Canon SL1 vs. Sony Nex-6 or something else???

Started Jun 5, 2013 | Discussions
SMD79
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Canon SL1 vs. Sony Nex-6 or something else???
Jun 5, 2013

I can't make up my mind. Please help. I'm asking this in the Canon forum because I'm leaning toward the Sony at this point for reasons stated below. My purpose for getting a camera is to shoot our 18 month old son in everyday life and also for headshots (he does commercial work believe it or not). My wife and I are looking for a camera that meets these criteria which I've listed in order of importance:

1) Fast Autofocus. This is #1 priority for sure.

2) Shallow DoF. Rules out smaller sensor cameras.

3) Low light performance.

4) Relatively compact.

5) Hopefully around or under $800 (I get a 25% discount on Sony Cameras)

I work as a videographer so I'm somewhat knowledgable of cameras BUT this will be my first "real" camera purchase for photos beyond the Canon S90 we got a few years back. Unfortunately the S90's AF isn't nearly fast enough at all and we want better low light performance and shallower DoF so we're going larger sensor.

We don't have any lenses and realistically our budget right now doesn't allow for some of the awesome lenses that Canon has so I was almost dead set on getting the Sony NEX-6 until I picked up the little Canon SL1 the other day and messed around with it for a minute. I suddenly realized the power of the Optical Viewfinder and it's near instant AF. That is EXACTLY what we want! Granted the SL1's LCD live view display is MUCH slower for AF than the Sony. The Sony's AF is ALMOST as fast as Canon's OVF...but not quite. And that is our most important criteria so now I'm totally confused.

REASONS TO GET SONY NEX-6: Well, here's the thing...the Sony was a bit slower in AF in my limited testing but much better/faster than Canon when using the LCD screen and it also has an articulating screen, has wifi capability which I'm sure will be improved over time (it's a bit slow and awkward at the moment), is more compact than the SL1, shoots 1080p60 video (which means that it could be a backup cam if I was in a total bind one of my regular cams went down for some crazy reason (that's the film speed we shoot at usually))...and then finally, here's the kicker...a family member of ours works for Sony so I'd essentially get 25% off making the NEX-6 much less than the SL1.

Now you can see how I'm leaning toward Sony.

REASONS TO GET CANON SL1: Our #1 Priority is AF speed and the Optical Viewfinder was SUPER fast in my limited testing. Practically instant. Since it's my #1 priority I'm now totally unsure of which to go with (given that Sony has all those other advantages mentioned above).

I don't want to spend more than the either camera and we are trying to keep things to a small(er) size (rules out t4i/t5i, etc) while still keeping the larger sensor for that shallow DoF.

Any one have experience with both of these cameras and would like to weigh in on their thoughts?

demarren 123
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Re: Canon SL1 vs. Sony Nex-6 or something else???
In reply to SMD79, Jun 5, 2013

SMD79 wrote:

I can't make up my mind. Please help. I'm asking this in the Canon forum because I'm leaning toward the Sony at this point for reasons stated below. My purpose for getting a camera is to shoot our 18 month old son in everyday life and also for headshots (he does commercial work believe it or not). My wife and I are looking for a camera that meets these criteria which I've listed in order of importance:

1) Fast Autofocus. This is #1 priority for sure.

2) Shallow DoF. Rules out smaller sensor cameras.

3) Low light performance.

4) Relatively compact.

5) Hopefully around or under $800 (I get a 25% discount on Sony Cameras)

I work as a videographer so I'm somewhat knowledgable of cameras BUT this will be my first "real" camera purchase for photos beyond the Canon S90 we got a few years back. Unfortunately the S90's AF isn't nearly fast enough at all and we want better low light performance and shallower DoF so we're going larger sensor.

We don't have any lenses and realistically our budget right now doesn't allow for some of the awesome lenses that Canon has so I was almost dead set on getting the Sony NEX-6 until I picked up the little Canon SL1 the other day and messed around with it for a minute. I suddenly realized the power of the Optical Viewfinder and it's near instant AF. That is EXACTLY what we want! Granted the SL1's LCD live view display is MUCH slower for AF than the Sony. The Sony's AF is ALMOST as fast as Canon's OVF...but not quite. And that is our most important criteria so now I'm totally confused.

