Choosing between Nikon D5200 or Sony NEX6

Started Aug 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
Mark K
Mark K Veteran Member • Posts: 5,843
Re: Choosing between Nikon D5200 or Sony NEX6

Har L wrote:


I am new user here, but have been reading the forum the last few weeks since I am getting interested in getting a better camera than a Fuji f40fd point and shoot. It is time to update it to a camera that can give better image quality and also more versatile to shoot in various conditions. I will be using it as general purpose camera to take pictures such as of a 2 years old indoor and outdoor, and also take it along during vacation trip, and also occasional video clips.

I have narrowed it down to Nikon D5200 and Sony NEX6 from reading various reviews and also forums. I played around with both camera in store, but not side by side. So far they both perform equally well in store, but I can only do limited test, ie. can't do low light situation, fast moving object, etc.

Based on review, the Nikon D5200 appeal to me are 24MP sensor that reviews slightly better than 16MP of NEX6, supposedly better autofocus speed and accuracy, appear to be easier/direct control with more buttons, and probably cheaper lens options. Sony NEX6 appeal is lighter which is nice for traveling, and record better video.

Although, my own interpretation of the test results from reviews are not necessarily the same. The sensor, visually looking at test shots comparison, I don't find the 24MP sensor in D5200 is better than 16MP in NEX6. Sometime I felt that the 16MP appears sharper in test shots. I wonder if I am interpreting these results wrongly. On shutter lag from review, which I associate with autofocus speed, I found they are comparable across the all test performed. But many reviews sometime says NEX6 is not as fast as consumer DSLR (which I assume D5200 belong to this), and this again contradict my own interpretation (and the hard number on the review). Since, I never really pay attentions to such details in the past, I trust reviews where I expect they have dealt with many products.

My questions, based on your experience with D5200 or equivalent DSLR (eg. D5100, etc) and also NEX6 or equivalent, are:

1. Does NEX6 really have worse sensor than D5200? Noticeably more noise, less sharp, etc.

2. Does NEX6 have worse autofocus speed and accuracy? Will the difference make a difference in shooting moving objects, in low-light, both, etc?

Right now I am leaning to D5200 to start because I found both perform comparably in store, D5200 reviews slightly better in sensor performance and autofocus, considering lens option are potentially cheaper for D5200, and I don't mind carrying the D5200 if it is really better than NEX6. However, if sensor and autofocus performance does not make a significant enough difference between the two, then I lean towards NEX6 since it is more portable. I know that I probably won't reach either camera limitation today with my skills, but as I improve my skills, then I would get a camera that has less limitation. Any comments/suggestions?


Although I don't shoot D5200, I have other dSLRs so I can make the judgement

1. Sensor difference: D5200 uses a 24MP sensor from Toshiba, one generation newer than 16MP sensor found in Nex6. My knowledgeable guess is that D5200 is better than Nex 6 and my guess was supported by DxOmark lab tests.

2. D5200 uses mainly phase detection for still images so autofocus should be faster. I use Nex6 which is faster than older Nex bodies but not the same league comparing to my other cameras.

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Mark K

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