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Nikon D800 vs Sony NEX-6

The Nikon D800 and the Sony Alpha NEX-6 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2012 and September 2012. The D800 is a DSLR, while the NEX-6 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a full frame (D800) and an APS-C (NEX-6) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 36.2 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 16 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Nikon D800   Sony NEX-6
Nikon D800 Sony NEX-6
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Nikon F mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
36.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor 16 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/30p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-6400 (50-25600) ISO 100-25600
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)
3.2" LCD, 921k dots 3.0" LCD, 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
4 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
900 shots per battery charge360 shots per battery charge
146 x 123 x 82 mm, 1000 g 120 x 67 x 43 mm, 345 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D800 and the Sony Alpha NEX-6? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Nikon D800 vs Sony NEX-6

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon D800 and the Sony NEX-6. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Nikon D800 vs Sony NEX-6
Compare D800 versus NEX-6 top
Comparison D800 or NEX-6 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony NEX-6 is considerably smaller (55 percent) than the Nikon D800. Moreover, the NEX-6 is substantially lighter (66 percent) than the D800. It is worth mentioning in this context that the D800 is splash and dust resistant, while the NEX-6 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Nikon Lens Catalog (D800) and the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog (NEX-6). Mirrorless cameras, such as the NEX-6, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

Concerning battery life, the D800 gets 900 shots out of its EN-EL15 battery, while the NEX-6 can take 360 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D800» 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 35.3 oz 900 Y Feb 2012 2,999- i Nikon D800
 
Sony NEX-6« 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 12.2 oz 360 n Sep 2012 999- i Sony NEX-6
 
Canon 5D Mark IV« » 5.9 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 31.4 oz 900 Y Aug 2016 3,499 i i Canon 5D Mark IV
 
Canon 5D Mark III« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 33.5 oz 950 Y Mar 2012 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark III
 
Nikon D850« » 5.7 in 4.9 in 3.1 in 35.5 oz 1840 Y Jul 2017 3,299 i i Nikon D850
 
Nikon D810« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 34.6 oz 1200 Y Jun 2014 3,299- i Nikon D810
 
Nikon Df« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.6 in 26.8 oz 1400 Y Nov 2013 2,749 i i Nikon Df
 
Nikon D610« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Oct 2013 1,999 i i Nikon D610
 
Nikon D4« » 6.3 in 6.2 in 3.6 in 47.3 oz 2600 Y Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4
 
Nikon D600« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i Nikon D600
 
Nikon D800E« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 35.3 oz 900 Y Feb 2012 3,299- i Nikon D800E
 
Nikon D700« » 5.8 in 4.8 in 3.0 in 37.9 oz 1000 Y Jul 2008 2,999- i Nikon D700
 
Sony A6000« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.1 oz 360 n Feb 2014 599- i Sony A6000
 
Sony NEX-3N« » 4.3 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 480 n Feb 2013 499- i Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony NEX-5N« » 4.4 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.5 oz 460 n Aug 2011 699- i Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-3« » 4.6 in 2.4 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 330 n May 2010 599- i Sony NEX-3
 
Sony NEX-5« » 4.4 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 10.1 oz 330 n May 2010 699- i Sony NEX-5
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The NEX-6 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 67 percent) than the D800, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

 

Sensor comparison: Nikon D800 vs Sony NEX-6

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D800 features a full frame sensor and the Sony NEX-6 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the NEX-6 is 58 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.

