1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

Sony NEX-5 - Good second camera?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by kriskerry91, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. kriskerry91

    kriskerry91 Mu-43 Regular

    I currently own an Olympus E-PM1 w/ 14-42mm & 40-150mm.

    I know someone selling a Sony NEX-5 (NOT NEX-5N) with the 16mm pancake lens (instead of 18-55mm) for just £270 brand new.

    Any opinions on the camera and lens?
    I was thinking of getting this instead of a fairly expensive pancake lens for my E-PM1.
    I'd be using it for street photography mainly!

    Any advice appreciated!
    Kris.
     
  2. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    Massachusetts
    Herbert
    No idea on the 16mm pancake, but I originally was only invested in the :43: system, but decided to get a second-hand Nex-C3. I love the images from that little camera. However, to prevent me from confusing myself, the E-PL3 is my go-to camera, for family trips or can't-miss-your-shots events. As such, I have the wide angles covered in :43: - the P14, P20, O45, and the Oly kit lens.

    However, when I can slow down (from E-PL3's milli-second AF to C3's few-seconds MF), I usually get the Nex-C3 with a 50mm FD or the Rokinon 85mm -- focal lengths ideal for portraiture. I plan to add maybe one or two manual lenses sometime. The focus peaking works beautifully, and if you do nail your focus, the images are superb.

    I believe the 5N's sensor works better than the C3's.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Heya Kris. I would say take the money and put it in a good prime lens for your m4/3 kit first (14mm, 20mm and PL25 come to mind).

    That 16mm is pretty mediocre, at best, and I have heard even worse on the 5 versus the 5N. The overall issue with the NEX system, imo (own a NEX-7 here), remains to be the poor selection of good native lenses. This may be somewhat alleviated with the new lenses coming at the end of the year - I am hoping the 35/1.8 OSS will be good.

    Like Herbert said, if you are interested in legacy/adapted, manual-focus lenses, the NEX makes a pretty cool digital back with the great sensor and focus peaking. I do think the 5N is supposed to be better than the 5 for legacy, but not sure how either compare to the C3?

    Definitely would say to buy lenses before another body, especially when you are considering a NEX 5 and native/AF lenses.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I'd only go with NEX as a second system if I planned to use it with legacy glass, where focus peaking feature provides a big benefit. (I think the original 5 has that feature via firmware update).

    I have not shot NEX, but the 16mm does not get stellar reviews. If you are considering the Olympus 12mm for same effective focal length I certainly understand your conundrum. The Panasonic 14/2.5 is excellent, but gets you no wider than your 14-42. The 12-50 is an option, but not so discreet for street shooting.

    Maybe the Sony does make sense for you. If the price is good and you can resell with a minimum loss if not happy with it you might as well give it a shot!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. kriskerry91

    kriskerry91 Mu-43 Regular

    I wouldnt really be interested in other lens' for it as i would primarily use the 16mm pancake and thats all. Is the IQ noticably better one the NEX aswell? As obviously it has a larger sensor.

    Thanks for the replies.
     
  6. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I had that setup, and have a 5n currently. Not sure I'll keep the 5n.

    The shooting experience is different. The output has a different feel. The 16mm is a soft lens, and even weaker in the corners. You might not care. I have some keepers from a trip to DC with it. The high ISO on the 5 is better than the EPM1, but the EPM2 will be as good or maybe a bit better than the 5 (though below the 5n).

    I don't know UK pricing, but if that's a really good price, and you are OK with reselling used gear, then I'd say it's worth trying it out. If you are not comfortable reselling used gear, and once you buy this you are stuck with it, then I'd say get a new lens instead.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. kriskerry91

    kriskerry91 Mu-43 Regular

    The price of the E-PM2 looks like the turning point for me on that note, not looking to spend that much! I'd rather go for an entry level dSLR for the extra IQ and just deal with the size and bulkiness.
     
  8. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    Massachusetts
    Herbert
    Ah - if you plan on just using that lens, then I suggest you get a lens instead for your Pen -- the 14mm is one of the best bargains out there.

    For the type of shots that I use and the sizes I print them out (only up to 8x10s), there is no noticeable difference between the Nex and Pen. Any issues I notice is most probably more about the lens than the sensor.

    A caveat about IQ though: I really don't magnify up to 100% to check micro-contrasts or corners or stuff like that -- I only magnify if I have doubts about nailing the focus. :smile:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. I'm currently trying out a NEX-5N, but as soon as the E-PL5 and E-PM2 come out with the E-M5 sensor at a lower pricepoint the reasons to recommend it diminish significantly. It's sensor may produce better *numbers* (slightly less noise at higher ISOs being the only one that I can quantify), but I'm not convinced that it produces better *images*. Same thing if you compare it to entry-level DSLRs.

    Comparing the output of the NEX-5 to your E-PM1 the scales would probably tip towards the Sony, but in terms of feel and design I really enjoyed the E-PM1 when I had one.
     
