E-PL3 or NEX-5?

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by robert_thommes|1, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. Currently have both of these cameras on the line. I have researched them both, but would like to hear from users of both, or either, to help me decide which of these 2 m4/3rds cameras would be better.
    This would be my first serious venture into the m4/3rds system. I prety much know the pros and cons of the system. Just need feedback on these two specific cameras.
    Thanks for your feedback.
  2. I hated the controls on the NEX-5, plus previous experience with 4/3's led me back to Olympus. I would highly recommend a E-P3, though, instead of the E-PL3, the controls are wonderful. I own the E-P2, more or less exactly the same controls, and the customization is excellent. M4/3s has a much more mature lens system as well, though Sony's is pretty decent.
  3. I have the E-PL1 and hate its differences from Panasonic, particularly now I have my GH2 ... they are of course two completely different beasties :)
    I think the whole NEX business is a mistake ... why have a sensor size that requires DSLR size lenses. But I can see they appeal to the APS-C user who is afraid to use a smaller sensor, makes one wonder how loosely they photograph and if they normally use 100% or perhaps only 50<60% after cropping ? Coming from small film/sensor size cameras my emphasis is on shooting what I will want in the end.
    Side point ... clip on EVF are a great idea but compared to the integral version they are horrible.
  4. You guys are almost talking me out of the whole m4/3rds thing, but more clearly of the NEX. And that's the sort of thing I was looking for. Right now, both of these cameras were offered to me, and no others. So I'd appreciate sticking with these specific cameras. Perhaps I should forget abut either one, and just continue with my DSLR gear for a while. But the smaller/lighter M43 gear is so appealing.
    Thanks for your remarks.
  5. Definitely m4/3. The Olympus and Panasonic cameras are wondeful with great sensors. I have played with the Olympus EPL1, EPM1, and have tried Panasonic G1, GF1 and GF3, all worthy cameras and excellent lens lines.
  6. The nex will provide the better file. And if you want to use 3rd party manual lenses the nex is much better with 1.5x crop and focus peaking.
  7. While the Nex has peaking for MF, the oly has IBIS. I find them both equally invaluable. I'd tilt toward peaking for MF (adapting legacy lenses) but IBIS for regular AF lenses. And yes, the Nex 1.5x would be better, if you like wide but the oly 2x would be the better option for telephoto.
    As I'm currently traveling with both models, I tend to pick up the epl3 over the Nex 5 for anything other than lowlight iso 3200, static subjects shots and panos. The AF/shutter lag of the epl3 is significantly faster than the Nex 5.
  8. What do you want, Robert? Small package with excellent image quality? What are your main concerns, why are you thinking about abandoning your DSLR and going to a MILC? For me it was a complete no brainer, m4/3s. The Sony's are undoubtedly nice cameras, but the lenses are too large. I fit my E-P2 and 3 lenses in a tiny bag. The image quality difference, in my opinion, is non existent, the m4/3s sensors produce wonderful picture quality. I would take the E-PL3 over the NEX-5 any day of the week, but I travel a great deal, and demand a small package. I sold out my Pentax system, which I liked very much, and will never look back.
    I have to disagree with JC on the external EVF, the VF-2 is excellent.
  9. A regular NEX 5 or a 5n? I went from an EPL2 to a 5n and the 5n is much better. Better made body, better controls, much
    better screen, focus peaking is very useful because I use a lot of MF lenses, and the sensor is larger and far better. If
    DXOmark is to be believed, the 5n sensor is better than the 5 and the 5 sensor is a lot better than the EPL3 and EP3,
    which makes sense because the NEX sensor is 60% larger than the m4/3 sensor. I don't have experience with the 5.
  10. Going in order:
    E-PL3 or NEX-5 ... which of these 2 m4/3rds cameras
    The NEX system is not Micro Four-Thirds. It uses a substantially larger sensor, the same size as "APS-C" DSLR's. All else being equal--which often it is not!--the NEX should provide better image quality but require more space and weight.
    Also: the NEX-5 is two generations old. It was replaced by the NEX-5N, which was in turn replaced by the NEX-5R. And IMO, the current star of the NEX line is the NEX-6, which is somewhat but not hugely more expensive than the current NEX-5R ($150 to $200).
    I think the whole NEX business is a mistake ... why have a sensor size that requires DSLR size lenses.
