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Just Posted: Sony NEX-6 and 16-50mm power zoom preview

By dpreview staff on Sep 12, 2012 at 04:00 GMT

Just Posted: We've had a chance to use the Sony Alpha NEX-6 with its 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 power zoom kit lens and have prepared a hands-on preview. The NEX-6 is an enthusiast level mirrorless camera that features the high-resolution OLED viewfinder we first saw on the NEX-7 and builds on the capabilities that appeared on the recent NEX-5R. Does the addition of a mode dial and the Quick Navi interface make for the most coherent NEX camera yet? Read our preview to find out.

345
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18
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27
I had it
Discuss in the forums
595
I own it
85
I want it
71
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 63
Elieser
By Elieser (Sep 13, 2012)

Sony at last manufactured cameras and optics wich all wanted and expected.
Fase detection rapid focusing.
Convenient dials.
Camera with VF, priced 1000 only.
Collapsible, compact power zoom lens.
Good prime, not too expensive.
But... There could be some problems with IQ.
Olympus and Panasonic collapsible zooms suffer from smearing at shutter speeds 1/60 - 1/200.
Phase detection based on main sensor could upset image registration.
If IQ will be as good as NEX 5N, NEX 5R and NEX 6 will be very best cameras in class, and my be most popular among all cameras.

1 upvote
ageha
By ageha (Sep 15, 2012)

No. AF is still slow as before. Just check out the videos on YouTube.

1 upvote
FTW
By FTW (Sep 16, 2012)

This is again a camera for old fashioned hares, they need no such thing as AF. I focus faster and more precise with the NEX-7 than anyone with AF. Times have returned where the human makes the shot, not the camera. Once I have the NEX-6, I'll need a few days practice. AF is the lowest of my concern in a camera. I use the Fuji S5 in manual with Samyang 14 mm lens since ever.

0 upvotes
rurikw
By rurikw (Sep 13, 2012)

It's so nice. The half-articulated screen is no problem any more since I can use my iPhone. The 16-50mm is probably too cheap and collapsible to be good enough. (I am spoiled by my R1). If IQ=5n, Panasonic GH2 still seems to have a slight edge at raw low iso, but that is really pixel peeping and Pana 12-35mm is so expensive (but would probably surpass the Vario-Sonnar on the R1) and the GH2's faux slr design so... bourgeois, no? I'll wait, see and save.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Lofi
By Lofi (Sep 13, 2012)

Does it overheat?

2 upvotes
yhirao
By yhirao (Sep 12, 2012)

Nice! I wonder if it has the Background Defocus feature.

0 upvotes
petepictures
By petepictures (Sep 12, 2012)

All very nice improvements, but I am keen on film photography.

0 upvotes
Anfy
By Anfy (Sep 12, 2012)

That is great, however you may be in the wrong site... ;-)

14 upvotes
onlooker
By onlooker (Sep 12, 2012)

I really hope to see DPR's review of this lens. I would also love to know if it can cover full frame, so it could be reused with a future FF NEX.

1 upvote
onlooker
By onlooker (Sep 12, 2012)

Come to think of it, the likelihood of a 16-50 lens being FF future proof is extremely unlikely.

Would still love to see a review of it.

1 upvote
cgarrard
By cgarrard (Sep 12, 2012)

Sony got the memo on all the new announcements. Quick Navi back, more control, well specc'ed, on and on. For those that weren't briefed prior to the announcements, I'm sure that today's barrage comes as quite a shock to the positive side of things. Eyebrows raised today in full force.

I had to bite my lip for months reading commentary about no small lenses, old hotshoe, ISO performance, etc. etc. :) My lower lip thanks 9-11 for coming and going.

Carl

2 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Sep 12, 2012)

Sony is finally getting the memo that NEX really needs small lenses. Good job, Sony!

Now if only the 30mm f1.8 would have been a pancake.....

1 upvote
spidermoon
By spidermoon (Sep 13, 2012)

Oh yes, i hope that too, but too bat, it's again a classic lenses. On APS-C mirrorless, only samsung have a bunch of good cheap pancake.

0 upvotes
eost
By eost (Sep 12, 2012)

+ EVF

? New sensor, hopefully without magenta shift in corners (RF-UW)
? Auto Focus

- PASM-dial
- No touch display
- Silver hot shoe, silver shutter button
- Second dial only im M with direct access
- Another cam without TAv ('manual Mode with auto ISO _and_ EC')
- not weather sealed

Well, missed chances, waiting for NEX-7R or 8 or 9 ...

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (Sep 12, 2012)

Keep waiting then :). Odd list, cant tell if you have a pro con or listing fact or fiction. Take your time when you post. It really helps readers.

C

1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Sep 12, 2012)

"- not weather sealed"

You'll hardly see a WS or even WR camera this small...

