Why I'm choosing the NEX-6 and Zeiss combo over the RX-1

Started Feb 1, 2013 | Discussions
jpark1982
Regular MemberPosts: 120
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Why I'm choosing the NEX-6 and Zeiss combo over the RX-1
Feb 1, 2013

Long time lurker, not too long time poster here on the DP forums.

Let me start by saying that I suffer from buying/selling cameras too often.  I started with a D600, then went up to a 5DIII, then to a NEX-6.  I was happy with the NEX-6 and Zeiss combo but decided that I wanted to give the RX-1 a chance.  I was fully ready to list my NEX-6 and Zeiss for sale and make the RX-1 my choice.

With the NEX-6 I knew what it was good for and what it lacked.  High ISO performance isn't terrible but isn't a standout.  But I loved it for what it was, a stellar performer in a small package.

What reason was I drawn to the RX-1?  Well first the world class optics.  After having the Zeiss on the NEX-6, I hardly ever swap out the lens (granted my only other lens is the 18-55 kit lens).  So I thought having a FF sensor with a 35mm lens would be magic.

The single greatest complaint I read about the RX-1 outside of the price is the lack of a viewfinder.  I didn't let the lack of an EVF on the RX-1 throw me too much, I hardly ever use the EVF on the NEX-6.

So what did I like about the RX-1?

1. The high ISO perfomance rocks.  I felt that up to ISO 6400 was fully usable and higher under certain situations.

2. Having an aperture ring was a nice additon.

3. The macro capability proved to be useful.

So what didn't I like about the RX-1?

1. The lack of a solid grip.  With the NEX-6, I feel confident about just walking around for hours just holding the camera by the grip and felt secure that even with a $1000 Zeiss on the lens that I wouldn't drop it.  That's not to say that the RX-1 is slippery, just I don't feel confident holding it.

2. The strap lugs feel uncomfortable.  Maybe it was because I didn't have a strap or anything on it, but I felt like because of the lack of a natural holding position, the lugs were in an uncomfortable place between my thumb and index finger.

3. The noise that the lens makes when hunting.  The shutter is super silent but the whirring of the lens to focus and the mechanical feeling that I get while it's locking focus felt unnatural to me.  The NEX-6 it it's shutter sounds more camera-like if that's a word to me.

4. I don't know if it was just me, but the rear dial felt like it didn't stick out enough.  Also while I appreciate that the mode dial and the exposure compensation dials are solid that they prevent accidental rotations, they felt too stiff and uncomfortable to rotate.  4. I don't know if it was just me, but the rear dial felt like it didn't stick out enough.  Also while I appreciate that the mode dial and the exposure compensation dials are solid that they prevent accidental rotations, they felt too stiff and uncomfortable to rotate.

What I appreciate in the NEX-6 over the RX-1

1. The grip

2. The ability to manually bounce the flash makes indoor shots much easier to get.

3. The right about of customized options.  The RX-1 has a done of buttons that you can configure, which is good, but sometimes it seems like there are too man icons on the screen at once.  Hitting the Fn button to scroll through the options seems much at times, though I'm sure that I could get used to it.

4. While I don't swap lenses because of the Zeiss, I do like that later on if I do get into MF lenses that I have the option to.

What I'm looking for in my true NEX-6 replacement

1. GPS

2. Touchscreen, even if just for menus, but a touch focus would be amazing.

3. Improved high ISO performance, possible 24MP sensor.

4. I don't even need a FF sensor, it would take too much time to develop a solid stable of lenses.  The biggest knock on the NEX system was the lack of lenses which I think they're starting to build on now, having to start from the beginning would be frustrating.  But a clean APS-C sensor with improved low light performance and usable ISO6400 would be amazing.

Sorry if this seems like I'm rambling on, but I just wanted to voice why I'm sticking with the NEX-6 and Zeiss over the RX-1.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Nikon D600 Sony Alpha NEX-6
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blue_skies
Senior MemberPosts: 7,051Gear list
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Re: Why I'm choosing the NEX-6 and Zeiss combo over the RX-1
In reply to jpark1982, Feb 1, 2013

jpark1982 wrote:

Long time lurker, not too long time poster here on the DP forums.

