Choosing between Nikon D5200 or Sony NEX6

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
Har L
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Re: Choosing between Nikon D5200 or Sony NEX6
In reply to Puddleglum, 11 months ago

Puddleglum wrote:

wb2trf wrote:

I don't shoot with the Nikon 5200, only the Nex. I have shot with older dslr/slrs.

You are not going to see a consistent difference in image quality between these. They are both too good. Spec differences in this case are far too tiny for real world.

The difference is camera size and perhaps autofocus speed, depending on your use and skill.

I shoot mostly young children, more indoors than out, but both. There are two factors in shooting young children that to my mind favor the Nex. First they change position a lot, not just movement along the axis of focus, which affects AF speed, but more turning and bobbing constantly. They are never still. For this I find it extremely useful to be able to move the camera and shoot at arms length, framing roughly, with the lcd to keep the lens pointed at the subject's face. For that, weight and bulk makes a big difference. Secondly kids react to you and to the camera, so viewfinder is not so good as it puts you behind a mask to them. I feel again smaller is better to keep your face in front of them and camera less of a big thing. Size also tends to catch up with some users. At first they say they don't care, then they later wish their camera were smaller, but not everyone feels that way. I've never heard someone say, "I've had this camera for two years and now that I've carried it around a lot, I wish it were bigger and heavier." So weigh these things.

As for autofocus speed, you might need a little longer to develop some skill with the Nex since it is a little slower, probably, but remember that all sports were shot with manual focus camera before AF existed. It's not as if there were no sports photos before 1988, or whenever. On the other hand the 5200 may be easier to master in that way with less skill required. For some people that should decide the question.

In summary the size is the thing. If you think you'll never care about the size, go with the Nikon but realize it may be a long term commitment. If you are in this for the long term you will probably collect lenses that last through several bodies. During that time the AF gap will probably go away and you may have a bunch of NIkon lenses that forever require the long space between the back of the lens and the sensor. That means your camera+lens for those cameras will always be larger. Many people are fine with that. Many people on the Nex site are refugees from that. I'm not a refugee, I just prefer the handling and social dynamics of small, particularly with children as subjects.

Some great points. As you said, the focus speeds of e-mount cameras is only going to improve, but the registration distance of Nikon DX lenses will never change.

For my part, I wanted a DSLR for a long time, but I knew I would loath taking anywhere, so I never pulled the trigger. I watched with interest when mirrorless cameras came on the scene, and finally bought an NEX last winter.

Are there times when I wish the AF speed were better? Yes. But the reality, for me, is that most of those times I wouldn't have taken a DSLR along anyways.

As for cost, yes, the NEX lenses are generally more expensive than equivalent APS-C lenses from Canon or Nikon. But! With the NEX you also have the option to experiment with legacy lenses. For less than $100 I got some old Minolta lenses, a 30mm f/2.8, 50mm/f1.4, and a 200mm f/3.5. These obviously increase the size of the camera, but they are also filling the gap for me while I save up for some e-mount lenses.

So for me, the *flexibility* of an NEX camera won out over DSLR AF performance.

Yes, I also like the NEX "flexibility" considering it can use legacy lenses. Also, it's AF performance may improve over time. I like having the option to go light/small with some compromise with NEX but still get better image quality than point and shoot alternative. Hopefully this e-mount remains popular and Sony is committed to support and improve it for a long time, this means supporting both NEX type body and the DSLR type body like the new DSLR like e-mount for those who like this style.

Even if I ended up with D5200, which I lean towards now because it appears to fit my current situation better, I will certainly pay attention closely to this mirrorless APS-C format like the NEX. If I get tired with the size/weight of DSLR or if I am looking for a second lighter option, NEX will definitely be a strong candidate.

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