The Sony NEX-6 1st Quick Look Review

The Sony NEX-6 1st Quick Look Review (more in depth coming soon)

You can pre-order the new Sony NEX-6 with the new Kit Zoom for $999 at B&H Photo HERE.

Amazon has the NEX-6 in stock HERE!

Hey hey hey! I know MANY of you have been waiting for samples from the brand spanking new Sony NEX-6. I can not do a full review on this one until I get one at home for 2 or 3 weeks as I just did not have the time this week to shoot ALL of the new Sony cameras thoroughly as I spent most of this week on the RX1 (HERE and HERE) but I did indeed get some cool shots with the NEX-6 and at the same time I have discovered that I like it more  than my beloved NEX-7 that I have had for well over a year now.

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SO THIS IS NOT A FULL IN DEPTH REVIEW, just a quick 1st look review! I will have a full in-depth as soon as I can get a hold of one of these guys long-term. That is when I will have crops, details, noise tests, etc.

The NEX-6 and new 16-50 Kit Zoom is a powerful combo

Another NEX? 

The NEX-6 is the latest and greatest in the NEX line and while it comes in UNDER the NEX-7 with the number 6 name in many ways it is a much better camera. At least I think so.

The big improvement here is that Sony has added an all new AF system for fast and snappy performance. The NEX-6 has Phase detect and Contrast Detect focus, it has the same EVF as the NEX-7 and the same body design and shape. The build is pro and it has a matte finish instead of the 7’s glossy look. The LCD is still as awesome as ever though it is not a touch screen. Sony also added WiFi support and you can even trigger this camera and preview real-time on your smart phone via an App on the camera.

Today we took a drive through Carmel, CA and I snapped this shot with the NEX-6 and new kit zoom 16-50, which I like so much better than the old 18-55. The new 16-50 is small and of great quality. The image below is from RAW and I added a color filter in Lightroom to show what can be done with a shot from this camera in about 15 seconds of clicks in Lightroom (cold color filter). I also did some dodging to bring out the rocks. The result is that it has some noise that would not normally be there but I like it anyway 🙂 Click image for larger view.

In real world use I find the NEX-6 to be much quicker to AF than the 7 and it just seems very snappy and responsive which is good! The 7 at times seemed a bit slow when compared to the new breed of mirrorless like the Olympus OM-D. Sony did not take a break and just say “deal with it”..nope! Instead they ramped things up by combining Contrast Detect AND Phase Detect focus ala Nikon V1 for a much improved AF experience. This means that in good light the AF is near instant. IN low light it is faster than it was before in past NEX cameras. This is a pretty big deal and I am happy that Sony made this move. The NEX-6 feels like a 100% fully polished product..finally.

Always love scenes like this and the kit zoom did great once again. Click for larger.

The NEX-6 also has a 16MP sensor which I feel is about what an APS-C should top out at for best quality, sharpness, dynamic range and image quality. The 24 MP of the NEX-7 pushed the sensor a little to far I think and the result was less than stellar ISO performance and in some cases muddy results. The 6 hits the sweet spot for sure.

So be sure to check back here for a full in-depth look and review of this new NEX. Again, this is just a quick 1st look to show those who have been waiting some quick samples. 

The NEX-6 with 35 1.8 at 1.8 and ISO 640- click image for larger!

This week I was able to shoot the NEX-6, the new 35 1.8 lens and the new 10-18 ultra wide zoom and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with all of them. Once again I am writing this at 1 AM and I have to be up at 6AM so I need sleep but I wanted to let everyone see some new samples from the NEX-6 as I know many have been waiting..even if it is just a few samples so I have posted some quick samples on this page for you to peruse.

Before we drove some very cool cars we got instruction on how to do so on the track. The other guys here shot the usual 400mm action shots but I stayed with the 10-18 and kit zoom. Being different that everyone else is good 🙂

We had access to just about any Sony lens made for the A99 and the NEX system – pretty damn cool! – Shot with the 10-18 at 10mm (15mm equivalent on the NEX system)

A quick landscape shot using the 16-50 Kit lens. JPEG

Again, the 16-50. It is a great kit lens. I like it. 

This one was shot with the new 35 1.8 in a very dark aquarium. Click image for larger and EXIF is embedded.

In the helicopter some of had a chance to shoot with the A99, NEX-6 and RX1 – OOC JPEG

Sweep Panormama is still here! – OOC JPEG

Jellyfish with the 35 1.8

A nice JPEG sunset with the 35 1.8 at f/7.1

The 16-50 at f/8

New Kit Zoom!

Again, the kit zoom at 16mm and f/7.1

Trying out the mini effect from the helicopter

For those wondering if the NEX-6 is an improvement over the NEX-7 I would say DEFINITELY. It is quicker, snappier, more responsive, does not seem to overheat (in my limited use so far),has sharp IQ, comes with a great new kit zoom and even feels better with its matte finish. You lose the highly touted “Tri Navi” control system but to be honest I almost prefer the new set up as you still have your control dials. You lose nothing but convenience of having both dials at the top. Instead you now have one dial with the mode dial stacked on top and the mode dial on the back.

The NEX-6 is the best NEX yet.


You can pre-order the new Sony NEX-6 with the new Kit Zoom for $999 at B&H Photo HERE.