Let me start by saying that I suffer from buying/selling cameras too often. I started with a D600, then went up to a 5DIII, then to a NEX-6. I was happy with the NEX-6 and Zeiss combo but decided that I wanted to give the RX-1 a chance. I was fully ready to list my NEX-6 and Zeiss for sale and make the RX-1 my choice.

With the NEX-6 I knew what it was good for and what it lacked. High ISO performance isn't terrible but isn't a standout. But I loved it for what it was, a stellar performer in a small package.

What reason was I drawn to the RX-1? Well first the world class optics. After having the Zeiss on the NEX-6, I hardly ever swap out the lens (granted my only other lens is the 18-55 kit lens). So I thought having a FF sensor with a 35mm lens would be magic.

The single greatest complaint I read about the RX-1 outside of the price is the lack of a viewfinder. I didn't let the lack of an EVF on the RX-1 throw me too much, I hardly ever use the EVF on the NEX-6.

So what did I like about the RX-1?

1. The high ISO perfomance rocks. I felt that up to ISO 6400 was fully usable and higher under certain situations.

2. Having an aperture ring was a nice additon.

3. The macro capability proved to be useful.

So what didn't I like about the RX-1?

1. The lack of a solid grip. With the NEX-6, I feel confident about just walking around for hours just holding the camera by the grip and felt secure that even with a $1000 Zeiss on the lens that I wouldn't drop it. That's not to say that the RX-1 is slippery, just I don't feel confident holding it.

2. The strap lugs feel uncomfortable. Maybe it was because I didn't have a strap or anything on it, but I felt like because of the lack of a natural holding position, the lugs were in an uncomfortable place between my thumb and index finger.

3. The noise that the lens makes when hunting. The shutter is super silent but the whirring of the lens to focus and the mechanical feeling that I get while it's locking focus felt unnatural to me. The NEX-6 it it's shutter sounds more camera-like if that's a word to me.

4. I don't know if it was just me, but the rear dial felt like it didn't stick out enough. Also while I appreciate that the mode dial and the exposure compensation dials are solid that they prevent accidental rotations, they felt too stiff and uncomfortable to rotate. 4. I don't know if it was just me, but the rear dial felt like it didn't stick out enough. Also while I appreciate that the mode dial and the exposure compensation dials are solid that they prevent accidental rotations, they felt too stiff and uncomfortable to rotate.

What I appreciate in the NEX-6 over the RX-1

1. The grip

2. The ability to manually bounce the flash makes indoor shots much easier to get.

3. The right about of customized options. The RX-1 has a done of buttons that you can configure, which is good, but sometimes it seems like there are too man icons on the screen at once. Hitting the Fn button to scroll through the options seems much at times, though I'm sure that I could get used to it.

4. While I don't swap lenses because of the Zeiss, I do like that later on if I do get into MF lenses that I have the option to.

What I'm looking for in my true NEX-6 replacement

1. GPS

Usually not needed, there are many way to geo-tag your images in post, using a GPS (time) log on your cell phone.

2. Touchscreen, even if just for menus, but a touch focus would be amazing.

Perhaps, but possibly a conflict with the EVF. We will see if the new Nex-7 will have a touch screen...

3. Improved high ISO performance, possible 24MP sensor.

Nex-7 ??

4. I don't even need a FF sensor, it would take too much time to develop a solid stable of lenses. The biggest knock on the NEX system was the lack of lenses which I think they're starting to build on now, having to start from the beginning would be frustrating. But a clean APS-C sensor with improved low light performance and usable ISO6400 would be amazing.

Instead of LA-EA2, try the Metabones' adapter, it'll gain a full stop, similar to boosting your ISO.

Sorry if this seems like I'm rambling on, but I just wanted to voice why I'm sticking with the NEX-6 and Zeiss over the RX-1.

  • Understanding one camera and getting the most out of it takes time. 
  • Understanding the differences between camera systems is also very useful. 

Generally, FF, versus fixed lens, versus APS-C, all make for quite fundamental choices. Just pick your preference and make it work for you.

The Nex-6 plus E24Z is a nice setup. From the sound of it, the Nex-6 system has a lot of life left in it, maybe it'll stop your desire to switch cameras ... at least until the next camera comes out

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Cheers,
Henry

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Cane
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Re: Why I'm choosing the NEX-6 and Zeiss combo over the RX-1
In reply to jpark1982, Feb 1, 2013

Wow, you are one tough customer! Really, the lugs?

