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Sony NEX-6 vs Olympus OM-D E-M5 Comparison

Sony NEX-6 vs Olympus OM-D E-M5 Comparison - Hands-on with the Sony NEX-6 and Olympus OM-D E-M5, how do these two mirrorless cameras compare?

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Category : Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera
Product : Sony NEX-6
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Sony NEX 6 Vs Olympus OM D E M5 (1)

Both the Sony NEX-6 and Olympus OM-D E-M5 cameras feature a 16 megapixel sensor, electronic viewfinder, high speed continuous shooting, 3inch tilting screen, and full HD video recording with stereo sound.
Sony NEX 6 Vs Olympus OM D E M5 (2)

While both cameras feature a tilting screen, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 features a touchscreen and weather sealed body, and this is also why you can expect to pay a premium price for the OM-D E-M5, with the NEX-6 available for £710 body only, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 is available for £989 body only.

Sony NEX 6 Vs Olympus OM D E M5 (6)

The Sony NEX-6 features 10fps continuous shooting with AF available, while the OM-D E-M5 features 9fps shooting with fixed focus, with continuous focus enabled, the fps drops noticeably. The NEX-6 relies on lens based image stabilisation, while the Olympus OM-D E-M5 has it built into the body, so it will work with any lens attached to the camera.

Sony NEX 6 Vs Olympus OM D E M5 (3)

The Sony NEX-6 features a built in pop-up flash, and the EVF has an impressive resolution of 2.369million dots, compared to the OM-D E-M5's 1.44million dots resolution. The NEX-6 also features a built in sweep-panoramic mode, while the E-M5 lacks a panoramic mode.

Sony NEX 6 Vs Olympus OM D E M5 (5)

The grip on the NEX-6 is very good as standard, whereas the OM-D E-M5 has an option to add an additional grip, as well as a vertical grip with space for an extra battery. The E-M5's memory card slot is on the side making it easy to change when the camera is on a tripod, while the NEX-6 has a memory card slot underneath the camera. The NEX-6 takes either a Sony Memory Stick or a standard SD/SDHC/SDXC card.

Sony NEX 6 Vs Olympus OM D E M5 (7)

The Sony NEX-6 has built in Wi-Fi, as well as Sony PlayMemories apps, to allow additional features such as Picture Effects+, Bracket Pro, Multi-frame NR, Remote Control / Mobile App, Direct upload to Facebook / PlayMemories, Timelapse, Cinematic Photo (portion of the photo is animated), with additional apps likely to be available on the Sony PlayMemories website. The Olympus OM-D E-M5 has some features that no other cameras have such as the LIVEBULB mode that shows you the photo developing on-screen when shooting in low-light.
Sony NEX 6 Vs Olympus OM D E M5 (8)

The Sony NEX-6 features a larger APS-C sized sensor so should provide better low light performance, and Sony's lens range now includes 13 lenses, including a compact 16-50mm power zoom kit lens as shown earlier in the article. The Olympus OM-D E-M5 features a Micro Four Thirds lens, as well as the choice of over 26 lenses, from both Olympus and Panasonic, a number of these are compact, meaning that despite the Olympus OM-D E-M5 looking bigger in these pictures, it could easily provide a smaller system with the right lens choices.

Read our full Olympus OM-D E-M5 Review.
View our
Sony NEX-6 Preview and Sample Photos.

Comparison Table

Olympus OM-D E-M5Sony NEX-6
ManufacturerOlympusSony
Image Sensor
CCD pixels16.1Mp (Megapixels)16.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)46084912
Pixels (H)34563264
Sensor TypeLive MOS SensorExmor CMOS
Sensor SizeMicro / Four ThirdsAPS-C
Sensor Size (width)17.3mm23.5mm
Sensor Size (height)13mm15.6mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in3in
Screen resolution610k dots921,000 dots
Touch ScreenYesNo
Focusing
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Touch AF
  • Spot
  • Multi
  • Autofocus
  • Spot
  • Multi
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest60sec30sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • A
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity200 - 25600100 - 25600
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Shade
  • Flash
  • Underwater
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Shade
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-3+/-3
Viewfinder
Viewfinder Resolution1.44million dots2.369 million dots
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting9fps10fps
Video
Movie modeYesYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
  • 1280x720 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
  • 1920x1080
Video FPS3025
Stereo SoundYesYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYesYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYesNo
Interface
HDMIYesYes
USBUSB 2USB 2
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
  • Memory Stick
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium IonNP-FW50
CIPA Rating330360
Box Contents
Box ContentsBody, Flash FL-LM2, Li-ion battery BLN-1, Li-ion battery charger BCN-1, USB/Video Multi cable, Shoulder strap, OLYMPUS Viewer 2/ib CD-ROM, Instruction manual, Warranty cardPower cord, rechargeable battery pack, micro USB cable, AC adaptor, shoulder strap, eyecup piece, shoe cap, body cap, CD-ROM and instruction manual
Dimensions
Weight373g345g
Width121mm119.9mm
Height89.6mm66.9mm
Depth41.9mm42.6mm
View Full DetailsView Full Details

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Photographs taken using the Sony NEX-6

Opera House coloursCurvesLine of viewBoatingWalk bridgeReflectionsNasturtium flowersSunsetOrangeClouds at sunsetArtist RowUnbrellas in the RainBoston firefighter pauses after fatal Brookline MA fireThe Cuppa Teasun goes down
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Comments


Niknut e2
4 542 60 United Kingdom
16 Sep 2012 7:56PM
Great comparison review !!!!......but as good as the Olympus is, I'll take the Sony anyday !!!!

