1. Reminder: Please user our affiliate links to get to your favorite stores for holiday shopping!

A question about Sony NEX-6 (semi)-automatic exposure modes

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by stratokaster, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. stratokaster

    stratokaster TalkEmount Regular

    54
    Aug 27, 2011
    Hello guys. I want to switch from Micro 4/3 to Sony NEX for reasons I don't really want to discuss, but there's one thing that holds me back at the moment.

    When I tested Sony NEX-7, I noticed that its automatic exposure modes are extremely stupid when it comes to shooting in low light:

    1) You can't set minimum shutter speed for Auto-ISO. The camera will determine the minimum shutter speed based on the focal length of the lens, which leads to unacceptably slow shutter speeds for normal and wide lenses in low light. (I can reliably handhold a 35 mm lens at 1/60, but it's useless for shooting moving things.) It makes the aperture priority mode quite useless.

    2) If you switch to the shutter priority mode, the camera will not open the lens wider than f/4 and will raise the ISO instead. So instead of shooting at f/1.8 and ISO 400, you're shooting at f/4 and ISO 1600. Wow, thanks, Sony.

    3) If you switch to the manual mode, the camera will disable auto-ISO and you will have to fumble with ISO manually.

    So my question is: are those three point still true for the NEX-6?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    1 and 3 are true, but 2 is not. My fastest E-mount lens is the 16-50mm kit lens, which only goes to f/3.5. But when I switch to shutter priority, it goes there. So I'd say that the f/4 limit is misinformation.

    I came to NEX from the m4/3 world (Panasonic G1, GF3, GH2, and GX1), and the greater dynamic range and lower noise of the NEX-6 sensor has me hooked. Even the new GX7, which has everything I wish Panasonic had delivered a year ago, isn't enough to tempt me back.

    Don't get me wrong, there are more than a few things I wish Sony would address, starting with the menus, but I don't regret leaving the m4/3 world behind for a second.
     
  3. stratokaster

    stratokaster TalkEmount Regular

    54
    Aug 27, 2011
    Thank you for the info. 2 is not misinformation — this is how NEX-7 with Zeiss 24/1.8 behaves in shutter priority. It really doesn't open the lens past f/4 and raises the ISO instead. I verified this behavior myself. You can also read about it here: https://bjorn-utpott.squarespace.com/2012/4/23/battling-the-camera.html

    (By the way, I just realized that you can change aperture/shutter speed combination and still retain auto-ISO by using P mode with program shift.)
     
  4. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    That's interesting, and unfortunate. But based upon my test after you posted your question, it doesn't apply to the NEX-6.
     
  5. stratokaster

    stratokaster TalkEmount Regular

    54
    Aug 27, 2011
    This is nice to know. By the way, if I switch, the only thing I will miss is Panasonic 45-150mm tele zoom lens. It's literally 1/2 the size and the weight of Sony 55-210, it's very well made and very sharp for such an inexpensive lens.
     
  6. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Yes, I had that lens, and it got a lot of use. There's no question that there's still an advantage in lenses in the m4/3 world, but it's finally beginning to narrow. And I think legacy lenses, which I use quite frequently, are more useful on a 1.5x crop sensor than a 2x sensor.

    Plus, there are rumors of a 55-150 f/2.8 E-mount lens coming next month, which may be a decent substitute for your 45-150. But I'll believe it when I see it.
     
  7. eight_eight

    eight_eight New to TalkEmount

    8
    Jul 13, 2013
    I had that [similar] problem today. I was in office lighting getting my picture taken with a friend. I put the camera (nex 6 + sigma 30mm) to auto for the person taking the picture (because not everyone knows how to optimize camera settings). The camera defaulted to F4, 1/160, and ISO 2500. What on earth! I tried to post process in lightroom but the picture ended up too noisy because it started at such a high ISO.
     
  8. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    On my NEX-7, in Shutter Priority using the SEL 35 1.8, The camera will first go to ƒ4 first. As I raise the shutter speed the ISO will change, once it reaches ISO1600, the aperture will then start to open past ƒ4 all the way to ƒ1.8
     
  9. stratokaster

    stratokaster TalkEmount Regular

    54
    Aug 27, 2011
    That's because the upper limit in auto-ISO for the NEX-7 is ISO 1600 (I edited my original post to reflect this point). I suspect newer cameras with higher auto-ISO limit will go all the way to ISO 3200 before opening the lens further.
     
  10. stratokaster

    stratokaster TalkEmount Regular

    54
    Aug 27, 2011
    LOL. What the heck, indeed.
     
  11. stratokaster

    stratokaster TalkEmount Regular

    54
    Aug 27, 2011
    Well, being an f/2.8 lens, it will likely be large, heavy and EXPENSIVE. I'd rather have something like 50-135 f/4.
     
  12. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    D'oh! :doh: You're right. My mistake. I was indeed shooting at ISO 3200 when it opened up past f/4.

    Sigh.
     
  13. stratokaster

    stratokaster TalkEmount Regular

    54
    Aug 27, 2011
    OK, thanks!