Sony NEX-6 compact system camera official

Sony has announced an upgrade to its NEX range. The Sony NEX-6 is a new compact system camera that sits between the NEX-5 and NEX-7 ranges and is targeted at the DSLR "intenders" as Sony puts it.

Confirming many previous rumours, the new NEX camera will feature a Fast Hybrid AF system that couples both phase detection and contrast detection on the sensor - in fact it's the very same 16.1-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor as found in the NEX-5R.

The "DSLR intender" element comes into play thanks to the DSLR-like operation: there's a new mode dial with a second dial underneath it for quick and easy control - something that was lacking in the initial NEX series cameras. In addition there's a rear control wheel that means the NEX-6 has a dual-control type method, much like many DSLR cameras.

As with previous models, there is Wi-Fi support too, as well as support for Sony's recently launched PlayMemories service.

The camera will come with the same electronic viewfinder as the company's NEX-7 model launched back in 2011. That means you'll get Sony’s 2.4m-dot OLED viewfinder which blows most of the competition out the water. And then some. The screen on the back will be a 3-inch LCD display.

There will also be a Full HD (1920 x 1080 60i/60p/24p) movie capture function and the NEX-6 will also come with a built-in flash and a new accessory shoe that's essentially a standard hotshoe but with some extra pins for additional compatibility with Sony's own accessories too.

The NEX-6, like the NEX-5R, will include the same 10 frames per second (10fps) burst mode whether using single or continuous autofocus. And that's one of the big new features: the NEX-5N was capable of such speeds only in its Speed Priority (single autofocus) mode, rather than the continuous option of the latest NEX-6.

However this latest speed increase doesn't put the NEX-6 ahead of the NEX-5R; indeed both cameras are rather similar apart from the NEX-6's viewfinder and mode dial construction.

Expected it to be available in November in the UK, the NEX-6 will cost £710 for the body only, £830 for the camera with a brand new 16-50mm power zoom lens, or £1,030 for the body with both the aforementioned power zoom and the a 55-210mm lenses.

There will also be several other lenses available too: a 10-18mm f/4 lens is anticipated to cost £750, whereas the 35mm f/1.8 should cost about £400. It's onward and upwards for the NEX series as there will be 13 lenses come the end of 2012. Good stuff.