Have you swapped your DSLR for a NEX 6 or 7?

Started Jan 2, 2013 | Discussions
chrisnorris
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Have you swapped your DSLR for a NEX 6 or 7?
Jan 2, 2013

We hear a lot about the pros and cons of the NEX 6 or 7 when up against a DSLR.  What I am interested in is the views and experiences of those who have walked this road.  Any regrets / observations / advice please? 

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jpr2
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re: almost 1 yr. ago acquired N7, but I've also kept my EOS 7d...
In reply to chrisnorris, Jan 2, 2013

...the HDAF on 5R/N6 opens some rays of hope for a finally good performance in AF'ing in fast action/tracking on MILC, but Sony still must travel a pretty long way to even start matching entry level [d]SLRs in this !! (the very I-st step would be to at least match the speed of Nikon's N1 OSPDAF);

OTOH for me N7 works superbly in MF, and its 24Mpx resolution is still the best in the whole digital domain - which means it is unbeatable in a good light at base ISO !

jpr2

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Grumpyrocker
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Re: Have you swapped your DSLR for a NEX 6 or 7?
In reply to chrisnorris, Jan 2, 2013

I bought an NEX-6 last month as carrying all my DSLR gear around wasn't very pheasible when out with my family. I have a good compact - an S95 - but I really wanted a best of both worlds solution.

I'm extremely happy with my NEX-6. It's even better than I hoped - the dynamic range compared to my EOS 50D is very impressive indeed. I keep being surprised how much the exposure crams in, so I don't have to adjust for highlights or shadows.

At the moment I'm not planning to sell my 50D. But I doubt it will get lots of use except those rare occasions when I might want to capture some fast action with longer lenses.

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Hans von der Crone
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Re: Have you swapped your DSLR for a NEX 6 or 7?
In reply to chrisnorris, Jan 2, 2013

Swapped no, but I do use my NEX6 a lot more then my Canon 7D. I haven't sold my Canon because I do some paid photowork like weddings where the advantages of a SLR are still more important than the disadvantages (read:weight). I also have a lens collection specific for this kind of shooting, which is at this time not possible with the NEX. And no matter what you think of it, I don't think any professional photographer is at this time willing to show up with a camera that 'looks like a P&S' to do paid work. I also do a lot if indoor/low light stuff so I'm even considering to treat myself with a Canon 5D Mark III. But this is even more so because the gap betweem my NEX and Canon gear will be even bigger.

I love the NEX6 to take on family outings and vacations. I was really fed-up taking my heavy SLR gear on vacation. It always make me look and feel way too much like a 'pro' which also in some situations ends up in people being kinda opposed to having their picture taken. With a smaller camera like the NEX this tends to be a lot less of a problem. In a few months I'm going to South-Africa and while I think I'll be taking my SLR gear 'just in case', I'm pretty sure my NEX6 with Zeiss will be the most used over there.

Frankly, if you don't need the very fast AF of a SLR or the extensive lens-selection or advanced flash setups, then a mirrorless camera like the NEX6 is really a very nice substitution.

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Keit ll
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Re: re: almost 1 yr. ago acquired N7, but I've also kept my EOS 7d...
In reply to jpr2, Jan 2, 2013

I bought a NEX 7 after having an A900 for a while & I like both. The 900 is still a better camera for me but the 7 is a delight to use because it is so small & light.

If I could only have one camera it would be a difficult choice & perhaps the camera to replace both would be the A99 but for the moment it is out of my reach pricewise & the Nikon D600/800 seem more affordable but I am reluctant to ditch all my lenses & start again.

The best way forward for me would be an updated NEX FF which would have in-body IS which would take AF Sony & Minolta A mount lenses via an adapter. I shoot mainly wide so bulk & weight would not be a big issue most of the time.

In the meantime I literally have just got an LA EA2 adapter for the NEX 7  ( 7:30am ) & don`t yet know how much of a limitation the lack of IS will turn out to be. I have quite a few Minolta lenses but don`t know which will get the most use. This a compromise solution which I have hesitated over for some time but I finally took the plunge after a few drinks at Xmas   when I found it for £ 179

Happy New Year to one & all !