You can buy the NEX-6 and new Kit Zoom at Amazon HERE


  1. Has anyone found a solution for the NEX 6 external mic issue? I found a guy online who has instructions to hack the Sony ECM-XYST1M mic and convert it into a makeshift 3.5mm adapter. ( If this guy can do this, why can’t Sony make it easy for us?

  2. hi Steve, i just bought the sony NEX 6 a couple of days ago. and yes, I love shooting with it but when i photograph my friend from a low angle and in a cloudy day it didnt focus on my friend , in the viewfinder the green light blinks at the edge of the viewfinder making a rectange shape. wont you agree if the next is bad at focusing at low light ? *i used multi focus point

    • I have never used multi point AF for any shooting with any NEX in my real world shooting. Always use center point for best results.

  3. Hi Steve, I’m an OMD owner but Sony Nex always were im my list before getting OMD, and this Nex 6 looks like is on par with OMD.

    As I know you are shooting a lot with OMD, let us know what are your thoughts between Nex6 and OMD EM5.

  4. Hi great review Steve, hopefully you will review both the 16-50 and 55-210 kit lens next time..more power !

  5. Hi Steve! I went to a camera shop intending to get the nex6 or nex7, however i got introduced the samsung nx1000. price, functionality, mp, similar sensor, range of lens, and all got me tilting away from my pre-intention of the NEX.. what’s your take on how I should go from here? will you be doing a NX1000 review?

  6. Hi Steve! I gotta ask you if I should get the NEX-6 body together with the SELP 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 lens (SGD$1399) or both SELP 15-50mm F3.5-5.6 lens + SEL55210 55-210mm F3.5-6.3 (SGD$1699).. What do you think?

    I’m an amatuer photographer that forsee getting more lens for the nex in years to come.. Is the SEL55210 55-210mm F3.5-6.3 lens a good addition for photography? (-to be more versatile..) Does it play quite a difference on my opportunities in photography quality? as a general amatuer still learning photographer like me.

    Thanks & love ur great review on the nex-6!

  7. Received my Nex 6 last week and have been busy testing this camera. In a word this camera is a delight to work with, its so much better than the NEX5 in fact its a totally different platform, so more advanced than I thought it would be. I am using the F1.8 50mm, the 2.8 30mm, the 18-200mm (upgraded firmware) and the new kit zoom. I have set up the play memories app and my intention is to use the remote control of my iphone to shoot street shots whilst my camera is hanging around my neck lol, well lets see if that works, in tests at home it worked fine but Im hoping that by looking into my Iphone the subjects will not be alerted to the fact that Im shooting. I’ll let you know how that turns out. But a great camera as I’ve said and I have friends who are now all looking at the Nex 6, RX1 and RX100 as an alternative to their Nikons which of course are great DSLR’s, but just too big a platform to have the fun I am having with the Nex.

  8. The Sony RX1 looks like an interesting camera but the lack of a B/I viewfinder and interchangeable lenses are negatives for me. An alternative option might a NEX-6 with a Zeiss ZM 35mm f2.0 (or a Leica 35mm). How do you think this combination would compare to the RX1 both from a shooting experience and in terms of the output quality? Steve, maybe you can touch on this in your review.

    • I am new to the Alpha NEX experience… I sent back the NEX 6 after their Sony team gave me some wrong information. Moreover, I am purchasing an NEX 7 as originally planed.

      Q: Is it a good plan to purchase the LA-EA2 adapter and stick with my Nikon VR
      Lens (s)…? The NEX will be used primarily for it’s movie function and stills will use panoramic mode for large canvas prints. I shoot both still and streaming for Humanitarian
      groups. This means, the VR function is important to eliminate a honking tripod where
      people HATE cameras. Plus, can’t seem to get a reply or a list of compatible lens regarding the said above LA-EA2 Adapter. Surprisingly, not even a Youtube showing Nikon VR Lens to NEX body.

  9. Hi Steve, thanks for the first “quick” look! You said, that you like the NEX 6 more than your NEX 7, but what you think about the NEX 5r? Or has anybody else the chance to compare the NEX 5r, the NEX 6 and the NEX 7? I wanna buy One of these before my christmas holiday…
    So i hope you can give me an advice…
    Thanks a lot…
    Greatings from Cologne…

    • I have them ALL here, 5R, 6 and 7. I like the 6 the most out of all three. Still love the 7 but the 6 surpasses it in a few ways IMO. I prefer the sensor in the 6 basically.

  10. For me any camera is just an attachment for my beloved 15mm Voigtlander lens. Just kidding. I have a NEX 5N. Great with my Voigt. NEX-7 is horrible with it – something related to microlenses array. So for me the most important question: is NEX-6 behaves like 7 or like 5N with it? I mean color shift and peripheral smearing. Anyone, please?

    • To Steve Huff and Alex 62 and Gel 5:I agree with Steve Huff and I switched from Nex 5N to Nex 6.
      I used my Voigtlander 15 mm on both, very good results (the somewhat lesser peripheral quality of this lens does not matter on the APS-C sensor). I do not see any difference, I did not see “peripheral smearing” with Nex 5N nor Nex 6 (never used the Nex 7) and as for colour shift with wide angles, as Steve Huff has described and showed us, I see nothing of it, but I am a little bit colour blind; so you should see results of both for yourself!

