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Nex Street (mall) shots

Discussion in 'Sony E-Mount (incl. NEX, A7, A7R, A3000) Forum' started by Ray Sachs, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Funny thing happened when I went to the Sony store in my local mall today to return the A33 I bought a few days ago (awesome camera, but too damn big - I knew I wouldn't use it enough to justify buying it). They had something like a 20% restocking fee on returns, but no charge on exchanges. So I figured I'd exchange it for a lower cost Nex camera and then when I returned THAT in a couple of weeks, the restocking charge would be a lot less. And I'd been curious about the Nex anyway, with all of the pros and cons floating around out there about it.

    Well, damn, I'm in love! THIS one is NOT going back. Best little street camera I've ever had in my hands (at least for MY set of wacky preferences). I took a mostly full battery back with the A33 and they let me keep it for the Nex and they took the brand new one and stuck it in the A33 return box - a win win for all involved. So I spent an hour or so walking around the mall, shooting with it. What an intuitive little camera. Nearly no exterior controls, just a control wheel with a four way, and two additional buttons that can be programmed. In aperture priority, you turn the wheel to change the aperture, one click switches the function to ISO, another switches to exposure comp. In shutter priority, the main ring controls shutter, etc. Everything I personally need at my fingertips. And I LOVE the flip up screen, even more than the one on the A33, just because this camera is small and weighted such that its really intuitive to use it like an old twin lens reflex, at the belly. NOBODY seems to notice you taking photographs with this setup - its awesome!

    Although the AF box doesn't get as small as I (and others!) would optimally like, the AF seems quite good and very quick in any sort of light at all. I shot for about an hour and I don't think I missed focus on more than a handful of shots.

    There's about a mile of snow on the ground, so I figured the mall was as close to the "street" as I was gonna get for a while. A mall is just a big set of indoor pedestrian streets anyway. And here are a few of what I came up with.

    -Ray

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/5396743622/" title="KoP (1) by ramboorider1, on Flickr">"1024" height="688" alt="KoP (1)" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/5396146223/" title="KoP (2) by ramboorider1, on Flickr">"1024" height="688" alt="KoP (2)" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/5396146405/" title="KoP (5) by ramboorider1, on Flickr">"1024" height="688" alt="KoP (5)" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/5396743784/" title="KoP (4) by ramboorider1, on Flickr">"1024" height="688" alt="KoP (4)" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/5396743912/" title="KoP (7) by ramboorider1, on Flickr">"1024" height="688" alt="KoP (7)" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/5396743894/" title="KoP (6) by ramboorider1, on Flickr">"1024" height="690" alt="KoP (6)" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/5396146309/" title="KoP (3) by ramboorider1, on Flickr">"1024" height="688" alt="KoP (3)" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/5396146125/" title="KoP by ramboorider1, on Flickr">"1024" height="691" alt="KoP" /></a>
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. summerkl

    summerkl SC Veteran

    374
    Oct 11, 2010
    Vancouver, Canada
    Kevin
    I had thought the A33 was going to supplant your DSLR and the LX5 was your street shooting camera.

    So what it's going to be LX5 or NEX :)

    BTW, nice shots, I especially like the pretzel store reflection shot.
     
  3. good choice

    While the NEX is not for everyone, I love it. It has a few quirks that will keep it from becoming a huge seller, but if these things are not an issue, you will be pleased.

    Congrats on the purchase.
     
  4. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Better you than me Ray but the images look good. I'm very surprised to hear that you like the way the menu/buttons work.
    Please write some more about it. Which one did you get and which lens?
     
  5. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    Ray, I simply love your enthusiasm! I can hear it through the page!

    P.S. The one looking into the store with the expensive handbags and shoes has lovely light and the subtle tones are quite beautiful, Ray. The other shot I like the best is your last due to its graphic nature and simplicity.
     
  6. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Great set of photos Ray. Did you shoot B&W JPG or were they some sort of conversion?

    I think you'll love it even more after you customize the dials and buttons. Makes changing settings so much easier.
     
