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Old 27th January 2012   #1
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How and when you use your NEX?

Good morning,

after collecting some experience with the Nex (specially the 5n and 7 lately) I wondered which place this system has taken in your photography.
Where do you see the pluses and minuses for the system, does it replace a bigger camera (dslr) for you, for those using both a dslr (or a Leica M) when do you use the Nex and when other cameras, etc.

I will start with some comments - my plan is to use the Nex mainly for occasions where I want a less obstrusive camera than a dslr but have some flexibility to use a zoom and also for those occasions when I want a camera which does both still and video.
I prefer the larger sensor to m4/3 sensors, but then specially the lenses are considerably bigger than m4/3 AND the AF is slower and harder to control compared to Panasonic M4/3. (Specially in darker light when the Nex increases the AF point size to nearly the full sensor size).
Manual focus works better with the Nex in regards to focus peaking - but also here its not allways super accurate.
It seems that my keeper rate in reagards to focus is ok with the Nex but I get a better rate with my M9 and of course much better rate with a DSLR.

I am still debating with myself if I can "learn" the Nex better so that I might be able to give up my Nikon DSLR (I shoot sports only occasionally) - on the other side I am also not sure if a small dslr can not offer quite a bit better performance with much more lens options (as long as shooting AF).

So for what do you use your NEX and why?
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Old 27th January 2012   #2
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Re: How and when you use your NEX?

I use my NEX-7 for stock and general photography.

It has largely replaced my A900 mainly because I have it with me most of the time.

For studio and higher end work, I use my Hasselblad H4D-50.

The Tamron 18-200 VC Di III, is just as sharp as the Zeiss or any other prime lens over most of its range, and except for the extreme corners. Forget the usual limitations of a superzoom, they simply don't apply to this lens in most situations. Which means that the NEX-7 / Tamron 18-200 combo is one versatile all-purpose combination I wil happily and confidently use for most subjects.

The one thing it needs is a dedicated camera / zoom case.

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Old 27th January 2012   #3
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Re: How and when you use your NEX?

I have and enjoy my old NEX5 with Contax G glass 99.5% of the time. I have the 16 and the 18-55 along with the two wide and ultra wide aux lenses as well. Mostly these just sit in my small doctors bag style camera bag. The Contax G 28, 45 (my favorite) and 90mm are my workhorses and see the most usage on my NEX.

I am retired and mostly shoot land and seascapes for personal usage. My NEX system is a lightweight system that I can carry back to remote locations with little physical effort. Once there the NEX is used like I used a view camera years ago. It is mounted on a small lightweight tripod at near ground level. The screen is flipped out and facing upwards so I don't have to go belly down on the ground, it is manually focused at 7x and then fine adjusted even more at 14x, then the aperture is set and the exposure taken using a 5 dollar credit card size IR remote trigger. It works ideal for this usage and I carry an array of Singh ray circular and 4x6 filters to use with it as well. Everything fits in or on that smal doctors bag style camera bag and using it's shoulder sling ride comfortably in the small of my back during the hikes in and out.
H
Eye level finders or hot shoe mounts are of little to know importance to me and would never be used because the above style has been working so well for me.

For flash or wildlife work I have a a77 and a33 that I turn to. With an array of a mount glass from Minolta/Sony and several other third party companies. I have the a to e Sony mount adapter but have only used it 3 times to try it out. It sits in my a mount huge backpack camera bag just as a just in case item.

There you have it .... I use my NEX5 as a cigarette pack size view camera always on a support for land and seascapes and always with a IR remote. For my enjoyment photography is all about the sensor and quality of glass. Now that I am older size has also come into play. My NEX5 and it's ability to use any lens I have has more than covered all my bases. I am considering a 5n or 7 but as for the 7 I would be paying for many things I know I would never use. I have the 24mp sensor on my a77 and for cropping wildlife shots it has worked as expected though the noise (which can be dealt with) on this sensor can be annoying at times. I never print over 11x14" so a 24mp sensor that for landscapes would rarely ever need to be cropped seems like a waste as well for my needs and wants.

