DigitalCameraReview.com
Sony NEX-6 First Look
by Laura Hicks -  10/11/2012

Summary of the Camera
In September, Sony announced the addition of the NEX-6 mirrorless camera. If you think the NEX-6 is just "one more ILC camera," think again. This camera is loaded! It comes equipped with an APS-C Exmor APS HD CMOS 16-megapixel sensor, a BIONZ image processor, Hybrid AF, built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, ISO sensitivities up to 25600, and a starting price of just $750 for the body only.

The NEX-6 features a built-in XGA OLED Tru-Finder EVF. This viewfinder delivers 100% frame coverage and looks almost as good as the optical viewfinder on a DSLR. If you prefer using the 3.0-inch LCD display, it can be angled up to 90° up or down 45° for easy viewing and shooting. The NEX-6 offers a traditional mode dial on the top of the camera allowing for quick access to shooting modes like P, S, A, M, auto, and scene.  The camera also has an additional wheel on the camera back for adjustments of exposure, ISO, and other settings. The hybrid AF system combines both phase- and contrast-detect AF to deliver great results. 99 phase-detection AF points are used to detect a subject's distance and direction to quickly lock focus on it. The camera then utilizes contrast-detection AF to confirm extremely fine focus detail. In continuous shooting mode, the camera can capture the action at up to 10 frames per second.

The integrated WiFi on the NEX-6 allows for easy wireless transfer of images to an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet running Sony's free PlayMemories Mobile app.

My First Impression
The NEX-6 makes a great first impression - especially if you feel like the NEX-7 is a bit too pricey or a little heavy on the megapixel count. If you can swallow the current $900 price tag for the 16-50mm power zoom lens and body combination, you are in for a treat. The NEX-6 offers a lot of amenities attractively packaged with a more manageable 16-megapixel sensor.

 

In size and shape, the NEX-6 is nearly identical to the NEX-7, but is larger than the NEX-5R. Weighing less than the NEX-7, the NEX-6 lacks the full metal construction found in the 7. That being said, I found the NEX-6 to be a nice size and weight. It did not feel too light or wimpy. It also has a nice size grip for a camera of this bulk. The camera offers numerous physical buttons. A mode dial is located on the top of the camera and makes shooting in manual mode quick and stress-free. A dedicated movie button is located on the curved area just to the right of the thumb rest. Even more buttons are located on the back right side of the camera. These buttons control various functions including the pop-up flash, exposure compensation and image viewing. Overall, the dial, wheel and buttons are well positioned and easy to reach.

As expected, the autofocus was quick and responsive. The 16-50mm power zoom was attached to the camera during this preview. The lens was smooth and seemingly quiet. Users have the choice of utilizing the LCD screen or the electronic viewfinder to compose their images. Both options were bright and crisp. The AF peaking option is a great feature when choosing to manually focus on a subject. The NEX-6 even allows you to pick which edge highlighting color you like best: red, white or yellow.

 

As I mentioned earlier, a built-in pop-up flash is present on the camera. I don't love the look of the flash, however, this design make bouncing the flash off of the ceiling as easy as gently pulling back the thin arm support with your finger and aiming the flash upward. This is a huge bonus to those of us who fervently dislike the look of a harsh flash.

Overall, I am really impressed with this camera. Our full review of the NEX-6 will be available soon. We look forward to sharing with you all of the features this camera has to offer, plus give you the pros and cons if you are thinking about purchasing the NEX-6.