Decision Help Needed - NEX-3F, NEX-3N or NEX-6?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by tdub4, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. tdub4

    tdub4 New to TalkEmount

    Apr 27, 2013
    I had also posted this in another forum but the posting is being delayed to be reviewed by moderators. Hoping someone could provide some feedback.

    Recently I had the thought of possibly investing in a mirrorless camera for the obvious size advantages it has over my current DSLR (Nikon D90) that I use for travel. So, my intent is to use this to reduce my load while traveling but also a second camera that may be for more day-to-day shooting as well (but priority is travel).

    That being said, I like to go to the Major League ballparks on our trips and capture a wide angle view from the last row of the stadium behind home plate - currently I have the D90 with the Tokina 11-16mm WA lens for that. I have been told I might be able to accomplish this with one of these compact cameras. So my dilemma is this:

    1) NEX-3F - still available at local Best Buy with the 18-55mm lens. From there I would invest in the 16mm prime and possibly the UWA adapter to get 4mm additional.

    2) NEX-3N - this would be about a hundred more than the 3F and come with the 16-50mm lens. Then I am debating if I would still do the 16mm prime plus UWA adapter to get the extra wide angle shot of the stadium

    3) NEX-6 - this one is tough. Being a secondary camera would I benefit from this upgrade? It is significantly more than the others. I do like the EVF and I am a gadget-guy so the wifi and downloadable apps are cool - but will I use those features (I would like to think so, but it may be a novelty when it is all said and done). Plus, I would still have the decision of a 16mm WA plus UWA adapter.

    Any thoughts or feedback? I have read a lot of posts and reviews and they are all running together now and I am hoping to get some real-world point of views. I know that I can do a panoramic picture for my stadium pics (which I will do) but the WA shot is still something I would like to do to be consistent with the stadiums I have been to so far. My biggest concern is I get to the top of the stadium with my new NEX and take a picture and realize I cant get something similar to what I have already.

    Any input? Thanks in advance!
  2. Fiddler

    Fiddler TalkEmount Regular

    Mar 8, 2012
    I would definitely buy the NEX-6 if only for the viewfinder. I was out shooting yesterday in bright sunlight and even though the screen is very good, the EVF made for a much more pleasant experience. I'm a NEX-7 user, rather than a NEX-6 user, but I expect the same applies. Also, I find focusing legacy lenses easier with the EVF.
  3. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Well, if you don't have an EVF, you can live without it quite good. I use a NEX-5 for three years now and only very rarely missed an EVF - the screen is visible quite good even in bright sunlight. That said - I'm going to buy a NEX with EVF once I decide to upgrade, and if it's just for convenience.

    If it's only your secondary camera, a NEX-3N would probably be your best choice - because it's almost pocketable even with the kit zoom. I, personally, wouldn't go the 16mm + conversion route. Sure, I have and I like the 16mm lens, but purely optically it's not up on par with either the Samyang 14mm, the Zeiss 12mm (that will be available soon), the Sony 10-18mm nor with the Samyang 8mm fisheye. If any of those focal length / price-combinations seems good to you, go that route instead.

    As for the 6 - a great camera! I had one for a short period of time, and it's awesome. If you can afford to buy it instead of the 3N - do it! The bigger body handles better, it has less shutter lag (or was this just my feeling?) and it focuses a bit quicker. But be warned: Once you got your NEX-6 with you on your trips, you may no longer want to bring your D90 anywhere.
  4. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    Nex-3N doesn't add anything (at least significant) to the 3F but it don't have any kind of flash socket (you can get an adapter for ISO flash for 3F).

    Those wide angle lens adapters are not generally very good. I have Samyang 14 mm and like it a lot. I will take more photos with it in 2-3 weeks (long weekend in Mikkeli, eastern Finland and I try to find time to photograph same buildings I did during this week with Sigma 30mm/2.8). That Samyang is manual focus.

    I think that 6 has one significant feature over 3 (all models but especially 3N) and that is proper ISO compatible flash shoe.
  5. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Just my few thoughts.

    F3 versus 3N. The F3 has more features, the 3N has the 16-50mm lens. Which is more important to you?

    The 6 has even more features than the F3 and 3N, but at a much higher cost. It really depends on if you want the features enough to pay for them. Coming from a DSLR, you might appreciate the features of the 6 more than someone like myself coming up from Point and Shoots.

    Go find a store that has them and play with them. It is hard to tell how things feel, without "Trying them on."

    I personally like the 6 and 7, but can not justify the extra cost to myself, or my wife.
  6. loonsailor

    loonsailor TalkEmount Regular

    Feb 7, 2013
    Berkeley, CA, USA
    I'm not sure why you think of the Sony as a "secondary" camera. Since I bought my Nex-6, I've rarely touched my Nikon D-300. The Sony is not only smaller, but the image quality is higher. My choice was whether to upgrade the D300, which is the same generation as your D90, to a newer nikon like the D7000 or D7100, or move to the Sony. On the Nikon side, more and better lens options, faster auto-focus (but not by all that much), better strobe options. I was willing to trade that for the smaller size of the Sony, not only for travel but pretty much always. And, the Sony lenses are OK, and getting better. I mostly use the 18-200, the 10-18, and the Rokinon 8mm. I also have the $99 Sigma primes, which are great lenses for the price. And, with an adapter, you can use your Nikon lenses if you have ones that you like. As for the EVF, it's not as nice as on optical on a top-line Nikon like the D800, but I like it at least as much as the optical on the prosumers like the D90, or perhaps better. And, again, it's a tradeoff that I'm willing to make for the reduced size, weight and complexity gained by no prism or mirror and simplified shutter.

