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Do the Sony NEX-5R and the NEX-6 have the same sensor and processor?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by LowriderS10, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 TalkEmount Regular

    122
    Mar 23, 2013
    Hello all,

    I'm brand new here...I've been shooting film then Canon DSLRs for years, currently rocking a 5D Mark II and a few L lenses. However, I travel a lot, and I'm going to be backpacking for 3-ish months next year, so I'm trying to go to a smaller system. I love the way the OM-D looks, but I want something that's smaller and performs a little better.

    Initially, I was sold on the NEX-6 because of its twin-dial setup...but then I found the NEX-5R, which also has the twin dials, just missing the mode dial, which isn't a huge issue for me as I shoot in M 99.99999% of the time (the only time my cameras get put in Auto is the rare instance I give the camera to someone to take a picture of me...even then, I usually have everything pre-set).

    My #1 goal with going mirrorless is to have as compact/light (and most importantly stealthy!!!...I'm really trying to minimize the chances of being robbed for my equipment) package as possible, without sacrificing too much IQ.

    I can't seem to get a straight answer (I've been Googling for days, getting contradictory results)...do the NEX-5R and the NEX-6 have the same sensor and processor? Do they have the same IQ? I believe they have the same hybrid AF system, right?

    If they do, I'll likely go 5R...it's freaking TINY! At first I thought I'd hate the touch screen interface, but I played around with it rather extensively yesterday, and I realized that I never have to use the screen if I don't want to...it has enough buttons to make shooting perfect for me...I don't think I'd miss the EVF (I looooove OVFs, but not crazy about EVFs), and the only slight issue is the lack of an on-board flash...but it comes with one that attaches in 2 seconds, so that's something...and I never use a flash anyways...I've been shooting/travelling with DSLRs that have no flash for 2+ years...I literally can't remember the last time I used a flash...must have been in 2010 or something.

    Is there really much of a difference between the 5R and the 6 from a handling perspective? I like the 6's design a bit better, but I always gravitate to large cameras, something I'm trying to avoid here...if they handle pretty much the same in real life, then I'll just get the 5R...I have pretty normal-sized hands for an adult male haha.

    Thanks!
    T
     
  2. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 TalkEmount Regular

    122
    Mar 23, 2013
    Seriously? Haha...I thought you guys would know!!!

    I just emailed Sony, but I'm usually not that confident in customer service reps...we'll see what they say. :)
     
  3. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Well, they share a sensor so they should share image quality as well. Then it comes down to features that you want/need. I shoot a 5N and have no need/desire to upgrade to a 6 or 7 body.

    I do have the external EVF and find it extremely useful, particularly since it is articulated. It does have some drawbacks compared to an OVF, but there are those times when the LCD is difficult to use.
     
  4. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 TalkEmount Regular

    122
    Mar 23, 2013
    Thanks! So same sensor...do they have the same processor too? I recall seeing "Bionz" being listed for both, but I'm not sure if there are different iterations of that processor or not.

    Yeah, I was very close to pulling the trigger on a 6, but I really don't like EVFs. I've tried a few and for some odd reason I prefer shooting through the back screen instead. Maybe I just need to spend more time with it, but there's something weird about having a tiny screen that close to my eye, and the picture looks very unnatural to me. However, I do love VFs...so it's a big internal battle haha. Otherwise, the 5R wins...has the twin dials just like the 6, I don't care about the mode dial and it's smaller...it's a little cramped in my hand, but I don't think the 6 would be any different, I'm sure I could get used to it.

    Decisions, decisions...but yeah, if they have the same AF/processor/sensor, then that would help things a little bit for me, then I can concentrate on the rest of the stuff when making my decision :)
     
  5. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    As far as I know the processors are the same as well. No reason I can think of that they'd be different. Buying a NEX, particularly a 3/5 series body is, well, eye opening if you're coming from a dslr.

    For one thing they are tiny in comparison. For another, because the LCD swivels up and you can shoot from waist level your thumb comes into play as a shutter release mechanism. You don't hold them in your right hand, you cradle them in both hands since there really isn't much to grip. If you try there's a button or two that you will be inadvertantly pressing fairly frequently.

    The 6/7 series is less of an issue because of the slightly larger body. If you haven't actually held one, I suggest that you go find a store that carries them and do a hands-on comparison to make sure you pick the one that suits you. :)
     
  6. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Well, Sony's BIONZ processors are not the best anyways, so I wouldn't care if there's a slight difference. The NEX cameras operate quite quickly, but the JPEG engine is not the best and special features like the sweep panorama really only work well if you take great care of how you shoot.

