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Sony NEX-6 help
Old 05-07-2014   #1
merciless49
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Sony NEX-6 help

Hi all,

So I recently acquired a Sony NEX-6 that came with a kit lens. After a weekend of trying to use it in its auto mode, and diving into the menus a bit, I've not gotten a feel for the control of the camera, at all. First off, let me say that I only ever had another digital set up - the Panasonic GF-1. The GF-1 was intuitive for me, even with some menu diving that was needed initially to set it up. But after about a day, everything seemed quite natural. I've not gotten familiar at all with the NEX, least of all trying to do some manual controls - endlessly frustrating from my end.

Anyway, if those of you with the NEX system could give me a few pointers that'll be great. I'd like to not return the unit since it's representing a step forward for me, in terms of digital photography. But I am also considering upgrading the GF-1 to GX-7 or Olympus E-M5 as more viable or more intuitive alternatives. So any suggestions in that arena are also welcomed.
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Old 05-07-2014   #2
GaryLH
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I have nex5n, gx7, gf1, gh1, and em5. The menu system on the Sony Nex series was not very good. The em5 is very complicated and while once u set it up, it normally does not need to be changed very often...but when u do need to do something different, sometimes it is easy and sometimes it takes a bit of searching. The gx7 is much like any other Panasonic m4/3.

The newer UI that has come from the RX and alpha series cameras are better than what was on the older Nex cameras.. The nex6 and 7 are probably the best of the Nex cameras before they switched to the new a series...like a6000.

I like the gx7 overall better than my em5. But if I need to shoot w/ long tele, the nod goes to the em5, due to the 5 axis stabilization on it. I use the touch screen quick menus on the gx7. I leave this as my default LCD screen. The electronic shutter on the gx7 is the best implementation I have ever used.

In terms of overall iq at sensor level, yes apsc is still better than m43, but differences are getting narrower w/ the newest sensor tech that are in the gx7 or em1.

I found a 12-32 pancake zoom that I use w/ it. My 3 lens kit is 12-32, 20f1.7 and Sigma 60f2.8. I can put this all in a fanny pack.

U can judge for yourself - checkout the gx7 thread under m43 forum here.

Gary
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Old 05-07-2014   #3
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Thanks Gary,

My main m4/3 kit is: 14-45 zoom and 20f1.7. I found that this along with the GF-1 gave very good results for my liking. The only downside was that at higher ISO, noise becomes a huge issue. But this was expected as GF-1 is now ancient in terms of its sensor. Thus the attempt to upgrade.

I saw some great pictures from the NEX5/6 series, so I thought that at the right price, this might be good. I also knew coming in that the menu system would be horrible, but not this horrible. I was unprepared.

Maybe GX7 would be a logical upgrade path since I've got the lenses for it already, and menu-wise they should be quite similar.
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Old 05-07-2014   #4
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How high of an iso do u need? The gx7 is good for one to two stops better than the gf1. For me gf1 was max'd out at 800. The gx7 can do 1600 and 3200 depending on your taste. A good modern apsc camera can do 3200 easy. The nex6 u have right now will max out around 3200 depending on your taste.. Maybe slightly more but ymmv.

The biggest issue I have ever had w/ the Nex line in the past is that pushed out more consumer zooms and new bodies faster than good primes. The Sigma art lenses for the Nex to me are the best compromise between performance vs cost. Otherwise u need to pay for the Zeiss lenses.

The m43 family has some great lenses. Your 20f1.7 is a good example.

Gary
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Old 05-07-2014   #5
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Agreed with your points. I don't usually like to go above ISO3200 - I'm a film guy, after all, so really am not looking to get ridiculously clean ISO10k shots.

Another challenge for me is that this kit zoom lens that came with the NEX6 was good enough, but not great. Lots of post-processing for lens corrections, which I don't want to do. Another advantage for m4/3, I suppose.

Upgrading in this arena frustrates me a bit, as I'm a lazy person - just want to compose, shoot, and forget about it. Minimal post processing is what I'd like.

I may weigh my options in the coming days, I've got a feeling that the NEX6 is probably going back unless I can figure out that menu system.
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Old 05-07-2014   #6
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The EM-5 is fantastic. I always loved my GF1. It was a great camera, fantastic IQ. The EM5 trumps it though in all ways imaginable. The only problem is I am not a fan of the dSLR design. I believe the EP5(?) is the EM5 in another body. I would have gotten that if it was out at the time of purchase. I would love to try a GX7 as well.
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Old 05-07-2014   #7
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Thanks for your input, Keith.

What I want to point out, I guess, is that in spite of my frustration with the NEX-6 I find that the images are quite nice. It is a nice point-and-shoot at this juncture for me, because I've yet to figure out the controls properly.

I also liked the EVF - very nicely implemented and is something I missed with the GF-1. So the camera itself has lots of merits, but for me it is just functionally tough to figure out, for now. I'm not sure if this is only because I've really not dealt with digital cameras? In any case, would hate to give up without trying, but the GX-7 is looking like a great alternative in many ways.
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Old 05-07-2014   #8
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True, I would not give up. I believe I read it'll become more intuitive as you get to know the camera. The files from the NEX6, I haven't used one, are supposed to be quite nice. I have read favorable reviews of the GX-7 as well.
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Old 05-07-2014   #9
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I would spend some time with the manual, a piece of paper and a pencil. Work out what the buttons do but more importantly which ones you can change and what you want them to do. Then set the camera as near as you can to right for you. This will save a lot of menu work later.

