NEX has spoiled me but I miss the DSLR

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
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bill hansen
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NEX has spoiled me but I miss the DSLR
8 months ago

I haven't been using my Canon 50D for the past few months, but after an especially frustrating day trying to photograph the dogs yesterday, I got out the DSLR this morning and fired off a dozen or so shots in dark, drizzly, rainy weather (that is, "very poor light"). There were two lessons re-learned, neither of them unexpected.

First, the NEX and its lenses have spoiled me in terms of image sharpness, detail, and in terms of low light performance. The most impressive contrast was image noise at ISO 3200, which is quite useable (with NR) from the NEX 6, but quite poor from the 50D.

The other lesson re-learned was that the much faster focus speed of the DSLR makes it relatively easy to photograph the dogs, while with the NEX I can get a few keepers only with MF, usually using zone focus. The AF of the NEX is good if the dog is still, or nearly so, but it's hopeless if there's any sort of dancing around. MF is even better than AF when using the NEX. I should mention that I'm using the NEX with the 1680Z lens and the LAEA2 adapter, at f 4.5 - so I should certainly get that "DSLR-like AF speed" everyone talks about. I don't.

I doubt very much that Sony is going to offer a NEX-like camera with vastly improved AF any time soon. Eventually, yes - but not this year, and maybe not for a while after that.

I need to re-think things again. I'll still use the NEX for most photography, but instead of investing in the necessary longer tele lenses, I think I'll have to return to the DSLR, perhaps pick up a used body of more recent manufacture than my 50D. I really don't like to carry around the big heavy body with all its lenses, but for fast action *where I can't predict where the focal plane will be*, the NEX doesn't really cut it - not in my hands anyway.

(There's a third lesson too - with the NEX I use mostly the EVF to compose, but with the DSLR I missed the good LCD display. Who would have thought that?)

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Bill Hansen
Ithaca NY, USA

Canon EOS 50D
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