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Here's a thought

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by dixeyk, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    What if I said I thought the NEX was actually created by folks that really thought about what a camera SHOULD be like in the digital age? I know no one will agree with me but hear me out. I read a lot about how Fuji's seem like they were designed by REAL photographers and how great the E-M5 is as it recalls the glory days of the Olympus OM1 and to be sure those are terrific cameras and I am not criticizing them in any way but to me the NEX is a bit different.

    The NEX strikes me an a re-interpretation of what a camera can and should do. Now we argue all day about whether or not Sony was successful but I gotta admire their effort. Look at what we have...flip up 900K screen, an actual sunny weather setting that makes using the LCD in bright sun not only possible but useful (I have done it many times). The form factor is small and with a lens like the Sigma 30 or my Pen-F 38 it's is smaller than my Fuji X10. Focus peaking works REALLY well and while it may not be to everyone's taste as a manual focus lens user it's a godsend. I also am very impressed that they were able to offer focus peaking to the original NEX3 and NEX5 via firmware update (I don't see that happening with the Fuji XE-1 or X1 Pro). Speaking of firmware updates...the last two have both increased AF speed on my Sigmas and the last one gave NEX7 users the ability to remap that pesky video button. Finally there is the IQ...yeah I know Fuji IQ is all the rage but the IQ on the NEX is no slouch. Then there are the things that we almost never mention. I think the AWB and metering on my 5n is quite good, JPEG color is great, RAW works really well and even the dinky little flash the 5n came with works waaay better than you would think. I've never had my NEX crash, the software seems stable and it's put togtehr better than any of the m43 cameras I ever had. I think there are a lot of very nice options out there for photographers. Right now Fuji is the one getting the attention and deservedly so, they have some fantastic products. I wish Sony has lenses like the ones available for the Fuji X cameras but I think the NEX is just as impressive in some ways. If this board is any example there sure seem to more folks trying them out.
     
  2. naturecloseups

    naturecloseups New to TalkEmount

    5
    Feb 23, 2013
    Agree! I also think Nex products have admirable build quality at their respective prrice points.
     
  3. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs TalkEmount Regular

    30
    Feb 9, 2013
    I remember thinking the same thing back when I had the Nex 5 Kevin. I had that along with an EP2 and an X100 for a while. And it was clear the EP2 and, to a greater extent, the X100, were appealing to those who liked the ways cameras had traditionally worked, which wasn't a bad way to go - sort of like the double triangle bicycle frame design - very tried and true and it just works. But it seemed like Sony had really started from scratch and said, 'OK, no rules, how would we do it if there were no old conventions to adhere to'?. I don't know if the Nex 3 or 5 were fully successful but I liked the 5 quite a bit. And after the first or second firmware update I thought it was a very easy and intuitive camera to get around on. Not in a familiar way, but in a very effective way once I'd gotten used to it. The Nex 7 obviously raised the bar on that a lot and the 6 seems to be refining some of the ideas. I haven't shot with a Nex since the 5 and I have no idea whether I'd like them as much as, say, the Fuji X-Pro, which is now my "classic" interface camera, but I suspect I'd learn to like a 6 or 7 quite a lot. The only reason I haven't looked seriously at Nex again since I sold the 5 is that I just don't see much in my wheelhouse with the lens selection. I know the Zeiss 24 is quite good, but no quality wider angle (although I did plenty of fun shooting with the 16mm pancake when I had it). Not bad stuff, but not my cup of tea.

    That said, I think Olympus has kind of dropped the rule-book with the OMD also. The EP1-3 were sort of classic camera knockoffs to a certain extent, but always with a lot of customizable options. The OMD, despite its somewhat retro LOOK, has a thoroughly modern user interface. Like they tossed out the rulebook too. The dual dials on the top of the body, at the forefinger and thumb position are a lot like the tri-navi controls, except even more customizable. In fact, from the flip up screen to the less traditional controls, I think Sony had a really strong influence on the direction Olympus started moving, starting with the EPL3 and EPM1. And I'm personally glad for it. Since the newer Oly bodies have a lot of what I liked in the Nex, but with a bunch of lenses I love, I've probably abandoned Nex for m43 for a good long time. But Sony helped make that possible by putting the pressure on Olympus. At least that's my read on it.

