Curious comparison, NEX with kit lense vs M43 with good prime

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by rossi46, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. rossi46

    rossi46 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 1, 2012
    Just for the sake of curiousity (I already bought GX1).

    If we put a NEX 5N or NEX 7N on the kit lense vs newer sensor M43 (EM5 and GX1) on a good prime, either 20mm F1.7 or 45mm F1.8.

    How do they compare in the following conditions -
    1. Low light photography (will the brilliant APC-S sensor with not so good kit lense do better than M43 combo with good prime lense here?)
    2. Dynamic range..
    3. Sharpness and details of pictures in normal lighting conditions.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Rossi, your enthusiasm is to be applauded, but many of us are not a fan of the militant fanboyism in posts such as these and your thread about the demise of DSLRs. In fact, that you're asking this question just decisively proves that you're not qualified whatsoever to speak of the future of DSLRs, because you clearly don't understand cameras and photography to the extent that you think you do.

    It's a pointless comparison, but the NEX-5N or NEX-7 will win at wide angle, since the m4/3 camera can't do that, but the m4/3 camera will win in terms of subject isolation, as it has lenses that open up 3 stops more. You might as well be asking: which is better, wintertime or night time? There's no right answer.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Honestly, expressing this kind of opinion helps no one. If you don't like the gist of the other thread, say it there, not here.
    • Like Like x 5
  4. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    I'll bite

    1. Olympus has built in IS and and a brighter lens. So it can take hand held low light pictures with lower ISO. Olympus wins here.
    2. Sony has best DR at base ISO
    3. The Olympus images will be sharper.
  5. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    I think it helps everyone. What helps no one is this pointless comparison, plus the incessant warmongering. My G2 is not better than my DSLR, and my DSLR is not better than my G2. Neither are better than a GX1, and a GX1 is not better than either of my cameras. A NEX with kit lens is not better than a micro 4/3 with prime lens, and a micro 4/3 with prime lens is not better than a NEX with kit lens. A landscape or architecture photographer *may* likely choose the NEX-7, while a portraitist *may* likely choose the m4/3 camera, but I can mention countless situations where it would go the other way. Rallying up against other camera systems to celebratorily massage our e-prostates in triumph doesn't do anything positive. Why do so many people turn their camera system into an "us vs. them" battle? Go shoot with your camera, and if you find a shortcoming, come post here. If the shortcoming is inherent to the camera type and/or format, we'll recommend something better.

    If you want one way that the NEX cameras are better, I follow soundimageplus, one of our resident stock photography gurus here, and he has drifted toward using his NEX system more than his m4/3 system for his work. Other knowledgeable users such as FlyPenFly and Eric_L have left as well. Meanwhile, many other respected photographers are flocking to the m4/3 system. Funny, it's like there is no one correct answer . . .
    • Like Like x 3
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I think this is a good answer, all around. :)

    I will add though that the difference in sharpness (question #3) is significant. The NEX kit lens is very soft.
  7. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    Being the NEX fanboi I am. I'll have to say M43 with the 20mm. The NEX kit lens really loses it in the corners. I posted some shots on seriouscompacts. A NEX with a good legacy prime lens though... a different story entirely.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. ZephyrZ33

    ZephyrZ33 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2010
    Southern California
    Thanks for the insight. You're like my anti-hero...

    The "Sawyer" to "Lost", "Odo" or "Quark" from Star Trek:Deep Space Nine, or "Daryl" from "The Walking Dead". They rub newbs the wrong way at first, but the audience realizes the character has a lot of depth and good intentions. The show can't go on without 'em. :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 2
  9. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I'll thank you for no other reason than your signature. I've been persuaded by others to use the improper nomenclature of "CSC" when the proper one is MILF. You remind me that I am not alone and I am ashamed for allowing myself to be bullied into accepting "CSC" which is really the acronym for a computer consultancy company. I will go back to using MILF and do so proudly.
  10. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Wasn't Zephyr thanking Schnitz???
  11. lattiboy

    lattiboy Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 16, 2009
    I generally hate this kind of speculation, but hell, it's what the internet is for, right?

