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on November 10, 2012
In 1973 I bought a Rollei 35 - a 35mm camera with a collapsible 40 mm f/3.5 lens. It cost $200, equal to about $1,000 today. It was fully manual - no auto- anything. There was an optical viewfinder but no rangefinder. It took great pictures and fit in a coat pocket. Now we have the Sony NEX-6, only marginally larger than the Rollei, effectively for the same price when you adjust for inflation.

Even though I have a Canon 5D Mark II, a wonderful DSLR, its size and weight are a big deterrent to taking it with me routinely. So I wanted a camera designed in the spirit of the Rollei 35 - to fit in a coat pocket, have a sensor big enough to make 11 x 14 enlargements, have a zoom lens with a 24mm field of view, and a have a built-in viewfinder, not an add-on, and not just an LCD. Until now (11/2012) the options were the Sony NEX-7, upcoming Fuji X-E1 and the larger Olympus OM-D, all at $1300 or more.

I have now taken about 500 shots and the NEX-6 is close to perfect for my purposes - a digital reincarnation of the Rollei 35. But it won't be right for everyone.

The heart of the NEX-6 is an APS-C size sensor, the size in the vast majority of DSLRs. It's 1.5 times the size of a the "4/3rds" sensor found in similar Olympus and Panasonic cameras and 3 times the size of the sensor in Nikon 1 cameras. As a result, the image quality is excellent up to ISO 1600 and not bad up to ISO 6400. A new Sony kit lens gives a field of view equal to 24-75mm on a 35mm camera. The lens focuses quickly and collapses to a small size, so the camera fits in a coat pocket or the corner of a backpack. There are some complaints on Internet forums about the lens vignetting and about distortion at the wide end. The camera corrects distortion in JPEGs by itself (unless you turn that feature off). Although the raw images are not corrected, they're easily correctable in Photoshop etc. Adobe and Aperture both have offered the usual downloadable updates to interpret NEX-6 raw files, so if you prefer to edit raw files you can make distortion corrections with standard software tools.

All shooting parameters are readily adjustable. There's a standard "PASM" dial for selecting the shooting mode. The initial setup menu is complicated and not entirely logical but you can configure the controls very flexibly. Most notably, you can program the Fn button to call up the six parameters you change most frequently - ISO, drive mode, metering mode... There are 16 parameters to choose from. The LCD can display a full set of shooting parameters and you can adjust each one with the control dial on the back, so you after initial setup don't have to go into the menu to change settings.

The viewfinder is electronic, not optical as with a DSLR. It's like a little LCD with 2.1 million dots. It's sharp and very responsive, but not as good as an optical viewfinder in low light. (To get the full value of the viewfinder, be sure to adjust the diopter wheel to suit your eye.) The LCD screen folds up or down so you can hold the camera at your waist or above your head. The LCD is not touch-sensitive. Oddly, Sony's NEX-5N and the new NEX-5R cameras have that feature, A touch-sensitive LCD would be helpful for entering WiFi passwords and selecting menu options, but if you buy the Sony NEX-5R, you give up the NEX-6's PASM control dial and other control features as well as the excellent built-in viewfinder (though you can buy a clip-on accessory EVF).

You charge the battery via a USB cable, not a charger that plugs into the wall, which means you can charge it from a computer or in many cars, but there's no way to charge a spare battery. (There are inexpensive aftermarket charges on Amazon & elsewhere; it's probably best to buy a "genuine" Sony if you want a spare battery.) Battery life is just fair. The camera tries to autofocus continuously, which eats battery life. Supposedly Sony is going to fix that with a firmware update. The camera also has WiFi, which reduces battery life. WiFi lets you control the camera remotely with a smart phone and upload photos. Using it is non-intuitive and badly integrated with the rest of the menu system. Sony's instructions for WiFi setup are useless. Error messages appear to be literal translations from Japanese, like reading something from a 1960 made-in-Japan radio. The LCD does not have a touch screen, so entering WiFi SSIDs and passwords is done using a QWERTY soft keyboard that is a bit clumsy to navigate. Worse, your Sony password for downloading apps is entered using a soft version of a phone keypad, even though the QWERTY keyboard is available for entering WiFi access point info. Although WiFi setup is very clumsy, once it's done it does open up some interesting options. Example: with the remote control app you can see the image from the camera on you phone or tablet and use it for precise focusing, and trip the shutter, of course. But you can't adjust aperture or shutter speed, at least in the current version of the app. (Edit added 3/15/2013: There are aftermarket products that let you use an iPad/iPhone to do that.)

The positives - especially the excellent image quality and the ease of setting a wide range of shooting parameters -- greatly outweigh the negatives. If you already have a small DSLR like a Canon Rebel or Nikon 3200 or similar, the size advantage from an NEX-6 is marginal. But if you have a "pro-sumer" or full-frame DSLR and you want a highly capable camera you can easily take almost everywhere, the NEX-6 is a worthwhile choice, If you don't have a DSLR and you're think about getting one, the NEX-6 is a good alternative - a DSLR near-equivalent you can put in a coat pocket.
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on June 7, 2013
Before I begin, let it be known that I come from the DSLR world, I'm what most people would consider a "pro-consumer" or serious enthusiast, I've owned many pro-grade cameras, my last one was the Canon 5Dmk3, which cleaned out my bank account along with some L lenses, I love the 5Dmk3, and I know that no cropped-frame camera can (yet) come close to it, so I'm not here to compare the NEX-6 to a pro-grade body. Why the NEX-6? or any mirror-less compact {powerful} camera?: After having a baby last year I could not carry my 5D/lenses around with a diaper bag, formula, bottle warmer, stroller, and all the crap my wife makes me carry. So I went to the mirror-less line a little over a ago when the NEX-7 came out, I've had the NEX7 for about a year now, but I've never been fully satisfied with it, it is great, but not all that great. I sold it a week ago after listing it on Amazon (I didn't think it would sell so fast!) And so with the earnings/lost money from the NEX7, I wanted to try this NEX-6, the new features of it and see if the NEX line is still for me, or if I should jump ship, sell the rest of my NEX lenses and go micro 4/3 (MFT) with the Olympus OM-D EM5 (which is the camera that most people consider NEX-6's top competitor). So here we go...

I've had the NEX-6 for about 10 days now and I've been testing the OM-D for about 4 days now, so I feel pretty confident and ready to give my review:

What I really like about the NEX-6:

+ Great ISO (low light) performance. Better than the NEX7, and slightly better than the OM-D (this is due to a larger APS-C sensor than OM-D's Micro 4/3, and compared to the NEX-7, the NEX-6 has a lower MP count on this sensor, the NEX7 has more resolution, but images have considerably more noise at 1600 ISO and above). I still hold some reservations against the way Sony implemented Auto-ISO (more on that on the CONs section of this review) but overall the NEX-6 is pleasant for low light shots (without a flash) of the baby sleeping. Low light performance is HUGE for me, it is a MUST to take good pictures indoors and of my (now very-mobile) baby around the house as she recently learned to walk.

