Some rambling thoughts in trying to compare NEX to EP1

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by wt21, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    I purchased a NEX5 two weeks ago, but returned it quickly. Didn't like the Ergos. Got a used NEX3 a few days ago. Much better (for me. YMMV)!

    But I'm comparing it to my EP-1. Very frustrating. I wish there was a clear winner, but there's not!

    In some situations (actually in most, but not all!) the NEX seems sharper, in others the Oly shows better AWB and color rendition. The Oly pics all tend to be a bit "flatter" than the NEX, but it's quickly adjusted in pp (I'm shooting only RAW).

    The noise on the Oly is higher at the same ISO reading, but the Oly's metering seems off by 1/2 to a full stop. So, in one place where the Oly went to 1250 ISO and 1/100 second, the Sony shot at 1/50 second, 800 ISO. If I shot the Oly at 1/50, then it could have been at ISO 1/640, and the noise would have been similar. But the Oly ALSO has IBIS, so if I was shooting at, say, 1/30 second, that would really favor the Oly (shooting a Takumar 50mm 1.4 on both bodies).

    Then, you add in the features and lenses, and it makes it harder.

    Oly -- IBIS(!), 14-150, 9-18, 20/1.7. Oh, and a hot shoe (of all things!)
    NEX -- 16mm (a pretty fun lens, and doesn't deserve it's terrible rap, but at $450 for body + 16mm, that's a good deal!), Sweep Pano (VERY fun), and a bit shallower DOF.

    Side note -- the menus/controls on the NEX are not bad at all. Just took a day of training. I updated to FW 3, so it's nice to have those programmable buttons. Having the shoot mode dial in a menu, is actually a great place for it! It's rare that I switch from say, A mode to P mode. Other makers should do that, and use the dials for other things (EV, ss, Ap, etc.)

    I find the movie modes of these two cameras very similar, though the Oly offers sw-based IS which can help, and they both have stereo mics, and neither has an EVF, though I do have the OVF for the Oly, which is fun.

    One cool thing on the NEX3 -- when shooting legacy glass, the off-center mount and the fact that it has a grip actually makes the lenses more natural to hold/operate. I've been trying a Takumar 135mm, and it's much nicer on the NEX over the Oly. But did I mention the 9-18 and 20/1.7 and the 14-150???

    Another advantage of the NEX (though a minor one). The mount is so low, that if you set it one a flat surface (say, for a self-portrait when travelling), it actually aims at you. The Oly (if the lens is big) tends to rock forward and want to point at the ground.

    I want to sell one to rebuy a 5D (I REALLY miss my full frame camera). Maybe I'll keep the Oly, because the Oly travel kit is so small, and is a nice counter-point to the 5D, but I don't see the choice between these two cameras as cut-and-dry as others on other forums have made it out to be.

    Oh! I forgot -- the MF implementation on the NEX -- SWEEEET! Makes me really irritated with the EP1 now. Maybe I should try an EPL1 (but I don't like the styling of the EPL1). Does the weaker AA filter of the EPL1 do it any justice with legacy lenses over the EP1?

    I want to start getting into Leica/Voigtlander glass next.

    Oh man. Decisions, decisions...

    Can I have these cameras merged into one?
  2. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    It's definitely not an easy decision. Thanks for sharing your thought process!
  3. summerkl

    summerkl SC Veteran

    Oct 11, 2010
    Vancouver, Canada
    Real Name:
    I understand your pain:)

    For a while thought about rebuying a m43 with an ultra wide lens then I could have the best of both. But then I wanted an iPad, silver efex sw, etc., so I have deferred that thought.
  4. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Real Name:
    I think you just have to accept the cameras for what they are and just use the one you think will be best for that days shooting. Every camera is different and there is not one camera that is perfect but you just have to use what you have to the best of your ability. And have fun!!!!
  5. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    For me, once I got the NEX I never looked back. The EP2 was heavy and not easy to hold in my hand. The NEX fits my hand like a glove. I love the DR and the screen makes it easy to focus manual lenses. I had been disappointed on a number of occasions with the shadow noise ,even on a bright English day, on the EP2's files. The menu on the NEX is a very simple to use and now there is a firmware fix it's even better. I'm happy with my choice (this comes from a hugely indecisive person at the best of times) :biggrin: