PIX 2015
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Features (continued)

Anti Motion Blur / Hand-held Twilight modes

Anti Motion Blur and Hand-held Twilight are two nearly identical features which allow you to capture usable photos in challenging situations, namely low light. Both work by taking six exposures in a row, and then combining them into a single photo with - in theory - less noise and blurring than you'd get otherwise.

The difference between the two features is that Anti Motion Blur will generally use faster shutter speeds (and therefore higher ISO sensitivities) in order to freeze moving subjects. If the camera detects subject motion, it will isolate that object from just one of the images, in order to prevent ghosting or blur.

To test Hand-held Twilight mode, we took the photo you see below at two settings. First, in Program mode at ISO 12800, which at a focal length of ~45mm equivalent, allowed for a fast enough shutter speed for acceptable sharpness using the stabilized power zoom lens. The second shot was taken with Hand-held Twilight mode, which is a totally point-and-shoot experience.

Hand-held Twilight
(1/13 sec, f/5.0)
Conventional capture (program mode)
(1/20 sec; f/5.0; ISO 12800)
100% crop - high-contrast detail 100% crop - high-contrast detail
100% crop - low-contrast area 100% crop - low-contrast area

The photograph taken in Hand-held Twilight mode is sharper, and has less noise in both high and low contrast areas. The photograph's metadata shows an ISO sensitivity of 6400, although this is not necessarily meaningful when it comes to multiple exposure modes. From our shooting, we'd say that images taken in Anti Motion Blur and Hand-held Twilight modes have roughly the same amount of detail as ISO 3200-6400 shots taken on a tripod, making them usable for all but the largest print sizes. Do note, however, that you cannot shoot RAW images when using either of these features.

JPEG Noise-reduction, including Multi-shot NR

There are two high ISO noise reduction settings on the NEX-6: low and standard. In addition, you can purchase the Multi-Shot NR app from the PlayMemories App Store, which layers six exposures into one, and promises to reduce noise without reducing detail. Essentially multi-shot NR works by 'averaging out' random high ISO noise across the six frames.

From the photographer's point of view it works in much the same way as the Hand-held Twilight and Anti Motion Blur features, capturing the six exposures very rapidly and automatically aligning them. Obviously then, this is a mode best used when shooting relatively static subjects. In the table below, we shot everything using a tripod to get a consistent comparison, but in the 'real world', multi-shot NR is most useful when shooting hand-held (because it avoids you having to either use long exposures to avoid high ISO noise).

For this example, we're comparing standard JPEG high-ISO noise reduction against low and multi-shot NR at ISO 6400, 12800 and 25600. This scene was shot on a tripod, under low tungsten light.

To see the original images, click the magnifying glass icon on the 100% crops, below.
ISO 6400
ISO 12800
ISO 25600
Low NR, 100% crop Low NR, 100% crop Low NR, 100% crop
Standard NR, 100% crop Standard NR, 100% crop Standard NR, 100% crop
Multi-shot NR, 100% crop Multi-shot NR, 100% crop Multi-shot NR, 100% crop

While the difference between Low and Standard NR is small at ISO 6400, it becomes more visible at the two higher sensitivities, which is especially apparent in the crop taken from the playing card. Multi-shot NR is definitely worth the $5, as it produces sharper photos with more detail than conventionally-captured JPEGs. You may not notice it at smaller print sizes, but it's worth using at high sensitivities assuming that your subject (and camera) are relatively static. We wish Sony would've built this feature into the camera, rather than making it an optional extra.

JPEG, ISO 12800, Standard NR, 100% crop RAW, ACR 7.4 RC, ISO 12800, 100% crop

Multi-shot NR isn't the only way to extract more detail from high ISO images. You can also shoot using the RAW format, and process the images until you've found the right balance of detail and noise. Above we've processed the ISO 12800 image to 'taste', and have improved color saturation and shadow brightness as well as recovering some more natural-looking detail.

Built-in Flash

The NEX-6 offers a built-in flash, something that is missing from the NEX-5R (but is now becoming more common in the NEX-series as it matures). Like all mirrorless cameras, the NEX-6's built-in flash won't win any awards for power. With a guide number of 6 meters at ISO 100, the flash is best suited for shooting subjects in the immediate vicinity.

For close-range portraits like this, the NEX-6's built-in flash gives decent coverage, and flash exposures are nicely balanced, too. In this image, our subject's skin is nice and natural, without the 'burnt out' appearance of some flash-lit portraits.

The flash provides good coverage across the frame in all of our portrait test shots, and skin tones stayed true to the original, with a nice balance of flash and ambient light. Redeye was not a common occurrence in our testing.

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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

@dpreview.com: 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