+ Kit lens (16-50mm electronic zoom) is more compact that the original NEX7 kit lens, and it behaves well, easy to use, IQ is great, just as good, if not better than the old 18-55 kit lens, though note that the NEX-6 body does have some magic to correct the distortion and other imperfections that the lens produces if you were to use it on an older NEX model.

+ WiFi (between camera and phone): Some people report this to be problematic and hard to use. I did not think so, I think it's fairly easy to use and great! (that is WiFi between the camera and a phone/tablet, setting up WiFi settings without a touchscreen is another story, more on that later) I was able to link up with my iPhone and send pictures from the camera to my phone quickly, very cool when you want to show off how cute your baby is on-the-spot and quickly post the picture to a social network, or just have it available on your phone... NICE!

+ built-in flash, I was used to this from having the NEX7, same exact operation, the cool thing about this built flash (different from most other mirror-less) is that you can move it as you take the shot and bounce the light off the ceiling for a more natural look, (the OM-D does NOT have this capability and you have to attach the flash, which is worthless) great for quick portraits or fill-light, this flash is one of the best things about this camera!

+ Overall Image Quality: This really should be the number one concern, and it is! in good light and even low light, this camera can produce some amazing shots, it focuses quickly (in good lighting conditions, more on that later), and pictures are sharp most of the time.

+ The EVF: Some people love it, some hate it, I think it is awesome! I use it a lot to review pictures and zoom into the images to do a little pixel peeping to see if I got the focus right where I wanted it. Same as the NEX-7. Good implementation in my opinion

+ Creative options: I like that (like the NEX-7) this camera has a lot of creative options like HDR, retro-look, single-out colors, rich tone B/W and others which are fun for casual pics without the need to play around in post-processing. I know that "Pro's" do not care for them, but I think these are fun to try different styles and seeing what they look like before you transfer the pics from your SD card.

What I wish Sony would have done better (what I do NOT like):

-BIG ONE: At nearly $900, this small camera should have had at least SOME type of weather sealing, it is NOT weather sealed at all! so if you are constantly traveling, going to the beach, rainy season in Florida, your house is dusty (like mine), or your kids spit apple juice at you as you're taking a picture then you WILL have some issues. I took the camera to the beach and I had to really watch it to make sure it did not end up on the sand or wet. At the end of the day the ON/OFF switch seemed "stuck", oh crap! It obviously got sand or a small grain in the ridge of the switch. Also, the electronic-zoom kit lens looks like it got some dust (which can end up inside the lens or on the sensor) due to its mechanical operation as you turn the camera ON and OFF. No weather sealing is a big buzz-kill for me

-Auto-Focus in low light: I earlier spoke about how good AF is in good lighting, in low light is really not all that great. I thought it would be a huge improvement on this camera due to the new hybrid system that it sports, but I was less than impressed with its capabilities. I know how to use a camera so please do not give me an "expert" comment about me not knowing how to properly use the settings for AF. The AF in low-light WORKS, but was not impressive. In reality the new AF system that Sony raves about so much is really not much of an improvement compared to what older NEX models have.

-Auto-ISO settings are wacked-out!: I really dislike what Sony has done (and has been doing) on the NEX system when it comes to Auto ISO; first: Auto ISO goes up to 3200 indoors without the need to go so high, second; you CANNOT change the ISO limits for auto ISO, so you are stuck having to use 3200 ISO when it could actually be lower, giving you unnecessary picture noise; third there is no auto-ISO in "M" Mode.. why Sony? Auto-ISO is like AF, why would anyone have to constantly change the ISO to get the picture right? the camera should do that for you! this results in missed shots having to set up the ISO correctly, or bad photos with noise.

-Apps /App store: WTF Sony? I already paid $900 for a camera, and now you want me to pay more for "apps" that are features that the new camera should have come with? Really? you guys are going iPhone style? SOME apps are free, but you have to create a Sony account on your PC. Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention that typing network settings without a touch screen is a pain in the...., which leads to my next point:

-No touch-screen: Touch-screen would have been helpful for spot focus using the new AF system, which I find a big loss! But what is really annoying is having to use the track-wheel to type letter-by-letter network settings to use WiFi, login to their app store, or do anything that requires a keyboard on the screen. If Sony wants people to use the camera to generate more revenue for them via Apps, then the least they could have done was giving their consumers the capability to quickly type on the screen.

-No Image Stabilization on the body, only on the lens: This is not a major issue unless you have really shaky hands, Canon and Nikon do the same, their lenses use stabilization (IS for Canon, VC for Nikon) and the bodies do not have stabilization. Seems to work well with those systems, but NOT on the NEX. And the NEX lenses that do have Optical Stabilization do not really show it. The 16-50mm kit lens' optical stabilization is crap! crap! crap! crap! compared to the Canon's IS lenses, this lens has ZERO protection against camera shake. I honestly think it is just a gimmick from Sony to make the lens sell for more, because anything shot under 1/60 shutter speed is prone to camera shake. I have fairly steady hands when I shoot, but I always found that Canon's IS made my shots sharper while using IS and a slower shutter speed. Not the case with NEX's (supposedly) Optically Stabilized lenses. Other Sony Alpha bodies have stabilization, why not put it on the NEX-6?

-USB charging instead of a battery wall plug... Why Sony? The NEX7 came with a small sized plug-fold-out wall plug unit to recharge your battery, that way you can even buy an extra one and leave it charging at the hotel while you are out shooting, but the NEX-6 only comes with a USB cable to charge the battery while is on the camera... So I cannot use the camera until it is charged? let me at least buy an extra battery and is will charge it on my own, but NO, I have to go buy an extra battery AND a charger! Thanks Sony, NOT!

The NEX6 has some really good things, but after testing the Olympus OM-D EM5 and doing side-by-side comparison of the picture quality, I just cannot justify keeping the NEX6. I will not go into details about the OM-D on this review, since it is an NEX6 review, and let it be known that the Olympus it is not a perfect camera either (what camera is?), and there are things about the NEX6 that blow away the OM-D, like its ergonomics, the built-in flash, and the EVF. The quickest way to compare the two (from my perspective) is by telling you that the NEX-6 is more for those looking to simplify from their DSLR, or move up from a point-and-shoot to obtain a powerful-featured, large-sensor small camera, and the OM-D EM5 is more of a mini-DSLR, which does have a smaller sensor than the NEX-6, but completely outperforms it, while giving the user much more control over the camera settings.

I know that people (including me) read these reviews as part of their research before they spend their hard-earned money on these gadgets. I usually either recommend a product or not. This time I am being very critical of the NEX6, but I am not knocking it down, so I cannot recommend it or not recommend it, what I can say is that IT IS one of the top 2 or 3 cameras (right now) in the mirror-less arena. But personally, I will return the one I got because it is a camera that I really wanted to like, has tremendous potential, but Sony did a half-ass job in bringing it to life. Perhaps they did it on-purpose to keep the NEX-7 as the flagship camera, but in reality, this NEX-6 should have been Sony's top-dog for the NEX line. I DO think it is a good camera, has great value (the OM-D is much more expensive), and it is a great step-up for anyone shooting with a point-and-shoot or with their phone, while it is also too much of a step-down for those giving up their DSLR. Hope this helps your decision!

