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Sony - The 800 pound disruptive gorilla in the room:


New to TalkEmount
Sep 5, 2011
I mean that in the nicest way possible. Seriously.

I am very grateful to Sony for unleashing a top of the line APS-C sensor and image processor in the NEX-5n. I am now no longer locked into any captive lens family. Some of the soon to be released E mount lenses look interesting, and I may get some, but for now, I feel liberated with my collection of lenses.

The m43 cameras got us most of the way toward freedom, especially Olympus with the In Body Image Stabilization that works with any lens. The only thing I felt frustrated with was the sensor. It had all the resolution I needed, but the tonality was, for my taste, thin. I have read many scathing commentaries that say, essentially: "If you can't make great images with your existing camera, you are not a very good photographer."

I will freely admit that I am not a very good photographer. I also freely admit that I am a lazy photographic dilettante.

From Merriam Webster:
dil·et·tante Noun/ˌdiliˈtänt/
1. A person who claims an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment or knowledge.
2. A person with an amateur interest in the arts.

Yup, that's me. I love lenses, I love how they draw an image. I love color and tones and B&W, but I am a dilettante. No problem. Proud to say it.

To be an actual artist takes years of dedication, diligence, and probably just a little talent. I spent most of my life as a worker-bee, keeping the hive running smoothly. There are those who do the worker-bee thing, but also manage to be pretty darned good artists as well. That ain't me, and that's ok.

What is the point of all this? The point is that this latest generation of sensor and processing in the NEX-5n makes what I want to do, much easier than it has ever been before. I want to use the lenses that I want, with the best available sensor that I can afford. The dynamic range, high ISO performance and over-all tonality of the images coming from that little bitty camera are just amazing. Lazy-old-me, I just love it when the camera does most of the heavy lifting.

It will be fascinating to see what comes from the NEX-7.

I have played with A77 raw files compared to 5n raw files. The A77, even with the slight loss of sharpness due to the translucent mirror, does manage to deliver more resolution that the 5n. However, I had to use some fancy processing to extract that extra resolution, and it only manifests in image comparisons where the 5n is right at the limit of what it can resolve. My early suspicions, based upon A77 images, is that the 5n files are a bit more robust and can tolerate a bit more manipulation before crumbling. It also appears that the 5n will have roughly a one and a half stop high ISO advantage. There may be a dynamic range advantage as well. I will wait for the NEX-7 to actually start delivering sample images before making any firm opinions, these are just my feelings from the A77 samples I have seen.

Now, how about unlocking that Super Steady Shot technology? Still trying to push people into the Alpha mount? I found out that even if you adapt a non Alpha lens to the Alpha mount, the SSS is automatically disabled unless you can find a way to put a chip in the adapter. Nasty. So, Sony gets plus 10 points for the NEX-5n and minus three points for the SSS lockout.

Imagine a full frame NEX-7 style camera. Thicker body and grip to account for the SSS stabilization system, and with no lockout chip baloney. That would be a total home run.

So, in conclusion, thank you Sony! Exciting and liberating times for dilettantes like me.


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