Sony A6500 Memory Card Compatibility

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: October 15, 2019
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Sony A6500 Memory Card Compatibility

Two different types of memory cards will work with the Sony A6500. SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards are compatible plus Sony XC-HG Duo, PRO-HG Duo, and PRO Duo cards.

Only only one card can be in the slot at the same time. You'll have to make a choice between an SD or PRO Duo card.

PRO Duo memory cards are a proprietary memory card format held by Sony. Consequently, SD cards are more cost-effective and can have considerably better performance than PRO Duo memory cards.

Need a card now? My unbiased and professional recommendation is to get this SD card to use in the A6500:

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB UHS-I SD Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SD Card

  • Best value for the money.
  • Capacities from 32 GB to 2TB.
  • Transfer speeds up to 170 MB/s.
  • Class 10 & UHS-I
  • Temperature Proof, Water Proof, Shock Proof, and X-ray Proof.

Best SD Cards

SanDisk, Lexar, and PNY are brands that make the best Memory cards. The best memory cards I have used have been SanDisk Extreme Pro cards.

You do not need to buy a card made by SanDisk for your Sony ILCE-6500. Look for cards with impressive-sounding names. That will mean you get fast read/write rates, shock resistance, and more professional features.

I have not had issues with Lexar Professional or PNY Elite Performance memory cards.

When I have had problems with cards has been when I have used low priced generic brands. Not having a brand name increases the chance of card errors or corrupted data.

If you are looking to spend less, don't buy a generic card. You will be better off purchasing a professional-quality card with a smaller capacity.

Recommended SD Cards

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB UHS-I SD Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SD Card

  • Best value for the money.
  • Capacities from 32 GB to 2TB.
  • Transfer speeds up to 170 MB/s.
  • Class 10 & UHS-I.
  • Temperature Proof, Water Proof, Shock Proof, and X-ray Proof.
Lexar Professional 1066X 128GB SD UHS-I Memory Card

Lexar Professional 1066x 128GB SD Card

  • Lexar Professional Silver Card.
  • Transfer speeds up to 160 MB/s.
  • Class 10 & UHS-I.
  • Includes Lexar Recovery Tool Software.
  • Designed for durability in harsh conditions.

Check price at: Amazon, Adorama, eBay

PNY Elite Performance SDXC 128GB Memory Card

PNY Elite Performance 128GB SD Card

  • Lower priced card.
  • Transfer speeds up to 95 MB/s.
  • Class 10 & UHS-I.
  • Magnet, Shock, Temperature, and Waterproof.

Check price at: Amazon, Adorama, eBay

Sony A6500 SD Card Compatibility

SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards are compatible with the Sony A6500. Use a card to get the best overall performance from the A6500.

The most recent SDUC cards are not supported by the A6500.

There are four different specifications of SD (Secure Digital) cards. Newer card specifications increase features that allows for larger storage space as well as greatly improve transfer rates.

  • Secure Digital (SD) - 128MB to 2GB.
  • Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) - 4GB to 32GB.
  • Secure Digital eXtended Capacity (SDXC) - 64GB to 2TB.
  • Secure Digital Ultra Capacity (SDUC) - 4TB to 128TB.

SD Card Speed

The speed rating of an SD memory card is determined by the sequential write and read speeds. The write speed of a memory card is very important for clearing the camera buffer for continuous shooting as well as recording video.

A slow memory card can cause a reduction in the number of continuous photos the Sony A6500 can capture. This is because the camera's buffer is not able to write to the card quickly enough.

When recording video, a slow memory card can cause an unexpected end to recording. The video file might also end up being corrupted. If you are going to record video, it is crucial the SD card you use meets the required minimum continuous write speed for video.

Read speed is nice to have for file transfers to a computer. If you are filling up cards with images or video, an SD card with a fast read speed will decrease the amount of time it takes the transfer to finish.

Speed Class Rating

Example of where to find SD Card Speed Class
10 inside of a C showing that the SD card is Class 10.

The Sony A6500 requires no less than a Class 4 SD card.

A memory card gets a Class rating based on the continuous transfer rate of the card. Class 10 is the maximum rating, even though SD cards can be purchased that are many times faster.

Here you can see all of the Classes and applicable minimum transfer rates:

  • Class 2 - 2MB/s
  • Class 4 - 4MB/s
  • Class 6 - 6MB/s
  • Class 8 - 8MB/s
  • Class 10 - 10MB/s or faster

Nearly every card worth buying for the Sony A6500 will be a Class 10 SD memory card. In the short time since the camera was released, SD cards have gotten a good deal faster.

Ultra High Speed (UHS)

Example of an SD memory card with a UHS-I rating.
This card has a UHS-I rating. UHS-II and UHS-III cards will have II or III, respectively.

The Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus is available in SDHC, SDXC, and SDUC cards. The UHS bus cards to have faster write speeds.

There are 3 separate versions. They are UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III.

To find the UHS rating of a card, look at the front of the card. If the memory card has UHS, a Roman numeral I, II, or III will be on the front of the memory card.

  • UHS-I - Maximum transfer rate of 104 MB/s
  • UHS-II - Maximum transfer rate of 312 MB/s
  • UHS-III - Maximum transfer rate of 624 MB/s

Sony A6500 PRO Duo Card Compatibility

The Sony A6500 can use a single PRO Duo or PRO-HG Duo cards. What PRO-HG signifies is that the memory card has a minimum read speed of 50mb/s and a 15mb/s minimum write speed.

You will have to spend double to get a Sony PRO Duo memory card than an equal SD memory card. Considering the price difference, I will not recommend purchasing a Sony PRO Duo memory card for use in an A6500.

Image Capacity

Sony SD Memory Card Contacts

Below is an approximate estimation of how many large JPEG images you can expect to store on each size of SD card.

  • 32GB - 9,280 images
  • 64GB - 18,560 images
  • 128GB - 37,120 images
  • 256GB - 74,240 images
  • 512GB - 148,4800 images

Related Cameras

That covers all of the significant specifications you need to learn about SD and PRO Duo cards. The SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB is the best Sony ILCE-6500 memory card.

Here are a few more cameras that use similar memory cards as the Sony A6500:

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