    Still, NEX cameras are some of the best cameras out there and do so many things well, you won't even think of the few things they don't do so well.
     
  7. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 TalkEmount Regular

    122
    Mar 23, 2013
    Sweet, thanks! I don't get it, then...I was looking at the dpreview comparison shots, and the results were different...wonder why...they do a very well-controlled environment...

    Thanks, yeah, I've held them all, multiple copies at multiple times...I do like the ergonomics of the 6/7, but the 7 is definitely out. I'm not impressed with its IQ (especially at base ISO), I think the 5R/6 have much cleaner images at ISO 100-400. It's also too big and too expensive...I'm all right with having to push a button for the ISO, I don't need a dial for that, I'm not crazy about the EVF and I don't like the images that 24MP sensor puts out. That leaves the 6 and the 5R...while I like some things about the 6, a lot of its advantages are moot for me. I go years without using a flash, I won't use the mode dial more often than once in a blue moon (in which case the 5R's solution is good enough) and that's about the extent of the major differences. Initially, the 6 handles better (and looks better) than the 5R, but the whole reason I'm going mirrorless is to have as small a system as possible while getting the best possible IQ. Since the 5R/6 have theoretically the same IQ, the 5R is the logical winner. Both cameras will be a massive change from what I'm currently shooting...however, the 5R wouldn't be all that different from a 6...so may as well just go with the 5R...I think haha...I'm going to have to play more with EVFs...I've tried 3 times now and hated it. I'm literally trying to train myself to like them because I like OVFs so much...but if it's not there, it's not there, right?

    You're right, coming from DSLRs (my current camera is a 5D2, but the one before this was the mother of all DSLRS: The Canon 1D Mark III), everything is small and awkward haha. However, once I forget that I'm handing a tiny little camera and I get lost in the process of taking pictures, changing settings, etc, the size doesn't bother me. I've played with a ton of 5N/5Rs (in fact, I was playing with my friend's 5N tonight) and I'm liking them more and more. The two-handed holding is certainly different, but doesn't feel all that unnatural...the biggest thing to get used to at this point is the fact that I have to look through the LCD. I own small cameras (an IXUS and an S100), but it's somehow different with those). You'd think that the EVF would be a solution to that...but it's not. It just looks way too fake/weird to me. Also, for some reason, the CIPA rating (battery life) on the 6 is significantly lower when using the EVF than when using the LCD...not sure why that is, but that's a serious concern for me. (As it is, the NEX's battery ratings are brutal compared to what I'm used to, but thankfully nothing a couple of spare batteries shouldn't take care of).

    The swivel screen doesn't interest me all that much, but that could be simply because I've never had a camera with that option. I used to think LiveView on a DSLR was an utter waste, until I got one...then I fell in love with it...I can certainly see the benefits of a swivel screen, even if I'm not sure how much I'd use it.



    Thanks very much for your input! Yeah, I usually shoot JPEG, simply because they're easier files to work with and need less storage, which can be an issue when travelling. (When I went to Europe for a month last summer, I shot 5,000 frames...at 22MP, it fills up cards fast, especially with the HD videos I shot as well). However, for shots I think I'll want to print/blow up later (you know, the 1 in a 100...the rest you pretty much know is just going to end up on Flickr or maybe printed 8x11 at most), I usually shoot RAW+JPEG.

    The sweep panorama I can take or leave. I've been doing my own panoramas by stitching multiple shots together for years, and I'm happy with that process. Despite Sony's sweep mode, I will likely continue to shoot 10-30 images and stitch my own panos...and just leave the sweep panoramas for the shots that I think may look cool, but have little photographic significance.
     
  8. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    :O

    I would NEVER ever buy a camera again that doesn't have a swivel screen! It offers soooo much convenience when working on low angles, macros or on tripods. And as I shoot most to all landscapes from low angles, it may well save my back (and a few other bones) for the next years. Oh, and then there's the situations where you simply can't go lower (while standing in water, for example), but your camera with swivel screen can.


    Well, for Flickr, the JPEGs are certainly okay. They just don't leave much room to work with them, especially when compared to Sony's awesome RAW files!

    Yep, and you get wayyyy better resolution this way.
     
  9. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 TalkEmount Regular

    122
    Mar 23, 2013
    So I got a response from Sony...here's part of their email:

    "Both these models have a 16.1 MP APS-C size HD image sensor that work with BIONZ image processing to deliver images of stunning beauty."

    Of course what sucks about this is the wording...there's a big difference between *A* 16.1 MP sensor and *THE SAME* 16.1 MP sensor...so I've asked them again, just to make sure they're the same sensor/processor...

