NEX 6 vs entry level DSLR

Started Nov 3, 2012 | Discussions thread
gatorowl
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Re: NEX 6 vs entry level DSLR
In reply to JaviB, Nov 4, 2012

JaviB wrote:

Hi all, this is my first post and I am thinking of buying a new camera to get into the "DSLR" or "DSLR-like" world.

I bought a compact Panasonic TZ8 a couple of years ago, since it has manual controls but I have reached its limit. I use it when I travel but I can't make the pictures I'd like with it.

I take photos mostly when I travel so I'm considering buying a NEX-6 but I don't want to spend much more than 1200$ (here in Spain it cost around 900€ with the 16-50 pancake), so I wouldn't buy anything else than the camera and the kit lens. Buying high quality lenses like the zeiss or sony primes wouldn`t be an option for me. So I dont know if buying a NEX-6 with kit lens would mean having a great sensor but poor lens (distortion, vigneting) and I could not take the high quality images I'm looking for. Maybe I could buy the 55-210 one day but then the main advantage of the NEX system (small size) would have dissapeared.

Another option is to go for a nikon D3200 with 18-105 (649€), D5100 with 18-105 (699€) or D5100 with 18-55 + 55-200 (699€). With these combinations I wouldn't need extra lenses to start and I'd cover a wider range. It would be less portable but maybe I could take better pictures for less cost than with the NEX + 16-50. And I could add a nikon 35mm F/1,8 for just 200€.

I know that having to carry a DLSR + lens is a pain when you travel but I dont know if buying a great body like the NEX-6 but stay with a kit lens really worths it.

What would you recommend?

If you shoot jpg, then most of the comments in this thread are correct; you won't notice much difference.  However, if you want to explore photographic creativity to its fullest you need to shoot raw. If you shoot raw, you will have far more flexibility with a traditional DSLR.

The Nex-6 is a fantastic piece of equipment.  However, the lens chosen are not very good right now unless you are willing to use an adapter and third party lens and shoot manual focus.

Sony compensates for this shortcoming by doing amazing in-camera corrections.  However, the price of this wizardry is that you must considerable creative control to Sony's decisions.  If you're not willing to give up that control, then you're left with the rather mediocre raw output to work with.

If you plan to shoot raw, then I'd recommend the D5100 over the choices you mentioned and the Sony SLT choices.  There are just far more lens choices coming out of the Nikon camp, and they tend to be less expensive than Sony lenses.

I recommend getting the two lens combo of 18-55 and 55-200.  I've used all three lenses (well I've used the Canon equivalent of the 18-55, but the Nikon is purported to be superior). I was not thrilled with the IQ I obtained with the 18-105.  I've gotten very good results from the other two lenses.  Normally, any zoom that is more 4 or 5x has suffers from serious weaknesses.

Finally, the d5100 really isn't that much bigger.  None of these cameras are pocketable unless you're wearing a huge overcoat.  The D5100 with 18-55 is pretty compact and fairly lightweight. When you're ready, you can get the 35mm 1.8G or 50mm 1.8G, both of which have fantastic IQ that is unmatched at their respective price levels in the Sony universe.

So, get the Nikon; if you value great IQ, you wont regret it.

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