Help me decide! Nikon P7100 or Sony NEX 5N

Started Dec 31, 2011 | Discussions thread
David
Junior MemberPosts: 25
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Re: David
In reply to Mac717, Jan 2, 2012

Mac717,

While you can shrink an APS-C camera small enough by removing the mirror, physically you can't shrink a good fast zoom like a Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 DX without compromising quality. And you know how big and heavy that thing is and if you have to lug it around hiking the peaks. Just not feasible.

Part of the issue with small sensors is noise performance and dynamic range, which is where light management comes into play. With my P7000, I know the ISO and DR I can shoot clean and get nice photos. People who provided those photos to you know that as well! Those are the situations the P7100 or 7000 will really shine. I can work in difficult lighting situations and had pushed my 7000 up to 800 with good results, even underexposing by a stop and then boosting it up with DXO using HDR with excellent results because I know where shadows, midtone and highlights are going to fall in their respective zones (I use Live Histogram when shooting these situations). But to be honest with you, in some situations the P7100 or 7000 will show their limits against an APS-C sensor like my D300s. This is where the NEX-5n or 7 will shine better. But how often are you presented with this situations? In my case, not often enough but enough so that I know have the Olympus E-PL1 to supplement the weaknesses of my P7000 with a prime lens. Besides, the E-PL1 with say a 20mm f1.7 prime is the same form factor as my P7000. Best of both worlds.

Like I said earlier, it's up to you how much of a portability you need from the camera. If you want absolute portability and am willing to accept some minor compromises, then pick the 7100. But if you want less portability and want absolute best images with high ISO and wider DR, then pick the NEX-5n. Skip the 5 and C3 from Sony -- they are just not great. And pick better lenses for NEX-5n as the 16MP starves for better glass, which is not a problem with the P7100. A friend of mine has the Sony 18-55 and I have to say, I am not all that impressed with it. Images are a bit soft and am surprised that the cheapee 18-55 VR Nikkor performs slightly better.

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