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Sony NEX-6 review

Ben Pitt
4 Dec 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

The best compact system camera to date – start saving up



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.

Basic Specifications

CCD effective megapixels16.0 megapixels
CCD size23.5x15.6mm
Viewfinderelectronic, 2.4 megapixels
Viewfinder magnification, coverage1.09x, 100%
LCD screen size3.0in
LCD screen resolution921,600 pixels
Articulated screenYes
Live viewYes
Optical zoom3.1x
Zoom 35mm equivalent24-75mm
Image stabilisationoptical, in kit lens
Maximum image resolution4,912x3,264
File formatsJPEG, RAW; AVCHD, MPEG-4


Memory slotSDXC and Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo
Mermory suppliednone
Battery typeLi-ion
Battery Life (tested)360 shots
ConnectivityUSB, mini HDMI, Wi-Fi
Body materialmagnesium alloy
Lens mountSony E mount
Focal length multiplier1.5x
Kit lens model nameSony SEL-P1650
AccessoriesUSB cable, neck strap

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB

Camera Controls

Exposure modesprogram, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed30 to 1/4,000 seconds
Aperture rangef/3.5-22 (wide), f/5.6-36 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution)100 to 25600
Exposure compensation+/-3 EV
White balanceauto, 9 presets with fine tuning, manual, Kelvin
Additional image controlscontrast, saturation, sharpness, noise reduction, dynamic range, lens compensation (peripheral shading, chromatic aberration, distortion), AF micro adjust
Manual focusYes
Closest macro focus25cm
Auto-focus modesmulti, centre, flexible spot, face detect, tracking
Metering modesmulti, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flashauto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, rear curtain, red-eye reduction
Drive modessingle, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, HDR, panorama