    Anyway, I started out with the GF1, ended up using GH1, GH2, EP1, EP2, GF2, and even an EPL1 (for about an hour)

    I'm now shooting with an NEX-5N with a watchful eye on the EM-5.

    Things I feel confident of:

    1) Because of the rather massive ISO performance advantage NEX holds over M43, it is incredibly good for shooting moving subjects

    2) NEX screen is really phenomenal.

    3) No hotshoe for NEX, which is stupid

    4) Lens selection is meager at best for NEX. The various kit zooms are really quite good, 16mm is pretty good too, but that's pretty much it. The Zeiss f/1.9 is awesome, but it's $1000. I would KILL for a 25mm f/1.4 or 40mm f/1.8 equivalent lens for Sony. Basically a 35mm f/1.8 like Alpha has. The 50mm f/1.8 OIS lens is apparently wonderful, but it's huge, pricey for a 50mm, and did I mention huge?

    5) Community: You guys like DP Review forums.... right? RIGHT?!?!?!!?

    6) Focus peaking: Was very excited about this as being a "game changer", but in reality it's kind of annoying in many situations. Especially low-light, low-contrast, which is where I generally use my MF stuff. Still, it's not useless and Oly/Panny should really adopt it as a feature.

    6) Finally, the thing that got me over to NEX: RAW file quality. It is crazy what you're able to push and pull out of NEX-5N files. Especially in LR4. It literally feels like every shot is an HDR composite. The closest I've come to this is with my old Sigma DP1, but you were limited to ISO200 with that.

    It's a wash in many respects. I'm trying to decide if I will invest the $1000 in an EM-5 and sell my NEX while prices are still kind of high...
    • Like Like x 1
  12. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010

    I think there are a lot of reasons to prefer one or the other. It really depends on what you like and what you want out of your camera. From the get go the NEX has a better sensor. It has better resolution and is widely seen as superior to m43. I hve seen image sof the NEX that are absolutely jaw dropping. Does that make it a better camera? Not necessarily it just means the senor is higher quality. A lot of factors go into making a choice of what camera to use. For some folks sensor quality is very important. For my uses it isn't so much an issue as I find the m43 is good enough. What I like about m43 is the compactness and combination of small size and IQ that is acceptable for my uses. I myself don't care for the UI on the NEX and find the body uncomfortable to use. That doesn't apply to anyone but me but that is one reason that I likely wouldn't choose one. That said I know folks that wouldn't touch my G2 with a ten foot pole and I think its great.

    What brought me to m43 was size, a good selection of native glass (which continues to get better) and ease of using legacy lenses (although I think that is really a strength of NEX). In a "shootout" who would win? With all due respect I don't think it matters. In the end its about the images. If you make great images with what you have then it was a good choice.
  13. ZephyrZ33

    ZephyrZ33 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2010
    Southern California
    Tell me about it. I just wish mainstream would pick one acronym as a blanket distinction. I had a conversation this morning:

    "Why do you shoot Olympus? Photographers tell me to get Canon or Nikon..."

    "Well, actually I don't care about the brand I just like the form-factor and mirrorless cameras..."


    "micro-four thirds?"

