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Considering Joining the NEX world

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by Zipzap, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Zipzap

    Zipzap New to TalkEmount

    5
    Dec 9, 2012
    Hey all, I'm new here. I'm a long-time Canon shooter and thinking about joining the NEX world. One reason why I'm considering making the switch is that I have a Canon T2i DSLR and a Canon XA10 camcorder, and want to simplify things - that is, have one camera that does it all - stills, high quality video, and is compact to be used as a travel camera.

    While I love the T2i, I find shooting video with it is a pain because it lacks continuous AF - and my fifty year-old eyes aren't good enough to do a good job with manual focus anymore. Besides, the optical viewfinders of most DSLR's are, in my opinion, basically useless for manual focusing without the ground glass screen that used to be found in 35mm SLR film cameras. The XA-10 is a great video camera, but like a lot of camcorders, it doesn't do a really good job of taking stills - it wasn't designed to, anyway. Since I plan to do some travelling next year, I want to capture stills and video of my trip, and I don't want to be carrying two cameras plus two DSLR lenses around to do all that. The NEX series of cameras look like they might be just the ticket for what I want to do.

    I had considered getting a Canon EOS-M mirrorless camera so I could keep my existing inventory of Canon-mount lenses, but decided against it because of numerous reports of slow AF performance, lack of an eye-level EVF, and price. The good news is that with an adapter, I can use my lenses with any NEX-5, NEX-6, or NEX-7 body. I also thought about getting a T4i SLR, but it suffers from slow focus just like the EOS-M does and has a few other issues.

    To someone who has owned Canon cameras since his high school days, the EOS-M entry into the mirrorless camera world comes as a huge disappointment. Rumours are circulating that Canon might be introducing a firmware update by Christmas to fix the slow AF, and maybe an updated EOS-M with an EVF, but I find this to be too little, too late. It's almost like Canon wants to protect its DSLR and camcorder market at any cost, even at the price of marketing a half-assed MILC. More to the point, I've always felt that Canon cameras offered solid performance and value, so the EOS-M also seems like a bit of a shocker.

    Finally, the more I read about mirrorless cameras in general, the more convinced I am that they are the future of photography. The optical viewfinders found in DSLRs now seem like a superfluous hangover from the days of 35mm film cameras.

    I have had a chance to play with a NEX-5, but I think I would like a camera with more physical controls and an eye-level EVF (and I found the 5's body to be a little on the small side), so the NEX-7 looks like it might be a better fit.

    So, it's off to my local camera shop next week to take a NEX-7 for a test drive.

    And if I take the plunge, and get a NEX-7, the only thing left to decide then is what to do with my existing T2i body and the XA-10. Wish me luck. :)
     
  2. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    The AF on the NEX can best be described as leisurely. It's useable but I would make sure you take a good look at it when you test out the NEX 7 (lovely camera BTW). That said, when using MF lenses the NEX is a really sweet camera. I am using my Minolta Rokkor and Konica Hexanons and I haven't had this much fun in ages. Focus peaking really works very well. You might have a look at the NEX 6 (same built in EVF) as well and see what you think of the new control setup. Good luck.
     
  3. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    "Leisurely", that's an apt description of NEX autofocus. ;)

    Kevin has pretty much nailed the state of things. The only thing I would add is if you plan to use UWA lenses you might check out the NEX 6 as it is less prone to color shift/vignette than the NEX 7 is.

    Oh, welcome to the forum!
     
  4. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    My previous camera was a T2i. It's still useful for some things, like a backup for my N7! :D

    I kid - but in a nutshell, I'd say the old Canon has got more saturated colors, much less dynamic range and much, much faster AF. If the latter were a big priority I'd surely stick with DSLRs, but it's not, and I couldn't be happier with mirrorless!
     
  5. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Oh yeah, forgot to say...WELCOME!!!
     
  6. Zipzap

    Zipzap New to TalkEmount

    5
    Dec 9, 2012
    I agree with you on the saturation. Samples of photos I have seen that were taken with the NEX-7 are definitely less saturated than the Canon T2i. But then again, if you look at the output that comes from most of Sony's camcorders, you'll see similarly neutral tones. The T2i definitely has less dynamic range. That's why I always shoot in RAW format and punch up the colours when processing the images.
     
  7. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
    My sentiments exactly, which is why I'm here. I 'was' a Canon fan since the day I bought my first AE-1 Program and then A-1 (remember those?) :)
    I had a 500D DLSR for a little while, and was going to buy the next one up for last Christmas, but changed my mind at the last minute and got a NEX instead.

    Same here...

    Jump right in, the water's fine! :)
    I've got fifty+ year old eyes too, with astigmatism and need +1.75 diopters to see up close. You know what, with NEX focus peaking I don't even bother wearing my glasses. Although I can hardly read the numerics on my 5N LCD screen without my glasses, I can't remember the last time I've misfocused. Every time I open to view my photos in my computer, the accuracy of focus-peaking never ceases to amaze me.

    Welcome to the forum!
     
  8. applemint

    applemint TalkEmount Veteran

    245
    Sep 20, 2012
    Welcome - as others have said fast AF is not really something I would associate with the Nex cameras. If fast AF and video are both priorities but you want to go mirrorless, then something like the Panasonic G5 or GH2 (micro four thirds cameras) may be worth considering? If however you are happy to use legacy lenses and manual focusing then I don't think you can do any better than a Nex.

    I agree with you about the EOS-M - expected something more impressive from Canon - after all as a late entrant to mirrorless they had plenty of time to see what others had offered and improve on it - instead they brought out something which is like the earlier Nex models (3 and 5) from 2 years ago but at close to the price of a current model Nex 6 (which has a hotshoe, evf, etc).
     
  9. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    Welcome on board :)

    I have a NEX 6 that I warmly recommend, it's an awesome camera with lots of added controls over the other NEX models, an integrated EVF for when you need one, and a very useful tiltable built-in flash (plus a standard hotshoe when you want external flash). Great unit, really.
    AF is bad on the NEX, but it still looks way better that of the M, from the various videos I've seen. It'll still be much slower than that of your Rebel, but as the others have stated, it remains usable at least in good light, and Focus Peaking is absolutely brilliant.
    I'm not much of a video shooter myself, but every time I fancy to press the video button on my NEX I'm immediately amazed at the smoothness of the resulting film.
     
  10. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    I was browsing very intently for a full-frame DSLR when I stumbled across some blog or article somewhere about these mirrorless cameras being the way of the future. I wish I could remember exactly where that was, because it turned out to be the most helpful opinion I've ever read! :)

    I did some tinkering in Lightroom last night with similar RAW captures from my T2i and NEX-7. The NEX is more neutral by default but I can replicate the neutrality and the saturation with either camera fairly easily just by selecting different color profiles.
     
  11. Zipzap

    Zipzap New to TalkEmount

    5
    Dec 9, 2012
    Do I remember the AE-1 and the A-1? Hell, yes. I aspired to own an A-1, but I had to settle for something much more realistic - a match-needle, totally manual AT-1, which was the poor cousin to the AE-1, the A-1 and the AV-1 which arrived not long after the A-1 was released, if memory serves.


    'Changed my mind at the last minute' - sounds like me, LOL. Today I was surfing the web, looking at full-size DSLRs with continuous AF, and Sony's new A57 looks like a good bet if I don't go all-in on the NEX system. Mind you, I did buy an 'open-box' NEX-5N at my local Best Buy a couple of days ago - but I'm not sure I'm going to keep it, because I wanted the Wi-Fi capabilities the 5R and the NEX-6 have, and bought the 5N by mistake. I took it to work yesterday and had a chance to take a few quick snaps while on my break, and I have to say I really like the way the NEX-5 handles. For some reason, the small size of the camera and its light weight makes me think of the compact 35mm rangefinder cameras of yore.

    Astigmatism here too, and I need a -2.75 diopter! In other words, I'm friggin' blind! :eek: But I have to confess that I too find I can focus fairly well with the NEX-5 EVF and without using my glasses. The only issue I noticed from trying out a NEX-7 at a local camera shop is that I couldn't easily see the entire frame of the eye-level viewfinder with my glasses on. It's too bad cameras don't come with an astigmatism adjustment in addition to the diopter adjustment, LOL.

    Now, I did find that manual focus on the NEX-6 using the focus assist feature worked really well, and I find the prospect of being able to use manual focus legacy lenses both intriguing and appealing. But that's no surprise considering the era I came from - there's a part of me that misses the simplicity 70s and 80s era SLR film cameras had. Cock the shutter. Focus. Adjust aperture or shutter speed. Compose the shot. Push the shutter button home. Push the film advance lever with my thumb to prepare for the next shot.