      Also to Nuno Zuzarte 30 and many others some more points;
      I used the old and new (flatter) kitlenses, both very uselful, both good results, but the new, somewhat shorter new lens with motorzoom looks more fragile to me than the older one, hope it can last in when handled a bit roughly, as in practical use.
      For quality pictures with this very good sensor one should use “prime” lenses, I use Leica from 35 mm onwards and need no modern prime lenses; my favourite is a black 1990 50 mm Summicron, amazing what you can do with a fixed 75 mm lenght; and the combination with the Nex6 is very goodlooking with the black Novoflex adapter (you could also use cheaper adapters, Jon R 3, see this website). Focussing goes quick with the “focus peaking” but when critical (2.0, 2,8, 4,0, or short distances) it is unreliable, because the “focus peaking” is no focus peaking but contrast peaking,
      I then use the enlargement function with better results.
      And of course, image stabilization IN the camera would have been a plus in all the Nexes used with other lenses, but with quality pictures up till ISO 1600 ISO (3200) and short times it does not really bother me.
      Mannyqg 37 seems to be more happy with the 24 mp sensor of the Nex 7; but I do not need a better sensor then the 16 mp Nex 6, and, moreover, this website told you already in earlier texts that, IF there is a differance, it is minimal and the 24 mp sensor has the wide angle color problem.

      The Nex 6 is not too small, as the Nex 5N, there are more and better to be used controls than on the Nex 5N, in a word, everything is easier to handle; I do not agree with Fenix, see 29 on the menu system of the Nex (6?), for the Nex 6 is already better than the Nex 5N (although not as easy to use as my Panasonic camera), but ” a pain in the ass” is exaggerated, at least for the Nex 6.
      For instance, the movie button on the Nex 5N is troublesome, as seems the case with the Nex 7; others commented already on it ( David 7 and Chih Wang 10) but on the Nex 6 it is better placed and wil not be touched when you don’t mean to. I now can handle all the controls of the Nex 6 without looking what my right thumb is doing.
      The touch screen of the Nex 5N I don’t need (but neither the WIFI of the Nex 6; I also need no quicker autofocus if this is really the case with the Nex 6 over the Nex 7; the Nex 5N was also quick enough for me (see remark of mannyqg 37) and the Nex 6 is quick enough for me.
      Sometimes I use fill in flash, the smal flash is now in the body, with the Nex 5N I had to remove the EVF and put the separate flash in the accessory port, bothersome and too slow.

      But for one thing you should NOT buy the Nex 6: no external microphone possibility, If you want to make (many) video’s; I forgot this point when going fot the Nex 6!
      See also the remarks of Fred Facker 53 and I agree with Leishon 30 on the missing mic jack.
      The very good films of the Nex camera’s need a better microphone for high quality results (better stereo, less noises, more direction if needed. I asked Sony and they answered that there are no Sony external microphones for the Nex 6 now and no connections possible with other microphone brands.
      Amazingly, they kept the possibility of an already better external microphone for the accessory port of the Nex 5n also with the Nex F3 and the Nex 5R. They should have built in the audio port of the Nex 7 in ALL the Nexes including the Nex 6!
      Sony also said that they do not know if there will come a ext. micr. possibility in the future and they added, correctly, that the only possibility for now is the use of an external audio recorder and putting image and sound together in your video programming later, so you can have great sound quality, but that’s not an elegant solution, a bit bothersome to me.

      Having written this, I NOW see the remark of Dan Ernest 55, who asked “Sony Nex 6 folks”:
      via the Sony multi interface shoe adapter (adp.maa) one can use the Sony microphone (ecm. alst1)
      on the Nex 6, but this information you cannot get directly from the sony website.
      Later I might buy a telelens for video, but first I must think microphone thing over.

      To Ray I remark that the viewfinder reacts immediately to the eye, anyway, to my right eye, as was the case with the EVF on the Nex 5N; but I did/do not the bothersome hard rubber ring around the viewfinders, for a low the sun peeping in I sometime use a hand, no problem.

      As for the most importantant poit, picture quality, I do not agree with Leishon 33, 34, that “with Nex the RAW tells the real story”; because the JPEGS are wonderful, also for A4 enlargement and fullHD beamer presentations. I mostly use the default settings,but exposure minus one to minus two thirds seems on average OK to me on sunny days. I use very little postprocessing on the JPEGS (some contrast, sometimes a bit more brightness) but I’m happy with 95 % of the JPEGS; WHO NEEDS RAW? only when you go for utmost quality on very big photo’s for exhibitions, I think.

      So, I’m even more happy with the Nex 6 than with de Nex 5N, apart from the microphone issue.
      Will stay definitively with it a longer time (also because of money that’s gone already!

      And to Steve Huff: your website is very good looking and sometimes funny, with an overdose of practical information; a very useful addition to the more technical DP reviews.

      • rob: I have an NEX 6 in the mail…! It was based on the information from Sony NEX6 team. i.e. that Sony multi interface shoe adapter (adp.maa) one can use the Sony microphone (ecm. alst1.) e.g., I am adding the 6 (with my d300 Nikon) for tight spot movie mode in Africa. My pro Movie Camera is much larger and dangerous in Islamist parts of the World. I am taking a chance that wirerless mic sets will work off the multi interface…as well.

