Sony NEX-6 review
Minimalist proportions yet the Sony has the ability to swap lenses in order to improve the variety of your video clips and amateur film-making prowess
Don’t want the expense or bulk of a DSLR but want interchangeable lenses and almost pocket-sized proportions comparable to a camcorder’s dimensions? Then a compact system camera could be just the ticket. In our opinion the best of the bunch for shooting video comes from Sony’s large 16.7 megapixel APS-C sensor incorporating NEX-6, its chip being a match for consumer DSLRs whilst falling just short of the EOS 5D Mark III’s full frame offering.
Recording 1920x1080 pixels clips at a cinematic 50fps, and with the choice of AVCHD or MP4 compression, this mirror-less ‘hybrid’ is also one of the most advanced CSC’s in offering Wi-Fi and downloadable digital effects apps from Sony’s PlayMemories site. In short it will offer even beginners or those used to more regularly pointing and shooting with a camcorder consistently high quality video results. The power zoom maintains detail across the frame, even if there are familiar bugbears visible such as pixel fringing between areas of high contrast.
We found that the best match for this camera when shooting video was to pair it with the ultra compact mechanised 16-50mm ‘Power Zoom’. The fact that the zoom is automatic rather than adjusted by hand, unlike the EOS 5D Mark III, ensures that framing adjustments and transitions are smoother than most of us can manage manually. While there is a slight mechanised buzz as the lens does its stuff, the fact that it can be operated by a single thumb resting on its slider control avoids the built-in stereo microphones picking up hand movements. A tilting 3-inch, 921,600 pixel resolution LCD with touch screen – common on camcorders but not so much stills cameras – is a further boon for videographers. Alternatively and unlike a DSLR which features just an optical viewfinder, thanks to the eye level electronic viewfinder here there is the ability to shoot video with the camera held up to the face if you prefer that option. It’s better value and a faster frame rate than a top dog DSLR too, if more expensive than a common camcorder once you factor in the premium lens.