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on November 6, 2012
Bottom line, the NEX 6 is a well designed camera that's easy to use and takes good quality photos. The finish and balance of the camera are excellent and - for the most part - it's a joy to use.

This is Sony's 8th NEX camera in just over two years. You can't say that they aren't serious about the camera line. The NEX 6 is an enthusiast's camera. It's for photographers who are looking for more manual controls than are available in the NEX 3 or 5 models. It has a similar 16 MP sensor to the others and the same very good image quality. You aren't gaining better picture quality in getting the 6 vs one of the NEX 3 or 5 models. So if you are moving up from a phone camera or a point and shoot, you might find one of the other models closer to what you are used to than the NEX 6.

On the other hand, if you are looking at the NEX 6 as second camera, or even as a replacement for a bigger one, the 6 is much more portable than a DSLR the extra dials and buttons on the NEX 6 will speed up camera mode and exposure changes. So, on to the specifics

The first yes is the inclusion of an electronic viewfinder (EVF), similar to the one in the NEX 7. That's a great inclusion and makes the 6 more versatile. It's seems similar to the NEX 7 EVF and the same pixel dimension. The EVF is sharp and clear. It works well on this size camera.

The second yes is the addition of a flash shoe, a real one that accepts all sorts of manual flashes. It's a change from the old reversed Minolta/Sony flash shoe, so if you have old Sony flashes you will need an adaptor. The newest Sony flashes are built the new flash shoe. The camera also has a built in flash, instead of the screw on model on my old NEX 5n. Flash sync is a slow 1/160, which a bit disappointing but at least the camera will now support more flashes and off camera flash.

The third and fourth yeses encompass the inclusion of a mode dial and a camera top control dial. These aren't the same as the NEX 7 dials but will be immediately familiar to experienced camera users. The control dial and the mode dial are stacked on the same spindle. I wasn't sure how that would work, but in practice, just fine. The only thing I would have like to have added is the ability to use the back panel control dial for more functions, like exposure compensation in A or S modes. That's not currently possible and can't be customized. This may change with a firmware update. My fingers are crossed. Sony still includes the some very helpful camera modes like sweep panorama and hand held twilight, along with a bunch of others. The inclusion of a mode dial makes accessing these faster and easiser.

The fifth yes is the new position for the movie button. The button on my NEX 5n is where I often push it accidentally. In fact, I seldom spent more than a half hour shooting without accidentally starting a movie. The button on the NEX 7 is even easier to mistakenly activate. The problem on the 7 is so bad that Sony made a software update to deactivate the movie button entirely. On the 6, Sony has simply moved the button to a location where your right thumb won't rest naturally on it. The movie button is a little awkward to use now, but not too much so.

The meh, is the new lens. Oh, it's an improvement over the old kit lens, mostly. The size is perfect for a NEX camera. The lens looks great and when it's closed nobody will remark that you look like you have a lens with a little bit of camera behind it. Build quality is good. Finish is good, However, this is not the high optical quality kit lens for the NEX 7 that many of us have wanted. It's decently sharp for a kit lens, but it's still a kit lens and it has a kit lens' slow aperture.

Sony still includes the some very helpful modes like sweep panorama and hand held twilight, along with a bunch of others. The inclusion of a mode dial makes accessing these faster and easiser.

On the down side focus is a bit slower than with the old kit lens. Sony has done some sort of magic with the NEX 6 sensor that's supposed to make it focus more quickly. That may be so, but it's not my experience. When I place the NEX 6 and the NEX 5n side by side in tripods and activated the shutter button, the camera with the old kit lens generally reached focus more quickly than the one with the new lens. This isn't a scientific test with instruments, but the new lens didn't wow me with it's focus speed. My other problem with the new lens is that it has a zoom motor instead of direct gearing for zoom. I guess that this is a requirement of the collapsing lens and it's compactness. The lens doesn't have the tactile feedback of a non-motorized lens. It's also a bit slower to zoom. On the plus side, zooming is smoother during movie shooting. Also the new lens seems to provide a bit more shake control than the old kit lens while shooting movies. For stills, they are both good.

The huh is for Sony eliminating the touch screen on the NEX 6. Sony seems to think that more serious photographers won't want a touch screen. I do. Still, I can somewhat see their point. What's brain dead, though, is adding apps to the camera that you can't interact with on the screen. Duh. It's like stepping back from using a new iPhone and having to navigate through an old fashioned dumb phone. Yes, you have to use buttons and the back control wheel to get around in the app interfaces. Talk about user unfriendly. Still, I got a camera, not a micro tablet. I can see some real potential in camera apps, especially with built in Wi-Fi that allows you to control your camera from your phone or tablet. They just won't be as easy to use with the NEX 6.

The NEX 6 is an excellent camera, though it costs more than some DSLRs. My biggest problem with recommending it is the limited line of NEX lenses. Sony hasn't gotten the idea that cameras are no better than their lenses. There are about as many Sony NEX camera models as Sony lenses for them. That's the main reason, other than price, why I'm only giving 4 stars. On the other hand, third party lens makers are now making NEX lenses and Zeiss has promised some autofocus NEX lenses in '13. There's also the fact that Sony's focus peaking makes manual focusing very easy and adaptors allow you to put almost any kind of APS or full frame lens on a NEX camera. So this is a good camera that faces good competition. I like it because it feel right in my hands, takes great photos and is small and light.
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on November 26, 2012
First off I want to preface this by saying that I'm an amateur photographer who's looking to get better but understands what a good picture looks like. But at the end of the day I get more satisfaction in capturing a good moment, an image that I can look at later and remember that moment and not worry about having CA or higher levels of noise, or even if the image is slightly under/over exposed. I'm not a pixel peeper and could honestly care less if there's a little noise when there's a 100% crop. I don't go around looking at my images at 100% crop often, do you? So if you're looking for a review that you can relate to on my level, then read on.

I remember reading somewhere where a camera is only as good as the one you have with you. Like most men do it seems, when I got an itch to buy a camera, my journey started. When it's something that we don't really care about like clothes, we just buy the color and size we want. But if something that interests us, the whole doctorate research project starts. I had experience with a dSLR in the past so naturally I looked there. After many weeks of reading countless forums, reviews, rumor sites, etc I had decided on the Nikon D600. Was it overkill for my needs? Of course but I naturally needed the biggest, most shiny new toy and if it was expensive, so be it and I rationalized my purchase. I ended up receiving a camera that was a returned item and not new like I thought it was. I had the chance to go more reasonble this time but I even went a step farther and added another couple of bucks and went for the Canon 5D MarkIII. Don't get me wrong it was a fantastic camera and I really enjoyed it. But I am a professional photographer who makes his living off taking pictures? No, and I started having a hard time justifying having a close to $4,000 camera that I would shoot on the weekends and maybe a handful more times a month. So back to square one.