        Good thread developing…I shoot still and streaming (for most part) at same time. Im excited about what the NEX6 will offer and unload from my body in adverse localaty.

        be in peace.

        • To Dan about the microphone issue on the Nex 6:

          I asked Sony Netherlands again and they said that the Sony microphone ecm.alst1
          will not work on the Nex 6 (and also not through the hotshoe adapter adp.maa.
          Becaue this microphone, as most Sony and other microphones, needs an micr. jack on the camera, that the Nex 6 does not have (from all the Nexes only the Nex 7 has it).

          Too bad…

          • Rob

            I recontacted the Alpha NEX dept. 1 239 768 7547 and they confirmed that the multi interface shoe adaptor does not have a mic. jack, as represented to me on 11/06/2012. I am stuck paying shipping cost and will order the NEX 7 now. My main use is for the Movie and Pan modes.

            Thanks for your input for me to double check etc.,

    • NEX 6

      Are you aware of a ‘Wireless’ (interview) mic set that will work off the NEX 6 hot shoe mount.
      What is the best NEX 6 lens adapter for using VR Nikon lens.

  11. Thank you very much for everything you wrote. I just recently found out about you and the great reviews you do. Like many others, I’m waiting to hear more about nex-6 so as to help me decide between it and 7.
    Again much thanks.
    PS. What doe URI, in the Reply screen, stand for?

  12. if, possible expand on the movie function in BIG 6 review…!
    Audio is rare… Types of Mic set ups is rare… Battery life confusing.

    Your black and white images truly stand out on most all reviews/shots…

    The one shown using the 6 above is it exceptional? It seems overly exceptional
    viewing online. Not sure if its the subject or more the 6…

    My point is is to distinguish or go little deeper in or on ‘your’ opinion of B&W shots…

  13. NEX 6: I need (re: Movie Mode) more information on audio function’s. (1) Stereo hot shoe mount Mic (2) Cord mic (3) wireless interview clip on mic sets. If not available what about on NEX 7. Thanks in advance… dan

    • Called Sony Nex 6 folks… No jack for mic. (Nex 7 Yes) However, an 18$ multi interface shoe adaptor[adp-maa] is available to attach a shot-gun s-mic. {ecm-alst1] 150$.

  14. I too am interested in either the 6 or EX-1. The pictures posted above make me lean towards the Fuji.The dynamic range looks horrible. White balance as well. Major distortion on the wide angle shots. On paper Sony always looks amazing but in real life not so much. Yes Fuji is more expensive but more than likely the Fuji will still be worth something in afew years where as the Sony will most likely be forgotten in 2 years. Sony lenses always seem to under impress where as Fuji lenses are like a work of art. I do like the wi fi and focus peaking on the Sony but ultimately I am looking for a camera that will improve my photography and keep the fire burning.

  15. Thanks for your initial thoughts Steve. Can’t wait to get one of these in my hands! You mention the body design is very similar to the Nex 7, any idea if 7 L brackets will work with the 6?

  16. Hey Steve, I read in some sites that the lack of touch screen makes setting the focus points quite a handful, did you encounter this issue during your time with the NEX 6? Looking forward to your full review! I am stuck on whether to wait for this or go for the OMD. Thanks!

  17. Hi Steve, thanks so much for sharing your initial

    I have a question and concern regarding the power zoom of the kit lens. As an SLR user I’m used to mechanical zoom. How does the power zoom on the 16-50mm kit lens feel and operate? I know you can zoom by using the lens ring when in AF mode, but how does the action compare to mechanical zoom lens? Does it react (zoom in/out) instantly when you turn the ring, or is there some lag? If so, how bad is the lag?

    It’s no wonder the battery life has been reported as poor on the NEX-6 since even regular zooming action eats up power.

    Thanks for your input.

    • The power zoom does NOT feel like a mechanical zoom in any way, even when using the ring to zoom. It works fine but not like a mechanical zoom at all.

  18. I’m looking into comparison between Nex6-E24Z setup and RX1. Does Rx1 top out no doubt? Is the difference really worth $1000?

      • I pre-ordered the Sony RX1 but am now contemplating this camera with the Zeiss 24mm instead. It will be my only camera and I fear the 35mm focal length will be too limiting over time. I do landscape/travel and family type portrait photography, no street shooting. Money also isn’t a limiting factor.

        I tried using my iPhone for a few weeks to get the feel of the 35 mm focal length and found it to meet most of my needs. It’s a tough one, both are great cameras.

        What would you recommend Steve?


  19. This is the only Camera for which there is not yet sufficient review. But thanks Steve for this write up. I have pre ordered my NEX 6. I will decide if I would continue with my purchase based on your full review. From the pictures above, it seems I will stay with my pre order.

  20. Nice preview, I’m looking forward for your full preview, especially your impression for the jpeg engine and the new “small” kit zoom 🙂

  21. Always informative. I cannot wait for your full review on the RX1, 6 and especially the 99. I know you have far less interest in DSLR/SLT’s but I hope you put your thoughts and findings on the 99 to paper to aid us who use DSLT’s. I would love to hear how your experience was with iso performance, image quality and speed and accuracy of the focusing system.