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jpr2
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Keith: PDAF sensors on S. bodies - native or adapted
In reply to Keit ll, Jan 2, 2013

Keit ll wrote:

In the meantime I literally have just got an LA EA2 adapter for the NEX 7 ( 7:30am ) & don`t yet know how much of a limitation the lack of IS will turn out to be. I have quite a few Minolta lenses but don`t know which will get the most use. This a compromise solution which I have hesitated over for some time but I finally took the plunge after a few drinks at Xmas when I found it for £ 179

  • EA2 is perhaps a good option if one already has several A-mount lenses; for me it is different as with about 30 EF-mount lenses I've very little incentive to look for something of comparable IQ (many gaps in S/MK lines of glass);
  • moreover, EA2 offers an entry level PDAF performance, and it has almost no cross-type sensors, and FPs are clustered rather too tightly in a center; the center-crowding of FPs seems a trademark of S's lenes though, both C. & N. do it differently at least in a higher end bodies: at least until a99 as I didn't check this one out yet

it would be of quite an interest should you compare your experiences between EA2 ​vs. ​a900, esp. paying attention to the performance on the other than just the center FPs, and speed/accuracy btw. them

jpr2

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mikew5163
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Yes, and then had to buy another dslr!
In reply to chrisnorris, Jan 2, 2013

I hoped I'd be able to swap my 5D mkII kit for a NEX 7 setup but in the end I found that for situations where I need fast reliable AF (mainly paid portraiture of small children) I just could not rely on the AF of the NEX 7.  I tried out a LA-EA2 but that didn't work out either because of shutter lag with the Sony 35mm f1.8 lens.  So in the end I had to buy a Nikon D7000 and a couple of short primes to cover this specific need.  I would also stick with the D7000 if I ever wanted to go to long lenses again, but for everything else, the NEX 7 is perfect.

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eths
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Re: Have you swapped your DSLR for a NEX 6 or 7?
In reply to chrisnorris, Jan 2, 2013

Coming from a Nikon FE (an analogue SLR), I have really fallen in love with my Nex-7 (mostly using my old Nikon glass). The biggest plus, for me personally, is the quality of the EVF with the focus assistance features. My main gripes are the Video Button (now mostly fixed in the firmware), the low numbers of high quality E mount lenses and the mediocre AF.

I am currently, seriously thinking about getting a Nikon D600 as a "second" body for my Nikkors because it is full frame and the various reviews I've read indicate that the D600 is "better" in low light/high ISO situations.

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shaolin95
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Re: Have you swapped your DSLR for a NEX 6 or 7?
In reply to eths, Jan 2, 2013

Well I came from an older Pentax K20D so is not a fair comparison since I cant think of anything my Pentax did better except having more manual controls so it was a bit easier to deal with total manual controlling than on my nex-6 but is not really bad at all so the best part is, it is so small that I take it anywhere pretty much unlike my Pentax.

The only things I miss are weather sealed (not really that big for me but still nice to have) and the the in camera stabilization that the pentax had.

Regards

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Old Pirate
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Re: Have you swapped your DSLR for a NEX 6 or 7?
In reply to shaolin95, Jan 2, 2013

You can't, it is that simple, and always has been.

Forty years ago did you see a sports photographer covering a football or baseball game with a Leica? Of course not, Leica's were made to take photos of stationary items, places, and smiling people.

DSLR's were built for speed not only on athletic fields, but also in studios as models danced and pranced in front of those lenses.

Both can take photos in the realm of the others, but neither can be tops in both arenas.

So if you love to shoot fast moving birds or sports then a NEX is not going to make you happy. At the same time the DSLR's do get heavy on tour buses or on cruise ships and are intimidating to people at parties etc where traditionally in a mechanical camera world the Leica shined and now the NEX reigns almost as well.

As long as you realize a NEX and a DSLR are both mules (having traits of both a horse and a donkey, but not as fast as one or as strong per pound as the other) then choosing one is fine.

However, if you feel you have to have both speed and brevity then most wind up doing what I did.

Eventually you'll wind up owning some form of a DSLR and some smaller camera be it a NEX or if you can live with the lesser capabilities of the 4/3'rds system than an APS-C then they make nice cameras too.

I like having the same sensor in both my cameras thus my A77 and NEX 7 work nicely together in post production settings.

But to say that a NEX will do everything a DSLR will do would be false, but then again a NEX gives you things no DSLR can give you too.

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zackiedawg
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Re: Have you swapped your DSLR for a NEX 6 or 7?
In reply to chrisnorris, Jan 2, 2013

It all comes down to what types of photography you need a camera for, and how frequently or seriously you shoot those types of photography.  A NEX is capable of matching a DSLR's IQ, and in some types of photography, offers no disadvantages and several distinct advantages (namely, size and weight).  In other types of photography, a DSLR is a superior tool and much easier to use with a higher keeper rate.  I personally cannot think of any type of photography that CAN'T be done with a NEX, it's more a matter of whether there are better tools for certain types of photography, that would make it easier, more efficient, or more reliable.  Action and moving subjects are the most obvious category - the NEX can shoot these things in the right hands and with the right skill, but it doesn't mean they are the best tools for this type of job...so if this type of photography is paramount to you, or a significant portion of what you shoot, the NEX or any mirrorless cam is likely not the best pick for quite a few reasons - ergonomics, focus tracking, shooting speed, buffer size, battery life, to name a few.

