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Debating E-M5 or keeping my NEX-6

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by cptobvious, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. cptobvious

    cptobvious Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 8, 2013
    I recently purchased a Sony NEX-6 and three lenses (Sigma 19, Sigma 30, and Sony 50). I prefer shooting with primes and really prefer Olympus' offerings (the 17mm f/1.8 and 45mm in particular) but the price of the Sony setup sucked me in. I think I 'only' spent about $1100 total after selling the kit lens.

    Right now the E-M5 body is on sale and both Oly lenses are part of the rebate. Total it would be about $1550 after rebate for the body, 17/1.8 and 45.

    Weighing the pros of each:

    For the E-M5:
    -Faster AF
    -Touch shutter (I quite liked this feature when I briefly owned the E-PL5)
    -Having a fast 35mm equivalent
    -Smaller portrait lens (45mm vs. the big Sony 50mm)
    -Weather sealed body

    For the NEX-6
    -Pop-up flash (I almost never use the flash if it comes externally)
    -Better stock grip
    -Having a 28mm and 45mm equivalent
    -Higher res viewfinder
    -Focus peaking
    -$450 cheaper

    Price for me is definitely a big factor. I'm looking for advice as to whether the Oly is worth the extra cost right now. Should I just keep the NEX and wait until the next OM-D is released (for the price drop on the E-M5)? Thanks for your opinions!
  2. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    I recently sold my E-M5. Now have an NEX 5N. I'm really surprised by how little I miss my m4/3s kit.

    I think it comes down to a couple of basic things: Lenses, and lenses. If you are going to use the wide array of quality lenses offered in m4/3s then it is tough to beat. But if your needs are more limited, and e-mount offerings meet those needs, it is tough to ignore NEX.

    The other lenses are the vintage MF type. Focus-peaking on NEX makes them really easy to use. If that is a priority then NEX provides a huge advantage. Keep in mind that I say that as someone who thought the focus-peaking work around with E-M5, and 5-way IBIS, made that difference somewhat negligible. Until I tried NEX.

    Beyond that I think the differences come down a lot to user preference. I will mention though that there is a pretty well regarded fast 35mm equiv lens for NEX: Zeiss 24/1.8. But it costs $1100, so the idea that NEX is "cheaper" flies out the window pretty quickly.
  3. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    Have you had or do you have an opportunity to try the E-M5? I was really disappointed in the NEX-6 viewfinder when I tried it. While I have not tried them side-by-side, from memory I prefer the E-M5 one, and actually even prefer the :43: add-on viewfinders (Olympus VF-2, of Panasonic LVF-2) above the E-M5's (image seems slightly bigger and less like being in a tunnel.)
  4. cptobvious

    cptobvious Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 8, 2013
    Thanks for the quick replies. I don't have any MF glass at the moment - I use peaking to fine tune focus for landscapes or still life. But for candids and snapshots the E-M5 seems to be the better camera because of its quick AF and tap to focus. I would probably never buy the Zeiss 24mm to be honest - the most expensive lens I purchased was the Canon 135L, quite a good price at $750 refurbished, but felt heartburn at spending that much and ended up selling it.

    I've used the E-M5 briefly and can't remember the viewfinder to be honest. Using the NEX-6 viewfinder for the first time I was quite impressed, even though it shows moire with my Sigma lenses.
  5. ccunningham

    ccunningham Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    Having never used a NEX, but having played with one at Best Buy when I went in to buy something unrelated to camera gear, I'm not an expert on the the differences, but...

    What's made you start thinking of ditching the NEX-6 now that you have it?

    In other words is there something you want to do with the NEX-6 that it can't do, and the E-M5 can, or is there something the E-M5 does better? Since you're looking at pretty similar outfits, I'm assuming you're not planning on buying the 7-14 or 75 or something you can't/don't already have for NEX.
    And that sort of leads me into:

    Which of the pros and cons matter the most to you? One way to figure it out would be to score the pros(+1 through +10) and cons(-1 through -10) for each one based on their importance to you, then tally the scores.
  6. asterinex

    asterinex Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 14, 2012
    Don't forget the very good jpg/raw output of the OM-D.
  7. cptobvious

    cptobvious Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 8, 2013
    There are 2 things I can think of the E-M5 can do better:
    1) Street photography/candids. Using the E-PL5's touch shutter was kind of a revelation being able to compose, focus and shoot seamlessly. The NEX-6 doesn't have a touch screen but even if it did, it wouldn't be nearly as good (the NEX-5R's touch shutter is pretty slow and misses focus often).
    2) Motion blur without a tripod - easier on the OM-D because of its superior IS.

