Sony a6500 is the portable, lightweight, budget friendly video powerhouse from Sony. It is an ASP-C sensor camera, therefore it does factor in the crop when shooting photos and videos. It’s an excellent camera for high-speed shooting, with the main focus on videography. The lens choice on this camera is huge and in order to choose the best lens for this camera, you have to factor in a lot of different variables. We will discuss three lenses and choose the one that is ideal for video making.

So what is the best video lens for the Sony a6500?

If we had to recommend one lens as the best all-rounder a6500 lens for video we would recommend the Sony E 16-70mm f4.

But to explain, we need to understand the difference between APS-C, Full-Frame and why this matters when purchasing lenses for cameras.

Sony E 16-70mm f4 – The All Round Perfect Lens for the Sony a6500

As a videographer, you need to be ready for any situation when filming around many different subjects and in many different locations. Very rarely would one lens be able to interpret the subject in various locations, however, a lens that could move about from a wider field of view to portrait close up range would be ideal for video making. Therefore, the Sony E 16-70mm f4 lens would be the perfect companion for Sony’s a6500 camera.

Sony E 24mm f1.8 – The best APS-C wide-angle prime Lens for the Sony a6500

This is an all-metal body lens but its surprisingly lightweight given its material. A lighter body is essential in videography, especially during the panning shots. At f1.8 it’s a very fast lens and lets in lots of light, essential for shooting at night scenes. A 24mm view is more than enough to capture landscape scenes, however, due to the crop factor of a6500’s ASP-C sensor, it offers a 36mm view which is very close to the original and in-demand retro look of the 35mm cameras.

Sony E 50mm f/1.8 – The best APS-C Portrait Prime Lens for the Sony a6500

Every beginner photographer starts with the 50mm lens as it the ideal choice for portraits and landscapes. However what only the pros know is that if you really want to compress the background and not elongate the face, you really want around an 85mm for portraits. When this lens is on the Sony a6500 it actually becomes a 75mm, much closer to that perfect focal distance for portraits. It is that f1.8 that lets in more light than you probably need, meaning you can reduce the ISO and shutter speed to get the crisp quality and still expect your subject to be well lit. It’s lightweight, inexpensive, and an all-around durable camera lens.

A Brief History Lesson

Antique Old photo Camera

Photography is the art of condensing a moment into a tangible form. With its immediate acceptance in society, companies quickly realised the potential of a small glass lens housed in a plastic body contain. Through this, started a race spanning over a century, to build better cameras and lenses, to push the limits of photography, and to maximize human creativity. When the cameras found its usefulness in the film industry, 35mm became synonymous with the camera purchase. What this 35mm stood for was the dimensions of the film strip that was used as the negative of photographs taken. This film strip was then developed to form photographs small enough to fit in your wallet or big enough to cover the entire wall. Eventually, when the camera industry moved from film to digital, it carried along with it this 35mm number, although it’s now used to quantify the sensor size responsible for recording levels of light per pixel and eventually generating a digital image. However, not all digital cameras come with the 35mm sensor. To supply cheaper options for the mass market, camera manufacturers developed a smaller size sensor (also called crop sensor) that has its upside as well as some drawbacks. It should be noted that, like sensors, lenses themselves come in full and crop sizes, and we will discuss both of them in detail.

Difference between APS-C and full-frame sensor

Full Frame Sensor

A full-frame sensor has dimensions of 35mm x 24mm. A bigger sensor can process more field of view, however, care must be taken when choosing a lens. A lens built for crop sensors must not be used with full-frame sensors because the sensor would have more field of view than the lens, resulting in a black ring around the image. To achieve the maximum result, full-frame sensors must be paired with full-frame lenses.

APS-C Sensor

APS-C sensors generally have the dimensions of 22mm x 15mm. APS-C sensors have different levels of crop depending on the camera manufacturers. Canon cameras have 1.6 times crop while Nikon and other big manufacturers offer 1.5 times crop on their sensors. This crop factor can be advantageous in certain situations as well as a drawback in others. APS-C sensor can be used with either a full-frame lens or crop lens, without worrying about the image size.

Full Frame Lenses

In addition to camera sensors, different camera lens option is also available. For a full-frame lens, its imaging circle, which is the area at the back of the lens which collaborates with the sensor, is designed to work with the full-frame sensor. Full frame lenses can be used with any sensor, full frame or APS-C, although, with APS-C sensor you do get the smaller field of view.

Crop Frame or APS-C Lenses

These lenses are built for compatibility with the crop sensor cameras. Even though you still get the 1.5 times crop generally associated with the crop sensor, it is advised to use a crop sensor with the crop lens. A crop frame lens should not be used with the full-frame sensor to avoid a black ring around the images.

Pros and Cons of Full Frame & APS-C

Advantages of using a Full-frame sensor

A full-frame sensor is an optimum choice for a professional photographer and for a number of reasons spanning from technical to artistic. One of the main reasons is the lack of cropping the field of view. Out in nature, you want the broadest view to be captured by your camera. The full glory of nature can only be celebrated with the widest shots and full-frame sensors are essential for that. The wider field of view isn’t just beneficial in landscape photography. Architectural photography benefits greatly from the wider view and combining full-frame sensors with the tilt-shift lenses generate some very interesting results. Besides the artistic advantage, a full-frame sensor offers a higher dynamic range and much better low light results than its crop sensor counterpart. Another artistic advantage of using a full-frame sensor is its shallow depth of field compared to APS-C lenses. Using the same focal length lens, full-frame sensors are able to generate larger bokeh and can blur the background more than crop frame APS-C lenses. This usually results in a very sharp image and is the go-to artistic choice for wedding and portrait photographers.

Advantages of using a APS-C sensor

ASP-C cameras are a beginner photographer’s heaven. They are cheap, reliable and you have the option to choose from a large range of cameras. Since a beginner photographer’s main issue is the cost management when buying new cameras and lenses, ASP-C sensor cameras offer a chance for anyone a little short on money to join the vast and beautiful field of photography. However, upsides of ASP-C cameras aren’t just limited to the finances department. A crop sensor means you reach further with your smaller field of view. This is useful in telephotography or astrophotography where the goal isn’t to cover the wide field of view but rather to reach further into space. Moreover, ASP-C sensor cameras are much lighter and smaller in size than the full-frame sensor cameras. This means easy packing when going on a short trip. Also smaller size increases durability when handling.

Disadvantages of Full Frame sensor cameras over ASP-C sensor cameras

Despite being a professional choice, full-frame does have its disadvantages. The biggest one is its price tag. Cameras with full-frame sensors are very expensive and most of the time out of range of not only hobbyist photographers, but professionals as well. They are usually the high-end product of any company line since they are more delicately built and require expensive hardware. Another disadvantage is its bulkiness since full-frame sensors come in large housing around it. There are also more parts in the camera body, making it a lot more fragile than smaller sensor cameras. And since full-frame sensors have a larger size, more information is stored in it. This means that at higher frame rates and burst mode, it takes more time for images to be saved. This can cost you more indirectly because you have to buy faster-writing SD cards.

The choice of choosing between full-frame and crop-frame depends on the type of work you are doing. For a professional photographer, who is able to handle expenses of full-frame sensor cameras and is able to manage the bulkiness of these heavy duties machines the choice is easy. Meanwhile, an amateur photographer should choose ASP-C sensor cameras.