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Please help me choose - GF2 vs NEX 3

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by mxl180, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. mxl180

    mxl180 New to Mu-43

    5
    Nov 22, 2011
    I can get ...

    -brand new GF2 with 14-42mm lens for $299 new. ( I dont really care for that lens, I read it's not great)

    OR

    -use Nex 3 in excellent condition - body only for $230.


    I already purchased some 50mm 1.4 and 1.7 lens from ebay. I'm no camera expert. I purchased those lens to get good low light shots and portraits.

    I love the look of the GF2 but only reason I'm considering the NEX-3 is bigger sensor = better night/low light shots.

    Please correct me if i'm wrong!
     
  2. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Are you mostly interested in adapted lenses then? If that is the case, I think the Nex 3 would be a good option with its nice manual focus peaking feature.

    If you actually want AF/native glass and a compact package, I think m4/3 is a better option.
     
  3. mxl180

    mxl180 New to Mu-43

    5
    Nov 22, 2011
    Yes i'm looking at affordable older but great manual lens in the aftermarket (can't afford auto).
    Thanks for that info! So it outlines what's in focused...I'm assuming it works on all aftermarket manual lens. Do you think it's difficult to get an exact focused using the GF2 led screen?
     
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    It would be better if the GF-2 had a decent EVF viewfinder, but the LVF-1 is not the best (the Oly VF-2 is much higher resolution and an excellent focusing aid). The Panasonics have a system which gives you a zoomed in box, but I'm told it doesn't give good resolution/detail in the zoom box and is therefore not as effective as the Olympus system of zooming in with the Close-Up button. I haven't had much chance to compare though, since I use the PEN system - that's just going by what I've been told.

    With the close-up button coupled with the high-res viewfinder, the Olympus system arguably makes the best manual focus system (with the high-res EVF you normally don't need to zoom in, but the option is there if you do need the accuracy). Though it could be said that the NEX has the best manual focus "feature" in the peaking mode, it also doesn't allow for an EVF which is what I use most often with manual focus lenses. Don't get me wrong I think peaking is great, but the Olympus system allows me to use my manual focus lenses just like I did with my DSLRs but with even greater accuracy. It feels more natural to me than adopting a completely different focus method.

    If you're only considering the GF-2 and NEX-3 though, I think the NEX-3 would be the better for manual focus.

    Besides a lack of viewfinder, the NEX system also has no hotshoe for flash. If you use any "real" lighting, whether speedlights or studio strobes, then the NEX system is definitely not for you. If you're shooting ambient light only, then the NEX will do you fine.

    Of course, this is only comparing with the NEX-3/5 series (incl. C3 and 5N). The NEX-7 has both high-res OLED EVF as well as a hotshoe for flash (Sony/Minolta Alpha shoe - which is not preferred over the standard camera hotshoe, but it still works!).
     
  5. Does the GF2 use the same full-screen zoom like the Olys and first-gen Pannys? I have to admit I do prefer the feature on the Panasonics where half-pressing the shutter button returns the view to normal.
     
  6. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    For adapted lenses get Nex. Vintage lenses perform poorly on m43 bodies unless stopped down considerably. Even w/o peaking, a substantially larger sensor is always better for those lenses due to crop factor alone.
     
  7. mxl180

    mxl180 New to Mu-43

    5
    Nov 22, 2011
    thanks guys for your inputs!!!!

    I just read this quote from another forum

    "After a few hours experience, I have to agree with several of the posters above - peaking on my NEX-5 is not only useful, it is indispensable for anyone who wants to use manual focus lenses. In fact, it may convert a few diehard AF users to manual focus lenses, it's that good."

    I think i'm sold on the NEX 3.
     
  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    First off, the GF2 doesn't use the Panasonic zoomed in box (that's the GF3). It has the same focus assist that the Olympus uses and it works great. I do agree that the Panasonic LVF (external EVF) is not in the same class as the Olympus VF2 but its not bad either and the NEX3 doesn't even offer that feature.

    If what you want is absolute IQ then the NEX is probably better. The Panasonic offers a better range of native glass and like the NEX plentiful options for using legacy lenses. IMHO the Panasonic also offers superior handling controls and UI to the NEX (although my experience with the NEX is admittedly very limited.)

    I find peaking to be an very interesting feature but truth be told my old E-P1 with its measly 260K LCD screen is actually quite easy to focus manually. You look for a tell tale shimmer that appears and that indicates the images is in focus. Its pretty darned easy. Where all of these cameras have issue is using the LCD in bright light. I find using the LCD in bright light an exercise in frustration. I have heard that the NEX LCD is much better in bright light.

    If it were me I'd go for the m43 before the NEX. Personally I find I don't care for the UOI and controls on the NEX. Add to that the number of terrific m43 lenses (or the lack of great NEX lenses thus far) and m43 seems like a nicer option.
     
  9. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Sounds like the right move.... but, still think you need the GF2, ideally with a 14mm prime. :biggrin: They are crazy cheap right now.
     
  10. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I don't find that vintage lenses perform poorly on m43. Take a look at the mnay MANY examples in the adapted lens image archive . I agree that a larger sensor is nice but its not that simple. There's more to a camera than just the sensor.
     
  11. Source?
     
  12. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    It's a nice camera. If you're happy with it that's really all that counts. Enjoy...and share some pictures. Serious compacts has a NEX section and I think Amin has a NEX specific sister site to this as well. Most of us are on those sites as well. I look forward to seeing your stuff.
     
  13. mxl180

    mxl180 New to Mu-43

    5
    Nov 22, 2011
  14. Z-man

    Z-man Mu-43 Regular

    42
    Nov 16, 2011
    What lenses have you already bought? which brand? I can't imagine trying to do todays demanding photography without having the benefit of AF. AF is more precise than the human eye in most cases. The only real time I ever MF is when doing macro shots. I think you might be approaching this from the wrong angle. And bigger sensor doesnt necessarily mean better night/low light shots. Its going to depend more on the glass.
     
  15. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    There are tons of images on these forums showing that vintage adapted lenses can perform very well on MFT bodies.

    Sony has a few advantages: 1) Peaking (I haven't tried it but people say it's good); 2) Less "crop" means more choice for wide angle; 3) Microlens design on the NEX-C3 and NEX-5N helps with edge performance with wides.

    There are some advantages to MFT as well, including IBIS with Pens, better compatibility with some lenses designed for smaller imaging circles, and availability of EVFs for most bodies (NEX 3 and 5 can't use EVFs).

    If you aren't completely set on manual focus, I think the GF2 with 14/2.5 kit plus Oly 45/1.8 is extremely hard to beat from a performance and value standpoint.
     
  16. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Unfortunately, the Sony NEX is not something you should buy off Internet referrals. You MUST find one in person and see if the UI is "for you". People either love it or hate it - I don't think I have seen anyone in the middle - those who say "I could learn to live with it".

    There are many positives to NEX, especially if you're going to use (relatively) large adapted lenses anyways, but you know the saying "one oh $4!+ wipes out 1000 attaboy's"? The UI was that one "oh $4!+" for me.
     
  17. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I think that changed somewhat with the firmware updates that allowed more customization of the controls. It's now pretty easy to configure the camera to have quick access to whatever controls you want, whereas the original firmware made you go menu diving for everything.
     
  18. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    My own experience. I have yet to see a legacy lens mounted on m43 body equal to Oly 45 at f1.8 OR Panny 20 at f1.7 OR Panny 25 at f1.4. Not even close
     
  19. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    What legacy lenses mounted on an NEX body have you seen match up to those?
     
  20. I would say that to be true of most new-vs-old lens comparisons, nothing specific to m4/3.