Should I buy a NEX?

Started May 23, 2013 | Discussions
cwtbone
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Should I buy a NEX?
May 23, 2013

I have been shooting DSLRs for many years and I have been strongly considering getting a NEX for portability and casual family outings. I normally shoot wildlife, macros and landscapes. I have questions though about how easy it is to get good focus using just the LCD. The deal on the F3 at B&H right now is very tempting but I wonder if I would regret not moving up to the NEX 6 with the viewfinder. I shoot most of the time with a Sony A65 and though I can use the LCD to shoot I almost always use the EVF. What are do some of you experienced NEX shooters think?

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Yezariael
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Re: Should I buy a NEX?
In reply to cwtbone, May 23, 2013

I have the a77 and since half a year NEX-6: The a77 stays most of the time at home, but sometimes I miss some things like very fast focussing or fast change of settings...

And I would NEVER want to loose the EVF! For most things the LCD is fine, but in sunny conditions etc. a viewfinder is not to beat...

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Faketastic
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Re: Should I buy a NEX?
In reply to cwtbone, May 23, 2013

I was a long time DSLR guy before I jumped on the NEX-train. I first got the original NEX-5 which  I liked, but it wasn't until the NEX-6 I went all in on only NEX. I missed the viewfinder too much.

I vote NEX-6.

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Clayton1985
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Re: Should I buy a NEX?
In reply to cwtbone, May 23, 2013

I would recommend the 6 with EVF.  Not only do you get a viewfinder but a very good one and it makes a difference.   I had the opportunity to play with the Fuji X-E1 for a day and the EVF doesn't come close to the NEX 6 in my opinion.

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nevercat
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Re: Should I buy a NEX?
In reply to cwtbone, May 23, 2013

If you want an EVF or not is hard to tell. |
Do you work a lot in the sun? Yes I advice a camera with EVF
Do you like the camera to your eye? Yes? I advice a camera with EVF

Do you use the camera on a tripod a lot? Well the LCD will be nicer then the EVF to use
Does it bother you to hold te camera at armlength? Yes go for the EVF

And there will be more reasons to think to use a EVF or not.

I came from an A700 and went for the Nex5. I like that camera and don't miss the EVF at all. But when I use my A700 I like the OVF a lot! So my next camera will have an EVF.

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Mr Sellars
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Re: Should I buy a NEX?
In reply to cwtbone, May 23, 2013

I'd go for a 6 - the viewfinder alone would make the extra cost worthwhile.

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cwtbone
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Re: Should I buy a NEX?
In reply to Clayton1985, May 23, 2013

Do any of you shoot macros with the NEX, adapter and a 100mm A-mount lens. I am wondering how well I could do using the focus peaking in comparison to my output from my A65? My wife is voting for me to keep saving so I can buy the new 70-400 Sony A-mount for my wildlife shooting. She doesn't shoot but she accompanies me on most of my outings. I have a good thing going with her doing the driving while I shoot. Of course it is my decision and I don't need permission to buy what I want.

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nzmacro
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Re: Should I buy a NEX?
In reply to cwtbone, May 23, 2013

cwtbone wrote:

I have been shooting DSLRs for many years and I have been strongly considering getting a NEX for portability and casual family outings. I normally shoot wildlife, macros and landscapes. I have questions though about how easy it is to get good focus using just the LCD. The deal on the F3 at B&H right now is very tempting but I wonder if I would regret not moving up to the NEX 6 with the viewfinder. I shoot most of the time with a Sony A65 and though I can use the LCD to shoot I almost always use the EVF. What are do some of you experienced NEX shooters think?

All I take is wildlife and macro, mainly birds and BIF's using MF Canon FD long fast lenses. Slowly getting into sports a bit more. The focus peaking is excellent for MF lenses, not everyone's cup of tea, but I like it. I would actually go for the NEX-6 if you are into wildlife and macro along with landscapes. The EVF I couldn't live without, in fact if the NEX-7 had no rear LCD screen, I would not miss it. Never use it to be honest and I also review the images in the EVF.

Add in the PDAF adaptor for the NEX and you can still use your Sony lenses with PDAF, no stabilisation though.

All the best and in your situation, I would go with the NEX-6 or 7

Danny.

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cwtbone
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Re: Should I buy a NEX?
In reply to nzmacro, May 23, 2013

Thank you all for your replies. The ability to use some of the great old MF glass with adapters sounds appealing. I do use focus peaking so much with my A65 that I could almost do without AF. What long MF glass that can be bought cheaply do you recommend?

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seachicken2000
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Re: Should I buy a NEX?
In reply to nzmacro, May 23, 2013

I also agree the EVF is very useful, especially for manual focus and bright ambient light.

The NEX-F3 supports the accessory viewfinder, so one option open to you is to try the camera as is and buy the EVF if you miss it. The accessory EVF also tilts up which is great.