Nikon D800 and Sony NEX-6 sensor measures

With 36.2MP, the D800 offers a higher resolution than the NEX-6 (16MP), but the D800 nevertheless has marginally larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.88μm versus 4.78μm for the NEX-6) due to its larger sensor. However, the NEX-6 is a somewhat more recent model (by 7 months) than the D800, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon D800 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D800 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 36.8 x 24.6 inch or 93.5 x 62.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 29.4 x 19.6 inch or 74.8 x 49.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 24.5 x 16.4 inch or 62.3 x 41.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Sony NEX-6 are 24.6 x 16.3 inch or 62.4 x 41.5 cm for good quality, 19.6 x 13.1 inch or 49.9 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 16.4 x 10.9 inch or 41.6 x 27.6 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon D800 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 50-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha NEX-6 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

D800 versus NEX-6 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under review, the D800 provides substantially higher image quality than the NEX-6, with an overall score that is 17 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.6 bits higher color depth, 1.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.5 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D800» Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.314.4285395Nikon D800
 
Sony NEX-6« APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.713.1101878Sony NEX-6
 
Canon 5D Mark IV« » Full Frame 30.1 6720 44804K/30p24.813.6299591Canon 5D Mark IV
 
Canon 5D Mark III« » Full Frame 22.1 5760 38401080/30p24.011.7229381Canon 5D Mark III
 
Nikon D850« » Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/30p26.414.82660100Nikon D850
 
Nikon D810« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.714.8285397Nikon D810
 
Nikon Df« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280-24.613.1327989Nikon Df
 
Nikon D610« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.4292594Nikon D610
 
Nikon D4« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 32801080/30p24.713.1296589Nikon D4
 
Nikon D600« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.2298094Nikon D600
 
Nikon D800E« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.614.3297996Nikon D800E
 
Nikon D700« » Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832-23.512.2230380Nikon D700
 
Sony A6000« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782Sony A6000
 
Sony NEX-3N« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.5106774Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony NEX-5N« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.612.7107977Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-3« » APS-C 14.0 4592 3056720/30p22.112.083068Sony NEX-3
 
Sony NEX-5« » APS-C 14.0 4592 30561080/60i22.212.279669Sony NEX-5

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the NEX-6 provides a faster frame rate than the D800. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Nikon D800 vs Sony NEX-6

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the NEX-6 has an electronic viewfinder (2359k dots), while the D800 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), but the viewfinder of the NEX-6 has a higher magnification than the one of the D800 (0.73x vs 0.70x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon D800, the Sony NEX-6, and comparable cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D800»optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 Y n Nikon D800
 
Sony NEX-6«2359 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y n Sony NEX-6
 
Canon 5D Mark IV« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 7.0 n n Canon 5D Mark IV
 
Canon 5D Mark III« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 n n Canon 5D Mark III
 
Nikon D850« »optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 n n Nikon D850
 
Nikon D810« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D810
 
Nikon Df« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 n n Nikon Df
 
Nikon D610« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D610
 
Nikon D4« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n Nikon D4
 
Nikon D600« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 Y n Nikon D600
 
Nikon D800E« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 Y n Nikon D800E
 
Nikon D700« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 Y n Nikon D700
 
Sony A6000« »1440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n Sony A6000
 
Sony NEX-3N« »- n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony NEX-5N« »- n 3.0 920 tilting Y 1/4000s 10.0 n n Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-3« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 7.0 n n Sony NEX-3
 
Sony NEX-5« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 7.0 n n Sony NEX-5

One feature that is present on the D800, but is missing on the NEX-6 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The Nikon D800 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

The D800 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash or SDXC cards, while the NEX-6 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The D800 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the NEX-6 only has one slot. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

 

Connectivity comparison: Nikon D800 vs Sony NEX-6

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon D800 and Sony Alpha NEX-6 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D800»YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Nikon D800
 
Sony NEX-6«Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Sony NEX-6
 
Canon 5D Mark IV« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0YY-Canon 5D Mark IV
 
Canon 5D Mark III« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Canon 5D Mark III
 
Nikon D850« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYYNikon D850
 
Nikon D810« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--Nikon D810
 
Nikon Df« »Y----mini2.0---Nikon Df
 
Nikon D610« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D610
 
Nikon D4« »Ymonomono--micro2.0---Nikon D4
 
Nikon D600« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D600
 
Nikon D800E« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Nikon D800E
 
Nikon D700« »Y----mini2.0---Nikon D700
 
Sony A6000« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony A6000
 
Sony NEX-3N« »-stereomono--micro2.0---Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony NEX-5N« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony NEX-3
 
Sony NEX-5« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony NEX-5

It is notable that the D800 has a microphone port, which is missing on the NEX-6. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D800 (unlike the NEX-6) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the D800 and the NEX-6 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D800 was replaced by the Nikon D810, while the NEX-6 was followed by the Sony A6000. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Sony websites.


