7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
My First Professional Camera,
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This review is from: Sony NEX-6L/B Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm Power Zoom Lens and 3-Inch LED (Black) (OLD MODEL) (Electronics)
I bought the Sony Nex 6 as my first "professional" camera. Having always used a point-and-shoot before, but wanting to get into photography as a hobby and personal project, I found this camera to be the happy medium I was looking for to make the jump up.
It's of course much smaller and lighter than my friends DSLRs, yet packs the same APS-C size sensor in it. This is exactly what I wanted as I plan to keep the camera in my bag for quick access to it. Something the other cameras would be troublesome with.
I've had my eyes on getting a Sony Nex for over a year now, and after comparing the Nex 7, and the newly released Nex 6 and Nex 5R, I choose the Nex 6 because it had features over the Nex 5R I wanted (built in EVF, 16-50mm pancake lens instead of 18-55mm, better button control for manual use, and internal flash), and tests show the Nex 5/6 actually take better quality pictures than the Nex 7's 24MP sensor because the higher MP count pushes the sensor too far. So until Sony releases the next version of the 7 in 2013, the Nex 6 has been updated to be better in almost every way (an example is the video record button, on the Nex 7, it's easy to accidentally hit it with your thumb, causing recordings at random times. The Nex 6 fixes this button placement). This, combined with the 7 being more expensive, made the choice a no brainer for me.
The draw back is the Nex 6 doesn't have a touch screen like the 5R and the screen can't be flipped 180 degrees for taking self portraits (not a deal breaker for me). It's also has a slightly larger and heavier body than the 5R, but I view this as a plus because I have big hands and the 5R gip is a bit small for me (plus I think the 5R body is unbalanced with big lens on it). The Nex 6 also doesn't have a microphone jack plug like the 7. But DSLR and these newer generation mirrorless cameras generally have poor internal audio anyway, so I've bought an inexpensive lav mic (Audio-Technica ATR-3350) and plug conductor (Kv Connection KM-IPHONE-MIC) to record audio on my iPhone using the iTalk app (which surprisingly takes good audio. Not quite as good as spending several hundred on a dedicated audio recorder like the Zoom H4n, but I already have the iPhone, and would rather use the extra money to buy a nicer prime lens). The audio can then be sync easily into the videos in post using a choice of different software programs (from basic stock programs that come with most computers, to expensive professional software). I'll be using Adobe Premier Pro CS6. This external audio workflow was recommended to me by the pros.
After a few hours of playing around with the Nex 6 and it's settings, I've was able learn the basics of how aperture, shutter speed, and ISO all play together. I didn't even fully understand what aperture was 2 days ago when I received the Nex. In fact, when I took my first few shots out of the box, using it like a point-and-shoot, the image quality was below par. My iPhone took better pictures when I quickly compared them. I was starting to doubt it was a good purchase. But then I started playing with the Nex and adjusting the settings and the iPhone became a toy in comparison. The images and videos are just beautiful. And that's with the 16-50mm kit lens (I haven't purchase a dedicated prime lens yet as I'm still learning more about them before I make that investment). The controls and buttons are easy to learn and the camera is quite simple to use. Great for prosumers like me looking to create great pictures and videos using both auto and manual control without being overloaded with 1000 different adjustments.
The only annoyance I have with the Nex 6 at the moment, is the focus in the non-smartauto settings often flicker in and out rapidly (but are focused when the shot is taken). Hopefully Sony releases a software update to fix that soon.