A57 or NEX 5N

Started May 26, 2012 | Discussions
wireless
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A57 or NEX 5N
May 26, 2012

Went from a Minolta XG-7 in the 80s to a pretty nice Canon Point and shoot then to a Nikon D50 w/5mm f1.8. Have gotten a lot of good photos out of the Nikon but need to go back to a zoom.

Trying to decide between an A57 and NEX 5N. If the 5N had a viewfinder, I go with it for sure. Not sure about difference in picture quality either.

The 5N would be easier to carry around. I think for either one I'll pick up the Zeiss lens (already available for the A57) and in the product map for the NEX.

Assuming the picture quality is comparable, just wondering if I can live w/o a viewfinder. Seems like it would be pretty awkward to hold the camera out a distance and take pictures like that. The A57 is a heavier and larger camera though especially with that Zeiss lens.

I'd appreciate any suggestions. Want to pick up one or the other but can't seem to get past the viewfinder issue.

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Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +2 more
Nikon D50 Sony SLT-A57
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Kzoozoomer
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Re: A57 or NEX 5N
In reply to wireless, May 26, 2012

wireless wrote:

Seems like it would be pretty awkward to hold the camera out a distance and take pictures like that. The A57 is a heavier and larger camera though especially with that Zeiss lens.

Particularly with no built-in image stabilization on the NEX 5N.

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DPpirate
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Re: A57 or NEX 5N
In reply to wireless, May 26, 2012

The nex 5n has a addon viewfinder which is somewhat expensive but it's oled evf so it'll be a bit better than the a57s. The nex 5n also has a couple of separate lens adapters that will allow you to use the Alpha lenses, canon lenses, and nikon's. There is also a slt lens adapter that will give you phase detection auto focus (basically making it a alpha camera but at + $400 retail, also putting it on nex 7 territory.). If you value portability over function (though nex 5n is no slouch in image quality. Both basically use the same sensor.) nex 5n is your choice. Just know that it lacks the easy access buttons and knobs of the a57 but the 5 buttons on the nex5n are reprogramable.

wireless wrote:

Went from a Minolta XG-7 in the 80s to a pretty nice Canon Point and shoot then to a Nikon D50 w/5mm f1.8. Have gotten a lot of good photos out of the Nikon but need to go back to a zoom.

Trying to decide between an A57 and NEX 5N. If the 5N had a viewfinder, I go with it for sure. Not sure about difference in picture quality either.

The 5N would be easier to carry around. I think for either one I'll pick up the Zeiss lens (already available for the A57) and in the product map for the NEX.

Assuming the picture quality is comparable, just wondering if I can live w/o a viewfinder. Seems like it would be pretty awkward to hold the camera out a distance and take pictures like that. The A57 is a heavier and larger camera though especially with that Zeiss lens.

I'd appreciate any suggestions. Want to pick up one or the other but can't seem to get past the viewfinder issue.

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PhotoFan247
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Re: A57 or NEX 5N
In reply to wireless, May 26, 2012

I have both an a57 and a NEX 5 so I hope my experience can help you. My a57 is paired with a 16-50mm 2.8 and a 85mm prime. While the NEX 5 has the 18-55m kit lens and the 50mm 1.8 prime.

On oversees trips and local trips which require lots of walking/hiking which are more landscape oriented, I take my NEX 5. It's just a much easier camera to lug around in a small over the shoulder bag on a long trek. You are not going to lose much/any image quality by getting the NEX. You will just have to deal with a slightly slower focusing AF compared to the full size camera. And for me, I have to compose in bright sunlight on the LCD screen of the NEX 5 since it doesn't have an optional VF. The NEX5N does but it's expensive.

The a57 camera will go with me to more places like local parks, wineries, and birthday parties/weddings where I can still carry it with me conveniently in a sling bag. Where I may not be able to set up shots and require faster responsiveness in situations like a party/wedding, the a57 is better hands down.

So these two cameras are better for different situations so my opinion is to get both eventually and choose the one now that suits you better now.

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dlkeller
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Re: A57 or NEX 5N
In reply to wireless, May 26, 2012

When you put a decent viewfinder and a zoom lens with any range on the NEX you lose much of the size advantage and are giving up a lot in the way of total camea over the A57 IMO.

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tbcass
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Re: A57 or NEX 5N
In reply to wireless, May 26, 2012

I think you answered your own question. I believe you would miss the eye level viewfinder. There is one available for the NEX 5 but it is expensive. Another factor is the Auto Focus of the 5N is slower unless you add another expensive adapter. The NEX also uses a priority flash shoe which limits your options. Without the adapter the lens choice is limited. I say the A57 is the better overall choice, especially for someone coming from SLRs.
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Mobile11
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Re: A57 or NEX 5N
In reply to wireless, May 26, 2012

I bought the a57 and liked it a lot. This was my first SLR and didnt realize how much i liked the live view functionality until I took it back and traded it for a nikon d5100.

I liked the d5100 more than the a57, mostly because i was able to get the d5100 and the 55-300 lense for just $100 more than the a57, but the wife hated the live view mode on the d5100 and kept saying how much she liked the a57.

Took the d5100 back and got the nex 5 with kit lens and 55-210. It took pretty good pictures but changing shooting functions like iso, aperture and exposure was too much of a pain, not to mention the autofocus was much slower than the a57. I also got use to using the view finder. Lens choices is another thing you have to look at. With the a57, you can buy older minolta af lenses and still have auto focus without buying an expensive adapter.

So I took the nex 5 and got an open box a65 for $829 and a minolta 50mm 1.7 on ebay for $50..

Personally, I still think i liked the d5100 the best, but out of the sony's I like the a65, a57 second.

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wireless
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Re: A57 or NEX 5N
In reply to wireless, May 26, 2012

I went ahead and ordered the A57. Should be here Friday. I took them both outside in the sunlight and it was clear I'd do a lot better with the viewfinder. I was leaning to the NEX when I went in but it will be much easier to take good photos with the A57.

I told them I'd take the kit lens 18-55mm. I may not stay with that though. Looking online at all the lenses. I'm not that price sensitive on them if the extra $$$ results in better photos. Doesn't seem like there's a perfect lens. But you already knew that

On my old Minolta I had a Minolta 28-85mm I think it was and basically used that all of the time even though I had a 70-210mm Vivitar. Carried both all over Europe in a backpack and maybe used the Vivitar twice.

Trying to decided between something like a SAL 16-105mm which sounds about perfect or a Zeiss 16-80mm or a 24-70mm. Wish the f2.8 went a little further. I'm open to Tamrons or Sigmas too. Didn't like the Sigma website. Any suggestions along those lines. Would be shooting kids playing soccer plus indoor shots of people mainly.

Is there any downside to getting a used Minolta autofocus compared with a new Sony or Zeiss lens?

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Shield3
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Re: A57 or NEX 5N
In reply to wireless, May 26, 2012

I owned two 5n's before I bought an A57.

At the end of the day, you cannot have this with a 5N:

1. In body stabilization
2. The EVF and ANY flash mounted at the same time.
3. A normal feeling grip (to me the 5n just felt too small in my hands)

I can throw ANY glass on the A57 and it's stabilized. Alpha lens selection better. By the time you get the EVF + LA-EA2 you're in A77 territory price-wise.

Lastly, and this is the most important - the 5n overheats very quickly in video mode. The 57 doesn't.

You have chosen wisely!

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