My NEX6 first experience, lots of pictures.

Started Oct 28, 2012 | Discussions
Marla2008
Marla2008 Senior Member • Posts: 2,420
My NEX6 first experience, lots of pictures.
24

After using a 5N extensively for two months, I decided to pre-order the 6, and got a hold of it today. I slapped my Nikon SB-600 on it, a selection of manual focus lenses, and fired away.

I had a Panasonic GX-1 befored, which I loved, and the 6 is almost identical in size. The camera, is surprisingly lightweight, but in a good kind of way. The grip is excellent, as is the thumb rest. Both are rubberized, and feel great. The top dials are great. The mode dial is firm and not likely to be knocked accidentally. The bottom dial rotates easily, with definite clicks. In Manual mode (which I shoot), you toggle between Aperture and Shutter by pressing the center OK button, then adjust by turning the wheel.

I briefly tried the new 16-50 lens, and I know that's what most of you guys want to hear about. But honestly, in the dim lightning of my living room, it didn't do much better than the old 18-55. I then decided AF was still not worthy of interest on NEX, and packed the kit lens back in the box to use my beautiful legacy lenses. The included pictures where shot with the Canon FD 50/1.8, Olympus Pen F 38/1.8, Olympus OM 50/1.8, and Hexanon Konica AR 40/1.8.

As many users of the external Sony EVF have noted, focus peaking is considerably less visible than on the LCD. In dim light it's hardly usable at all at "mid" setting. However, having used almost exclusively manual focus for the past two months, I'm quite content to focus via the LCD.

The User Interface, one of my major gripe with the 5N, is much improved with the 6. The FN function can be configured to offer direct access to 6 key functions of your choice, which is great. The AEL button can also be configured, as can the bottom soft jey. Finally, one of the display option is a Quick Navi screen (I think that's what it's called anyway) which operates much like Olympus' Super Control Panel. Just press the Fn button to enter that screen and alter whatever setting you selected.

The standard hotshoe is godsent, and a big reason I upgraded from the 5N. It's pretty shallow and at first I was concerned my SB-600 (Nikon flashgun) would not fit, but though it doesn't go in all the way, it locks in place and function flawlessly (in manual flash mode).

The LCD is bottom hinged, meaning when folded at 90° it is hidden behind the camera from anyone in front of the cam. You can shoot "from the hip" and be totally unconspicuous to your subject. Excellent stealth factor. Though I found the touch screen of the 5N to be very inferior to that of the GX-1, I'm still missing the lack of touch interface on the 6. I'll live with it though.

IQ wise the camera isn't much different (if at all) from the 5N. Gorgeous, clean files, yummy DOF control, sharpness, resolution, etc...

A few notes about Sony, and what they give, or don't give you. I purchased the 6 as a kit The camera comes in the box WITH the lens mounted on it. Well guess what, they take that excuse to NOT provide you with the body cap, or the lens rear cap. How petty is that ?!? No battery charger either, but a USB powered cable to plug in the computer (à la Oly XZ-1).

All pics shot in large jpeg at Standard and Black and White settings with no fine tuning. Kelvin WB. Hoping this was of some interest to you guys.

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Jorginho Forum Pro • Posts: 15,307
Re: My NEX6 first experience, lots of pictures.
2

If I read your post correctly I wonder what the downsides of the GX1 were....Also, why did you not go for the EPL5 which should be a bit better in IQ compared to the GX1 and  lets you use native lenses which seem to be superior to the NEX lenses in general?

I did not know that FP was not good through an EVF. Nice to know that. If you really enjoy MF that much I think all in all you made a good choice to jump ship. m43s main advantage is in the lenses and lenssize difference is notably more when it comes to zooms. Good luck and have fun with the NEX6 and please report how well the hybrid AF works with fast moving subject!

 Jorginho's gear list:Jorginho's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PL5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH +8 more
Marla2008
OP Marla2008 Senior Member • Posts: 2,420
Re: My NEX6 first experience, lots of pictures.
7

Jorginho wrote:

If I read your post correctly I wonder what the downsides of the GX1 were....Also, why did you not go for the EPL5 which should be a bit better in IQ compared to the GX1 and lets you use native lenses which seem to be superior to the NEX lenses in general?