1 upvote
T3
By T3 (Sep 13, 2012)

Oh no, a silver hotshot! LOL. I guess you won't be buying a Canon or Nikon DSLR either, because both those companies use silver hotshots on their DSLRs. Canon stopped using black hotshoes on their DSLRs after the 30D. The issue with black hotshots is that the black finish on the hotshot gets scraped and scratched when you add or remove a flash. That's not a problem is you use unpainted, bare metal hotshots.

0 upvotes
FTW
By FTW (Sep 15, 2012)

@ Menneisyys, Olympus has one, it is not that much bigger than the NEX. The OMD is full weather-sealed. Sony makes the A99 moisture sealed, but not weather-sealed. Only Nikon has real weather sealed DSLR.s and Canon in the high end class. We all remember the 5D problems with mist when the thing came out. So, making a full weather sealed NEX must be possible. If Oly had not that 4/3 sensor, but an APSC, I would have bought one right away. It might be psychological, but i can not get friend with 4/3.

0 upvotes
Willie S
By Willie S (Sep 12, 2012)

Very exciting! I'm a NEX-5N owner and hopefully this camera will address the five basic complaints I have about it.
1) Auto focus. Mine often focuses on something odd (like grass or dirt) and not the subject when I'm trying to capture a quickly moving kid.
2) Built in flash - one less thing to carry around!
3) Lens size - the 18-55mm lens makes it too big to "pocket" - in any sized pocket. The power zoom lens will be perfect or normal use, making it possible to fit in a large pocket. I have the 55-210 lens for distance which I like a lot so one extra lens satisfies my needs.
4) A dial control. I'm a novice (but learning) and usually use iAuto, but having the ability to change scene selection, aperture or shutter speed QUICKLY would be nice.
5) It overheats and shuts down while shooting video.
If all of these are effectively addressed (and it has a touch screen) it looks like a worthy upgrade!

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
guyfawkes
By guyfawkes (Sep 12, 2012)

I, too, am a Nex 5N owner. However, from reading many comments on the various blog sites I seem to be the only one who actually likes the size and feel of the kit 18-55 lens.

It doesn't have stellar imaging qualities, and it is not a prerequisite of mine that the camera has to be pocketable, I have a small case for it, but it is a manual zoom with the zooming precision this affords and it gives me something to grab hold of to better shoot with the camera. All the cameras I own, have owned, and that have had power zooms, the zooming action can be imprecise and one is forced to hold the camera by its body and which, if this is small, is not that convenient.

Nevertheless, if the expected optical quality is an improvement, I shall very likely get it. But the 10-18 zoom looks far more appealing.

0 upvotes
Beckler8
By Beckler8 (Sep 12, 2012)

They listened to me! The addition of a small *power* zoom lens is a big step forward...

1 upvote
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Sep 12, 2012)

... and the 24mm wideangle - apart from the huuuuge A77 kit lens, this is the first on a camera with a large-sized sensor...

0 upvotes
Nublover
By Nublover (Sep 12, 2012)

Yes! This power zoom is amazing for the size. It is a must buy.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Sep 16, 2012)

Unless it is even worse optically that the horrible 18-55.

1 upvote
pentaxination
By pentaxination (Sep 12, 2012)

love it. it is just a shame that Sony's lens line is weak and this is what keeps me from coming back. You shouldn't have to use great old glass and shoot manual, or, spend $1000 for the one decent lens Sony puts out.

I will make my usual complaint about a lack of AEB range. At least the shutter speed isn't as bad as the full-framer.

If only the 35 f2 was affixed permanently for $1399 I would get there. I am dreaming, I know.

1 upvote
ventur
By ventur (Sep 12, 2012)

lens line is weak?

8mm 2.8 fisheye (rokinon/samyang)
10-18mm
16/2.8
19/2.8 (sigma)
24/1.8 Zeiss
30/2.8 (sigma)
30/3.5 macro
35/1.8
50/1.8
16-50mm pancake
18-55mm
55-200mm
18-200mm (x3)

Sony Nex is a very young system, but they have done a lot in 2 years

4 upvotes
The Squire
By The Squire (Sep 12, 2012)

Getting much better with the 35/1.8 and 10-18 release today, but are significant gaps in that lens line up:

Proper 1:1 macro prime (somewhere around a 60-100mm f2.8)
A high-end standard zoom (like a CZ16-80 equiv)
Portrait prime 80mm f1.8

TBH, I'd be happy enough manually focusing some old lens for macro and portrait, but I think the system needs a super-kit lens like the CZ16-80 or 16-50/2.8 on the Alpha.

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (Sep 12, 2012)

85mm f/1.8 is coming for NEX just watch :). Spring.

That is the perfect performance price point spec lens for this camera me thinks ;).