  7. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I don't have, and never have had, a DSLR. The last SLR I had was waaaaay before anyone thought of adding the "D". The A33 was an attempt to get at something with a DSLR level of AF and MAN did it deliver. Unfortunately, as impressed as I was with the camera, I didn't like carrying it around to shoot with. I like a camera to sort of disappear when I'm shooting and that just wasn't gonna happen with that. I could see myself taking it out a few times a year to very specific events that would require a long lens and really fast reactions, but I just wasn't gonna grab a camera of that size spontaneously. And I just couldn't justify that kind of expense for so little use.

    The LX5 will have a place - I use a compact camera for lots besides street shooting. And the thing I love about it for street shooting is its incredible DOF and hyperfocal setup - makes it kind of a no brainer. And for a camera that I was sort of shooting blind with a lot of the time (from the belly or waist just going on instinct about what was gonna be in the frame), that was critical. If the Nex screen works well in bright light, it might kick the LX5 out of primary street shooting duties. If not, I'll probably use them both as appropriate. I always thought I'd like a camera with a flip up rear screen and I liked the Nex's implementation the first time I saw it. But I had no idea I'd like it THAT much. I just took to it instantly. So the LX5 will remain, but it may change jobs within "the organization"...

    If I really like the Nex for other stuff too (it does have that nice larger sensor), I might get rid of some parts of my m43 setup and just keep one body and the lenses that aren't available for Nex. Yet...

    -Ray
     
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  8. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I'm not sure I get what all the negative fuss was about, although I admit I bought into it. It took me about five minutes to get the buttons programed as I wanted. And once I got it setup, I didn't have to go back into a menu once. Shooting in aperture priority, the control wheel controls the aperture as a default. There's a button on the four way controller for exposure compensation and if you hit that, the dial controls that. And I programmed one of the two additional buttons to go to ISO, so if I hit that, the dial controls ISO. Its not more difficult to make changes on the fly than any other camera I've ever used. I suppose if you want separate buttons for instant changes to white balance and half a dozen other things too, it could be a problem. But I've never worked that way. I tend to work with no more than 3-4 paramaters on the fly, and if I have to menu dive to get to the other stuff that I use less often, I'm not too bothered by it. And its easy to set it up for the parameters I care about. The center button always defaults to the mode dial, btw, so that's always easily available. I don't think the interface was as good initially, before a couple of firmware updates, but now that they've changed it, it rocks, at least for my purposes. I gotta tell you, though, the AF area isn't as small as it gets on the GF1 or, temporarily, on the LX5, so I'm not recommending that you run right out and buy one! But the AF seems very accurate in the slightly larger box it does use and its all very QUICK. At least on a par with the Pany cams - maybe a bit faster, and well faster than the Olys.

    As far as lenses, I got the kit and the 16mm. There's supposed to be a Zeiss 24 1.7 coming out for it sometime this year (which is that same sweet spot 36mm equivalent as the Fuji, Xi, etc), a wide angle zoom next year, and a bunch of other stuff at some time. I played with the 18-200 briefly in the store and its funny looking on that tiny little camera body, but once you get used to the idea that its a two handed operation (as it would be with any lens of that length except on a compact superzoom), it handled quite well. Everything I shot today was with the kit lens. Which probably isn't a masterpiece, but doesn't suck. I just kept it mostly around 24mm (clearly marked on the barrel). I'll see how much I like this over time and may or may not add other lenses. But my initial impression is VERY positive. Just in terms of it getting out of my way while I'm shooting. I haven't done a detailed technical analysis of its IQ yet because, uhhhhh, I just don't DO that stuff! It looks fine to me. As Kevin always says, its about the quality of the images, not the image quality. Although a bit of subject isolation every now and then isn't a bad thing and that's very possible with this big sensor...

    The only thing I can imagine NOT liking, assuming the lenses are there, is the lack of any sort of evf. If the screen holds up for me in bright light, no issue. If it doesn't, then its an issue. We'll see.

    -Ray
     
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  9. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    Ray, you've got bit by the bug, too?

    Now I have a NEX and an EP1. I can't get rid of the EP1 because it's not worth much anyway, and I need some of the AF lenses it comes with. But the NEX is pretty fun, as well. Do you have the 16mm lens?