It was at this time that I received the most exciting news of my life. We were expecting our first child. So even more so I felt the need to act financially responsible. And the thought of having to juggle a heavy dSLR body, a zoom lens, a few prime lenses, etc with a baby and all the gear that a baby comes with made be worry. So it was almost by accident that I re-stumbled upon the whole mirrorless setup. I had remembered seeing them in a magazine once but I put them off as just another gimmick or a larger P&S. I was actually at the store going to hold a few more dSLRs and trying to decide which one to try next. Again like I seem to always do, I walked right over to the most expensive mirrorless camera there (NEX-7) and convinced myself and my wife that this was it, I was going to get the NEX-7. I played with it at the store, asked questions, took some shots, messed around with it for another 30 minutes or so and left convinced that I was set. I thought to myself 'This is my next camera'. I thought that I could shoot huge 24mp files, crop out what I didn't need. That the Tri-Navi setup was essential to my future success of taking good pictures. Funny thing though I got home, read some more posts, reviews, etc, and while all the reviews were generally positive, there were some other things that came up. First came the posts saying that maybe the 24mp sensor was overkill or not as sharp. That the dials shifted too easily. That it had focusing issues and was not good in low light. That it was a hassle to change modes. So for all the complaints that appeared it seemed like Sony listened to all of these 'issues', correct them, and put out the NEX-6.

So onto my thoughts of the NEX-6.

What I like
- Nice solid feel, really good grip. I had looked at the Canon EOS-M and the absence of a quality grip was a huge turnoff. Nevermind the fact that it just looks like a P&S.
- Love the mode dial. Doesn't have a lock but doesn't need one. You have to apply just the right amount of force to turn it.
- Love the dial underneath, makes changing aperture in A mode easy.
- Really love the EVF. Is it grainy at times? Sure, but I really like seeing how my image is going to turn out ahead of time with the changes in exposure prior to hitting the shutter.
- Really love that the Fn button actually only needs one press to bring up the 6 sub-menus that you assign. I noticed with the NEX-7 you have to repeatedly press the Fn button to scroll through your customized sub-menus.
- Very well thought out built-in flash. It allows you to manually bounce the flash. I found it perfectly acceptable for indoor use. Instead of a harsh flash hitting the subject and getting the dreaded P&S type image, you can pull back the flash with your index finger, press the shutter with your middle finger, and get a really nice image.
- Smaller file size works out well. Again going back to my buying overkill I bought a 32GB SD card. I can store over 1,300 RAW+JPEGs on it.
- Pancake zoom performs better than I thought. You read many complaints about shooting at the widest. I haven't noticed it, but if I do start to notice it I'll just shoot at 18 instead of 16 and take two steps back.
- Built-in wifi and apps. I don't think I'll be using too many of the apps (outside of the picture style), but good to know that it's there.

What I don't like
- First I don't like that the pancake zoom lens uses a 40.5mm filter. Why? Because on the 2nd day of shooting I lost the cap while shooting in the park. Silly me I thought I'll just buy a replacement one. But since it appears that Sony isn't releasing this lens by itself until January there are no OEM caps available now. So I had a choice of getting a Nikon cap to put on my Sony lens or get a generic $0.95 one, guess which way I went?
- The inability to apply all settings to all modes. Auto ISO doesn't work in M mode. That's fine. Picture styles will only apply to JPEG's, that's fine. But I don't like having to change from RAW+JPEG to just JPEG mode if I want to apply a picture style. I would've liked being able to stay in RAW+JPEG mode and only have the effect applied to the JPEG file while being able to capture the RAW file.
- Shutter button is grey.

Wow, if the 3rd thing that I don't like is that the shutter is grey, what does that tell you about how little that I have to nitpick about the camera? Could the camera be better with a longer lasting battery? Sure why not, but it's not just Sony that has a shorter life on the battery. Every manufacturer seems to have a 200-400 shot duration on a single battery. Which makes me wonder with all the advancements in technology, why not have a camera/cell phone battery that lasts for more than a day between charges? All the reviews that I've read seem to agree with me. Everything is mostly positive, I read one reviewer that listed the cons as not having a touchscreen and not having a fully 180 degree articulating screen. Yes, but we knew going in that the camera didn't have these features. So the con isn't performance related but spec related. But that's like saying this Honda Accord doesn't have a 400hp engine so it's a con and you're disappointed that it doesn't. But you knew before you bought the car what the specsheet said it had and didn't have. So there wasn't a con about the lack of speed in the autofocus (EOS-M). Another complaint is the lack of lenses in the NEX lineup right now. Even if you don't want to buy adapters and get older MF lenses, the ones that are out right now are pretty solid. You have a 10-18 wide angle zoom, a 16 f/2.8, a standard 50mm, you have a great Zeiss lens, you have a pancake zoom, and you have the upcoming 35 f/1.8, a 55-210 zoom, and a all-in-one 18-200. The only glaring hole is a 85 or so prime. And you have Zeiss committing to at least 3 new lenses next year, and Sony with a solid roadmap of upcoming lenses. I actually like that there aren't 100's of lenses out there, it makes me buying one at a time easier on my wallet.

After shooting with the camera for the better part of a week I'll be honest and I had a little bit of buyer's remorse. I thought to myself 'Why didn't I pay the extra few hundred for the NEX-7?' So I just came back from the store where I held the NEX-7, shot with it, etc, and did all the things that I did a few weeks ago. But for some reason it didn't feel the same. I didn't have the same sense of 'Wow this is my next camera'. I liked having all the submenus come up when I pressed the Fn once and not have to repeatedly press it. I liked having the mode dials that stuck in place instead of having the dials that may move freely on it's own. And I liked having a movie record button that was a little less easy to tap and being able to use it when I wanted to and not having to fully disable it like the new firmware addressed. And I liked having the new kid on the block rather than a camera that's been out a year and seems destined to be replaced in the next 6 months or so. The mirrorless camera segment seems to be moving much quicker than the dSLR market. Whereas it seems like some dSLRs have been out for years with no replacement announced (Canon 7D since 2009, Nikon D7000 since 2010), it seems like the cycle on the mirrorless segment is every year to play catchup with the big brother on the block. So will I look at the NEX-7n or whatever it's called when it's realized? Of course. Will I contemplate getting it or not getting it over and over again and drive my wife crazy asking for her opinion? You bet. But at least now I can sleep easy knowing that for my needs RIGHT NOW that I have the best camera for me. I enjoy not having to think about framing each individual shot like I'm trying to create a masterpiece. I enjoy knowing that I can go out there with a camera that's easy to carry around and I can take 20 shots, 50 shots, or even 200 and I have confidence that I'll have some quality images in there. Because at the end of the day, a camera is only as good as the one you have with you.
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on January 3, 2013
This review covers my experience over the last month with the Sony NEX-6 and kit 16-50mm lens. I have taken approximately 750 exposures with the camera, but only an hour or so of video.

Quick Look:
16MP APS-C sensor with 1.5x crop factor provides terrific image quality. Very short shutter lag, up to 10FPS. 16-50mm (24-75mm equiv.) kit lens is quite good considering its very small size. Small body + lens, fits in jacket pocket. Clear, responsive electronic viewfinder. Articulated, bright LCD. Accepts standard SD/SDHC/SDXC memory or Sony Memory Sticks. Exposures are spot on. On camera flash is mounted high for red eye control and can be used as a bounce flash. Has a hot shoe to attach external flash. Fully automatic with many manual controls. More modes, from auto to manual, than anyone really needs. JPEG and RAW file support, RAW converter software included.
Minuses: Short battery life. Battery charges in camera, external charger optional. New hot shoe still not ISO standard,with few accessories available. Lens is not fast and not super sharp (but tiny - it's that pesky physics thing)
Overall: A great second camera for a DSLR owner, or as a step up from a compact. It does not disappoint.