  22. I was going for the Nex-5N to replace my K20D but I think I am going to wait for this one. Thanks for this preview!

  23. what about the added control wheel (not exposure mode) – is it useless like it’s written everywhere on the web? Like one would suggest that with the added control wheel one can control exposure comp + aperture with the back one, and vice versa.

    AFAIK this is not possible, you still are controlling the same thing with both wheels without the possibility to assign them function, and for example – exp. comp. requires to click down first. Frustrating enough on RX100 – but I could at least program it to the control wheel around the lens barrel.

    having exp. comp immediately at hand is the most important in any shot – it’s what proper exposure is about, isn’t it? even compacts like Canons G and others have it, unlike this NEX.

  24. Long time lurker first time poster. Nice pictures and preview!! Now I’m enticed, however I recall you mentioning you tend to have more missed shots with the Nex7 than with the OMD. Presumable it’s due to the giant green box that the sony throws up there when there’s insufficient contrast causing it to focus on wherever there’s contrast. Did you notice that issue with the Nex6? Yes I know there are workarounds, but I shouldn’t have to after spending $1k in this instance.

  25. When you do your review, please mention camera startup time, from the time you turn it on to the time you can take a picture. With my Nikon it is instant, and this has made it possible for me to get 1 amazing photo I never would have otherwise captured. Is the NEX-6 instant on? Thanks!

    • Startup as in after turning on the camera or waking from sleep? Both seem quick enough for me but I never complained about any of the newer cameras. All seem to be pretty fast.

      • I was thinking about startup after turning on the camera. The idea of waking from sleep never occurred to me; I guess Rip Van Winkle had the same problem. Most camera specs don’t mention startup time, so I tend to assume it’s non-optimal. Thanks!

        • All of the NEX cameras work the same when you switch them off, which is, they actually go to sleep for quite a long time instead of shutting all the way down. The result is, when you switch it back on and go to shoot, it’s usually less than a second, if that. I learned this through great amounts of experience with the NEX-7 due to the eye-sensor. You can’t just leave the camera on hanging on your neck or the eye sensor triggers the EVF which kills the battery (disables sleep). So you just switch it off, and on when needed and it’s no noticeable delay. In fact, it comes back faster than when it does go to sleep automatically and you try to wake it with a button press.

          But if it has been off for quite some time, it takes longer to get started. You can easily tell if this is the case because the big alpha logo shows up from a full startup.

          Anyway, all I really shot with my NEX-7 was street and it was NEVER a problem to have it switched off. Never missed a shot from it.

  26. How quick does the evf turn on when you bring your eye to the eye piece? It took my NEX-7 as much time to activate as most decent cameras take to focus. I don’t call that quick af.

    Has Sony changed the eye relief so one can see the entire display or are the bottom and corners still missing? I thought Sony had changed the eye relief on the 6 but from one of the above posts, that may not be the case.

  27. Thanks for late night work to get information out fast – you are the best at that. It depends on what kind of shooting you do, but for me, fast autofocus is a real big deal in capturing action moments of kids or candid fleeting expressions of adults. I’m real glad to see autofocus improvements.

  28. Thanks for this quick review. Definitely waiting for your no nonsense real world full review. Sony cameras have this reputation as being the best in Low Light/ High ISO performance.Hope they will always keep up with that.

    Please Compare Low Light / High ISO performance, Color reproduction and image Sharpness of Nex 6 with Nex 5n.

    In there previous batch Nex 5n was the best with very good Low light, good color, sharp image performance. Only problem was slow auto focus, with this new auto focus every one feels like jumping to 6 or 5r only if the sensor can perform as good or better then 5N in low light.

    Please comment on Color accuracy, dynamic rang and 3D pop.

    No features can sell the camera if the image quality is bad. I am hoping Sony will keep up with image quality and and make it even better and not compromise image quality for some fancy feature or higher megapixel.

    16 megapixel is the perfect number for image quality, Low light performance, right File size for our memory cards, laptops, hard drives. Time it takes to read,write, transfer and edit. Sony should try to get low light performance as good as D3s, sharp noise free pictures with no loss of color at ISO 6400.

  29. Many years back I started photography when no auto focus is available. Many here have no problems taking good pictures using non Sony lenses and manual focusing. I don’t understand the emphasis of faster focus on nex6 over nex7. Just how much faster focus do you need that you open your wallet to buy the nex6 and dump your nex7. Common sense tells me that 24mp gives you more detail than 16mp.

  30. Great! I would like to see the pictures in the full review with the Carl Zeiss 24mm or with some Leica Lense. Can you shot some more BW pictures? The NEX7 did a great job on black and white, in my opinion. I really looking forward for the full review.

  31. Digital does NOT do sunsets well. You better use film for that unless you love haloes and burnt out highlights and a distinct lack of gradation.Having said that, the Nex doesn’t do too badly here.

  32. hello Steve.. for a long time the best pics You posted: great nature impressions. .. but seeing closer, they all look a bit mushy, cannot explain it in another way.. :from an APS-C sensor i would expect more clarity.

    therefore my question to Your practical experience: how does the nex 16 mp sensor stand against the Olympus (Sony) mFT Sensor of the E-M 5 (and followers)?

    • What you see are mostly out of camera jpegs (i assume). With nex cameras the raws tell the real story.

