Sony α NEX-6 Compact System Camera Delivers 16.1MP APS-C Sensor, Fast Hybrid...

Sony α NEX-6 Compact System Camera Delivers 16.1MP APS-C Sensor, Fast Hybrid AF, OLED Viewfinder and Wi-Fi


San Diego, CA—With a new, sleeker design and enhanced control capabilities, the Sony NEX-6 compact system camera is engineered to provide all the imaging power, shooting responsiveness, handling and operability of a DSLR, but in a pocketsize mirrorless camera.

In Sony’s E-mount line, the NEX-6 includes hybrid autofocus for quicker speeds, Wi-Fi capabilities and the PlayMemories Camera Apps platform recently introduced on Sony’s NEX-5R model, as well as the same high-res XGA OLED viewfinder found on the flagship NEX-7 model. Add to that a standard DSLR-style mode dial for navigation between settings.

“Put simply, we are revolutionizing the world of compact system cameras,” said Mike Kahn, director of the Alpha camera business at Sony Electronics. “With the NEX-6, we’ve brought a full DSLR experience—fast focus, enhanced control and an eye-level shooting style—to consumers at a fraction of the size and weight. Add the convenience of Wi-Fi connectivity and our innovative PlayMemories Camera Apps platform, and it becomes a truly compelling product unlike anything else in market today. It’s the perfect balance of size, performance quality.”

The camera partners a large Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor offering 16.1 effective megapixels with a Bionz image processor built to ensure low-noise images at extended sensitivity settings to ISO 25,600. Its Fast Hybrid AF system combines phase- and contrast-detect autofocus methods: it uses 99 phase-detection AF points arrayed on the image sensor to detect a subject’s distance and direction to lock focus on it, and then utilizes contrast-detection AF to confirm fine focus detail. In speed priority continuous shooting mode, the camera automatically switches to phase detection tracking AF to track fast-moving action at up to 10 frames per second.

The NEX-6’s 2.36-million-dot electronic viewfinder is designed to give a bright, detailed, high-contrast view of still images and video, with 100% frame coverage and a wide field of view. On-screen grid lines and a digital level gauge can be displayed to assist with framing. This EVF is complemented by a 3.0-inch LCD that can be angled 90° up or 45° down for viewing in virtually any shooting position.

New is a mode dial on the NEX-6’s top, similar to those found on traditional DSLRs, giving photographers access to commonly used shooting modes, including PASM and sweep panorama mode. There’s also a mode-dependent control dial (below the mode dial) plus a separate control wheel on the camera back for fine adjustments of exposure, ISO, white balance and other settings.

Also inherited from A-mount cameras is a function key and a pro-focused Quick Navi interface that allows fingertip adjustment of settings without taking the viewfinder away from the shooter’s eye. The camera also features: a pop-up flash; Full HD movie shooting with a new auto slow shutter feature that adds detail to low-light clips; a multi-interface shoe that’s capable of “intelligent” linkage with accessories; and integrated Wi-Fi that enables photos to be transferred wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet running Sony’s free PlayMemories Mobile app (Android and Apple iOS). Additionally, content can be directly uploaded from the camera to Facebook using a Wi-Fi connection and Sony’s new Direct Upload app.

As part of the PlayMemories Camera Apps portfolio, available apps at launch, outside of Direct Upload, will include Picture Effect+, Multi Frame NR and Smart Remote Control. The Bracket Pro, Photo Retouch, Time-Lapse and Cinematic Photo apps are planned for future release.

Sony’s NEX-6 compact system camera will be available in November bundled in a kit with the SELP1650 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens for $1,000. It will also be offered body only for $850.

NEX-6 Accessories and New α E-Mount Lenses

The leather LCS-ELC6 soft carrying case ($100) is designed exclusively for the NEX-6 camera and attached SELP1650 or SEL16F28 lenses that launched with the camera. While attached, the case allows use of a tripod as well as the NEX-6’s LCD to be tilted. The LCS-EJA soft carrying case ($40), for use with any α E-mount camera, has internal pockets for storage of the lens cap and a spare memory card.

Sony also introduced three lenses for its E-mount line of interchangeable-lens cameras.

This extremely light, compact 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom model measures only 29.9mm thick when fully retracted and contains built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization for clearer handheld shooting. Its dual-function ring controls both power zoom and manual focus, depending on the camera’s focus mode. With the camera set to AF the control ring adjusts high-speed zoom with small hand movements. With the camera in MF mode, the ring controls manual focus. A power zoom dial makes the lens particularly useful for shooting video. It will be released in January 2013 $350.

SEL35F18. A wide-aperture 35mm focal length lens, it has a bright maximum aperture of f/1.8 and built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization. It provides background defocus in both still images and HD video. $450.

This super-wide-angle zoom has a maximum aperture of f/4.0 across its range of 10-18mm and built-in Optical SteadyShot image stabilization. Adopting the super ED (extra-low dispersion) glass to reduce color aberration, the lens is said to produce “dramatic perspective effects and is ideal for shooting landscapes and interiors.” $850.