I have been an amateur photographer for about 30 years. For the last few years I have been looking for a lighter carry-around camera for those times that I don't want to, or can't, carry the DSLR. I have tried compacts like the Canon S100/110, the Canon G series cameras, the Panasonic GX-1, and too many others to mention. All got used for a couple of days and returned because they were fatally flawed for one reason or another. Bad exposure, no flash, no viewfinder, poor stabilization, slow focus, poor in-camera jpeg processing, etc. But with the Nex-6 I think I have found my camera. Overall, it performs nearly as well as my Canon 7D DSLR. Please note this review considers only the camera and the kit 16-50mm lens; I have not yet purchased other E mount lenses for the camera, though I expect to and may update this review at that time.

The package includes the camera, a robust strap, a lens cap, USB charge/data cable, AC power supply, NP-50 battery, CD with RAW processor and manual, and a printed quick start guide.

Body. Memory, Power
The camera is surprisingly small considering it contains an 16MP APS-C sensor, the same size as in many DSLRs. It fits well in the hand, and is just heavy enough to be stable in use. It has a very usable electronic viewfinder. In the past I found these to be blurry, slow, and hard to use, and they were a big reason I had not purchased a mirrorless system camera. But this one is a very usable replacement for an optical viewfinder and provides clarity and immediacy that, while not up to optical viewfinder standards, is certainly good enough. And an upside is that you can see the shot in the viewfinder after exposure, something you can't do with a DSLR. I always use the viewfinder as it allows me to hold the camera up to my eye, which is a much more stable position than holding it out in front and looking at the LCD. Of course you can use it that way, too. The viewfinder is also very visible in very bright sun while the LCD, like most others, struggles in direct sun though it performs very well otherwise. The LCD is articulated so you can fold it out and still see it with the camera high above your head or near the ground. This allows you to get shots that others miss. It is bright, colors are good, and its response rate is fast. It has a threaded tripod mount, but like many small cameras it is not in line with the lens axis - it's off to the side - so taking panoramas with a tripod is more complicated. The NEX-6 has built-in Wifi for moving photos to Facebook, etc. I did not use the Wifi features so I can't comment on how effective it is. Power is provided by a NP-50 battery and this is a minor downside - battery life is relatively short, so buy an extra if you plan to do a day of shooting. Another minor nit is that Sony does not include an external charger, so the battery must be charged in-camera which means that you can't use the camera while the second battery is charging. Sony sells an external charger, but it is very slow (8.2V @ 280 mA, ~4 hours). I purchased the cheaper Pearstone NP-FW50 (about $20, AC or 12V DC power, 8.2V @ 500 mA) which charges the battery about twice as fast. The camera takes standard SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards, and it also accepts Sony Memory Stick cards.

The controls are easy to get to, and while the camera lacks the touch screen of the NEX-7 I do not view this as any sort of deficit. Most controls you use on a regular basis are physical knobs or buttons, or are easily accessed via the Function menu and its 5 way controller. The camera has two multi-purpose dials, one on the back of the camera which also serves as a 5-way control switch, and one under the mode switch on the top of the camera. These allow simultaneous access to, for example, Aperture and Shutter settings in manual mode. The flash, ISO, and exposure adjustment controls are all easily accessible, and there is a dedicated button to start and stop video regardless of whatever other mode you happen to be in. There are also two "soft" buttons next to the LCD whose function changes, with the current function displayed on the LCD next to each button. The on-off switch is under the shutter release, and the camera powers up quickly.

The built in flash is rated ~GN20 (feet, ISO100). Its power is more typical of a DSLR pop-up flash than a compact one. It performs in excess of what you might expect, in part due to the camera's good low light performance. It is articulated and spring loaded so it pops up when you press the flash release button on the back of the camera, and when you are done you push it down and it locks in place. This mechanism looks robust and reliable, and it positions the flash center well above the center of the lens which prevents red-eye at typical portrait distances. Also, since it is spring loaded you can pull it back and use it as a bounce flash at any angle from horizontal to well beyond horizontal (pointing at the ceiling). If you have a neutral ceiling to bounce off of, bounce flash provides evenly lit, well balanced exposures without that deer-in-the-headlights look. This is possibly the feature that most separates this camera from its rivals, since it is difficult-to-impossible to get quality images from most built in flashes. The camera also has a hot shoe for mounting an external flash. It is a new ISO-sized (but not standard) hot shoe called a "multi-interface shoe". It is supposed to replace the zoo of non-standard and confusing flash, light, and microphone mounts Sony has used on its cameras and camcorders in the past. It has a row of pins under the front of the shoe that will eventually allow the connection of on-camera microphones, on-camera lights, flashes, and other accessories via this hot shoe. So far the only accessories that are compatible with the new shoe is a $550 combo flash/video light and an $800 dual XLR microphone adapter that are both designed for the new Alpha a99 DSLR but will work with this camera. Sony does offer a hot shoe adapter, part ADP-MAA ($25), which allows you to mount any Sony Alpha-compabile flash designed for the auto lock shoe used on its DSLR cameras. However, unless you need to throw light more than 3-5m, the on-camera flash is adequate.

Too many to list. Seriously. It has face detect, panorama, portrait, sports, auto HDR, you name it. The smart auto mode does everything for you, and does it pretty well. It also has the creative modes more typical of a DSLR - PASM (Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual). Whether you want automation or control, it's available. The camera is usable for capturing moving items as well, something that compacts can't do. It will fire at 3FPS for 10-15 frames depending on settings. It also has a "Speed Priority" mode that locks exposure and focus, which can take 10 frames per second.

Focus and Stabilization
With the kit lens, the camera focuses insanely fast for a non-DSLR, and it even performs well in low light. I have not yet had it hunt for focus in normal room light. As far as I can tell, the lens focuses where it is supposed to, though the slowness of the lens allows a lot of wiggle room for the focus point. The stabilizer also works well. I have successfully taken acceptably sharp handheld shots in normal room light at shutter speeds as low as 1/8 with the lens set around 25mm (40mm equiv). I am not a particular stable handheld photographer, so this represents about 2-1/2 stops slower than what i can do without the stabilizer. Of course, your determination of "acceptably sharp" may vary from mine, as will your stability.

Kit Lens
Though the 16-50mm (24-75 equiv) 3.5-5.6 kit pancake lens is not critically sharp nor particularly fast, it is surprising how good it is given its size. Its pocketability makes these issues a reasonable tradeoff, I think. It far exceeds the sharpness of the Panasonic G X VARIO PZ 14-42 lens I previously tried on a Panasonic GX1. And the size of this lens means the camera fits in a jacket pocket or a small belt pack, something that can't be done with any DSLR or even most other mirrorless cameras with similar focal length zoom lenses. This lens does suffer from fairly severe vignetting, but this is entirely and satisfactorily corrected in-camera for jpegs, and also by Sony's (and Adobe's) RAW processors. And the zoom range, 24-75mm equiv., is just about perfect for the work that I do, much of it indoors in cramped spaces. One downside of the Sony system is that there are few E mount lenses available, and fewer good ones. 4/3 system camera owners have a far better choice of lenses. I am hoping this will change over time, as the NEX line fills out.