Last edited by Jim DE; 27th January 2012 at 06:42.
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Old 27th January 2012   #4
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Re: How and when you use your NEX?

Quote:
Originally Posted by t_streng View Post

I am still debating with myself if I can "learn" the Nex better so that I might be able to give up my Nikon DSLR (I shoot sports only occasionally) - on the other side I am also not sure if a small dslr can not offer quite a bit better performance with much more lens options (as long as shooting AF).

So for what do you use your NEX and why?
What works for me may not work for you. AFAIC, photography is an individual exercise/endeavor.

That said,

1. DSLRs are history, AFAIC.

2. Focus peaking does nothing useful for me.

3. Even NEX-7 isn't going to replace the GH-2 while the NEX-5 was useless to me.
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Old 27th January 2012   #5
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Re: How and when you use your NEX?

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Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
What works for me may not work for you. AFAIC, photography is an individual exercise/endeavor.

That said,

1. DSLRs are history, AFAIC.

2. Focus peaking does nothing useful for me.

3. Even NEX-7 isn't going to replace the GH-2 while the NEX-5 was useless to me.
Thanks Vivek.
I would never assume that the same things work the same way for individual people- however I am still interested how others use and feel about that stuff.
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Old 27th January 2012   #6
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Re: How and when you use your NEX?

I use a NEX 3 with kit lens and my 30 year old Canon FD lenses, eight in all. The NEX replaced a pentax dslr system last June and I will never go to a dslr. I formerly was a film photographer using medium format cameras mainly Rollieflexes (120 roll film) and large format (MPP in 4x5 inches) I never gave up on the film systems, they gave up on me when it became diifcult to get both processing and scanning carried out locally and inexpensively. I never really got on with 35mm cameras although I tried to love it on 4 separate occasions,...the poor quality of the finished image was always against it for me.

I bought the NEX to basically 'have a camera' since I have spent my life in an out of photography. I waited until the price of the NEX 3 was down to about half the launch price,..so it was a very inexpensive camera, as cameras go. I have been very well pleased with the whole NEX experience and have been much more successful and rewarded than with the pentax. Since June I have produced some excellent images which have been published in various ways and been used on websites and in local publications. Last week I had two 20x16 inch prints hung in my local Arts Centre and also shot the cast and techies of a local pantomime for the programme (on stage at iso 1600)

Unlike a dslr the NEX attracts no attention whatsoever on the street and subjects are not intmidated by it during portraits. I use the 'kit lens' for all hand held and general auto-focus work and it is an excellent lens once stopped down to f8,..always use aperture priority. For special images, low light, tele lens work, close-up etc i use Canon FD lenses via a cheap adaptor form ebay. The NEX being so small and light I have no need of my heavy tripod and now use a small(ish) metal tripod which I recently salvaged, repaired and modified for the NEX.

As mentioned, I only use the camera on 'A',...only use one central focus cursor,...never crop images,...only use RAW capture......never use the horrible 'peaking'. The NEX cameras are NOT especially well designed and represent a camera type that started out as a compact and has now changed into something much more serious. By far the worst aspect of NEX for me is that it's a Sony product. As soon as 'the others' catch up I will change to one of those and think about spending real money!

Other than the above, my use is very similar in approach to that of 'jim DE' ...ie, like a miniature view camera

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Old 27th January 2012   #7
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Re: How and when you use your NEX?

Nice shot bugleone .......
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Old 27th January 2012   #8
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Re: How and when you use your NEX?

After having used almost every advanced compact on the market for years, the NEX system was a dream come true to me. One of the best sensors in the market and all the lenses you can have in a very compact body you can take ANYWHERE! What a dream!

Ive used a Pentax KX and a Nikon D90 for a while but I found my self always complaing about how big these cameras were and how self conscious they made people when I did street photography (you are also less likely to get robbed with a NEX than with an actual DSLR) But I can see why people who come from the DSLR world would not feel the same way.

Ive JUST bought a NEX-5N after having spent a little less than 2 years with a NEX5 and Im even happier with the upgrades (no "explosive shutter", better iso, faster, etc).

