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Impressions of Sony NEX-C3, New User, Former Olympus User, Chapter 2

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by larrytxeast, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. larrytxeast

    larrytxeast TalkEmount Rookie

    23
    Feb 23, 2013
    I wrote in my prior long post my first-impressions of the Sony NEX-C3 after having handled it & fired off a few "see how it works" shots within the 1st day of owning it. I've since done a few routine shoots with it, actually gotten out & tried to get good shots with it, and here are my updated impressions. (This post shouldn't be as lengthy.)

    Short answer: I don't regret choosing it over upgrading the Olympus E-PM1 to the E-PM2.

    Details:

    (1) Compared to the older E-PM1 (not sure how the newer E-PM2 would fare), getting sharp shots at slow shutter speeds is a far more reliable affair with the lens-based image stabilization. It just works. I'm not getting the hit or miss results of the Olympus in-body image stabilization, it just nails it period. (Again the newer E-PM2 vs the E-PM1 may have addressed this, and regardless these are just my observations.)

    (2) I'm getting more used to the user interface idiosyncrasies (especially compared to the Olympus). During playback, I'm no longer goofing up scrolling image-to-image when I meant to zoom in. During capture: I can access ISO quickly (left button) and active AF point (soft button B). I can change from "multi-spot" AF mode (where it picks where to focus) to "flexible spot" (where you tell it) quickly using the center button. Basically, I can change important settings easily.

    (3) I have gotten used to the tripod-mounted bubble level for landscapes vs the hot-shoe based one of the Olympus I was using. I'm able to mount it for shooting & remove it for storage quite quickly now. Also, as I mentioned, I'm finding the camera itself, with the 18-55mm kit lens, almost as easy to carry around everywhere as I did the Olympus E-PM1 kit.

    (4) I still haven't received my manual-focus adapters, but in using focus peaking (no magnification) with the 18-55mm, I am liking it a LOT and think it will help me enjoy the legacy lenses much more for portraits than I did with the Olympus. (I have a 1980 Nikkor 50mm 1.8, besides awaiting its adapter I also got a Canon FD adapter for $12 & got a Canon 50mm 1.8 FD for $23, awaiting their arrival as well.)

    (5) I have found RAW processing in Lightroom 3.5 easy enough. I notice that RAW files look very neutral no matter how the JPEGs are setup (no surprise, and I'm glad actually). The lens correction for the 18-55mm was very easy, it was already there & worked great.

    (6) I experimented trying to make "Olympus-like" JPEGs in the "Vivid" preset, changing contrast to +2 and the other two to +1. It was too much. I should've probably made it +1 for all 3. I alternated between that and "standard" but also shot in RAW so I always had the neutral treatment to fall back on.

    Here are some shots with it from today (I've yet to get a "masterpiece," though, but that's all on me & the limitations of the places I've been to so far):
    (1)
    medium.

    (2)
    medium.

    (3)
    medium.

    (4)


    I can say that, so far, I have no regrets in getting this vs getting the E-PM2 which I had originally planned to get for the image quality improvements. This model has them too (although its autofocusing may be slower, perhaps), for nearly $200 less (and actually more like $300 by the time you have to upgrade LR3.5 to LR4), and I'm getting on with how it works. I may one day go back to Olympus via the E-PM2 if I find it cheap enough, but I'm in no rush. The NEX-C3 is, to me, a real significant upgrade over the E-PM1 overall, and at far lower of a price than the E-PM2. It's really nice having something right on my hip always with me that's a virtual match for my Nikon D5100 image quality wise. (That's especially relevant for shots like the last 2, which were shot spontaneously while driving around.)

    LRH
     
  2. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin TalkEmount Regular

    110
    Sep 26, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    It sounds like you made a good choice. I have to say that I have never been a big fan of Olympus jpeg colours so the more neutral look that you describe from the Sony would suit me fine. Just by-the-by, you don't have to upgrade to the latest versions of Adobe software to process raw files from the latest cameras. The DNG converter allows you to make your raw files backwards compatible with older versions of Lightroom and Camera Raw.
     
  3. larrytxeast

    larrytxeast TalkEmount Rookie

    23
    Feb 23, 2013
    Been there, done that before regarding converting RAW to DNG for compatibility with older software situations. I didn't like the extra work, even though it converts all the files as a "batch" operation. I'd even prefer spending the extra money on new software to avoid that step.

    LRH
     
  4. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin TalkEmount Regular

    110
    Sep 26, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    Yeah, I wouldn't recommend it as a preferred course of action, particularly not when LR4 is a very worthwhile upgrade IMO. However, it is a reasonable option if someone has just blown their dough on a new camera and doesn't want to spend more to upgrade their editing software as well.