Image Quality
Overall, image quality is extremely good, with results that can easily be printed to Super-B (13"x19"). The jpeg engine does a good job with exposure, color correction, and removing many of the lens artifacts such as vignetting. RAW files are also great, and as with all cameras I am able to get better results from the RAW files. Unfortunately, if you are an Adobe user you will need Lightroom 4 or Photoshop CS6 to be able to manage these RAW files - the versions of Camera Raw that work with CS5 and Lightroom 3 (and earlier) won't support this camera. Low light performance is extremely good. Jpegs up to ISO 800 look great direct out of camera, and even ISO1600 jpegs are usable, depending on what "usable" means to you. If you process the images RAW, you can get very usable images to ISO3200, or even ISO6400 for smaller non-critical images (think Facebook).

I have not taken a lot of video with this camera, so take this with a grain of salt. Image quality is about what you would expect with this lens, which is to say it's OK but not much better than a midrange consumer camcorder. Both autofocus and power zoom work while recording video, and while the zoom is quiet, you can hear it in the recording. The camera records in full HD 1920x1080 at 60 fps and 24 fps. It also records HD 1440x1080 at 30 fps with rectangular pixels, compatible with older (ie, tape based HDV) systems. For web and DVD use you can record in SD as well, 640x480 at 30 fps. The camera has built in stereo microphones which do a reasonably good job, but Sony elected to leave out the external mic jack that is on the NEX-7. That is a pity, since it is hard to get decent video at any distance with the built in mics, nor can you add wind shields and such. The camera has a wind noise filter but like most, it affects the audio you want, not just the wind noise you don't want. The hot shoe has contacts for an external mic, but so far none are available. The only existing option is the $800 adapter that brings out two XLR mic jacks, which is obviously overkill for this camera. A hot shoe to stereo 1/8" mini-jack adapter would be a great thing. Are you listening, Sony?

In Closing
If you are looking for a pocketable mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, my opinion is that you can't go wrong with the NEX-6. It's not perfect, but the inevitable tradeoffs required to build a high quality camera that fits in your pocket were, I think, mostly the right ones.

Edit 5/16/2013: In my original review I claimed the camera has GPS, which is does not. I'm not sure how that error crept in, but in any case, I'm sorry for any confusion. Also, the review claimed there was no compatible external mic available for the NEX-6. That has changed and you can now get the ECM-XYST1M which attaches via the new hot shoe. I bought one about two weeks ago. It is a stereo microphone with positionable mic elements that can be set at 120 degrees for wide coverage, or 0 degrees for tighter coverage. It is not as good as a shotgun (ie, Rode Videomic) for recording far away sounds such as a stage performance, but it is still a significant upgrade over the built-in mics. It is available now, for about $150.
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on April 1, 2013
It is a great camera. I also have a NEX-7, and I think the NEX-6 is better because of:
1. Lower size files (16 Mp vs 24 Mp). I think 16 Mp is good enough most of the time. Sometimes when you will crop agresively, the 24 Mp of the NEX-7 are welcome, but ussually the NEX-6 is enough.
2. It has WiFi capability and you can install usefull apps.
3. It has a much faster autofocus (hybrid), while the NEX-7 is only contrast detection.
4. It costs much less than the NEX-7
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on February 28, 2013
There are many fine reviews here on Amazon for the NEX-6. I won't duplicate them. My review is about the world of lenses that the NEX-6 opens - a world most of you trapped in a Canon or Nikon or Sony DSLR world have never known.

I bought the NEX-6 because for almost 20 years, I've been looking at my Leica glass - a 35mm f1.4 Summilux, a 50mm f2 Summicron. and a 90mm f2.8 Tele-Elmarit - and wishing for a digital body I could justify buying that could tap them. I also have an orphaned group of excellent Canon FD glass, including an 85mm f1.2L and a 24mm f2. For my professionally used D7000s, I have the range from the 11-16mm f2.8 from Tokina to the 80-200 f2.8 Nikon - both AF and manual focus.

When I saw the NEX-6, I suspected my quest was over. The EVF is a knockout - imagine a classic Leica rangefinder window with a grainless focusing screen, and you picture looking through the NEX-6. I ordered the camera with the 16-50mm kit lens, and adapters for my Leica, Canon FD and Nikon glass. A few hours after it arrived, and I had minimally charged the near-dead battery it came with, I knew my quest was over.

The kit lens is better than I hoped, and yet, not a great lens. Like all kit lenses, it's a compromise. The corner vignetting at 16mm is quite pronounced, as is the barrel distortion. You can correct the distortion in Photoshop quite easily; you can minimize the vignetting a bit, too. Otherwise, it's just a rather slow kit lens, valuable for walk-around shooting when you don't expect to shoot a cover for National Geographic. It's not as bad as you fear.

However...the "lens focus" of my review:

The NEX-6, with adapters, accepts just about every piece of glass except the bottom of a Coke bottle. The Leica glass blows the doors off any inexpensive glass designed for pocketable mirrorless cameras (yes, the Summilux needs to be shot at f4 to become great). And because they are rangefinder lenses. they are darn near as small as kit lenses. I bought the Leica lenses in 1983-1989, used, at prices that would make you weep today ($325 for the Summilux from a Frankfurt camera store - $2500 today). Combined with the kit 16-50mm lens, the NEX and 3 Leica lenses all fit in 2 large pockets.

I have fallen in love again with my 24mm f2 Canon FD. On the NEX-6, it's brilliant - the images even at f2 are rich. That NEX-6 sensor is sweet. I just got the Photoshop Elements 11, and Adobe Camera RAW 7.3 does a gorgeous job with the RAW images.

While it rather dwarfs the NEX-6, my 11-16 Tokina is brilliant on the NEX-6, just as on the D7000. Should I choose to compete for the geek of the year award, I could purchase an adapter and attach the giant Hasselblad 500mm f8 Carl Zeiss Tele-Tessar I inherited from my father.

I see discussions here on the merits of different lens options for the NEX-6, especially zooms. Though I have never seen the 18-200mm zoom for the NEX-6, I note it weighs 1.5 lbs, the same as my Nikon 18-200mm. For what it costs, you can buy a lot of 35mm manual-focus primes and even zooms with similar apertures or better - and since you'll be using just the central "sweet spot" of those lenses, arguably getting better results than from a lens designed for an APS-C sensor.

Thus, the real fun of the NEX-6 goes beyond the limitations of the auto-everything E-mount lenses.There are tons of fine Canon FD and Konica and other good film glass available cheaply on Craig's List and even eBay if you shop carefully. You can pick up a Canon FD 50mm f1.8 lens for under $20, an adapter for under $20, and shoot your NEX-6 indoors at ISO 100, and blow the doors off any kit lens. I saw Konica lenses for less than $10. People sell for peanuts or give away jammed film cameras with perfectly good lenses. Virtually all will optically match or outperform kit lenses costing 20X more. And because they all have effective apertures 2-4 times larger than kit lenses, you'll be shooting ISO 100 when those with the kits are shooting 800-3200. Or handholding when they need a tripod.

No, those old lenses won't autofocus, and no, they're not image stabilized. But set to P (program), the NEX-6 picks a perfect exposure for whatever the aperture of your lens. And if you can't focus properly or zone focus, or hand hold or brace properly a camera without stabilization, you aren't a real photographer in my book.

Stop dawdling. You know you want it. The "add to cart" button is in the upper right of the screen. Click! Now, say thank you!
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on November 21, 2012
I received the camera about a week ago and I'm really enjoying it. Previously owned a Canon DSLR, but about a year ago realized that I wasn't using it as much due to size and decided to get my first NEX (5N). I was immediately blown away by the image quality (with just the kit lens). One of the few thinks I didn't like about the 5N was the lack of focus accuracy on moving subjects. After debating for some time between the NEX 5R and the 6 finally decided to order the 6.

Although the viewfinder was not the reason I opted for the 6, I have to admit that I like it a lot. I use it all the time; even to review images as they look much better (they have a really cool 3D look!).

I'm happy to report that Autofocus is significantly faster than it was on the 5N. It is for still subjects, but especially for moving subjects.

The menu layout is very similar to that of the 5N (and every NEX), which is not terrible but sometimes requires a little more digging than one would like. However, the inclusion of several external controls makes a big difference in accessing some of the most commonly used settings and adjustments. Especially the mode-dial and the control wheel right below. There is also an autoexposure lock button that you can use for that purpose, as well as re-program it to control over 20 other settings!

In my opinion, the whole experience of the user interface and controls layout is absolutely delightful and a real pleasure to use. It gives me that wow factor and makes me look forward to using it.

The kit zoom is more than adequate and takes very good pictures. If you understand what it is and don't expect the performance of a $1,000+ lens you should be satisfied. I'm planning to get more lenses in the near future, but for now I'm happy with the images it produces.

Wi-fi is a pretty cool feature to have. I can transfer pictures to my Android or ipad from anywhere. The camera creates its own wi-fi network and the mobile device connects to it. It has always worked for me.

Some of the thinks I like the most:

*Perfect size, viewfinder, external dials, excellent grip, built in (**tiltable**) flash, great image quality, size of the kit lens, wi-fi.

I would also like to share my personal opinion about some of the thinks some people have complained about:

*No external charger: I love having the option of being able to use the camera to charge the battery (if needed) with any micro-USB charger (cellphone car-charger for example). Before, the only option was the external charger. I purchased an external charger with two batteries for around $30 and they work flawless. No difference from the original.

*Removing the memory card: I don't really get that one. Seriously; I can remove the memory card without even looking at the compartment so I don't really know what they are talking about.

*Battery life: I guess that can be a little subjective, but all I can say based on my experience, is that I'm getting better battery life than with the 5N. Considering the fact that they use the same battery, no complaints here whatsoever.

The one think I'm not very thrilled about is that the flash button is mechanical and is a little hard to press. You almost have to use the nail.

Overall, I really like the camera. I think it has a lot of potential and I'm planning to keep it for a while.

I will update the review with more relevant observations when I have more hands-on time. In the mean time feel free to ask any questions you might have.
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on June 9, 2013
The Sony NEX-6 with 16-50mm kit lens.

The image quality and high ISO noise is good, as good or better than the Nikon 5200 I was also considering, though not as good as the Fuji EX-1. However, the NEX-6 does have a multi-shot auto noise reduction that can help offset the the noise when taking static images in low light (the resulting images do have a processed look, but at least it is an option, one you don't get with the Nikon 5200).

The NEX-6 with the 16-50mm motorized, auto-collapsing zoom is compact enough to fit in a coat pocket, has wi-fi image transfer to your mobile device, optional remote control with image preview on your mobile device, a partially articulated screen, auto HDR and handles fairly quickly. I like taking high and low angle shots, so the partially articulated screen is something I really use a lot. The screen isn't as useful as the fully articulated screen on the Nikon D5200, but it is better than not having one at all, which is the case with the Fuji EX-1.

The optional visible focus peaking feature makes manual focusing easy. It causes high contrast areas presumed to be "in focus" to show up as a lived colored overlay. It is basically a human readable version of how the camera does auto focus using contrast detection, and it's a near must have for using a camera with an electronic viewfinder with manual focus. It is also one of the reasons I chose the NEX-6 over the Fuji. I need help with focusing using an EVF. The NEX has it. The Fuji doesn't.

The 16mm lens is wider than any of the Nikon APS-C kit lenses, and as sharp or sharper on the wide end than any of them- and way, way sharper than the wide end of the Nikon 18-200mm super zoom I was considering.

On the other hand, the camera was buggy, with the kit lens constantly resetting as the camera claimed not not recognize the lens. Lost lots of good shots that way. Really irritating. The bracketing function cannot be triggered by remote control or by the self timer because bracketing, remote control and self timer release features are "drive modes", and thus mutually exclusive. The camera takes a while to boot up - the powered, collapsing lens also has to boot and extend. Not a good grab shot camera.

The fact that the camera can't do Auto HDR while in RAW mode is annoying. You have to dig into the menu to turn off RAW, then dig into another menu to turn on Auto HDR, and then the reverse when you are done. I realize the processed image wouldn't be in RAW, of course, but I'd like the option to have the camera process an HDR image even if the unprocessed exposures are in RAW.

Overall, I've been happy with the camera, but a DSLR handles quicker, and the fully articulated screen on a Nikon D5200 would have been really useful for all the ceiling fresco shots I took from a medium sized Gorilla Pod. The compact size of the camera let me take the camera and the medium Gorilla Pod places a big DSLR with a big zoom on a big Gorilla Pod might have gotten me outed from. But I missed a number of shots due to camera bugs when the camera refused to recognize the lens, and due to the so-so boot time of the camera.


* Coat pocketable with collapsing 16-50mm kit lens, with a decent sized coat pocket - good for being inconspicuous when you aren't taking photos.
* Low shutter lag
* Mechanical shutter prevents rolling shutter artifacts
* Phase and contrast focusing
* Visible focus peaking makes manual focusing easy - very, very useful
* Automatic electronic zoom for critical focusing - very useful
* Histogram available live and for stored images
* RAW format option
* RAW format and kit lens compatible with Adobe Lightroom 4 and above
* High resolution Electronic View Finder lets you compose photos even in bright sunlight
* Partially articulated screen on back of the camera lets you compose low angle shots without having to lie down on the ground
* Works with inexpensive 3-d party infrared remotes
* Large APS-C sensor
* Noise is comparable or better to APS-C DSLRs like the Nikon 5200
* Built in multi-frame noise reduction - works great for static photos in dim places you can't use a flash like museums.
* Built in HDR
* 3-Frame Bracketing up to 3 EV apart
* Wi-Fi upload to mobile device works well, handy for sharing vacation shots. Automatically creates a WiFi hotspot for your mobile device to connect to so you don't have to be near a WiFi network, and converts both JPEG and RAW format shots to low res images JPEG for transfer. Lets you preview and pick which ones to transfer on your mobile device.
* Optional mobile device remote control with remote image preview works pretty well.
* 16mm (24mm equivalent) wide angle end of zoom is really useful for getting everything you want in frame
* Kit lens is as sharp or sharper than Nikon 18-55mm kit lens
* What you see is what you get. When you stop down to smaller apertures the camera actually stops down during preview--unlike a DSLR which always composes with the aperture wide open. This is good and bad, good for previewing depth of field, but annoying when you want to be sure something will be in focus or the center of the depth of field - thus you have to manually open the aperture, focus, then stop down and check your depth of field.
* Fast 10 fps continuous shooting mode.
* Good ergonomics on the grip - easy to hold on to.
* Flash doesn't automatically pop up - it does not go off when you don't want it to, which is really good for museums and events where flash is not allowed.


