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Sony NEX-C3 and 30mm f/3.5 Macro Officially Announced

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Amin Sabet, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    As expected, the embargo has lifted, and the big sites are releasing their prepared previews of the new Sony NEX-C3 and 30mm f/3.5 macro lens:

    Sony_nexc3.
    Some points of interest about the new products which weren't clear from the extensive information leaked prior to release:

    • The NEX-C3 has a claimed greater than 20% improved battery life sompared to the NEX-5 and NEX-3
    • According to DPReview, the 16MP sensor has been re-engineered to offer "improved power consumption, with the promise of lower image noise and improved temperature characteristics as a result"
    • Also from DPReview, we learn that "the level of button customization has been increased... (the left and right buttons on the rear dial are now customizable)", which will be a welcome change to most readers of this site
    • The new E-mount (NEX mount) macro lens is the world's lightest life-size (1:1) macro lens
    • The minimum working distance for the macro lens is just 2.4cm (0.95in)
    Maybe it's just the fact that this gear was extensively leaked, but I'm not finding very much to get excited about with the announcements. The bottom line with the NEX-C3 seems to be that it offers a nice sensor revision and not much else over the prior models. Meanwhile, the macro lens is a curiosity, offering neither the working distance of a telephoto macro (like the Panasonic 45/2.8) nor the versatility of a faster normal macro (like the Pentax 35/2.8). In contrast, the upcoming Zeiss 24/1.7, 50mm f/1.8 portrait lens, and wide zoom should give NEX users something to get excited about.


    Imaging Resource has an excellent preview: http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/NEXC3/NEXC3A.HTM

    As always, 1001 Noisy Cameras has full coverage of the release: http://www.1001noisycameras.com/

    The NEX-C3 is available for pre-order at Amazon, although the listing incorrectly refers to a 12x optical zoom: Sony NEX-C3 at Amazon (Pre-Order)
     
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  2. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus SC Top Veteran

    578
    Jul 6, 2010
  3. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus SC Top Veteran

    578
    Jul 6, 2010
    I love the comment from Dpreview -
    "The NEX-C3, even more than its predecessors, underlines the company's desire to offer this blend of compact camera convenience with large sensor image quality. Despite its larger sensor, the C3 challenges the smallest Micro Four Thirds models in terms of size, with only its kit zoom limiting its compactness."
    Sony NEX-C3 Preview: 1. Introduction: Digital Photography Review

    Yup, sure is compact! (Not)

    Screen shot 2011-06-08 at 06.23.36.
     
  4. ZDP-189

    ZDP-189 Twitter: <a href="http://twitter.com/#!/ZDP189">@Z

    64
    Apr 18, 2011
    I'll be interested in seeing how this compares to the G3. They seem to be head-to-head comptitors. What are people's opinions on NEX vs M4/3 pancake primes?
     
  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    The macro lens, announced today, is not scheduled to be available until October. I guess that means the Zeiss lens that was rumored for a May or June release, isn't coming along anytime soon. Bummer, that was the native e-mount lens that I saw finally letting that camera live up to its potential. Maybe that'll be released with the Nex7, whenever that comes along?

    -Ray
     
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  6. Pelao

    Pelao SC All-Pro

    Jul 11, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Stephen
    I bet the image quality will be good. Better than G3? probably, although defining better will be interesting. Will the differences be noticeable in actual output to web or print?

    Compared to the G3?
    For me the lack of VF stands out. The clumsy flash might be an issue for some, whereas the G3's is built-in.

    Most of all, the lens selection and size. The M4/3 'system' has a wide range of good to excellent lenses which are smaller.

    This new Sony is no doubt a nice camera for a specific segment. I await the Nex 7, and some more lenses, with interest.
     