    *blank stare*


    *blank stare*




    *awkward stare*

    "I like turtles..."
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dear Rossi
    It call comes down to few things
    1) What u wanna do with ur camera? I mean what do u shoot ?
    2) Do u plan to add more lenses in future ?
    3) R u a pixel peeper?
    Every system has its own advantages and disadvantages but I would always pick up MFT camera with a good prime rather than Nex 5N with a kit lens .
    Answer to Question 1)- APS-C with kit lens will not offer any advantage over MFT with good prime like PL25 1.4 and Oly 45 1.8 in low light . I have Sony alpha 580 which a friend left with me for 3 months , this camera with kit lens sucks in low light . So MFT with good prime wins here
    2) Dynamic Range - Obviosuly APS-C sensor has advange over MFT so Sony wins here
    3) Sharpness and detail in normal lighting - No one can tell the difference even if u use MFT with kit lens vs 5N with kit lens in normal lighting - So its a tie .
    Having said that , I will always choose MFT with a good prime rather than 5N with kit lens .
    Now if U have spare money buy a 5N with kit lens and try it useself , U can order from BH , test it and return it if u don't like it .
    Having said that I always form a bond with camera and get comfortable with it . I have EPL2 and I love it . I tried Nex 5 briefly and didn't like UI and it was cumbersome to use so I returned it .
    Both systems and cameras are moe capable than u and me and will take excellent pics but its all unto u what pleases u the most .For me nothing fancies me more than Olympus for their OOC JPEgs, WB , Controls etc and range of primes available for MFT .

  15. foto2021

    foto2021 Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 5, 2011
    SE England

    Compact System Camera is a British term. I work in retail and we are obliged to use it. It is in wide use here but I admit that I don't particularly like it.

    Problem is, I'm not sure that the alternatives such as MILC and EVIL are that much better. They both have negative aspects.

    As for "MILF", I thought that had an entirely different meaning. :wink:
  16. deodeo

    deodeo Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 13, 2011
    It depends on how you shoot. Nex5n does have amazing sensor but is short on lens selection.

    1. If you shoot primes get a MFT with 12/25/45 or 14/20/45 combo whichever fits your budget. If you shoot kit zoom lenses get a Nex. Nex system does not have any affordable good prime. The Sony E50/1.8 looks promising but not sure yet.

    2. If you shoot AF get a MFT because its faster AF speed and more native lenses to choose. If you shoot MF get a Nex because of the focus peeking and nicer LCD screen. Both systems can use EVF if you like.

    3. If you like extreme compactness get a GF3/14mm or PZ14-42x combo. Nex is always bigger only because of the size of its lenses (except for the 16mm pancake that is similar in size with Pany 20/1.7).

    This is why I end up with a dual system in my bag.

    Nex5n with Contax G28/G90 and Yashica ML 50/1.4 (maybe replaced by Sony E50/1.8) for leisure shooting to enjoy MF and superb IQ from 5n's sensor.

    GF3 with Pany 14/20/Pz14-42x for extreme compactness and ez of use when I travel with families and shoot casual video footage. MF and non-zoom just do not make sense to other people in the family.

    I do like both and pick them depending on needs. Sometime I do carry both bodies with total of three lenses to cover all I need. For example, GF3/14mm and Nex5n/G28 plus Yashica 50/1.4 or G90 or Pz14-42.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. rossi46

    rossi46 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 1, 2012
    OK, got it,....generally,.....

    MFT with good lens combo will beat NEX in low light and picture quality i guess, and NEX is better at dynamic range.

    So NEX lens are very limited, to only about 3 types of lens right?
    kit lense, 18mm lens...
    To get a good prime lens, you need to use the Sony Alpha DSLR lens, and you need the E-Mount,...all these are going to cost alot more than MFT prime lens?
  18. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I am late to this thread, but I want to make this clear for everyone. The site TOS are here:

    You can't call someone a fanboy on this site. It is a fundamental requirement to be nice to everyone and avoid making insults in these forums.
  19. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I wouldn't say that. The NEX will beat the M43 in low light even with the slower lens because it's high ISO performance is so much better. The kit NEX lens is soft compared to the Panny 20mm so a M43 with that lens will be sharper.

    There are more than 3 NEX lenses. 18-55mm, 16mm, 18-200mm, 24mm, 30mm, 50mm and 55-210mm. There should be more coming this year.

    To get a good prime lens, you need to find a MF lens and buy an adapter. Say $10 for the lens and $10 for the adapter. Not much to spend. At that point then the NEX has it hands down in low light and sharpness.
  20. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    To which "M43" are you referring? I don't see anything to suggest that the NEX 5N is as much as two-three stops better than a GX1 at higher ISOs, which is what the difference in the speed of the suggested lenses amount to.