    And, of course, I ALSO love the old steel bicycle frame with all new components that is the Fuji X series. I like to have feet in both the modern and classic camps...

    -Ray
     
  4. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    I'm torn on this myself. When I first got the NEX-5N, I loved (and still do) the modern asthetics and feel of the camera. At the same time, I quickly learned that too minimalist an interface becomes a hassle quite quickly. Customizable keys appear to be the way forward. However, it surprised me a lot when I started to read sites like DPR that photogs, despite being involved in artistic creation and the best creative minds making some stunning pieces of art, wanted absolutely ultraconservative retro asthetics in a camera. It had to be black, faux leather, DSLR-shaped, or whatever else. Why not have something more reflective of the digital age? Or was it a matter of trying hard not to look like point-and-shoot cameras as possible?

    As Ray said the OMD was very much the in-between with a retro design but all the bells and whistles of a fully-featured camera. The NEX-7 also appears to be a continuation of the original Sony design, but the NEX-6 with its jarringly ugly PASM dial appeared schizophrenic (not that a PASM dial is not desired, but it should not stick out like a terrible throwback to antiquated design - where were the signature NEX asthetics?) - honestly when I first saw the leaked designs of the 6 I did not believe it was a NEX camera because the design completely went against the concept of NEX (in my mind). But I can see how an engineering decision (put in PASM dial!) did not take into consideration the asthetic one (make it sleak and modern) and what was probably a working mockup accidentally became the final design.

    Sony ironically in going hypermodern with their NEX design are breaking the conventional wisdom in camera design for advanced cameras, though it's facing a lot of resistance. I hope they stick with it but I can easily see them buckling to customer pressure and conforming more with other camera systems. It's clear that when they first launched NEX they prioritized silver lenses. But then after the Zeiss, they've switched to black lenses and this looks to be the permanent trend - so conformity is probably the way forward now. Which I'm sad about but probably not many others would be.
     
  5. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    Perhaps Sony developed the NEX series with the P&S upgrade crowd in mind (like me!) but had the enthusiastic amateur and pro markets fall in their lap. The sensor quality may have been because, well they were already making great sensors. Not much with the lenses at first because the expectations of who were going to buy the bodies didn't warrant it.

    It seems that Fuji was going for those latter markets all along.
     
  6. Nubster

    Nubster TalkEmount Veteran

    472
    Jan 5, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Chad
    I'd say the original idea behind the NEX was exactly that until Sony discovered that more serious photographers, including DSLR shooters, were interested in the new mirrorless technology and small form factor, hence the birth of the NEX-5N, then the NEX-7, NEX-5R, and finally the NEX-6 as more serious shooters.
     
  7. freddytto

    freddytto TalkEmount All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2011
    Puebla, Mexico
    kevin , certainly you're right from start of the mirrorless cameras, I was very interested because I saw a commercial on the Internet and see how compact it is, and the high quality it offers, compared to an SLR, after saving some money I decided to take the nex5n and believe me, I loved with all my heart that camera,

    I had an SLR, which was large and heavy, (Nikon D100) and only for two weeks because I had sold it after going to Best Buy and use the NEX5 for a few minutes, was feel great, easy to use so later I talked to the seller, so he told me is coming out a new camera, ( 5N) so I waited for his for sale, while at the time so I fell in love for the nex 7, the tri-nav, la EVF but delayed its arrival by the floods in Thailand, so using the nex5n made ​​me a very happy man, works very well in low light conditions, I remember when I went to the Empire State, a guy asked me about my small camera and looked at the screen, so said- is a good quality, wow works great, what's is that?, so I said is the Nex5N and 16mm, he left surprised and I felt good, I felt a bit embarrassed before because with a small camera in my hands and them were with DSLR.

    I became addicted to MF, in fact never did, but it was easy to fit in there, using the peaking and the touch screen, I think that screen was better than my current 5R.

