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Sony NEX-6 vs NEX-7

The Sony Alpha NEX-6 and the Sony Alpha NEX-7 are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2012 and August 2011. Both the NEX-6 and the NEX-7 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The NEX-6 has a resolution of 16 megapixels, whereas the NEX-7 provides 24 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Sony NEX-6   Sony NEX-7
Sony NEX-6 Sony NEX-7
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Sony E mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
16 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60i Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-25600 ISO 100-16000
Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots) Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)
3.0" LCD, 921k dots 3.0" LCD, 921k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
10 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
360 shots per battery charge430 shots per battery charge
120 x 67 x 43 mm, 345 g 120 x 67 x 43 mm, 400 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Alpha NEX-6 and the Sony Alpha NEX-7? 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: Sony NEX-6 vs NEX-7

The physical size and weight of the Sony NEX-6 and the Sony NEX-7 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Sony NEX-6 vs Sony NEX-7
Compare NEX-6 versus NEX-7 top
Comparison NEX-6 or NEX-7 rear

In this particular case, the Sony NEX-6 and the Sony NEX-7 have exactly the same width and height, and, thus, have identically-sized bodies. However, the NEX-7 is markedly heavier (16 percent) than the NEX-6. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the NEX-6 nor the NEX-7 are weather-sealed.

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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras 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
 
Sony NEX-6» 120 mm 67 mm 43 mm 345 g 360 n Sep 2012 999- i Sony NEX-6
 
Sony NEX-7« 120 mm 67 mm 43 mm 400 g 430 n Aug 2011 1,349- i Sony NEX-7
 
Sony A6400« » 120 mm 67 mm 50 mm 403 g 410 n Jan 2019 899 i i Sony A6400
 
Sony A6000« » 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599- i Sony A6000
 
Sony A3000« » 128 mm 91 mm 85 mm 411 g 470 n Aug 2013 329- i Sony A3000
 
Sony NEX-3N« » 110 mm 62 mm 35 mm 269 g 480 n Feb 2013 499- i Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony NEX-5T« » 111 mm 59 mm 39 mm 2776 g 330 n Aug 2013 699- i Sony NEX-5T
 
Sony NEX-5R« » 111 mm 59 mm 39 mm 276 g 330 n Aug 2012 749- i Sony NEX-5R
 
Sony NEX-F3« » 117 mm 67 mm 42 mm 314 g 470 n May 2012 599- i Sony NEX-F3
 
Sony RX1« » 113 mm 65 mm 70 mm 482 g 270 n Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony RX1
 
Sony NEX-5N« » 111 mm 59 mm 38 mm 269 g 460 n Aug 2011 699- i Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-C3« » 110 mm 60 mm 33 mm 225 g 400 n Jun 2011 599- i Sony NEX-C3
 
Sony NEX-3« » 117 mm 62 mm 33 mm 297 g 330 n May 2010 599- i Sony NEX-3
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 26 percent) than the NEX-7, 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: Sony NEX-6 vs NEX-7

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Sony NEX-6 and Sony NEX-7 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the NEX-7 offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixels, compared with 16 MP of the NEX-6. This megapixels advantage translates into a 22 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the NEX-7 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.90μm versus 4.78μm for the NEX-6). Moreover, it should be noted, that the NEX-6 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year) than the NEX-7, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Sony NEX-7 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the NEX-7 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inch or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inch or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inch or 50.8 x 33.9 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 Sony Alpha NEX-6 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha NEX-7 are ISO 100 to ISO 16000 (no boost).

NEX-6 versus NEX-7 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. 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
 
Sony NEX-6» APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.713.1101878Sony NEX-6
 
Sony NEX-7« APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.113.4101681Sony NEX-7
 
Sony A6400« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p2413.6143183Sony A6400
 
Sony A6000« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782Sony A6000
 
Sony A3000« » APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878Sony A3000
 
Sony NEX-3N« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.5106774Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony NEX-5T« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60p23.613.0101578Sony NEX-5T
 
Sony NEX-5R« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.713.191078Sony NEX-5R
 
Sony NEX-F3« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.712.3111473Sony NEX-F3
 
Sony RX1« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.114.3253493Sony RX1
 
Sony NEX-5N« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.612.7107977Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-C3« » APS-C 16.0 4912 3264720/30p22.712.2108373Sony NEX-C3
 
Sony NEX-3« » APS-C 14.0 4592 3056720/30p22.112.083068Sony NEX-3

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60i).

