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In general, the feature set on the NEX-6 will be pretty familiar to anyone who's used a Sony interchangeable lens camera in recent years. Naturally, the camera has a full suite of manual controls, including white balance fine-tuning, bracketing (but only for exposure), and RAW support. A dual-axis electronic level helps keep your horizons lined up properly.

The two totally new features are Wi-Fi and Hybrid AF, both of which were discussed in detail on preceding pages. On the following two pages, we'll take a quick gallop through other notable aspects of the NEX-6's feature set.

D-Range Optimizer

D-Range Optimizer (DRO) is the NEX's automatic contrast system. By default it's set to 'Auto', though you can adjust its effect in five steps (1-5, plus Auto) or just turn it off. The feature works by assessing each part of the scene and adjusting the brightness for each of them separately, to balance the tones in scenes with a wide tonal range like the one below. The main effect of DRO is to lift shadows, which you'll see in the following example.

DRO Off DRO Lv 1 DRO Lv 2 DRO Lv 3 DRO Lv 4 DRO Lv 5 DRO Auto

In this example, the DRO Auto option has delivered a very similar result to manually setting level 4, which represents a nice middle ground - brightening the dark half of the ship without an unnaturally 'HDR' effect. In other lighting situations, the DRO Auto option may choose something higher, or have little-to-no effect.


The NEX-6's HDR (high dynamic range) feature also aims to pull a wide tonal range into a single image, but it does so in a very different way to D-Range Optimizer. In HDR mode, the camera takes three images in a row, each with a different exposure, and then layers them together. The promise is less highlight clipping and more accurate shadow regions.

The NEX-6 has an Auto HDR mode, and it also lets you select the exposure interval manually, with a range of +/– 1 to +/– 6EV. The wider the interval, the more pronounced the effect will be. The camera will auto align the three photos and captures them fast enough (under half a second) that a tripod is generally not needed. Note that you cannot shoot RAW images using the HDR feature.

DRO/HDR Off HDR 1.0 EV HDR 2.0 EV HDR 3.0 EV HDR 4.0 EV HDR 5.0 EV HDR 6.0 EV Auto HDR (default)

Above is a very contrasty scene, taken with DRO and HDR turned off, and then at every HDR setting including Auto. The garage entrance at left and the wall on right are quite dark, while the tiles on the building in the distance are starting to clip. The HDR Auto mode certainly brightens up the shadows, though some of the highlights are still close to clipping. Thus, in this case, selecting the HDR 6.0 EV option might have been a better choice, as it brings back just a bit more highlight detail.

In addition to auto-aligning images. the Sony implementation of HDR also attempts to identify changes between the three images and will work to avoid duplicating subjects that have moved during the three exposures. This allows its use beyond static subjects - an unusual and useful aspect.

Intelligent Auto / Superior Auto modes

While most potential NEX-6 buyers are camera enthusiasts, Sony has not forgotten about the beginner. The NEX offers two Auto modes: Intelligent and Superior. Both offer automatic scene selection, with Superior Auto adding automatic multi-shot recording (HDR or multi-shot noise reduction).

The gold flower icon at the top-left shows that the NEX-6 has correctly selected macro mode in Intelligent Auto mode.

Here you can also see how the NEX-6 can display the Phase Detect AF area.

The Auto modes work well in real world shooting, and during our time with the NEX-6 we found that they can be relied upon to sensibly select modes like portrait, macro, landscape, and backlight HDR depending on the shooting situation.

Sweep Panorama

Sony pioneered the Sweep Panorama feature back in 2009 with the Cyber-shot DSC-HX1 ultra zoom. Now, that feature can be found not only on all Sony cameras, but also on those from most of their competitors, as well.

It works simply enough: choose your start point, hold down the shutter release button, and then pan the camera in the direction of the arrow. You can go in any direction (as long as you tell the camera ahead of time), and you can choose from standard (8192 x 1856) or wide (12416 x 1856) resolutions. Unlike the NEX-7, the NEX-6 cannot capture 3D panoramas.

Sweep Panorama, ISO 100, 1/250 sec, F11

The results obtained by using Sweep Panorama are impressive. Seams are rarely visible, and the camera handles changes in exposure very well. We've long been impressed by Sony's Sweep Panorama function, and despite being widely imitated, the original is still one of the best features of its type around.

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Total comments: 31

Maybe an old subject...has anyome fhotshoe adapter to allow 3.5...or 2.5 mic jack other than sonys on
Y external microphone?


Which camera would compete well with the nex 6..?
Any opinions greatly appreciated.

I originally wanted to invest in a canon 700 d ( just missed out on a greal deal on the 600d ) but the fact tthat the viewfinder is optical swayed me.

Is there an all round dslr for amatuers coming from a bridge version with the following...
Decent lens ( perhaps a Compact system type ) mid range 18-55mm or a little more
High ISO
Flip screen, preferably one which can actually swivel round to take portraits...
Touch screen is NOT necessary
And of course a decent battery which the camera makes tend to overlook...
I feel Canon have lost sight where Nikon is concerned whereas Sony and Lumix seem to have come a long way and are doing what Olympus did in the 70s and the 80s...
Again, any thoughts on the above..?


I am just about to purchase this camera on the basis that I can return it within 15 days if unhappy...
I thought I had done my homework when decidng on the nex 6 but I am unable to find out if it is possible to override the function of having the screen on.
It seems that the EVF switches on automatically when you place your eye close up to the corner of the camera ( thrus the screen goes off...) and the screen does the same when you move away from the EVF.

To my surprise there is quite a 'waste' of battery time...
Living in a sunny country means the use of an EVF is much more practical.