My biggest complain (as most NEX users) is the size of the lenses, which contradict the point of having such a small system. But Sony addressed that stating that they are aware of this issue and are working on it (my guess is that they will inevitably go colapsible).

Ive recently got a Panasonic GF3 and Ive sold it withing a week on account on how much better I find the NEX system to be when it comes to dynamic range, iso, video, etc. Whenever I bring out this argument a lot of micro 4/3 users tell me "When did you ever need to use iso 6400"...well, I use it A LOT as more and more Ive been shooting bands that rehearse in dark places even for an f1.4. But I guess that if you dont care much about high iso performance and dynamic range the micro 4/3 system is THE system to bet on with all its super portable amazing lenses.
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Old 27th January 2012   #9
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Re: How and when you use your NEX?

Like many others here, the NEX-7 is the camera I carry with me all of the time. For my dance work, I still use a Nikon D700 b/c I haven't found something to replace it that I can afford. I have high hopes for the next round of pro/semi-pro DSLRs from Canon, Nikon, and Sony.

However, the NEX-7 gives me capabilities that my M8 never could provide, yet lets me use the same lenses and is a much smaller, lighter kit.

In fact, I am working on a set of images of South Florida exclusively using the NEX-7. You can see the progress of those in the "Fun with NEX-7" thread.
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Old 27th January 2012   #10
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Re: How and when you use your NEX?

I agree that the NEX-7 allows freedom to travel with a light kit and still gives a wonderful image size, good color and decent DR...all of the above as good as the lenses you use.

I have discovered another personal use recently and that is as a scouting camera for new areas that might be worth exploring with my MF system.

Nothing like running around learning what works in a landscape ... processing the files captured on the NEX-7 and then optimizing time and interest with the MF camera. Of course, the light may change and you have to be able to return to the site in a timely manner.

It will not replace my MF stuff but it does make a very nice midrange system when an OVF is not needed and one is not in need of fast AF.

Lovely camera and I will keep mine.

Bob
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Old 27th January 2012   #11
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Re: How and when you use your NEX?

I bought my a77 for its 24 mp apc sensor.... reason being it's a inexpensive way to obtain greater focal length perspective shots for my limited amount of wildlife work. The sensor takes my 400mm and makes its perspective equivalent to a 600mm then the 24 mp sensor allows me to crop in half and still be a 12mp image so now I am effectively at a 1200mm perspective and in fact I still use a KM 7D at times so even a 6mp image is acceptable for most of my usage so when pushed I can get a 2400mp effective view if needed. $1400 for a body to do this is 1/4 the cost of a Minolta 600 and 1/8 the cost if Sony ever offers the 500mm. It just made sense on paper... in reality its OK.

Going 24mp on a crop sensor with say the NEX 7 for land and seascapes where one will nearly never need to crop just has not caused me to make the plunge. I really wish someone could bring up a key point that would convince me that I would be way better off using the NEX 7 with my Contax G glass than using my current NEX5 with this same glass in print sizes of 11x14" and under. To me the evf and hotshoe are not important issues for my usage and if the NEX7 has similar noise to the a77 the added step to a third party software just seems like more work than greater IQ,

I have seen some great NEX7 shots so please don't think I am saying the camera is not capable because I know it is (i have had my fair share of good images from the a77) I just need someone to point something out I am not seeing where the NEX 7 would significantly improve my results and make a $1200 upgrade make sense. Knowing my usage of the NEX5 anyone have a significant reason for me to go to the 7 for supported land and seascapes with Contax G glass?
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Old 27th January 2012   #12
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Re: How and when you use your NEX?

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Originally Posted by Jim DE View Post
anyone have a significant reason for me to go to the 7 for supported land and seascapes with Contax G glass?
Jim,

Hard question to answer as you have loaded it with so many reasons why you are pleased with the NEX-5 that one is reticent to respond.

However, while the NEX-5 will be an easier match with the Contax G lenses with regards to color cast it is a much lesser camera than the NEX-7 in my estimation. I have both the NEX-5N and the NEX-7 (don't ask!) and I find that the NEX-7 has wonderful ergonomics with the programmable buttons and the two dials. What would be ideal would be a NEX-5X ... 5 sensor in 7 body.

