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impression of NEX coming from m43

Discussion in 'Sony E-Mount (incl. NEX, A7, A7R, A3000) Forum' started by dixeyk, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    After about a month of using both I am finding that they are not so much competitors but complimentary systems (at least the way I use them). First off I have been very pleasantly surprised by the NEX. I came into it on a whim and after a month I sold off all but one m43 body (including my GH2 and E-P1) and all but a few primes. The NEX isn't perfect and there are several things keeping me from going all in with the NEX. That said, the NEX is doing exactly what I bought it for... being a digital back for legacy glass and doing it so well that my m43 gear has become my P&S replacement. I have a decent body in the GX1 and three nice primes (P14, PL25 and O45) and it gets used when I want AF, want to move fast and be more spontaneous. The NEX is my choice when I have the ability to take more time and when I want to have fun.

    The things keeping me from going all in with NEX are:

    1. The NEX has a convoluted menu system and the UI is awful (not too surprising since Sony has always had awful UIs)
    2. The NEX has a very small selection of native glass and what they do have (with a few notable exceptions) does not compare to the selection of m43 glass

    Now, if you are a fan of manual focusing then NEX is head an shoulders above any m43 camera I have ever used (with or without EVF). Focus peaking alone is worth hving a NEX body for. It makes using MF practical and fun. Once you get the hang of how it works you can walk along, shoot from the hip quickly and accurately and get a very high percentage of in focus shots. Also the APS-C sensor means my lenses give me some more interesting focal lengths because of the smaller crop value. My Pen-F 38/1.8 is a 57/1.8 instead of a 76 and my Konica 24/2.8 is a handy 36/2.8 on m43. Even something like the wonderful Konica 135/3.2 is a bit more more manageable 202/3.2 as opposed to a 270/3.2. Finally there is the overall IQ. Not having an OMD to to compare to I can't say if m43 has reached parity in IQ but with the m43 gear I have (GH2, GF2, E-P1) the NEX (even in JPEG) is more detailed, has much better dynamic range and in general just looks better. When you consider that my NEX is last years low end model and cost me all of $300 I think it is very impressive indeed.

    in the end it boils down to what you want out of a camera. M43 is terrific stuff and if I coud only have one set of gear I might go m43 because as a tool it has some the advantages of better lens selection, better UI and usability and in the long run I'd find it hard to not have AF as an option. The NEX stuff is a wonderful luxury that allows me to create images with my old lenses lenses that I couldn't begin to do nearly as well with m43. The NEX is definitely my favorite bit of photo gear right now and a lot of fun to use. I also think that Sony is only a few nice primes and UI face-lift away from turning a lot of folks into fans.
     
  2. Hyubie

    Hyubie SC Veteran

    360
    Jun 8, 2011
    Massachusetts
    I soon might have to post on this thread, too :smile:
     
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  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    I will say that coming from Olympus or Panasonic the UI and menu system is shockingly bad. Fortunately, the C3 that I have allows you to customize the rear soft buttons so I have ISO, WB, Exposure Compensation, Display and them MF assist on the botom and Menu at the top. I'd love to have AEL but it doesn't have it. For shooting with legacy glass I can typically get by with little or no menu diving. I only need to jump into the menus for formatting the SD card, changing the peaking color and switching to the sunny weather setting for the LCD. If I were going to pick up another NEX I'd jump over the 5n and go right for the 7 as it has a lot more customization and the EVF is built in.

    This is a cropped image using the C3 and my Pen-F 38/1.8
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dixeyk/7571702508/" title="Harley by dixeyk, on Flickr"> 7571702508_516d088984_b. "1024" height="680" alt="Harley"></a>

    The best way I have to describe the NEX is addictive. It has its shares of faults but when you start looking at the images you find yourself seduced by what it is capable of.
     
  4. flash

    flash SC Veteran

    372
    May 6, 2011
    Gordon
    I couldn't agree more. I picked up a NEX7 a few months ago and apart from the God awful menues, is just a fabulous camera. The ergonomics of the 7 are wonderful. It sits in my "largish" male hands very well for such a small camera. And the tri-nav system is simply fantastic. The files coming out of the thing are incredible. They seem to be better than either my old 5D2 or 1Ds2, which seemed hard to believe when I first compared them. But they are. Personally I also prefer 3:2 over 4:3 aspect ratio.

    The menus are foul. But Sony could go a long way to fixing them if they'd just put in a "my menu" where you could have your top 5 or 6 menu items, like Canon does. Like abaove. I only need the menus to format a card (who ever though putting the format function in the middle of the menus instead of the very end like every one else ...... aarrrrgh) and change the peaking occasionally.

    If Sony had the lens range of the m4/3 system then the OMD wouldn't look nearly as good as it does now. Sony have its equal (maybe even better) in the NEX7. There jusy isn't the system to support it.

    Gordon
     
  5. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest


    Yeah, the placement of the Format option is just plain stupid. What were they thinking? Still, despite a menu system that looks as though it were designed my chimps it is one heck of a camera. I agree, a "MyMenu" or something akin to the SCP on the Olympus cameras would go a long way to fixing it.
     
  6. norman shearer

    norman shearer SC Veteran

    Agree totally with your sentiments. If you have legacy glass and like to manual focus then the NEX system is a no-brainer. I planned to use my 5N alongside my GH2 but as soon as I saw the files of the 5N I knew my GH2 was not going to get much use so sold it soon after. I can't imagine only using the one system though - there are good and bad points to all sensors from full frame all the way down to point and shoot sensors. Maybe if there was a multi-sensor camera you would be sorted! I guess that was partially what the Ricoh GXR was all about but I didn't quite get that camera..
     