    Well you could equally say, 'I think the whole Micro Four-Thirds business is a mistake ... why have a sensor size that requires lenses that big when you could use a 1-inch / CX sensor like the Nikon V's and J's (and Sony RX-100) and have smaller lenses?' Also, have you checked out the new Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 compact zoom? It's pretty small. The only really comparable Micro-Four Thirds lens is that little Panasonic PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. that is infamous for image quality issues. My points are, first, you need to look at specific camera-and-lens-combo sizes; and second, at any size, you could choose a somewhat larger or smaller sensor for a system, and thereby (theoretically at least) get somewhat larger or smaller (respectively) lenses. You could always move up or down. Where is the size sweet spot for your particular uses and taste? In order of increasing sensor size for interchangeable lens cameras, you have Pentax Q, Nikon 1 (V/J), Micro Four-Thirds, Canon M, NEX / APS-C, Canon "APS-H" / Leica M8, "full frame", Leica S, and then medium format digital backs with sensors of various sizes from 33x44mm to 41x54mm. Yes, that's right, digital interchangeable lens cameras are available with about ten distinctly different sensor sizes! Which is right for you? I don't know. But unless you're using a Pentax Q, you could always go smaller; and unless you're using one of the top medium format digital backs, you could always go larger.
    Were it me spending my money today, to get something substantially smaller than my DSLR but substantially better than my regular compact digital, I'd think long and hard about whether I really needed interchangeable lenses, and if not, and if I were prepared to spend $648, I'd get a Sony RX-100. And if I needed interchangeable lenses, and could spend $998, I'd probably get a Sony NEX-6 kit with the 16-50mm pancake. But there are a bunch of good options (and some substantially lower-priced, especially in recently-discontinued models and factor-refurbished cameras) out there.
  11. Wait a bit for prices to stabilize, and get NEX-6.
  12. Or just wait. The entire industry is in transition.
    Also, without detailed information about what you want to do with these cameras, here is a generic advice: don't pick a camera, pick lenses. You will spend far more money on lenses than on cameras. And the camera bodies will really end up being accessories to the lenses you gather over time. Lenses, being reusable, will determine your future choices, not the camera body. At this point, the MFT system offers the widest selection of lenses.
    I moved from APS-C to MFT simply because APS-C has failed. It has failed to produce a system around DSLR technology and is just now being rebooted around MILC technology, but at this time, FF sensors will also make their way into MILC systems, so APS-C will probably get squashed again. I find it ironic that APS-C has failed to replace 35mm in the film era, has failed to really challenge FF in DSLR era, and now I expect it will fail again in the MILC era.
    In-camera image stabilization is also important to me and no APS-C MILC system is offering it today. Also, Sony is dividing their efforts between their SLT line and their NEX line, which means neither advances fast enough. Of all APS-C systems, Fuji is the only one that has a nice and interesting roadmap. I've followed NEX and NX, hoping they would grow their systems, but I am disappointed with the speed at which they are introducing interesting lenses. Taken together, they have had less interesting lens releases this year than the MFT system. NEX is refreshing their bodies faster than they are introducing new lenses - that is weird.
  13. APS-C has failed? It's a size. How can a size fail?
  14. You will spend far more money on lenses than on cameras. And the camera bodies will really end up being accessories to the lenses you gather over time. Lenses, being reusable, will determine your future choices, not the camera body.
    IMO, that would be good advice for people who don't need advice: professionals and gear-head / serious amateurs. Although in the manual-focus film camera era this was somewhat true, today IMO for most people it is not true. For most people, even those owning interchangeable-lens cameras, they buy a body and one or at most two lenses. And then relatively many years later, they may buy a whole new kit. Also, at this time the quality of the image depends a lot on the body, and body capabilities are improving rapidly: better noise control, better dynamic range, better focusing, video capturing, etc. I wouldn't say the body matters more than the lens, but on the whole it matters a lot. (My upgrade from a 2005 DSLR to a 2010 DSLR, both with similar positions in the pecking order, gave me large upgrades in both image quality and capability.) And lenses are advancing too. The large majority of the zoom lenses--the average consumer has no interest in primes--from thirty, twenty, maybe even ten years ago are marginal quality compared to otherwise-comparable new lenses.
    As my previous post pointed out, there are currently about ten different digital sensor sizes available for interchangeable-lens cameras. I do think there will be some shake-out. But if I had to bet which will survive ten or twenty years from now, I'd bet on both / either "APS-C" and "1-inch" / "CX" ahead of Micro Four-Thirds. (Hey, Sony is now Olympus's largest shareholder.)
    And yet for the reasons stated above, I wouldn't argue that, for most people, buying a Micro Four-Thirds camera today is a terrible idea. If a particular camera / lens kit's combination of size, features, and price seems best to you, fine, you'll get a tool that should provide many years of good pictures. It's just not what I think I'd do with my money.
  15. [[This would be my first serious venture into the m4/3rds system]]
    [[You guys are almost talking me out of the whole m4/3rds thing,]]
    Your classified adds and posting history reveal that you've already owned multiple m 4/3rds cameras.

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