Ed from theDigitalDigest is back, this time with an in depth comparison of the Sony NEX 5R and Sony NEX 6. These are the newest additions to Sony’s NEX lineup, and in my opinion, they’re the best NEX Cameras yet. But just how do they stack up against each other?
How they’re alike…
Both the NEX 5R and NEX 6 feature the same 16mp CMOS Sensor, Sony’s new Hybrid Autofocus system and Sony’s new Wi-Fi and Apps system. Each camera delivers superb image quality in both photo and video (even better than the 24mp NEX 7 IMO), as well as stellar low light performance. With the NEX 5R and NEX 6, Sony have gone a long way towards addressing (although not completely eliminating) overheating issues in video mode that sometimes plagued earlier models. Each are compatible with Sony’s small, but growing line of E-Mount Lenses and are easily adaptable to accept Sony A-Mount or other legacy lenses.
How they’re different…
The Sony NEX 6 borrows much of it’s design from the flagship NEX 7, but although the Sony NEX 6 technically takes it’s place in the lineup below NEX 7, in my opinion the NEX 6 is the most advanced NEX camera to date – and it’s hybrid AF, Wi-Fi capability, and the superior performance of it’s 16mp sensor take it a notch above the NEX 7. It has a mode dial, more on body controls, an integrated EVF (Electronic Viewfinder), a standard hotshoe and a much more rugged build quality than the NEX 5R.
Although each camera has a tilting screen, the NEX 5R’s screen can flip a full 180 degrees to face forward (where the EVF on the NEX 6 prevents this) – great for self portraits. It’s a tiny bit smaller and lighter than the NEX 6, but it lacks the NEX 6’s on body controls, so be prepared to do more menu diving and to use the touch screen to frame your shots and control the camera.
In the end, you’ll get the same great image quality and performance from either camera, so it’s just a matter of which features you decide that you can’t live without.
Should I go for one of these, or grab a deal on a previous model?
That’s entirely up to you. There won’t be a discernible difference in image quality between an NEX 5N and an NEX 5R or 6, but in my opinion the advancements on the newest models tip the balance in their favor and it’s worth the investment to get the advanced AF, enhanced resistance to overheating in video, and especially the Wi-Fi functionality on these cameras. With Wi-Fi, each of these cameras has the potential to become better than it was on the day you purchase it, and that’s something that you simply won’t get on an older model.