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A NEX Christmas : thoughts of switching, but great IQ all around.

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by nianys, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    Xma is over, thank God !
    It was the first time around for my husband and I as a family to have our folks from both sides at our house, and to be honest, quite an ordeal, lol.
    I was super busy with an army of guests to feed and entertain, and had VERY little time/attention to devote to taking picture. However, after realizing my mother-in-law was snapping with her compact, and my sister-in-law was shooting the 3.5-5.6 slow zoom on the m4/3 body I bought for her a year ago, I knew I HAD to give the NEX a spin if I wanted some clean, quality memories of the event.
    For decently wide focal coverage coupled with fast aperture, I had selected my awesome PEN F 38/1.8 lens. It's one of the very finest in my manual arsenal, and I stepped it down to F2 and "snapped" away, as much as snapping is possible while manual focusing a fast prime in dim light.
    Thanks to my great habit of peaking, I was able to get little OOF shots, and quite a bit of keepers.
    However, the process reminded me of my first vacation with the NEX : while you're shooting you're mightily frutrasted and keep planning on getting another, properly autofocusing camera. Then upon transfering the captures on the computer you realize the NEX sensor is so darn good, and the DOF control is so sweet (not to mention low noise, excellent detail, etc), you know you just can't leave the format for a smaller, m4/3 chip for instance...
    Sure, if a GX-2 was released with integrated corner EVF, AND had Peaking bulit-in, that would become a very, very tempting proposition...

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    This last one is without flash. I decided to try a little different set-up for a while, maybe trying to trust a semi-automated mode (A) and see how I like auto metering and the high ISO capabilities of the body..
     
  2. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I've wondered what I would do if there was an m43 body available with IQ in the same league as the NEX. Well...there IS and it's the Olympus E-M5 and I have zero interest in having one. It's a nice camera to be sure and I am not criticizing it but I got a chance to lay with a friends and I didn't see a lot that would make me want to go back to m43 as my main system. M43's biggest strength is that it is a system with a lot of very good (some great) lenses but I have a lot of good (some great) lenses. They're 40 year old Rokkors but they're terrific none the less. I really like using legacy lenses so the m43 system has much less appeal to me than it might some folks. The new GH3 has focus peaking and presumably a new GX2 would as well but I din't know what I would gain other than fast AF. I look at the images I have created using my 40 year old glass and I feel like I haven't even begun to scratch the surface of what my current gear can do. Like Claire, I have found that once I got used to focus peaking I am able to use it and rarely need to zoom in to check focus. Like anything that is a representation of focus it takes practice but once I got it down I find it fast and very accurate. That said, I'm not sure that the combination of fast AF and focus peaking would be enough reason to switch horses. The NEX would still have the edge in shallow DOF, have slightly better sensor technology (Sony makes the E-M5 sensor so I would be surprised if they don't keep the best sensors for themselves)..also you have to deal woth the sensor crop (2x vs 1.5), if you are a native lens user it's not an issue but for someone that prefers legacy glass it can be significant. My 24/2.8 becomes a 48/2.8 instead of a 36/2.8 and Claire's Pen-F 38/1.8 becomes a 76/1.8. When I was shooting legacy glass with m43 I always found the EFL on the m43 sensor to be weird. again it won't be an issue for some but it always felt strange to me. On the NEX my legacy glass fall into some very comfortable EFL's and I find that I am really comfortable with that. If I were to move to another body I think I would prefer it to be APS-C (or FF) for me.

    I started to think about what it was I need or wanted from AF and I realized that there are tome when I like to walk around and be more spontaneous. For those times I like AF. To that end I picked up a Fuji X10 and to be honest it is filling that role quite nicely. It's small, has IQ on a par with some of my older m43 bodies like my E-P1 and GF2 and a real pleasure to shoot. I likely will end up with another m43 body as well but interestingly AF is not the MAIN reason...it's because I want to have a camera with an articulating LCD. I find that incredibly useful in some situations. Also the one area where I find the smaller sensor of m43 really helpful is long telephotos lenses. I like to do some wildlife and bird shots and my Hexanon 200/3.5 turns into a sweet 400/3.5.
     
