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

Winner
Olympus OM-D E-M5

79

Sony Alpha NEX-6

75

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Olympus OM-D E-M5

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
Touch screen
Touch screen
Fewer buttons
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Shoot in extreme weather
OLED Screen
Screen type
Bright and vivid
 

Reasons to buy the Sony Alpha NEX-6

Supports 24p
24p movies
For that film look
Sensor type
CMOS Sensor
Better in low light
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
External flash not needed

Items often bought with the Olympus E-M5 or Sony NEX-6

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Olympus OM-D E-M5.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Sony Alpha NEX-6.

differences

Advantages of the Olympus E-M5

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Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
vs None
Help
Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
Screen type
Has an OLED screen
OLED vs LCD
Help
OLED screens are often brighter and more vibrant than typical LCD screens
3D
Takes 3D photos
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Yes vs No
Help
Sealed to shoot in the rain
Touch screen
Has a touch screen
Yes vs No
Help
Fewer buttons to worry about and direct interaction with camera menus
External mic jack
Has an external mic jack
Yes vs No
Help
Record high quality audio with an external microphone
Startup delay
Significantly less startup delay
1100 ms vs 2000 ms
Help
Around 50% less delay when turning on
Lens availability
More lenses available
108 lenses vs 62 lenses
Help
More than 70% more lenses available
Battery life
Longer battery life
500 shots vs 360 shots
Help
Around 40% more shots per battery charge
Longest exposure
Much longer exposures
60s vs 30s
Help
2x longer exposures
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Learn more about
the Olympus E-M5

Advantages of the Sony NEX-6

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Screen resolution
Significantly higher resolution screen
921k dots vs 610k dots
Help
More than 50% higher resolution screen
HDR
Has in-camera HDR
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Panorama
Can create panoramas in-camera
Yes vs No
Help
Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
Supports 24p
Supports 24p
Yes vs No
Help
Get that real film feel
Overall image quality
Better image quality
78.0 vs 71.0
Help
Around 10% better image quality
Viewfinder size
Larger viewfinder
0.71x vs 0.44x
Help
More than 2.5x larger viewfinder
Sensor type
Has a CMOS-family sensor
CMOS vs LIVEMOS
Help
CMOS-family sensors often produce better quality images
Focus points
More focus points
99 vs 35
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Low light performance
Slightly lower noise at high ISO
1,018 ISO vs 826 ISO
Help
The NEX-6 has a slight edge (0.3 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
13.1 EV vs 12.3 EV
Help
0.3 f-stops more dynamic range
Color depth
Better color depth
23.7 bits vs 22.8 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.9 more bits of color
Size
Smaller
120×67×43 mm vs 122×89×43 mm
Help
Around 30% smaller
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
Yes vs No
Help
A built-in flash is useful for taking indoor shots where there is little light
Shutter lag
Slightly less shutter lag
257 ms vs 277 ms
Help
Around 10% less delay when taking photos
Weight
Lighter
287 g vs 425 g
Help
More than 30% lighter
Sony Alpha NEX-6 Learn more about
the Sony NEX-6
vs

recommendations

Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent mirrorless cameras, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus OM-D E-M5 79
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      Color
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        75 Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony Alpha NEX-6
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
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              similarities

              Compared to recent mirrorless cameras

              Common Strengths
              Viewfinder Both have digital viewfinders Help
              Digital
              Screen flips out Flip-out screens Help
              Great for movies
              External flash Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Common Weaknesses
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              E-M515.9 MP
              NEX-616 MP
              Autofocus Slower hybrid detection autofocus Help
              E-M5Contrast detection
              NEX-6Hybrid detection

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus OM-D E-M10

              Olympus OM-D E-M10

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $380 - $599 body only

              $460 - $699 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Sony Alpha A6000

              Sony Alpha A6000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $548 body only

              $698 with 16-50mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Focus points Has slightly more focus points
              Fujifilm X-T1

              Fujifilm X-T1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $1,199 body only

              $1,599 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Sony NEX-7

              Sony NEX-7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $762 body only

              $660 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Sony A7

              Sony A7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $1,198 - $1,698 body only

              $1,498 with 28-70mm lens

              Low light performance Is significantly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $539 - $549 body only

              $593 - $599 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Shutter lag Has slightly less shutter lag
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Fujifilm X-T10

              Fujifilm X-T10

              Boutique

              $799

              Autofocus Focuses automatically
              GPS Has a built-in GPS
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Interchangeable lenses Has a built-in lens

              Olympus OM-D E-M5 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus OM-D E-M1

              Olympus OM-D E-M1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $750 - $1,299 body only

              $1,177 with 12-50mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Olympus OM-D E-M5 II

              Olympus OM-D E-M5 II

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Screen type Doesn't have an OLED screen
              Battery life Shorter battery life

              Sony Alpha NEX-6 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony Alpha A5000

              Sony Alpha A5000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $280 body only

              $440 - $448 with 16-50mm lens

              True resolution Higher true resolution
              Battery life Longer battery life
              Screen resolution Significantly lower resolution screen
              Viewfinder No viewfinder
              Sony Alpha A5100

              Sony Alpha A5100

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $448 body only

              $598 with 16-50mm lens

              Autofocus Faster autofocus
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Viewfinder No viewfinder
              External flash No external flash support
              Sony NEX-5T

              Sony NEX-5T

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $349 body only

              $640 with 16-50mm lens

              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Size Smaller
              Viewfinder No viewfinder
              Built-in flash No built-in flash
              Sony NEX-5R

              Sony NEX-5R

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $346 body only

              $898 with 16mm lens

              3D Takes 3D photos
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Viewfinder No viewfinder
              Low light performance Slightly more noise at high ISO
              Sony NEX-5N

              Sony NEX-5N

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $605 body only

              $803 with 16-50mm lens

              3D Takes 3D photos
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Viewfinder No viewfinder
              Focus points Fewer focus points

              appearance

              Olympus OM-D E-M5 Sony Alpha NEX-6
              Olympus OM-D E-M5 Sony Alpha NEX-6
              Olympus OM-D E-M5

              discussion

              Olympus OM-D E-M5
              OM-D E-M5
              Olympus

              Report a correction
              Sony Alpha NEX-6
              Alpha NEX-6
              Sony

              Report a correction

              Showing 5 comments

              Miggs (0:04 PM, September 06, 2013)
              the olympus sensor is made by sony (the irony of it all).
              while micro43 is a solid photo offering, it will never beat the dynamic range, color rendition, or low light performance of an APS-C, especially one made by the same company....
               
              wil (0:40 PM, June 05, 2013)
              do both cameras have sweep panorama function
               
              Dave (10:38 AM, March 10, 2013)
              James is correct on this, I own an NEX 6, and the autofocus is slightly faster than the NEX 5, and even the NEX 7, but the OM-D is faster and more accurate in every lighting condition that I have tried. In bright light it is only a little faster, but in low light, it can be much, much faster. There are relative advantages of the NEX 6, of course, but fast AF is not one of them.
               
              David (3:28 PM, February 05, 2013)
              That is absolutely correct. Plus the rendition of phase AF that SOny is using, turns off phase AF in low liight so its advantage is only there for continuous AF shooting in good light. That's it.
               
              James (10:06 PM, January 26, 2013)
              Ok phase detect AF is NOT faster than contrast detect AF. They're different systems, but in this case, the OM-D is WAY WAY WAY faster than the NEX 6. Not even close. Please change that or get rid of it, because saying the NEX 6 has faster AF because of its gimmicky "phase AF" is stupid and misleading.