  7. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    I think this camera is going to be even more of a head to head competitor:

    5811093979_8c40fe8018_z.
    Source: http://www.43rumors.com/ft5-new-full-size-picture-of-the-gf3/

    As for pancakes, Sony only has one, and their roadmap has no plans to create more in 2011 or 2012, so if you want a "coat pocketable" camera, you've got to like 24mm (equivalent). Regarding performance, the Sony 16 is not bad at all, but it is outclassed (IMO) by both of the Panasonic pancake lenses.
     
  8. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Chunky macro lens with 3.5???? Is Sony hoping to squeeze all the $$$ they can from NEX users before it releases the lenses that enthusiasts REALLY want??? Sort of like the same approach Oly is taking with its lens lineup?
     
  9. pictor

    pictor SC All-Pro

    Jul 14, 2010
    Although I like small cameras, there is a size below which further reducing the size makes no sense at all. I dislike the current trend of making compact system cameras unreasonable small. The same holds for the trend of reducing as many manual controls as possible.
     
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  10. mmacleodbrown

    mmacleodbrown SC Regular

    197
    Oct 10, 2010
    London
    At the end of the day I think it comes down to your bottom line as a photographer.
    I like the idea of m4/3 and the NEX/NX systems, I really do
    But for me they cross lines that I am not yet ready to cross..

    No inbuilt VF, I dont care whether it is optical or electronic, a VF is a must for me. I have learnt this through my S95, great little camera, but it has made me realise how important a VF is to me - I hate composing shots using live view. Funny that, as I loved using the flip out screen on my Canon G2, but that was for difficult angles or weird shots..

    Control buttons - I want to change my settings via my fingers, not a touchscreen menu..
    Lenses - not enough and too expensive - the Leica macro is a classic case..

    Having said that, there is an attraction in a nice small compact system - Olympus, Sony and Samsung are out for me, mainly because of the viewfinder and in Samsungs case, whether the system will be around in a few years.
    Panasonic do some interesting cameras, inbuilt VF and small lenses, which do attract me and I will keep an eye out to see where they go.
    Im not interested in being able to use old glass on a m4/3 system as the (to me) negates the point of the system - small and portable..

    In the meantime, I plan on keeping my K20D and lenses and using the next couple of years to develop as a photographer, as that is my primary concern right now. Since getting my K20D early 2011, I have taken over 30,000 shots with no keepers - that says volumes over where I need to concentrate.

    In a couple of years I will either upgrade to a K5 which isn't really that much bigger than a Panny G2 or switch to m4/3 if I feel it can give me what I want..
     
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  11. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus SC Top Veteran

    578
    Jul 6, 2010
    NEX bewilders me. It apparently sells well, and I presume most people buy it with a zoom. The proportions are just so wrong.

    I tried one out with the zoom and for me it was a pain to hold, use and take pictures with. I had a NEX-5 with 16mm for about a week. Not bad handling but no viewfinder in bright sunlight and there are only so many pictures I want to take with a lens of that focal length, meant I got rid of it fairly quickly.

    And yet they sell. I think they are ugly, very user unfriendly and at lower ISO's I prefer m4/3. The 16mm I had produced CA and fringing that could almost be considered an artistic statement! Some photographers I respect use these things but I just don't get it. The NEX-C3 is a lens with a shutter button attached. I don't know why they don't get rid of the camera altogether and just build lenses with a screen! Am I missing something?
     
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  12. olli

    olli Super Moderator Emeritus

    Sep 28, 2010
    Metro Manila
    olli
    No, because you've said it yourself - you don't get it but photographers you respect clearly do. It's all down to the individual and clearly the NEX is working for a lot of people even if it isn't working for others. Whether or not it is ugly is irrelevant - the D700 is an ugly brute but having had the chance to borrow one for a week I'd be happy to have one.

    The handling is something that takes getting used to - it took me a few days to find a position that was comfortable. especially for portrait format, and a few weeks for it to become natural. For me personally I find it a very simple and easy camera to use and take pictures with.

    Right now I'm comfortable with the size of the NEX but I wouldn't want it to get any smaller and I definitely wouldn't want it to sprout a touch screen.
     