    Love your shots.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Thanks Ray for your thoughts. My daughter bought the Nex 5 with the kit and 16 mm. I am not allowed to touch it. hmmmm, she takes my cameras home with her all the time but I can't touch it.
    She upgraded the firmware as per John's advice. Now apparently, the camera really does rock as you say. I was very surprised at the IQ from the 16.... John also has the Nex 5 and he seems very happy. He's a tuff sell so if he's using it...and your using it....hmmm

    nah, I don't need this stupid looking, dumb working camera... I don't even want it....bulldinky to the Nex....!

    Wonder if I could trade the LX5 in...hmmmm....
     
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  11. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Thanks! Shot RAW, processed in Aperture, converted in Silver Efex Pro. I think I had the dial and buttons customized in about five minutes. It seemed entirely intuitive to me. Maybe my brain just works funny! :cool:

    -Ray
     
  12. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Thanks BB - yeah, it got REAL transparent REAL fast when I started using it. I just read a bit of the manual and found out how to add another couple of functions to the buttons, so I should be able to get to pretty much anything I ever use pretty much instantly. I guess the negative commentary was when the camera was brand new, before the firmware update. I can't see anything to complain about in the interface at this point.

    -Ray
     
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  13. john1027

    john1027 SC Regular

    187
    Jul 11, 2010
    Alexandria, VA
    John had the Nex 5 and had to return it due to an issue with the auto ISO setting which got stuck at 12800 all the time. My local guy was out so right now I just took a credit. I did take several hundred images and it is a fun camera. I liked the 18-55 the most, the 16 was ok, and I tried the 18-200 in the store but found that to be too big for the camera, at least for my tastes.

    Ray, I think it is a perfect addition for the style and way you shoot. I think the best in the NEX line is yet to come based on Sony's recent statements about expanding the line to include better lenses and a more "pro" style model -- supposedly sooner than later. I did try to shoot a basketball game with it hoping I could ditch my DSLR for good, but it just isn't there yet mostly due to the lenses not the processor.

    Ray there is a very long, but mostly informative forum at dpr on the NEX that has a lot of good stuff. It is not as acrimonious as some of the forums over there.
     
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  14. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Hi John,

    Yeah, the 18-200 is pretty big on that little body - looked funny but I actually thought it felt and worked ok once I accepted it was just gonna be a two handed operation. Since I already have the same range in the 14-150 on my ep2 I don't see buying it unless the Nex totally supplants my m43 gear at some point, but I'm a long way from even thinking along those lines. And, yeah, I've checked out the DRP forum - its where I got a lot of information about future bodies and lenses. I can't imagine the Nex or any other mirrorless making someone ditch a DSLR because the contrast detect AF just isn't as fast and, while its getting better and may eventually be as good in good light, I don't see how it ever matches phase detect in low light (where there's no contrast!). The few days I spent with the A33 was a revelation in that respect - if I could afford/justify/rationalize it, I'd love to have a DSLR (or DSLT) in my arsenal somewhere. But I'd haul it out so rarely (I can think of maybe half a dozen times I might have used it in the past year) that I just can't see myself going there...

    -Ray
     
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  15. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    As long as you have one in the family, you should check it out (your daughter must still owe you for SOMEthing or other!), but I'm not pushing it. You seem to have your shooting style very well nailed down and I don't know if the flip-up screen will mean as much to you as it does to me - I'm still just figuring this stuff out and open to try nearly anything. And it definitely doesn't have as many exterior controls as the GF1, so you might find something you can't get to... And here's what might be a deal-breaker - there's no way to separate the AF from the exposure. You can't lock one and then adjust the other. At least as far as I've discovered YET - maybe there's a way but nothing as obvious as an AFL/AEL button. So its all done with a half press. I guess using the MF assist you could get there, but that's quite a kludge. I'm guessing that'd be a real problem for you and I'm gonna have to see how much of an issue it becomes for me - I've always liked the ability to nail the focus point and then reframe for exposure or vice versa.

