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Sony NEX-6/B Mirrorless Digital Camera with 3-Inch LED - Body Only (Black)
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- 16MP APS-C CMOS sensor
- 10 frames per second continuous shooting
- Hybrid contrast and on-sensor phase detect AF
- ISO 100-25600
- 1080/60p HD video (AVCHD format)
- 3.0 inch articulated LCD with 921,000 dots
- Built-in 2,359,000 dot OLED viewfinder
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Who says you can't have it all? The NEX-6 features a wish list of features and still fits in your pocket. And it's fast, too. Make quick changes with a handy DSLR-like dial. Focus and track fast-moving subjects with the speed and accuracy of phase and contrast detection. It even shoots 16.1MP photos at a blistering up to 10fps. It's the end of compromise as we know it.
From the Manufacturer
Raise your photography to the next level with NEX-6, a remarkably compact
interchangeable-lens camera loaded with big camera features. From the
distinctive dials on top to the large APS-C image sensor inside, you’ll feel
that special sense of quality and performance that is a signature of DSLRs,
minus the bulk. Add ultra-fast phase-detection AF and Sony’s superb XGA OLED
electronic viewfinder in addition to Full HD video recording at 60p and you have
a camera well equipped to take you on a unique photographic journey.
|Small Camera + Big Sensor = Amazing Pictures.||Share and Save Instantly.||Full HD Movies.|
With 13 times the area of the typical point-and-shoot image sensor, APS-C sensor size makes the difference between “snapshots” and “photographs.” This is the same HD sensor format that Sony builds into the full-sized α DSLRs.
Wi-Fi® capability – a first for Alpha digital cameras – lets users transfer photos directly to smartphones and tablets with the PlayMemories Mobile™ app. Wi-Fi allows for sharing, viewing and saving photos for expanded photo-shooting enjoyment.4
Capture HD Movies in your choice of super-smooth 60p, standard 60i or cinematic 24p, all at Full HD 1920x1080 resolution. AVCHD™ codec delivers stunning picture quality. MP4 codec offers smaller files for easier upload to the web.
incredible entertainment quality. Explore the full range of features and options below.
|16.1 MP APS-C size HD image sensor |
The same sensor format that Sony builds into the full-sized α DSLRs. With 13 times the area of the typical point-and-shoot image sensor, APS-C sensor size makes the difference between “snapshots” and “photographs,” delivering an exceptional combination of high resolution, high sensitivity and gorgeous, blurred backgrounds.
Fast Hybrid AF
Sony’s advanced Fast Hybrid AF combines two technologies for outstanding performance: Phase detection auto focus for quick response that is ideal when tracking fast-moving subjects and contrast-detection auto focus for added precision. A perfect match that delivers optimal Auto Focus for fast, precise focusing in any scene.
Full HD Movies at 60p/60i/24p
Capture HD Movies in your choice of super-smooth 60p, standard 60i or cinematic 24p, all at Full HD 1920x1080 resolution.1 AVCHD™ codec delivers stunning picture quality. MP4 codec offers smaller files for easier upload to the web.
XGA Tru-Finder™ OLED
For size, speed and brightness even after sunset, the Tru-Finder™ OLED electronic viewfinder is a gem. This eye-level, through-the-lens, viewfinder begins with 2359K dots for amazing resolution and high contrast ratio for incredible depth. You can also see the results of camera adjustments in real time with superb color and detail.
Wi-Fi® capability – a first for Alpha-series – lets users transfer photos directly to smartphones and tablets with the PlayMemories Mobile™ app. Wi-Fi capability allows for sharing, viewing and saving photos for expanded photo-shooting enjoyment. Photos can be easily transferred to smartphones and tablets, viewed on large screen TVs or saved to PC’s.4
PlayMemories Camera Apps™
Supports PlayMemories Camera Apps™ service, the world’s first application download service that lets users install new camera functions as needed.4
Advanced Control Dial
Mode control dial and Quick Navi assure quick an intuitive operation comparable to DSLR cameras Control dial, Fn (function) button and touch screen (including touch shutter function) combine to greatly facilitate operation and speed getting the shot.