Slightly bigger picture with great user interface and ergonomics...so if you are doing land and seascapes who cares if the 5 has a bit better high iso.
I shoot at base iso for almost all of my landscapes...only otherwise if I forget to reset the iso. I did a whole series at ISO 800 ... no noise to speak of....way better than my A900 and A850s.

RRS has a wonderful L Plate for the 7 ... the 5 has one but not near as good IMHO.

My 5 will be a travel camera for low light conditions where I would otherwise not get the picture...if it wins out over my RICOH GXR M mount.

I assume that if you are pleased with the NEX-5 you would be overjoyed with the improved user interface of the NEX-7. Oh BTW I have not looked through the EVF of my 7 other than a couple of times when the prevailing light was so intense I could not see the LCD.

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Old 27th January 2012   #13
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Re: How and when you use your NEX?

Thanks Bob, I have been seriously considering the upgrade to either the 5n or the 7. Honestly the 5n has been more on my mind than the 7. I can see where if I was hand holding or using a NEX like a general usage camera the 7's user interface would be a significant improvement but I have my a33 and a77 for handheld shooting and they have stabilization. I tried handholding my NEX 5 with the Contax 90mm at base ISO (200) and had a heck of a time getting a motion blur free image. Hey what can I say ... I am old and lived life hard and fast so my wear and year factor is a bit worse than some

I have done some iso 50 landscapes with my 77 and the image was so detailed at screen view it was hard on my eyes. Viewing it 1-1 and I have to admit it was astounding IMO but there was what some might call noise in shadow areas I'm not sure what it is but it has a similar appearance to noise. Printed whatever it was it no longer becomes visable.

Rumors are out that 3 other NEX cameras are coming out this year. I guess with this upgrade I am going to have to wait until I can get my hands in one and put my 28mm Contax G in the 7 and slide a card in it and take some test shots to bring home and process in aperture or DXO. One can hope that one of the new NEX models will be I between the 7 and the 5n where it has the body of the 7 and a slightly smaller mp sensor where this noise issue (or whatever it is) maybe less obvious.
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Old 27th January 2012   #14
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Re: How and when you use your NEX?

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I tried handholding my NEX 5 with the Contax 90mm at base ISO (200) and had a heck of a time getting a motion blur free image. Hey what can I say ...
Best upgrade for any landscape photographer is a concrete bunker to mount the camera to...

Like this:

Mauna Kea Observatories viewed from the Northeast

However I find that a decent monopod with a RRS head makes all the difference...I can shoot with a P67 400 EDIF mirror up on MF and have very sharp images...at 1:1 enlargement digitally.

The mass of the NEX 5 is too low ... nothing to buffer the slight movement of the lens...so either tripod or mono...

This is why I like the NEX-7 ... a RRS L plate so horizontal and vertical shots are locked down.

Bob
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Old 27th January 2012   #15
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Re: How and when you use your NEX?

Bob that is why I always shoot at near ground level off a small lightweight tripod without the legs extended and using a trek tec ball head with magnetic quick release.

I have plenty of large and converted ground tripods but this little twist leg thing with a trek tec ball head gets the job done with minimal size or weight. Bob if you saw my setup I know you'd laugh ( I do sometimes) but it is all thought out to maximize performance and minimalize size and weight. I could walk forever with my lil doctors bag and never get fatigued. Remember also I usually have my 77 with the 70-400 in a zoom holster on my other side just in case I stumble in some wildlife as well. Sometime I'll use a cotton carrier rig for the 77 instead of the zoom holster if I'll really expect to see a greater number of wildlife for faster access but the load and weight is still acceptable.
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Old 27th January 2012   #16
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Re: How and when you use your NEX?

Perfect companion to my CLE.
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Old 28th January 2012   #17
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Re: How and when you use your NEX?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugleone View Post
I use a NEX 3 with kit lens and my 30 year old Canon FD lenses, eight in all. The NEX replaced a pentax dslr system last June and I will never go to a dslr. I formerly was a film photographer using medium format cameras mainly Rollieflexes (120 roll film) and large format (MPP in 4x5 inches) I never gave up on the film systems, they gave up on me when it became diifcult to get both processing and scanning carried out locally and inexpensively. I never really got on with 35mm cameras although I tried to love it on 4 separate occasions,...the poor quality of the finished image was always against it for me.

