Nex Dilemma.

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by tony_leinster, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. Like many others here I have a large bag full of DSLR kit. Canon 1D MkIII, half a dozen lenses and a 550 flash, and yes I have one arm longer than the other.
    I have recently been considering a move to a mirrorless system and feel that the NEX cameras with their large sensor would be my best choice. I regularly print to A3+ size and have used a Canon crop camera for this very successfully in the past.
    My dilemma is whether to go for the NEX7 or the NEX5N. From the tests I have seen both produce excellent results with, in my eyes, maybe the overall best (inc high ISO) being the 5N. I do like the EVF being built in on the NEX 7 but could get the EVF for the 5N if I wished to. I get the feeling that I would then be best served by getting an adaptor and then some legacy lenses, ie Canon FD, to get the best results from the body. The cost difference between the two cameras would fund a few good used lenses.
    So, please, any good reasoned answers for which you would choose and why might help. I shoot mainly wildlife and nature and some architecture most often with a tripod.
  2. I'm considering the NEX's for the same reason, and because they can mount Leica M and Sony/Minolta lenses. My back makes carrying around my Canon 5D difficult these days. I'm carrying a Leica M8 I'd like to upgrade to an M9 but the cost is just so staggering that even the NEX-7 seems pretty cheap by comparison. I'll be eager to hear what people advise you on the camera. Reviews seem very promising.
  3. I've been considering a NEX 7 (or Fuji X-Pro 1) to be used with my Leica M lenses - but for the time being have decided against it. A variety of reasons. One is that for the Fuji, the Fujinon lenses are so good that there is little reason to mount M glass and be restricted to manual focus - one could get the entire set (and the camera) for the cost of one Leica M lens.

    Another is that neither camera is totally convincing. The NEX is more a computer than a camera - and the EVF still is no substitute for an optical viewfinder. On the X-Pro 1, the optical finder is nice - but the EVF is light years behind the one in the NEX. Maybe my route will be to get a M8.2 (M9 is out of the question) - but I am in no rush. It seems that many want a mirrorless only to use with some "legacy" glass - and I am more and more of the opinion that that's not a valid route for me to take - and along with the M glass, I have a few manual focus Nikon lenses that I could use. In which case the diminutive size of the mirrorless cameras is more a minus than a plus.

    Also, and related to the OP - I am only considering cameras with at least APS-C sized sensor and a built-in viewfinder - hence the NEX 5N isn't even on my radar screen.
  4. Hi Tony. I too, am considering the NEX-7 (a prior consideration was the Fuji X-PRO1), as a "travel" option to my Pentax K-5 kit. I am particularly enamored of the combination of the NEX-7 and the Zeiss 24, which has glowing reviews, i.e., on Luminous Landscape, where Reichman compares it favorably with a very expensive Leica Summilux. I love my K-5 with superb Pentax DA* and FA Limited optics (which, BTW, would also work on the NEX-7 via an adapter, hence increasing the value of the Sony system. Please see my micro-stock site for samples taken with the Pentax system.) I also love the Tri-Navi concept, unique to the NEX-7, along with its fantastic customizability. As for the NEX5N, I believe that the very minor improvement in HIGH ISO noise over the NEX -7 is negated by the lower resolution sensor of the NEX-5N, not to mention the superb EVF and ergonomics of the NEX-7. As for the Fuji X-PRO1, I was at first thinking that this would be my perfect compliment to the K-5, but after reading several reviews mentioning issues with AF and some functionality quirks, I decided to let that first-generation system pass for now, despite the undoubtedly fine Fuji optics. I think that the NEX-7 (with Zeiss 24, perhaps the Sony E-50mm, and K-to-E mount adapter) would make an excellent "travel" system, and not sacrifice any image quality for the increased portability! Good luck in your decision, sir.
  5. I went with the NEX 5n and I'm very happy with it. I have a lot of legacy MF lenses and this camera is a way I get to use them with a good digital platform. Many of my lenses were rangefinder lenses and the 5n works better with the wide angle ones. Overall the picture quality is amazing. Better than my Canon 7D! I also have the kit zoom, which is OK, and just got the Sigma 30mm f/2.8 prime which is very light and sharp. I suppose if I just had regular SLR legacy lenses I would have gotten the NEX7 but the 5n fill a niche for me and I must say it's so addicting I have been shooting with it more than any other camera of late. I love the sweep panorama mode!
    That said, I have a full EOS system, A2e, 1N, 20D, 5Dmk2, and 7d, that I have no plans to abandon. Unlike the immature NEX system, it is a deep system and there are times when having access to the wide variety of good AF glass is great. And as much as I am taken with the NEX, if I have to shoot in tough environmental conditions, I'll reach for the tough-as-nails 7d every time. Ditto for birds in flight or other action work. Canon AF is tops!
