Olympus SZ-15 vs Sony A6500

Olympus SZ-15 front
Sony Alpha a6500 front

Olympus SZ-15 vs Sony A6500 Key Specs

Olympus SZ-15
(Full Review)
  • 16MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Display
  • ISO 100 - 3200
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • 23-483mm (F2.8-5.9) lens
  • 250g - 108 x 70 x 40mm
  • Introduced June 2013
Sony A6500
(Full Review)
  • 24MP - APS-C Sensor
  • 3" Tilting Display
  • ISO 100 - 25600 (Boost to 51200)
  • Sensor based 5-axis Image Stabilization
  • 3840 x 2160 video
  • Sony E Mount
  • 453g - 120 x 67 x 53mm
  • Introduced October 2016
  • Older Model is Sony A6300
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Olympus SZ-15 vs Sony A6500 Overview

Its time to take a more detailed look at the Olympus SZ-15 vs Sony A6500, one being a Small Sensor Superzoom and the other is a Advanced Mirrorless by manufacturers Olympus and Sony. There exists a huge gap between the resolutions of the SZ-15 (16MP) and A6500 (24MP) and the SZ-15 (1/2.3") and A6500 (APS-C) use different sensor sizing.

Photography Glossary

The SZ-15 was revealed 4 years before the A6500 and that is quite a significant gap as far as technology is concerned. The two cameras offer different body type with the Olympus SZ-15 being a Compact camera and the Sony A6500 being a Rangefinder-style mirrorless camera.

Before diving straight into a full comparison, below is a simple highlight of how the SZ-15 grades versus the A6500 in regards to portability, imaging, features and an overall rating.

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Reasons to pick Olympus SZ-15 over the Sony A6500

 SZ-15 A6500 

Reasons to pick Sony A6500 over the Olympus SZ-15

 A6500 SZ-15 
IntroducedOctober 2016June 2013Fresher by 40 months
Display typeTiltingFixed Tilting display
Display resolution922k460kCrisper display (+462k dot)
Touch display Easily navigate

Common features in the Olympus SZ-15 and Sony A6500

 SZ-15 A6500 
Manual focus Dial accurate focus
Display sizing3"3"Equivalent display measurement
Selfie screen Neither features selfie screen

Olympus SZ-15 vs Sony A6500 Physical Comparison

For those who are going to carry your camera, you will have to think about its weight and volume. The Olympus SZ-15 enjoys outer dimensions of 108mm x 70mm x 40mm (4.3" x 2.8" x 1.6") with a weight of 250 grams (0.55 lbs) and the Sony A6500 has sizing of 120mm x 67mm x 53mm (4.7" x 2.6" x 2.1") accompanied by a weight of 453 grams (1.00 lbs).

Take a look at the Olympus SZ-15 vs Sony A6500 in the new Camera with Lens Size Comparison Tool. Camera Size Comparison with Lenses

Take into account, the weight of an Interchangeable Lens Camera will vary based on the lens you use at that time. Below is the front view physical size comparison of the SZ-15 compared to the A6500.

Olympus SZ-15 vs Sony A6500 size comparison

Considering dimensions and weight, the portability grade of the SZ-15 and A6500 is 88 and 81 respectively.

Olympus SZ-15 vs Sony A6500 top view buttons comparison

Olympus SZ-15 vs Sony A6500 Sensor Comparison

Quite often, it is very tough to imagine the contrast between sensor sizing just by looking at specifications. The graphic underneath should give you a stronger sense of the sensor sizes in the SZ-15 and A6500.

Plainly, both of the cameras offer different megapixel count and different sensor sizing. The SZ-15 with its tinier sensor is going to make achieving shallower depth of field tougher and the Sony A6500 will give you extra detail because of its extra 8 Megapixels. Greater resolution can also help you crop photos a little more aggressively. The older SZ-15 is going to be behind with regard to sensor tech.

Olympus SZ-15 vs Sony A6500 sensor size comparison

Olympus SZ-15 vs Sony A6500 Screen and ViewFinder

Olympus SZ-15 vs Sony A6500 Screen and Viewfinder comparison
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Photography Type Scores

Portrait Comparison

Olympus SZ-15 Portrait photography factors
Sony A6500 Portrait photography factors
manual focus
good MP (16MP)
supports face detect focusing
can't use external flash
sensor size is very small (1/2.3")
no RAW support
you can focus manually
good megapixels (24 megapixels)
decent sensor size (APS-C)
features face detect focus
exports RAW formats
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Street Comparison

Olympus SZ-15 Street photography information
Sony A6500 Street photography information
image stabilization (Optical)
lighter than competition (250 grams)
no articulating screen
sensor size is very small (1/2.3")
no RAW support
screen tilts
image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
decent sensor size (APS-C)
exports RAW formats
has focus via touch
environment proofing
good high ISO (25,600)
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Sports Comparison

Olympus SZ-15 Sports photography highlights
Sony A6500 Sports photography highlights
amazing zoom range (23-483mm 21.0 x zoom)
image stabilization (Optical)
good MP (16 megapixels)
supports tracking focus
sensor size is very small (1/2.3")
no phase detect AF
quiet mode (1/32,000 seconds)
image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
good megapixels (24 megapixels)
decent sensor size (APS-C)
features tracking focus
environment proofing
has phase detect auto focus
not so great battery power (350 CIPA)
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Travel Comparison