With that 16-50 lens it would cover 95% of my photography....mmmmm, yummy !

It ticks all my boxes, & is just mouth-wateringly gorgeous.......want, want, want !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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pablophotographer 3 455 181
16 Sep 2012 10:47PM
I am surprised that the Olympus doesn't have 4:3 and 1:1 aspect ratios...
pablophotographer 3 455 181
16 Sep 2012 10:51PM
Yep, I've noticed on the individual review it does offer these two ratios, and it also offers underwater white balancing which is omitted here.
joshwa e2
3 600 United Kingdom
16 Sep 2012 10:56PM

Quote: Yep, I've noticed on the individual review it does offer these two ratios, and it also offers underwater white balancing which is omitted here.

That's strange - I can see them listed above? What browser are you using?
Milva 1
17 Sep 2012 12:46AM
Thanks, Joshwa.

It is more than just 13 lenses vs 26. There is a clear difference in optical quality in their lenses, and also in the sizes, and hence handling when equivalent lenses are mounted on the cameras.

Niknut,

If your mainly reason for choosing the Sony is its 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6, then you should know that there is a 12-35 f/2.8 (constant) zoom from Panasonic that can be used on the E-M5. The Sony lens is reportedly about the same size as the Panasonic, but there is a big difference in speed, and I think in optical quality.
Paul Morgan e2
13 15.2k 6 England
17 Sep 2012 2:59PM

Quote: Great comparison review !!!!......but as good as the Olympus is, I'll take the Sony anyday !!!!

With that 16-50 lens it would cover 95% of my photography....mmmmm, yummy !

The inbody IS, weather sealing and touch screen of the Olympus has clear advantages, Looks like a lot of control is still hidden in menus on the Sony.
Niknut e2
4 542 60 United Kingdom
17 Sep 2012 3:11PM
Hi Milva

It isn't just the lens that swings it for me !....I prefer the APS-C sensor in the Sony, against the
M4/3 sensor in the Olympus for a start, & I think the ergonomics of the Sony is superior with
that chunky hand-grip & control/button layout.......

The Sony EVF has a much higher resolution too, so the viewing experience should be more
pleasurable, as is the rear screen......

The whole design & layout is (for me !) very slick, & high quality....& I'm very tempted !!!

I've got a Panasonic G1 & 14-45 lens, which I love, so I'm familiar with M4/3 quality....& if
they bought out an APS-C version it would be a stunner !

But when I can find a Sony NEX-6 on the shelves, I shall definitely be giving it a good eye-balling !, & that lens range of 24-75 (in 35mm terms) would suit me fine !!!!

I'm not bothered about image stabilising, never take my cameras out in the rain, & hate
touch screens !!!!..........the NEX-6 has PASM, ISO, AEL, & Exp.Comp. all immeadiately to
hand via direct access buttons....& that's all I need !!!!!!!!
pablophotographer 3 455 181
17 Sep 2012 5:28PM
Firefox version 15something... and I have just realised that the figures on the right were for the Sony not for the Olympus... Apologies.
kodachrome 2 463
18 Sep 2012 4:31PM
I agree with most of what niknut has said. However, most reviews of NEX lenses I have read have just been good average performers with no one lens standing out. It would be good to see a test review on the NEX 16-50 to see if they have upped their game.

Re the Oly OM-D E-M5, what a fabulous camera, but there are so many features and functions on it that I would never use, so at 999 body only for me is extremely poor value for money.

Koda
Paul Morgan e2
13 15.2k 6 England
18 Sep 2012 9:17PM

Quote: Re the Oly OM-D E-M5, what a fabulous camera, but there are so many features and functions on it that I would never use, so at 999 body only for me is extremely poor value for money

Before I purchased the OM-D I thought much the same as you Smile

The new inbody IS is fantastic, as is the weather sealing, add all this to the improved dynamic range and usable ISO you soon see the advantages and find these are worth every extra penny.
19 Sep 2012 8:25AM
I can only agree with Paul's comments its really good. can't speak for the Sony, never tried it,but really enjoying the OM-D.



Roy
20 Sep 2012 4:44AM
That panasonic lens is not image stabilized which for me, is bad news. The NEX 6 appears to me to be the camera that I wanted the 7 to be. I bought and sold the 7 within 2 months, I just felt the 5 N was better at higher ISO LEVELS. I think the 6 has phase detection built-in to the sensor.

Jerry

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