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How does a NEX 5T stack up vs a Fuji XE1.?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by dixeyk, Jun 28, 2015.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Surprisingly well as it turns out. As Fuji XE1 user and a former NEX user (5n) I was curious how the diminutive, viewfinder-less 5T would compare. Granted, they are both old technology but both are incredibly capable cameras and can be had for a song. I just picked up my 5T and have been shooting with the XE1 for several months now so when I started to setup and play with the new NEX I naturally found myself comparing them. So what do I think? Well, for starters despite the fact that Sony and Fuji take vastly different approaches to cameras and photography they are not as different as you might think.

    Rather than go through a laundry list of features and compare them (that's what reviews are for and I don't feel like boring anyone) I'll just leave you with the main impressions I got from this exercise.

    The 5T is fast. It reminds me of shooting film with a good SLR. I remember feeling that way when I moved from m43 to the 5n and it felt the same with this. There is no hesitation, you push the shutter button and go.

    The XE1 feels more like you expect a camera to feel...that is IF you are my age and remember shooting film. It's metal, really familiar in hand and has all the requisite dials. I have to hand it to Fuji, they really did a terrific job of interpreting the analog experience to a digital body. That said, Sony has managed something with the NEX that the Fuji did not quite get to. There is a certain essential quality to the NEX. It's as if Sony distilled down the essence of camera into a minimalist form. Rather than reinterpreting the analog experience to a digital world they asked the question "what is the essence of camera?". They are both valid questions and which you prefer is really a matter of personal preference (no doubt informed by past experience, expectations and a host of other factors).

    Damn the NEX is small and in the case of the 5T REALLY light! I had never thought of the XE1 as particularly heavy until I picked up the 5T. Now to be fair the 5T is also lighter and smaller than the 5n. At first I was a bit taken aback by the all plastic body but after spending time with it I have come to appreciate the lightness and have found it to be as well put together as the 5n ever was. More to the point, I have found the XE1 to be a little unsettled at times. Sometimes buttons don't work right away, things take longer than you expect them to and sometimes you just need to turn it off and turn it back on to get things to reset. I work as a system admin so I realize that we are likely looking at software issues but it still leaves me with just the slightest feeling that I can't fully trust the camera. I never felt that way with the 5n and so far the 5T is no different.

    The Fuji is a nice camera that produces wonderful images. The NEX is an equally nice camera that (get ready for it) EQUALLY nice images. They're both 16mp sensors and even though Fuji never states who makes their sensors I wouldn't be at all surprised if they were Sony as well. The X-Trans is certainly capable of great results but like any sensor it has it's weaknesses (foliage being one of them). It's really tuned for low noise and at high ISO it really struts its stuff. The sensor in the NEX is IMHO a bit more balanced. It's noisier at high ISO (although I find the noise reminds me more of film grain that digital noise) but in good light it's a tiny bit better. I always found that the Fuji images reminded me of film (to be expected) but I rather like the NEX images too. Really you'd be hard pressed to tell them from one another without peeking.

    So there you have it, they're both good. If I had to choose however I would choose the NEX without a second thought. I would make that choice because believe it or not the minimalist approach to "camera' simply works for me. I enjoyed my time playing with the Fuji, met some nice folks and made some nice images but as soon as I had the NEX in hand again I felt comfortable in a way that I never did with the Fuji. The XE1 is a great camera, no doubt about that but it just isn't the right choice for me. The plan was to keep the XE1 as a second camera but as more time goes by I am starting to wonder how much I could sell the XE1 for or what I could trade it for.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2015
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  2. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Just a quick word about image quality...

    Folks in every camp are going to tout how their camera has the best image quality and it's understandable because you always want to validate your choices. IMHO however the actual OQ difference between the Fuji and Sony cameras that I've used (XE1, NEX C3, 5n, 5T and a6000) are so close as to be indistinguishable under normal circumstances.

    I would even go so far as to say that while I can see a difference between images from later model m43 and APS-C cameras the difference is still very small and not really something most folks will spot unless they're really looking for it.
     
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  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I also got asked by a few friends why I would choose to but a NEX 5T when I could have an a6000...that's a valid question, the reason is because the a6000 doesn't do anything for me. To me the NEX 6 and a6000 represent a different design sensibility than the earlier 5 series. The addition of the EVF and more conventional control scheme is a response to the demands for a more "normal" camera and I completely understand Sony's choice to do so. In fact, I was alway surprised the 5 series remained to steadfastly weird for as long as it did. As it happens that strange minimalist design really works for me, so when it came time to get another Sony I wanted that experience.
     
  4. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Finally came across what I think is a pretty significant issue with the 5T...the screen is a P.O.S. Let me clarify, I bought a a Sony brand screen protector for the 5R/5T and decided to clean a few fingerprints off if the screen before putting it down, I used a damp micro-fiber cloth like I use only lenses, other camera LCD's and even my rather expensive graduated lens eye glasses. First wipe removed about a third of the LCD coating. Fortunately the item is returnable and still under warranty. After some Googling it turns out that is a problem with the 5R/5T. Too bad, I was enjoying it. My 5n never had that issue. I guess folks complaining about build quality might have a point.