  33. Why do nex -cameras always lose the darker areas to complete black on OOC jpegs? The detail in shadows and dark eyes for example are very often just black. Not that this is even a real complaint, i wouldn’t use ooc jpegs that often anyway. The darker areas can very well be brought back in post (i use lightroom 4).
    My RX 100 does better job with the ooc jpegs i think.

    But anyway, i believe i will buy nex-6. It seems to have almost everything it needs to. Shame it doesnt have a mic jack but what can you do. Steve, you didn’t pay much of attention to the 35mm 1.8 here. Do you think that it’s sharp and worth the price? The dark aquarium images didn’t clarify that to me. Thanks for the great work! Write more about these beasts as soon as you can! And the “piano player’s” phone number would be nice too.

  34. Great preview Steve!

    For EnPassant: During the Photokina I could try the Fujifilm X-E1 and the NEX 6 within a 30 minutes time frame. The biggest point for me was that the viewfinder of the X-E1 has clearly a smaller image compared to the NEX 6 (and 7). I checked it again at the Carl Zeiss booth with a NEX 7. So even though they all have a 2.4M EVF, the optics in front of it are different resulting in a larger image in the NEX 6 and 7.

    So for me no switch from NEX to Fujifilm although the Fuji is a nice camera in itself.


  35. Thanks Steve,

    This first quick look review sounds like i have to sell my 5N and diving in the EVF+Hot shoe world. I’m waiting for your in depth review 🙂

    Best regards.

  36. To me the NEX menu system is the real pain in the ass, the rest like focusing or numbers of dials are non-issues. I really hope Sony would simply adopt the menu system of the alpha or RX series, current NEX interface is worst then those on P&S. BTW, Sony please don’t put those funny looking background pictures in the menu, at least give us the option to turn them off.

  37. Since the NEX-6 has also video capability, I wonder why reviewers never include video samples in their assessments/

    • I always put video quality with samples in my reviews. This is not my review so the video is not here yet. WHen I review the camera the video samples will be with it just as it was with the 5n, 7, etc. Thx

  38. can’t wait for the 35/1.8. this is gonna be the year of Sony & Fuji.
    Think nikon & canon’s going to have some baaad time ahead if they don’t move fast.

    well played sony 😀 thanks for sharing Steve

  39. Like EnPassant, I would also like to know how the NEX-6 does with wide-angle RF lenses. (Ditto for the 5R as well.) Everyone knows the NEX-7 didn’t do nearly as well as the NEX5N, so I’m waiting to see how the new models stack up.

  40. The intersting question now is which camera will be my large APS-C sensor “compact” camera?
    Fujifilm X-E1 with the new 18-55/2.8-4 zoom-lens, or Sony NEX-6 with the new compact 16-50/3.5-5.6?

    Assuming the different style and handling of the cameras doesn’t matter:

    X-E1 pro: Traditional body that balances well with the lenses made for it, very good lens-program/roadmap, especially for primes, fast kit-lens with a good range, sensor without AA-filter that arguably produce sharper images compared to standard APS-C sensors.

    X-E1 cons: Bigger and more heavy and expensive compared to NEX-6, Raw-support not the best.

    X-E1 Mixed/unclear: The Fujifilm special non-Bayer filter creating image problems of its own? If the kit-lens is made with the same optical standard as the primes it could be the best of all DX 18-55 lenses. Remains to be tested though. Focusing with adapted lenses? Performance with wideangle rangefinder lenses compared to NEX-6?

    NEX-6 pro: Smaller and cheaper with 16-50 kit-lens, large selection of adapters for other lenses. focus-peaking, good selection of zooms in the lens-program/roadmap.

    NEX-6 cons: The available Sony lenses (excluding the new ones) are a mixed bag. A couple of good ones like the 24 and 50 mm lenses. The rest are less good and not that sharp in the corners, especially on the NEX-7 24 MP sensor. Also the color (silver) of many lenses doesn’t match the black bodies.

    NEX-6 Mixed/unclear: Will the sensor perform as well (hopefully even better!) as the one in NEX-5N with wideangle rangefinder lenses? How will the new kit-lens compare to the new Fujifilm zoom? 16 mm at the short end will make wideangle fans happy while others will find only 50 mm at the long end is just a bit to short for a camera with only one lens solution. Sony’s old kit-lens as well as a super-zoom is of course an option but most likely inferior to the Fujifilm zoom.

    There are naturally other points that could be discussed. But these are the ones that concerns me the most for the moment, until they get an answer. Ideally I could buy them both and try out for myself. That would however be a bit expensive!

    • The Nex 6 works great with the Voigtlander 28mm f2. There is no smearing or color shift at the edges or corners.

  41. interesting. Before I got my 7, I suspected the 6 would be a better camera, with the 7’s biggest advantage being the tri nav and the 24 mp sensor (+ and -). If one already has the 7 or really need the trinav, there’s no reason to get a 6 or even to trade it for the 6.

    However, for a new buyer, the 6 just makes so much more sense unless they truly need the tri-nav.

