Sony NEX-6 Review
Body & Design
All recent NEX-series cameras followed a fairly consistent design aesthetic, and accordingly there are a lot of similarities between the NEX-6 and the NEX-5R, and to a lesser extent the NEX-7. Like the NEX-7, a large, deep grip extends from the camera's top plate with a sharply sloped platform accommodating the only controls to be found on the front; a power switch which surrounds the shutter button and a dedicated Fn button.
|In typical NEX fashion the silver-colored lens mount extends outwards from the front of the body, while the articulated rear LCD panel sits flush with the camera back. The control dial is placed directly in line with the thumb of your shooting hand.|
The bulk of the NEX-6's camera's controls are found on the rear, with a dedicated flash, playback and a customizable AEL button along the top edge. A four-way control dial with center button sits between a two 'soft keys'. Movie recording can be initiated from any shooting mode with the press of a button, right up on the upper right corner of the camera. This somewhat odd placement might be in reaction to (legitimate) complaints of accidental movie operation on the NEX-7.
A notable distinction between the NEX-6 and any previous model in the lineup is the inclusion of an eight-position exposure mode dial which rests on the top plate. Sandwiched directly underneath it is a larger-circumference control dial. A built-in flash, new standard ISO hot shoe (that also contains Sony's proprietary multi-interface port) and OLED viewfinder with adjacent diopter round out the remaining controls.
Compared to the NEX-7
In terms of specification, there is precious little other than sensor size (16mp versus 24MP) and price to separate the NEX-6 from Sony's flagship NEX-7. If you have no need for output beyond 16MP and are willing to trade the NEX-7's Tri-Navi control interface and external mic socket for a mode dial, Wi-Fi connectivity and a Quick Navi menu, you can get the NEX-6 with a co-announced 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS power zoom for an attention-grabbing MSRP of $999. In discussions with dpreview, Sony has acknowledged that it expects the NEX-6 to have a direct impact on sales of the higher-priced NEX-7. Clearly Sony considers this to be a risk worth taking.
Compared to Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1
The 16MP Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 is one of the NEX-6's nearest competitors both in terms of design and specification, although notably it lacks an equivalent to the NEX's built-in electronic viewfinder. Here's how the two compare, physically.
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