Sony NEX ... blah ... but still interesting.

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by JJJPhoto, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto Mu-43 Veteran

    252
    Jul 8, 2011
    Cincinnati, OH
    Jerry Jackson Jr
    A buddy of mine just bought a Fuji X100 and wanted to get rid of his NEX-3 so he sold it to me (with 16mm lens) for $250. I couldn't pass it up because I have no will power to resist new cameras when they're cheap.

    So I've just been messing with the NEX-3 and I like it, but I also see why it gets an unimpressive reputation. The 16mm lens is NOT sharp. The 20mm Panasonic f/1.7 pancake blows away the NEX 16mm in every way. I also hate how you have to use the NEX-3 like a point-and-shoot because all the camera controls are buried in the menus.

    That said, I like the size, I love the LCD, I love the high ISO performance, and there are only two things that keep me from loving this camera:

    1) Sony needs more small (but fast and sharp) prime lenses for the NEX cameras. A 30mm f/1.4 or f/2.0 and a 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 would be the perfect additions to the 16mm ... as long as they are SHARPER than the 16mm!

    2) Sony needs to make a flash hotshoe adapter for the NEX so you can use standard hotshoe flashes with the NEX. I would like to add my PocketWizard transmitter to the NEX-3 so I can trigger off-camera flash, but I can only use optical slaves with the NEX-3. The proprietary flash is STUPID! I really want Sony (or a third party) to make a hotshoe adapter for this thing.

    Anyway, I think I'll continue to use my 4/3 and Pen cameras rather than the Sony. I might occasionally use the Sony if I want a soft-focus wide angle shot ... and I might use it if Sony or another lens maker releases a 30mm or 50mm AF prime for the NEX.

    In the meantime, my "old" E-PL1 is a MUCH better all-around camera than the NEX-3.
     
  2. chlau

    chlau Mu-43 Regular

    65
    May 13, 2011
    I'm very curious, from an engineering perspective, whether it is even possible to build a "small, fast and sharp" lens for the NEX system. Sony has used all its time to build a body with a wow factor but remains strangely reticent about its lenses. Or, is it a marketing decision not to have its mirrorless fight the mirrored SLT system that uses the same APS sensor. Thus they continue to restrict availability of their better lenses to SLT?

    Consider the NX system also with a APS sensor, their best fast small lens is a 30mm/f2.0 n offers the best comparison to the pana 20/1.7. How does this lens rate? Unlike Sony, Samsung is unquestionably committed to one system format and has no reason to hold back. So they should build the best possible lenses for their NXs. Can they do the "small, fast and sharp"? Or perhaps from an engineering perspective the choice of sensor makes this a very difficult balance to achieve? This might be a difficult balance to reach even in the smaller m43 sensors requiring significant in camera software correction.

    The Q system and the rumoured Nikon mirrorless are trending towards even smaller sensors. The Nikon choice might be a marketing decision not to challenge their mirrored APS system, but also a compromise towards building a system accommodating small yet very sharp lenses without major software correction. For certain purists this unadulterated RAW imagery may be preferable to m43.
     
  3. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Pretty much sums up my experience with the NEX, lol.

    I'll trade off two things though: I guess I don't care that much about the hot shoe, but I never warmed to the NEX3 shutter sound.

    You never know, though. Those were Sony's first NEX cameras. They could still get it right down the road. I had both NEX and m43 from about December to May, and I said first one with lenses I want wins. m43 won, and the NEX3 got sold.
     
  4. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Since you got it for $250, I suggest you just sell this crappy lens (really, it's not worth putting on) and your Nex is almost free. Then use it for MF with peaking - portraits, shallow DoF and so on...I wouldn't mind getting a nex body for less than $200 fot just that purpose alone. I played with Nex-5 once with both kit zoom and 16mm and was not impressed with the output: specifically sharpness, metering, color and AWB. Yes, pictures were low noise but there was nothing special to them with those kit lenses; the colors just didn't pop and DoF control was limited. The peaking feature did change the way I look at Nex now. Since we will never see compact lenses for Nex (due to sensor size), I couldn't care less if they release them or not. Nex is not a system, it's a compact camera.
     
  5. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    We'll have to see when Zeiss releases their 24mm ƒ2.0 for the NEX system...
     
  6. chlau

    chlau Mu-43 Regular

    65
    May 13, 2011
    Totally agreed with your conclusion.
     
  7. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    I'll ask the dumb question.
    "Why is it NOT a system"..?
     
  8. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Fantastic idea! Then you have a great sensor cam for nearly free, and play with some legacy glass!
     