If a majority of your shooting is scenic, landscape, portrait, macro, or relatively still subjects, a mirrorless camera like the NEX can match a DSLR in IQ, and be just as efficient, fast, and reliable. If you shoot a mix of photographic styles that includes occasional action or moving subjects, the NEX is still a good choice - because that will only be a small percentage of what you shoot, the NEX is capable and you can learn to shoot with it for those few occasions and get good results, just with more effort.

I'm like the others above - I keep a DSLR and a NEX.  I use them sometimes side-by-side, and sometimes I take only the DSLR or only the NEX.  And I have brought the NEX with me sometimes to shoot action and motion in lieu of the DSLR, even knowing the DSLR was the better tool for the job, because I knew I could still get the shots with the NEX by choosing the right settings for the camera and putting some more effort into it, and because the weight savings and portability were simply more important for that day or that shoot.  When I go birding, it's still USUALLY the DSLR that gets the job, but occasionally the NEX comes along as a second body, and sometimes, it stands in for the DSLR.  And though I may occasionally miss a shot I might have gotten with the DSLR, I don't find myself regretting the decision at all - maybe I get 90% of the shots I could have gotten with the DSLR, but at 50% of the weight and bulk...it's a fine tradeoff!

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Deak
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Re: Have you swapped your DSLR for a NEX 6 or 7?
In reply to chrisnorris, Jan 2, 2013

I love my NEX 7....it replaces my NEX 5N after I discovered that I couldn't live without a viewfinder for some of my shooting, particularly with long lenses. The 7 is my travel camera. Having said that, I still use my Canon S100 when I need something I can slip in my pocket.

Despite how much I like my NEX 7, my go-to camera is still my Canon 7D.

Can't beat the ergonomics, speed of focussing and all-round utility. It's just too big to take everywhere when I travel. If I replace it the only candidate is a 5D mkIII, and even then I might keep the 7D for reach.

Much as I like the NEX 7, I have a hard time justifying it when it is bracketed by two good cameras like the S100 and 7D......especially when I start collecting even more lenses to go with it!

A bad case of GAS!

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jafary
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Re: Have you swapped your DSLR for a NEX 6 or 7?
In reply to Deak, Jan 2, 2013

I was planning to upgrade from Nikon D90 to D7000 or a rumored D7100, but when the Nex 6 was announced it was the first time I started thinking of using a mirrorless camera. I tried it for few weeks, on vacation and around my city and finally decided to sell the DSLR and most of my lenses. I was looking for a lightweight system with most of DSLR capabilities and the NEX 6 brilliantly does that. What I'm missing today? A good telezoom with fast AF to shoot my college games. The 55-200 is definitely not good at 210mm and it's too slow. I'm also missing the menu system of Nikon. I'm still wondering what Sony engineers were thinking with this non ending Setup menu!? Fortunately there is customizable buttons but I'm still scared every time I need to get into this menu

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jack scholl
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Re: Have you swapped your DSLR for a NEX 6 or 7?
In reply to chrisnorris, Jan 2, 2013

We are surely in the minority here.  Our Nikon D7000 kit was just too heavy and it went to ebay.  And we are delighted with the NEX7.  Currently the lenses are SEL24f18, SEL16f28 w/WA adapter, SEL18200LE, LA-EA2, SAL70300G and SAL500F80.  Waiting for the Zeiss 12f2.8 and then will decide between it and the SEL1018.  That should settle the kit for a while.

The size and weight differences make photography fun again (but few care that much about this issue).  Travel with the 7/18-200/16/24 is a joy.  Either BIF kit (EA2/G or EA2/500) is still almost 2 lbs lighter and much smaller that the D7000/80-400 (the Think Tank bag we need to carry all this stuff is half as big as it was with the Nikon).  The addition of the EA2 has made a big difference in AF for the BIF stuff we enjoy and we really don't miss the Nikon setup, even for BIF shooting.  The techniques need to be adjusted a little, you really need to get very familiar with the settings and practice, practice, practice.  But the end results for us have been at least as good as with the Nikon.

It all depends on what is important to you . . . .

Good luck,

Jack

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santiclaws
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Re: Have you swapped your DSLR for a NEX 6 or 7?
In reply to chrisnorris, Jan 2, 2013

I upgraded to a NEX6 from a Sony A700 so I had a built-in advantage - Alpha mount lenses which I can use with an LA-EA2 adapter. Since it was a last generation camera, the NEX smokes the A700  in every department - AF speed with the LA-EA2 adapter is better and high ISO performance is a walkover, so the advantage of IS is more than set off by the NEX. Ergonomics was one area where the A700 was a marvel and the NEX6 can't touch.