Can anyone give any tips on how to make the battery last longer.
Ideally, taking three on trips is practical. An external charger is wise too.
And the pc method when on the go is practical as well. Nevertheless, total control over the screeen makes sense nowadays.
I share your point too photosym. That does not make sense as a selling / marketing point. Is this the case with most sony cameras??


I don't know who designed this camera, but it certainly wasn't an active photographer. It would be a superb machine, but there's a massive design flaw. You can't use the self timer or an electronic shutter release when in HDR or Auto bracketing modes. Absolutely crazy!!! I've been in touch with Sony and they don't have any plans for a firmware update. I'm not sure if this applies to other Nex or Sony models, but be aware. This is the last Sony camera I will buy, I'll stick to Canon or Fuji in the future.

1 upvote

I agree with you photosym. This would be a great camera, but it is really useless in the respect of remote control bracketed photography. The remote control is useless when you can't have timers, and other manual settings. It is a shame.


I just bought a Sony nex 6. What a amazing camera. Yes you can use HDR and Auto Bracketing with a remote. At list via wifi with my android phone and ipad. Better than the Leica M digital. With more options. As a reporter I love this camera.


A massive design flaw ?
I must have entered the Twilight Zone.


Appears from the manual no input jack for an external mic attached to the shoe for this camera. Will use the new mic on the Nikon 5100.


I ordered the new SHURE VP83F LensHopper Camera-Mounted Condenser Microphone with Integrated Flash Recording for this camera and it's std size shoe mount to record and video shoot indoor stage Band performances.

Anybody else tried an external mic mounted to this camera.


I just unboxed my Sony alpha Nex6 a few minutes ago.
I have several Panasonic Lumix's and a Canon Rebel.
The Sony, however, is the first camera I've encountered whereby I cannot simply recharge the battery in a compact charger!
Instead I have to connect a wire from the camera into the charger and thence into a wall socket meaning I cannot have second backup battery.
If I'm on vacation I can't simply leave a battery charging at a hotel room and go out and use my camera with a second battery.
I have to leave the WHOLE camera behind to charge!
Am I missing something here? It seems VERY odd.


you can buy original sony charger, I have it but i leave hotel with both batteries charged anyway :) in-camera charging is also great, do your all previous cameras have such feature?

1 upvote

+1, I wish Canon and others would add this feature. While external chargers are vital for certain uses (long trips with brief access to power for example) internal chargers are WAY more convenient. Just bring a USB cord and your iPhone's USB->power adapter and you can plug in your camera to suck some juice whenever you have the chance.

I certainly don't hear people complaining about how the batteries in their phones work these days, we just need to get used to the same thing with cameras (especially the "grab some juice while you can" part, don't wait for it to empty out!)

1 upvote

Just to update this, I didn't realize that you can't use the camera at all while it's charging (mentioned in an Amazon review). That's a very tedious element of this equation if it's true. I can imagine a LOT of situations where I'd want to review photos, make picks or just mess around with the camera while charging it.

It should "work like your phone" like I said in the comment above, if you can't use it while it's charging that's not like a phone. Of course, it IS like every camera previously if you only own one battery ;)

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting

Any number of aftermarket and also (expensive but sure) Sony's spare battery and chargers will add external charging and spare batteries. Safe reliable aftermarket ones are not that expensive and will provide a much more convenient way to refresh the power than with having only one battery. I usually have up to 3-4 batteries always on hand for any primary cameras, two of which are always on the charger during vacations.

I guess in this market for consumer price wars, Sony can't include expensive batteries in the original bundles, at cut-rate prices, nor confuse the ever impatient general consumer who just wants things simple?

1 upvote

You're correct, it's very odd and another fudge by Sony.

Kurnia Lim

LOL I love charging direct to camera, and yes we need to buy extra external charger, but you can just buy cheap chinese charger for around 10-15 USD, with that I can charge 2 battery at the same times, and also I can charge with powerbank when it need.


Can anyone please explain me if I can add an PANASONIC 20mm f1.7 II pancake to this camera? Is it fully compatible?


john Clinch

No that lens is microfour thirds only. This only takes NEX lenses. That is Sony E-mount

1 upvote

Direct mounting is only with SONY E-Mount Lenses, however you have the option to add a LA-EA2 or LA-EA4 adapter to use any Sony A-mount lenses with full Auto Focus features intact. This is also true for all AF Minolta Lenses that use the A-mount as well.

Also, with aftermarket mounting adapter solutions, almost any SLR lenses can be used with MANUAL focus. Canon lenses can operate with some adapters with limited AF functions as well.

Comment edited 52 seconds after posting
Flower girl

Can I use my canon 18-200 on the sony . Has anyone done it and how does it handle?


I bought the RX100 and now I miss the viewfinder of my old P60. A movable screen would also be useful. What a pity...

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
esad As you know, the performance of a camera depends very much on the quality of the lens. What lens did you use to test the NEX-6, please? I couldn´t find any hints in the article.


I personally do not agree about adding a touchscreen to the NEX line of cameras. I simply don't like touchscreen and I know a lot of people that feel the same way.


sure your do. sure you do.
but fact is, navigating is easier with a touchscreen.


Seriously what an odd thing to be worried about. As long as you can disable it why deny it to those who would find it helpful?


Providing a touchscreen, with the ability to enable/disable will meet 100% of user preferences no? ;) Instead of battling opinions on if it should be there or not? I think that's what the review implies...

1 upvote
Gabriel Yeo

Sony continues without fail, to make ugly-looking cameras.


You are joking, right?

Henderson May

this is subjective


Just want to know if Sony Nex-6 had a time and date feature. I have looked through all the materials and have not seen it.

A V Cole

As it takes RAW files all of these details will be on the file along with shutter speed, aperture used etc.

Total comments: 31