  3. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    Kevin, as I said, the IQ on the NEX is killer, and totally keeping to look anywhere else at the moment. Yet, the autofocus nature of the system leaves me frustrated. I yearn for a camera that would offer a REAL choice, between fast and accurate AF à la GX-1, and super useful Peaking as in the NEX.
    Controls and UI also leave a bit to be desired. The 6 and 7 are probably the best models for flexibility and number of control options, but the lack of user modes ("custom settings") is getting more annoying by the day. I often want to swich flash and no-flash configuration, and that has me changing at least FOUR different options, including one menu driven, which is hair pulling. Why can't I just make two different sets of custom choices and switch at the flick of a dial ?! Grrr.. Maybe Panny should make a GX-2 with an APS-C sensor, lol. Now THAT would be something ;)
     
  4. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran

    396
    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Steve
    I shot the OM-D for about 6 months. It does everything damn near perfectly, but was unrewarding in actual use. When set up to my liking, I felt anyone could have picked it up and shot technically great shots. I have the NEX set up to my liking now, and the possibility of more cropping from the larger sensor/file, and just the general depth of the images, makes the photos better (composition aside), and it operates as a photographic tool. I feel I am making the photos with it. Here is a snapshot from this morning. Natural light, handheld, grab shot. I still want my camera to take snaps with ease, and then perform better when called upon (at work). This is a snapshot, and has a depth to it that the Oly jpgs just didn't (and I'm a HUGE Oly jpg fan!). I'm sold. My biggest concern is if I should keep both the NEX-6 AND NEX-7, and if not, which goes? Pushed right now, the NEX-6 would go.

    DSs.
     
  5. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    SHREdD, I'm all ears about the 6 vs 7 !? What do you like best in each model, vs the other ? What about peaking ?? I think it was Teefin commenting her 7 didn't peak nearly as well as the 5N (which I also had, and found identical to the 6). I sort of love having a real mode dial on the 6, but her the Tri Navi is actually even better in use, what do you think of it ?
    Finally, how is noise at 3200 in poor light between the two cams, is the 6 head and shoulders above the 7? Or not at all ? A tad ??
     
  6. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran

    396
    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Steve
    I'll have to compare the two in low light, haven't done that. I seem to use the spot meter and get a decent shutter speed before jacking up the ISO. Or I'm just taking snaps and switch to AUTO ISO. I'll need to set something up to test the high ISO specifically. As far as handling goes. I like the dial on the top of the 6, but all else I prefer the 7... so far. I've had some fun with the Apps on the 6, but wouldn't cry if they were gone. I suppose a major firmware upgrade could let the 7 accept them, but my guess is that isn't in the cards for the 7. I like the 5R, so don't anyone be offended by this... the 6 is an upgraded 5R, not a lesser 7. A lesser 7 version would be built better. A 5R might be a better companion to the 7 as the dial purposes are more similar.

    A BIG pleasant surprise has been the HVL-F20AM on the NEX-7. Great for shooting around the house and adding a little fill. Well made, just works.
     
  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    The way I have made peace with it is I see the NEX as an alternative to me getting an M8 (which I can't afford anyway). I love MF and the NEX fill that need beautifully. For AF I just look elsewhere. I just picked up a Panasonic G3 and Sigma 30 (I hear it's AF is very fast on m43) and that will fill a certain need and at current prices it was cheap. New G3 body only was $250 shipped and they barely break $200 used.
     
  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    That's funny...I played with a friend's E-M5 and I found that I felt oddly ambivalent about it. It's a great camera but I didn't find myself feeling anything approaching desire for it. To each their own. It reminded me of driving an Audi A4 (great car) and a Subaru WRX back in 2002. The Audi was refined and superbly mannered and I found it a bit dull. The Subaru was rough around the edges, the turbo was laggy in spots and the car was quirky but it was a blast to drive and I had a grin as wide as the Grand Canyon after driving it. Was the Audi a better car? Yes, undoubtedly...but I bought the Subaru and I LOVED that car and never regretted passing on the Audi.
     
