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my take on sony NEX cameras vs micro 4/3s

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by pcake, May 12, 2010.

  1. pcake

    pcake Mu-43 Regular

    May 3, 2010
    on some of the other camera forums, there are tons of threads predicting that the new sony nex cameras will wipe out micro four thirds due to smaller size and better image quality. according to a few reviewers who got hold of nex cameras for review, the higher ISO performance on the new cameras is very good - much cleaner than the m4/3s cameras. and don't get me wrong - that sounds great to me, but there are other things that don't.

    for one thing, i like the size of my gf1. smaller would not be better for me - i'm not a person who wants to throw my camera in a pocket, and the way the gf1 feels in my hand is perfect. when i had a smaller digicam years ago, it wasn't a pocketable - it was a canon A625, which had a little heft and good controls.

    next, the menuing is not intuitive at all. for those of us who really use our cameras, having difficult menus can take the joy out of photography fast. for me personally, i change my own ISO and white balance a lot, so having the dedicated buttons on my camera was one of the reasons i chose it. having to dig through menus to change them? no, thanks.

    there's no dial on the top of the NEX cameras allowing you to change modes from P to M or to movie. sony uses a virtual dial, and i'd really rather have it at my fingertips. also lori grunin from cnet says it's easy to overshoot when using it. for those who really want a small camera, this could be a good trade off, but for me, i want to be able to affect my photography as easily as possible.

    as far as i know, there is no plan to add a view finder to the NEX cameras, another no-go for me.

    sony will be offering 2 lenses with 1 more announced. the kit lens has been described by all the hands-on reviews i've seen as having plenty of barrel distortion and pincushioning, plus plenty of purple fringing. i love the kit lens on my gf1, and appreciate more lens choices - i have my eye on 2 more within a couple months.

    while i do like the idea of better pics at higher iso settings, and the flip and twist monitor would have been useful, the rest doesn't sound like something that would interest me. while sony is big enough that they've made a surprising stir about their new cameras - my son read about them on the first page of cnn - they sound like cameras that are more for the p&s crowd than for those of us who want to use our cameras to their full potential.

  2. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    I totally agree with you but I think you didn't say one most important thing: they're very, very ugly. And that is very important today.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I'm glad Sony is in this space, and I think the high ISO ability (and likely high dynamic range) are very appealing. These cameras should sell well, and doubtless the system will evolve and improve. Based on the early full res samples here, though, the Sony 18-55 and 16mm lenses can't hold a candle to lenses like the Panasonic 14-45 and 20/1.7.
  4. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    I actually think Sony will be more successful just on name alone. And by all apperances, they are really going after the P&S market at least with this first run. I don't care for the look, but it does look functional.

    I actually think this might give Oly an excuse to finally produce more lenses or at least higher end lenses. Same for Panny. Right now, compared to the NX and NEX, this is all that mFT has going for it: more lens choice, albiet still small.
  5. Bokeh Diem

    Bokeh Diem Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 14, 2010
    More competition to keep Panasonic and Oly on their toes. Now they have to do a sensor upgrade

    Bokeh D :biggrin:
  6. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    I'm sure there's a 4/3rds sensor global shutter upgrade in the works... that will bring the cost of manufacture (after the R&D costs have been recovered) and mechanical complexity down even further.

    If they can bring the multi-scan HDR into play to increase dynamic range too, Olympus and Panasonic will be in a superb position.

    I only hope they invest in better lenses to build on the success in m4/3rds so far. I'd like a high speed portrait prime lens.


  7. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    I agree, IQ is really my only gripe, well, more specifically ISO usability and particularly dynamic range. Enough can be squeezed out of raw files, but both of my Pentax cameras pull down noticeably better DR. Bottom line it is only a good thing to have some market competition!
  8. Benerus

    Benerus New to Mu-43

    Apr 15, 2010
    I came to E-P1 from the point and shoot world and probably would have skipped it to go straight to SONY NEX at that time. It lookes a tad smaller and lighter and you don't need to learn about f-stop or aperture ratio which is intimidating for newbies.

    The main thing I was wondering about for the NEX is the lens weight. With a bigger sensor, do they need bigger lenses? One of the 4/3 advantages is you can get a zoom lens that is still light enough to carry around.

    Does the quality of Panasonic lenses outweight the larger NEX sensor?

    The second thing is image stabilization. E-P1 has this in-camera. NEX has it only in some lenses - for example not in the pancake - but NEX also has a bigger sensor. Is there a clear advantage here?
  9. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area

    I'd like to see M 4/3 improve high ISO performance and bump the Megapixels to about 16 MP (and stay clean and noise free).

    I'll try any camera, the new Sony's look a bit odd, especially the larger lenses it looks unbalanced.

