Sony Alpha NEX-6 offers DSLR-like controls, Wi-Fi, and apps

The Alpha NEX-6 has built-in Wi-Fi and downloadable apps, and it also comes with a powered zoom lens.

Amid the smorgasbord of recently announced Sony cameras is a brand-new addition to the company's mirrorless NEX lineup. The Sony Alpha NEX-6 combines the built-in Wi-Fi and downloadable app features of the new NEX-5R with the eye-level OLED viewfinder and physical knobs and buttons of the Sony Alpha NEX-7.

The NEX-6 packs an eye-level OLED viewfinder and an adjustable 3-inch touchscreen.

Sony is positioning this camera as an alternative to an entry-level to mid-range DSLR, with a $1000 kit price to match. The NEX-6 has the same 16-megapixel APS-C sensor found in the NEX-5R, as well as 1080p video recording at 60fps and ISO settings that reach up to ISO 25,600.

Like the NEX-5R, the NEX-6 will be one of Sony's first interchangeable-lens cameras with the ability to run camera-specific apps built and distributed by Sony. The NEX-6 will be able to connect to Wi-Fi access points to download apps and upload and share photos, but the camera will also have a few sidecar mobile apps that allow users to control it from a smartphone or tablet and offload images to those devices.

The NEX-6's physical control scheme should benefit seasoned shooters.

The NEX-6 also has the same 3-inch adjustable touchscreen as the NEX-5R, which can be used for touch-to-focus and subject-tracking autofocus, among other things. Unlike the NEX-5R, however, it augments that control scheme with physical buttons for selecting shooting modes, dialing in manual settings, and accessing in-camera functions. For example, this will be the first NEX camera to offer a physical mode dial.

The NEX-6's mode dial is surrounded by a concentric ring that can be used for quick adjustments, and there's also a scroll wheel on the back of the camera for accessing other settings. The control layout is notably different than the NEX-7's "Tri-Navi" interface.

The NEX-6 has a pop-up flash, and it's the first NEX camera with an honest-to-goodness mode dial.

Like many of Sony's recent cameras, the NEX-6 also features a range of in-camera creative settings for optimizing portraits and applying filters. It also has a very fast burst mode, which clocks in at 10fps at full resolution with the camera's contrast-detection autofocus system enabled. The NEX-6 has a built-in pop-up flash in addition to a standard ISO hot shoe for external flashes and other accessories rather than Sony's proprietary accessory shoe.

Due in November, the Sony Alpha NEX-6 is priced at $1000 as a kit with a new optically stabilized 16mm-55mm F3.5-5.6 powered zoom lens, which you can control via a zoom lever mounted on the side of the lens barrel. The lens also features a twistable control ring that can be used for zoom or focus adjustments.

Shop ▾
arrow up Amazon Shop buttons are programmatically attached to all reviews, regardless of products' final review scores. Our parent company, IDG, receives advertisement revenue for shopping activity generated by the links. Because the buttons are attached programmatically, they should not be interpreted as editorial endorsements.

Subscribe to the Digital Photo Newsletter