  9. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    Ah ah, I hate the OM-D at first handling... but I love my A4 ;)

    Congrats on the G3, it's unsexy like an FD lens, but just as awesome to make images.
     
  10. teefin1

    teefin1 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    618
    Sep 7, 2012
    I like the G3, but found it dull. Great AF, and EVF, and articulating screen. I now have a fab A57....but hate to say....still dull! Great in so many ways but I can't wait to get another NEX. I think currently the only satisfying outcome is two camera combo (for me). A57 ( or G3, GH3, Fuji X or something) for AF and NEX for everything else good. I miss NEX. :)
     
  11. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran

    396
    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Steve
    I drive a lifted Jeep Wrangler with mud terrains, wouldn't drive much of anything less (or more), and I don't use legacy glass. Been tempted by a few lenses I've seen for sale, but nothing yet.
     
  12. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I had an old Subie wagon that I used to drive all over the back country here in WA state but I grew up in Florida and where does one go 4 wheelin' there? I left when I was a kid but as I recall Florida was really flat and swampy. FWIW I took my WRX out into the backcountry in Utah (something my Audi owning friends would NEVER do) and holy cow that was fun. If I was younger I think I would have quit my job and tried to figure out how to learn to be a rally driver.

    If you ever decided to try a legacy lens on the NEX there are a bunch us that would be more than happy to share our experiences. ;)
     
  13. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    I also had athe G3, along with the GX-1, and discovered I disliked articulated EVF's (unlike tilting ones, which I like when they are bottom hinged, like the 6's and 7's). The G3 is one of the unsexiest cams I've had. Super good, totally flavorless.
    I'm really thinking about an A37, and some cool, Minolta or Sony (or third party) AF lenses. The only problem is that, like many of us, I'm addicted to the NEX form and cool factor. I love RF shape and corner EVF's. Maybe I'm missing the smart solution and should get an LAEA2 ?! (don't laugh guys, this just hit me). Cheaper than an A37 body (or close anyway) still not quite as "bulky) as an SLT (albeit a small one), and similarly fast AFing. Hmmm, anybody using it on NEX and happy with it ??
     
  14. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I tend to agree. That's why I am keeping my NEX and my Fuji X10. The G3 and sigma will fill a niche and when I need their particular talents they'll do just fine. The NEX is home to my Rokkors and that's wherethe passion is for me.
     
  15. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I'm the opposite when it comes to the articulating LCD. If my GX1 had one I'd never have sold it. Then again I do a lot of closeup, and weird angles so it suits the kind of images I like to do. If was doing portraits or street I'd favor a flip up LCD.

    The G3 is about as exciting as the missionary position but I kind of feel that way about all the m43 offerings at the moment. None of them really do much for me so I went for utilitarian rather than passion. It'll get the job done. The rather bland Teutonic styling of the Sigma should match the G3 nicely. I think it'll be a good camera for what I want it to do. It's like owning a Toyota Corolla...that's a car you drive to work not one you get lucky in.
     
  16. teefin1

    teefin1 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    618
    Sep 7, 2012
    Ha, ha, missionary? I'm not holy enough. As for Corolla's i can't judge; vauxhall vivaro here (read 9 seated mini bus). The only thing that bugged about the a37 was that if I wanted to switch quickly from tilted LCD to EVF, the EVF got in the way, and that the screen didn't fold in to protect. (ok, that's two).
     
  17. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran

    396
    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Steve
    We go here for an easy day, but there are less accessible spots as well. We're from up north, and spoiled for off-roading, but there is enough here to still have fun.

    Hardrock Cycle Park - Cycles, ATV's, and 4X4's

    I don't care for articulated screens, and usually just forget it is even there.
     
  18. eno789

    eno789 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    720
    Jan 1, 2012
    NoCal, USA
    Brian
    I like Panasonic's fully articulated LCD on the G and GH series. The tilting one on NEX is totally useless in portrait position.
     
  19. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    Kevin, don't dismiss the missionary, lol, it's still a fav' for some of us ;)
     
  20. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    LOL...you're French you get a pass. You guys could be passionate eating yogurt.