C

0 upvotes
ijustloveshooting
By ijustloveshooting (Sep 12, 2012)

From Sony Website :
Mode control dial and Quick Navi assure quick an intuitive operation comparable to DSLR cameras Control dial, Fn (function) button and touch screen (including touch shutter function) combine to greatly facilitate operation and speed getting the shot.

0 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Sep 12, 2012)

The touchscreen bit is incorrect. Sony is in the process of correcting the info on their site.

1 upvote
zubs
By zubs (Sep 12, 2012)

Damn you Sony, you enjoy making me skint. I'm happy with my NEX 5N for now. If only you'd release your new range a little sooner. I have invested my money in some property. The new line up is great, would love to see how well the CDAF and PDAF work.

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (Sep 12, 2012)

www.ebay.com get at least half if not more of your investment back and don't look back on clicking the purchase button.

C

0 upvotes
mikeydread
By mikeydread (Sep 12, 2012)

Quote from the Sony official website:

"there’s a tiltable LCD touch screen"

oh dear DPReview - how can you do a hands-on preview and not know it has a touch screen!!!!

2 upvotes
Low Budget Dave
By Low Budget Dave (Sep 12, 2012)

You might be looking at the NEX-5R. The screen on the 6 does not tilt or touch.

0 upvotes
Feyris_
By Feyris_ (Sep 12, 2012)

He's right, check on sony.com website:
"The NEX-6 features a perfectly designed control dial, Fn (function) button, and touch screen with touch shutter function lets you focus on the shot instead of the menus."

0 upvotes
Lightshow
By Lightshow (Sep 12, 2012)

The press release:
http://presscentre.sony.eu/content/detail.aspx?ReleaseID=8032&NewsAreaId=2
"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"
Nothing about touch. :(

0 upvotes
Cane
By Cane (Sep 12, 2012)

So which is it? How can dpr get that so wrong?

0 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (Sep 12, 2012)

mikeydread,
The NEX-6 has no touchscreen. We know this because we actually used the camera in writing the preview. Sony has just confirmed to us that the info on their website is incorrect and will be fixed.

3 upvotes
onlooker
By onlooker (Sep 12, 2012)

Thanks for checking this, Amadou, and yes, it is a pity.

0 upvotes
PBR Streetgang
By PBR Streetgang (Sep 12, 2012)

Mikey Dread come fe conquer!

0 upvotes
Ace Disgrace
By Ace Disgrace (Sep 12, 2012)

Ok Sony you win, im buying this one. BUT you have to promise 2013 the FF you guys been keeping in the R&D department. One of your lab rats squealed!

1 upvote
Jokica
By Jokica (Sep 12, 2012)

Anyone remembers Canon EOS M now? Nikon 1?

9 upvotes
Antonio Rojilla
By Antonio Rojilla (Sep 12, 2012)

I do. This christmas I'm getting a J1 for my daughter. In pink.

5 upvotes
ijustloveshooting
By ijustloveshooting (Sep 12, 2012)

@Antonio : This was great :D
I'll definitely buy one 6 asap.....let me buy it sony right away...i want you to take my money so badly....

0 upvotes
Jokica
By Jokica (Sep 12, 2012)

@Antonio: J1 is great camera. Happy birthday to your daughter, hope she will enjoy using it and make lot of lovely photos. I did not want my post to be taken as offense to other peoples opinion. Sorry if it sound like that. I wanted to point that Canikon have to take more effort in their mirrorless lines.
Best Regards

2 upvotes
Antonio Rojilla
By Antonio Rojilla (Sep 12, 2012)

Hey, no offense at all! :) And I actually agree with you and find the Canon and Nikon mirrorless systems of little interest. They are great, sure, but right now personally hard to justify against m43 and NEX (specially with the new lenses, I really like the 10-18!).

3 upvotes
raylob
By raylob (Sep 12, 2012)

Eos M makes a lot of sense to Canon users. I shall get one. Love my Pentax K-1 too!!
Ray :-

0 upvotes
Bart Hickman
By Bart Hickman (Sep 12, 2012)

Sony is fully embracing this disruptive form factor--good for them. Just a few missing features I wish they'd add: 1. exposure bracketing spaced at least 2EV, 2. Manual mode for built in flash (to control a slave unit) or just have full TTL wireless control from the built-in flash, 3. Faster flash sync speed.

If the auto-focus performance pans out, I'll probably be getting me one of these little kits.

0 upvotes
OutOfFocus student
By OutOfFocus student (Sep 12, 2012)

Lot's of great news but oh man, how could they omit touch on the LCD? I think Sony is again at this: brilliant technology and overall design but with some stupefying blunders (like the exclusion of PASM dial on 5-series cameras and disabled AutoISO in manual mode).

