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To 6 or not to 6? that is the question

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by Rich, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. Rich

    Rich TalkEmount Veteran

    253
    Nov 20, 2012
    Salisbury UK
    Richard
    I've been banging on about buying an NEX 6 body to use along side my beloved 5N, but, I am beginning to ask myself, do I need to?

    Having read a few reviews, I'm wondering, what actually is the difference other than the obvious features:

    EVF. Yep, could be a bonus point, but not crucial.
    Pop up flash. Again, could be useful for a bit of fill in.
    Mode dial. Not really.
    WiFi. Absolutely no use to me at all.
    JPEG improvements. Only shoot Raw.
    PDAF(?). Doesn't work with Sigma(?) not sure if I am right on that point.

    Given the addition of the EVF and flash, I would buy this camera if it had an upgraded sensor over the 5N, but I don't think it has. Please tell me if I'm wrong. I haven't so far found any mention of this in reviews.

    Any 5N users finding any kind of improvement with the 6?

    Before someone suggests it, I don't want the 7. Too many pixels for what I do.

    Rich.
     
  2. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    From what I've read (besides the differences you already mentioned), I think the 6 has better/faster autofocus and more focus points (and that it has the faster AF of all the current Nex models)
    I don't know how important it is to you the fact that the 6 doesn't have a touchscreen like your 5N does though....
     
  3. Rich

    Rich TalkEmount Veteran

    253
    Nov 20, 2012
    Salisbury UK
    Richard
    Thanks Nick.

    Touch screen has its uses, but I can live without it. Faster focus is always a good thing, but reading around, I think that any real improvement might be negligible(?)
     
  4. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran

    396
    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Steve
    Remember, with a little hunting and patience, you might land a 7 for very close to the same price in LN condition.
     
  5. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    Rich, as having used both extensively (as well as the 7 now), I think I can give a pretty good overview of what you'll gain... or not.
    PDAF. The most obvious thing people are attracted to. It's a tough question. In good light, I'd dare say it can be almost twice as quick in some situations. But that's the catch. It's not all that fast or 100% reliable either. Sometimes it'll lock on almost instantly, some others, not. Not a performance I've been impressed with anyway. In dim light, I don't see ANY significant difference with the 5N.
    Pop-up flash. Here, it's a very big improvement for me. The add-on flash was a pain in the rear on the 5N, the pop-up that can be held in bounce position works absolutely wonders on the 6. In fact, if you don't NEED vertical orientation, then it's so good it can replace an external unit.
    EVF : very nice to have in sunny conditions. Indoor though, mine does nearly not "peak" in MF mode, but instead shows the in focus areas slightly "shimmering". It's ok, but I'd rather use the LCD that shows actual peaking in your color of choice. The EVF is nice though, no question, it's better to have it than not.
    The mode dial is REALLy nice to have, and it makes one less cumbersome menu in the whole package.
    It's bigger than the N and much nicer to hold, it also balances much nicer with various lenses, and the faux leather grip is very nice. I like the bottom hinged LCD over the top one on the N. I did miss the touch screen in the beginning. No more.
    One thing never mentioned but maybe the biggest upgrade is the much faster operation of the camera, overall. It is much speedier in navigating menus, reviewing/deleting pictures, and globally chosing a setting, etc.
    Also the Fn button by itself is worth the upgrade, absolutely golden.
    IQ is just absolutely identical, don't expect anything better.

    Whether those points are worthy or not is entirely up to you.
    Just for info if you're interested I have a minty one that's gonna be listed any minute, shoot me a PM if you wanna talk about it.
     
  6. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    I've also read (can't remember where) that the sensor of the 5N is superior than every other Nex sensor. I don't know why tho :?

    Also, Snapsort has been favouring the 5N for a long time, even when compared to the 6 and 7 :?
     
  7. GJH

    GJH New to TalkEmount

    1
    Nov 26, 2012
    South Africa
    Hi Rich, I upgraded from the NEX 5 and the NEX 6 in my case offered me so much more, I love the mode dial, wifi and additional ISO, but given what you have said I don't think the NEX 6 would be the right upgrade, perhaps wait for the next rendition?
     