  7. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto SC Regular

    71
    Jun 12, 2012
    If I was more into using legacy glass I would have kept my NEX kit, but a good range of native lenses with AF are important to me. I ended up trading my NEX gear earlier this month for some additional m4/3 gear because I found that I would always reach for my Olympus Pen cameras or my DSLRs ... or my Fujifilm X10 if I wanted to travel light and didn't want to mess with lenses.

    That said, I captured many great images of my friends and family with my NEX camera and lenses.

    I took this one with the NEX-3 and a cheap "Fotasy" 35mm f/1.7 C-mount lens:
    DSC01281a-L.

    This one was taken with the NEX-3 and the Zeiss 24mm:
    DSC02391-L.

    An this one is a crop from the 16mm pancake of "The Colonel" (my wife's grandfather who turned 94 years old this year and served during WWII):
    DSC03049-L.
     
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  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    It's funny but my NEX was also the reason I sold my GH2 (and some folks thought I was nuts for doing so).
     
  9. Hyubie

    Hyubie SC Veteran

    360
    Jun 8, 2011
    Massachusetts
    I'm scheduled to receive the Nex C3 today. The only manual focus lens I have is a Canon FD 50 f/1.4, which I really like. I'm thinking that depending on the experience and output, I just might sell the Olympus 45mm. Don't get me wrong - the 45mm works wonders. But I found that I rarely need that focal length, so if the Nex + Canon 50mm can do the job, then why tie up that money to an infrequently-used lens. (But I'm also wary of letting go of gear :frown: )
     
  10. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    The Canon FD 50/1.4 is a sweet lens. I have a 45/1.8 as well as part of my m43 set of primes and I'm thinking the same thing. I had sold my previous 45 and re-bought one when I decided to sell off most pf my m43 gear so I could have one m43 body and a set of primes...and now I am finding that I probably should have waited as that 45 sits around a lot. Now remember that the NEX has a 1.5x crop vs 2x for m43 so that Canon 50 will be a 75/1.4 so a bit shorter than the 45/1.8. I use a Helios 44M 58/2 as my portrait lens. That gives me an 87/2. That 1.5x crop also means you get some nice useable lengths with various legacy lenses.

    Have fun. BTW, the NEX shutter is LOUD. It sounds almost exactly like the shutter on my Konica T2...it's pretty cool.
     
  11. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto SC Regular

    71
    Jun 12, 2012
    I had a love/hate relationship with the sound of the shutter on the NEX-3. Yes, it was loud and cool but that loud noise could be disruptive at times if I was just trying to cover an event without drawing attention to myself as the photographer. Also, although newer NEX cameras have the ability to adjust the shutter noise the NEX-3 and NEX-5 at least have a second curtain shutter that makes it sound almost like the camera is taking two shots when it only takes one. There were times I had my NEX-3 on burst mode and I thought I captured two images and then went back and saw I only captured one, or I thought I took four exposures but there were only two ... you get the idea.
     
  12. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    I can see where if what you wanted was stealth that shutter sound would seem insanely loud...I haven't tried to silence it on the C3...didn't even realize you could I avoid diving into the menus as much as possible. time for some exploration.
     
  13. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto SC Regular

    71
    Jun 12, 2012
    It might only be an option on the 5N and 7 ... Don't know about the C3 menu options.
     
  14. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    After having used the 45/1.8 for a few weeks I've decided that it's good enough that I'm going to make a point of using it, and I haven't been disappointed by that decision yet. It's a bit too specialised to move ahead of the PL 25/1.4 as my No. 1 lens but it will certainly keep that lens honest! I do agree however that if you don't find yourself wanting to use the 45/1.8 very often then it may be best to move it on. And of course there is the 50/1.8 lens available for your new NEX...
     
  15. Hyubie

    Hyubie SC Veteran

    360
    Jun 8, 2011
    Massachusetts
    First impression - I like the C3's body. Not much different from m43 bodies. I don't get bothered by the menu (though I haven't really dug deep yet). I have to get used to the peaking, but from the little I've tried, I think I'll really enjoy it.

    BUT...

    DANG, that shutter sure is LOUD! And double clack per shot!! Hopefully there's an option there to muffle that sound!
     
  16. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    Yes it is. We're talking Konica loud. I got used to it pretty quick because I used to shoot Konica SLRs (and kinda like it). After I got a look at the shots the loudness didn't bother me. Also play with the sunny weather setting in the LCD. It eats battery but it's pretty cool to be able to see the LCD in bright sunlight.
     
  17. Hyubie

    Hyubie SC Veteran

    360
    Jun 8, 2011
    Massachusetts
    You are right - it is addictive! Just took a few shots around the house with only a white-light lamp in the room - and thoroughly enjoyed the handling, focus peaking, and the images it produced. I'm hooked!

    I'll try the Nex C3 + Canon FD 50 tomorrow outdoors, but so far I am happy with it. Here are a few shots (all shot in RAW, processed via LR3):


    DSC00509.
    (Used LR4 Auto Exposure)


    DSC00526.


    DSC00529.
    (I believe the image above was shot wide-open.)


    DSC00516.
    (Enjoyed the focus peaking here - I made sure my daughter on the right is the one who's focused. Sorry about the unflattering background. :smile:)
     
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  18. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    ...and now your transformation is complete

    134016221789.
     
  19. Phoenix

    Phoenix SC Top Veteran

    508
    Dec 28, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Phoenix Gonzales
    hahahaha!!!!!!!!!!
     
  20. flash

    flash SC Veteran

    372
    May 6, 2011
    Gordon
    That's classic....

    Gordon