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A3000 vs NEX for Minolta Manual Focus

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by mingus2112, Jun 16, 2014.

  1. mingus2112

    mingus2112 TalkEmount Regular

    142
    Jun 16, 2014
    First post! I just registered here after seeing Hawkman's picture below. I've been searching for opinions on the a3000 vs other NEX cameras for use SOLELY for adapted lenses. I've got a fairly large Minolta SR mount collection and just picked up a NEX 3N (last week) to use them on. Needless to say, I am hooked. I only have two issues so far with the 3N. 1) It's tiny - So small that the larger lenses (made larger by the adapter) are really unbalanced and 2) I really NEED a viewfinder. Price IS an object, so I was looking at the used market. Originally, I was looking at the NEX 6 vs the Fuji X-E1 but wanted to throw the a3000 in the mix. Snapsort shows them similarly spec'ed with the 6 edging out a little bit because of the screen, light sensitively, shutter response time, etc. as well as being a whole year newer. The a3000 edges out with, well, the PRICE. Looks like I can find one used for not much more than $200 - which is HIGHLY appealing. The other thing with the A3000 is the size. It's bigger - which I like - but is it TOO big? I keep jumping back to the Fuji X-E1 on this as it's similarly sized (and looks!) to a Minolta SR-T. Both the NEX 6 and the Fuji are twice the price (used) of the A3000.

    So anyone use the a3000 for adapted lenses as well as a NEX 6? How is the sensor and/or image rendering compared to the NEX? I can always use something like lightroom, but would love nice sharp (assuming I focus properly) JPEGs out of the camera!

    -James

     
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  2. Damovich

    Damovich TalkEmount Regular

    25
    Jun 6, 2014
    Moving from a NEX-3 to the A3000 was a good step in terms of ergonomics and usability. Though it has to be said the fact the A3000 has a viewfinder doesnt make it more usable right away as there are a few things to consider. The viewfinder is pretty much lowres and doesnt come with a viewfinder (rubber) eyepiece. I myself really dont care about those minors as the resolution is enough for me to determine sharpness and composition plus the fact I enhanced it with a homemade eyepiece which works great.

    On the plus-side of things the camera+lens balance is everything the small NEX isnt while the image quality is great, much better in comparison to the NEX-3, which is an older model after all.

    If you can live with the lowres viewfinder and make yourself an eyepiece it will be a vast improvement on the small NEX body.
     
  3. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Don't forget though that the focus peaking is calculated by the video signal which also is used for the screen. In other words, the focus peaking on the A3000 will be three times less precise than on most NEX-bodies or the A5000 and A6000 with their 960k dot screens.

    Also, the ergonomics of the higher end NEX bodies like the NEX-7 or A6000 aren't bad at all.
     
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  4. mingus2112

    mingus2112 TalkEmount Regular

    142
    Jun 16, 2014
    That's a point that I hadn't considered - and why I'm inquiring! The focus peaking is a great feature, but I still haven't gotten the hang of composing and focusing without the camera to my face! I'm not ready to spend the $$$ on a NEX-7 or A6000, but the NEX 6 could be within my budget (used) if i'm patient. The main thing I struggle with on the LCD (besides ergonomics) is focusing on things without fine detail. It's tough to pickup the focus peaking on faces at times - which is where I'd want the image more "in-my-face" like in the EVH. Is the NEX 6 EVH better in that department?

    -J
     
  5. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    The NEX-6 has an EVF similar to the NEX-7's EVF, so yep, it's awesome.
     
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  6. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    If price is your big concern, then ya, the A3000 is a great way to break into the market.
     
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  7. mingus2112

    mingus2112 TalkEmount Regular

    142
    Jun 16, 2014
    It is, but i've already broken in with the 3N. It sounds like I should (and can) hold out until I can afford the 6 as an option. I've got the 3N to tide me over and go through all my lenses. I want to weed my lenses down a bit and having a digital body for instant comparison will help me do that!
     
  8. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    I probably should just sit quiet, cause my impression on the A3000 raised some arguments in the past in a different thread, but I can not :D

    Steve aka "Hawkman" would be pissed with me but here goes anyway :p

    All very good points by Poki and since you mentioned the balance/handling I'll mention this: the grip on the A3000 might be good (better than the Nex perhaps) but the camera feels hollow as a whole. It (feels) very lightweight to the point that when I tried it with some of my heavy Minolta MD lenses on it didn't balance well at all and is nose-heavy when mounted with heavy lenses...

