A few thoughts on the Sony Nex 6 and the Fuji X-E1

A few thoughts on the Sony Nex 6 and the Fuji X-E1


Better late then never :). I finally had the chance to play with the Sony Nex 6 and the new collapsible 16-50mm kit lens. First thing I noticed was the size of the lens, retracted, it is about the same size as the Fujinon 18mm f2 and looked proportionally “correct” on the Nex body.
There was no time for an in depth comparison between the Fuji X-E1 since I only had the camera for half a day. Instead, I will try to summarize my impressions of both cameras.
more after the break – with comparison photos

As you probably know I have used the Nex 7 extensively and am quite fond of it.
Sony Nex 6: Very similar to the Nex 7, great hand grip, new double function dial
Dimensions (WxHxD) 4.8 x 2.8 x 1.1″ / 122 x 71 x 28 mm
Weight 10.1 oz / 286 g camera only
Kit lens:
Dimensions (DxL) Approx. 2.6 x 1.8″ (66 x 46mm)
Weight 4.1 oz (116 g)

Fujifilm X-E1: A tiny bit larger, smaller hand grip -not as good as on the Nex 6 but in line with traditional range finder styling, easy to get used to, same amazing EVF as the Sony Nex 6, however, at much slower refresh rate, mostly noticeable in low light situations.
Dimensions (WxHxD) 5.1 x 2.9 x 1.5″ / 129 x 74.9 x 38.3 mm
Weight 10.58 oz / 300 g without battery, memory card, accessories
18mm 2.0 lens:
Dimensions (DxL) Approx. 2.54 x 1.60″ (64.5 x 40.6 mm)
Weight 4.09 oz (116 g)

Access to shutter speed, aperture, ISO, af-modes and points, +- are straight forward on the Nex 6, however, for photographers with a few drops of analog blood in their veins -myself included- the controls on the X-E1 are preferable, no contest.
Access is direct, pure old school. I can change the shutter speed, aperture, +-, AF-mode, without looking at the camera, it is that intuitive.
The Q button on the X-E1 is handy although I had no problems navigating Sony’s menu layout.
Both cameras come with a standard hot shoe and pop up flash, the X-E1 with a traditional cable release thread.

The Sony has a very nice articulated LCD about twice the resolution of the non articulated Fuji LCD screen. I do miss the flip screen, however I don’t find the lower resolution a big drawback on the X-E1.

I am a big fan of both sensors, the results are close, the Fuji sensor with a clear edge in sharpness and high ISO. Shooting raw however, I have encountered swirly-esque process problems when converting Fuji raw files to dng, no problems with the Nex 6 files. Looks like good raw support is around the corner for Fuji X owners.
And yes, Fuji’s ISO rating is inflated, by about 3/4 to one stop. Not that this has practical meaning since the high ISO performance is outstanding, just had to be noted.
When it comes to ooc jpegs, the Fuji kills the Sony. No contest. Fuji’s X cameras kill pretty much anything out there when it comes to ooc jpegs.

Autofocus performance:
Unfortunately I didn’t have the Fujinon 18-55mm and compared the 18mm 2.0 against the 16-50mm on the Nex-6.
Sony wins in that department, Fuji’s AF is slower, not by much, but noticeably slower.
A few observations about the new Sony kit lens, looks very well made, same high tech metal finish as the previous one, however I did notice some barrel wobble on my copy. I did not notice any decentering issues though.

Video: Don’t even think about shooting anything serious with the X-E1. The Nex 6 on the other hand is fantastic, full manual controls, 1080/60p, manual focus, focus peaking just like my Nex 7, but with the improved 5n sensor :)

3rd party mf lenses: I own a Nikon G/Ais to Nex mount adapter with aperture control and a Nikon G/ais to Fuji X adapter with aperture control. Plenty of cheap third party lens adapters can found on ebay for both, the Nex and X mount. Of course the Sony Nex 6 has the edge when it comes to manual focusing due to focus peaking.
A quick note on manual focusing with the Fuji: with the latest firmware installed it works like a charm, 3x magnification, a digitally sharpened image with the aperture set wide open regardless of the current setting, very manageable even without focus peaking, which we will hopefully get with the next firmware upgrade.

As a purist with no interest in video, the choice is easy. Fuji X-E1.
Anyone serious about video, the Nex 6 is a no brainer.
I hope this helps some of you to make a decision.
PS: I was also interested to find out how the 16-50mm collapsible lens performs, esp when compared to Sony’s monster flagship 18-200mm and managed to shot a quick test (posted here).

Great deal at adorama: get the Sony Nex 6 with 16-50kit lens AND the Sony 55-210 foe an insane price!
and for an additional 5bucks, get the X-E1 with kit lens, bag, Sandisk 32gb SD class10, spare battery, card holder.

If you find this article inspiring, please consider helping me maintaining this blog by purchasing your gear through my product links to Adorama and B&H and Ebay. It will cost you nothing and allows me to keep adding! Or consider making a direct donation using PayPal, thank you!

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3 thoughts on “A few thoughts on the Sony Nex 6 and the Fuji X-E1

  1. Rona

    I prefer the NEX 7 for the trinavi, but i’m really inlove with the NEX 6 too. I use the NEX 7 for video as for photo, and now I can FINALLY remote control VIDEO on my NEX with this little remote: redNEX.bymac.org

  2. Pingback: Sony TidBits… | sonyalpharumors

  3. Pingback: Fuji X-E1 oder Sony Alpha NEX-6? - Seite 2

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