    I had wanted to give a chance to the Fuji X-e1, the trouble is do not use the peaking for MF, I love retro style, EVF is apparently better than my nex7. NEX system was made for people like us.
     
  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I really like the new Fuji stuff and have a great admiration for what they've done. I also think the you're right about the E-M5 because while it evokes the feeling of the OM1 visually it is much more of a reinterpretation of it than a digital version of one. Right now Sony occupies a funy sort of place in that there cameras seem to be really well suited to folks wanting to shoot old school MF glass (like several of us here) but is still not quite there wit the selection of native glass. I think of it as not yet being a complete ecosystem. Of course they really are positioned well in that they have killer sensors, a catalog of Minolta glass (currently on the Alpha DSLRs) and are developing their own loyal (albeit small) community. It'll be interesting to see where they take it.
     
  9. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Well they had always had "interesting" cameras and some of them quite good. Remember the Cybershot 717 and 828 megazooms. They look a lot like the current NEX cameras with the tiny body and huge lens. Those were very cameras in the day. Even then however they had a really original take on things. I think they must have seen the NEX as a sideline to the more conventional Alpha DSLRs (which BTW are quite nice) but the success of mirrorless seems to have finally gotten their attention.
     
  10. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Aug 6, 2011
    I love the handling, controls, and flip screen of my NEX-5N. In fact I still don't think anyone else has done the flip screen quite as well, and the ergonomics of the NEX-5N seem uniquely suited to the waist level, flip screen, thumb on the shutter release shooting style. It's a brilliant combination with the Sigma 19mm lens.
     
  11. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin TalkEmount Regular

    110
    Sep 26, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    The NEX concept was a brave move from Sony because it was such a reinvention of the interchangeable lens camera. Even though it effectively used the same MILC concept as Micro 4/3 it came with different proportions and interface whereas both Panasonic and Olympus were fairly conservative in those areas initially (in all honesty, probably to their benefit).

    Sony's approach could well be a double-edged sword because it IS a different type of camera from what people are familiar with. Some ways better, maybe some ways worse, but definitely different. It's like a new language: some pick it up quickly and become fluent, some learn it enough to get by, and some only learn "hello", goodbye" and "where's the toilet" before leaving as quickly as they arrived :). I think that I fitted somewhere into the second catergory but there were too many other shiny things pulling me in different directions for me to make it into the first. With whatever form of mirrorless camera I choose to use, they have definitely steered me away from the DSLR path for good.
     
  12. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I agree...the NEX does the flip screen well and I shoot mine wait level quite a bit. I find it very comfortable and it doesn't get noticed when I'm out shooting with it. It's quite stealthy. I don't know if you've ever tried the sunny weather setting but it is a real shock to see how well it works in bright direct sun. It's the only camera I have ever used where I felt the LCD was viable outdoors in bright light.
     
  13. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin TalkEmount Regular

    110
    Sep 26, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    I shoot this way almost all of the time and the one thing that I have become adamant on is that there needs to be a dial or dials accessible by the the forefinger to adjust aperture and exposure compensation on the fly without moving my thumb from the shutter. That would be the icing on the cake if there was a NEX that offerred that kind of control.
     
  14. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    I'm exactly with you here Colin, I think that's what happened, and have voiced it many times before. When I was shooting the 5N it often struck me how it was obviously designed with P&S upgraders in mind... and a failure in that, as it actually turned me into an old fashionned, all manual photog' because it's numerous quirks were best worked around by going all manual for everything (exposure, AF, etc).

