Which Sony Nex camera is best for a busy Mum?

Started Apr 8, 2013 | Questions
APhotoNovice
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Which Sony Nex camera is best for a busy Mum?
Apr 8, 2013

Hi

My faithful P&S camera (Ricoh) has died on me and as a busy Mum chasing after 2 little 'uns, carrying my (Nikon D40) DSLR around is just not practical - too bulky and no video.... looking at reviews and doing a bit of online research, the Sony Nex cameras have great press and appear to take excellent photos and videos...  but, which one to choose??  I'm looking for a good all rounder really, something that will take DSLR quality pics but is small enough and easy enough to use on the go with little 'uns... indoor and outdoor shots.  I'm a real novice when it comes to photography and have little time to fiddle with the controls much at the moment, but hopefully will be able to explore the camera more as the kids get a little bigger.   I'm currently thinking the NEX 5R is 'the one', but perhaps I'm missing something... this is my first look at the mirrorless cameras and it seems to fit my wish list reasonably well.

Do you think NEX 5R would suit my purposes or would another NEX camera (or other for that matter) be better?

Your thoughts would be much appreciated.

Thanks

C

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DtEW
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Re: Which Sony Nex camera is best for a busy Mum?
In reply to APhotoNovice, Apr 8, 2013

For your purposes you will be better off with a dSLR with PDAF.

If size is a concern, the Canon Rebel SL1 will be the smallest of your dSLR options.  The Sony Alpha A37 will be almost as small, but also a very good choice.

You are also well-advised to invest in fast lenses, i.e. primes and not the kit zoom.

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CLYoung
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Re: Which Sony Nex camera is best for a busy Mum?
In reply to APhotoNovice, Apr 8, 2013

I've just bought a 5R for this purpose, as a small second camera with good image quality, to be used most often when out with my two sons. Are you intending to keep the D40 as well? I'm keeping my D80, which is a similar vintage, because I still think there is an advantage to a DSLR, particularly for action shots. It will get replaced in due course. But there are plenty of times when my top priority has to be running after the boys and with a DSLR hanging round my neck that can be tricky. Not so much now they're 10 and 7, but my youngest did get clonked a few times with the SLR when he was a toddler! There's also all the children's paraphernalia that takes up space. My 5R fits in the bag I carry most often so it can be always with me.

I chose the 5R over the 3N mainly for the hybrid focussing and the control wheel, which I find invaluable. I considered the 6 but that was a little bigger and heavier again and more expensive, it went past a psychological barrier that said too expensive to leave in my bag all the time. If this was going to be my main camera I'd have gone for the 6.

I find it great in low light even with the kit lens because I'm coming from an ancient D80, I imagine you'll find the same. Yes, my DSLR with PDAF is better for action, but the NEX is way better than the P&S it replaces and when my eldest was little I was still using a manual focus film SLR, and even with that I got some decent shots. The articulating screen is great for taking shots at children's level.

Hope that helps.

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CLYoung
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Re: Which Sony Nex camera is best for a busy Mum?
In reply to APhotoNovice, Apr 8, 2013

I'd also say that while I have a prime I use with my D80 at home, out and about when running after children I prefer the convenience of a zoom. The 16-50 sometimes feels a bit short but it covers the most important focal lengths for casual photography.

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D Cox
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Re: Which Sony Nex camera is best for a busy Mum?
In reply to APhotoNovice, Apr 9, 2013

I think the 5R would give you plenty of good photos.

Of course with fast-moving kids some will be out of focus, but you should get more than enough successful shots. The quality from a NEX can be very good indeed. Of course, lenses vary.

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Higgins2002
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Re: Which Sony Nex camera is best for a busy Mum?
In reply to APhotoNovice, Apr 9, 2013

APhotoNovice wrote:

Hi

My faithful P&S camera (Ricoh) has died on me and as a busy Mum chasing after 2 little 'uns, carrying my (Nikon D40) DSLR around is just not practical - too bulky and no video.... looking at reviews and doing a bit of online research, the Sony Nex cameras have great press and appear to take excellent photos and videos...  but, which one to choose??  I'm looking for a good all rounder really, something that will take DSLR quality pics but is small enough and easy enough to use on the go with little 'uns... indoor and outdoor shots.  I'm a real novice when it comes to photography and have little time to fiddle with the controls much at the moment, but hopefully will be able to explore the camera more as the kids get a little bigger.   I'm currently thinking the NEX 5R is 'the one', but perhaps I'm missing something... this is my first look at the mirrorless cameras and it seems to fit my wish list reasonably well.