I did not know that FP was not good through an EVF. Nice to know that. If you really enjoy MF that much I think all in all you made a good choice to jump ship. m43s main advantage is in the lenses and lenssize difference is notably more when it comes to zooms. Good luck and have fun with the NEX6 and please report how well the hybrid AF works with fast moving subject!

The main downside of the GX-1 is the sensor size for DOF control (I won't even argue about that with anybody anymore, it's just true for MY use. I put 16K shots on mine over 7 months, I've had enough time to assess that thoroughly). The lack of focus peaking was the other big drawback. Other than that, I still consider it one of the most appealing mirrorless around. No way I'm using an Oly camera, I get nightmares just thinking about their User Interface (again, this is strictly personal). I love NEX with its quirks and flaws, no camera is perfect, but NEX works well for me and I'm having a blast with manual lenses. They'll get there with AF, eventually, Sony has been incredibly agressive and innovative in the past and I think they'll continue.

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forpetessake
forpetessake Veteran Member • Posts: 5,172
Excellent
2

Now, these pictures look very good. I assume they were all taken with manual glass. Hard to beat NEX + good legacy glass combination.

I was also thinking if upgrading to NEX-6 from 5N would make sense, but then again, the main thing I would like to see is an improved focus peaking, but the first reviews seem to indicate it's pretty much the same. As far as I understand PDAF is not used in focus peaking.

Sergey Borachev Veteran Member • Posts: 5,337
Re: My NEX6 first experience, lots of pictures.
1

You move fast, changing systems, Marla. And your gorgeious girl is growing up fast too.

I am seriously considering this NEX-6 kit. Just waiting for the reviews, and your feedback is very helpful.

Have you tried the built-in flash? And any comments on the built-in EVF in dim conditions? These two are reasons many of us find the NEX-6 attractive, i.e. with everything built in. Yes, I would be very interested also in how you find the 16-50mm kit lens.

Thanksfor the beautiful pics and have fun with the camera. No doubt, in two months time, you will be reporting your feedback on the E-PL5

nosnoop Senior Member • Posts: 1,694
Re: Excellent

forpetessake wrote:

 As far as I understand PDAF is not used in focus peaking.

Focus peaking is a manual focusing aid.   So no AF would be used.

Jefenator
Jefenator Senior Member • Posts: 2,866
Re: My NEX6 first experience, lots of pictures.
2

Thanks for sharing! You sure have your MF people-shooting chops honed.

Makes me laugh to hear the new kit zoom went right back in the box.

 Jefenator's gear list:Jefenator's gear list
Sony a7 Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 90mm F2.8 macro Sony Alpha NEX-7 +8 more
Robert Morris Contributing Member • Posts: 829
Re: My NEX6 first experience, lots of pictures.

Thank you for your thoughts and impression on the Nex 6. It really not fair that you got yours first I pre-order the day it was announced both online and local.  Of course mine might be out there somewhere stranded in the messy hurricane going up the east coast. We are supposed to be under mandatory evacuation as of today but I need to get some pictures of it and can do that from somewhere else. So after the storm blows over mine might be at the shop I order it from if the building survives the hurricane.

Great picture as always and you favorite model holds up very well under all the pressure. So poised and confident. Thanks, for sharing your pictures and views.

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RM

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Jorginho Forum Pro • Posts: 15,307
Re: My NEX6 first experience, lots of pictures.
3

No need to defend your choice or argue over DOF. Just wondered...Again: have fun with the cam and the shots look very nice to me!

 Jorginho's gear list:Jorginho's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PL5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH +8 more
forpetessake
forpetessake Veteran Member • Posts: 5,172
Re: Excellent
1

nosnoop wrote:

forpetessake wrote:

As far as I understand PDAF is not used in focus peaking.

Focus peaking is a manual focusing aid. So no AF would be used.

That wasn't my question. I don't care about AF, I'm interested in improving manual focusing. Focus peaking is using contrast detection in 5N, in 6 it could use phase detection pixels as well, but I don't think it does. I hope there will be an application that would utilize that, say by highlighting PDAF points in focus.

twald Contributing Member • Posts: 502
Re: Excellent
1

forpetessake wrote:

nosnoop wrote:

forpetessake wrote:

As far as I understand PDAF is not used in focus peaking.

Focus peaking is a manual focusing aid. So no AF would be used.

That wasn't my question. I don't care about AF, I'm interested in improving manual focusing. Focus peaking is using contrast detection in 5N, in 6 it could use phase detection pixels as well, but I don't think it does. I hope there will be an application that would utilize that, say by highlighting PDAF points in focus.

Hey! That is a neat idea.

This is actually a neat feature of most DSLRs ...

Another possibility would be trap focus; you manually focus through a spot and the shutter fires when you reach the focus point.

jerryk Veteran Member • Posts: 6,628
Re: My NEX6 first experience, lots of pictures.

Those are some great images.

I am very interested in your opinion since I am not all that happy with my GX1 and am looking for another mirrorless camera.  My biggest complaint with the GX1 is it the AF is slow and somewhat inaccurate.  I was hoping the OMD or NEX-6 would be an improvement, but your comments have me concerned.

Jerry

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forpetessake
forpetessake Veteran Member • Posts: 5,172
Re: Excellent

twald wrote:

forpetessake wrote:

nosnoop wrote:

forpetessake wrote:

As far as I understand PDAF is not used in focus peaking.

Focus peaking is a manual focusing aid. So no AF would be used.

That wasn't my question. I don't care about AF, I'm interested in improving manual focusing. Focus peaking is using contrast detection in 5N, in 6 it could use phase detection pixels as well, but I don't think it does. I hope there will be an application that would utilize that, say by highlighting PDAF points in focus.

Hey! That is a neat idea.

This is actually a neat feature of most DSLRs ...

Another possibility would be trap focus; you manually focus through a spot and the shutter fires when you reach the focus point.

That is also a neat idea

I hope Sony will open API for application developement and we will see all sorts of crazy stuff.

Jorginho Forum Pro • Posts: 15,307
Re: My NEX6 first experience, lots of pictures.
1

I think you either have a faulty unit or your epectations are too high. Panasonic camera's are not known for their relatively slow and inaccurate AF.

Could also be the lens you are using. The 20mm1.7 is accurate but a tad slower to focus than virtually all (newer) lenses. I have a GH2 which is older than your GX1 and it was never inaccurate and very fast.

May be there is a firmware update for your GX1 And or the lenses).

 Jorginho's gear list:Jorginho's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PL5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH +8 more
jpr2 Forum Pro • Posts: 15,554
re: if not for a constant onslaught of few hopefuls who insist to stop the Earth
3

Marla2008 wrote:

The main downside of the GX-1 is the sensor size for DOF control (I won't even argue about that with anybody anymore, it's just true for MY use. I put 16K shots on mine over 7 months, I've had enough time to assess that thoroughly).

if not for a constant onslaught of few hopefuls who always insist to stop the Earth and move the Sun, we won't be inceasingly forced to prove something which needs no proof at all = m/43tiny sensors have a very poor control for a shallow DOF and also they offer less DR but more noise :LOL

jpr2

Marla2008
OP Marla2008 Senior Member • Posts: 2,420
Re: My NEX6 first experience, lots of pictures.
1

jerryk wrote:

Those are some great images.

I am very interested in your opinion since I am not all that happy with my GX1 and am looking for another mirrorless camera. My biggest complaint with the GX1 is it the AF is slow and somewhat inaccurate. I was hoping the OMD or NEX-6 would be an improvement, but your comments have me concerned.

Jerry

I definitely think your unit must be defective. The two fastest focusing mirrorless are the GX-1 and E-m5, and the GX-1 is known to be the more accurate of the two. In my seven months with mine, it was really was on its best features. Would you have the opportunity to try another unit ?

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Marla2008
OP Marla2008 Senior Member • Posts: 2,420
Re: Excellent
3

forpetessake wrote:

Now, these pictures look very good. I assume they were all taken with manual glass. Hard to beat NEX + good legacy glass combination.

I was also thinking if upgrading to NEX-6 from 5N would make sense, but then again, the main thing I would like to see is an improved focus peaking, but the first reviews seem to indicate it's pretty much the same. As far as I understand PDAF is not used in focus peaking.