 

Feature comparison: Sony NEX-6 vs NEX-7

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The NEX-6 and the NEX-7 are similar in the sense that both feature an electronic viewfinder, which is helpful when framing images in bright sunlight. Moreover, their viewfinders offer an identical resolution of 2359k dots. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony NEX-6 and Sony NEX-7 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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
 
Sony NEX-6»2359 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y n Sony NEX-6
 
Sony NEX-7«2359 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y n Sony NEX-7
 
Sony A6400« »2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 Y n Sony A6400
 
Sony A6000« »1440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n Sony A6000
 
Sony A3000« »202 n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n Sony A3000
 
Sony NEX-3N« »- n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony NEX-5T« »- n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 10.0 n n Sony NEX-5T
 
Sony NEX-5R« »- n 3.0 920 tilting Y 1/4000s 10.0 n n Sony NEX-5R
 
Sony NEX-F3« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 5.5 Y n Sony NEX-F3
 
Sony RX1« »- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Sony RX1
 
Sony NEX-5N« »- n 3.0 920 tilting Y 1/4000s 10.0 n n Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-C3« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 5.5 n n Sony NEX-C3
 
Sony NEX-3« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 7.0 n n Sony NEX-3

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the NEX-6 and the NEX-7 write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The NEX-6 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the NEX-7 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Sony NEX-6 vs NEX-7

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 Sony Alpha NEX-6 and Sony Alpha NEX-7 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
 
Sony NEX-6»Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Sony NEX-6
 
Sony NEX-7«YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony NEX-7
 
Sony A6400« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YYYSony A6400
 
Sony A6000« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony A6000
 
Sony A3000« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony A3000
 
Sony NEX-3N« »-stereomono--micro2.0---Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony NEX-5T« »Ystereomono--mini2.0YY-Sony NEX-5T
 
Sony NEX-5R« »Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Sony NEX-5R
 
Sony NEX-F3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony NEX-F3
 
Sony RX1« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony RX1
 
Sony NEX-5N« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-C3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony NEX-C3
 
Sony NEX-3« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony NEX-3

It is notable that the NEX-6 offers wifi support, while the NEX-7 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the NEX-6 and the NEX-7 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The NEX-6 was replaced by the Sony A6000, while the NEX-7 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Sony website.


Review summary: Sony NEX-6 vs NEX-7

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Sony NEX-6 or the Sony NEX-7 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha NEX-6:

  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 55g or 14 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (26 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year after the NEX-7).


Advantages of the Sony Alpha NEX-7:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 16MP), which boosts linear resolution by 22%.
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (430 versus 360) out of a single battery charge.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2011).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the NEX-6 comes out slightly ahead of the NEX-7 (5 : 4 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

NEX-6 05:04 NEX-7

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony NEX-6 and the Sony NEX-7 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the NEX-6 or the NEX-7. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews: Sony NEX-6 vs NEX-7

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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
 
Sony NEX-6»+ +78/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2012 999- i Sony NEX-6
 
Sony NEX-7«+ +81/1004.5/55/55/5 Aug 2011 1,349- i Sony NEX-7
 
Sony A6400« »+85/1004.5/5-4/5 Jan 2019 899 i i Sony A6400
 
Sony A6000« »+80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599- i Sony A6000
 
Sony A3000« »+-4/54.5/54/5 Aug 2013 329- i Sony A3000
 
Sony NEX-3N« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2013 499- i Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony NEX-5T« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Aug 2013 699- i Sony NEX-5T
 
Sony NEX-5R« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Aug 2012 749- i Sony NEX-5R
 
Sony NEX-F3« »-74/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 May 2012 599- i Sony NEX-F3
 
Sony RX1« »-79/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony RX1
 
Sony NEX-5N« »+ +79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 699- i Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-C3« »+ +74/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2011 599- i Sony NEX-C3
 
Sony NEX-3« »-70/1004.5/55/54/5 May 2010 599- i Sony NEX-3
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated 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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Sony NEX-6:
Check Ebay offers
Sony NEX-7:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Sony NEX-6 vs Sony NEX-7

    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 Sony NEX-6 Sony NEX-7
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Sony E mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2012 August 2011
    Launch Price USD 999 USD 1349
    Sensor Specs Sony NEX-6 Sony NEX-7
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.4 x 15.6 mm 23.4 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 365.04 mm2 365.04 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.1 mm 28.1 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 16 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4912 x 3264 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.78 μm 3.90 μm
    Pixel Density 4.39 MP/cm2 6.57 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100-25600 ISO 100-16000 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ BIONZ
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 78 81
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.7 24.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 13.1 13.4
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1018 1016
    Screen Specs Sony NEX-6 Sony NEX-7
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.73x 0.73x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2359k dots 2359k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Sony NEX-6 Sony NEX-7
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000/s 1/4000/s
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy150 000 actuations150 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium MS or SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Sony NEX-6 Sony NEX-7
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Body Specs Sony NEX-6 Sony NEX-7
    Battery Type NP-FW50 power pack NP-FW50 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)360 shots per charge430 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 120 x 67 x 43 mm
    (4.7 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
    120 x 67 x 43 mm
    (4.7 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 345 g (12.2 oz) 400 g (14.1 oz)

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