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the red headed stepchild

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by dixeyk, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I find it funny that m43 and Fuji (both fine camera and systems) get quite a lot of attention and NEX seems to be treated like the red headed stepchild in the photo world. Now some of it is justified...NEX cameras are quirky, have non standard UI's and the camera bodies (with the exception of the NEX 7) have more in common with my smartphone than a camera. It's not surprising really, the NEX is a personal electronics company's interpretation of a camera. In some ways I quite admire Sony for marching to the beat of a different drummer. Now in truth once you get used to the NEX approach there is a certain logic to it and while you can quibble about what it should and should not do, once you get used to it the NEX is quite useable.

    Folks talk about the great IQ of the Olympus E-M5 and Fuji-X cameras (and rightly so they are excellent) but last time I looked the NEX also has excellent IQ. It also has faster AF than the Fujis (at least for now) focus peaking, a very nice EVF (available built-in and externally) and manages to pack it all in a very small package. It's funny that it gets less respect because IMHO the NEX is a pretty viable system. It's not for everyone certainly, but the same can be said of Fuji and m43 as well. I think because of the maturity of the system m43 seems have the most mass appeal but the NEX isn't a dead system either. If you look at what is happening in digital imaging Sony certainly has the engineering and clout to pull off some terrific products (and I say this as someone that is not particularly a Sony fan). The much loved sensor from the Olympus E-M5 is a Sony, their line of Alpha lenses is mature and good quality, they are working on a FF version of the NEX and the NEX7 and NEX 6 are indications that they CAN produce a camera that is less gadget and more camera. I wonder if Sony had chosen to keep the Minolta brand alive when they bought them if folks would perceive them differently?

    I look at my 5n with it's adapted Rokkor lenses and it just look like a Minolta mirror-less camera to me.
     
  2. WT21

    WT21 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    610
    Aug 7, 2011
    Kevin, you know the answer: lenses. Maybe momentum too, lol.

    But Sony is showing it's chops. The output is clearly excellent. The RX100 and RX1 are both unique and class-leading, and NEX FF is rumored around the corner. My biggest peeve is why not an f/1.4 lens. That would make a statement. I was a little disappointed when the 35/1.8 was announced. I was hoping it would be faster. But on forum boards, where enthusiasts live, I think it's the slowness of the lens build-out that has caused this perception.
     
  3. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Aug 6, 2011
    I think Samsung NX is the true red-headed stepchild right now. Nothing wrong with that system at all, but I suspect that if I were to start a Samsung NX forum, I may as well add a soundtrack of crickets chirping.

    Sony NEX is something different. Sony is at or near the top of the mirrorless sales heap in Japan, they have more market presence in big box stores than Oly, Panasonic, or Fuji here in the US, and I see more NEX cameras in the wild where I live than I see Oly, Panasonic, or Fuji.

    In the enthusiast echo chambers of the web, Micro 4/3 was first and has the most lenses, Fuji struck a chord with the old school manual controls, and Sony has been slower than Fuji to develop the prime lens lineup.

    Sony also went the opposite direction as Fuji when it comes to manual controls. Fuji started with controls aimed at old photo dawgs, and Sony went with controls aimed at young techies, point and shoot upgraders, and soccer moms. That's not to say that NEX cameras don't offer great controls - however, they didn't come out of the gate with that strategy when the line was introduced. The original NEX 3 and 5 controls were a little hard to live with prior to the first firmware update that allowed some customization.

    Right now, Sony is offering great controls on NEX cameras, they have introduced some crucial lenses, and I think we're going to see a lot more attention and activity from the enthusiast community.
     
  4. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    That's true, some faster lenses would help a lot. I think it's frustrating because there are some very nice lenses in the Alpha lineup. Of course how long have folks in m43 been waiting for the Olympus 14-54 III make it's m43 debut? I agree that the FF NEX and RX100 and RX1 indicate that Sony might be starting to take a more aggressive approach with the NEX. I wonder if the improvement of the m43 sensor in the E-M5 is an indicator or similar levels of improvement to their APS-C sensors?