Do you think NEX 5R would suit my purposes or would another NEX camera (or other for that matter) be better?

Your thoughts would be much appreciated.

Thanks

C

Why not  Sony RX-100 it's true pocketable, great stills and great video.

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danny006
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Re: Which Sony Nex camera is best for a busy Mum?
In reply to Higgins2002, Apr 9, 2013

I would also take a look at the RX100, takes really good pictures. Is even smaller than a NEX + 16-50.

Low light performance of the NEX will be better but untill ISO1600 the RX100 does pretty good.

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APhotoNovice
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Re: Which Sony Nex camera is best for a busy Mum?
In reply to DtEW, Apr 9, 2013

Thank you for your suggestions.  I think both those options may be a little on the bulky side for my purposes.

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Beaverhelmet
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Re: Which Sony Nex camera is best for a busy Mum?
In reply to danny006, Apr 9, 2013

Agree on the RX100. If you don't intend to use the NEX as a DSLR (swap lenses now and then, experiment with PASM modes) I see little point in getting something else than a traditional pocket camera. And the RX100 is the king in its price range.

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APhotoNovice
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Re: Which Sony Nex camera is best for a busy Mum?
In reply to CLYoung, Apr 9, 2013

Thank you CLYoung - you've hit the nail on the head with regards to my requirements.  Oh, the life of a Mum!!

Seems like the 5R could be the one for me, but just wondering what it is like to use a manual zoom lens with an LCD display...   the experience of looking through the viewfinder and manually zooming lens combination is something I like to do.  May have to invest in the viewfinder too?!!

Will head to the shops when I have a moment to get a feel for it... and look at the RX100 which looks like a real alternative... tho' very different photo taking experience.

Thanks again

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APhotoNovice
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Re: Which Sony Nex camera is best for a busy Mum?
In reply to APhotoNovice, Apr 9, 2013

Thank you to those who have suggested the RX100... this does sound like a real alternative for my purposes and one I had not considered.  Will head to the shops to touch and feel them and decide which is for me.

Thanks again

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jimr
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In reply to DtEW, Apr 9, 2013

DtEW wrote:

For your purposes you will be better off with a dSLR with PDAF.

If size is a concern, the Canon Rebel SL1 will be the smallest of your dSLR options.  The Sony Alpha A37 will be almost as small, but also a very good choice.

You are also well-advised to invest in fast lenses, i.e. primes and not the kit zoom.

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jimr
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Re: Which Sony Nex camera is best for a busy Mum?
In reply to CLYoung, Apr 9, 2013

How long an equivalent focal length can you do go using CZ with excellent results in  a 8 x 10 print?

CLYoung wrote:

I'd also say that while I have a prime I use with my D80 at home, out and about when running after children I prefer the convenience of a zoom. The 16-50 sometimes feels a bit short but it covers the most important focal lengths for casual photography.

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CLYoung
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Re: Which Sony Nex camera is best for a busy Mum?
In reply to jimr, Apr 9, 2013

I don't know, I haven't tried it. I'm not really clear how this differs from cropping in post.

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randyh360
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Re: Which Sony Nex camera is best for a busy Mum?
In reply to APhotoNovice, Apr 9, 2013

I recently purchased an RX100 to supplement my NEX-5N which I've found to be too large/cumbersome/loud in some situations. So far it's been great, I literally have it with me at all times and hardly know it's there. There have only been a couple of situations (one low-light and one telephoto) when I wished I had my NEX. But honestly, I would have not normally had a camera along at all in both situations, so I suppose the RX100 served its purpose quite well.

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CLYoung
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Re: Which Sony Nex camera is best for a busy Mum?
In reply to APhotoNovice, Apr 9, 2013

I think if you do want a viewfinder I'd go with the 6 - far more convenient than an add-on and not much difference price wise in total.

