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Disney World Family Vacation and the Nex-6 – The Magic Kingdom

I just got back from Disney World down in Florida from a week long family vacation and I brought along the Nex-6 and a few E-Mount lenses to capture the experience. I ended up using the SEL1855 kit lens and the sel55210 telephoto zoom lens for everything else as I was always on the move. The light weight of the Nex-6 and either e-mount lens made the burden of carrying a camera around the parks totally reasonable in my opinion.

Seeing many people carrying their heavy camera gear around, I could not help smile at what I was packing knowing the image quality was just as good as any crop factor dslr on the market. I did see a few full frame pro cameras here and there, and they really looked like a heavy burden for sure. Trying to wrestle with kids, strollers, mass crowds, and lines, I would not want to be carrying my heavy large form factor Pro Gear around for a second.

For the Magic Kingdom and Epcot I used the 18-55mm kit lens and it did the job well in my opinion. I did not want to carry anything also into the park, so I put a large 16gig memory card in and an extra battery in my pocket. It worked out perfect as the battery died after about 3/4 of the time at the park.

For the Animal Kingdom I ended up purchasing the 55-210mm lens as I really wanted it, and this trip justified the purchase in my mind. If your a regular reader you may remember me saying I wanted this lens for my personal collection many times, but just couldn’t afford it. Happy day, I finally own the sel55210 🙂

Sony Nex-6 – Disney Vacation Photos

Just so you know, I shot exclusively in raw quality for all these photos and did some enhancements in Adobe Lightroom 4.  If you want to see how I enhance the Sony Nex-6  raw files using Lightroom 4, be sure to check out the Lightroom Tutorials Categories Here >> I also used Aperture Priority mode, Auto ISO, Auto WB, Area Focus, and average metering 95% of the time. I did use exposure comp a few times and shutter priority mode for a few high speed shots you will see in another article soon.

The Magic Kingdom

This first photo was taken day one at Disney’s Magic Kingdom in the parking lot. Layla was cautiously excited 🙂

Be sure to click on these photos for the larger versions!!

Layla - Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens
Layla – Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens @ 55mm, f/5.6, 1/640sec, ISO 100

We actually got there kinda late, so we ended up in the Villain’s parking lot, filed under Hook 82-87.

Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens
Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens @ 55mm, f/5.6, 1/1600sec, ISO 100

These next two portrait style captures, are my Dad, fallowed by my wife Michele, taken on the tram ride towards the monorail train. Note the subject separation from the background/ depth of field, and large dynamic range captured in each scene.

 Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens
My Dad – Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens – 39mm, 1/60sec, f/4.5, ISO 320

The Monorail is a pretty cool human transport system that Disney uses in a few parks. It basically straddles the track and uses high voltage electric to propel itself.

Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens
Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens @ 24mm, f/4, 1/100sec, ISO 100

The Magic Kingdom’s famous Castle and the hoards of people that come with such a view at this late morning hour of the day.

Layla - Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens
Layla – Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens @ 53mm, f/5, 1/10sec, ISO 100

An old fire truck filled with waving ladies drove by us as we were walking.

Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens
Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens @ 18mm, f/5, 1/400sec, ISO 100

This next scene is a well planned out composition and I had to grab a snap.

Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens
Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens @ 18mm, f/5, 1/400sec, ISO 100

Here is another scene with some awesome architecture, detail, color, and dynamic range.

 Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens
Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens @ 18mm, f/5, 1/640sec, ISO 100

Layla is starting to get a bit sleepy at this point.

Layla - Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens
Layla – Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens @ 55mm, f/5.6, 1/100sec, ISO 800

Belle from Beauty and the Beast gave Layla a second wind though.

Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens
Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens – 55mm, 1/100sec, f/5.6, ISO 1600

As did this delicious strawberry ice pop we shared 🙂

Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens
Layla and I – Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens @ 18mm, f/5, 1/000, ISO 100

Layla was also fortunate enough to visit with Arial from the Little Mermaid. Here is my girl and I waiting on line for the magical mermaid.

 Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens
Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens @ 18mm, f/5, 1/160, ISO 100

Layla with Arial under horrible lighting conditions I must say. White balance was extremely far off, but thanks to shooting raw I was able to adjust it in Lightroom so the skin tones were closer to what it actually looked like. Layla was clearly amazed at the live flipper!

_ Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens
Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens @ 41mm, 1/80sec, f/5, ISO 2000

And on the way out we saw this great tribute statue of Gaston.

 Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens
Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens @ 28mm, f/5, 1/320sec, ISO 100

When it comes down to it, all I really wanted to capture at Disney were the moments that made me smile. Layla smiling and looking at things in amazement was pretty much my favorite thing to see, so I got a lot of those type of shots. The Nex-6 and the 18-55mm lens made this task really easy non burdensome in my opinion.

As it so happens, here is another of Layla checking out some floats that were going by down the road.

Layla - Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens
Layla – Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens @ 55mm, 1/250sec, f/5.6, ISO 100
 Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens
Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens
 Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens
Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens

That was about it for the Magic Kingdom till we went back in the evening for the Nighttime shows.

Some Night Shots

We went back at night to check out some of the night shows and I grabbed a few shots hand-held here and there. This scene was awaiting the light parade. I recorded it on video, so stayed tuned for that when i actually get time to edit it 😉

 Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens
Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens @ 55mm, 1/100sec, f/f.6, ISO 3200

The Castle kept changing colors and basically turned into a TV screen at one point. Amazing to see and the Nex-6 did an excellent job capturing it in my opinion. No tri-pod, all hand held.

 Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens
Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens @ @ 55mm, 1/50sec, f/f.6, ISO 3200, Hand-held
 Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens
Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens @ @ 55mm, 1/50sec, f/f.6, ISO 3200, Hand-held
 Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens
Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens @ @ 55mm, 1/50sec, f/f.6, ISO 3200, Hand-held

And lastly for the Magic Kingdom series, Layla taking it all in with here killer lolly pop on Papa’s shoulders 🙂

Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens
Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens @ 55mm, 1/50sec, f/f.6, ISO 3200, Hand-held

Closing remarks

Thanks for checking out my Disney Magic kingdom Vacation photos using the Sony Nex-6 and 18-55mm kit lens. As you can see from these real world photos, the Nex-6 and basic kit lens is a very capable camera for this type of photography, and I’m extremely happy with the results captured. As I said earlier, it was all about capturing those moments for me this time. I was not interested in testing anything gear, all I wanted to do was enjoy the moments live and try and capture a few here and there.

I have a ton more photos to share from Epcot, the Animal Kingdom, Seaworld, and more! So, stay tuned if you would like to see what else I captured on vacation, and what the Sony Nex-6 can do in the real world.
Please feel free to ask questions if you have any as always, and I should have more photos up soon for you to check out.

  1. Jay…enjoyed your images a lot. I just bought the nex6 myself with the 16-50mm kit lens. Planing on getting the 10-18mm and the 18-200mm Sony or Tamron when I can afford them!

    1. I have a NEX-6 too and love the camera. I also have the 16-50mm pancake zoom and a real winner for an all purpose, 80-90% of the time basic shooting lens. Further, it is only 1/2 the size of the previous 18-55mm and with the hybrid AF (CDAF/PDAF). I also am thinking to get the 18-200mm as an all-purpose lens to use in lieu (maybe) of the 16-50mm. Downside is, I lose the auto-zoom capability which the 16-50mm has and is really there for video if needed. Sony has just recently released an 18-200mm that DOES have the auto-zoom but I think at over $1,000 bucks costing more then the basic camera with kit lens itself, I will decline to purchase. Besides, how often do I need that extra zoom I am thinking. Also the 10-18mm is also a quite pricey lens for what additional gain? What I have is two other lenses. I have the 35mm f1.8 which allows me to shoot quality in dimmer lighting conditions…. i.e.,, at a pub, birthday party with cake and candles, etc. I also have the 16mm f2.8 along with the 0.75x magnification adapter. That effective gives me 12mm also at f2.8

    2. BTW, I might still consider the 18-200mm Tamron, however, an alternative thought I have is, to get a second NEX camera (used) with 55-210mm telephoto kit lens included and for less then the cost of the Tamron. It’s about ¥29,800 here in Tokyo (approx $295.00 USD). Why? For one, I gain the extended zoom for how often I will use it. Secondly, I avoid lens swapping by having the second body. Additionally, I gain another battery, which allows me to swap out if one dies and not having to buy an overpriced (IMO) second battery and always figure out how to keep it charged outside the camera. Just food for thought.