    Sony has always had that Carl Zeiss lens thing going one...I wonder if the plan is to allow lens development to be handled by third parties?
     
  5. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I agree, the gadgety-ness (is that a word?) has always made the NEX feel vaguely alien. I got used to it but it's a bit strange. I have always been impressed that they added focus peaking retroactively to the NEX3 and NEX5 via firmware and the last two firmware upgrades have really boosted AF speeds a good bit.

    I guess you're right about Samsung...I even forget that they're around. I can't even recall ever seeing one in the wild.
     
  6. WT21

    WT21 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    610
    Aug 7, 2011
    My only issue with the Zeiss approach is I will be priced out :( I would love to see a Sony G series in NEX.
     
  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    Those G Series lenses aren't exactly cheap either. :biggrin:
     
  8. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    Kevin I'll disagree with you. m4/3 IS for everyone, and aimed as such. It's the new entry DSLR. I'd bet most most m4/3 user will ,never get out of Auto mode any more than most entry DSLR shooters do. Kodak is getting into m4/3, so is Polaroid, SLRmagic, and a few more. It saddens me but m4/3 represents such savings in sensor production cost that it will be pushed as the next normal camera system. I think with continuous AF making its way to m4/3 in a near future, and longer lenses being released, the amateur sports and wildlife shooters will be able to switch. Pros will stick with FF. APS-C will remain for enthusiast and skills hobbyists. Personally I'm not going below APS-C in sensor size anymore, for DOF purposes, no matter what. Being on my second NEX 7 unit, and having had 5 NEX bodies altogether (5N, 6, 2 x7 units, C3) I've gotten my brains pretty naturally wrapped about Sony's UI and controls. Fine by me now that I've found ONE native lens that works for me, the SEL35.
    I still believe Fuji does have the edge in APS-C IQ, but NEX is no slouch and it IS what I'm shooting today ;)
     
  9. Nubster

    Nubster TalkEmount Veteran

    471
    Jan 5, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Chad
    I'll say that coming from a D300 where I had 100% of the functions I'd ever need attached to a button or switch on the body, I've found that the NEX-6 at least, takes just a very little bit of time to figure out and get used to. Really, just about every function you could need can be accessed in two button clicks and changed with a quick spin of the menu wheel. I've never seen any other mirrorless system except for Nikons, and honestly, I wasn't impressed by it. To me, the ergonomics of the NEX are mini-DSLR like which I prefer, coming from a large DSLR, and like I said, it took all of maybe a day to really figure out the camera as far as getting it setup for functionality to suit me.

    I agree with what's been said though as far as who the NEX is marketed towards, at least until the 6 and 7 were introduced, and lack of lenses hurts, even though I could care less...at this point, I don't have any interest in overpriced native lenses since minus AF, cheap legacy glass is as good or better than anything native.
     
  10. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Yeah, Samsung is much worse when it comes to sales compared to Sony.

    However, Sony got almost everything now: a complete family of bodies from cheap to semi-professional, and a GREAT line-up of lenses, which covers everything from 8mm fischeye to 85mm (as soon as this lens is released - shouldn't be long) perfectly covered. You can go cheap with the Sigma 19 & 30mm + the Sony 50mm or you can go expensive with the Zeiss 12mm, 24mm, 32mm and 50mm lenses. The only thing we really miss out are long tele lenses - but honestly, most people don't need them - especially with the AF speed on NEX bodies.
     
  11. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    France
    Poki don't forget no system is credible without a couple of FAST zooms...
     
  12. WT21

    WT21 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    610
    Aug 7, 2011
    Maybe a little cheaper anyway :D I need them to hit the market now, though, so I can get them into the used market, where I shop...
     
