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Let's petition Sony on User Interface !!

nianys

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Hey friends

we're all here because we use and love the NEX system cameras, for the portability, excellent IQ, affordable price, and unique ability to act as digital backs for a ton of super fun legacy lenses.
I think most models are being represented here, from the original 3 and 5 models, to the high end 7 and more recent 5R and 6, with a lot of 5N users thrown in the mix.

Personally, as a heavy shooter (practicing daily, and averaging 1K shots/month), I like my NEX so much it has quickly become my sole camera. I do have an excellent Nikon D90 body that hasn't seen ANY use ever since I went mirrorless last February, and I listed my beloved GX-1 for sale immediately upon receiving and trying my NEX 5N, in early September. So NEX 6 it is now (have had and loved it for 2 weeks now), for better or worse.

While I fully enjoy the better part, I'm still not completely toast and could happily do without the worse. So let's all get together and petition Sony to better their User Interface, which remains at this point, along with Autofocus performance (which I'll let them sort by themselves...) the weak link in the NEX's otherwise very strong system.

The 6 now has a Fn button that smartly calls a handy little 6 item menu when pressed. I've personally set it to call WB, Creative Style, Picture Effect, Autofocus area, Flash Mode and D Range, settings I want to have immediate access to in case of need. This is nice and handy and I get to use it quite a bit, my most often changed feature being Creative Style, for quick switching between color and B&W shooting.

But, as good and useful as this Fn menu is, it's not half as cool as it could be if you could access a way wider array of settings with it. Let's face it, what we REALLY need access to, is stuff deeply set in confusing menus, namely the dreaded Set-Up menu. This one (the little red toolbox icon) has WAYyyy too may options, some situated more towards the top (everything geared towards LCD effects and peaking, strength, color, etc); some at the bottom (the ever needed Format action). So ideally, the 6 items I'd want for my Fn menu would be : WB (I want double access to that in case I'm using an AF lens, needing the bottom soft key for AF point selection), Creative Style, LCD Effect ON/OFF (since the 6 doeesn't automatically switch to Off when needed, like the N did), Peaking level, Peaking Color, and Format. Now THAT would make my life much simpler !

Aside from that, having several Custom Setting modes on the GX-1 was absolutely godsent. I could switch, at the flick of a finger, from indoor with external flash, to indoor with built-in flash, to outdoor with no flash situations, with all related assorted adjustments (in WB, ISO, mode, etc). That was just BRILLIANT.

So come on fellow users, let us hear what you think is really tremendously needed to enhance and improve your NEX experience ! Sony have proved in the past that indeed (unlike many other makers !!) they DO listen to customers' wishes.
 

NickCyprus

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Great thread!!!

This is one of my personal most important dislikes on my 1st gen humble 5...
I had the impression that the 6 (and 7) was improved in this area, and that you had the ability to control more settings/adjustments using the quick buttons and not only 6 settings (and avoid going throw the Menu) :?

Anyway, I have mine set to:
C1 = WB
C2 = Metering Mode
C3 = Creative style
left = Drive mode
right = Flash Mode
B = ISO
Plus, I mostly shoot in M-mode so I can adjust shutter speed and aperture by turning the knob

I would like more quick options like:
1) quick button to choose from different Shoot Modes (like the dedicated button on the Nex-6)
2) quick button to choose AF/MF
3) quick button to choose AF area
4) also maybe a quick button for Exposure comp & Flash comp.
 
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With the NEX-7 it's pretty easy to configure so that I don't have to menu dive unless I want to change peaking colour or format but yeah that menu is a mess. It could use a bit of Apple-ization. Switching between user generated settings would be huge. Even just to hand the camera to someone else to take a shot, it takes a bit of fiddling before hand.
 

nianys

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Yes Nick, you can chose AF/MF and AF area as items in the 6 picks Fn menu.
Still, I'd want typical deep menu items such as Peaking Settings and Format to be chosable in the Fn menu, and I want Custom Setting sets !
 
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I'd like Peaking Settings to be choosable too but for me it's just as well Format is a bit buried. I could see myself accidentally formatting or someone else doing it. :eek: besides I don't need to do that as quickly.
 

nianys

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I'd like Peaking Settings to be choosable too but for me it's just as well Format is a bit buried. I could see myself accidentally formatting or someone else doing it. :eek: besides I don't need to do that as quickly.

You could have an (optional( double confirmation for formatting ? I empy and format my SD every night, and it's a PITA to have to scroll ALL the way to the bottom of the idiot set-up menu, which I normally leave scrolled to the top for quick access to the LCD Setting ON/OFF and Peaking settings...
 

Selten

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The embarassing thing is that I have not gotten around to configuring my settings yet :/ I have having to dive for the format though, as I use it every other day and its just ... meh.

Anyone know whether other sony cameras have the same clunky UI, or whether it is just us Nex users who got 'lucky'?
 

teefin1

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The Sony alpha (non nex) UI is really simplistic and logical, I found at least. I still found the NEX 5n pretty straight forward once configured in basic terms. The 7 has more customisable options but I agree that there are certain things that take an age to find in the menus. I can never remember where the peaking settings are; I find peaking less sensitive on the 7, and even less so through the EVF, formatting as previously Mentioned and various other little things. Much as I love the 7, the 5n is a more straight forward image making machine......and the NEX menu is a pain in the a**
 

nianys

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The 6 got a cool feature from Alpha DSLR, the "QuickNavi" screen (which is pretty much the same as the SuperControlPanel for Olympus users). With this screen you can access about any shooting setting pretty quickly. That's a definite plus.
BUT, and that's a big one, all the menu driven very useful items like Format, Peaking level, color, etc, are not present in this menu. So though it's better, it's still very far from perfect.
Why can't be get three (or at least two) freaking User Setting positions on the dial mode, like there are on the GX-1 ?!?
 

Selten

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copy right issues?

Thanks for the explanation, and I guess all those things considered it is a bit of a pain... So - I would sign your petition, Nianys!
 

teefin1

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It's true, functionality is not 100%. For me, if I'm honest, I kept the 7, after selling the 5n, for sexy cool factor.
 

applemint

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The Sony alpha (non nex) UI is really simplistic and logical, I found at least.

I am borrowing a Sony Alpha SLT this week for a few days (A35) and I agree that the UI is a big improvement on the Nex. Just press one button and you have access to all the most used functions - as nianys says, a bit like the Olympus SCP and good to hear that this is on the Nex 6 (and hopefully all future Nex models). No peaking on the A35 (I think they have it on the newest Alphas?) but the AF on this camera is fast - wow! If the AF on the Nex was this fast I would not mind too much about menu diving for focus peaking settings as I would probably use legacy lenses and therefore manual focusing a lot less often. :D

I don't mind menu diving for card formatting as I only do that once a day at the most, but a shortcut to peaking settings would be good.
 

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