Olympus SZ-15 Travel photography factors
Sony A6500 Travel photography factors
lighter than competition (250 grams)
good MP (16MP)
built-in flash
decently wide (23mm)
long reach (483mm)
doesn't have Time Lapse mode
display is not selfie friendly
slow maximum aperture (f2.8)
environment proofing
supports bluetooth
has focus via touch
good megapixels (24 megapixels)
has built in flash
not so great battery power (350 shots)
doesn't feature selfie friendly display
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Landscape Comparison

Olympus SZ-15 Landscape photography details
Sony A6500 Landscape photography details
manual focus
decently wide (23mm)
pretty good screen size (3")
image stabilization (Optical)
good MP (16 megapixels)
can't change lens (fixed lens mount)
slow maximum aperture (f2.8)
sensor size is very small (1/2.3")
no RAW support
doesn't have Time Lapse mode
you can focus manually
interchangeable lenses (Sony E mount)
nice screen size (3 inch)
image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
good megapixels (24MP)
decent sensor size (APS-C)
good high ISO (25,600)
exports RAW formats
environment proofing
not so great battery power (350 shots)
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Vlogging Comparison

Olympus SZ-15 Vlogging features
Sony A6500 Vlogging features
decently wide (23mm)
image stabilization (Optical)
supports face detect focusing
high res video (1920 x 1080 resolution)
lighter than competition (250 grams)
slow maximum aperture (f2.8)
display is not selfie friendly
doesn't have mic port
touch screen
image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
features face detect focus
high quality video (3840 x 2160 pxls)
has microphone jack
doesn't feature selfie friendly display
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Olympus SZ-15 vs Sony A6500 Specifications

Detailed spec comparison table for Olympus SZ-15 and Sony A6500
 Olympus SZ-15Sony Alpha a6500
General Information
Manufacturer Olympus Sony
Model type Olympus SZ-15 Sony Alpha a6500
Category Small Sensor Superzoom Advanced Mirrorless
Introduced 2013-06-21 2016-10-06
Body design Compact Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor Information
Processor - Bionz X
Sensor type CCD CMOS
Sensor size 1/2.3" APS-C
Sensor measurements 6.17 x 4.55mm 23.5 x 15.6mm
Sensor surface area 28.1mm² 366.6mm²
Sensor resolution 16 megapixel 24 megapixel
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9 3:2 and 16:9
Highest resolution 4608 x 3456 6000 x 4000
Highest native ISO 3200 25600
Highest boosted ISO - 51200
Minimum native ISO 100 100
RAW format
Manual focusing
Autofocus touch
Autofocus continuous
Single autofocus
Tracking autofocus
Selective autofocus
Center weighted autofocus
Multi area autofocus
Autofocus live view
Face detect focus
Contract detect focus
Phase detect focus
Total focus points - 425
Cross type focus points - -
Lens mount type fixed lens Sony E
Lens zoom range 23-483mm (21.0x) -
Maximal aperture f/2.8-5.9 -
Macro focusing distance 5cm -
Available lenses - 121
Focal length multiplier 5.8 1.5
Range of display Fixed Type Tilting
Display size 3 inches 3 inches
Display resolution 460 thousand dot 922 thousand dot
Selfie friendly
Touch function
Display tech LCD -
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type None Electronic
Viewfinder resolution - 2,359 thousand dot
Viewfinder coverage - 100%
Viewfinder magnification - 0.7x
Lowest shutter speed 8 seconds 30 seconds
Highest shutter speed 1/2000 seconds 1/4000 seconds
Highest quiet shutter speed - 1/32000 seconds
Continuous shooting speed 10.0 frames per second 11.0 frames per second
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Exposure compensation Yes Yes
Change white balance
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash distance 3.50 m 6.00 m (at ISO 100)
Flash modes Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Fill-in, Slow Sync Flash off, Autoflash, Fill-flash, Rear Sync., Slow Sync., Red-eye reduction (On/Off selectable), Hi-speed sync, Wireless
Hot shoe
White balance bracketing
Highest flash sync - 1/160 seconds
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Supported video resolutions 1920 x 1080 (30fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 480fps (176 x 128), 240fps (384 x 288) 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
Highest video resolution 1920x1080 3840x2160
Video file format AVI MPEG4, Motion JPEG MPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S
Microphone input
Headphone input
Wireless Built-In Built-In
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec) USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS BuiltIn None
Environmental seal
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
Weight 250g (0.55 lb) 453g (1.00 lb)
Dimensions 108 x 70 x 40mm (4.3" x 2.8" x 1.6") 120 x 67 x 53mm (4.7" x 2.6" x 2.1")
DXO scores
DXO All around rating not tested 85
DXO Color Depth rating not tested 24.5
DXO Dynamic range rating not tested 13.7
DXO Low light rating not tested 1405
Battery life - 350 pictures
Battery format - Battery Pack
Battery ID SLB-10A NP-FW50
Self timer Yes (2 or 10 sec, Double) Yes
Time lapse shooting With downloadable app
Storage media SD/SDHC/SDXC SD/SDHC/SDXC + Memory Stick Pro Duo
Storage slots 1 1
Cost at launch $200 $1,298