  13. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Well, yeah, you're probably right. I always forget that because I don't use zooms (and don't need to in my type of shooting).
     
  14. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    What a great thread and I totally agree with Kevin's comments :)

    I was recently discussing with a friend of mine who wanted to buy a new camera (he used to shoot film back in the day).
    He left out DSLRs cause of the obvious drawback (weight/size issue) and looked at an m43 (specifically a Panasonic Lumix GH2). He asked my opinion. When I suggested he look into Sony's Nex models he looked at me with a strange face and told me: "I don't want a freakin point 'n shoot :?" ....:D
    When I explained him the new mirrorless (with big sensors) system and showed him some photos he was impressed. Showing him the specs (pros/cons) between the two systems I think he was pursuaded.

    Basically, I think most people link Sony's products with the mass consumer market - somehow true but personally I do see and feel an attempt from Sony to aim to a different more pro market (with the Nex 7 and the talk about its succesor - the FF Nex)

    I've never owned an m43 but just from comparing the specs I see that the Nex is better in most terms (ok, it may lacks in terms of native lens choices etc but don't forget that its a relatively new-ish system yet). And let me say that I wasn't always a Sony fan (quite the opposite :O - I didn't like them at all as a company) but somehow I choose the Nex and now I love it (and Sony) and don't think I will look at a different brand. The Nex offers so many excelent features (great focus peaking just an example). Having said that, I am a very sentimental person that bonds a lot with my "material possessions" :D

    Lastly, my personal opinion is that the mirrorless system is here to stay (look at how many companies are heading that way and/or improving their lineup, after the Nex release) and I think it will partially replace the DSLR market (after all, what's not to like in a camera that can almost do anything a DSLR can and still be somehow "pocketable"/easier to carry around ?).
    I think Nikon and Canon will devote into the DSLR market and not invest much in a new system, while the other companies will invest more and more in the mirrorless market.

    And I disagree about Samsung NX being the true red-headed stepchild right now...look at how improved their NX300 is!!! I think Samsung will be a big player in this market soon...
     
  15. teefin1

    teefin1 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    618
    Sep 7, 2012
    I'll be interested to see how the NX300 pans out; very attractive body. The earlier nx bodies were poor (nx11 etc) slow AF, terrible ISO performance, LARGE files, definitely more 'ginger' than the NEX system. Any mirrorless system has it's compromises. M43 is disabled by DOF and NEX by lens lineup and the price of some of those lenses, though legacy stuff takes the shine off that complaint for many. :)
     
  16. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    HE wanted to be ginger!
     
  17. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Well, I agree that the Samsung NX bodies are very nice - and their lenses are too! But still, they don't put enough effort into their system imho (their 3D attempts are nice, but nothing many are interested in), so I wouldn't buy into it (oh, and I don't like the body design, but that's a personal thing).
     
  18. kaptnkain

    kaptnkain TalkEmount Regular

    156
    Feb 4, 2013
    Ilya
    I'm going to have to disagree with your assessment NEX cameras being a more "appliance like" approach to mirrorless cameras.

    Apart from a proprietary UI, NEX cameras offer more features common to full blown DSLRs than any M4/3 camera. Hell, my NEX-5 came close to completely replacing my 40D, and my NEX-6 pretty much has.

    From a more technical standpoint, I would NEVER touch M4/3 because of sensor size.
     
  19. dixeyk

    dixeyk TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jun 18, 2012
    Bellingham . WA
    Kevin
    I think I referred to the NEX as more of a gadget than a camera but point taken...BUT, I don't consider the NEX's unorthodox UI to be a bad thing, simply a reason that folks might not recognize how capable it is. I love my 5n and choose it over an M8 (regardless of price).
     
  20. kaptnkain

    kaptnkain TalkEmount Regular

    156
    Feb 4, 2013
    Ilya
    You might not, but I do! :D

    My main gripe about the NEX is the menus are just too convoluted to go through easily.