I considered the RX100, it's far closer in size to my old TZ7. The reasons I didn't were that at that size it's still not going in a pocket, so the added bulk of the 5R with PZ lens wasn't a big disadvantage and:

- I was interested in trying a tilting screen, though I was far from convinced I'd use it. In practice, it's really handy for taking shots of children at their level and for taking candid pictures.

- I thought the hybrid AF would help

- I like the option of being able to change lenses and have already had some fun with playing with old manual lenses from my film days. I like the idea that when I do take my DSLR out, this can be a second body with a complementary lens on it.

- It may not make much sense, but I felt that with the RX100 I'd find it hard to decide when to take my DSLR and when to take the RX100 - would I regret leaving the house only with the smaller sensor camera? The NEX of course has the same size sensor as the D80, though if I decide to upgrade to FF when I replace the the Nikon I'll be back in the same boat!

I was dubious about zooming using a ring on the lens while using the LCD on the back. I was used to either using an LCD screen with a zoom collar round the shutter button on a compact who having my DSLR up to my eye while zooming the lens by hand. In practice, it's been fine, even with my old lenses where I'm also focussing manually. You could look at the 3N if  you want the compact-like zoom collar or you could use the zoom button on the lens.

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danny006
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Re: Which Sony Nex camera is best for a busy Mum?
In reply to jimr, Apr 9, 2013

jimr wrote:

How long an equivalent focal length can you do go using CZ with excellent results in  a 8 x 10 print?

I have tested the ciz with the RX100 and it doesn't give any benefit. Cropping gives even better results. I really hoped it would give at least slightly better results, but no it doesn't. Maybe with the bigger sensor in the Nex it does.

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APhotoNovice
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Re: Which Sony Nex camera is best for a busy Mum?
In reply to CLYoung, Apr 9, 2013

Thank you so much for your input.  Now you've got me thinking about the Nex6 because of the viewfinder.

I will check out the RX100, but my gut instincts are that whilst this is no doubt a superb P&S camera and will no doubt be able to take the kind of shots and videos that I'm looking for, I don't get the same enjoyment of taking a photo with P&S camera's, particularly from an LCD as opposed to a viewfinder.  And, I can always call upon my iphone to take snaps, as this would almost always be with me too.  So, my thoughts are now turning to the whole experience of taking photos and the enjoyment that I get from putting a good camera to my eye and holding the lens.  If the NEX 5 or 6 will provide me with the quality, ease and is not overly bulky/cumbersome, I think I would personally get more enjoyment and mileage from using it over a P&S...  only holding the camera in my hands will answer that for me, I guess!

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APhotoNovice
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Re: Which Sony Nex camera is best for a busy Mum?
In reply to APhotoNovice, Apr 10, 2013

Thank you all for your generous input and advice.  I've come across a great refurbished package from the Sony Outlet - NEX6 with 16-50 lens for £499 (USD763 equiv) and couldn't resist... thought I could always sell and get my money back if it really is not to my liking!

Will keep you posted on how I get on with it!!

This is a fantastic forum, very generous in advice and sharing of experience and knowledge... I hope to be able to contribute similarly in the months/years to come.  Many thanks again.

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CosmoZooo
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Re: Which Sony Nex camera is best for a busy Mum?
In reply to APhotoNovice, Apr 10, 2013

APhotoNovice wrote:

Thank you all for your generous input and advice.  I've come across a great refurbished package from the Sony Outlet - NEX6 with 16-50 lens for £499 (USD763 equiv) and couldn't resist... thought I could always sell and get my money back if it really is not to my liking!

Will keep you posted on how I get on with it!!

This is a fantastic forum, very generous in advice and sharing of experience and knowledge... I hope to be able to contribute similarly in the months/years to come.  Many thanks again.

Good choice...I came to the thread late but I can't stop singing the same tune to warn folks who want video - 5R based on the reports on this forum can overheat in video as soon as 20min depending on the ambient temperature. Since I care about video 5R was never my choice.

NEX-6 per reports can record nearly consecutively for several hours before it starts to give in and need a time out. Many folks, including myself, have successfully done 90min tests without even a warning on the NEX-6.

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