Sony NEX5 Impressions

Discussion in 'Sony E-Mount (incl. NEX, A7, A7R, A3000) Forum' started by Bluepig, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. Bluepig

    Bluepig New to SC S.C. Charter Member

    3
    Aug 4, 2010
    Utah
    I received my NEX5 in black w/18-55mm two weeks ago from Inkley's in Salt Lake City, and followed this up with the $99 offer for the 16mm lens.

    As a user and not a guy who derives a living from doing nothing but testing camera's, I hope to give a less stoic and critical review. To be fair and establish how I ended up with this camera, I will give a short history. I started with a Pentax SLR in HS photography back in 76/77. After many years away I started in the never-ending upgrade from 1 mp cameras, up to my most powerful Canon 5D Mark II. My most recent transition was from the Nikon D80, to the Canon 5D, then to the Mark II. I do not have a brand loyalty, but clearly spoken I prefer the Nikon body's and menus, although I believe the L-series lenses by Canon are far superior to any other. After a few years of doing weddings and freelance outdoors work, I finally fatigued from carrying two bodies, 3-4 lenses, all the support gear, and sold it all. Not willing to give photography up I spend a few months looking for an not finding the best of the portable and DSLR hybrid. When Sony announced the NEX line my ears perked up. Thank goodness I was not waiting for a newly announced Canon or it could have been six months before anyone, let alone me, got our hands on it.

    To start, I have not pounded the camera, but I have used it for several days, and took it on two short trips. I also did not purchase this thinking I was getting a smaller, equally competent 5D Mark II replacement. I was hoping for a limited subset of "best of" features.

    1. Yes, I will admit I have used (and like) the automatic function, which has been as good or better than any automated photography that I have been involved with.
    2. The auto stitching in the panorama is flawless.
    3. The HDR produces visible reproductive representations, very close to what my 50 year old eyes recognize.
    4. As a dyslexic, I am in love with the visual menuing system. Within 15 minutes I had a clear understanding of how it worked, where things were, and how to quickly access everything I regularly use.
    5. The fit and finish is what you would expect from a prosumer DSLR.
    6. The 18-55mm is quick, and seems to produce zoom over its 55mm (x1.5) rating.
    7. I have not used the 16mm as of yet. It is light and emotionally its light weight makes it feel cheap, but recognize that is a statement made in ignorance as I stated it is unused.
    8. The display is flawless, and very clear in direct sunlight. This from a guy who had lasik two week prior to buying it. The display is tight, and will take some getting used to when it comes to using it.
    9. At first it took some time to get used to having the play button on top, but now it makes since.
    10. The video is fantastic, and having had the chance to measure it against the results of my Mark II, I am hard pressed to find a flaw in comparison.
    11. Opposite of at least two reviews; I like the screw-in flash/viewfinder/other accessory. I don't have all my tools in my bag at the same time, as long as I have the tools I need when I need them.

    On the could be better for me side of the fence.

    1. I hate proprietary batteries, but carrying a second gives me between 670 - 720 exposures.
    2. Where is the 18-200mm? I wish all of the camera mfg's would release when their first series of accessories/lenses are actually available.
    3. I would like to have a slightly larger grip, but might be able to get that with the leather two piece case.
    4. The PSAM functions of the camera are limited when compared to full DSLR's, but not when contrasted against its competition.
    5. I personally think the $799 (two lens) price is high, but Nick (the sales guy) did not chase me down and threaten me if I did not buy it.
    6. Although not industry standard, it would be nice (considering cost) if Sony included the wall power unit.
    7. It would have been nice to see a five lens offering right out of the gate, but I fully expect Sony to rise to the market demand, if such a demand is present.

    My uneducated summary - This is a near flawless camera for those looking for a middle gate camera that pokes its head into the prosumer market space, does so for a competitive price, and with a feature set that no sane person would be justified in complaining over. I would easily give this camera a 9 of 10 rating, and see several other ratings that reek of elitism and separatism.

    For the “PRO” photographer who has long since established that "you cannot be an artist unless you are a full on full-frame DSLR brand zealot"; there is always a more puritanical (bigger fish) argument. You are beginners to the medium and large format digital guys, they are wannabe’s to the puritans who are die hard 35mm film folks, and they are non-sentient to the medium and large format film folks, etc. If you stick your heads into the critic space; remember where you came from, understand that not everyone knows what took you years to learn, and whenever possible – compare in class to be as fair as is possible. I.e. you would never compare the D90 to the D3X.

    Best of luck and blue skies.
     
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  2. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator Moderator

    Jul 3, 2010
    Bluepig, thank you for sharing your impressions. I moved them here to a separate thread. Having only tried the NEX5 in the camera store, I have to say that my impressions of it were far more positive than the reviews have been. I hope we can attract more NEX users to this new but growing forum.
     
  3. Bluepig

    Bluepig New to SC S.C. Charter Member

    3
    Aug 4, 2010
    Utah
    I would be happy to bring more people to the NEX platform, as I know they would be very satisfied. Plus growth in the platform means Sony will not ignore its development, and new lenses will be a byproduct.

    Randy
     
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  4. TEBnewyork

    TEBnewyork SC Rookie S.C. Charter Member

    18
    Aug 6, 2010
    There is a lot of buzz

    I had it with me the other night at a book signing (photography books) and was asked about the camera at least a dozen times. Many knew about it but just hadn't had the opportunity to see it in the flesh. They were mostly shocked at the size.