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aap292
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Re: Why I'm choosing the NEX-6 and Zeiss combo over the RX-1
In reply to Cane, Feb 1, 2013

Cane wrote:

Wow, you are one tough customer! Really, the lugs?

He's a NEX user, very discerning...

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sean lancaster
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Re: Why I'm choosing the NEX-6 and Zeiss combo over the RX-1
In reply to jpark1982, Feb 1, 2013

jpark1982 wrote:

Long time lurker, not too long time poster here on the DP forums.

Let me start by saying that I suffer from buying/selling cameras too often. I started with a D600, then went up to a 5DIII, then to a NEX-6. I was happy with the NEX-6 and Zeiss combo but decided that I wanted to give the RX-1 a chance. I was fully ready to list my NEX-6 and Zeiss for sale and make the RX-1 my choice.

I was in a similar boat, only I had the 5N and the Zeiss 24 so I'll provide my perspective since I reached a similar conclusion.

So what did I like about the RX-1?

1. The high ISO perfomance rocks. I felt that up to ISO 6400 was fully usable and higher under certain situations.

It really is pretty incredible. If I am shooting color then I try and not go above ISO 800 (1600 tops) on my NEX 5N and I will regularly go to ISO 6400 on the RX1. I found it pretty incredible.

2. Having an aperture ring was a nice additon.

The RX1 made shooting manual a breeze with that ring.

3. The macro capability proved to be useful.

I didn't think this feature was better on the RX1. The Zeiss 24 already focuses at 6" and it requires no macro ring. The RX1 also focuses at about 6" but you need to turn the macro ring. I found this a nuisance when I'd forget it was in macro mode when trying to shoot a regular scene. But still, most fast 35 primes have an 11" or 12" minimum focusing distance, so the RX1 was still doing swell here.

So what didn't I like about the RX-1?

1. The lack of a solid grip. With the NEX-6, I feel confident about just walking around for hours just holding the camera by the grip and felt secure that even with a $1000 Zeiss on the lens that I wouldn't drop it. That's not to say that the RX-1 is slippery, just I don't feel confident holding it.

I didn't like the lack of a real grip on the RX1 either. It was okay, but not great for just walking around and holding the camera.

2. The strap lugs feel uncomfortable. Maybe it was because I didn't have a strap or anything on it, but I felt like because of the lack of a natural holding position, the lugs were in an uncomfortable place between my thumb and index finger.

I had no idea that this was a problem. I put a Gordy's strap on a lug and never thought about the lug(s) again.

3. The noise that the lens makes when hunting. The shutter is super silent but the whirring of the lens to focus and the mechanical feeling that I get while it's locking focus felt unnatural to me. The NEX-6 it it's shutter sounds more camera-like if that's a word to me.

The shutter is extremely quiet. But I don't recall ever hearing the lens hunting for focus so it couldn't have been too loud. I was more annoyed with the effectiveness of the AF . . . it certainly wasn't better than my 5N and Zeiss 24.

4. I don't know if it was just me, but the rear dial felt like it didn't stick out enough. Also while I appreciate that the mode dial and the exposure compensation dials are solid that they prevent accidental rotations, they felt too stiff and uncomfortable to rotate. 4. I don't know if it was just me, but the rear dial felt like it didn't stick out enough. Also while I appreciate that the mode dial and the exposure compensation dials are solid that they prevent accidental rotations, they felt too stiff and uncomfortable to rotate.

I actually liked these controls you're complaining about. I really liked them.

What I appreciate in the NEX-6 over the RX-1

1. The grip

I don't know the 6, but the grip on my 5N is perfect.

2. The ability to manually bounce the flash makes indoor shots much easier to get.

The RX1 flash is built in. On my 5N it's a screw on proprietary flash and I never screw it on. So it was nice to have it built in on the 6, but you're right in that it won't bounce (angle up).

3. The right about of customized options. The RX-1 has a done of buttons that you can configure, which is good, but sometimes it seems like there are too man icons on the screen at once. Hitting the Fn button to scroll through the options seems much at times, though I'm sure that I could get used to it.