Picture Effect mode
There are 7 types (11 variations) of picture effects to choose from: Posterization (Color), Posterization (B/W), Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color(R), Partial Color(G), Partial Color(B), Partial Color(Y), High-key, High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera. Each is unique and each give you a new and exciting way to make your images and videos pop.
The camera leverages the large, APS-C image sensor and captures six images in a fraction of a second. The camera then combines the data from the 6 different images up to ISO 25600 to create a single image. This method is used to control blur in Anti-Motion Blur mode or to get cleaner, sharper nighttime pictures in Hand-held Twilight mode.
|Accepts Sony® E-mount lenses |
Compatible with Sony’s wide selection of E-mount series of smaller, lighter lenses designed specifically for α compact interchangeable lens cameras. Open up a world of endless creative options.
Photo Creativity Touch interface
The Photo Creativity touch interface enables you to easily enjoy the creative expression of SLR-quality digital imaging without the complicated settings. Changes can be easily made using the control dial with results seen in real time on the LCD. Settings include; Background Defocus, Brightness, Color, Vividness and most Picture Effects.
Auto Portrait Framing
Simply photograph a person and Auto Portrait Framing will save an additional, optimally framed image in portrait or landscape orientation. Combining Face Detection and By Pixel Super Resolution technologies with rule of thirds, Auto Portrait Framing provides beautifully composed and appealingly balanced full resolution portraits.
Clear Image Zoom
Utilizing Sony’s exclusive By Pixel Super Resolution Technology, Clear Image Zoom increases the effective focal length of your lens up to 2x by digitally magnifying the center of your image with nearly imperceptible degradation. It virtually doubles the effective focal length of whatever lens you’re using providing greater shooting flexibility.
Convenient USB charging
Easily recharge the camera via USB charging. Simply connect the bundled USB cable and recharge the battery without removing it from the camera, either via AC outlet or PC connection.
New Multi-Interface Shoe
Unlike conventional cameras, the NEX-6 features a newly developed Multi-Interface Shoe that dramatically expands compatibility with Handycam® accessories, thus raising the potential for photo/movie shooting.
Auto HDR built into camera
High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography captures more scene contrast than a single exposure can handle by combining the best highlight detail from one shot and the best shadow detail from another for one incredible shot. Handles severe backlighting and other high-contrast scenes. Captures in a split second. (Recommended for still subjects.)
Sweep Panorama™ Technology
Capture expansive landscapes automatically. Press the shutter, sweep vertically or horizontally. The camera does the rest, continuously shooting images and stitching them together. Up to 23 MP image size. Up to 202 degrees maximum sweep angle (18mm focal length).
Fast Auto Focus
Some cameras in this class are slow to focus. That can make you miss the shot on fast-moving subjects like sports and unpredictable subjects like pets and babies. Sony’s fast Contrast Auto Focus system typically takes as little as 0.3 seconds and also offers continuous Auto Focus when shooting movies.
|Peaking AF display |
The Peaking AF display makes precise manual focusing much easier by highlighting the edges that are in focus in your choice of three colors (white, red, or yellow). This is especially helpful during macro or portrait photography where your focal plane can make or break your shot.
Manual Focus Assist
Greatly magnifies the viewfinder image when you touch the focus ring, making it easy to get razor-sharp images. Works with E-mount lenses only.
Enhanced Tracking Focus
Tracking Focus continuously tracks a user-designated subject and is now more effective at tracking people. If the subject turns away from the camera, face-detection tracking automatically switches to subject tracking and continues tracking.
Face Detection technology
The camera can automatically detect up to eight individual faces and adjust focus, exposure, white balance and flash to help deliver crisp, properly lit images of family and friends. Can prioritize children or adults.
Smile Shutter™ technology
Captures a smile the moment it happens. Simply select the Smile Shutter™ mode and the camera takes the picture automatically. You can prioritize children or adults and adjust the smile sensitivity.
Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO)
Improves results with backlit subjects and recovers details hidden in shadows. Settings include Auto, Level with a choice of five operating levels and Off.