REASONS TO GET SONY NEX-6: Well, here's the thing...the Sony was a bit slower in AF in my limited testing but much better/faster than Canon when using the LCD screen and it also has an articulating screen, has wifi capability which I'm sure will be improved over time (it's a bit slow and awkward at the moment), is more compact than the SL1, shoots 1080p60 video (which means that it could be a backup cam if I was in a total bind one of my regular cams went down for some crazy reason (that's the film speed we shoot at usually))...and then finally, here's the kicker...a family member of ours works for Sony so I'd essentially get 25% off making the NEX-6 much less than the SL1.

Now you can see how I'm leaning toward Sony.

REASONS TO GET CANON SL1: Our #1 Priority is AF speed and the Optical Viewfinder was SUPER fast in my limited testing. Practically instant. Since it's my #1 priority I'm now totally unsure of which to go with (given that Sony has all those other advantages mentioned above).

I don't want to spend more than the either camera and we are trying to keep things to a small(er) size (rules out t4i/t5i, etc) while still keeping the larger sensor for that shallow DoF.

Any one have experience with both of these cameras and would like to weigh in on their thoughts?

Indeed the sony have super AF I have the sony 5N

Live view on dslr is so poor when you start to compare.

Without live view the canon is as fast as another camera.

Af slow down when the light drop.any camera do that.

If you insist on live view then the Sony is the fastest.of the bunch.

you can mount the 16mm af is super then.

hope this help you.

here pictures with the 16 mm

http://www.flickr.com/photos/marnix_claus/sets/72157632651053424/

here pictures with the 18-55

http://www.flickr.com/photos/marnix_claus/sets/72157632774845204/

good luck.

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SMD79
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Re: Canon SL1 vs. Sony Nex-6 or something else???
In reply to demarren 123, Jun 5, 2013

demarren 123 wrote:

Af slow down when the light drop.any camera do that.

If you insist on live view then the Sony is the fastest.of the bunch.

you can mount the 16mm af is super then.

Thanks for the reply! I'm okay with using viewfinders (EVF or OVF) and not the Live View as AF speed is priority #1. Although there is no difference between the AF speed on EVF and the LCD on the Sony. Both are pretty fast...just not quite as fast as the OVF of the canon. Ugh. Decisions.

Interestingly enough I've seen so many great photos from both that I'm convinced either one will turn out good shots if used properly.

It's great to hear your personal experience though so thank you for your reply. Much to think about...

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biza43
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Re: Canon SL1 vs. Sony Nex-6 or something else???
In reply to SMD79, Jun 5, 2013

For headshots/commercial work, you need to look at specific lenses and think about how the different systems handle artificial lights, should you need them.

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photonius
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Re: Canon SL1 vs. Sony Nex-6 or something else???
In reply to SMD79, Jun 5, 2013

SMD79 wrote:

I can't make up my mind. Please help. I'm asking this in the Canon forum because I'm leaning toward the Sony at this point for reasons stated below. My purpose for getting a camera is to shoot our 18 month old son in everyday life and also for headshots (he does commercial work believe it or not). My wife and I are looking for a camera that meets these criteria which I've listed in order of importance:

1) Fast Autofocus. This is #1 priority for sure.

2) Shallow DoF. Rules out smaller sensor cameras.

3) Low light performance.

4) Relatively compact.

5) Hopefully around or under $800 (I get a 25% discount on Sony Cameras)

I work as a videographer so I'm somewhat knowledgable of cameras BUT this will be my first "real" camera purchase for photos beyond the Canon S90 we got a few years back. Unfortunately the S90's AF isn't nearly fast enough at all and we want better low light performance and shallower DoF so we're going larger sensor.