0 upvotes
mjconnolly
By mjconnolly (Sep 12, 2012)

http://www.sony.co.uk/product/dsb-nex-6/nex-6/features#tab
"See, touch, shoot - With a LCD touchscreen, just tap the screen where you want to focus and it automatically locks on and takes a photo"

1 upvote
LoonSailor
By LoonSailor (Sep 12, 2012)

Also, from the same site,
"AE Bracketing With 1/3, 2/3, 1, 2, 3EV increments, 3frames"
Granted, 5 frames would be better, but at least it's got broad enough bracketing now for HDR shooting. Also, there's the new "Bracket Pro" app, though I haven't found any detail on what it will do.
One hopes the broader bracketing, at least, makes it back into the Nex-7.

2 upvotes
obayedh
By obayedh (Sep 12, 2012)

A fantastic addition indeed. Congrats Sony.

I am waiting for the Nex FF though :)

8 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Sep 12, 2012)

I think a FF NEX is still a few years away. Sony already has their Alpha system and their NEX system to support. I think the last thing they need is a third system to support, and one that would potentially go up against their FF Alphas as well as their APS-C mirrorless NEX's! They need to first grow their marketshare for their Alpha system and their NEX system before even considering a FF mirrorless system!

0 upvotes
FTW
By FTW (Sep 12, 2012)

Don't tell Sony you wait for a FF NEX, they will bring you another 36 mpix P&S instead. It's a sick world, isn't it?

0 upvotes
FTW
By FTW (Sep 12, 2012)

@ T3, why did they then do a 3d useless FF P&S with a fixed lens. Why not do something that sells and what people ask for ? Any serious NEX user is waiting for a FF NEX system. But, if we see how long it took to see the first ILS Mirror-less on the market. We asked for that already when Nikon brought the D70 on the market, and Nikon, as well as Canon, have still nothing serious in the kind until today.

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Sep 12, 2012)

@FTW - I think the only person who's sick is you. LOL. Go punch a wall or throw a tantrum just because Sony didn't make the exact camera *you* wanted. LOL.

3 upvotes
Bart Hickman
By Bart Hickman (Sep 12, 2012)

The whole reason I like the NEX system is it's compact and reasonably priced. A FF version would be less so on both counts.

1 upvote
halc
By halc (Sep 12, 2012)

Brilliant camera indeed. RX1 is an engineering effort. First step on a path towards FF NEX or Alpha mount interchangeable lens pocketable.

They couldn't do it right away, so RX1 was their first step.

I'll be getting a NEX-6 with the pancake zoom myself for a pocketable travel camera, if it performs anywhere near what I hope it does.

And am selling all my Canon lenses (body gone already) as I write this.

I don't think Canon stands a chance, unless they switch to Sony sensors or come with a surprising breakthrough.

2 upvotes
FTW
By FTW (Sep 15, 2012)

@ T3, Sony made the exact camera I wanted, the NEX-7. I bought it as soon as available. I accept what companies develop and produce, if doesn't fist me, i just leave it and express my thoughts about what doesn't fits me or what could be done better, just like all of us do. I think that I have the right to express my opinion free and without the need to be insulted by bad educated people like you. I will not ask you to punch a wall or throw a Tantrum, I just ask you to stay polite. If you see anything I said in a different way, reply to it in an objective manner. Now, if all that camera makers do fits you, and you accept it the way it is, you must be exactly the kind of sucker they expect to find with that kind of material. Read all the comments first and find out how many await a FF NEX, after that you may use your brain and express your opinion. Anyway, opinions are like butts, everybody has one. Clint Eastwood said that, not me.

0 upvotes
FTW
By FTW (Sep 15, 2012)

Nobody will ever criticize the RX1 in it's development. It was a challenge and Sony made it. Despite that, it is not what most of us awaited. That is all we can say. Many of us, and mainly all NEX users, where expecting to see a FF NEX, revealed by Sony beside the A99, and when Sony spoke about a second camera, for us it was FF NEX. This did not happen, and this RX1, despite being a fantastic development, fits few, but most reject it. It is fixed lens, has no VF, and is much too expensive. If anyone sees that in another way, shall he be happy with that and buy it. Sony makes cameras for all kind of people, sorry if I am not among those they expect to buy an RX1. Maybe the RX1 is a first step in direction of a FF NEX, on the other side it can also take many years before it happens, despite that there is a demand for it. It took 7 years from the D70 to the first NEX. So, let's then wait another 7 years, GOD needed also 7 days to create the world.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Charrick
By Charrick (Sep 12, 2012)

PASM right on the mode dial is a welcome addition!

5 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (Sep 12, 2012)

I already pre-ordered mine. My first NEX that I bought with my own cash. Can't wait, nice xmas present!

Carl

4 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Sep 16, 2012)

We get it, you work for Sony.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 63