Discussion in 'Sony E-Mount (incl. NEX, A7, A7R, A3000) Forum' started by macjim, Jun 20, 2011.
Here's a question for you, could the new Sony NEX-C3 replace a mid range DSLR such as a Nikon D90?
Hi macjim, welcome to serious compacts.
To respond to your question, for some people yes, for other people no. It all depends on the individual's wants and needs. What's your thoughts, having posed the question?
Being an avid fan and supporter of the NEX line, I recognize that there are a few things that will keep this camera from replacing a DSLR.
1- Lack of a hotshoe will keep those who use external flashes and other accessories from taking this camera seriously. I personally do not need or use them, but for some this is huge. The larger flash coming out with the NEX-3C should help out, but still rather limitiing.
2- While respectable for most cases, the NEX falls a bit short in the high speed action department.
All these things could easily be changed with the next generation. It just depends on if Sony things it important enough. Remember this camera, (as are most of the compact systems), is targeted towards those wanting a bit more out of their camera, in a compact size.
I've only been using NEX 3 for a week so I'm hardly an expert 'nexer' as yet,...however, I aquired the NEX to replace a pentax DSLR and so far I not only have no regrets but can see some huge benefits. My initial feelings are that the NEX lacks some refinement and is too complicated by uneccessary or fatuous technology such as 'smile recognition' and lacking important things like depth of field info etc.
I feel sure that mirroless cameras must replace DSLR's in the near future for all general photography, for the simple reason that they are much cheaper to make having no mirror engineering. Unfortunately, all of these are from an oriental design culture which is quite different to our own, so we will probably have to put up with lots of annoying 'fleas' on even good 'dogs'.....
The ubiquitous black plastic SLR is a throw over from the film era and testimony to the extreme conservatism of the Japanese camera industry. As such it is a default hybrid that is a poor design for purpose, so something newer is well overdue.....not everyone wants a Canon T90 anymore!
Well, my reason for asking is this: what had put me off the micro cameras that are mimicking the DSLR such as the Panasonic G3, is the tiny sensor and the electronic viewfinder. If I'm going to replace my Nikon D90 I want either an equivalent sensor size or a full frame sensor, but as it's unlikely we will see a compact like the NEX series cameras with a full frame sensor or for myself to afford a Leica M9, I'm looking at the NEX-C3 as the next best option. It's got the same size sensor as the D90 and as a result, should give the Nikon a good run. Don't get me wrong, the D90 is a good camera but I'm now wearing glasses full time, like many if my generation, and I'm finding it on the heavy side too. I've never been a fan of Sony, especially of their cameras, but this is the first that has caught my eye as a potential purchase. I find I'm using my Leica D-Lux 5 more not only because it's light and pocketable but also because it produces very nice images too. Also, I feel there's a revolution coming in the camera world. We're slowly seeing a change in the compact camera with the competition coming from the mobile phono, and the battle appears to be with the micro/compact camera with many different forms and format such as 4/3rd, micro 4/3rd and the larger sized sensor compacts. We're also seeing the convergence of the video camera and the still camera with many digital cameras now coming with HiDef video. We are coming into an interesting time and DSLR cameras are beginning to be looked over by camera users who are moving up from a compact or bridge camera, and do not want the weight and complexity that DSLR's present.
I used to have a D90 and I always thought it was a great camera, but it was too bulky for the type of photography I do. When the micro 4/3 system was first released I bought the EP1 instantly but ended up not too impressed because of high iso, dynamic range and AF speed. Since then there's been a lot of new micro 4/3 cameras released and things are getting better all the time. I've checked out the G3's review on Camera Lab and I was really impressed with the fact that it's high iso results were better than the Nikon D5100 and the Canon D60 (is it D60?). The same thing happened with AF, which is as fast as the best DSLR cameras today. There is no denying that micro 4/3 is struggling to match or even improve what today's DSLR cameras can do. Right now I'm using a NEX5 and I have to say that I really love it's sensor (amazing dynamic range, superb high iso
performance, colapsible lcd, and a very compact size). The only problem I have with the NEX system is that it's lenses are way too big and bulky and AF speed is really only moderate. With micro 4/3 you have a much wider variety of lenses and compact primes. If the GF3 used the same sensor the G3 uses I would really consider getting one. On the other hand with the huge success of the NEX cameras I really doubt that Sony will sit still. I'm guessing their NEX7 will be some incredible innovative beast. If I were you I would wait a little until all the camera manufacturers made their official announcements.