    3. Thanks John for the comments and info. I would highly recommend trying the the much more affordable 55-210mm over the 18-200mm lenses. The bang for the buck is awesome, and you could always put your selp1650 pancake in your pocket if you had to 😉 The sel1018 is a very nice lens, and I would not mind having that in my bag. It is a bit pricey though, and the new killer Zeiss 12mm f/2.8 Touit prime lens is only a little more at $1250 Mind you that is also a huge chunk of change, but when your dropping near a $900 anyway, it’s worth considering if your after the best possible E-Mount wide-angle optical performance. It should be razor sharp corner to corner. The sel1018 is really good, but not razor sharp corner to corner.
      Catch up with you later, and sorry for the rambling. Lens talk is always fun 🙂

  2. Back then every trip I carried a huge backpack with a DSLR, 3 or 4 lenses (kit, wide,tele and fast prime), filters, cables, accessories…even wanted to carry a laptop. Was a pain, and at the end of day I only used like 90% of the time the same lens. How dumb I was.
    Then some years ago they introduced the mirrorless cameras. I regretted at first, and finally brought last year the NEX 6. Best thing I have done in years. No need for ugly huge backpacks anymore. Just one camera and one lens (and of course an extra battery), all in a small messenger bag and ready to go.
    When we go on a trip at first we want to capture everything, want to make a great shot. But thats not what a trip is all about. Its much more about enjoy and capture the moments, have fun and make the best out of it.
    Great shots Jay! I bet the vacation was much more fun without carrying all those huge DSLR and lens.

    1. I couldn’t agree more! Photography and videography should be enjoyable and fun to do, not a chore and a burden. The NEX-6 is perfect. May get a second used, cheaper NEX body just to avoid lens swapping. Maybe a discontinued NEX-3 or NEX-5. (see my comments above) Two compact bodies each with their own lens still easily fits into that messenger bag. 🙂

    2. I used to carry mine loaded with 4-5 lenses and two camera bodies. It was brutal honestly for longer than an hour or more. Hiking was ridiculous and I only went once fully loaded like that, and I go to good shots at all. To exhausted I suppose 😉
      It was certainly more fun without any bags and extra weight ect.. really no reason for it at all anymore in my opinion at this stage in my life. If I was on a mission for a specific shot, I might be thinking differently however.
      Thanks again,

    1. Thanks Doug 😉 Not to bad with the noise even @ ISO 3200. It is definitely there at 100% view in lightroom when shooting raw, but at normal viewing it’s harder to see. The details do start to smudge a bit in the lower light shots I took, but only because of low shutter speeds, and or moving objects. Layla you can see for example is a bit softer than the castle shots. She was moving and shaking, but the flash froze most of her.
      I did use some Noise Reduction in Lightroom on the night time shots at about 10-15 as it does a pretty good job I think.
      Thanks again,

