NEX5n vs NEX6 : impressions / unboxing / small review

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by Hans Von Der Crone, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. Hans Von Der Crone

    Hans Von Der Crone TalkEmount Rookie

    Oct 31, 2012
    So I got my NEX6 yesterday (Belgium). Already have an unboxing video here. I have used a NEX5n next to my big and bulky Canon 7D since januari 2012. My NEX5n has been to China, to LA, to several family trips and to be honest, apart from some photo assignments I had to do for clients (a bit like a paid hobby, weddings and stuff) I almost exclusively used my 5n for personal use.

    When I read about the NEX6 I knew I had to have one, since I've missed a viewfinder on several occassions (coming from a SLR background) and faster AF would always be a plus for me. I had it on preorder for several weeks and was able to pick it up in Belgium on october 29th. When I unpacked the camera (mind, I never held it) it was immediatly clear to me that the grip was a LOT better than the 5n. The 5n, while a great camera, always felt just a tad too small for me. The NEX6 is always perfect in this respect, great grip and feel, although I have to admit that because it is a bit bigger, it FEELS heavier (though it isn't really, especially not compared to 5n+kitlens).

    I have not been able to test the camera out in a decent outing, so most of the impression are just from playing around a bit with it inside the house. The AF seems to be a bit faster in low light and tracking also seem to be a bit improved (so taking pictures of smaller kids is a bit less of a hassle). Of course, I've been used to the gui for quite a while so I felt immediately at home on the NEX6. The top dial is a great plus but more so if the Fn button which can be programmed so you have all your favorite settings right at the touch of a button. Granted, you still have to select the options through the lcd, but it makes handling the camera definitely a bit faster (for example, I can now push Fn > choose RAW and switch to JPG from there. One button press, one click to the side, done).

    The viewfinder looks great to me, although the screen seems to exhibit a bit of a flicker, especially in highkey scenes. Resolution is great but colours seem to be a bit more saturated compared to the LCD on the back. So the image you see in the viewfinder isn't 100% the same colour-wise as on the LCD. Might be fixable through some setting but I haven't checked that. The hotshoe flash works with my Canon flashes but you need to set things manually. I have no idea what flash works 100%, so don't ask (want to know myself).

    The new kitlens is a LOT smaller than the one on the 5n but it does take some getting used to. The kitlens on the 5n was such a natural fit for me, that having a smaller (and more plastic) lens almost felt like a negative at first. But I got used to it, it works and feels smooth and it definitely seems to be a tad sharper than the 18-55. I hate the little lens cap though, but I suppose that is something of a small thing for most people.

    Negatives? Well, the cardslot seems to be a tad closer to the door hinge, making it pretty difficult to get the card out for someone with larger fingers (or no fingernails like me). There is no separate battery loader, you have to do the loading with the battery inside the camera. Some people find that a plus, but I rather have a seperate loader so I can charge my backup batteries before leaving the house on a trip. Guess I'll have to look for an aftermarket one.

    If you have any questions, feel free to post them here. I'll try to do a video review asap, but since I'm not an english native speaker, that might sound a bit strange and I'm not sure I would be comfortable doing so.

  2. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Thx for your impressions, which match mine. I've sold the 16-50 which did nothing for me over the 18-55.
    My initial assessment of NEX AF was so poor I really have to get myself another E mount lens and shoot with it a bit to see if I can overcome that first impression. Until then, I'm shooting my legacy lenses and very happy with the camera. I note I never felt "love" for the 5N compared to the GX-1, which I truly bonded with. After 6 weeks with the N I had grown totally comfortable with it, though still passionless. I don't see myself falling in love with the 6 either, but I'm sure it will become seamless for me as well after a few weeks of use.
  3. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Real Name:
    Nice write up. The 6 has benefits over the 5N, but I've become so attached to the articulated EVF of the 5N that I really wouldn't want to go back to a fixed EVF. So, I guess if I upgrade bodies I'll have to stick to the 5 series.
  4. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    Thank you for your review, Hans... and welcome! :)
  5. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Real Name:
    Nice little write up.

    I am increasingly torn between the 6 and 7. I like the 7 for the sleekness, but the 6 seems just as capable.
  6. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Indeed, except for sleekness and cool factor, and unless you NEED 24MP, the 6 seems like a more compelling proposition. The standard hotshoe did me in ! The UI is also better with the revamped menus and extra custom buttons...
  7. BigMike

    BigMike TalkEmount Rookie

    Aug 28, 2012
    Thanks! A nice read!
  8. Yohan

    Yohan TalkEmount Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    Real Name:
    Thanks for the impressions. If you aren't comfortable making a video review, may I request a AF comparison video with the 5N & 6?
  9. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin TalkEmount Regular

    Sep 26, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    The 6 appears to be a useful amount taller than the 5N, which would alleviate one of my biggest handling gripes with that camera.