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Sony announces NEX-6 16MP enthusiast mirrorless camera with Wi-Fi

By dpreview staff on Sep 12, 2012 at 04:00 GMT
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Photokina 2012: Sony has announced the Alpha NEX-6 16MP enthusiast mirrorless interchangeable lens camera and three additional E-mount lenses for its NEX cameras. The NEX-6 builds on the features first seen on the NEX-5R announced last month, including Wi-Fi, in-camera apps and on-sensor phase detection. In addition it gains the high-resolution, 2.3M dot OLED viewfinder previously seen on the NEX-7, plus an external mode dial. In addition, the NEX-6 becomes the first NEX camera to feature the Sony's revived Quick Navi interactive control panel and an ISO-standard hotshoe. The NEX-6 is launched along with a 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 retractable power zoom lens creating a much smaller zoom kit than was previously possible with the NEX system.

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Press Release:

New Sony α NEX-6 Camera Delivers Full DSLR Experience in Pocket-Sized Package

Compact System Camera Features 16.1 MP APS-C Sensor, Fast Hybrid AF, OLED Viewfinder, Enhanced Control, Expandability and Wi-Fi® Capabilities

SAN DIEGO, Sept 12, 2012 – With a brand new, sleek design and enhanced control capabilities, the new Sony NEX-6 camera packs all the imaging power, shooting responsiveness, handling and operability of a DSLR into a pocket-sized mirrorless camera.

The newest addition to Sony’s acclaimed E-mount camera line-up includes Fast Hybrid AF, Wi-Fi capabilities and the Play Memories Camera Apps™ platform recently introduced on Sony’s new NEX-5R model, as well as the same high-resolution XGA OLED Tru-Finder™ viewfinder found on the flagship NEX-7 model. Additionally, the NEX-6 adds a standard DSLR-style mode dial for fast, simple navigation between settings.

“Put simply, we are revolutionizing the world of compact system cameras,” said Mike Kahn, director of the alpha camera business at Sony Electronics. “With the NEX-6, we’ve brought a full DSLR experience – fast focus, enhanced control and an “eye-level” shooting style - to consumers at a fraction of the size and weight. Add the convenience of Wi-Fi connectivity and our innovative Play Memories Camera Apps platform, and it becomes a truly compelling product unlike anything else in market today. It’s the perfect balance of size, performance quality.”

The camera’s large Exmor® APS HD CMOS sensor offers 16.1 effective megapixels for true DSLR-quality images and detail-packed Full HD video. It’s teamed with a powerful BIONZ® image processor that ensures flawless, low-noise images at extended sensitivity settings up to ISO 25600.  

The innovative Fast Hybrid AF system* combines phase- and contrast-detect AF methods. It uses 99 phase-detection AF points arrayed on the image sensor to detect a subject’s distance and direction to quickly lock focus on it, and then utilizes contrast-detection AF to confirm extremely fine focus detail. In Speed Priority Continuous shooting mode, the camera automatically switches to phase detection tracking AF to track fast-moving action accurately in each frame at up to 10 frames per second.

As with the flagship NEX-7 camera, the NEX-6 model features an XGA OLED Tru-Finder™ EVF for precision framing and focusing. This 2.36 million dot electronic viewfinder gives a bright, detail-packed, high contrast view of still images and video, with 100% frame coverage and a wide field of view to rival pro-grade optical viewfinders. On-screen grid lines and a digital level gauge can be displayed to assist with accurate framing.

The high-quality OLED Tru-Finder™ EVF is complemented by a 3.0” Xtra Fine LCD™ display that can be angled up to 90° up or 45° down (approx.) for easy viewing in virtually any shooting position. The LCD screen ensures superb detail and contrast with significantly reduced on-screen reflections, aiding composition when shooting outdoors or in direct light.

New for the NEX-6 camera is a strategically-positioned mode dial on its top, similar to those found on traditional DSLR cameras, giving photographers easy access to commonly used shooting modes including P/A/S/M and Sweep Panorama™ mode. The camera also has mode-dependent control dial (located underneath the mode dial) plus a separate control wheel on the camera back for fine adjustments of exposure, ISO, white balance and other settings.

Also inherited from high-end A-mount cameras, a “Function” key and pro-focused Quick Navi interface allows fingertip adjustment of settings without taking the viewfinder away from the shooter’s eye. Alongside a handy pop-up flash, there’s a versatile new Multi Interface Shoe that’s capable of ‘intelligent’ linkage with various accessories.

Full HD movie shooting is enhanced on the NEX-6 camera with a new Auto Slow Shutter feature that adds extra detail to low-light clips. The camera detects dim interiors and night scenes and automatically selects a slower shutter speed to brighten footage.

Wi-Fi Sharing and New Camera Apps

Shared with the NEX-5R model, integrated Wi-Fi on the NEX-6 camera allows photos to be transferred wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet running Sony’s free PlayMemories Mobile™ app (free of charge), available on both Android™ and Apple iOS platforms. Additionally, content can be directly uploaded from the camera to Facebook® using a Wi-Fi connection and the new “Direct Upload” application, part of Sony’s new PlayMemories Camera Apps™ platform. 