  9. chlau

    chlau Mu-43 Regular

    65
    May 13, 2011
    In a literal sense, it is billed as such, but it is compromised by a lack of commitment to its system by its maker. Sony builds and sells three different systems and can't seem to decide where its limited resources should be focused on, relative to its competitors. Canon and Nikon already have unassailably diversified systems. In the mirrorless world, Panasonic and Samsung has no such distractions having committed to a single system. Oly appears to be closing up 4/3 and committing to m43. The upshot to this is that Sony's NEX system choices in lenses and other hardware expands at a glacial pace. For sure, Nikon can easily match Sony system for system practically at launch despite Sony's head start. And with the Nikon name, third party support is a given.
     
  10. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    So let's look at this objectively based on facts.

    1) Sony (1 company) in it's first year released 3 lenses. 16mm, 18-55, and 18-200

    2) So the question we have to ask is during the first year of MFT production (Aug 08 - Aug 09) how many lenses did Panasonic & Olympus release each respectively?
     
  11. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I found the Sony 16 to be a decent little lens. Not sharp enough to be a high-end landscape prime - and that will be even more glaring with the upcoming 24MP sensor - but it was plenty sharp for my purposes. I also found the 18-55mm Sony zoom to be much better than its reputation. However, those lenses just aren't enough to satisfy me or, I suspect, most enthusiasts looking for an autofocus interchangeable lens system. The 35mm macro is too slow to be a general use normal lens, and the rest of their primes will count towards the system when they are available.
     
  12. chlau

    chlau Mu-43 Regular

    65
    May 13, 2011
    Good question. But perhaps a better framed question would be how many MFT lenses were released. The MFT cross platform advantage is something a single manufacturer like Sony or Samsung would have to work twice as hard to match, and cannot be realistically discounted. But match it they can so long ad they are sufficiently committed.
     
  13. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    Valid point :smile:
    And thus far for 2008 - 2009 I could only find 2 lenses from Panasonic (14-45 & 45-200)

    Olympus didn't announce the E-P1 until June 2009

    So right now, it *looks* like advantage goes to NEX :wink:
     
  14. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I think the relevant fact for people who want to do photography today is what lenses are available today. It's been many months since Sony announced intent to make a bunch of new lenses, and the only one which has come to pass is a 30mm macro lens which is too slow for general use. There's no telling how much photography one will miss out on waiting for the lenses one wants to come out for a given system. Seems like forever that people have been talking about the Zeiss 24, and we don't know the size, weight, speed, performance, or price. The rumors keep changing, and each leaked image concept changes from the one which came before it.
     
  15. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    Still early in their 2nd year...NEX has also announced a 40mm ƒ2.0 and a 55-210. Zeiss & Sigma have signed up to NEX also.

    The lenses will come :smile:
     
  16. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    The only thing I care about is what to shoot with now. Not what happened in 2008, or the evolutionary comparison of different systems across time, etc.

    I've enjoyed my little, supposedly limited EP1, and have yet to see anyone show me something the NEX could do that the EP1 couldn't. I had the NEX and EP1 for about 5 months together. I've used all the NEX lenses. The m43 system is very capable, and has better lenses. Period. Twisting together odd cross-time comparisons is a silly mental exercise, unrelated to actually taking pictures.
     
  17. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Then get the NEX when they come. Why are you so concerned with defending NEX on an m43 site?
     
  18. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I agree with Bill - what matters is now, and what will come is irrelevant. One can always change systems later. The money lost in doing so will be outweighed by the value of the pictures made in the interim.

    Btw - Sony has not announced a 40/2. The rumor sites make it seem that way, but there was no such announcement. What they actually announced was a 50mm portrait lens, and they gave no details regarding aperture.

    Link to Sony Announcement
     
  19. chlau

    chlau Mu-43 Regular

    65
    May 13, 2011
    Looks like I've been had hehe :eek:

    Anyhow, it tends to matter to me when I run out to the shop only to be told "Coming Soon". When I upgraded recently (in March), I looked hard at all the mirrorless systems and chose what I was able to hold and look and shoot with. At first blush, the NX seems to have the best combo of sensor (APS) and ergonomics (SLR-style) for me, but what sold me was when I found out in the Lumix station that MFT was cross-platform with Oly. So that's how I got my G2. There doesn't seem to be much love for this camera judging from the forum traffic, but it works for me.

    On things unloved, why is there so little comment on the Samsung NX system? Like the NEX, it uses an APS sensor, but there's hardly any talk about the NX.

    In evaluating the mirrorless companies, Samsung's main advantage is that it is the only manufacturer in a good-sized domestic market with a nationalistic fervour for Korean makes. Do you see much promotion for the NX in your respective countries?
     
  20. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    From what I've seen, tests have shown the IQ is sub par. That's what dropped it out of my sights. I don't know anyone else who has one.