I bought the NEX to basically 'have a camera' since I have spent my life in an out of photography. I waited until the price of the NEX 3 was down to about half the launch price,..so it was a very inexpensive camera, as cameras go. I have been very well pleased with the whole NEX experience and have been much more successful and rewarded than with the pentax. Since June I have produced some excellent images which have been published in various ways and been used on websites and in local publications. Last week I had two 20x16 inch prints hung in my local Arts Centre and also shot the cast and techies of a local pantomime for the programme (on stage at iso 1600)

Unlike a dslr the NEX attracts no attention whatsoever on the street and subjects are not intmidated by it during portraits. I use the 'kit lens' for all hand held and general auto-focus work and it is an excellent lens once stopped down to f8,..always use aperture priority. For special images, low light, tele lens work, close-up etc i use Canon FD lenses via a cheap adaptor form ebay. The NEX being so small and light I have no need of my heavy tripod and now use a small(ish) metal tripod which I recently salvaged, repaired and modified for the NEX.

As mentioned, I only use the camera on 'A',...only use one central focus cursor,...never crop images,...only use RAW capture......never use the horrible 'peaking'. The NEX cameras are NOT especially well designed and represent a camera type that started out as a compact and has now changed into something much more serious. By far the worst aspect of NEX for me is that it's a Sony product. As soon as 'the others' catch up I will change to one of those and think about spending real money!

Other than the above, my use is very similar in approach to that of 'jim DE' ...ie, like a miniature view camera

beautiful image. so you feel you can get image quality which is up to MF-film?
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Old 28th January 2012   #18
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Re: How and when you use your NEX?

Quote:
Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
I agree that the NEX-7 allows freedom to travel with a light kit and still gives a wonderful image size, good color and decent DR...all of the above as good as the lenses you use.

I have discovered another personal use recently and that is as a scouting camera for new areas that might be worth exploring with my MF system.

Nothing like running around learning what works in a landscape ... processing the files captured on the NEX-7 and then optimizing time and interest with the MF camera. Of course, the light may change and you have to be able to return to the site in a timely manner.

It will not replace my MF stuff but it does make a very nice midrange system when an OVF is not needed and one is not in need of fast AF.

Lovely camera and I will keep mine.

Bob
I also thought Nex to be a nice companion to medium format gear. The only downside is that both do have slow AF - so there might be still some occasions where a DSLR with fast AF can make sense.
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Old 28th January 2012   #19
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Re: How and when you use your NEX?

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Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
I also thought Nex to be a nice companion to medium format gear. The only downside is that both do have slow AF - so there might be still some occasions where a DSLR with fast AF can make sense.
Add a D3S and you are set!

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Old 28th January 2012   #20
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Re: How and when you use your NEX?

t streng,.....I have conciously NOT put large prints from the NEX 3 alongside those from my beloved Rolleiflexes.... I think a big part of me will be saddened whichever looks best.

However, I will admit to a great surge of excitement when the first 20x16 inch prints were coming off the printer. The pic above made the hair stand up on the back of my neck! What I DO know is a good print when I see one and these big prints from the NEX have to be seen to be understood and appreciated because the quality is spectacular. What I will say, is that the NEX can give results very close and similar to MF film, and in a different league entirely to 35mm
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Old 31st January 2012   #21
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Re: How and when you use your NEX?

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t streng,.....I have conciously NOT put large prints from the NEX 3 alongside those from my beloved Rolleiflexes.... I think a big part of me will be saddened whichever looks best.

However, I will admit to a great surge of excitement when the first 20x16 inch prints were coming off the printer. The pic above made the hair stand up on the back of my neck! What I DO know is a good print when I see one and these big prints from the NEX have to be seen to be understood and appreciated because the quality is spectacular. What I will say, is that the NEX can give results very close and similar to MF film, and in a different league entirely to 35mm
Impressive what such a small camera can deliver in terms of IQ today.
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