Review summary: Nikon D800 vs Sony NEX-6

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D800 and the Sony NEX-6? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon D800:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (36.2 vs 16MP) with a 50% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (17 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.6 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.3 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (900 versus 360) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2012).

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Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha NEX-6:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/30p).
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.73x vs 0.70x).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (120x67mm vs 146x123mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 655g or 65 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (67 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (7 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D800 is the clear winner of the match-up (18 : 11 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

D800 18:11 NEX-6

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D800 and the Sony NEX-6 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D800 or the NEX-6. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews: Nikon D800 vs Sony NEX-6

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D800»+ +82/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2012 2,999- i Nikon D800
 
Sony NEX-6«+ +78/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2012 999- i Sony NEX-6
 
Canon 5D Mark IV« »+ +87/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2016 3,499 i i Canon 5D Mark IV
 
Canon 5D Mark III« »+ +82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2012 3,499- i Canon 5D Mark III
 
Nikon D850« »+ +89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jul 2017 3,299 i i Nikon D850
 
Nikon D810« »-86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 3,299- i Nikon D810
 
Nikon Df« »-81/1004/54/54/5 Nov 2013 2,749 i i Nikon Df
 
Nikon D610« »+ +87/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,999 i i Nikon D610
 
Nikon D4« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2012 5,999- i Nikon D4
 
Nikon D600« »+ +87/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i Nikon D600
 
Nikon D800E« »-84/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2012 3,299- i Nikon D800E
 
Nikon D700« »89/100+ +4.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2008 2,999- i Nikon D700
 
Sony A6000« »+80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599- i Sony A6000
 
Sony NEX-3N« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2013 499- i Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony NEX-5N« »+ +79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 699- i Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-3« »-70/1004.5/55/54/5 May 2010 599- i Sony NEX-3
 
Sony NEX-5« »+ +71/1004.5/54/54/5 May 2010 699- i Sony NEX-5
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Nikon D800:
Check Ebay offers
Sony NEX-6:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Nikon D800 vs Sony NEX-6

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon D800 Sony NEX-6
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date February 2012 September 2012
    Launch Price USD 2999 USD 999
    Sensor Specs Nikon D800 Sony NEX-6
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.9 x 24.0 mm 23.4 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 861.6 mm2 365.04 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.2 mm 28.1 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 36.2 Megapixels 16 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 7360 x 4912 pixels 4912 x 3264 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.88 μm 4.78 μm
    Pixel Density 4.20 MP/cm2 4.39 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100-6400 ISO 100-25600 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-25600 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor EXPEED 3 BIONZ
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 95 78
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 25.3 23.7
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 14.4 13.1
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 2853 1018
    Screen Specs Nikon D800 Sony NEX-6
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x 0.73x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2359k dots
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.2 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D800 Sony NEX-6
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/8000/s 1/4000/s
    Continuous Shooting 4 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy200 000 actuations150 000 actuations
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF or SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D800 Sony NEX-6
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 3.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Headphone Socket Headphone port no Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Body Specs Nikon D800 Sony NEX-6
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
    Battery Type EN-EL15 power pack NP-FW50 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)900 shots per charge360 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 146 x 123 x 82 mm
    (5.7 x 4.8 x 3.2 in)
    120 x 67 x 43 mm
    (4.7 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 1000 g (35.3 oz) 345 g (12.2 oz)

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