    That's pretty ridiculous for a touch screen. Looks like I may be locked out of Sony land for the time being. Good thing I didn't sell my XE1 yet.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2015
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  5. Nexnut

    Nexnut TalkEmount Top Veteran

    There were known issues with the LCD protective layer on the first NEXes already. I had two 5s back then and the protective layers (thick, sturdy foil) on both cameras slowly disintegrated on both sides. I simply removed them, cleaned the LCD surface and and installed some 3rd party screen protectors. Dunno if it's that easy on a 5t though.
    You might want to take a look at this video and the comments below it on youtube:


    Good luck!
     
  6. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Luckily it's under warranty. I just spoke to the folks i bought it from (as luck would have it they're a local camera store despite having won it on an eBay auction). They are going to send it to Sony and I'll get a free screen replacement. It's a bummer to have to wait 2-3 weeks but it's free so...

    Back to the Fuji for the time being.
     
  7. fractal

    fractal TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 17, 2014
    Southeastern PA
    Chris
    I believe the sensors are the same Sony 16mp sensor. The Fuji has the "X-Tran" color overlay which you're either a fan of or not.
     
  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    The X-Trans is a mixed bag. Overall I would say that the Fuji and NEX are pretty much equivalent in image quality with each having different strengths and weaknesses. Currently the Sony's biggest flaw is crappy materials on the screen coating (the dealer says they are seeing a lot of Sony's with this issue). It's going to be a minimum of two weeks before I get it back.
     
  9. pvp_victor

    pvp_victor TalkEmount Regular

    92
    Nov 24, 2013
    bangalore, india
    Vijay
    @dixeyk@dixeyk

    I read your OP twice. I felt the Cams are by-products and the "experience of doing something you really love soooooo much" was jumping out. I enjoyed reading your post both times. Kevin, you ARE a very good writer :bowdown:.
     
  10. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    :blush:
     
  11. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    589
    Feb 4, 2013
    I have the same screen issue with my Nex 5R, it's pretty common I'm sure.
     
  12. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder TalkEmount Veteran

    297
    Feb 7, 2012
    How else would you know it was a real Sony?;) I've had a lot of Sony cameras from P&S shooters on up. They all have the AR coating rub off sooner or later. It's not really a coating on the screen proper. It's the AR coating on the factory screen protector. If you look closely at the edge, you'll be able to see it's a screen protector. Some people peel it off themselves and put an optical glass protector there instead. I don't bother. Even when it's peeling, you can't really tell when the display is on. It doesn't bother me what it looks like with the screen off. Eventually it will all rub off and unless someone knows it had a AR coating originally, they would never suspect anything was amiss.
     
  13. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I took the camera in to the dealer expecting that they would send it in for a screen replacement. Instead they just refunded my money and bid me adieu. That was a little unexpected of course now I'm shopping for a body again. Weird.
     
  14. jai

    jai TalkEmount Top Veteran

    589
    Feb 4, 2013
    I think you should go for an A6000 this time. I just upgraded to one, and it handles a lot better than the 5R, especially with legacy lenses.

    Plus it doesn't have a touchscreen, so I don't think it will suffer the same issue.

    The 5T and 5R are getting a bit long in the tooth.
     
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  15. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder TalkEmount Veteran

    297
    Feb 7, 2012
    Has nothing to do with the touchscreen. The AR coating will flake off regardless. My NEX 3 doesn't have a touchscreen yet it peeled off. The only Sony camera I have that hasn't had that happen is my RX100. That's because I put a screen protector on it right away. I full expect that if I ever peel it off, big chunks of the AR coating will come off with it.
     
  16. pvp_victor

    pvp_victor TalkEmount Regular

    92
    Nov 24, 2013
    bangalore, india
    Vijay
    For the first year my NEX5R had an el-cheapo screen protector. It was a roll meant to be cut to size and used with mobile phones. The local shop guys were curious and did the job very professionally. The charge? Less than half a USD worth! It lasted for close to an year and now a Sony branded stuff is doing duty on the screen. It definitely helps.
     
  17. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I picked up a NEX 6 (from a board member here). I played around quite a bit with the a6000 and while it was nice I thought the NEX 6 was also as nice and a lot cheaper. I'll wait until the 5 axis IBIS that showed up in the A7 makes its way down to the smaller Alpha bodies. Until then the NEX 6 will be more than adequate for my needs.
     
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  18. HabsFan

    HabsFan TalkEmount Veteran

    259
    Apr 10, 2013
    Ontario, CAN
    My 5N also has the screen issue, even with Sony LCD protector installed. I figured that it was not covered under warranty. My 5N has a Best Buy extended warranty, I guess I'll see if they can do anything.
     
  19. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    The way the folks at the store I went to explained it to me, Sony will replace the screens free if under warranty.
     
  20. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    When I played with the a6000 I was impressed by the speed and the general improvements over previous models but less so with the EVF and the IQ of the 24mp sensor I thought they layout was good and the UI a step up from previous NEX models. I think if it had some sort of IBIS like we are seeing in the A7's I might have gone for it but I got a 6 for much less and I think it'll be a nice stop gap until I finally pick up a FF e-mount body.