Sunday, November 11, 2012

Brief Encounter with the Sony NEX-6 - Some Impressions

I went in the Sony store today to check out the NEX-6 and the A99.  Before I start, I have a rant.  I despise how cameras were secured in the electronic/Sony stores.  There were Velcro tapes, plastic fasteners, and security sensors/wires attached to the cameras/lenses.  I tripped the theft alarm twice while trying the cameras.  Seriously, is that all necessary?

On the happier note, I really like the NEX-6.  In fact, I think I like it better than the NEX-7.  It definitely feels more upscale and better than the NEX-5N/5R.  The chunkier grip makes a more secured holding of the camera.  The materials used feels less plastic.  Here is what I like the most from the 20 minute fiddling of the NEX-6:

Built-In Viewfinder - Although it's the same viewfinder as the external one I use on the NEX-5N, I preferred the built-in one.  I can see more of the screen.  Having it built-in also means the viewfinder won't hook onto everything, and moves up/down when you want it to stay.  I think this alone will be reason enough for many to upgrade.

Mode Dial - Finally, we get a mode dial on top of the camera.  The dial feels good and has very firm clicks, which is means it won't be accidentally turned easily.  Somehow, to me, without a mode dial, it does not feel like a real camera.

The Wheel - I really don't know what Sony calls it, but this is one of the best features next to the built-in viewfinder.   This wheel sits under the mode dial, and complements the wheel at the back of the camera.  This wheel basically duplicates the function of the wheel at the back, but is positioned near your thumb so it's much more natural to use this wheel the the back wheel.  Don't laugh, but this might be the feature that pushed me over to upgrade from the NEX-5N!  Very well done, Sony!

Fn Button - Like the Q button on the later Canon DSLRs, this button brings up the most used functions.  Very handy to have.

16-50mm Kit Lens - Very compact kit lens, and from the shots I made at the store, it seems about as good or better than the 18-55mm kit lens but wider.  Just slightly thicker than the 16mm f2.8 pancake lens, it extends when zoomed.  I have never been a big fan of zoom by wire (electronic zoom) and this lens has it.  You can zoom by the zoom button, or using the ring.  Definitely a good lens to have if you do a lot of video, as the it zooms pretty smoothly.

Over all, I like this camera a lot.  It will be torturous for me to decide between the OM-D EM-5 and the NEX-6.  I am more tilted to the NEX-6, for two reasons.  Larger sensor and cheaper, but the EM-5 has built-in body stabilization, which I really want.  We will see by Christmas and see what the price is like for both cameras.

Fancy Bike Bell - NEX-5N & Taylor-Hobson 75mm f2 TV Lens. Click for larger.


  1. I replaced my N with a 6 and like it quite well. Since I use solely MF lenses (I still find NEX AF to lame to use, even with the improved version), I'd love to use the secondary wheel (the one under the mode dial) to change shutter speed, rather than the thumb wheel (by default the secondary wheel changes exposure in Manual mode, not needed since I do it on the lens' aperture ring). I don't know if it's possible to switch their functions. Do you ?
    Otherwise your observations match mine, it's an excellent camera. I'm enjoying mine very much.

    1. Since I only spent 20 minutes on the NEX-6, and I didn't go into details on the configuration of the wheels. It would be pretty stupid if you the two wheels don't work together/configurable. I certainly hope that they will be.