We don't have any lenses and realistically our budget right now doesn't allow for some of the awesome lenses that Canon has so I was almost dead set on getting the Sony NEX-6 until I picked up the little Canon SL1 the other day and messed around with it for a minute. I suddenly realized the power of the Optical Viewfinder and it's near instant AF. That is EXACTLY what we want! Granted the SL1's LCD live view display is MUCH slower for AF than the Sony. The Sony's AF is ALMOST as fast as Canon's OVF...but not quite. And that is our most important criteria so now I'm totally confused.

REASONS TO GET SONY NEX-6: Well, here's the thing...the Sony was a bit slower in AF in my limited testing but much better/faster than Canon when using the LCD screen and it also has an articulating screen, has wifi capability which I'm sure will be improved over time (it's a bit slow and awkward at the moment), is more compact than the SL1, shoots 1080p60 video (which means that it could be a backup cam if I was in a total bind one of my regular cams went down for some crazy reason (that's the film speed we shoot at usually))...and then finally, here's the kicker...a family member of ours works for Sony so I'd essentially get 25% off making the NEX-6 much less than the SL1.

Now you can see how I'm leaning toward Sony.

REASONS TO GET CANON SL1: Our #1 Priority is AF speed and the Optical Viewfinder was SUPER fast in my limited testing. Practically instant. Since it's my #1 priority I'm now totally unsure of which to go with (given that Sony has all those other advantages mentioned above).

I don't want to spend more than the either camera and we are trying to keep things to a small(er) size (rules out t4i/t5i, etc) while still keeping the larger sensor for that shallow DoF.

Any one have experience with both of these cameras and would like to weigh in on their thoughts?

Well, for head shots and point 2, shallow DOF, and not expensive, then the Canon 50mm f1.8 is a bargain. The Sony equivalent is more expensive, it seems - you also have to count the cost of the lenses.  The kit lens (usually around 18-55 mm) does not have a large aperture for the DOF you are looking for. The 16mm lens mentioned by someone else is also not really what you are looking for, it's wide angle, and f2.8.

With Sony, the lens selection, and lens quality control issues (when you read lens test sites like photozone.de) are also something to consider. Also lensrentals comments:

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/05/finally-got-around-touit

So, it's worthwhile to consider the whole system.

Regarding lens size, since both cameras have the same sized sensor, most larger lenses will be the same size for Nex and Canon. The only advantage Nex has is the missing mirror box (which gives you the fast AF and viewfinder), which allows for smaller lens designs in the wide-angle range, because you do not need a retrofocus design for the range from 20 - 45mm.

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10s
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Re: Indoors vs outdoors
In reply to SMD79, Jun 5, 2013

Indoors catching light and fast focus can be challenging. SL100 and T4i/T5i in my opinion are a better match with children. First in terms of focus speed and tracking. But also terms of catching light, you benefit from lenses with large aperture and/or a decent tilt&swivel flash like the Canon 430EX. Outdoors bright light does not mix very well with the LCD and you benefit from a viewfinder.

The Canons are also a good choice for video, when paired with STM lenses. Especially the SL100 with the new 18-55 STM.

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Lord metroid
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Re: Indoors vs outdoors
In reply to 10s, Jun 5, 2013

The electronic live view is great if you for example need additional image information or tweak the white balance. However, the optical viewfinder is such a wonderful yet simple tool that just works better for shooting pictures in my opinion.

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SMD79
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Re: Canon SL1 vs. Sony Nex-6 or something else???
In reply to photonius, Jun 5, 2013

photonius wrote:

Well, for head shots and point 2, shallow DOF, and not expensive, then the Canon 50mm f1.8 is a bargain. The Sony equivalent is more expensive, it seems - you also have to count the cost of the lenses.  The kit lens (usually around 18-55 mm) does not have a large aperture for the DOF you are looking for. The 16mm lens mentioned by someone else is also not really what you are looking for, it's wide angle, and f2.8.

With Sony, the lens selection, and lens quality control issues (when you read lens test sites like photozone.de) are also something to consider. Also lensrentals comments:

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/05/finally-got-around-touit

So, it's worthwhile to consider the whole system.

