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Sony NEX-6 review
Ilse Jurriën : May 23th 2013 - 08:00 CETupdated
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SonySony NEX-6 review : Sony NEX cameras are compact, mirrorless hybrid cameras with an interchangeable lens. The Sony NEX-6 is one of those compact cameras that deliver DSLR-quality images, thanks to the large APS-C sensor with 16.1 megapixels. The OLED viewfinder and the old, trusted operation buttons are very similar to a Sony DSLR camera, only more compact. Additional functions such as the built-in Wi-Fi functionality make it possible to share photos immediately with a smartphone or tablet. Apps can also be downloaded for the Sony NEX-6. We took the camera with us together with the new 16-50mm pancake kit lens. You can read about our practical experience with this compact system camera in the following Sony NEX-6 review.

Sony NEX-6 review

Sony NEX-6 review
Within the Sony NEX assortment, the Sony NEX-6 is placed between the NEX-5R and the top model, the NEX-7. The Sony NEX-6 is a camera for advanced photographers that desire effortless operation. Just like the top model, the camera has an XGA OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder, a 99-point facial detection AF system and a tilting display. The NEX-7 does have a higher resolution (24.3 megapixels). The NEX-6, in contrast, has a greater ISO range, from 100 to 25,600, which is partially due to the fact that the NEX-7 is a year older. The handy mode button on top was also absent at the time of introduction of the NEX-7. The NEX-5R was introduced at the same time as the NEX-6, and both have a 16.1 megapixel sensor and WiFi. The NEX-5R, however, does not have an electronic viewfinder, yet this camera does have a touch screen.

Sony NEX-6 camera functions
As we are accustomed with Sony, the NEX-6 feels very solid. Despite its compact dimensions, you have a real camera in your hands. The HD OLED viewfinder that is placed in the top left corner is activated automatically when you look through the viewfinder. When you look back to the 3" screen, the same content is then shown there. In addition to the viewfinder, the new, universal hotshoe is placed with several interfaces for a flash or other accessories. The pop-up flash is placed in the middle of the top of the camera. The position of the flash is better than for example the CyberShot DSC-RX100. That one has the flash on the upper left side, which can cause some fumbling for your hand. That is not a problem in the NEX-6.

Sony NEX review

Sony NEX-6 operation
A great advantage of the NEX-6 in comparison with its bigger and smaller brother is the mode button on the top. This allows you to select the right shooting mode, next to the PSAM positions, you can also select the Auto mode, Intelligent Auto mode, Scene mode, and Panorama mode. With the settings dial underneath you can select more settings such as f-stop values, shutter release time, etc. There is a Function button directly next to the shutter release button. Additionally, there is a settings dial for the brightness and ISO sensitivity, among other things, on the back of the camera. The camera’s operation is very fast and fluid, only operating the video button is problematic. It is completely sunk in on the right side, preventing accidental video recordings. Now the button is so far sunk that when you push it, you actually automatically move the camera a little bit. It seems as if Sony has not yet found the optimal solution for this.

Sony NEX-6 WiFi camera
A clear advantage of the NEX-6 in comparison with many other system cameras is the addition of WiFi functionality. This makes it possible to connect the camera to a smartphone or a tablet in order to share photos and videos. Sony has pre-installed the PlayMemories Camera Apps on the NEX-6. With these applications, you can extend the camera’s functionality. The Photo Effect+ app offers different image effects. Photo Retouching makes it possible to edit photos, and the NR Multi-Frame app prevents noise at high ISO values. The PlayMemories Camera apps are fun additions, but they are a bit slow. Some apps can be downloaded for free, others require payment. The selection is still very limited, time will tell if Sony pays enough attention to the development of new apps.

Sony review

Sony NEX-6 image quality
The Sony NEX-6 performs well in combination with the Sony E 16-50 mm f/3.5-5.6 PZ OSS kit lens. The Fast Hybrid AF system delivers outstanding work, and the camera accurately focuses. The Sony NEX-6 is fast and reliable and shoots photos effortlessly in bad lighting situations. At high ISO values, the noise reduction works well. Up to ISO 3200 there is hardly any noise, and above that there is a lack of focus. In terms of color representation, it is natural to a bit saturated. I personally find it very beautiful, and if desired, it is easy to adjust the color saturation, contrast, and sharpness settings. There is only very limited vignetting and distortion. However, JPEG images are automatically corrected by the software. When shooting in RAW format, distortion increases. The NEX-6 can also do continuous shooting with a speed of 10fps.

Sony NEX-6 kit lens
The Sony NEX-6 is available in combination with the new 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 pancake kitlens, among others. Previously, Sony always used the 18-55mm kitlens. The flat 16-50mm lens is in our opinion a good alternative for the larger and heavier 18-55mm lens. The new kit lens has a larger wide-angle range, and therefore loses a bit of the telephoto range. The 16-50mm lens is only 3cm long and has a weight of 116g. The Powered Zoom functionality works very fluidly, in the automatic as well as the manual focus. It is ideal for video recordings, where fluid and noiseless zooming is often a problem.

NEX-6 review

Sony NEX-6 conclusion
The Sony NEX-6 is much less expensive than the one year older NEX-7, but offers most photographers much more photography pleasure. The NEX-6 offers less megapixels (smaller files), better noise performance and a handy settings dial. Additionally, the OLED viewfinder, the 99-point facial detection AF system and the tilting display of 921.000 pixels is equal in both cameras. The Sony NEX-6 is also equipped with a WiFi function, which makes it possible to share photos and download apps. The compact mirrorless hybrid camera offers outstanding image quality and is easy to operate. With the Sony NEX-6 you truly do not miss out on anything. We might only make a comment on the price, which is a bit on the high side. The camera body is currently available for a retail price of €700 EUR / $700 USD, and together with the 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens, it comes at a price of €900 EUR / $900 USD.

Sony NEX-6 review rating
• User-friendliness : 90
• Features : 90
• Image quality : 90
• Design : 90
• Price : 85
• Rating : 90 out of 100

Review Sony NEX

Sony NEX-6 review
Sony NEX-6 review
Sony NEX-6 test photos
Sony NEX-6 test videos
Sony NEX-6
Sony NEX-6 specifications
Sony NEX-6 prices

Sony NEX-6 test pictures
The following Sony NEX-6 test pictures were taken in JPEG format with a full production camera, in combination with the 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens. The pictures are taken on various locations in Turkey. The test photos are shown in a compressed size. You can download the original test pictures via the link under the images.

Sony NEX-6 photo gallery

NEX-6

Download original sample photo : Sony NEX-6

Sony

Download original sample picture : Sony NEX-6

NEX-6

Download original sample photo : Sony NEX-6

NEX

Download original sample picture : Sony NEX-6

Sony NEX

Download sample photo without zoom and with max. zoom
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