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In June 2010, Sony released the Nex-3 and Nex-5 cameras. These cameras appear to bridge the gap between smaller "point and shoot" cameras and advanced DSLR cameras. There used to be more choices in the "bridge camera" category, but this market looked like it had dried-up, perhaps because of the availability of inexpensive entry-level DSLRs. Now, one can get a Nex camera with a DSLR-sized sensor, but a small, handy body.
Below are collected some pieces of information that may not be obvious and may not even be documented officially.
Here, you can see the Nex-5 contrasted with the Sony DSC-V3. With a smaller lens, the Nex would be a more compact package. The feature sets of the two cameras have some differences, but they are basically in the same category (with several years between the two as well).
With a hook-and-loop fastener, I attached a "softbox" to the flash. This gadget is designed to attach to large flashes with an elastic band, so it just falls off of the Nex flash. However, I found that I could loop a fastener strip around the bottom of the flash and attach to the bottom of the softbox, and it seems secure enough so far. Edges of objects are definitely softened, with an expected slight loss of flash power. A fair trade-off, I think. Note that wide angles will not work with this setup.
Others have noted jagged artifacts in some Nex photos. In the below photo, on the right, you can see a JPEG with stairstep effects on some diagonal lines on the leaves. This photo is unmodified from the camera, with sharpness set to +1. On the left, you can see the same photo (from RAW+JPEG mode) processed with a raw conversion program, with sharpening applied and brightened a bit to approximate the JPEG's results. While overdoing the sharpening effect can cause a bit of stair-stepping, I don't think that accounts for all of it; the RAW conversion (in the camera) is probably more the cause for this. In camera, the processing has to occur very quickly as it creates a JPEG file; you should be able to obtain better results using a RAW conversion tool on your computer. Even so, considering all of the lines in the photo, it does not seem particularly objectionable, but once again, if you want the best results, use RAW mode (or RAW+JPEG, and at least you have instant results if you don't feel like processing the RAW immediately).
Some misc. Nex-6 notes.
The updated (as of January 2014) timelapse app does not display correctly with the earlier firmware release (1.01). Update to 1.02.
To use HSS flash with an external flash, not only does the flash unit need to be HSS-capable, but the flash unit may need to be aimed forward (not in "bounce" orientation).
The 3D Panorama mode has been removed from the camera software.
The new PDAF (phase-detect auto focus) does not function in certain situations; the camera falls back to CDAF if PDAF is not available.
Neither Digital zoom nor CIZ support PDAF.
Normally, the selected aperture needs to be f6.3 or wider
(smaller f-number) for PDAF to function. However, in P-mode, you can
select any available aperture (using the P-shift feature), and the camera
will still utilize PDAF (by quickly changing apertures temporarily to gain
(This is still in some dispute -- test for yourself and see.)
Prior to firmware update 1.03, some lenses would not support PDAF. After the 1.03 update, many of these lenses appear to support PDAF, with the grid displaying during autofocus. For example, the Sigma 30mm lens.
CIZ (Clear Image Zoom) will not be enabled (it will default to normal digital zoom) if you have the Continuous shooting mode enabled -- select single-shot mode. (This is not mentioned in the manual.)
Last updated: May 4, 2014
Initial date: Aug. 8, 2010