Considering a Sony NEX - which one?

Discussion in 'Sony E-Mount (incl. NEX, A7, A7R, A3000) Forum' started by ean10775, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. ean10775

    ean10775 SC Regular

    159
    Feb 25, 2013
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Eric
    I'm considering picking up one of the older Sony NEX bodies to use exclusively for my existing collection of manual focus lenses to shoot both photos and video. I already have a Canon 5DII as my primary camera and an Olympus E-PL1 which I don't find myself using much anymore due to my dislike of its IQ at anything other than base ISO (or 400 in a pinch). What intrigues me about the NEX bodies is:

    -the APS-C size sensor (I don't care for how the m43 2x crop factor affects shooting with my existing legacy glass)

    -my understanding that the NEX cameras offer pretty good high ISO performance (which is important since they don't seem all that friendly with off camera flash)

    -the tilt screen (without an external viewfinder I like the idea of shooting as as I would with a TLR as opposed to having to hold the camera out in front of me - both for photo and especially video)

    -the focus peaking (while i have and enjoy this with manual lenses on my 5DII running Magic Lantern, the form factor of the camera makes it less that optimal to shoot with in this manner)

    *also important is the ability to have enough buttons to easily adjust ISO, WB and either shutter speed or exposure compensation without diving into menus (aperture will obviously be controlled from the lens), and full manual control for video

    Based on what I've listed above as being important to me, is there one or two older model NEX bodies I should be looking at in particular or inversely that I should not be considering?
     
  2. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    As ever there are pros and cons. I have tried both the Sony NEX-5N and the Samsung NX100, 200, and 300 in addition to numerous Micro 4/3 bodies. The best thing about the APS-C bodies with adapted lenses is that you can still shoot relatively wide with them. For instance, a still compact and still affordable 24mm lens becomes 36 rather than 48mm. Focus peaking is also better implemented on Sony and Samsung compared to Olympus and allow you to choose different peaking colours.

    Downside is that the edges of an APS-C sensor are closer to the edge of the lens' image circle. It is also not the case that an APS-C camera can be assumed to have all that much better high ISO performance than a current Micro 4/3 camera, and with adapted lenses the availability of IBIS (particularly the Olympus 5-Axis) makes a big difference. With regards to controls, if you want a camera body with two dials that will give you direct access to exposure compensation you'll need to fork out for an NEX-6 at minimum with Sony. The cheapest APS-C ILC body with a good array of controls is probably the Fujifilm X-E1 right now. A used body is only worth just over $400 over here now. For that matter an X-M1 or X-A1 is probably about the same and offer twin dials AND a tilting screen.
     
  3. ean10775

    ean10775 SC Regular

    159
    Feb 25, 2013
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Eric
    Thanks Nic - As always, I appreciate your thoughtful opinion.

    I've gone down the X-Series route, intially with an XE-1 and then an X100S and did not care for the rendering of the XTrans sensor when compared to the files I get from my Canon or Olympus.

    a newer m43 body is out of the question for me for the reasons you stated regarding the adapted lenses despite the improvement m43 has made in high ISO performance since I got my E-PL1

    I see your point in going with a NEX 6 at a minimum. While I don't know that I fully require the EVF, I certainly don't mind having it, and the standard hot shoe is a nice addition. Its a bit pricier than I had been considering (about 2 times as much as I was thinking of) since I have no intention of buying into another camera system - I just want to be able to use my existing collection on MF lenses with peaking on a smaller, easier to handle platform than my 5DII.
     
  4. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    The X-A1 doesn't have an X-Trans sensor if that is what you don't like about Fujifilm.

    I'm currently using a Samsung NX300 with a few FD lenses but the lack of a second dial that can be directly assigned to exposure compensation (as opposed to button + dial) is a bit frustrating.
     
  5. ean10775

    ean10775 SC Regular

    159
    Feb 25, 2013
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Eric
    Yes, I forgot about that. Indeed the X-A1 could be an option although I don't know how crazy I am about the lack of full manual control for video.