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Sony NEX-6

Sony NEX-6
Weight: 10oz

Sony almost gets it right. I've covered the NEX-5, NEX-5R, NEX-5N and NEX-7 already so this will be a bit more brief, as the NEX-6 is basically a NEX-5R with a standard flash hotshoe, built in viewfinder and slightly larger buffer. On paper the NEX-6 appears to be the Holy Grail of the series; combining the handling and viewfinder of the NEX-7 with the much more loved 16mp sensor. Up top the NEX-6 is missing one of the "Tri-Nav" controls but ads a shooting mode dial stacked on top of a command dial. On the back things are slightly different too, the AEL button is there but can't be switched between AEL and AF/MF. Thankfully the movie record button is not as easy to bump as the NEX-7 and can also be disabled in the menus.

NEX-6 on the left, NEX-7 on the right.
Externally things look pretty good. Tragically, Sony decided to leave a few things out in the menu this time, perhaps "to protect" the more expensive NEX-7. Unlike the NEX-7 the AEL-AF/MF button can not be setup as an AF-ON button. Soft menu key reassignment is also crippled. No longer can the center rear button be set...to anything. In manual mode it's a useless button that does nothing, on a camera with minimal external controls. Traditionally since the first firmware update to the NEX-5 we've been able to reprogram that button, as well as what a right push on the rear command dial does. Not so on the NEX-6, note the ISO marking on the NEX-6, because that's all this button will do.

What you can't tell in these images is that the NEX-7 is slightly taller, and the NEX-6 just a bit thicker front to back, but narrower side to side.


Having some history with the NEX cameras I could always setup the NEX-5 series to shoot more or less the same. Unfortunately the NEX-6 takes that away, and with the viewfinder attached I actually prefer the handling of the NEX-5R, yet the ability to use a flash and viewfinder at the same time on the NEX-6 is undeniable, especially considering their similar cost. As an added bonus the NEX-6 is the first of the series with a standard hotshoe (thank you Sony). Overall the NEX-6 adds up to be the best of the Sony NEX series, yet still has obvious room for improvement. These issues could but probably will not be fixed with a firmware upgrade.