Regarding lens size, since both cameras have the same sized sensor, most larger lenses will be the same size for Nex and Canon. The only advantage Nex has is the missing mirror box (which gives you the fast AF and viewfinder), which allows for smaller lens designs in the wide-angle range, because you do not need a retrofocus design for the range from 20 - 45mm.

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Yes, we will probably be also picking up an inexpensive faster lens with whatever camera we purchase, especially for his headshots. Once I decide on the camera, I'll tackle the additional lens purchase. The Canon 50mm f1.8 seems great...the 40mm f2.8 is another option, more compact, but I'd give up the extra stop. If it's a Sony purchase, then again, I'd get a discount on the lenses. But if there's quality control issues like you mention then that's something to consider.

But back to my original priority list...being able to lock on to a moving kid and snap immediately is paramount.

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mangofrefav
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Re: Canon SL1 vs. Sony Nex-6 or something else???
In reply to SMD79, Jun 6, 2013

If your main objective is to lock on a moving kid I would believe that the SL1 would do that better.

AF tracking on phase detect AF is in general better than on contrast detect AF (or combined CD + PD on CMOS). I confess that I never tried the NEX6 but my tries at AF-C on other M43 (lately EPL5)or NEX bodies (I tried the 5R) were less convincing than what I experience with Canon DSLRs (I have the 60D and 7D and the 60D should not be so different from the SL! from an AF point of view).

You can find many such reports in different forums here, such as in M43 where some of the M43 owners do reckon that the tracking ability of their EM5 as an example is not up to what they experienced with their Nikon or Canon DSLRs.

Of course all of the above is using the OVF.

As for portrait lens, I am also the happy father of a young boy (only 3month old so tracking is not yet an issue) and for the time being I use the 100mm macro L. I also own the 50 1.8 but its AF is not really so good in my experience and 50mm a bit short for portrait even on APS-C (for me, but for your own taste it might be different). And the bokeh of the 100 is much better.

I seriously consider the 80mm 1.8 just for portrait. I tried it and it seems very good.

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photonius
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Re: Canon SL1 vs. Sony Nex-6 or something else???
In reply to SMD79, Jun 6, 2013

SMD79 wrote:

photonius wrote:

Well, for head shots and point 2, shallow DOF, and not expensive, then the Canon 50mm f1.8 is a bargain. The Sony equivalent is more expensive, it seems - you also have to count the cost of the lenses.  The kit lens (usually around 18-55 mm) does not have a large aperture for the DOF you are looking for. The 16mm lens mentioned by someone else is also not really what you are looking for, it's wide angle, and f2.8.

With Sony, the lens selection, and lens quality control issues (when you read lens test sites like photozone.de) are also something to consider. Also lensrentals comments:

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/05/finally-got-around-touit

So, it's worthwhile to consider the whole system.

Regarding lens size, since both cameras have the same sized sensor, most larger lenses will be the same size for Nex and Canon. The only advantage Nex has is the missing mirror box (which gives you the fast AF and viewfinder), which allows for smaller lens designs in the wide-angle range, because you do not need a retrofocus design for the range from 20 - 45mm.

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Yes, we will probably be also picking up an inexpensive faster lens with whatever camera we purchase, especially for his headshots. Once I decide on the camera, I'll tackle the additional lens purchase. The Canon 50mm f1.8 seems great...the 40mm f2.8 is another option, more compact, but I'd give up the extra stop. If it's a Sony purchase, then again, I'd get a discount on the lenses. But if there's quality control issues like you mention then that's something to consider.

But back to my original priority list...being able to lock on to a moving kid and snap immediately is paramount.

Well, the advantage there is clearly with cameras with viewfinder and phase detect AF, as you indicate yourself as well. Despite this obvious choice, you still waver, so it seems important to address also the other points you have. E.g., if all the other points were negative for a dSLR, it would override top priority 1. Point 2 is taken care of (APS-C sensor), point 4 is considered - but you have to include lenses into this - point 5, again, include lenses into this.