    Have fun with yours.
     
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  5. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator Moderator

    Jul 3, 2010
    They are going to sell a ton of these. I've never seen my wife pick up a camera and take to it so fast. She loved the style, feel, weight, and the lack of dials :smile:. I'm pretty impressed too. The NEX5 is very comfortable to hold and carry, quick to autofocus, and produces very nice files.
     
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  6. bigal1000

    bigal1000 SC Rookie

    19
    Sep 12, 2010
    Hi Bluepig, I just bought one my self and must agree with your comments,I think it ia great little camera and I'm very impressed with it. Can't wait for more lenses.
     
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  7. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    Lots of NEX news at Photokina :)
     
  8. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    OK, now I know a little more about why you posted this. You're a sly one. ;-)
     
  9. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
  10. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo! Subscribing Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Real Name:
    Andy
    I have been looking at the Nex3 (Don't see any benefit for me to pay the extra for things I don't need) and it really does look like a fun camera to use. I know people moan about the menu system but for me I set the camera up and leave it at that 90% of the time. The features look very cool and useful like the panosweep and HDR etc but it's the image quality that seems to let the camera down slightly. From what I have read and seen the images fall short of what I would expect from a APS-C camera. It could just be down to the 18-55mm kit lens that get's reviewed with the camera but compared to GF!, E-P1/2 E-PL1 iT does seem to fall short.

    If I were to buy one I'd get the 16mm lens and an adapter for my Carl Zeiss 50mm f1.4 T* Planar ZF lens which I'm sure would make things much better.

    SO...How good is the 16mm lens?
     
  11. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    I bought it with the 18-55 because I already have the X1 and don't see myself using such a wide angle lens very often. I must admit that I'm pleasantly surprised by the 18-55 because after all I had read, it seems to me to be not bad at all. If you look at my samples on the other thread you can see that it's soft in the bottom corners but the rest seems fine. I also bought the NEX with a view to using better glass and hope to buy a CZ planar (not sure which one yet). Meanwhile I have a Nikkor 35mm 1.8 lens that I'm going to try out. Just got an adapter but not really sure how to use it apart from manual focus. I guess you can't change the aperture so that might be a problem as not many situations require f1.8 in the general scheme of things! I chose the 5 over the three simply for the grip. I don't use video at all :)
     
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  12. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo! Subscribing Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Real Name:
    Andy
    It will be interesting to see what a 3rd party lens can do. This camera's IQ should be pretty stunning seeing as it has a APS-C sensor but from what I have seen it's mediocre with some images looking good. The NEX seems (to me anyway) falling fairly short of the Leica X1. Yes I know the X1 is twice the price but the Nex should be better.
     
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  13. Bluepig

    Bluepig New to SC S.C. Charter Member

    3
    Aug 4, 2010
    Utah
    Not directed at me I assume.

    I had no ulterior motives. Although I will admit, I did not, and often don't like the condescending "pro" reviewers take on the camera. When I started to get back into photography it was amazing how the guys behind the counter tugged at you from the two captain class photo religions (Canon and Nikon). I think both camera companies make superior products and you cannot go wrong with either option; but to have anyone tell me how one is absolutely better than the other is asinine, and without factual foundation.

    One possible trapping into one or the other would be lenses. As I previously stated, I like the Canon lenses better, but that is emotional, not scientific. Unless you measure the flaws in a lens you cannot state one is better than the other. By class, yes some lenses are better classes of lenses, but that has to do with motors, elements, groups, type of glass/elements et al. My undergraduate is a EE in Lasers and Optics, so I have a fair understanding of lens function and qualities, but that does not make me an expert.

    It is nice to see a group of people who are open-minded to the obvious NEX class possibilities.
    Thank you also for giving me a voice.
     
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  14. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    No, Bluepig, I was directing that remark at Christilou AKA Christine due to her Photokina post.:wink:

    I'm very glad you made your first detailed post and started this thread, however - and glad to see you've added your voice back in here, too!''

    P.S. If you feel like it, please post some of your NEX photos when you have the time.:thumbup:
     
  15. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
  16. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    :bump: Bringing this up for some fresh eyes - comments welcome, too.
     
  17. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    I already knew about the firmware update but have not yet implemented it myself as there was no Mac support initially and there were rather too many posts on forums regarding "fried" cameras from people trying to update! I decided to wait awhile and let it sort itself out, particularly as I've just had a new hard drive on my Mac and I'm feeling rather less confident in my laptop right now! The people who have updated are saying good things so I will have to take the plunge eventually. I'm looking forward to the Zeiss E mount lens which should be coming in 2011 sometime (need to start saving). In the meantime I'm playing with the Contax G 90mm lens and awaiting a Contax G 45mm for more fun :biggrin:
     
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  18. summerkl

    summerkl SC Veteran

    374
    Oct 11, 2010
    Vancouver, Canada
    Real Name:
    Kevin
    When I first got my NEX a few months ago, I "fried" my camera when I tried to update it to firmware to v.2. After a few minutes of stunned silence sitting with my newly created paperweight, I moved over to my son's computer and re-tried the update - success!! I'm guessing the problem had to do with Microsoft (surprise!). With the v.3 update, I went straight to my son's computer - no problems.

    If it is convenient, you might consider going to a local Sony store and see if they will update it for you. I found the UI improvement to be very useful, it didn't improve my photos but that's my fault :)
     
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