    Besides the above, I also didn't like:
    - the low res LCD
    - the non tilt, rotating LCD
    - the low res EVF
    - the non auto LCD/EVF switch
     
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  9. mingus2112

    mingus2112 TalkEmount Regular

    142
    Jun 16, 2014
    Please don't. If I wanted to just beef up reasons for getting the A3000, i'd read a bunch of non-discussion reviews. I signed up here and asked the question partly because of his post, but mostly because it seems like you guys have experience with a lot of different E-Mount cameras and legacy lenses.

    I don't know Steve, and I know i'm new here, but I doubt that will be the case! ;)

    And another strike. Like I said, i've got my gateway drug - the 3N - that I can play with until I can afford what I want. Our main camera is a Canon DSLR and that, along with the 3N/Kit Lens, is most likely the only camera that will also get used by my wife. She's not going to mess around with a bag full of manual focus primes. That fact alone relegates this to my "toy camera" (although I'm seeing that my quality Minolta lenses are getting better shots than our Canon) which means I'll never be able to buy a NEX 6 or 7 "new." Used is another story and i'll keep my eyes open!
    All valid points and adds to my main problem with the 3N - The LCD. If i'm having trouble focusing on that, I probably would have similar trouble on the A3000. Maybe Hawkman has some wisdom to add here?

    -James
     
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  10. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    940
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    James, I'm honored to have "inspired" your interest in the A3000 as a potential body for adapted lenses. And I do, personally, think that it is very well suited for that particular task. But, in light of some points made by others here, my own experience and understanding of what a restricted budget can mean, and your thoughts so far regarding your already having the 3N, I'd suggest that you do as you seem to be leaning towards and simply skip the A3000, instead saving up for an A6000, or some other new Sony E-mount body in the near future. You could also put the savings towards more lenses. ;)

    I chose the A3000 some nine months ago over the NEX-3N for precisely the reasons you initially noted, the larger size and bigger grip. At the time, upon a test of the two against each other in a now-defunct Sony Store near me, I found that the screen and the focus peaking on the A3000 were not much different from that of the 3N. And so I felt that the trade-off for the more comfortable grip was worth it to me. The addition of the EVF also made the lack of a pivotable LCD palatable. If I wanted to adapt legacy lenses, and I knew I did, I figured the A3000 was the best choice for me. While the NEX-6 clearly blew both away in all respects (except maybe the comfort of the grip), it was much more expensive at the time. Remember, while the A3000's screen (and also EVF) are only 230K, half that of the 3N, the screen of the 3N (and the current A5000) at 460K dots is half that of the NEX-6, NEX-7 and A6000. So, while the A3000's screen, and thus also its focus peaking display, looks much worse than the 6, 7, and A6000, it is not in actual use too much worse than the 3N and A5000.

    But again, since you already have the 3N, I would say stick with that for now, save up your money, and just hold the camera with two hands, one on and under the lens, and one on the grip. I hear that's the way most "pros" do it anyhow. ;)

    And I too am trying (and so far failing) to save up for the eventual upgrade to an A6000 or other new higher-end E-mount body (in my dreams it's be an A7).


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  11. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    940
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    Nick, I'm not pissed at all. Indeed, I'm a little ashamed that I've apparently picked up a rep as an A3000 "defender". ;)

    I certainly understand your thoughts on the A3000, and don't entirely disagree with all of them.

    I do, however, think that while it is certainly light and "hollow" for its size, it is still fairly solid and sturdy. I've had no problems handling it with heavy metal legacy lenses, including a couple of 70-210 range big off-brand zooms (the Albinar and TOU/FiveStar). Granted, you can't really wield it one-handed with those, but then I'm not sure any body would really permit that... unless you have Popeye arms. ;)

    I'd simply say that, as with so many things, the choice of a camera is "different strokes for different folks."

    EDIT: Changed "fan-boy" to defender; apparently you can't say "fan-boy" without the dash. Sorry.

    Sent from TalkEmount app on iPad
     
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  12. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    940
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    I'm curious, how did you make your homemade eyepiece? I'd like to "enhance" my A3000's viewfinder as well in order to make it a little more... ergonomic.