    I have the kit 16-50, of course, and it's just OK, not great, though it is a pleasure to have such a small pancake lens available. The lens itself has a lot of distortion. I always shoot raw, and now that Lightroom has a lens profile for the 16-50 it's OK. If you shoot jpg, the camera will correct the distortion for you. Even so, it's just not the sharpest lens.

    If you think of it as your new primary camera, rather than just as a travel camera, it may change your calculus about which one you buy.

    You can compare sensor ratings at DxOMark - Compare cameras side by side.
  7. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Well, that depends. Better lens options? Sure you got more. But with the Rokinon 8mm fisheye as well as the Zeiss 12mm 2.8, 24mm 1.8, 32mm 1.8 and 50mm 2.8 macro there are incredible lens offerings for NEX cameras. I don't consider Nikon lenses that much better, honestly. If you prefer zooms, well, then you'll have to wait until there will be constant aperture ones, but that's about all that's missing now. Oh, and you can adapt all Sony A-Mount lenses with full PDAF, and all Nikon lenses with MF.

    Auto-focus. Yeah, it's faster on Nikon SLR bodies. But you can occasionally run into front- and backfocusing issues, which are not there with NEX-cameras. It depends what you want to shoot, but more reliable AF may win against faster AF.

    Better strobe options. I don't know the Nikon strobes, but aren't the Sony strobes (HVL-F20M, HVL-F43AM and HVL-F60M) excellent flashes too? At least that's what I heard.

    But I agree to most other things you said - NEX-cameras are totally awesome primary cameras!
  8. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    I am switching from a Canon DSLR to F3. Got used F3 with 18-55 kit as a travel backup but ended up using it as my main camera and putting my Canon gear up for sale.

    It all depends on what you shoot.

    For fast action shots, you may want to stick with DSLR, no only phase detect AF is faster than contrast detect AF, but there's also a large selection of stabilized DSLR tele lenses with fast AF. Nex 6 has phase detect AF but the choice of tele lenses is small - there's SEL55-210 which from what I read has slow AF, there's a couple of pricey super zooms that I know little about, nothing in 300mm or higher in E mount, and you can use adapted lenses but no AF and no stabilization.

    For portraits and 'scapes Nex wins, which is why I am jumping the ship. The low light performance with right lens is better than my T3i. There's a few very good, sharp, inexpensive primes, look in my signature - the 50 1/8 costs less than the great Canon 85 1/8, is about as good optically, and is stabilized. The Sigmas are now on clearance for $200 for two, an absolute steal.

    The situation with flashes is not clear to me yet, so no comments here. The built in flash on NEX is somewhat weak but can be bounced, unlike DSLR, so it's pretty good for close range portraits.

    Between F3 and 6, it's a tough choice if money is an option. IQ wise they are supposed to be nearly the same, 6 has ISO100 and F3 starts with 200 but in real life this probably means very little. After customizing the few available buttons on F3 I don't feel handicapped by lack of controls at all, so this is not an issue to me. Having phase detect AF could make a difference in faster paced shooting, and in challenging light, but it could also introduce the front / back focusing issues that don't seem to be present with contrast detect. I'd say to me the biggest advantage of 6 is the EVF, and mainly because it makes it easier to prevent camera shake by bracing the viewfinder against your face. This could help if using heavy non stabilized legacy glass.

    So if you have some extra cash go with 6, it seems a nicer body - but same IQ.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
  9. Rich

    Rich TalkEmount Veteran

    Nov 20, 2012
    Salisbury UK
    Tough choice. My money would be on either the 5N or the 6. I have both, can't fault either. If you can live without EVF, go for the 5N, it can be bought for a very good price.
  10. LightCentric

    LightCentric TalkEmount Regular

    Mar 17, 2013
    Saginaw, MI
    Andy Richards
    I owned a D700 and D800. I recently traded the D700 in for the NEX6 with the 16-50 zoom. I use PS and shoot only raw, so the lense calibration in PS works well. I am now thinking of my NEX as the primary "go to" camera, and the D800 with "pro" zooms as more of a dedicated camera set. The NEX is always with me and gets used. The IQ is at least as good as the Nikon D7000 as far as the sensor is concerned and maybe even better in high ISO ranges.

    I am a viewfinder kind of guy and really don't like shooting with the LCD. I find the Sony EVF pretty impressive. For an SLR user that is converting to mirrorless for the first time, I think the 6 has some advantages, but at a cost.
  11. Peter Chin

    Peter Chin TalkEmount Regular

    Jan 20, 2013
    Toronto, ON Canada
    Peter Chin is my real name.
    Sell your D90 and get the NEX6.

    I had originally gotten the F3 and was going to add the EVF but then the NEX6 came out and prices dropped a bit so I got that instead. I wanted a view finder because I don't like people behind me seeing what i'm shooting....especially when it's "upskirts" *joking okay* :p

    If it's strictly general travel you shoot the NEX? is perfect.
    For your stadium shooting you can use this | Rokinon 8mm f/2.8 UMC Fisheye Lens for Sony E-mount (NEX) - 8mm f/2.8 Fisheye or just shoot multiple frames for a panorama.
  12. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder TalkEmount Veteran

    Feb 7, 2012
    In addition to the pancake zoom, the 3N is much smaller. Having said that. I've decided the 3N isn't the camera for me. I'm keeping an eye out for either my dream NEX 7 which has started moving down in price or a $200 F3 on clearance. It was down to $270 at Target last week. I hope it keeps moving down before they run out.
  13. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    I paid $275 for a used F3 with a kit lens a month ago, so $270 for new is a steal.

    To me, 3N is squarely targeted to P&S shooters, F3 is a good solid camera that appeals to both sides, and 6 is more DSLR like. If Sony's EVF wasn't so damn overpriced I'd buy it for my F3 and call it a day, there's really nothing else on 6 that I miss.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2