Worth Many Shots

Sony packs a DSLR-grade performance in the NEX-6.

Written by Pranay Parab | New Delhi | Published: March 31, 2013 1:15 am

Sony packs a DSLR-grade performance in the NEX-6.

SPOTLIGHT

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Sony pioneered the mirrorless compact camera segment with the launch of its NEX series a couple of years ago. Other manufacturers followed suit,and around this time last year,there were a slew of launches in this segment. These cameras strive to produce DSLR-grade pictures through a more portable form. Portability matters to many users,and in response to competition from mirrorless cameras,Canon launched EOS Rebel SL1 — a slimmer DSLR – in the US recently. Sony’s latest mirrorless camera,the WiFi-enabled NEX-6,is available in India for Rs 49,990. It comes with an 16-50 mm lens,a lightweight body,a tiltable LCD screen,excellent manual controls and a viewfinder.

Build and design

At 400g,the NEX-6 is a sturdy,yet lightweight camera. It’s comfortable to hold thanks to the grip on the right side and is portable even with the kit lens attached. The camera has a standard hot shoe for those who use custom flash guns. It also comes with a pop-up flash for those who don’t. The NEX-6 has a dial at the top,which lets you switch between modes. This is useful to quickly switch between auto or manual modes. There is a button for video recording as well.

Quick access shortcuts like these show that Sony has put in a lot of thought into making DLSR users feel at home with the NEX-6. The dial at the back,combined with the one on top,put almost all frequently used options within reach. If you do not enjoy fiddling with menus to tweak shooting options,the NEX-6 is a good choice. DSLR purists might complain about the electronic viewfinder (EVF) on the device,but it isn’t inconvenient in any way,except that you won’t be able to use it when the camera is off. Optical viewfinders are excellent,but the EVF is Sony’s speciality. They are the best in the market and with a little bit of adjustment,most users will get used to it.

Performance

One of the best things about a DSLR is its speed. Sony NEX-6 excels in this area and lets you click pictures in under three seconds. The picture quality is impressive,with good performance in low light,accurate colour reproduction and little loss of detail. Video quality isn’t bad,but filmmakers are better off with a camcorder.

Several Wi-Fi cameras have hit the market recently,and Sony NEX-6 is certainly not the best of the lot. Trying to integrate wireless connectivity and online sharing into a camera has been difficult for manufacturers and only the Android cameras have got that right.

You can send pictures to smartphones using a Sony app,but the process isn’t smooth. It would have been great if there was an easy way to wirelessly transfer pictures to your computer.

The battery life is good,as the camera lasted for over 300 shots on a single charge. One major advantage is that you need not remove the battery to charge the camera. A standard micro USB cable connected to the camera does the job.

It is safe to conclude that Sony’s products are the best in the mirrorless segment. The NEX series may not have a robust lens ecosystem,but as the product line is relatively new to the market,that will change with time. The NEX-6 is a good alternative to entry-level DSLRs and a good choice for professional photographers who want a second,more portable camera.

Verdict

THE GOOD

Picture quality

Portability

THE BAD

Wireless features

Lens ecosystem needs improvement

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