  10. kriskerry91

    kriskerry91 Mu-43 Regular

    If you were to compare the NEX against the E-PM1 regardless of lenses which would you say is better? It terms of usability, handling and of course image quality.
     
  11. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    That is the question!

    In terms of high ISO, the NEX 5 will beat the EPM1. But in terms of AF lenses, the EPM1 has access to brighter lenses than the NEX5, so that ISO advantage is quickly offset. In terms of useability and handling, that is a personal call. The 5n has a nice built in grip, the EPM1is smaller in most all ways and is less bulky. The NEX is configurable enough, but the EPM1 is more so.

    That's why I suggested you try the 5 if you are OK with reselling it if you don't like it. It's worth exploring NEX, but for me there's always "something" missing with NEX that's just a little out of reach, but you could get some enjoyment out of it for a while, until you hit the limits of the camera (in useability and lenses).

    Sorry if you were only asking Nic that question, and I butted in.
     
  12. I gather that the 5 has basically the same control layout as the 5N, less the touchscreen (which I don't find to be well implemented anyway). Compared to the E-PM1 the NEX has a grip, a few more buttons, and the tilt screen which I find to be very useful. As a piece of design however, it doesn't appeal to me in a tactile and visual sense whereas the E-PM1 does. That's purely a personal preference.

    As regards IQ, the 12MP Panasonic m4/3 sensor won't go down as my all-time favourite but is still very capable and will produce great images if it is not pushed too far (low light, for example). I think that the differences in noise and dynamic range between it and the 14MP sensor in the NEX 5 would be enough to be noticable, but the sensor is just one link in the chain. Lenses and internal image processing play a big role as well.
     
  13. kriskerry91

    kriskerry91 Mu-43 Regular

    Oh no the question was open to anyone with a opinion! More the merrier. According to flickr, the Sony Nex-5 has over 7million photo uploads, the E-PM1 only 300k. Does that say something? And of course i know the difference in actual release date is there.

    Also, dont the EM-5 and the new E-PM2 use Sony sensors?
     
  14. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    It seems like you are going down the sensor rabbit hole. :eek:

    Yes both the E-M5 and E-PM2/PL5 use the same Sony sensor. A lot of people are using Sony sensors (errr, I guess everyone except for Canon now), but there are differences in integration/implementation. For example, the AA filter is lighter in my E-M5 than it is in my NEX-7, Fuji does their own color filter, etc, etc.

    Also, as Nic pointed out, the sensor is only part of the IQ chain. Put a mediocre lens (e.g. Sony 16mm) in front of a great sensor and it is like one step forward, one step back.

    One other comment... none of this stuff is a good investment, but lenses hold their value much better than bodies do. A NEX-5 is going to be 3 generations behind the latest Sony body within a year (roughly the same with an Olympus body).
     
    • Like Like x 2
  15. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    I'd go with a 5N before a regular NEX 5. And I'd skip the 16mm Sony lens in favor of the Sigma 19mm f/2.8 and/or the Sigma 30mm f/2.8 primes. The cheapest route of all, as others have said, is to get the 14mm f/2.5 Panasonic prime for your existing micro four-thirds camera.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. kriskerry91

    kriskerry91 Mu-43 Regular

    Im thinking the 14mm prime is the way forward, anyone know the best place to grab one at a bargain price in the UK?
     
  17. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Well, Amazon UK has the lens alone from a third party (The Camera Centre fulfilled by Amazon) for 182.99:

    Panasonic H-H014E Lumix G Pancake Lens: Amazon.co.uk: Camera & Photo

    Yes, it's a third party but because it's fulfilled by Amazon you are protected with Amazon's return policy. Apparently five of these lenses are left at this price as of today. If you go for this, make sure you use Amin's affiliate's link via the tab at the top of the page.
     
  18. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    You should also be able to find the lens on Ebay for around $170 USD. These are from resellers in Asia that split the lenses from camera kits and are selling separately. Check their feedback, of course, and I think there are some recommendations around here if you do a search.
     
  19. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Hi Kris .. I think many members have already given you the best advice .I would also suggest to add a prime lens rather than buying NEX 5 . Panny 14 mm is available for USD160-180 and is an exellent value for money , much better than Sony 16 mm 2.8 . Another option will be to keep an eye on buy& sell section for a used Panny 20 mm 1.7
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. applemint

    applemint Mu-43 Veteran

    345
    Jan 24, 2012
    Ebay:

    Brand New Black Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH H-H014 00361 5025232589906 | eBay

    I have used that seller before for another lens (the Sony Nex 16mm actually) and all was okay - they are brand new, split from kits. No warranty though.

    Or you could take a chance on an auction rather than buy it now - this one may incur customs charges but price is currently very low: (Always bid in the closing seconds, manually or using a free sniping service, all anyone bidding early is doing is just driving the final price up). **New Panasonic 14mm F2.5 Lumix G Lens for M4/3 BLACK *** Japan Made ** 5025232589906 | eBay Previous ones from that seller went for £101 and £108 and seller has hardly any feedback, so the saving may be small though vs the UK seller in first link.
     
    • Like Like x 2