  8. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    From real life experience with all three models, and sample variations taken into account, I'd still pick the 7 above either two others. Between the N and 6, I see no real life difference, at least in JPEG. Don't ask me about RAW, I never do it ;)
     
  9. Chuck Lawson

    Chuck Lawson TalkEmount Regular

    140
    Nov 23, 2012
    Dallas area
    Didn't have a 5N, but I just went from a 5R to a 6, and I'm quite happy so far.

    EVF -- I had my doubts about the EVF, particularly since I've been wearing progressive lenses for the past 5 years (and still hate them); I figured either I wouldn't be able to adjust the diopter to work for me, or I'd have to take off my glasses to use it, which would just be that much more of a pain. Turns out it took me all of about 10 seconds to find a setting where I could use the EVF comfortably with my glasses; I can now actually compose outdoors in bright light. As a bonus, I think I'm finding it a lot easier to get critical focus (despite focus peaking not showing as well on the EVF as it does on the LCD), and a lot easier to hold long exposures steady.

    Flash -- The accessory flash was a pain in the b*** on the 5R; it was finicky to get it screwed in so the camera would recognize it, and I had to pull it off to get back things like exposure bracketing when I didn't want flash. I also had to either carry it around all the time in case I might need it, or not have it when I suddenly needed just a little more light. Last but not least, if I want to do any sort of remote flash, I'd have to get an adapter and stack it with a trigger, and get it all to stay contacted properly. On the 6, one touch pops up or puts down the flash, it's always with me, and I've got a real hot shoe.

    Fit and finish -- I'm sure the 7's metal case is nicer (I've never handled one), but the fit, finish and feel of the 6 make my 5R feel like a cheap plastic toy. It's slightly thicker than the 5R, and I get a good grip on the texture of the case. Also, the accessory port door doesn't feel like it's going to snap off every time I open it to plug in a cable.

    16-50 Power Zoom -- I didn't expect much from the kit lens (other than making it a lot closer to pocketable than the 5R with the 18-55), but so far I've been pretty happy with it. I'm sure all of the lens science folks would find a lot wrong with it, but like the 18-55, I've been able to get some pics with it that are surprisingly nice. I wish the focus and zoom rings were a little more separate, but I think I'm slowly starting to get the hang of it (old dogs, new tricks, etc.).

    Other stuff -- I can't tell the difference between this and the 5R in AF -- it's still moody, and I still shoot (with native lenses) DMF when the AF is cooperating, and MF when it doesn't. Most of my shooting is in situations where NEX AF seems to be most challenged anyway. I also can't tell the difference in high ISO performance -- it's good on both of them. A lot of my shots end up at 3200, and it's quite workable; a bit of NR in LR (I only shoot raw) and I'm good to go.

    Anyway, that's my $0.02 -- best of luck with whichever way you decide to go!
     
  10. Chuck Lawson

    Chuck Lawson TalkEmount Regular

    140
    Nov 23, 2012
    Dallas area
    lol... nianys posts twice while I'm plodding away writing a single post :) She's absolutely right about the speed; I should have mentioned that. Re: touch -- I hated the touch on the 5R (which apparently is a different technology than the 5N); the only time it could be expected to reliably work was when I'd touch it accidentally. Good riddance :)

    Another thought on 6 v 7; I was debating this too (I shoot a lot of stuff I'd love a few more pixels to crop with); what sold me on the 6 was the smaller kit lens (for casual carry), and the idea that the 7 is very likely going to be a deep discount item soon; I figure if that happens I may grab a body-only 7 as a spare body (or one to use for my "need room to crop" shots), plus if I want to trade up to something else in the next year, the 6 should hold it's value a little longer.
     
  11. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    The 6 is the model I'd consider the most after the 7, purely for the built-in EVF.

    But those 5s do factor in as well. IMHO simultaneous flash & VF use is not all it's cracked up to be - I've tried my built-in flash on a bunch of occasions - even bounced - and I always hate it. (WiFi, on the other hand... my new smart phone has given me a taste for that, along with apps.)
     
  12. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Funny how different things bother different people. From a 5N perspective:

    1) I really hated the menu when I first got the camera. Ok, I still hate it, but my menu diving has been reduced dramatically since I've gotten the buttons programmed how I like. The mode dial/Fn button is probably an improvement.

