Is the NEX-5T the last NEX camera?

Started 9 months ago | Discussions thread
Dan W
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Re: Is the NEX-5T the last NEX camera?
In reply to parallaxproblem, 9 months ago

parallaxproblem wrote:

Dan W wrote:

parallaxproblem wrote

I also get the feeling that the NEX-5R wasn't designed by the same people that did the two previous NEX-5 models as various detail changes really 'jar' with the original concept: strap holding lugs, button colour, inversed LCD with resistive instead of capacitative screen and removal of protective screen and light sensor, plastic used for the top plate. I wonder if there were changes in the NEX design team and if so then why those changes happened? Again, just speculation on my part

If Sony used a new team to design the 5R, it was a good decision overall, IMO.

I'm afraid I think it was a really poor decision. The original NEX team were young and had a strong 'concept' of what they wanted to design. Here they are talking about it:

http://www.sony.com.ph/productcontent/405946/productcategory/e-mount-camera

Whoever was responsible for the 5R update unfortunately did a 'design by numbers' job that seemed to randomly add a few elements from 'conventional cameras', and which wasn't properly field tested IMO (otherwise the button and strap issues would have been noticed). The camera does not feel 'coherent' to me in the way that the original 5 does, even though it has better features and specifications. If it was the same team who designed the 5 and 5N as then did the 5R (which I doubt) then they must have been pretty dispirited and un-motivated by that point

The 5R/5T is certainly not a bad camera and there are are some very useful new features in the 5R/5T over previous models:

- the level guage is useful, my 'portrait' orientation photos are less often crooked now!

- some of the apps can be useful - if you are able to download them (many can not because of country restrictions)!

- the AF is marginally better

- the 180 degree LCD can be fun (but is not essential)

- it's nicer to have 6 custom menu items than 5 items on the 5n and 3 items on the original 5, but this is purely firmware/marketing. I also notice that the RX100 and RX100II have 7 custom menu items...

However, unfortunately, as captura said, the NEX-5R is not a completed design...

The function button and control wheel are useful.

These two buttons 'ought' to be useful but:

On the Original 5 you get to the custom menu by pressing the button in the middle of the rear dial which for me works better than pressing the Fn button... my thumb is usually already hovering over the back panel at that point in the process and the fn button requires instead the use of my forefinger, which I have to move from the shtter so I need to use two fingers instead of one if I want to use the fn button and the whole process therefore takes longer than if I simply pressed the centre button with my thumb as on the Original 5!

The top control wheel is useful in 'M' mode but it sadly serves no other purpose at the current time. It is also in the wrong position for me as it needs to be turned by the thumb, but in this case it is a long way from the rear panel and so moving my thumb there is awkward and I almost never do it (in M mode it also required moving the thumb between the two wheels, which is annoying). If the control wheel was near the shutter and controlled by the forfinger then it would be much better (you could control both parameters of the camera in 'M' mode simultaneously rather than having to switch between with the thumb)... at this point in the dialog the other settings have ususally been made and so using the forefinger would not be as disadvantageous as it was earlier

So Fn button with forefinger is wrong, it should be the thumb instead... and control wheel with thumb is wrong, it should be the forefinger instead!

Part of my problems here may come from having used the original 5 for several years and even after quite a long time of 5r usage I haven't really accomodated the new button layout (which in itself speaks volumes as I normally adapt quite quickly to new cameras)

As for the color of the buttons, do you really look at them when shooting or just feel for them? I don't have much problem getting to the buttons but if they were raised a bit and/or textured, it would be an improvement.

I hold the camera at waste height and tilt the LCD upwards - I know many other people do this because it is very stable in that position. From there it is very difficult to see the buttons and when I want to press them I am usually still looking at the camera as I am using them to select something on the LCD screen

I agree that texturing or raising the buttons would have been a sensible thing to do (particularly if you are using the accessory EVF), but they didn't do it

What I find very strange is that they made the buttons 'invisible' when they were easily visible on the original 5 and the 5N... there was no cost reduction here, only a reduction in functioinality!

I do think they look nice.

So do I, but they make the camera less nice for me to use, and also I suspect for some other people

It is pretty poor when a camera company reduces functionality from a previous model purely for aesthetics (not saying it doesn't happen, just that it is poor when it does!)

I suppose the other items you mentioned are cost cutting measures.

The LCD screen changes are probably cost related. However the changes to the way the strap is fixed to the 5R would probably have cost more money then the straps lugs on the earlier models!

Now there are eyelets that rattle while you are taking movies and the camera no longer hangs downwards when it has a lens fitted... but nor does it exactly hang in the normal position, either but rather hangs and an unstable 45 degree angle!

The strap position on the original NEX 5 an NEX 5N was a masterstroke as it protected both the LCD from bashing against your chest and getting scratched by any zips etc which you might have on your clothes, and it also protected the lens from 'jutting' out in front of you and being at risk from bumps or people walking into you etc. Sadly these benefits no longer exist in the 5R/5T

Truth be told, I like the design (the looks) of my C3 best of all, but the 5R is easier to use and has some features that the C3 lacks.

I personally like the styling of all the NEX-5 models - well proportioned with a nice blend of utilitarian but futuristic styling and with a surprising feeling of quality and solidity when you handle them

I think the Original NEX-5 was a very strong entry into the market and that the 5N built nicely upon that and seems to be an exceptionally nice camera. I cannot say the same for the 5R which is in some ways better than the previous models, but in other ways less good (probably 'slightly' better overall)

It is particularly disappointing that Sony has not improved the 5R/5T with what could be pretty minor firmware changes to knock-off some of the 'rough edges' (plenty of good suggestions in other threads). That they have not made any changes with the introduction of the 5T adds to suspicions that it might be the last 'NEX' camera and that from hereon we might onyl be seeing 'ax000' models which may well all have a DSLR styling

Well, you've certainly given this a lot of thought, much more than I have. I have to take issue with a few of your points, however.

Do you know that the top control wheel changes the aperture in A mode (unless you're using a legacy lens)? That's quite useful, in my opinion. I find the wheel very easy to use with my thumb.

I have no problem reaching the function button and yes, 6 custom menu items are better than 5. It all feels natural to me; I think you're right about being used to the 5N's layout.

I like the fact that the center button controls the mode. It's almost as easy as having a separate mode wheel, and that would have been difficult to do on a camera of this size.

The level gauge is great; I use it often.

I don't use the apps much but I don't mind them being there.

Wireless is also occasionally useful.

So for me, the 5R is a significant step forward in how the camera is controlled. There may have been some missteps too; no camera is perfect.

DW

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