    My main reason for picking the NEX-6 was the price. I got it with the kit lens for under $850 new, so after selling the lens the body was ~$600. My first choice was the OM-D but it was too expensive at the time. I returned my E-PL5 because it was defective but I probably would not re-buy it without rebates on the lenses.

    There are a couple other comparison points I forgot to mention. I prefer the electronic first shutter curtain of the NEX, since I experienced the shutter shock issues occasionally with the E-PL5. Also, I am more used to shooting in 3:2 ratio on the NEX rather than 4:3 of m4/3.

    On the other hand, I agree asterinex - the JPEG/RAW auto white balance on Olympus is much better than NEX.

    Tough decision...
  8. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    In my experience with the Nex, focus-peaking is still a hit-and-miss affair. And I am not even talking of f/1.4-level. The screen showed the subjects should be in focus (even at f/2.8), but a lot of my shots are out-of-focus.

    I would have loved to keep the Nex as a manual-focus option, but without having a reliable focus peaking, it loses its raison d'être for me. So even if I sold it cheap, I'd rather have those extra bucks than keep the Nex.
  9. ccunningham

    ccunningham Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    This is all fine, I'm not trying to talk you into or out of any decisions. So what's more important to you in the pros and cons for each?

    I can give you my opinion, but it really is based on my pro and con list and what's important to me, which might not really be what's important to you. That's all I'm saying. I mean, I have a Nikon 1 V1 that I like a lot (in addition to my E-M5,) but it might not be your cup of tea (or coffee,) it's definitely not to everyone's taste.
  10. pcnyc

    pcnyc Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 15, 2010
    I tried nex-6 with the same lenses as yours, but ended up keeping my om-d with panny 14-45mm, PL25, and oly 45mm. I will share my experience for your reference, but these are pretty subjective to my preference, you really should try out the omd for yourself. First the reasons I got the NEX-6:

    - I quite like the e-mount 50mm because I used a 50mm on a Canon crop for the longest time before m43 and really like the 75mm FF equiv. focal length over the 90mm equiv. with the oly 45mm.

    - the popup flash is quite powerful and I found it useful and perfectly adequate for quick indoor and product shots. just bend it back with your finger and bounce it off something. like the e-pl1. believe it or not this little convenience is the biggest thing I miss about nex-6.

    - i really like the way the EVF is off the the corner, no hump on top so it's smaller than omd. and it's also thinner, in fact the nex6+35mm 1.8 combo is smaller than omd+PL25.

    - price!

    - bigger sensor. I listed this last because theoretically this is one of the reason I bought it to try, but in practice I don't feel any better, and there's no e-mount lenses out there yet that really highlight any differences.

    now the reasons i switched back:

    - the 16-50 kit lens was unimpressive so I sold that right away (as compared to the 14-45mm, which might be a bit unfair). and really, there's no good zoom lens for NEX since 16-50 is supposedly an improvement over the 18-55. and the 18-200 ones are a bit too big for my taste.

    - AF is just plain fast on the omd. even with the latest firmware with the PDAF on the 50mm, omd is still way faster, so much so that for sports I much prefer using omd with af-s than using nex with af-c.

    - I feel that omd is more responsive overall, not just AF, but everything. startup, menu browsing, playback. this is the main reason I ended up keeping the omd.

    - nex-6 doesn't have a 720p video size. i know, very subjective, but i playback stuffs on my older laptop and it just can't handle nex-6's 1440 files without stuttering.

    - finally I think omd produces sharper jpegs. it's probably a combination of the 5-axis IS, the jpeg engine, and the superb lenses (i use PL25 most of the time).

    oh and btw, for what it's worth, my wife likes the nex6's default jpeg colors better (forgot what the exact setting it was). she doesn't pixel peep so she told me how nex6's jpeg colors are more vibrant. I could explain that I set the OMD for natural one time and forgot to set it back, but i thought the better and kept my mouth shut and made note mentally to never switch the color out of i-enhance again.
  11. ccunningham

    ccunningham Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    And I hate to follow up on myself, but...