    Sent from TalkEmount app on iPad
     
  13. Damovich

    Damovich TalkEmount Regular

    25
    Jun 6, 2014
    I beg to differ as that not at all equals my experience with the A3000, and I allready mounted some pretty heavy lenses on it. I have used DSLR's for quite a few years and the grip and feel of the A3000 comes very close to that of DSLR's and the camera certainly doesnt feels like a hollow piece of kit to me. Its obvious Sony did strip it down totally compared to the A6000 though that does not concern its ergonomics or counter-balance when using long and/or heavy lenses.
     
  14. Damovich

    Damovich TalkEmount Regular

    25
    Jun 6, 2014
    I had an old rubber hood (think it to be 58mm but am not sure as there were no markings on it) laying around which I cut loose from the filter-ring and with some fiddling it fitted the viewfinder perfectly.
     
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  15. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    The biggest thing to do is try it out for yourself.

    The 3000 has some great attributes, and probably has some appeal for certain memebers, just not me.
     
  16. mingus2112

    mingus2112 TalkEmount Regular

    142
    Jun 16, 2014
    Thanks for the insight, Steve. Your picture was the first one I saw that really sold me on any of it. Someone on the Minolta Collectors facebook group (which I've not been posting to as much since it hit me that all of that was going into my friends' news feed. Not that any of it was private or anything - it just seemed annoying!) posted a picture of the 3N next to an X-700. You could see how much smaller it was. I'd love to see some people post their NEX 6 or 7 next to various minolta manual focus bodies! (hint, hint!) I'm much more used to using my Minolta XE-7, but am just as comfortable with the XD-11 and X-700. The ergonomics factor seems to be split between the two camps. Sure, the A3000 is BIGGER, but those older Minoltas had no grips. In fact, I think my 3N has a bigger grip than the nub on my X-700!

    That's exactly how I hold it - i'm far from a pro, though. That's just how you have to operate with those old heavy cameras with aperture rings and manual focus! I just have a hard time composing the shot on the screen and not holding it up to my face!

    Well the next step, I think, will be the NEX 6. Used, of course! It's not much of a savings if I sell the 3N afterwards a well as some lenses. I've got a plethora of lenses (I counted 16 Minolta brand and almost as many third party - all for the SR (MC/MD) mount. That's more than i'll ever need and certainly more than i'll ever use. I put the Soligor 300mm on the NEX 3N the other night and my wife had a good laugh! Some of my Minoltas are redundant - I have three DIFFERENT variations of the 135mm, for example. Not that they don't all react different - they do. I just don't think i'd ever carry around 3 different 135mm lenses on the off chance i'll need slightly different bokeh!

    -James

    -James
     
  17. chrid

    chrid Super Noob

    807
    May 5, 2014
    australia
    Chris
    I cant speak for the a3000, but the nex-6 is a great camera although superseded by the a6000. have seen it as low as $430 au brand new body only, should see second hand prices come down to earth soon.
     
  18. mingus2112

    mingus2112 TalkEmount Regular

    142
    Jun 16, 2014
    Just an update:

    I'm definitely going to be trading up from the 3N. The "experiment" was a success and i've been LOVING being able to use my Minolta lenses. It's just down to whether I want to trade up to the NEX 6 or the NEX 7. Most comparison's I see online point to features that I wouldn't be using 90% of the time since i'd be using MF lenses. Anyone have an opinion on the 6 over the 7 or vice versa for use with MF lenses 90% of the time? I'll probably end up using the kit 16-50 lens from time to time as well.

    -James
     
  19. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    I like my Nex-7 quite a bit. Tri-navi is pretty good with native lenses too but extremely useful with native lenses. I like the ergonomics too and I think that Nex 7 is very well constructed.

    I think that it mainly boils to price. I paid 450 € for my Nex 7 so it was obvious choice. Out of Nex 6 and A6000 I would have taken A6000 as it has wired remote possibility.
     
  20. rdfisch

    rdfisch TalkEmount Regular

    181
    Nov 13, 2013
    Northern NJ
    Rick
    If I were in your shoes I'd try to find a deal on the 7. I went from the 6 to the a6000 for a variety of reasons including the faster focus as I do use native lenses quite a bit. But I would love to have the TriNavi of the 7 and was even thinking of getting one just for use w/ my legacy lenses. I really don't want to have to remember which camera I'm using to change a setting so I've decided against that strategy for now.