the right spot.

I have brought this camera all around the world and used it in a variety of situations, so I know what it can handle.

Sony lists the camera as dust and moisture resistant with sealing around the buttons and dials to prevent dust and moisture from entering the body. From my own experience, it can handle most weather conditions pretty well.

What I mean is that the a6500 will be able to handle normal use in a harsher environment.

So, if you’re shooting in the rain, having some raindrops fall on the camera will not be a big deal. If you’re shooting in the snow, having some snow collect on the camera will not damage it either.

What might be a problem with the a6500 is if you shoot with the camera over a prolonged period in harsh environments since it is listed as dust and moisture resistant.

To give you a better idea of what the camera can handle, here are 4 examples of different harsh environments I have put the camera through.

1.) Sony a6500 in the Snow

Februrary 2019 Snowstorm in Seattle - witandfolly.co


I wanted to do something different for our swimsuit campaign shoot with Albion Fit.

So, on one of the snowiest days in the Seattle metro area, Melissa got into her swimsuit and we went out in the snowstorm to capture some photos.

To give you an idea of how much it snowed, we lost power for a full day as the power lines buckled under the weight of the snow.

I took the camera outside with nothing to cover it and we shot outside for a little over 10 minutes.

The snowflakes were huge on this day and as soon as they landed on the camera they melted.

Soon the entire camera body and lens were covered with water droplets.

I brought a towel outside with me, so I did consistently wipe the camera off but eventually gave up because it was snowing so hard.

The one location on the camera that I continued to pay attention to while we were outside was the area around the hot shoe.

I had heard from a friend that although the Sony does pretty well in wet conditions, the hot shoe is one of its weak points.

After our shoot and once we got inside, I cleaned the camera off and did a final inspection before putting it away. Everything was working as it should.

2.) Sony a6500 in the Rain

hoomaluhia garden oahu, hawaii - witandfolly.co


Last year on our trip to Hawaii, we wanted to spend at least one day shooting at this famous Instagram location.

It’s unrelated to this article, but you actually can’t take photos here anymore because of how popular it got, so I’m glad we were able to get photos here while we could.

Anyways, on the only day, we could visit, it started to rain incredibly hard, but since it was our only chance we made the most of it.

At one point, the rain stopped, so we quickly jumped out of the car to take some photos.

Minutes later it started to rain again and we got soaked! We were in the middle of shooting and having fun so we kept shooting in the rain.

By the end of the photoshoot, the camera was pretty wet, but after drying it off it was completely fine.

Again, I made sure to keep an eye on the camera the entire time, but it handled the rain as well as it did the snow in Seattle.



3.) Sony a6500 in the Desert

Desert in Dubai - witandfolly.co


Not too long ago, we got the chance to explore the vast deserts in Dubai.

Although the conditions were not as difficult to shoot in as the snow in Seattle or the rain in Hawaii, I also knew how much damage small particles of sand could do to the camera.

In total, we went to shoot in the desert twice. Once for sunset and once during the blazing midday sun.

The camera handled well after both days and I had no issue with sand getting stuck in the buttons, dials, or between the lens mount where the lens connects to the camera body.

Luckily, the only problem with sand I had was getting it stuck in my lens cap and my shoes 🤣.

4.) Sony a6500 in Firecrackers

Spirit of Matsu Film Still - witandfolly.co


Not too long ago we went to Beigang, Taiwan, which is a small countryside town about 2 hours south of Taipei to film the annual Matsu Pilgrimage for our short film Spirit of Matsu.

This was by far the most I have put the camera through.

During the 7 days we were there to film, we ran around the small town capturing fireworks, ancient rituals, prayer ceremonies, in a colorful and vibrant atmosphere.

We ended up primarily using a 16mm lens to shoot most of the film, so we had to get close to the action. There were even a couple of times when an exploded firework hit the lens of the camera.

By the end of each day, the camera was covered in dust and firecracker residue that had fallen from the sky.

The camera even got so hot inside the main temple while filming a monk burning paper money, that it overheated and wouldn’t turn on for 10+ minutes

After 7 straight days of taking this type of beating, the camera was still working perfectly.

Weak Points on the Camera

Even though the camera can handle harsh environments like the ones we went over, there are still 3 weak points to watch out for in the camera

  • The Hot Shoe: As I mentioned before, the hot shoe is one of the main weak points on the camera to keep an eye on. If you keep it covered with the plastic cover it comes with you should be fine. If I know I will be shooting in really bad weather, I’ll even tape up the hot shoe as an extra precaution.
  • Side Multi-Port: The side Multi-Port another weak point to watch out for. Since the viewfinder is located on the left side of the camera, it’s less likely that the side multi-port will be completely exposed. You should still be careful especially if you’re shooting in heavy rain.
  • The Battery Slot: Unless you have to, wait until you’re inside or under some cover to change the battery or memory card when you’re shooting in harsh weather conditions.

 

Conclusion

As you can see, in my experience with the Sony a6500, I have put it through a variety of different environmental situations and it has handled everything I have thrown at it.

The weather sealing on the a6500 is clearly not as good as the Sony full-frame models, but it wasn’t made to be and the price reflects that.

For the price point, the a6500 is at, I have been 100% surprised by how much of a beating it can take.

Although I still won’t take my camera out in bad weather for a long time, it definitely can handle most weather conditions without any problems if you do it thoughtfully.

What do you think about the weather sealing on the Sony a6500?

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2 comments

Anonymous January 20, 2020 - 9:27 pm

Any situation in seawater?

Reply
Tom Shu January 20, 2020 - 11:09 pm

Hi, thanks for your question. When I shot with it around the ocean, I did get sea spray on it, but nothing crazy. I carried a microfiber and continuously wiped it off and it was ok after.

Reply

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