I had the camera 2 months. I thought it had the right amount of external buttons and I though the menu system was very intuitive. I don't know how it is on the NEX 6, but it really sucks on the NEX 5N. It's just pathetic. So I found the RX1 to be intuitive and easy to navigate. But I rarely needed the Fn button after customizing the other buttons to what I needed for manual shooting.

4. While I don't swap lenses because of the Zeiss, I do like that later on if I do get into MF lenses that I have the option to.

Not a problem for me as I wasn't going to sell my 5N if I had kept the RX1.

What I'm looking for in my true NEX-6 replacement

1. GPS

I'd like that as well (e.g., the A99), but it does eat up battery and that's not a compromise I need.

2. Touchscreen, even if just for menus, but a touch focus would be amazing.

Touchscreen is one of the things I like most about my NEX 5N. I can't understand why Sony wouldn't have made the RX1 screen a touchscreen like the 5N if they weren't going to include an EVF. Sigh. This was one of my biggest gripes about the RX1, but it applies to ever full frame camera. The touch LCD on the 5N is nearly perfect. I want to focus on the eye of a subject and I touch the eye to set the focus point and it works. I can zoom in and it will magnify the eye for focus tweaking (with focus peaking). It's beautiful.

3. Improved high ISO performance, possible 24MP sensor.

I'll be interested in seeing what the update to the NEX 7 brings in this regard. After seeing the NEX 5R and 6 not improve on the NEX 5N ISO performance, I am not too hopeful about the update to the NEX 7.

4. I don't even need a FF sensor, it would take too much time to develop a solid stable of lenses. The biggest knock on the NEX system was the lack of lenses which I think they're starting to build on now, having to start from the beginning would be frustrating. But a clean APS-C sensor with improved low light performance and usable ISO6400 would be amazing.

Sorry if this seems like I'm rambling on, but I just wanted to voice why I'm sticking with the NEX-6 and Zeiss over the RX-1.

Honestly, the only complaint I had about the RX1 had to do with the AF implementation. I didn't think it improved on my NEX 5N and there were times when I thought the 5N and Zeiss 24 were better in this regard. This was my biggest disappointment with the RX1.

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Astrophotographer 10
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Re: Why I'm choosing the NEX-6 and Zeiss combo over the RX-1
In reply to sean lancaster, Feb 1, 2013

Just for your interest the Fuji XE1 does ISO6400 pretty well. Although I think Fuji overstates their ISO a bit.

Greg.

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Keit ll
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Re: Why I'm choosing the NEX-6 and Zeiss combo over the RX-1
In reply to Astrophotographer 10, Feb 1, 2013

I find it interesting that some users have actually seen & handled an RX1 ! I live in the south east UK & have yet to see one. When I enquired at my local Jessops before they folded the manager laughed & asked me if I knew how much it cost. Currently I have no access to cameras shops other than PCWorld so the first chance to see an RX1 will probably when I visit the FOCUS Imaging show at the Birmingham NEC in March. The price & lack of an EVF are a big deterent however to me so it will be interesting to see if my opinions change with hands-on experience.

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cxsparc
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Re: Why I'm choosing the NEX-6 and Zeiss combo over the RX-1
In reply to sean lancaster, Feb 1, 2013

Thanks to all for contributing your experiences!

As a gear-addict I also have to fight the impulse to always get the newest gear.

I was tempted with the 6 but as Sean wrote, the touchscreen improves AF focus selection and MF operation so much I don't want to give it up.

The only reason I can think of why Sony doesn't offer touchscreen in the better Nexes and RX1 is that the present touchscreen operation is much less elegant compared to the touchscreens of Iphones and the like.

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sean lancaster
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Re: Why I'm choosing the NEX-6 and Zeiss combo over the RX-1
In reply to Astrophotographer 10, Feb 1, 2013

Astrophotographer 10 wrote:

Just for your interest the Fuji XE1 does ISO6400 pretty well. Although I think Fuji overstates their ISO a bit.

I originally looked at the X-Pro 1, which uses the same sensor but I suspect that Fuji uses software NR even in RAW so there is less play in the final product . . . and Fuji also appears to be one stop less sensitive at any given ISO. But they do have some nice lenses.

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