  3. Hi Jay. It’s been awhile. Thanks for sharing your photos of Disneyland. The Sony NEX-6 indeed performs quite well for it’s compact size. As you may recall, I also have the NEX-6.
    As for daylight photography, pretty much any camera can perform well. Composition, framing, and things like that are really the important factors…. the creativity and imagination of the operator behind the lens. 🙂 And, the Sony NEX-6 with it’s nice sized APS-C sensor does extremely well. Generally I shoot with Aperture priority and ISO set to 800.
    For me, the bigger challenge is shooting in subdued and dark light conditions, and/or night time shots, as in the case of your Fantasyland castle shots. Here is an album of photos I shot last week at the recently opened, world famous, Madame Tussauds wax museum in Tokyo:
    (I hope the link works)
    The lighting conditions and special effects made it a challenge to shoot. The Sony performed fairly well for the most part. The Elvis Presley pick for example was 1/50, f4.5, ISO-1600. Question: Would you consider keeping the ISO set to automatic in such environment? And, I would think to avoid blur, one might want to ‘force’ a minimum shutter, say 1/60 second and entrust the balance to the camera for required ISO and aperture. When I really don’t want to hassle, or I ask someone to take a photo who is not familiar with the camera, I occasionally switch to iA+ mode.
    As for the lens, the new 16-50mm pancake zoom is wonderful. Of course the older 18-55mm obviously gets the job done, but with the auto zoom function on 16-50mm pancake zoom and at only 1/2 the size, it’s a joy to carry and leave attached to the camera.
    As for the 55-210mm, I was thinking to get the Tamron 18-200mm as I mentioned to John (above). But, instead of that, I might just consider a second NEX (used) discontinued body with kit lens, say, a NEX-3 or NEX-5. This has the advantage of giving me the lens, avoidance of lens swapping having 2 bodies, and not having to worry about carrying a spare battery should one die. I am thinking, how often will I use that extended zoom, when the 16-50mm (24-75mm equivalent in 35mm) covers me 80-90% of the time? I won’t be shooting wildlife in the wilderness or crucifixes on top of church steeples all that often.
    Do you exclusive shoot RAW all the time, or only on special occasions? I have yet to shoot RAW with my NEX-6, or any camera for that matter. I always read about people using RAW, but, will I really gain that much for the trade off in memory consumption? I shot like 540 photos at the Madame Tussauds wax museum. Having done that all in RAW would surely have consumed a heck of a lot of memory. If there is reason or purpose to shoot RAW, maybe I should consider that as exceptional setting for special occasions.

    1. If you search, may you can still find some killer deals for the NEX F3 double kit lens. I wanted to buy one too, but I think Im going to buy the 18-200 because I prefer to carry only one camera.
      RAW is great for post process, but they usually looks ugly straight from the camera. I didn’t like until I learned about the Camera Calibration feature in Lightroom, making the PP much easier.
      A 32GB SD card can fit up to 1800 RAW files, which is a lot. I don’t think you need to worry. BTW, I brought last month the San Disk Extreme (45MB/sec) and is great. Its MUCH faster than the generic class 10 card, write really faster, no need to wait for delete a photo. In Amazon you can find at good prices.

      1. Thanks for that feedback FlavioRoss. Perhaps I will try some shooting with RAW then. I think it is more an issue of lack of understanding of the merits of RAW vs JPG except for knowing it is ‘raw’ uncompressed data as generated by the camera. And also, that it does look bland too as you point out compared to JPG. Space is not really so much an issue as I can get generic Class-10 64GB SDXC cards here for about $30.00. I was asking Jay above about RAW but received no feedback. Would you recommend RAW when shooting night scenes (as the Disney electric parade as one example) instead of JPG? And, at what ISO? I would think it better to ‘force’ the ‘S’ (shutter) and let the camera decide on the ISO.
        The other thing then is, I should learn how to use camera calibration in Lightroom. I presume (not knowing) that Sony’s NEX cameras are supported in Lightroom. Cheers…

        1. When shooting JPEG in high ISO, the camera uses a quite strong noise reduction so you can get clean images up to 3200 but they may looks a bit soft. In RAW you get grainy photos at these high ISO, but you maintain the details, so with a good software you can get better results.
          One thing: You can deal with the noise in post process, but can’t do nothing with a shaky photo.
          You must use the shutter speed you fell comfortable with. In the aperture priority mode, the camera avoid to shoot lower than 1/60, which for most of people is ok at normal conditions. If you think its too slow, change to shutter priority mode and set what you think its the ideal.
          I use auto ISO e Aperture priority mode most of times, but sometimes I disagree the fact the camera prefer keep the shutter speed slow than bump up the ISO. I don’t like to shoot at 1/60, so I can bump up the ISO manually or set to Shutter Speed Priority. The best should a Manual mode with Auto ISO, don’t know why the NEX don’t allow that…