  13. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I think if I shot with the Nex mostly at eye level, I'd agree with most of what David says. But I almost never do - I shoot with it almost always at waist level. And I find the handling sublime. Lens in my left hand, screen flipped up, controls easily manipulated with right thumb - I'm in heaven. I don't find the kit zoom too large although I prefer shooting with the 16mm pancake in terms of the overall size. But anything up to the kit zoom size is ok with me. I tried the 18-200 out in the store and THAT was pretty funny - HUGE lens with a tiny little thing called a camera on the back. But anything up to kit zoom size I'm OK with. The CA and fringing on the 16 doesn't affect my B&W street shots and that's the vast majority of what I've done with this camera (although I think I left a bit of color in some shots). I don't mind bringing it up to eye level or even flipping the screen down and shooting from overhead occasionally, but for the most part, this is my twin lens reflex and I prefer it to any ACTUAL TLR I ever used.

    To me, the biggest drawback of the Nex is the lack of good lenses. The 16 is fine for what I do with it, but it won't be my "system" camera - its a purpose driven camera and I'd LOVE to have the 24mm f1.7 that Zeiss is supposed to be making for this camera.

    -Ray
     
  14. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus SC Top Veteran

    578
    Jul 6, 2010
    If you takes you a while to get used to it, how about people used to compact cameras? Does a point and shoot upgrader pick it up and go "This is everything I want in a camera" ? If a learning curve is involved, and you indicate there is, then who's buying them?
     
  15. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Now that I'm not as peeved with the release of yet another chunky slow lens, the NEX-C3 seems like a nice upgrade to the prior NEX's at least from the standpoint of button customizability and a better sensor.

    BUT and again, I'm also peeved that Sony is clearly hoping to get prior NEX owners to pay for a new camera when Sony could have just as easily provided the extra customizability to NEX3/5 owners with another firmware update.

    I guess the moral of the story for consumers is to skip at least one or two generations of a camera before buying the next one.
     
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  16. wolfie

    wolfie SC Veteran

    299
    Sep 19, 2010
    Customisable buttons - yup - all TWO of them as far as I can see!

    Probably great sensor, but when the camera body is little more than a rear lens cap then I wont be buying it ...
     
  17. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    LOL!

    Actually, you can customize the left and right directional press on the jog dial as well. And apparently, there will be two layers of customizable directional press on the jog dial, in addition to the center button on the jog dial. So in theory, there can be up to six direct access buttons. There are currently four direct access buttons in the NEX3/5 (firmware update version).
     
  18. olli

    olli Super Moderator Emeritus

    Sep 28, 2010
    Metro Manila
    olli
    I'm not sure I would describe getting used to how something handles as a learning curve - that makes it sound more challenging than it is. It's like switching cars - everything you expect is there but it's not necessarily in the 'right' place. It just takes a while for it to become second nature to you without having to think about it.

    Every camera takes a while to get used to unless your buying in the same brand and the design and layout are similar. For a P&S shooter I suspect its a lot easier to get used to the NEX than it is to get used to a DSLR especially since the NEX incorporates lots of P&S style 'features' or 'gimmicks'.

    It's also possible that I'm just slow and other people take to the NEX like the proverbial duck.
     
  19. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    It took me about ten minutes of playing with the menus to customize the buttons in a way that made sense to me. I was pretty much instantly comfortable with them, but had a couple of ideas how something might be easier, changed a couple of settings later that day, and essentially haven't touched it since. The Nex UI is the least traditional of any I've used and it seems like a lot of folks who like traditional dislike it. I like traditional layouts a lot, but I took to the Nex instantly - its like the designers threw out all the rules and started from scratch to design something that just works. And to me, it just works, easily and quickly and intuitively. Once you learn to think like any camera, it becomes second nature. The X100 took me a LOT longer to get comfortable with than the Nex, just as an example, but I love em both now.

    -Ray
     
  20. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    I didn't have any major problems with the NEX interface, but I do prefer the Panasonic interface. NEX vs Olympus interface is pretty much a wash for me.