Hmmm, using focus peaking extensively, I understand it relies on constrat to determine edges in the subject. It remains a manual focus help, and I fail to see how a phase based detection system would help ?? Phase only tells the lens (or camera's) autofocus motor in which direction look for critical focus. Your brain does that while manual focusing already ?! On most manual lenses, turning to the left brings the focus plane farther away from you, and to the right closer to you.

Somebody mentioned areas "under the focus point".That's typical AF thinking, where the camera has a target to focus on. There's no focus point in MF ! You just adjust critical sharpness on the area that you've chosen to be in focus. That's why it's so useful if you want to place your subject absolutely anywhere in the frame, without having to bother about possible AF point distribution. No focus/recompose anymore either. All you have to do is go fast with your lens to the global area you want sharp, and then gently rock the focus ring back and forth until you hit perfect focus. Setting the peaking color to white at night works well when shooting people, their pupils will shimmer bright when focused. Hit the shutter, voilà.

IMO focus peaking workds extremely well as it is, and would now only require User Interface improvements, like fine further fine tuning of the color and strength, dual strength choice for LCD vs EVF, etc, but the core technology is about as efficient as it gets.

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Leaping Carp Contributing Member • Posts: 962
Re: My NEX6 first experience, lots of pictures.

Thanks for sharing - great to see some real world experience

forpetessake
forpetessake Veteran Member • Posts: 5,172
It's really simple ...
1

Marla2008 wrote:

forpetessake wrote:

Now, these pictures look very good. I assume they were all taken with manual glass. Hard to beat NEX + good legacy glass combination.

I was also thinking if upgrading to NEX-6 from 5N would make sense, but then again, the main thing I would like to see is an improved focus peaking, but the first reviews seem to indicate it's pretty much the same. As far as I understand PDAF is not used in focus peaking.

Hmmm, using focus peaking extensively, I understand it relies on constrat to determine edges in the subject. It remains a manual focus help, and I fail to see how a phase based detection system would help ?? Phase only tells the lens (or camera's) autofocus motor in which direction look for critical focus. Your brain does that while manual focusing already ?! On most manual lenses, turning to the left brings the focus plane farther away from you, and to the right closer to you.

Somebody mentioned areas "under the focus point".That's typical AF thinking, where the camera has a target to focus on. There's no focus point in MF ! You just adjust critical sharpness on the area that you've chosen to be in focus. That's why it's so useful if you want to place your subject absolutely anywhere in the frame, without having to bother about possible AF point distribution. No focus/recompose anymore either. All you have to do is go fast with your lens to the global area you want sharp, and then gently rock the focus ring back and forth until you hit perfect focus. Setting the peaking color to white at night works well when shooting people, their pupils will shimmer bright when focused. Hit the shutter, voilà.

IMO focus peaking workds extremely well as it is, and would now only require User Interface improvements, like fine further fine tuning of the color and strength, dual strength choice for LCD vs EVF, etc, but the core technology is about as efficient as it gets.

What I was expecting from Sony nothing really different from what DSLRs already do by signalling the PDAF points in focus. PDAF is theoretically more precise than contrast detection, it actually knows that the point is in focus. Contrast detection system (which drives focus peaking) doesn't know what is in focus and what is not, it only knows the value of contrast at every point and signals whatever surpasses the predefined threshold. That's why peaking is so unrealiable, reacting on high contrast edges, which are not necessarily in focus. That's why it depends on image resolution, gain, contrast settings, tonal curve, etc. and that's why Sony included 3 levels to choose the best for particular situation. That's why magnification when usign focus peaking is practically always necessary to achieve precise focus. If they had enabled PDAF sensors all those problems would have gone away and manual focusing would have been easier and more precise. My guess they didn't do so simply because on-sensor PDAF pixels aren't as good as PDAF sensors in DSLRs.

nzmacro
nzmacro Forum Pro • Posts: 17,627
Very nice Marla
1

Congrats BTW, nice camera from what I've seen so far on it and one I would be happy to use as well. I'm happy with the 7, but I would also be happy with the 6 by the looks. Very nice shots as well I must say.

Do I miss m4/3, nope not with what the NEX has given me. Nothing is perfect of course and neither was m4/3. I just couldn't get what I get now on m4/3, but like you, thats a personal choice and what I need.

All the very best Marla, nice camera, nice shots and nice family

Danny.

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Birds and macro. NEX and m4/3
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