Sony NEX-6 review

The best compact system camera to date – start saving up

4 Dec 2012
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23.5x15.6mm 16.0-megapixel sensor, 3.1x zoom (24-75mm equivalent), 465g

The NEX-6 is very nearly perfect, but there are still a few things on our wish list. It's disappointing that the 3in articulated screen isn't touch-sensitive. Perhaps it was deemed to be unsuitable on a serious camera, but we find touchscreens extremely useful for moving the autofocus point – something that's worth doing often on a large-sensor camera because of the shallow depth of field it gives. Adjusting the autofocus point using the NEX-6's navigation pad is slower than simply prodding the screen.

We wish it were possible to hear a beep to confirm autofocus but not also have to put up with a clicking sound every time we press a button or turn a dial. We'd also like to be able to disable the text descriptions that appear each time the mode dial is adjusted, requiring a button push to dismiss.

Sony NEX-6

These are minor quibbles, though, and in all other respect the NEX-6 is an outstanding camera. It's a pleasure to use, it's packed with useful features and image and video quality are top notch. Sony's E Mount still trails behind Micro Four Thirds for the sheer number of compatible lenses, but based on these two new additions, it's no longer trailing for quality.

It's currently available for £819, but that's only £10 less than Sony's official price – we expect it will shed £100 or so in the next couple of months. Either way, though, it's an expensive camera. Our next challenge is to find something that's this good but costs less.

We might not have to wait long: the NEX-5R uses the same sensor and includes 10fps shooting, Wi-Fi and similar controls, but costs just £480 inc VAT from Amazon. It doesn't include the NEX-6's electronic viewfinder, integrated flash, hotshoe, mode dial or superior kit lens, though. If you've got the funds, the NEX-6 is hard to resist.

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