I’ve had my Sony NEX-6 for just a few weeks, but love it a little bit more every time I pick it up. And now that I’ve had a chance to customize the settings, I like it even better!!
The menu systems on these NEX cameras are long, complex, and sometimes just don’t make much sense. So, the best thing I found to do is to just stay out of the menus as much as possible.
I’ve found that by carefully setting the three buttons that are customizable, I rarely have to use the Menu Button. Plus, there is one more critical setting for NEX-6 users and that is the one that controls the screens that are visible as you push the DISPlay Button.
Function (Fn) Button
To set this up, you’ll go to Menu > Setup > Function Menu Settings >, where you’ll see a list of Custom 1 through Custom 6. There are 16 different settings to choose from and they can be assigned to any of the 6 Custom settings in any order you choose.
Here’s how I have mine setup:
- Custom 1 > Autofocus Mode
- Custom 2 > Autofocus Area
- Custom 3 > Quality
- Custom 4 > DRO/Auto HDR
- Custom 5 > Picture Effect
- Custom 6 > White Balance
The next setting to cover is that of the AEL button. There are even more functions to choose from, here … 25 in all. For me, I have it set for AF/MF Select. I rarely need anything other than the shutter button to lock the exposure, so the default isn’t for me. Instead, I find that I frequently like to change from AF, to MF, to DMF, with DMF being my normal mode. Why? It blends the best of both worlds. It allows the camera to autofocus and then instantly switch to manual focus so you can tweak the focus if it’s not exactly where you want it.
Note: I love the Focus Peaking feature on these cameras and set mine to Mid (level) and Yellow (color). Also, I use the MF Assist feature so that when I do manual focus, the camera digitally zooms in to give me a magnified area to get perfect focus!
Soft Key B
The Soft Key B is the only other button you can customize on this camera and I use it as sort of a “wild card”. In other words, it’s the one I change most frequently to fit the current situation. My default setting would be Metering Mode so I can quickly switch from Center (my normal) to Spot to Multi depending on the situational requirements. Plus, this button sort of has a mind of its own. If you’re in Flexible Spot autofocus area, then this soft key becomes a flexible spot selection button. Change your shooting mode to iAuto and it becomes a Wi-Fi button. So you see it won’t always reflect what you set it for.
Now, the most critical setting on the NEX-6, the one that gives you the quickest access to the most functions is the DISP Button(Monitor) setting in the Camera Menu. As I’m sure you know, pressing the DISP Button (Up button) on the Control Wheel switches you between various informational screens on the LCD (and EVF). For me, the most important of these is the “For Viewfinder” display. It gives you a screen full of various camera settings. More importantly, it changes the action of the Fn Button. Now, when you press the Fn Button, it gives you immediate access to 16 of those settings. You just use the control wheel buttons to cycle through, pick what you need to change and do it! Very easy and a great feature! So get into the Menus one more time: Menu > Camera > DISP Button(Monitor) > and make sure there is a check mark next to For Viewfinder. Oh, and be sure to press Soft Key A when you’re done to save the settings.
These settings aren’t even really recommendations, they’re just the way I work. Hopefully, they will give you some ideas about how to optimize your camera so it will work the way you do.
Here are some NEX-6 photos with Various Lenses:
A Colorado dawn with the 16-50mm kit lens at 16mm, f/4.5, ISO 100. I did need to adjust the colors in Lightroom 4 because the camera’s auto white balance made this much more orange than it really was.
This was also the 16-50mm lens at 16mm, ISO 800, f/3.5, 30 seconds. It does a really nice job on the stars!
I love the Sony 30mm macro. This was shot at f/5.6, ISO 250. These are the little LEDs on a LED light panel. There are about 4 per inch. This is the Fotodiox Pro LED 312 AS, a very nice, small light panel with adjustable color and output.
I caught this windmill silhouetted against the evening sky with a jet contrail in the background. Sony 50mm f/1.8 at f/2.5, ISO 100. What a great lens – fast, sharp, and stabilized!
This is our little Maltese, Bella. She’s a tiny 6 pounds but all heart. Sony 50mm at f/1.8, ISO 800.
Thanks for stopping by and please take time to let me know how you setup your Sony Nex-6 camera, too. Most likely I’ll learn something new!
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