Sony’s new NEX-6 shares many of its features with the company’s flagship NEX-7, but is more affordable and offers Wi-Fi control. Read the Sony NEX-6 review...
Sony NEX-6 review – Build and handling
All NEX cameras are compact in size, and I have been impressed by how many controls Sony squeezes onto its NEX bodies. This is especially the case with the NEX-6, which features a built-in flash, hotshoe and EVF, all on a body that weighs under 300g and measures approximately 120x67x43mm. In fact, the 43mm depth measurement is taken from the pronounced handgrip, which provides a comfortable hold, and the main body is nearer 30mm. Within the handgrip is the battery, which provides up to 360 shots and is charged via USB.
The NEX-6 is built to a high standard, being made partly of magnesium alloy like the NEX-7. The button layout of the two cameras is very similar, too. The main difference is that instead of the tri-navi set-up of the NEX-7, which comprises three unmarked dials, the NEX-6 has a dedicated shooting-mode dial with an extra dial underneath for exposure adjustments. The shooting-mode dial is clearly marked, so it is quicker to get to grips with this on the NEX-6 than it is on the NEX-7. However, two of the NEX-6’s key buttons on the rear (menu and Wi-Fi) are still unmarked, being displayed on the LCD screen instead.
The pop-up flash works on a crane mechanism, and photographers will need a good set of nails to get into the flash button to release it. With a compatible external flash unit attached, the camera can control other units remotely via the wireless flash mode. The hotshoe on the camera is the standard type, rather than the Konica Minolta design used by most other Sony cameras.
A function menu on the NEX-6 can hold up to six user-selected controls, and it is worth thinking long and hard about which controls are assigned here. For any controls that are accessed via the main menu, it can take a while to navigate the list of options, and once a control is adjusted the camera goes back to the shooting screen. To change another control, the user then has to go through the menu navigation again. Staying within the menu would make the process quicker. For those who shoot both videos and stills, the files are stored in separate playback menus, so to switch between the two a further menu must be negotiated.