The NEX's biggest weakness is the lack of high quality native lenses. You have TONS of choices with the D90. With the NEX ... blah.
As far as IQ is concerned, notwithstanding the lack of high quality native lenses, my NEX3 can produce image qualities that are at least as good as a D90. But like someone else said, if you need a viewfinder or flash hotshoe, you are out of luck with the NEX.
Not sure if you have looked through the EVF of a Panasonic G series or not. If you have not tried it out yet, I highly recommend that you try it out. You may be pleansantly surprised at how good they are. After I started using the EVF in the Sony A55 and the Pany GH2, every time I use an OVF (even the pretty good OVF in my K-5), it's like going back to the dark ages.
The future is bright for these compact mirror less systems. Give them time. Remember this is a new segment and will only get better over time.
As to the too often used complaint of no lenses available, remember the NEX specifically has only been out for around a year. Three original lenses were offered, one new one announced and several more planned.
Again while not perfect yet, give this segment time to mature and you will see great strides.
I am just fine with my NEX and bought it specifically for the portability that it provides. The few features that it might be missing are not important to me, but that is a personal choice you must make.
"Well, my reason for asking is this: what had put me off the micro cameras that are mimicking the DSLR such as the Panasonic G3, is the tiny sensor and the electronic viewfinder."
With respect, the G3 sensor is far from tiny, and will easily match your D90. For most purposes it will perform as well as a Nex too, the latter having some advantages that are only noticeable to certain users under certain conditions.
For your key question, I think a Nex can easily replace a DSLR for many users, but only you can decide if it meets your needs.
Whether a mirrorless camera can replace a DSLR depends on what you want to use it for. I could replace a Ferrari with a Honda Civic if I only used it drive to and from work.
A lot of the initial criticisms of mirrorlerss systems were either overstated or in areas that have since been improved. For instance, the first criticism is often autofocus speed, based on the fact that the fastest focusing DSLRs are faster than the fastest focusing mirrorless. Howver, that doesn't mean that the entry to mid-level DSLRs against which mirrorless cameras compete will always focus faster. It will depend on the lens and body combination of either type of camera.
In the few weeks that I have been using the NEX I have noticed big social differences in the way the rest of the world responds to you when using the NEX as against the 'black plastic blob',...people basically ignore you as just another digicam snapper (which I suppose is what I am!) I did not realise until now how intimidated people are about DSLR users.
My local semi-pro Shakespeare group does not allow "DSLR's or pro cameras" to be used at their productions. I asked why and was told that they are "too noisey" and that the users are "too pushy and intrusive"....they don't have any probs with digicams and even encourage the audience to take snaps proivided no flash is used. They even discuss how to turn off flash before the production begins!
So far I'm not missing the pentax DSLR,...the NEX is effectively my only serious camera and seems well up to the task if a little flawed in some aspects of it's design such as no real flash synch or viewfinder etc. There are work arounds for most things and it's refreshing to NOT have to put the 'black plastic blob' across ones face to take a shot. However, I'm into the real test period now as I'm trying to put the NEX to more serious image making so I'll soon know if it was a sensble choice.
One thing about the NEX is that it does make one realise how good digital cameras could get if the stagnant design ideas of the conventional camera makers gave way to real inovation and fresh thinking.
That's very interesting. There's been quite a few horror stories in the camera press with photographers being stopped from using cameras and the DSLR does make you look like a Pro. I'll see what the reviews are like when they are available for the NEX-C3 and the NEX-5 replacement and decide on replacing my Nikon D90.
I had a look and feel of the Sony in Jessops and was reasonably impressed with it. Not too small and I could hand hold with one hand if needed, so I'm quite impressed. Nicely finished with the metal top plate and black body - the lenses are not my favourite looking lenses but that should change when third party manufacturers get moving. It's not a bad price too, selling for around £500 - £600 here. Ok, an DSLR can be got for that but…
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