On my alpha3000 there is only one assignable button which I have put onto focus magnification. But from memory the nex 6 has 3 or 4.
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Old 05-07-2014   #10
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I would agree that the Panasonic Gf 1 is very good and its menu system is pretty desirable and intuitive. On the other hand, all NEX cameras need persisting with in this regard. Because they have made a camera design decision to do most things through on screen menus, rather than through buttons or dials it is a whole new way of navigating menus. I likewise find that mine (I have an NEX 5 and an NEX F3) are a little frustrating at times. But I persist as I find the image quality to be better than any other smaller format camera - particularly at high ISO/low light. Have a look at the attached image, shot in near black conditions at ISO 3200. I think its great given the circumstances. Because of this I believe its worth the learning curve you have to go through. In reality though its not as bad as all that. I tend to leave my camera in A mode as this gives best image quality (by allowing me to choose the optimum aperture for each shot). Occasionally I will use P mode. As for the rest - all the other modes, other people can have these but I find them a bit of a waste and a distraction from serious photography.

This means there is a lot of stuff in the menus I really do not need to know much about and greatly simplifies the task of learning and using the camera. This is particularly so as some menu items are context sensitive - they behave one way in one mode but another way in another mode. That is supposed to be smart. I find it a pain in the ass. My advice would be stick to one or maybe two modes and learn how to drive them. I don't really need to know most of the rest which would otherwise just add to your bewilderment.

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Old 05-07-2014   #11
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I have various NEX cameras and use them all the same way: always in M.
Rarely do I go into the menus. Just to format the card. After a short time it becomes very intuitive, adjust only ISO, aperture and shuter speed via dials. It's especially simple with the models that have the control wheel, or wheels, like the 7.
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Old 05-07-2014   #12
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Thanks Pablito and Peter, I'll take your tips into account. I actually read/skimmed the manual today during my free time at work, and found that there are quite a lot of customizations that I wouldn't need for the type of photography I'm interested in. So I think I'll take both of your advice and stick to 1 or 2 modes, then learn how to adjust the settings from thereon out.

Thanks again!
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Old 05-07-2014   #13
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I received my NEX-6 last week - a big difference from my 40D both in size and function. I spent a good while reading the handbook and manual and can safely say I will use about 10% of the features! I'm loving the NEX-6 and use it only with manual focus lenses - M, Contax and Nikkor mount. I will likely add a native AF lens at some point down the road. I use the M mode most often but also like to use A with AEL. I find the operation and button placement very intuitive and I'm getting my shots faster after only a week so I'm very happy. Like Pablito, I rarely go into the menus now I have the setup I need for 95% of my photography.
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Old 05-07-2014   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LazyHammock View Post
I received my NEX-6 last week - a big difference from my 40D both in size and function. I spent a good while reading the handbook and manual and can safely say I will use about 10% of the features! I'm loving the NEX-6 and use it only with manual focus lenses - M, Contax and Nikkor mount. I will likely add a native AF lens at some point down the road. I use the M mode most often but also like to use A with AEL. I find the operation and button placement very intuitive and I'm getting my shots faster after only a week so I'm very happy. Like Pablito, I rarely go into the menus now I have the setup I need for 95% of my photography.
Good luck,
Nick
Thanks Nick, I appreciate your feedback and this gives me more hope!
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Old 05-08-2014   #15
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I've had a Nex 6 for a few months now and despite having clumsy figures and little understanding of the menus I am very happy with it. I use it only with ltm, M and R lenses from 21mm right up to 560mm. I hardly do any post processing. It allows me to make use of some older lenses that have been sitting in the cupboard for a long, long time.

I like its size, the body is not a lot bigger than a screw mount Leica but obviously, once on has added adapters and a lens it does grow.

How is mine set up? Simply set for no lens and auto ISO. Occasionally with long lenses I get results that are on the dark side but have learnt to compensate about +1.5 or so.

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Old 05-09-2014   #16
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Thanks Michael, I've come to the realization that I won't give up on the NEX-6. Will try using it with some of my manual focus lenses instead of using it with the kit lens, which was handy but not great...

And will definitely stick to 1 or 2 modes only to get a grip on things.
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Old 05-11-2014   #17
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Maybe a bit late to the discussion.. But you have set your NEX-6 set up to Quick-Navi I hope? By default it's off (I haven't got the foggiest about why Sony decided to do that).

Go to the Menu, into the Camera submenu, select the Disp-Button(monitor) option, and enable For Viewfinder. Exit the menus, then click DISP on the wheel on the back until you see a screen with all the camera setting icons. Using Fn & the wheel on the back, you can navigate through the settings and change them without menu diving. The camera switches to normal EVF mode if you raise it to your eyes.
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Old 05-12-2014   #18
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Thanks Peter, that is actually a really useful tip! I really appreciate that! I've now gone through the manual once in its entirety and tried to set up everything. Will try to use the camera exclusively in P or M mode, and try my hands on getting familiar with setting tweaks, etc.

Appreciate all the help, folks!
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Old 05-13-2014   #19
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P-mode is nice because you can shift the aperture and shutter speed automatically when you rotate the silver dial.
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