Choosing between Nikon D5200 or Sony NEX6

Started Aug 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
PDine Contributing Member • Posts: 579
Re: Choosing between Nikon D5200 or Sony NEX6


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?


I've had a couple of DSLRs and currently own a new c3 which I've had about a year and am thinking of replacing with something else. I prefer DSLRs in use, but nex cameras when it comes to carrying them around. In terms of sensor quality I think the difference between the 2 camera models is negligible. Not perceivable in most cases. Don't worry about it.
The AF on DSLRs tends to be faster than nex cameras, particularly in poor lighting. There is no doubt about that you can mess around with manual focus lenses on nex cameras, but Its not for everyone. I never found it as easy as many would have you believe.
Its a tough choice, but if fast moving kids are your primary subject then the DSLR is a solid choice. If motion tracking wasn't an issue then I'd say go with nex.

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