    Now I do have a 7 (actually my second unit, I sold the first and promptly missed it !), and just spend a week with both Fuji X100 and X-E1. I won't criticize the X100 as 1) I can't live with the 23/35mm fixed lens, I just can't, though a fixed 35/50EFL would be perfect, and 2) the unit I had was so schizophrenic at autofocus I have to believe it was faulty, despite all the owner's claims (my friend loaning me both cameras) that it's not.
    The X-E, however, give me a lot of doubt regarding what I liked best and ultimately wanted to go with. I do have an X10 that I'm in love with, but I found the X-E to be more capricious to deliver consistent output, and had terrible issues getting my WB right, which is crucial to me as a strict jpg shooter. Though the controls are excellent, the body lovely and the IQ not to be denied (probably best non FF chip today), I missed a flip screen, the EVF was a bit crude, overal operational speed on the slow slide, and AF usable in good light, but hardly so in dim light, with NO possibility to resort to Peaking for MF, as I do with my NEX as soon as the AF starts struggling too much.
    So as much as I wanted to love the X-E, I stuck with the NEX 7, which is just a reliable workhorse for me with all the right controls giving me direct access to 90% of what I need to change on the fly. There are still a lot of improvements the NEX could get : configurable Auto ISO, configurable AF box size (à la GX-1), high end, reactive touch screen (à la Panasonic also), much faster AF, custom setting banks (what I miss the most right now), and quicker access to Format function and Peaking settings.
    I'm confident the new version will fix a few of those things (but still probably not real fast AF, if it's the same arguable "improvement" seen on the 6), and that NEX will start progressing as a whole.
    So I agree with Kevin. As much as I love the retro sexy look of the Fuji, I still think NEX is very usable once you've accepted to break the old codes you used to go by, and reinvent how you want to use and assign your controls. The most maligned Sony menus seem a breeze to me compared to the perverse and neurotic Olympus ones, lol.
    The 7 really hits a sweet spot for me, as proves my decision to stick with it despite the opportunity to keep the X-E for a really low price.
    I used to scorn Sony cameras until I tried them, but I'm now pretty happy with my NEX. To be honest the only thing that keeps me trying other cameras is just a bad case of G.A.S. (which I like better to call healthy curiousity !)
     
  15. teefin1

    teefin1 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    618
    Sep 7, 2012
    I'm with Colin and Claire here. It's seems NEX was aimed at P & S (me) but was so fantastic lots of enthusiasts jumped on board. I love the 7 and think the 6 is uugly, the 5r is pretty functional too, like the 7's real baby brother (rather than the stepkid the 6 is).

    I've recently tried the x100 and xe1 (ala Claire) and had the opposite experience: the x100 focussed well in good light, didn't focus in low light. The xe1, while I admire it's gorgeousness, hardly focussed at all! The live view isn't live (ala pentax k01) and I can't comment on IQ - couldn't drag any out of it.

    As to m43 the GX1 is pretty cool, good AF, controls, built in flash, very good IQ, but the OMD EM5 is the daddy of that bunch, and I've not tried it....yet ;)

    So for me there isn't much to sway me from the NEX and I'd like to always have one fir legacy stuff, but it's recently been noted that there is a form of gear 'nymphomania' rife in these here parts, (and who's to complain, my husband doesn't mind at all) so I'll update once I've had a little tryst with the OMD and possibly Samsung NX300. :th_salute::th_salute::th_salute:
     
  16. Bill

    Bill TalkEmount Veteran

    339
    Oct 22, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Bill
    If you were to say that, I would nod. I'd offer a brief, kindly, but knowing smile. I would agree with many, many things, and then I would mention the menu "system." (I do, however, have both a 7 and a 6.)
     
  17. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    Ok now that Tracy has spilled out our common dirty secret (we're camera nymphomaniacs, which feels much safer to our relative husbands than the original medical condition...), I'll repeat my previous statement :
    at the point the NEX 7, with all its limitations taken into account, is all the camera I need for the daily practice of my hobby, and what makes me want try something else is just gear lust.
    That being said, better weather and more outdoor time being around the corner (fingers crossed), the less than speedy AF and rather limited tele options is going to be a limiting factor for a more general kind of photography. Guess unless I get another m4/3 rig (heaven forbid) I might get the dusty DLSR out for outdoor events, visits to the zoo, etc...
     
  18. Nubster

    Nubster TalkEmount Veteran

    472
    Jan 5, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Chad
    Not sure why everyone likes to dog the NEX-6. It's a perfectly fine camera and good looking to boot.
     
  19. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    Matter of taste Chad I guess. I agree it's one fine camera, but I do find it rather fugly, LOL.
     
  20. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Tracy I'd love to hear your review/impressions (compared with the Nex) if/when you get it ;)