Help an enthusiast decide: switch to NEX?

Started Sep 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
Babka08
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Re: Help an enthusiast decide: switch to NEX?
In reply to zackiedawg, Sep 15, 2012

Thanks for the detailed opinions. Worth a lot.

zackiedawg wrote:
My opinions for what they're worth...

Babka08 wrote:

I am enthusiast, semi-pro. Shoot a lot of landscapes and general creative photography. I like macro, mostly handheld. Portraits are a priority as well. Then it's the usual hiking, travel and go-anywhere stuff. I'm serious about photography and have been for 30 years. I love available light shooting. Rarely if ever get into flash.

I'd say in general your type of photography is more dependent on lens quality and sensor quality than brand, body design, or camera speed. So moving to mirrorless systems vs DSLRs should be a fairly sideways move for you, not losing much in the way of overall IQ and mostly doing so for the lighter weight and smaller size overall of the system. The sensor performance should be a fair wash, and the rest of the equivalency will be based on the quality of the lenses you choose.

I've found I like using live-view more and more for low angles and people shots, but it's a pretty weak experience on the Pentax.

Beyond any question, for live view shooting, the Sony cameras offer the best overall experience in SLTs, DSLRs, and mirrorless cameras. All mirrorless cameras will be much more seamless in live view, and NEX with their very good LCD resolution and tilting screens are a pleasure for this type of shooting.

With the announcement/specs of the NEX-6, and the 35 and 10-18 lenses, and good reports on the zeiss 24, I'm tempted to ditch the Pentax and go over to NEX.

The only concern you might want to make sure of is that you won't be needing some of the benefits of the DSLR - namely, much faster focus system overall (even though the dual system of the NEX6 promises to be much better, it still stands to be seen whether it can match the tracking speed and low light performance of a DSLR's dedicated and large phase-detect AF sensors), larger buffer, and bigger battery life. In those areas, the K5 will still excel, as well as in handling with longer and larger lenses. Weatherproofing is another nice thing on the Pentax, as is in-body stabilization - the weatherproofing isn't too much an issue for me as the smallness of the NEX make it rather easy to jerry-rig weatherproofing and weather protection systems for it (ie: ziploc bag). The IS obviously needs to be in all the lenses you buy for the NEX - thankfully, they've included it in the 35mm F1.8 and 10-18mm, as getting IS in a fast short prime and an ultrawide is essentially unheard of in DSLRs that don't have in-body stabilizers.

My only concern is at the long end. My favourite Minolta lenses were my 100/f2 and 200/f2.8. That said, I've enjoyed the flexibility of a tele-zoom. But the slow 55-210 E-mount doesn't excite me too much. I expect in time Sony will expand their tele's in E-mount. I'm not in a panic for this.

Maybe - they hopefully will come out with some slightly faster variant, though I honestly wouldn't expect them to come out with any real long primes or superzooms with F2.8 apertures - it would just be entirely too big and unweildy for the current NEX bodies. Maybe if NEX starts to supplant DSLR/SLT market in the future and larger NEX bodies start to appear...but more likely you might see something like a 100-300mm or 200-400 F4-5.6ish type lens - that allows it to still be reasonably small.

Though I'd also recommend trying out the 55-210mm lens - though an unexciting spec, it can be surprisingly good quality across the range and also pairs very well with cheap teleextenders for some great range increases - that plus stabilization at the price it's offered make it quite a bargain...unless you are regularly shooting in telephoto situations involving atrocious light or horrible grey overcast, the 55-210 should do quite well given any modicum of daylight to work with.

Sounds like the A-mount adapter is a definite option as well.

Indeed - if you don't mind the extra bulk, you've got two variants to select from that can make up for the lens selection and speed part of the equation. Being modular is one of the nice things on the NEX - you can add the converters when using already long lenses where size doesn't much matter, but strip them off when you want to go smaller or lighter.

After all this blather... I'm guessing that NEX-6 and this system could be the perfect fit for me. Any opinions?

Sounds worth a look for you - make sure you like the way the camera handles and feels. Know that much of the menu and control system can be programmed a bit, so controls can be fine-tuned, but do you like the overall feel and handling of the camera. As long as you don't think you'll miss what the K5 has - the weatherproofing, faster dedicated AF sensors, larger battery life, more direct controls, bigger buffer, optical viewfinder...then the NEX6 might be a replacement idea for you.

Another idea if you have the money to do so would be to keep the K5 around, and add the NEX. I personally chose that method - keeping the DSLR and adding the NEX as a second body, and I would have a hard time giving up either one!

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