On the other hand fiddly accessories are not quite as elegant a solution as a buit-in EVF. If you are sure you want an EVF, it's probably better to just get a camera with one built in.

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JeffGo
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Re: Should I buy a NEX?
In reply to cwtbone, May 23, 2013

In a word: yes. I moved from Canon DSLRs because I couldn't handle the weight.

I went with the NEX-7 and the finder was definitely on my must have list. If you go with one of the lower models and add the accessory EVF, you spend as much or more than the NEX-6.

That said, I find that I use the EVF less than I thought. But still wouldn't give it up.

After a year of gathering dust, I sold my 5DII and most of my L lenses. Kept a 300mm which I use on the NEX-7 with a Metabones adapter.

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Tuloom
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Re: Should I buy a NEX?
In reply to cwtbone, May 23, 2013

cwtbone wrote:

.... but I wonder if I would regret not moving up to the NEX 6 with the viewfinder. I shoot most of the time with a Sony A65 and though I can use the LCD to shoot I almost always use the EVF. What are do some of you experienced NEX shooters think?

You would regret it.

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nzmacro
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NEX is so versatile with lenses
In reply to cwtbone, May 23, 2013

cwtbone wrote:

Thank you all for your replies. The ability to use some of the great old MF glass with adapters sounds appealing. I do use focus peaking so much with my A65 that I could almost do without AF. What long MF glass that can be bought cheaply do you recommend?

Cheaply is all relative. The lenses I use are rather large, so no real benefit over a DSLR to be honest, except I like MF, the build of the lenses and focus peaking. Plus I don't want or need a larger camera.

A good (what I would call) mid range would be something along the lines of a Canon FD 300 F/4L (not the non "L" version). Some would call that expensive, but if you are keen on wildlife, its not bad for a serious nature lens.

Justin posts some amazing shots using the native Sony 55-210 with an add on front adaptor, ahhh where's your latest post Justin.......

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51500970

Beautiful shots he takes and of course with the added adaptor, still AF and OIS with the 55-210. You have to know what you are doing of course and he does

Jack uses the PDAF adaptor using a Sony 500mm reflex lens and a Sony zoom, another fine bird shooter in here.

Bob is using a 300 F/2.8, Tamron, or is it a Tokina Bob ??. He's getting right into it now as well.

The world is your oyster if you make it work. If you love it, you will always make it work. A lot of fine nature shots we see in here now and it just makes me smile seeing what I might never get to see.

All the best.

Danny.

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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: Should I buy a NEX?
In reply to cwtbone, May 23, 2013

cwtbone wrote:

I have been shooting DSLRs for many years and I have been strongly considering getting a NEX for portability and casual family outings. I normally shoot wildlife, macros and landscapes. I have questions though about how easy it is to get good focus using just the LCD. The deal on the F3 at B&H right now is very tempting but I wonder if I would regret not moving up to the NEX 6 with the viewfinder. I shoot most of the time with a Sony A65 and though I can use the LCD to shoot I almost always use the EVF. What are do some of you experienced NEX shooters think?

If you feel View Finder, or lack of, may become an issue, I would advise a look into NEX-5N (if any left out there) or NEX-5R. See if you miss it, and add if you do. Or, simply go for NEX-6.

Even with EVF, I'm likely to use LCD more except in extremely bright conditions or when tracking with a telephoto zoom. Otherwise, LCD works great and often better (more flexibility to compose). I'd say EVF is likely to be more useful for wildlife photography, especially with movement involved.

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EinsteinsGhost
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Re: Should I buy a NEX?
In reply to cwtbone, May 23, 2013

cwtbone wrote:

Do any of you shoot macros with the NEX, adapter and a 100mm A-mount lens. I am wondering how well I could do using the focus peaking in comparison to my output from my A65? My wife is voting for me to keep saving so I can buy the new 70-400 Sony A-mount for my wildlife shooting. She doesn't shoot but she accompanies me on most of my outings. I have a good thing going with her doing the driving while I shoot. Of course it is my decision and I don't need permission to buy what I want.

I have used NEX-3 + Tamron 90mm f/2.8 or Sigma 70mm f/2.8 via EA1 and EA2. Focus peaking works fine, but for stationary objects (or minimal movement), I use Focus Peaking to get where I want than Focus Magnify to dial in.

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D Cox
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Re: Should I buy a NEX?
In reply to JeffGo, May 23, 2013

JeffGo wrote:

In a word: yes. I moved from Canon DSLRs because I couldn't handle the weight.

I went with the NEX-7 and the finder was definitely on my must have list. If you go with one of the lower models and add the accessory EVF, you spend as much or more than the NEX-6.

That said, I find that I use the EVF less than I thought. But still wouldn't give it up.