The PlayMemories Camera Apps platform is the world’s first application download service in an interchangeable lens camera that allows consumers to install new functions on demand, tailoring their cameras to fit personal shooting needs. The service can be accessed over Wi-Fi or when the camera is connected directly to a PC via USB.**

Available apps at launch, outside of “Direct Upload”, will include “Picture Effect+”, “Multi Frame NR” and “Smart Remote Control.”  A variety of other apps including “Bracket Pro”, “Photo Retouch”, “Time-Lapse” and “Cinematic Photo” are also planned for future release.

New Interchangeable Lenses for α E-mount Cameras

Sony has also introduced three new lenses for its E-mount line of interchangeable lens cameras, adding to the system’s flexibility.

The new SELP1650 lens is an extremely light, compact 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 powered zoom model that measures only 29.9 mm thick (when fully retracted) and contains built-in Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization for clearer handheld images. Additionally, it features a dual-function ring that controls both power zoom and manual focus, depending on the camera’s focus mode. With the camera set to AF the control ring adjusts smooth, high-speed zoom with small hand movements. With the camera in MF mode, the ring controls manual focus. A smooth power zoom dial makes the lens particularly useful for shooting video.

The new SEL35F18 lens is a wide aperture 35mm focal length model with a bright maximum aperture of f/1.8 and built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization. It offers excellent optical sharpness, clarity, and background defocus in both still images and HD video, and is exceptionally light and easy to carry.

The new SEL1018 lens is a super-wide angle zoom with a maximum aperture of f/4.0 across its range of 10-18mm and built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization. Adopting the super ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass which reduces color aberration, the lens is capable of producing dramatic perspective effects and is ideal for shooting landscapes and interiors.

New accessories for NEX-6

The new stylish, leather LCS-ELC6 Soft Carrying Case is designed exclusively for use with the NEX-6 camera and attached SELP1650 or SEL16F28 lens. While attached, the case still allows use of a tripod as well as the camera's LCD screen to be tilted.

The new LCS-EJA Soft Carrying Case can be used for all α E-mount cameras, and is ideal for use with the new SELP1650 or SEL16F28 lens attached. It has internal pockets for storage of the lens cap as well as a spare memory card.

Pricing and Availability

The NEX-6 compact system camera will be available this November in a kit with the SELP1650 power zoom lens for about $1,000. It will also be offered as body-only for about $850.

The SELP1650 power zoom lens will be sold separately in January for about $350, and the SEL35F18 prime and SEL1018 wide angle lenses will be available this November for about $450 and $850, respectively.

The LCS-ELC6 and LCS-EJA soft carrying cases will be available this November for about $100 and $40, respectively.

The new camera, lenses and all compatible accessories will be available at Sony retail stores ( and other authorized dealers nationwide.

Please visit for a full video preview of the new NEX-6 compact system camera and follow #SonyNEX on Twitter for the latest α NEX camera news.

Sony Alpha NEX-6 specifications

MSRP$749 (body only), $899 (with 16-50mm lens), $1349 (with 16-50 and 55-210 mm lenses)
Body type
Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless
Max resolution4912 x 3264
Other resolutions4912 x 2760, 3568 x 2368, 3568 x 2000, 2448 x 1624, 2448 x 1376
Image ratio w:h3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
ISOAuto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, 25600
White balance presets6
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, Normal
File format
  • JPEG (Exif 2.21)
  • RAW (SRW)
  • MPO
Optics & Focus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Selective single-point
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Digital zoomNo
Manual focusYes
Lens mountSony E
Focal length multiplier1.5×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3
Screen dots921,000
Screen typeXtra Fine LCD with Tilt Up 90° and Down 45°
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification1.09×
Viewfinder resolution2,359,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Exposure modes
  • iAuto
  • Program
  • Aperture Priority
  • Shutter Priority
  • Manual
Scene modes
  • Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Macro
  • Sports Action
  • Sunset
  • Night Portrait
  • Night View
  • Hand-held Twilight
Built-in flashYes (Pop-up)
Flash range6.00 m
External flashYes (Hot-shoe)
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, Rear Curtain, Fill-in
Flash X sync speed1/160 sec
Continuous drive10 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec, 10sec (3 images))
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing (at 1/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingNo
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (60, 24 fps), 1440 x 1080 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC/Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (Mini Type C)
Remote controlYes (InfraRed (optional))
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion NP-FW50 rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)360
Weight (inc. batteries)345 g (0.76 lb / 12.17 oz)
Dimensions120 x 67 x 43 mm (4.72 x 2.64 x 1.69)
Other features

Additional images

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Sony Alpha NEX-6


Total comments: 28
By E2W (11 months ago)

I was ready to spring for this until I found out it didn't support tethered shooting. Sigh - starting to think the right camera just isn't out there...

The Jacal
By The Jacal (Sep 29, 2012)

I'll wait for the Hasselblad version.

By rhlpetrus (Sep 12, 2012)

Looks great, let's see how AF performs, still the A's heel of Nex.

By z9z9z9z9 (Sep 12, 2012)

Why do all the product pictures have huge amounts of chroma noise?