    • Photographers have survived almost a hundred years without the “tri Navi”, I”m sure we’ll all be fine with a knob or a dial..provided that Minolta doesn’t do what they do best, which is to always try and fix things that were never broken.It took them how many cameras before the tri navi or knob came out? Waht’s next? My geuss is that it will be gone in a a year or two..maybe the knob will be in the body like the olympus ep2, and then on the mount like the nikkormats. Only from the Mind of Minolta. I pray their program cards and auto framing in their old film slr’s don’t come back..oh wait, the auto framing did come back , it’s on the NEX f3 and A57! LOL. For some reason I can never trust Minolta.LOL

  42. Great preview Steve! Really looking forward to a more in depth review of the 16-50 kit lens. I think this will be a great replacement for the dual lens kit I have for my 5N. I really like the shorter length of the lens versus the 18-55mm lens I’m using. Be great to see how sharpness comparisons as well.. Thanks!

  43. Great preview Steve! The photo with the kit zoom of the girl with the piano is amazing, would love to buy a print of it!

    I’m really excited about the NEX-6 now, I gave up on the A77 recently after much frustration with some of the decisions Sony made. The mutually exclusive manual control or autofocus in movie mode drove me mad. The NEX-7 is amazing but as you mentioned before no where near as fast as the A77 for focussing,

    The idea of an NEX-7 sized camera with a focussing system approaching that of the A77 is a great prospect. Glad that little 16-50 PZ is showing promise too!

  44. I really like that 35mm 1.8, but it’s almost $500. Ouch! I’ve got an a65 and bought the 35mm 1.8 A mount for $200.

    C’mon Sony. What’s up with that??

    • But the 35mm f/1.8 for A mount is plastic, has SAM AF motor (very loud), and haven’t Optical Steady Shot. This 35mm for E mount is made in aluminum alloy, the AF motor y silent and has Optical Steady Shot

  45. I actually went with the 5r for a travel setup. I prefer the look and feel while getting the same performance. For travel I believe no evf won’t hurt me. I had to pre order it as I need it before the holidays which means I’ll have to sell the kit lens and buy the 16-50 when it becomes available. I I think the next 6 is great but for my desires the 5r fits better. I would love to see some more hands on with the 5r…

  46. Hi Steve, great little read.

    I’m glad to read that the new 35mm 1.8 e-mount lens does support the PDAF, it would be weird if it was otherwise. However I read on dpreview that the PDAF wasn’t supported with the older fixed focal length lenses.

    But do you know if the older E-mount 50mm 1.8 OSS and the 16mm pancake work with the PDAF on the NEX-6???

    • That is how I processed a couple of the shots here and a few had negative compensation. When I review the camera I will have all kinds of samples.

  47. Can this one finally shoot silent or nearly silent like the Fuji and the old Sony DSC-R1? That has been my biggest complain about my NEX.

    • It has a mechanical shutter so it does click, but it’s pretty quiet like other NEX. Heaps quieter than an SLR.

      • if, possible expand on the movie function in BIG 6 review…!
        Audio is rare… Types of Mic set ups is rare… Battery life confusing.

        Your black and white images truly stand out on most all reviews/shots…

        The one shown using the 6 is it exceptional? It seems overly exceptional viewing online.

        My point is is to distinguish or go little deeper in or on ‘your’ opinion on B&W shots…

  48. Some really nice pics here. Really nice. But… I feel I’m already hooked to the IQ of the RX1. I clearly “passed the point of no return”. 🙂 Of course this is quite another price range, so it’s not fair to compair them.
    BTW I see no reason at all to trade my 7 for this 6, since I don’t care for AF, and I love the Tri Navi system too much. Also I’m really pleased (a lot!) with the 24MP sensor’s IQ of my 7. So it’s only when Sony comes with an RX1-Pro (or whatever they will call that beast of a camera with, you know, FF, IC and integrated EVF), that I’ll buy another camera. Immediately, because I want one!!! Hey Mr. Sony, you can already take my pre-order now!
    But let me wonder for a while: if I would buy today, would I prefer the 6 over the 7? Maybe. But only because it would save me quite some cash. On the other hand, having experienced the Tri Navi… it would be a tough choice!
    But I would definitely wait to make my final choice until I saw a number of pictures, taken by prime lenses. I guess Steve will show those in his in-depth review.

  49. I gotta say the NEX 6 is what the 7 or the 5’s should have been, even if the 5’s never had a viewfinder. Just one thing that concerns me is, next year, will Minolta take away the mode dials for something else? Most likely, let’s hope not..but you can never trust Minolta. After almost 70 years since the small camera came out, maufacturers haven’t yet figured out where to put dials or if they should have them. Id’ buy the NEX6 only because next years model has a 50/50 chance of having anything good disappear.Tri -Navi? Tri to be consistent, Minolta! Seeesh!

    • You are really living in the past! SONY bought the camera business from Konica-Minolta in 2006. Last time Minolta was seen alone before merging with Konica was in 2003.

  50. Pair this with the new up coming SLR Magic Cine 35mm T/0.95 !!! Steve you gotta get hold of this Lens to review!!! This with the Nex 6 or Fuji Xe1 (when and if it has focus peaking) would be something to behold…

  51. Many thanks Steve. Did Sony relocate the video bottom that was so easily triggered accidentally on the NEX7?

  52. Hi Steve, great quick preview and photos. As a 5N owner, I’m curious to know if the focus is faster using the LA-EA1 since the 6 has both CDAF and PDAF, or is it still recommended to use LA-EA2 with it’s translucent mirror system? Look forward to this comparison in your full review. Again thanks for all the hard work.