The great thing is to have the flexibility.

You can use the EVF at eye level for shooting sports or wildlife, and you can use the LCD at waist level for street scenes and portraits, and you can use the LCD tilted right out for low level work with a tripod such as macros of bugs.

Likewise you can use a fully automatic zoom lens, or you can use a fully manual legacy prime (my favourite lens is a 1969 model 50mm f/2 Nikkor), or you can use a microscope, or an enlarger lens on a bellows. Just about anything works.

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zackiedawg
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Re: Should I buy a NEX?
In reply to cwtbone, May 23, 2013

cwtbone wrote:

I have been shooting DSLRs for many years and I have been strongly considering getting a NEX for portability and casual family outings. I normally shoot wildlife, macros and landscapes. I have questions though about how easy it is to get good focus using just the LCD. The deal on the F3 at B&H right now is very tempting but I wonder if I would regret not moving up to the NEX 6 with the viewfinder. I shoot most of the time with a Sony A65 and though I can use the LCD to shoot I almost always use the EVF. What are do some of you experienced NEX shooters think?

It all depends on you - everyone's different as to how well they can get along without a viewfinder.  I can give you my own experience for whatever it's worth...

I bought into the NEX system with the NEX3, almost a year after it debuted, as a second body to my DSLR (A580)...I hadn't been interested in the NEX at all until the firmware updates that gave user customization to the controls.  While I enjoyed using the NEX3, it stayed a compact backup camera when I wanted to go small - maybe 10% of my shooting...I occasionally tried it for wildlife and birding, but it just wasn't as good for it, so my use was limited.  For landscape, travel, etc it was fine.  I really never thought about WHY I used it so little, except for birding and wildlife where I knew the lack of viewfinder was the biggest impact.

When the NEX-5N was announced, with the EVF option, I knew it was for me - and bought it practically the day it was available, WITH the EVF.  And it changed everything - the camera went from occasional backup use to nearly 50% of my shooting, including going into fair rotation for birding and wildlife even, especially in the hot summers where it's so much easier to carry along for 5-10 mile walks in 100 degrees than my DSLR and Minolta 300mm prime.  There are still some advantages to the DSLR which prevent me from replacing it altogether, but now I've got the NEX as a true second-body system, shooting both alongside the DSLR and in place of it, and splitting overall shooting duties nearly in half.  There's no way in the world that would have happened without an EVF...so for me, it's pretty much a must-have.

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Dennis
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Re: Should I buy a NEX?
In reply to cwtbone, May 23, 2013

cwtbone wrote:

The lack of a viewfinder turned out to be one of the biggest turnoffs for my NEX. I bought the NEX-5 2.5 years ago before a trip to Disney, planning on using it as my "carry everywhere" camera.  The tilting LCD is a nice touch, but it turned out to be tough to use in sunlight.  The menu makes it annoying to switch the LCD between Sunny and Normal mode (and in Sunny mode, it's ok for composition, but looks awful).  Newer LCDs may be better.  I'm now using an RX100 as my carry everywhere camera and it lacks a tilting LCD and still isn't perfect, but is better.  I think, though, that with the RX100, I just accept that limitation in a pocket camera, whereas on the NEX, I wanted it to do most of what my DSLR can do.  If using NEX with a pancake lens as an oversized p&s, I'd be fine without the EVF, but otherwise, I'd want one.  I'd probably look to the '6' but an older model with an external EVF is interesting if affordable enough.

- Dennis

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Dennis
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Re: Should I buy a NEX?
In reply to cwtbone, May 23, 2013

cwtbone wrote:

Thank you all for your replies. The ability to use some of the great old MF glass with adapters sounds appealing. I do use focus peaking so much with my A65 that I could almost do without AF. What long MF glass that can be bought cheaply do you recommend?

All the more reason to consider a VF, IMO.  (I just posted at the bottom of the thread).  I found the LCD lousy on my NEX-5 in bright sun, and focus peaking would be difficult - certainly not enjoyable.

- Dennis

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GaryR60
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Re: Should I buy a NEX?
In reply to cwtbone, May 23, 2013

cwtbone wrote:

I have been shooting DSLRs for many years and I have been strongly considering getting a NEX for portability and casual family outings. I normally shoot wildlife, macros and landscapes. I have questions though about how easy it is to get good focus using just the LCD. The deal on the F3 at B&H right now is very tempting but I wonder if I would regret not moving up to the NEX 6 with the viewfinder. I shoot most of the time with a Sony A65 and though I can use the LCD to shoot I almost always use the EVF. What are do some of you experienced NEX shooters think?

In most cases, I've had little trouble with focus in outdoor photography. If there is glare on the screen and I can't see what I'm getting, switching to AF usually solves the problem. There's a reason and a use for all the controls.

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