    2) Touch screen. I was ambivalent about it until I started to really use MF lenses a lot. Now I use it all the time to magnify the screen over what I want to focus on. Indispensable.

    3) EVF. Couldn't live without one. Wouldn't want to go back to a fixed viewfinder. That articulation is just too handy.

    4) Flash. For the 6 times (or less) a year I use flash I can't justify a full time dedicated flash. Didn't use the one on my dslr much either.

    5) WiFi. The only thing I'd use it for would be the remote shutter capability, which as i understand it is limited to only certain modes, which makes it much less attractive.

    6) PDAF. The stuff I shoot doesn't move very fast so the AF speed on the 5N is ok for me.

    7) Body size. The larger body might be a plus, but I've never held one so I really can't say.

    Do you sense that I'm happy with my 5N and in no hurry to upgrade any time soon? :)
     
  13. sum-of-all-parts

    sum-of-all-parts New to TalkEmount

    6
    Dec 30, 2012
    Los Angeles, California USA
    Brian Matsumoto
    Some nice features of NEX 6

    Rich, you are in an enviable position since you really can't go wrong with either camera.

    I am addicted to using the EVF and cannot imagine doing without, so the 5n camera never appealed to me.

    At first, I thought the WiFi feature would not be used very much, but this has changed.

    One thing which is nice is being able to send the live view from the camera to either my iPad or my iPhone and using their LCD screens to preview the image and then to fire the camera. This is pretty handy for my macro photography since I can maneuver the lights and such and judge whether or not I like the effect. I downloaded the App which allows the NEX 6 to do time lapse photography. This is something that I use when studying things under the microscope and it provides a convenient tool for studying some of the micro critters I like to record. One thing which annoyed me about this camera was that they removed the multi-frame noise reduction function. This is now an App which has to be downloaded from the Sony store.

    The big question you have is whether the sensor is improved over the 5n. This I can't answer as I've never shot the "n".

    One thing I like very much with the 6 is the 16-50 mm zoom. Not so much because it is motorized, but rather it is give me 2 more mm of wide angle. I've always been a fan of wide angles and this extra bit of reach is appreciated.

    Brian




     
  14. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran

    396
    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Steve
    I wear progressives and have never had an issue. I also wear polarized sunglasses... THAT's an issue that has me thinking D600 again. I live in Florida, and almost always shoot with sunglasses on. Might have to invest in non-polarized clip-ons or something.
     
  15. garethwi

    garethwi TalkEmount Regular

    95
    Sep 2, 2011
    Netherlands
    Gareth
    I upgraded recently from the 5 to the 6 and think it was well worth it. I love the EVF (I've set it up so I don't need my glasses on to use it). The mode dial is also brilliant. As is the function button. I almost never go into the menu system any more.

    I find the EVF to be by far the best new feature. It makes photographing action loads easier.
     
  16. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Hey Brian, great first post and welcome to the forum!
     
  17. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Kevin
    I was also thinking of upgrading to either the 6 or 7. The biggest deal breaker for me is still the articulating evf on the 5n. I don't think I would like the fixed one. I wouldn't mind the wifi capability, touch screen is not a big deal to me. I have most of my settings programmed so menu diving is not a problem for me either. I shoot 95% manual focus so the phase detection is no biggie. So hopefully this full frame nex will have an articulating evf. That would be nice, probably not going to happen.
     
  18. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Yeah, that would be sweet, but I have a feeling any full frame NEX is going to either be on a 7 chassis or a entirely new body style. But we can dream, right?
     
  19. Rich

    Rich TalkEmount Veteran

    253
    Nov 20, 2012
    Salisbury UK
    Richard
    Thanks everyone.

    Interesting set of answers for sure. Looks like I'm going to be sticking with the 5N for the moment. Maybe wait and see what the next generation has to offer. Perhaps if I found a 6 at the right price, I might go for it. 7 is definitely out of the question, spec isn't right for me.
     
  20. eno789

    eno789 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    720
    Jan 1, 2012
    NoCal, USA
    Brian
    There's one thing I like in the 6 and 7, better than the 5N I have: the bottom is flat and big, much suitable for tripod or monopod use.

    That said, I'm with Jim and quite happy with the 5N. I don't think 6 and 7 offer enough for me to switch, I'd skip a generation and ideally wait for the full frame one.