Six Creative Style settings
Control how the camera processes your images with six finishing styles: Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset and B&W. You can even fine-tune contrast, saturation, and sharpness to your personal taste.
PhotoTV HD compatibility
Optimizes compatible BRAVIA® televisions for gorgeous display of digital pictures.3
Dual Format Media Card Slot
For cost-effective, convenient storage and sharing of your images, the camera accepts Memory Stick PRO Duo™/Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo™ and SD/SDHC media (Class 4 or higher recommended), (Memory card is required, all are sold separately).
Dust on the image sensor leads to blemishes in the picture. To protect the sensor, Sony incorporates an advanced ultrasonic system, which effectively shakes dust off the sensor surface.
Sony Suggested Accessories
1. Records in up to 29 minutes segments.
2. Attaching Sony A-mount lens requires LA-EA1 (note: Autofocus available with SSM and SAM series lenses when using LA-EA1) or LA-EA2 adaptors (sold separately).
3. Requires compatible BRAVIA® HDTV and HDMI® cable sold separately.
4. Requires an active 802.11 Wi-Fi network (802.11n recommended) or PlayMemories Mobile™ app installed on compatible Android™ or iOS device.
PlayMemories camera apps require download with existing Sony Entertainment Network account. Download available in all countries/areas
where Sony Entertainment Network is available.
© 2012 Sony Electronics Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Sony is not responsible for typographical and photographic errors. Features and specifications are subject to change without notice.
Sony, BIONZ, BRAVIA, Exmor, InfoLITHIUM, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, PlayMemories Home, Smile Shutter, Stamina, Theatre Sync, Sweep Panorama, and the Sony make.believe logo are trademarks of Sony. AVCHD is a trademark of Panasonic Corporation and Sony Corporation. Microsoft, Windows, and Windows Vista are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Mac OS and iMovie are trademarks of Apple Computers, Inc. HDMI is a trademark of HDMI Licensing LLC. All other trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners.
Top customer reviews
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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!
Recently, however, I became reacquainted with my love for photography, and decided to really start devoting some time to it. Since I was last paying attention, there's been a great deal of movement in the mirrorless ILC space, which I found very intriguing. The idea of a highly compact camera with interchangeable lenses, boasting DSLR image quality seemed wonderful. I pored over the reviews and in the end, decided the Sony NEX-6 was the right choice for me. My hope was that this camera would be able to take the place of my DSLR.
I struggled with how to proceed with this review and with the rating I'd give the NEX-6, because the truth is, it's capable of some truly wonderful shots. The weekend before last (Memorial Day weekend), I took at trip to Utah to visit Canyonlands and Arches National Parks, and I left my DSLR behind and brought only the NEX-6 to see if it would be up to the challenge.
Part of me feels guilty for giving the NEX-6 a three-star rating, when I was absolutely satisfied with the image quality. But there's more to using a camera than just the final output.
WHAT I LIKED
+ Image Quality: The Sony NEX-6 has an APS-C size sensor, which gives it parity with any entry- and most mid-level DSLRs. While many of those DSLRs have higher megapixel counts, it's important to note that the NEX-6's fairly middle-of-the-road 16 megapixels means that the sensor's pixel density theoretically allows for better low-light performance than a comparably-sized (APS-C) sensor with a greater megapixel specification. For my part, I was shooting exclusively in bright outdoor settings at extremely low ISO, and generally not at wide-open apertures -- it's certainly true that I wasn't putting too many demands on the camera in terms of image quality, but I was nevertheless pleasantly surprised at the results I got. I shoot only in RAW and do my post-processing in Lightroom 4, and while I was shooting in pretty much ideal conditions, I was thrilled with the color, detail and dynamic range of the shots.
+ Size: The only lens I had was the 16-50mm kit lens (roughly 25-80mm equivalent), which is a very compact lens. When mounted, the entire camera is extremely light. This is a plus, but it's also a minus (see below).