    Be sure, I'm not trying to tell you (or anyone) to get a V1 here. I'm just saying that while some people don't like it, I have found it to be useful, and better than what a lot of internet chatter made it out to be. A lot of people made a lot of noise about it being a big fail photographically, but I completely disagree after trying it. Now those people may have managed to dull the sale of it, but what most of them had to say had zero relevance to the actual performance.
    But I've sidetracked myself.

    This just proves that you should try and take a good evaluation of what you're looking for the NEX-6 or the E-M5 to do, and then pick one of them based on that. That's why I'm not telling you to pick one or the other.

    Unless you bought at a really, really low price, it's likely you won't find it easy to make you're money back when selling used, or at least I never find it easy. Spending more may not make you happy, but if you think you will be happier with an E-M5 right now, you're better off selling now rather than in 9 months (or whatever it will be) until the NEX-6G (or whatever it will be) is announced. Then you'll be competing with new NEX6s that are heavily discounted and that's not going to help you.

    So basically, try to figure out which one you would rather have, and switch soon (if you're switching) to minimize the price hit you might take.
  12. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    NEX are great cameras, unfortunately most native lenses will not resolve to the level of the NEX 7s sensor. I'm not sure what sensor the NEX 6 has (it might be a downgrade from the 7), but I think it's fair to say that NEX has better bodies, but M43 has much better glass.
  13. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Someone (who didn't have an EPL5) asked about this a few days ago. I have an EPL5 and just run several tests using the shutter delay, and I see no differences in sharpness. Do you mean the issue with the EPM1 where if you were shooting around 1/100 second with IBIS on, you could see some double-imaging? Or is it something else.

    Frankly, I was going to recommend you look at an EPL5, since you are price conscious, but it sounds like you've talked yourself out of that direction.
  14. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    I like NEX cameras, but I like M43 lenses even more. They're addicting and you want to try them all! The bodies almost don't matter when you have lots of nice AF glass!
  15. mcumeda

    mcumeda Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 25, 2011
    I had a nex-5n before I picked up my OMD. I really liked the camera, but I really love my OMD. I am not sure why I like it more, but I just do. I also had a nex-7 briefly, but I just kept coming back to the OMD. I know the evf is suppose to be better on the nex, and I think it is sharper, but it is also a lot noisier when the light was bad. I had the attachable evf and I used the nex-7 evf.

    I also love the m4/3 lenses. Their size is fantastic. The nex is getting some more lenses, but the m4/3 are great (and small).

    I think you should probably try them both out. They are both great systems, but it is a personal choice. I think people here chose m4/3.
  16. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    Same reason why I sold my 5n, when I bought it.
  17. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I can't speak much for either the OMD or the NEX as I don't have either, but from what I have seen from my Sony SLT A57(which has the same sensor as the NEX-6) compared to the OMD; the OMD has cleaner image with lower noise at higher ISO(3200 and above) vs the A57(and I am sure NEX-6 also). Some of that will be due to the differences in jpeg and raw processing engine, but still the sensor in the OMD(& EPM2/EPL5) is in many ways better. Not to mention the IS of the OMD is better than even the IS of the SLT cameras. The OMD should also have faster/better AF than the NEX.

    Is high ISO and AF performance key to you, or the feature set of the NEX more worth it for you?
  18. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    If you find a compelling need to switch, switch. I like both systems - to me the most compelling difference is the available lenses, where the m43 system has more and more good lenses to choose from. If you're not satisfied with your Nex lenses and see something on the m43 side that you really like a lot more, go for it. Short of that, they're both great cameras with slightly different pros and cons and I wouldn't switch unless you just can't find the lenses you want on the Nex side.

  19. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    I think the deal breaker is the lenses and is; if they are not important to you then just stick with the Nex as Ray says.
  20. cptobvious

    cptobvious Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 8, 2013
    Thanks for all the replies and food for thought. I've decided I'll probably hold onto the NEX through the end of the year and see if the price of the E-M5 drops more.
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