    I've been reading a lot of these "either/or" posts from folks considering leaving the DSLR world to "go mirrorless". For me now, mirrorless is a tool you add to your regular kit, not as a replacement. As the Sony system fills out perhaps it can completely replace the DSLR for some types of photography. I see now third parties are making flash shoes for the NEX system. Great! I never thought I would ever own a Sony camera but the NEX system is forward thinking and just so much fun it's like a return to the joy of photography all over again. At some point in the future, the NEX and cameras like it, will become serious systems that will take major action away from traditional DSLR's.
  6. I have a NEX 5N and three lenses and the Electronic View Finder plus the upgraded flash. As with Louis I also own Canon Gear including longer L lenses mainly for sports and wildlife. Believe me I have tried to use the 5N (16MP sensor as opposed to 24 on the NEX 7) for sports. Although I can get some keepers and the 5N has ten frames per second where it only focuses once at the beginning it does not compare to my success rates for the EOS 7D with L lenses. The Sony e-mount lenses are slow, the contrast detect AF cannot compete with the Canon phase detection AF, and there is no tracking function on my NEX comparable to AI on the Canon 7D. Having said that I do take the Sony 5N to swimming meets and do all my groups and head shots with it saving the heavy Canons for action. I use the 5N with a very good sensor for landscapes and the high ISO capability is as good as my Canon 5D at 3200. Where NEX 7 or 5N stand out is in portability and low weight. My NEX and three lenses plus EVF fit in a small bag that weighs only three and a half pounds. My Canon kit can go as high as twenty. I take the 5N to parties, set it up with the upgraded flash that bounces vertically and pass the camera around to let whoever wants to take a few pictures. They all come out very well. I do have insurance. The flash connection on the 5N is either EVF or Flash as both cannot be connected at the same time. The 7 with built in flash and evf does not have this problem. I have shot several thousand pictures with the 5N since last November. At first I had real trouble deciphering the menus as they are complicated and not well organized but I have gotten past that now as I pretty well know my way around the camera now. I have done several NEX blowups at 19x13 that cannot be told from either of my Canon bodies as long as the pictures were taken with adequate light. Were I to have a choice right now I probably would go for the NEX 7 although it is pretty much of a toss up. The smaller 5N sensor does deliver slightly better high ISO performance but that is probably a disinction without a difference. I use just Sony e-mount lenses that have proven to be better than I expected and deliver these very good blow-ups but save the 16mm 2.8 they are slow. They are however sized to fit the two NEX bodies making any of the three lenses I have a very convenient package. The lens size does not overwhelm either NEX body. The external EVF on the 5N is the same as the internal EVF on the 7. It is not as good as the optical VF on my Canon 7D particularly in bright glaring light but because it takes its signal directly from the sensor it shows under and over exposure as well as DOF on the EVF or LCD. The is rated very good in all the many reviews I have read. As Louis said, I do not think either NEX is a total replacemnet for the larger DSLRs for uses like sports, wildlife and places where large aperture long lenses are needed. I cannot feature my three pound Canon 100-400 mounted on my NEX 5N. Having said all of the above, I do a lot of my photography with the NEX 5N because of the great sensor and the absolute benefits of not having to pack a three pound lens on a two pound body in many situations.
  7. Dieter, the M8 (M8.2 should be similar) is a great camera though it's annoying to not be full frame so my wideangle is my normal and my normal is my telephoto, etc. Sensor is only about 10MP but very good, but not in the range of the M9. Very nice to use. And the M8 has another party piece -- infrared. With a filter like Leica's IR filter (or a dark red filter) you get very nice infrared shots both black and white and false color, many times handheld with excellent metering.
    But I'd like a better sensor which is why I'm considering the NEX's (or an M9 if I could afford it).
  8. Many thanks to those who have responded. I am beginning to lean towards the 5N with EVF and adaptors and hang on to the Canon kit. Having said that the NEX 7 price in the UK has started to come down quite a bit so I could still be swayed! Seems like either will give me good results so it's really a question of the best value for money kit I can get.
  9. I too considered the Sony NEX-5n, but adding the desirable & highly touted EVF didn't make much sense to me price wise. When cost compared with the integrated one on the NEX-7 & add to that it's built-in flash, it made better sense to have the complete package of the NEX-7.
    Having now become familiar with it, I can honestly say that this is a stunning piece of technology !
    1. The electronic viewfinder is indispensable outdoors with the toggle/zoom-in manual focus functions. Talk about focus accuracy with all of my years of acquired lenses! The adapters are simply a kick; currently Leica, Nikon, Yashica/Contax & Minolta. (Anxiously waiting for my Leica R adapter)
    2. The built-in flash is unfairly maligned. The images in a room when flexed up to provide a ceiling bounce are fantastic.
    3. Criticism of the menu system is way overblown; learn it, set it, then basically forget it.
    4. With manual lenses you'll mainly be manipulating your variable ISO and the zoom-in manual focus. Peaking is OK but I find that the "super" zoom (hit the button twice) focus is far quicker and more accurate.