+ Autofocus: Again, I was shooting in bright, ideal conditions, but the autofocus was extremely responsive. I also really appreciated the ability to manually override the autofocus (which automatically zooms in the display for even more precision). Also loved the focus peaking option -- more cameras should have that.
+ Articulating Rear Display: Extremely convenient being able to tilt the rear display up or down, allowing for unusual camera angles.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE
- Size: I know I also listed this as a plus, but it's not without its downsides. The camera is so small that, despite a seemingly excellent build quality, it feels fragile and insubstantial compared to a DSLR. The camera doesn't sit well in my hands as a result of its diminutive size. And from a purely psychological standpoint, when you're surrounded by people carrying large, intimidating-looking DSLRs, you feel like a rank amateur. (I realize that last point is completely stupid, but I did honestly feel inadequate on a couple of occasions, like I was trekking around with a cheap point-and-shoot.)
- Controls: As a UX designer, I recognize that there's a balancing act between giving users immediate access to as many controls/settings as possible... and keeping the user interface as simple as possible. The NEX-6's controls lean toward the side of simplicity (when compared to a DSLR, at least). That would be fine if the camera were aiming to conquer the point-and-shoot segment, but (ostensibly) it's trying to steal ground from the DSLR market, where more advanced features need to be as close to the surface as possible. I found myself frequently frustrated by having to dive into Sony's ridiculously convoluted menu system for things that I could access much more quickly on my DSLR.
- EVF: The electronic viewfinder has gotten a great deal of praise for being a wonderful example of the technology. However, for my part, I think the technology is crap. This may be an excellent execution of the electronic viewfinder, but I still found it extremely difficult to use in the very bright desert environment. It was simply not bright enough. There were several occasions where I had to use my left hand to further cup around the eyepiece and my eye to block the sunlight in order to see anything in the viewfinder. The other problem with an EVF has to do with dynamic range and contrast. An electronic display, no matter how good, is not able to match the abilities of the human eye. Once the "wow, gee whiz" factor of the EVF wore off, I found myself missing the optical viewfinder of my DSLR. (And the rear LCD, in direct sunlight, is completely useless.)
- Battery Life: Some of the reviews I read listed excellent battery life as a pro for the NEX-6. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but I was sorely disappointed with the battery life. I wasn't able to get through an entire day of shooting on a single charge, something I wouldn't have even thought twice about with my DSLR. I suppose that's the price you pay for that power-hungry EVF.
- Sensor Dust: I had basically two full days of shooting. Halfway through the trip, the sensor acquired a number of dust particles which were visible on photos in smooth areas (like sky or solid surfaces). The specks weren't visible in the EVF or the rear LCD, so I had no idea it had happened until I saw them on the computer. It's correctable with Photoshop, but it's extremely labor intensive to do so and very disappointing. It's also somewhat surprising that it happened at all, since (as I mentioned) I only had the kit lens and I never actually removed it from the body. If it had been removed at any point, I could understand the introduction of dust on the sensor, but since that wasn't the case, it leaves a big question mark in my mind about the build. I don't believe Sony advertises the NEX-6 as environmentally sealed, but I don't recall it ever being windy or encountering any flying dust during the weekend either. The lens does telescope in and out during zooming, so it's possible it was sucked in that way. Still... disappointing.
For someone coming from a point-and-shoot or compact camera, I think the NEX-6 would be a brilliant and worthy upgrade. From my perspective as an enthusiast who had hoped a mirrorless ILC like the NEX-6 would offer a compelling alternative to a DSLR, I just found it lacking in terms of usability and "feel." The image quality, as I mentioned, was impressive during the trip... but I didn't enjoy *using* the camera very much.
By the end of my trip, I'd decided to return the camera, which I've now done. I've decided to stick with DSLRs, though I did upgrade to the Canon 6D. At nearly three times the price (with the kit lens) and a full-frame sensor, it's hardly an apples-to-apples comparison, but I'm happy with the decision.
The NEX-6 is capable of taking some stellar shots, but it seems to me that mirrorless ILC systems are not yet at a point where they offer a reasonable substitute for a more fully-featured DSLR. Someday, perhaps. Just not yet.