****There is no way to remote trigger bracketed shots**** I use bracketing on long exposure shots on a portable tripod. It is critical not to touch the camera to keep the image sharp. Sony has made the remote and the bracketing feature both "drive modes", so they are mutually exclusive. The optional remote control app doesn't solve this problem as it doesn't trigger bracketing even if you have the drive mode set to bracing, though you can manually change the exposure using the remote control app 1/3 EV at a time(a slow, laborious process that waits for the camera to send a preview of the exposure change with each 1/3 EV change as you are loosing light at twilight). This is a serious, inexcusable problem that really makes the camera a lot less useful to me.

* Kit lens kept resetting, with the camera claiming not to recognize the lens, causing the lens to collapse and lose all settings. Not cool. Lost lots of good shots because of this constant problem.

* Partially articulated screen only works for horizontally ("landscape") composed shots - because the screen has only one axis of articulation, it is useless for high or low angle shots with the camera composed for vertical or "portrait" compositions.

* Collapsible kit lens takes time to expand when the camera powers up. The power up time is too slow to make a good grab shot camera. (A DSLR can compose shots even when it is "off" since the optical viewfinder is not dependent on power. A non-collapsing lens would make the NEX-6 bigger, but faster to use.)
* Mechanical shutter makes noise. Wound up using my cell phone when I needed to be totally silent. Should have a no-mechanical shutter feature for quiet shooting--which we know it can do since it can take HD Movies without using the mechanical shutter for each shot.
* Automatic electronic zoom for focusing no custom user-settable off time - stays on longer or shorter than I'd like
* Automatic HDR mode only saves the normal exposure and the HDRed image, not the bracketed shots, so you can't do your own HDR from the exposures.
* Automatic HDR mode doesn't work when the camera is set to RAW or RAW + JPEG
* WiFi Transfer option is not available in playback mode - weirdly you have to switch to shooting mode to be able to turn on the WiFi image transfer mode
* WiFi transfer mode does not let you choose between low res or full res transfers
* No GPS
* No touch screen
* Battery charge is very slow--280 minutes--and has to be charged in-camera. There is no external charger from Sony to let you charge a spare battery.
* Camera cannot charge and operate at the same time and you cannot power the camera with the USB/charging cable, only charge the battery or connect to your computer.
* No way to turn the camera on in to just playback mode - which means the camera *always* extends the lens when you turn it on, even when you just want to look at images or transfer via WiFi.
* Optional mobile device remote control app doesn't let you adjust anything but exposure +/- and has long shutter lag
* Very dark vignetting in the image corners in the uncorrected RAW files of the 16-50mm kit lens - the vignetting would be considered unacceptable in a film camera, though correctable in camera and in Lightroom.
* Viewfinder goes dark during every shot of the 10 fps continuous shooting mode like a DSLR, makes it a bit tough to follow the action - Easier just to switch to HD Movie mode and take the resolution hit.
* Flash is not centered over the lens. I really prefer the flash shadow to fall straight back to make it less obtrusive. The camera does have a centered hot shoe, though, so you can use an external flash.
* Lack of full range, native lenses. You can adapt manual focus lenses to the camera, but the range of full-featured, native lenses is limited. And the available16mm pancake lens is mediocre rather than excellent as a prime should be.
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on December 19, 2012
I tend to be a camera technology sucker - I've owned at least a dozen different cameras in the past few years - a Canon 5D MKII, S100, 60D & G1X, Panasonic GH2 & GF2, Olympus OM-D and E-P3, Fuji X100 - and so on. For me it's the technology that gets me - I know that the pictures I take will suck, so it's fun to blame the camera and search for one that will let me take better blurry pictures of my kids :)

Anyway, the Sony NEX 6 is a very nice camera compared to many of the others I listed above. The size is great - a nice, solid grip on it to keep a hold of (as compared to the X100 which was tough to handle). The kit lens feels solid (although it SOUNDS cheap - the innards make a rattling noise that is a bit of a concern). The viewfinder is GREAT - out of all of the cameras I have used recently, this viewfinder is the one I like the most. I don't mind an EVF if it's a good one. The OM-D has a similar viewfinder, but centered on the camera for no good reason. Sony got smart and stuck it on the edge of the camera, so you aren't wiping you nose all over the main LCD screen...

Image quality is nice - I like that it handles high-ISO images fairly nicely. It's a bit of a concern to me how quickly it will jump up to ISO 3200 on indoor shots. On my last camera - a Canon 60D, anything above about ISO 1600 showed a lot of noise - so seeing the Sony take a picture at ISO 3200 in 'Auto' mode is strange. But the images don't show too much noise - definitely better than the Canon. I do wish you could set an ISO ceiling however like you can on the X100.

My only real gripe with the camera, aside from the rattling feeling of the kit lens, and the strange charger (it plugs into the camera vs. removing the battery from the camera to charge), is the user interface. Basically, it's poor. If you want 'settings' for the camera, you wade through all hundred-ish settings in one long list. Pause on an item to figure out what it means, and a pop-up window is displayed that covers up how the value is set. So assuming you can find the option you want, you can either see what it means, or see how it is set currently, but not both at the same time :) The whole interface on the screen is just goofy and kludgy compared to other cameras. Another example is that one of the rear buttons is mapped to 'Wifi' most of the time - to transmit pictures. But for something so rarely used, it seems strange to map it this way by default...

As a separate rant, the iPad 'PlayMemories' app that you are supposed to use for a lot of the wifi functionality is absolutely garbage. If the camera isn't set up to transmit when you launch the app, the pop-up message on the iPad is "Error - Search the shooting device from the network setting of the terminal and set it." The grammar problems are courtesy of Sony, not me. What the heck is the 'terminal' when you are dealing with an iPad and a camera? And what do you set it to? The software and camera appear to only support direct connections via wifi - so if you have your iPad on your local wireless, and your camera on the local wireless - they can't see each other. You need to put the camera in broadcasting mode and switch the wireless on the iPad to use the camera as the access point. I managed to get this to connect once - it ran for about 2 minutes, then crashed and wouldn't reconnect. Yeah!

So, don't buy the NEX-6 for the wifi functionality or the 'apps' in my mind - buy it because it's a nice camera body with a good feel and a big sensor that handles low light well. Tolerate the crappy UI, and ignore the wireless :)

Hope this helps!
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