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zackiedawg
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Re: Have you swapped your DSLR for a NEX 6 or 7?
In reply to jafary, Jan 2, 2013

jafary wrote:

I was planning to upgrade from Nikon D90 to D7000 or a rumored D7100, but when the Nex 6 was announced it was the first time I started thinking of using a mirrorless camera. I tried it for few weeks, on vacation and around my city and finally decided to sell the DSLR and most of my lenses. I was looking for a lightweight system with most of DSLR capabilities and the NEX 6 brilliantly does that. What I'm missing today? A good telezoom with fast AF to shoot my college games. The 55-200 is definitely not good at 210mm and it's too slow. I'm also missing the menu system of Nikon. I'm still wondering what Sony engineers were thinking with this non ending Setup menu!? Fortunately there is customizable buttons but I'm still scared every time I need to get into this menu

You might consider checking out your 55-210mm copy, or exchanging it if you're still within the return limits.  You should not be having issues with the IQ at 210mm - the lens is actually quite good at that range.  While not a fast lens aperture-wise, it still should be of optimal image quality capability at the long end of the zoom.  Sony's eMount lenses have had some quality control issues, with some lenses being clearly out-of-alignment or suffering from IQ issues, while others are crystal clear and sharp across the frame.  I haven't heard too many complaints about the 55-210mm in that regard, but it wouldn't surprise me if someone got a lemon version.  It's quite common with the 18-55mm and 16mm lenses to get a bad copy while others get a great copy.

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Boris
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Re: Have you swapped your DSLR for a NEX 6 or 7?
In reply to chrisnorris, Jan 2, 2013

Focus tracking on the Nex7 is pitiful compared to even a entry level DSLR....so no I have not swapped since I need focus tracking.

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kruezr
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Re: Have you swapped your DSLR for a NEX 6 or 7?
In reply to Boris, Jan 2, 2013

I unloaded all my Canon equipment, (T31, lenses, hoods, etc).  I used it when we traveled, but it just became to cumbersome to lug all that stuff around.  On a trip to the British Isles last summer, I only took my SX260 ad was pleased with the results.  I wanted to hold out for the Canon EOS M but Canon really disappointed with that camera.  So, I bought the NEX 6 and have been very happy to date.  For our upcoming trips this Spring & Summer, I'll be considering some additional lenses for landscape photography.  Not sure what I get at this point in time. I think the 18-210 is a bit of overkill so I may opt for something that will work well in museums that don't permit f;ash photography.  Any suggestions?

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pbolli
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Re: Have you swapped your DSLR for a NEX 6 or 7?
In reply to kruezr, Jan 2, 2013

I just sold off all my DSLR gear last month after using it alongside an NEX5 for a year and a half. I plan to pick up a NEX6 later this month to replace both. The 5 couldn't replace the DSLR for me since it has no viewfinder but the 6 with the viewfinder can.

I have no need for DSLR fast AF and I work mostly with shorter focal lengths and available light so the only advantages a DSLR has are of little relevance for my style of shooting. But as has been mentioned above whether an NEX can replace a DSLR is a question only the individual user can answer based on his or her style of photography.

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Clayton1985
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Re: Have you swapped your DSLR for a NEX 6 or 7?
In reply to eths, Jan 2, 2013

eths wrote:

Coming from a Nikon FE (an analogue SLR), I have really fallen in love with my Nex-7 (mostly using my old Nikon glass). The biggest plus, for me personally, is the quality of the EVF with the focus assistance features. My main gripes are the Video Button (now mostly fixed in the firmware), the low numbers of high quality E mount lenses and the mediocre AF.

I am currently, seriously thinking about getting a Nikon D600 as a "second" body for my Nikkors because it is full frame and the various reviews I've read indicate that the D600 is "better" in low light/high ISO situations.

This is how I'm set up today except that I have the NEX 6 and sold the 7.   PDAF and low light are big reasons I have the D600 but not the only reasons.  I don't subscribe to the idea that a smaller system is always better.  In certain situations my NEX system is much better and more fun to use but in other situations the D600 is better.  There are times where the extra weight and size mean very little compared to the performance.  It is often portrayed as if you always pay a huge price "lugging around the big old clunky DSLR" but I never feel that way.  That is the beauty of having two systems IMO.  It also allows you to fully appreciate the strengths of each system. I think if I sold my DSLR I might forget how good certain capabilities of the DSLR can be.

If Sony releases a weather sealed full frame NEX with improved on-sensor PDAF in a slightly larger body (I'm probably in the minority here) then I'd consider moving to an all NEX system.   Otherwise I'm happy with two systems.

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