    Yeah, the tilt screen I can see the advantage of...it's not a "must" on my list, but it's definitely "if it's there, I'll happily take it" sort of thing.

    That's great to hear about RAW...I'll have to...I guess I've been spoiled by the JPEGs out of Canons...they are really, really good to work with. But, let's be honest, most of the stuff we shoot won't end up on walls, they'll end up in folders and online. So, I prefer to shoot 90% JPEG, 10% RAW+JPEG.

    Speaking of which, is there a way you can assign a button (or at least add it to the Fn menu) for changing quality? On my Canon, my "SET" button is set up as a hot button for quality change. So I can easily switch between shooting JPEGs or RAW+JPEGs without going deep into menus.
     
  10. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Why do you ask Sony if they use the *same* sensor? Image quality is exactly the same, so I guess it's the same sensor. And even if it's technically different - as long as the output is the same, who cares?

    As for RAW, I don't know if you can assign it to a button (I still use a first gen NEX-5), but it's easy to change anyways.
     
  11. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 TalkEmount Regular

    122
    Mar 23, 2013
    I asked because I like to know as much about my gear as possible. It will also make my decision easier...if it's the same sensor/processor/AF, then I'll likely go 5R. If, however, they're different, then I'm going to dive deep into figuring out what the differences, advantages, disadvantages of each are, and make a decision based on that. :)

    IQ seems to be the same in most places, but one thing that's throwing me off is the dpreview comparison samples, which should be the most accurate, since it's an extremely controlled environment.

    Thanks, I think with the 5R and the 6, you can assign 6 (or so) things to the Fn button, and one of them can be Image Size/Quality. It's a bit more button pushing than I like (my button takes me directly to it), but it's something I can live with.
     
  12. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 TalkEmount Regular

    122
    Mar 23, 2013
    A-HA! I have my answer from Sony:

    "The NEX-5R and NEX-6 cameras have the same 16.1 MP imaging sensors. Both cameras also have the same BIONZ processor."

    Good news...good news indeed...time to go manhandle these guys at the stores again...see if the 6 really feels all that much different! If not...I think I'm going to wait a month or two in case I find any great deals and hit up a 5R before my trip to Japan/Taiwan in August. :D
     
  13. claude

    claude TalkEmount Top Veteran

    585
    Jan 13, 2013
    Ottawa Canada
    I like my 5R very much. My only complaint is LCD screen is VERY hard to see on a sunny day. I miss a view finder. I also have a Canon dslr(7D).
     
  14. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    I absolutely agree...


    ...so a 6 or 7 makes perfect sense to me
     
  15. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 TalkEmount Regular

    122
    Mar 23, 2013
    Hmm, thanks guys! I didn't even really think of that. Of course, when I was looking at all these cameras, it was always in stores where light is very favourable to LCDs (except for my friend's 5N that I've played with while we've been out shooting out and about).

    Would you say the screen is bad enough on the 5R to justify getting the 6 strictly for the EVF? (The 7 is out of the question, I don't like the files out of it, it's too big and too expensive). I will be in places with lots of bright sunshine (Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Taiwan and Japan are pretty much confirmed as my destinations).
     
  16. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    I have not used the 5R. But I have yet to see an LCD that is useable in bright sunlight. So choosing the NEX-6 was easy for me. It's clear that some people seem to be able to make do with the LCD alone. But I can't imagine buying an enthusiast-level camera that didn't have a viewfinder, either built-in, or add-on.
     
  17. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 TalkEmount Regular

    122
    Mar 23, 2013
    Yeah, I've been thinking about it and I realized that I actually hate holding cameras at arm's length haha...plus, it's more visible...I like to do street photography and stuff, and for that the stealthier the better. So...I *THINK* I've reversed my decision and will be looking at the NEX-6. I'm sure I'll get used to the EVF eventually. I'm not happy about the added bulk as far as size goes, but the grip is slightly more comfortable and the flash, while I may never use it, could come in handy...can't hurt to have it built in. :)
     
  18. Hawon

    Hawon TalkEmount Regular

    141
    Feb 5, 2013
    Chicago, IL
    Hawon
    sunny day light option washes color a bit but it makes LCD screen as usable as it can be
     
  19. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    ^^I've heard this one before - I assume only a option for newer Nex models (since I haven't been able to locate it on my 1st gen Nex-5 ???)
     
  20. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    I believe that's correct, Nick. And I also believe that "as usable as it can be" is the operative phrase in Hawon's message. :rolleyes: