Sony released first of its mirrorless NEX cameras in 2010. Since then, several improved and new models appeared. Sony NEX-7 was amongst the first “serious” mirrorless cameras on the market but it’s price and high megapixel count were a turn-off for some users. At this year’s Photokina, Sony announced the latest member of NEX family – the NEX-6. It is positioned between NEX-5R and NEX-7, but looks and feels more like the NEX-7.
- Announced: 2012.
- Type: Mirrorless
- Dimensions: 120 x 67 x 43 mm
- Weight: 287g (with battery)
- Sensor: CMOS, 16 MP (4912 x 3264 pixels)
- ISO range: Native 100 – 25,600
- Image stabilization: No
- Dust and moisture protection: No
- Flashlight: Built-in + hot-shoe
- Continuous shooting: 10 fps
- LCD screen: 3″, 921,000 dots
- Memory card: SD or MemoryStick
- Battery: Li-Ion NP-FW50
- Video: 1920 x 1080 @ 60, 24 fps
- Connectors: USB 2.0, mini HDMI
CONSTRUCTION AND HANDLING
NEX-6 closely resembles NEX-7. Size and grip shape are practically identical. The main difference (besides sensor) is the lack of NEX-7′s tri-navi command system. NEX-6 has only two control dials, but gains shooting mode dial which is more important in my opinion.
The camera is made from quality plastic (looks exactly the same as the one used on Nikon DSLR’s), and grip is completely covered by rubber. All the buttons feel good when pressed, and I especially liked the firmness of the upper control dial. It has well defined “clicks”, but is still buttery smooth to rotate.
Just like NEX-7, the new NEX-6 has a pop-up flash which can be held with fingers and pointed upward for bounce functionality. It is not strong though – bounce will be useful only in smaller rooms with low ceiling (like any modern apartment buildings). The pop-up flash mechanism looks very sturdy. Welcomed addition is a standard hot-shoe, whereas NEX-7 had that non-standard Minolta/Sony flash connector.
Menu system hasn’t changed much from first NEX-5 and makes me want to slap the one who created it with a dead fish. It is possible to get used to it (I have after two years) but Alpha-styled menu would have been a better choice.
NEX-6 has the option to assign various functions to several external buttons, and it is possible to tailor camera functionality to personal needs to a good degree. Still, some details could have been better… Movie button can be turned off, but not reassigned to another function (a waste of good button), and options assigned to “Fn” button display just their function name/symbol; you must highlight it to see what setting is applied (image on the left). For example, Sony DSC-RX100 (whose review will follow soon) shows applied setting even if it is not highlighted. Movie button is repositioned and there is no chance to accidentally push it and start video recording.
I wish the camera had a “nipple-styled” multi-way controller for AF points change like A77; endless clicking with usual multi-way controller is to slow.
NEX-6 has the option to correct lenses flaws in 3 major areas; geometric distortion, light fall-off and chromatic aberrations. Excellent feature, especially for amateur JPEG shooters who would otherwise never took the time to post-process images afterwards.
The Wi-Fi is built-in together with the application support but I’d rather see GPS. Just a personal preference.
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