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Sony NEX-6 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £819
inc VAT

The best compact system camera to date – start saving up


23.5×15.6mm 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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Basic Specifications

Rating *****
CCD effective megapixels 16.0 megapixels
CCD size 23.5×15.6mm
Viewfinder electronic, 2.4 megapixels
Viewfinder magnification, coverage 1.09x, 100%
LCD screen size 3.0in
LCD screen resolution 921,600 pixels
Articulated screen Yes
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 3.1x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 24-75mm
Image stabilisation optical, in kit lens
Maximum image resolution 4,912×3,264
File formats JPEG, RAW; AVCHD, MPEG-4


Memory slot SDXC and Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo
Mermory supplied none
Battery type Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 360 shots
Connectivity USB, mini HDMI, Wi-Fi
Body material magnesium alloy
Lens mount Sony E mount
Focal length multiplier 1.5x
Kit lens model name Sony SEL-P1650
Accessories USB cable, neck strap
Weight 465g
Size 70x121x70mm

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £819

Camera Controls

Exposure modes program, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed 30 to 1/4,000 seconds
Aperture range f/3.5-22 (wide), f/5.6-36 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution) 100 to 25600
Exposure compensation +/-3 EV
White balance auto, 9 presets with fine tuning, manual, Kelvin
Additional image controls contrast, saturation, sharpness, noise reduction, dynamic range, lens compensation (peripheral shading, chromatic aberration, distortion), AF micro adjust
Manual focus Yes
Closest macro focus 25cm
Auto-focus modes multi, centre, flexible spot, face detect, tracking
Metering modes multi, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, rear curtain, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, HDR, panorama