  10. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    competition is a good thing.... but these sony cameras seem to be working hard to win the hearts of the point and shooter ..........while ignoring the dreams and wishes of the enthusiasts, imho

    firstly who ever told sony or any maker for that matter that shooters would be content with only an lcd screen to frame and make exposure\focusing choices? i am fine with using it most of the time but i consider a good evf a necessity , its the primary reason
    why i bought a gf1 after falling for the ep1 , because in certain conditions and situations an eye level finder is just mandatory.

    i dont use eye level shooting much these days , but the option absolutely 100 percent must be there. for bright lite shooting my ep1 sometimes stays home while the gf1 is on duty. ..............sony seems to have said ...so what?

    sonys decision to make a smaller than necessary body is also curious ? for bragging rights?
    when i look at what they were able to squeeze into that body i wonder what were they thinking , it seems no attempt was made to reduce the mount size , further with the incredible shrinking of the body, obviously there was room the to make a body that actually complimernted the lenses in terms of scale , with an evf built in, seeing as they opted out of having a built in flash...
    a missed opportunity , imho

    when oly and panny used the same sensor brought from a mirrorbox camera to one without they were able to reduce the size of mount the removal of mirror box and reduced distance promised smaller cheaper lenses, sony , it seems did not as the lenses seem huge form the system .... absurdly so .

    lastly what peeves me is the lens launch choices, the pancake that should have been made is a 25-30 mm 1.5 to 2 that could have launched along side the commendable beautifully machined 16mm 2,8.... that would have turned a few heads .
    the 16mm 2.8 lens beautifully machined lens will retail for about 250 us dollars the lenses are beautifully crafted , i wish they were better performers, i guess in this day and age thats a firmware upgrade away.lol

    kudos to Sony for giving a fast wide 24mm equiv, made of metal for 250 dollars , olympus and panasonic
    could learn something about sanity in lens pricing and build quality from the Sony behemoth !

    how about some physical imput sony? i need at least one dial in the mix... its easy to appeal to the amateur just make a friendly green icon on the top dial [ oh you didnt include one!] and allow the enthusiast a camera with proper controls..............
    • Like Like x 1
  11. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    What focal length and aperture are you thinking Brian?
    Something between 65-75mm F/1.4? Fixed focal length, but something in that range. That seems about right to me. Something that would be like a Nikon 85 1.4.

  12. vincechu

    vincechu Mu-43 Regular

    Hey everyone, I just watched this:

    Sony Alpha NEX-5 (black, with 18-55mm lens) Digital camera reviews - CNET Reviews (actually a video)

    and found it very informative.

    I have to say I agree with what everyone's said so far, the nex system has a lot of potential especially with its brilliant sensor but it isn't really for me because:

    1. Poor lenses (distortion and sharpness), 24mm equiv wideangle also isn't really my thing

    2. No EVF (perhaps an attachable one later?)

    3. usability/handling hindered by lack of control dials - I also thought that the Nex cameras would have been touch screen which might have helped in adjusting settings etc.

    Just thinking if Sony put an EVF and flash in their next NEX they could easily make one GF1/EPx sized, a few extra button/dials would be good too. Having said that I'm thinking m4/3rds could go smaller than the NEX cameras?

    In regards to m4/3rd I think that the NEX (and NX) cameras, acting as competition will really push m4/3rds to lower prices to compete and develop better bodies.

    Bokeh and Brian have touched on the issue of sensors, I'm hoping that we'll see advances in sensor development and I think one way (perhaps the only way) m4/3rds can compete with aps-c sized sensors in terms of noise is to implement the rumored (very old rumor) back-lit sensors, as well as the rumoured global shutter.

    Panasonic has a history of innovating and bring us a few first - the first mirrorless camera, the first touch screen on an interchangeable lens camera (ILC) - first global shutter in an ILC and first back-lit sensors inn ILCs would be a great way for them to carry on ;-)

    No doubt that pixel peepers or those upgrading from P+S cameras will buy them, but ultimately I think m4/rds is safe for now - the NX10 failed to impress (me anyway lol) in terms of high ISO despite bragging about its larger sensor and the NEX cameras really need some some quality lenses.

    Anyway back to revision ;-)
  13. vincechu

    vincechu Mu-43 Regular

    Cosinaphile I agree with pretty much everything u've said.

    Sony seemed to have overlooked a few things which would have made the "NEX experience" more full and attractive to a wider audience, IMO they seemed to have rushed everything for summer/the world cup or perhaps for the sake of just getting a such a small camera out on the market quickly in the race for market share.

    It's all very good that they're targeting P+S upgraders, but they could have hit 2 birds with one stone and targeted enthusiasts with a little more consideration. just look at the success of the GF1 and E-Px's in this regard.

    Hope u know what I mean ;-)
    • Like Like x 1
  14. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    I think that Sony pointed to the p+s crowd and not at the enthusiasts in order not to weaken Alpha series's sales.

    She maybe wants to take all the market with this sales policy: Nex=those upgrading from p+s; Alpha=enthusiasts and professionals.

    Thats the only way to explain the caveats (which are many and annoying to enthusiasts) of Nex cameras.
  15. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    vince.... elan ..... good observations , completely agree
    • Like Like x 1
  16. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy

    But remember that this is not necessarily a winner: it may become Sony's Achille's heel (is that right?).
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
  18. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
  19. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    The :43: is a more mature system. The pro is that it has a pretty good kit lens. It will take some time before Sony can give such as good kits.
  20. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    they will sell a bundle.. well...enough to keep the beancounters happy. They will have them in more shops than panasonic and olympus combined.... but they wont 'kill' micro 4/3. they will bring out multiples of new models to fill the shelves and spend a ton on marketing.... but the brand name is still to me wrong for cameras... Sony does Playstation, TV and Audio and Pro-video cameras. Still cameras are not their niche.

    i'm sticking with olympus.... they are a camera company

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