Sony has announced the new NEX-6, a mirrorless camera that follows up — and one-ups — the NEX-5R that was announced a couple of weeks ago. In the NEX pecking order, the 6 falls somewhere in between the 5R and the 7 (announced back in December 2011). It differs from the NEX-7 in that it features a new secondary mode dial and has less resolution (16.1MP, down from 24.3MP), and differs from the NEX-5 in that it has a 2.36-million-dot electronic viewfinder.
Other specs include an APS-C-sized CMOS sensor, ISO that goes up to 25600, a 3-inch tilting LCD screen, a built-in flash, a speedy hybrid AF system, 10fps continuous shooting, and 1080/60p video recording.
Although the camera is nearly identical to the NEX-7, the new mode-dependent dial located under (and around) the main mode dial allows the camera to provide users with “a full DSLR experience”. Instead of having to adjust your settings inside touchscreen menus, you can now quickly turn a dial with your thumb to adjust settings based on your shooting mode (e.g. aperture when in A, shutter speed when in S). The Function button located next to the shutter toggles what the secondary mode dial adjusts.
Like the NEX-5R, the NEX-6 has integrated Wi-Fi and PlayMemories apps, allowing users to install new apps and functions based on their needs.
The camera will be available starting in November 2012 for $850 if you buy the body only. When bundled with the new $350 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens, the price rises to $1,000.
Now that this camera exists, there’s not much of a reason to buy the NEX-7 anymore unless you really need the extra 8.2 megapixels it provides. Otherwise, you can save yourself a few hundred bucks and gain some useful functions by going with the newer NEX-6.