  53. This is gonna be fantastic with the new 35mm Cine T/0.95 with from SLR Magic !!!Steve please review that lens !!!

  54. Is the Movie button still in the same place and also lacking a control to turn it off?
    This drives me crazy with the Nex 7.

      • The movie button is also moved just a bit so it’s supposedly harder to hit by accident. I didn’t have trouble on the pre-release test, but think I’ll reassign mine anyhow to something I find more useful, as I’m a stills shooter.

  55. I always enjoy your enthusiasm, and quality shots for samples Steve, while many others seem over-invested in trivial matters that can be highly personal. Keep it up!

    I’m really hoping NEX-6 isn’t overly popular, until I get my hands on one. 😀 Or I might end up having to wait in line.

  56. When you do your in-depth review, will you please include shots using wide-angle Leica lenses? I would like to see if the color casts are still there like in the NEX-7. Thanks Steve, you’re loving the 16-50mm kit, huh? 🙂

    • The color casts will NOT be there as it is the same as the NEX-5n. What caused the color casts in the 7 was the sensor. The sensor in the 6 is 16MP and was told it does not have the issue that the 7 did. I will try it though when I get one for review.

  57. Thanks for the comments. A number of the landscape/scenic shots look under exposed (-1/3 to -2/3) to me including the one at the top of the page where you are holding the camera. Was this deliberate? Missing details in the darker portions suggests dynamic range not that great when preserving highlights. Just my observation.

    • The image at the top where I am holding the camera was not shot with a NEX and yes, it is way underexposed. These posts this week have been rushed as I did them when I had a free 2 hours and it is very hard to do that. When I get back home I will fix a few things. Also, I underexposed a few of these shots purposely by using Exposure Compensation – was intentional. When I review the camera I will have plenty of images and info. This was a quick look, thats all.

  58. Oh, I forgot to ask Steve.. Is there an adapter for the use of MF lenses such as Nikon AI/AIS glass? That would probably push me over the edge, so long as the ergonomics of the 6 felt good.

    • bainphoto, there’s actually almost an adapter for every interchangeable lens mount made with the exception of the other mirrorless mounts. A search on either Ebay or Amazon will turn out plenty of Nikon F-mount to Nex E-mount adapters though if you want to use Nikon’s modern autofocus lenses that don’t have aperture rings you’re going to have to buy an adapter that can adjust the aperture.

      • Of course. As soon as I typed that, I Google’d for one and was sent to Amazon where there are plenty. Question is then, are the “pro” model PhotoDiox adapters that much better than their regular versions?


        • I think the main difference might just be maybe slightly better build quality, an easier lens release/lock button/lever, and the pro version probably comes with a tripod mount. I have a hard time seeing that most adapters might break since they’re almost all made from some type of metal. However, some of the better built ones feel a bit more solid and there’s not much shaking or interplay between the lens, adapter, and camera body.

          I haven’t notice too many problems using my dad’s old Nikon 50mm f1.4 a.i. lens, on my Nex 5N using a mid-end ($20-40) priced adapter. However, if you’re planning on mounting something larger like a Minolta Rokkor 600mm, I would probably pick up the more expensive adapters. Keep in mind adapters can range from cheap $9.99 Chinese made adapters to the expensive German made Novoflex adapters.

    • There are plenty of Nikon to NEX adapters on ebay for less than 20 bucks, so you are over the edge now 🙂

  59. Looks very promising thus far Steve! It’s an interesting proposition, whether one should spend 1k on the NEX-6 or wait for the second iteration of their FX compact rather than 3k now. I’m sure there are a few facets of the RX-1 that the NEX-6 can not hope to match, but that really speaks to the sensor capabilities for the most part. The NEX has the viewfinder, phase and contrast detect, is even smaller and of course, is an IL system.

    That said, I can’t wait to see your NEX-6 vs RX-1 comparison. I KNOW you’re gonna do it! Thanks for all your *cough* hard work, ya lucky devil you! 😉


  60. Steve, great preview… even though I really don´t like to NEX system (I am more into X-100s type of classic bodies) the imagery you share is really stunning, I don´t see the need for the full frame Sony when you can have this IQ for less than half price. Just a quick question: The 35mm 1.8 is made for the Alpha, so the AF works with the NEX? Thanks for sharing, Ricardo

    • The 35mm f/1.8 used here is for E-mount that was recently launched. BTW, you still get AF with A-mount lenses on NEX, just have to deal with sluggish AF (via LA-EA1 adapter, and SAM/SSM lenses only) or faster PDAF (via LA-EA2, which also supports older screw drive lenses for AF).

      • 1) Does the new E mount 35mm f1.8 support phase detect AF with the NEX-6 or is it contrast detect only?

        2) Would you get the NEX-6 body only with the 35mm f1.8 or as a kit with the new zoom?

        • 1) Yes. In fact even the old kit lens is supported for PDAF.
          2) I don’t think the 35mm is being sold as a part of kit. I would personally get the camera with the kit zoom. I may continue using my A-mount 35mm f/1.8 on NEX until some time when I choose to replace my A55 with FF SLT.

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