    2. Hi Jerry and thanks for sharing the link to your gallery! Great shots for sure 🙂
      I love to shoot raw and yes it is better in my opinion. I took a total of about 500 pics on the entire Disney trip, so I was not worried about the card space or file size. The video actually eats up lot of card space and that was more of a concern for me. I have a few 16gig cards, but the 32 gig cards are pretty cheap these days.
      I love shooting raw because it gives me much more latitude and creative freedom in post processing. The Camera does a good job processing in jpeg mode for the most part, but I enjoy the development process. You can dialing the contrast, pull back blown highlights, brighten shadows, add sharpening, and selectively brighten/ darken very easily. Jpegs do not respond to the editing very well and tend to pixel-ate really quick.
      I’m glad to hear you like the selp1650 lens also. I would not go with another camera body, although having a flip screen would be nice for self recording purposes. The whole benefit to the small and light camera is just that. Small and light. Carrying two would be lighter, but I would rather change the lens personally than deal with two separate bodies. For pro work, that is a completely different story mind you. I’m talking from a walking around the park perspective here 😉
      Thanks again for the comments,

      1. Hi Jay. Thanks for all that feedback. On RAW, I guess I will have to explore that further. In all honesty, I have almost zilch experience dealing with RAW and only basic knowledge of what it is. I guess experience is the best teacher as the old saying goes.
        I am starting to lean towards not having the second body as you mention. Talking with another videographer friend of mine resident in Tokyo, I posed the question and concept to him. Shouldn’t I just get a second NEX, used with the 55-210mm kit lens? Advantages:
        1. Avoid swapping of lenses
        2. gain a second battery (if one dies in either camera)
        3. gain the extra zoom focal range which the 16-50mm does not.
        The other suggestion I made…. or, should I just get the 18-200mm Tamron. He was much more accommodating along this line. There will be greater focal length coverage, in a single lens, which converts to convenience. And that convenience will be for the main lens I would use to shoot 80-90% of the time. Those few occasions you need the brighter prime for night shots, pubs, low light conditions, etc., he said to swap the lens on those occasions.
        I am inclined to agree with him. So, I will probably purchase the Tamron sometime soon and to use on an upcoming trip to Thailand when my sisters visit Japan in September and we all take off together.
        Yeah, the wax museum was a challenge, but felt the pictures came out fairly decent. Thanks again for your insight and feedback.

        1. Hi Jerry,
          Sounds like the 18-200mm will work out perfect for you, with convenience being the #1 factor in mind. You may also want to consider the DSC-RX100 for the ultimate convenience and image quality compromise in my opinion 😉 Ultra Compact Pocket size camera, large 1″ sensor, fast f/1.8 Zeiss zoom lens, killer image quality, all in one package!! It costs less than the Tamron 18-200mm, and would possible give you a better experience from the perspective of convenience, versatility, image quality etc..
          Catch up with you later Jerry and have a great trip. Thanks again for sharing the photos and experience with us 🙂

  4. Jay,
    Enjoying the pictures of DisneyWorld. I have the Sony 18-200 lens that I used on my last trip – it was a great all around lens. I got some great shots, but it is a big and heavy lens and it was disappointing in the “dark rides” such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion.
    Did you have success shooting in those type rides with the kit lens? Would you recommend any other E-mount lens for that type of shooting?
    Also – do you use the original strap for your NEX-6? The strap for my NEX-7 is thin but easily slides off my shoulder. Any recommendations?
    Thanks and love the site!

    1. Hello again Christos, and thanks for the great comments and questions!
      I use the Toma wrist strap these days I reviewed Here >> Not the case, but just the wrist strap. I would recommend one of the f/1.8 lenses like the 35mm for example. That is high quality optics, fast aperture, and has Optical steadyshot for the low light low shutter speed situations. It’s fairly light weight as well. The kit lens is not near as fast aperture wise, but offers more versatility. I would have liked to have that lens in the parks though for the dark areas your talking about.
      The Nex-6 has really good high ISO performance, so the video and photogrphy came out pretty good even in the dark areas. The Nex-7 is not quite as good at such high ISO levels, so I would certinly recommend a faster lens. The Sigma 19mm f/2.8 and 30mm f/2.8 lenses are great options for the money. No OSS, but high quality optics and a pretty fast f/2.8 aperture.
      I hope that helps,

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