    5. The Sony 16mm f2.8 is nice, but my Leica primes blow it away. No more Sony lenses for me; I'll stick to the menagerie of wonderful manual lenses. (Sounds slow, but on the contrary. With the auto adjusting EVF, you can focus stopped down and the NEX-7 flawlessly handles the auto shutter speeds for you !)
    6. Even the 1.5 Crop factor is quickly forgiven, the image quality is beyond anything imaginable just a few short years ago. Yes it's that good...
    Plus, it has so many other wonderful features if you stand to be even more amazed.
    Finally, I feel the camera can be as simple or as complicated as you wish...
  10. Metabones offers a Canon Lens to NEX adapter that does metering and aperture control but not AF. They want 399 USDollars for it. I considered it for my NEX because I have Canon lenses and thought that a least my EF 50 1.8 would sized for it but I bought that lens fifteen years ago used for sixty bucks. That doesn't make sense. I bought a very sharp, well reviewed, Tamron EF-s mount 17-50 2.8 non IS lens for 500 USdollars for its relatively small size for my 7D in comparison. That lens is small enough to use on the NEX but I ain't spending another 400 to do that. I probably will get an adapter with an adjustable aperture at about seventy bucks. I prefer to use Canon mostly for high quality lenses. Although I use the NEX 5N a lot and get good pictures and displayable prints I use the NEX 5N pretty much for non-demanding lighting and action. It turns out those uses take up a sizable portion of the stuff I put on the web (save swim meets, wildlife and other sports) and/or print. I am not a pixel peeper and am much interested in the final product. As I said this little camera is virtually always with me. As to the the Flash, I have the Canon HVLF20S guide number 20 to replace the kit flash. It can be set to bounce but only vertically you have to find a wall on vertical pictures. It is stronger than the kit or I think the pop-up on the 7. This flash is almost two inches high on the camera and reaches over my emount 55-210 4.5-6.3 lens when extended. I just tried it to make sure I am right. It is far more effective than the kit flash which I thought puny. I have done a lot of indoor flash with very satisfactory results. I do not like direct flash. On the 5N I have to set flash exposure at minus two stops which gets very good exposure results. So, thinking out loud, I may buy a reasonably priced adapter. On the 5N you have to press the shutter button half way down and rotate the lens to enlarge the viewfinder or lcd image for manual focusing. That also works on menu dmf when auto focusing. I have been a Canon user for going on twenty five years and where I instinctively used the 7D the NEX took some self-taught learning such as using center focus to place the focus where I want it and not to use low light assist as the focus pattern is too large, etc. But now that the camera is set the way I want it, I just pick it up and shoot. You can also user define functions for four of the buttons on the NEX so I can push a button and get PASM, flash correction, etc so that you do not have to go to the menu. I hear the seven is more refined than the 5N in this regard. Just some random thoughts afer six months and a few thousand actuations of NEX use.
  11. David Tayor-Hughes uses and writes extensively on using mirrorless cameras (Fuji, NEX, ยต4/3, Leica):
    If the type of photography he does has much in common with yours, you'll find it very helpful.
  12. my Leica primes blow it away. No more Sony lenses for me​
    Good to hear your thoughts, Gus. I feel the same way. Classic MF primes are the way to go. That is until I got the new Sigma 30mm f/2.8. Frankly, I thought I was doing something wrong. How could this cheap, plastic, AF lens be so good? But in head-to-head comparison against my good MF Nikkor Ai-S 35/2. Canon FD early Pre-SSC, radioactive chrome-nose, 35mmf/2, Pentax SMC 35mm f/2(M42) and Canon LTM 35mm f/2 it came on top sharpness-wise. The Canon FD had a touch better contrast but that's it. I didn't try any Leica lenses. (BTW, the Contax G lenses are better than all the others but I don't have a 35mm) The Sony kit zoom was FAR behind all the above.
    I wanted at least one good AF lens to do street work with and this Sigma is it. It focuses fast and accurate, it's tiny and it weighs nothing. Totally worth $199.
  13. It seems that David Taylor-Hughes Thinks that the Sony kit 18-55 produces decent images and that focus peaking works very well particularly when combined with image enlargement on the Sony EVF or lcd. Plus one, here. I get very good enlargements at least up to 19x13 and larger with these tools.
  14. Yes Dick, I agree. The Sony kit 18-55mm (I have a black one) is good, especially if you work within it's best ranges. I've taken some good sharp pictures with it and I'm keeping it as a good all-around, lightweight solution for casual snap shooting and travel. Like many zooms (kit or otherwise), it falls short when compared to superb prime lenses but this is not a flaw of the Sony zoom.
  15. Gus, what is your working procedure when using the NEX and say a Leica 35 or 50 lens? What do you have to do to get the picture. And could you explain how focus peaking works?

Share This Page