    BUT... After playing with the AF options some more, I found that it DOES have what it calls a "flexible SPOT" option that you can switch to from the generic "center" AF. And the "spot", which you can place anywhere in the frame, is a good deal smaller than the general center AF box. Maybe not quite as small as the area on the GF1 or LX5, but very very close. And Don, I hate to tell you this, but when I select that mode, the damn spot STAYS in the same size and location when I turn the camera off and back on. So, I don't know, maybe you SHOULD check it out. At least rent it from your daughter for a couple of hours (with a family discount perhaps) and see what you think...

    Or if she's really stubborn, you're welcome to check mine out sometime...

    -Ray
     
  16. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    Really??
     
  17. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    As far as I can tell so far. I'll have to ask over on the Nex forum, but I sure can't find it if its there. Maybe that's something they're planning to add to the rumored "pro" model? Or maybe I'm missing something really obvious, but I don't think so. In the lighting conditions I was shooting in yesterday, it wasn't a problem. I'll have to play with a few times in different light to see how much I miss it. I don't like it, but I'm not sure its fatal.

    -Ray
     
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  18. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    If you have not done already, update the firmware and assign those soft keys, it will make life SO much easier and better.

    Enjoy your NEX. I do kinda regret sending mine back but i much prefer the E-PL2 but i would like the NEX screen and sensor in my E-PL2....now that would be sweeeet!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. texascbx

    texascbx SC Veteran

    410
    Jul 10, 2010
    Canton Texas
    Ricky
    Hey Ray, how does the contrast auto-focus on the NEX compare to the phase detection speed of the A33. That's what I never get used to, the blazing speed of the auto focus and how it's 95% accurate whereas the old G1 was much slower and less reliable. I believe the NEX has the same sensor as the A33, just no pellicle mirror and phase detection sensors.
     
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  20. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Not even close. I think that's the ultimate thing about a DSLR or DSLT (as sony is calling their non-reflex, translucent mirror models) vs all of the mirrorless cams. The AF just isn't as fast. As I understand it (and I'm waaaay short of really knowledgeable on this), contrast detect is actually a bit more accurate because it moves back and forth in small increments both behind and in front of the point of focus and because of this iterative process, its less likely to miss precise focus. But its not even nearly as fast. And because of that, it can actually be less accurate in practice (particularly with long lenses) because we tend to move the camera just enough during the focussing process to throw it off?? As I understand it, the contrast detect systems are getting a lot better and the GH2 is said to be very nearly as fast as a DSLR. I haven't tried one to know the difference, but one guy I talked to who tried both acknowledged that the GH2 is very very good but still not really in the same league with a phase detect system. Particularly in low light, where contrast is just really hard to come by. For the few days I had the A33, I was utterly amazed by its AF speed, even in really marginal light. And maybe because of its speed, it seemed more accurate to me as well. Most folks who have used the GH2 with the longer Pany lenses (45-200 and 100-300) indicate that its a lot more accurate with those lenses than the earlier cameras, probably, again, because its quick enough that you don't move off of the focal target while its trying to get a lock??

    So, no, the Nex isn't in the same category and I doubt its in the same league as the GH2 either, although it seems quicker to me than my gf1 (not by a lot) and my ep2 (by a bit more). I think that's something you just have to accept if you're not willing to haul a DSLR type camera around with you. Evidently, I'm not. I'd love to own one ALSO, but as noted above, I can't justify it for the relatively few times per year I'd want to take it out for a specific event or occasion. Hopefully, before too long, most mirrorless systems will be as fast as the GH2 (or better, as I'm sure it'll continue to improve somewhat). I hope so because I'm getting pretty heavily invested in lenses developed for mirrorless cameras and, AF speed aside, I really prefer the size weight IQ tradeoffs of the smaller cameras.

    Again, these are the ramblings of someone who's just starting to try to understand all of this stuff. I've heard that the type of shutter used has a real impact on this as well, but I don't even begin to understand that relationship yet, so I don't really know what's possible as the technology improves. But for now, at least, you're not gonna find a contrast detect system that's as fast as a good phase detect system.

    -Ray
     
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