1 upvote
By mpgxsvcd (Sep 12, 2012)

That is a great camera when combined with the new lenses.

By Digiman69 (Sep 12, 2012)

Nex 7 has been killed, same nice EVF, better lenses performaces especially with old trusted legacy lenses (due to less stressed sensor), better AF system...unless you need printing A2 all the time no reason to buy the 7. Even at same price I'll pick up the 6 for sure.

By iudex (Sep 12, 2012)

And maybe even lower noise (bigger pixels) and less work for the lens to "feed" the sensor. NEX7 is obsolete now.

By NowHearThis (Sep 12, 2012)

I still prefer my NEX7, I shoot at low ISOs, mostly landscapes and portraits, I don't need faster AF, I have little need\/want for old legacy glass (I do want some AF). I shoot with a really good copy of the 18-200 OSS and a 50mm OSS and the detail fromthat 24mp sensor is simply amazing. I do make large prints: 16x20, 20x30 and I do crop a bit sometimes - so the extra resolution is better for me. I also like the Tri-navi interface. The NEX6 has some good features, but I'd still buy the NEX7 over it if I had to do it again.

1 upvote
By Blackraven (Sep 12, 2012)

Does this have weather-sealing?

By peevee1 (Sep 14, 2012)


By mrbilla (Sep 12, 2012)

finally sony have gotten rid of that minolta flash shoe, the one thing that kept me from upgrading my r1 and v3

By SRHEdD (Sep 12, 2012)

Amen Brutha... Metz fan here, never liked specialized hot shoes.

By fotobo (Sep 12, 2012)

24 MP "Full frame" NEX-8 comming soon? ;)

1 upvote
By iudex (Sep 12, 2012)

I would be nice, but it´s not probable. As some already pointed out, the reason for releasing RX1 as a fixed lens camera could have been the lack of FF lenses (for CSC). Many people here (including me) have critisized NEXes for lack of lenses, so introducing a completely new body with 1-2 lenses would cause even bigger criticism.

By T3 (Sep 12, 2012)

Don't count on it "coming soon." Sony already has the Alpha system to support, including a FF Alpha. And they also have the APS-C NEX system to support. They have to get the market share and sales of *both* these systems up before they can even consider launching a *third* system (a FF MILC system)! I don't think they want to spread themselves too thin by offering three different ILC systems, especially right now when they are trying to get greater market adoption of their two current systems.

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
1 upvote
By jayKSR (Sep 12, 2012)

Kudos to Sony! This is the perfect mirrorless camera for me!

By iudex (Sep 12, 2012)

This is in my opinion the closest to a perfect CSC. Body as small as M 4/3 cameras, but with an EVF (and the best one, with 2,4M). But this would mean nothing (other NEXes are small too) without ading a perfectly suitable collapsible zoom lens. The biggest disadvantage I critisized on NEX cameras was the disproportion between tiny camera body and big lenses. Nos the power zoom perfectly accompanies small body, making the NEX6 + 16-50 PZ the smallest APCS camera with a zoom lens. Of course physics cannot be cheated, thus we must accept the f3,5-5,6. On the other hand starting at 16 mm is perfect, making the 16 mm pancake obsolete. I am not a Sony fanboy, but I say BRAVO!

Peter G
By Peter G (Sep 12, 2012)


Sony did everything right here.

By SDPharm (Sep 12, 2012)

Very nice. Minor disappointments include lack of GPS and USB2. Not a deal breaker though.

1 upvote
By abonitas (Sep 12, 2012)

Less digital gadget, more FUJI X. Good.

1 upvote
By Jun2 (Sep 12, 2012)

may switch from GH1 GH2 to this one, if video is good.

1 upvote
By xlynx9 (Sep 12, 2012)

I would have switched from GH to NEX-7 ages ago, if not for the big clunky limited lenses.

1 upvote
By emircruz (Sep 12, 2012)

would still go for the E-M5. But that RX1 looks nasty!!!

1 upvote
By Peiasdf (Sep 12, 2012)

What an amazing camera. This or X-E1?

BTW, why is the OLED 1.23M and not 2.36M dot as on X-E1 and NEX-7?

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Sep 12, 2012)

It isn't. Where are you seeing that?

Steve FStop
By Steve FStop (Sep 12, 2012)

The new NEX-6 + 16-50 kit appears to be very good value.

Have another read... It appears that the NEX-6 does have the 2.3M OLED.....same one as the NEX-7?

By abonitas (Sep 12, 2012)

Too early to conclude. No one knows about the new Fuji zoom quality, supposed to be better than SONY, though.

By Peiasdf (Sep 12, 2012)

@R Butler
The headline paragraph used to say "In addition it gains the high-resolution, 1.23M dot OLED viewfinder previously seen on the NEX-7" It was changed 10 minutes after my post.

@ Steve FStop & abonitas
The kit price is $400 below X-E1's kit price but the Fuji zoom is faster and bound to be better than the pancake zoom.

Also, since I want a fast 35mm eqv. for indoor and night shooting, NEX is actually more expensive as the Zeiss is $1100.

Total comments: 28