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TB Rich
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Re: Canon SL1 vs. Sony Nex-6 or something else???
In reply to SMD79, Jun 6, 2013

SMD79 wrote:

I was almost dead set on getting the Sony NEX-6 until I picked up the little Canon SL1 the other day and messed around with it for a minute. I suddenly realized the power of the Optical Viewfinder and it's near instant AF. That is EXACTLY what we want!

I had this decision at Christmas between a Nex-6 and a 650d/t4i. I was pretty set on the Nex until I went into a local camera store and tried them both.

The tactile nature of just picking up the dSLR and using the OVF was a key factor I hadn't considered when comparing them on paper. The other deciding point was lens choice. And with the Sony, it rather being a lack thereof. I have a 15-85mm on my 650d, and for portraits I am always butt up against the 85mm stop. So I think if you are doing portrait work consider the 85mm f1.8 - what Sony equiv is there in native e-mout? if none then the lea2 or whatever adapter for Sony a-mount's with AF is not cheap.

I guess also a Nex system with a lens or 2 is not really any more portable, still require a dedicated camera bag really. You have an S90 P&S and that is properly portable/pocket-able for those times you cant/dont want to carry a bag.

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Jim Cassatt
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Re: Canon SL1 vs. Sony Nex-6 or something else???
In reply to SMD79, Jun 6, 2013

I shoot with both Canon (full frame) and a Fuji X-E1.  I love my Fuji.  Its low light performance is on a par with my 5D MKII.  The announced 56 mm f1.2 promises to be a wonderful portrait lens.  I need the eye level EVF.  HOWEVER, the EVF is no match for a real optical finder when shooting fast moving targets, like kids.  The autofocus can be slow on my Fuji.  Good lenses, all that are being made for the Fuji X-mount, are really really good (think Leica and Zeiss quality) and fairly expensive (my 14 mm f2.8 set me back $900).  Finally there is no flash built for the Fuji that has high speed sync.

How many of these limitations apply to the Sony, I don't know.

You might also check out the Olympus cameras.  They are reported to have lightening fast auto focus with an assortment of high quality lenses available.

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zackiedawg
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Advice from a DSLR & NEX user
In reply to SMD79, Jun 6, 2013

I noticed this thread while browsing, and though it's dangerous for a current Sony NEX user to stray into another brand forum as you tend to be labeled a troll or an enemy no matter what you have to say, I figured I might be able to help your decision a little bit...or at least add some additional things to think about in making your decision.

I shoot with a DSLR and a NEX, and have some experience with the NEX6 as well as the NEX line in general which I know well - and also have long experience shooting with both OVF-equipped, dedicated PDAF DSLRs and EVF-equipped NEX cameras.

1) Fast Autofocus. This is #1 priority for sure.

In good light, you're not likely to find either one slow - both should do just fine for almost any 'normal' shooting, including even following kids around the backyard.  The on-sensor PDAF on the NEX6 has definitely improved the tracking ability, not quite to DSLR levels but more than enough for most people.  If you were shooting birds-in-flight professionally or very frequently, or trying to shoot football game action, then the DSLR will still be better.  HOWEVER, the big caveat is this:  when the light gets lower, the DSLR will start to have a much bigger advantage in tracking or continuous focus.  Even with PDAF added to the NEX sensor, once the light gets low the PDAF no longer has enough light to function and the camera falls back to CDAF only, which will be slower to acquire.  Not bad - still plenty usable in low light for accurate focus, just not for ultra-fast focus, and moreover, not for continuous autofocus.  So the DSLR has a very clear advantage when it comes to autofocus overall, mostly due to the much better low light continuous focus ability.

2) Shallow DoF. Rules out smaller sensor cameras.

You're fine with either camera for this.

3) Low light performance.

Both will be fine here too.

4) Relatively compact.

Again, both should be fine here.  There will be a slight advantage to the NEX here - despite what many like to say about the lenses being the same size, and therefore the cameras being essentially the same size once you put a kit together, it's simply not true - the much much thinner body of the NEX will always give it an advantage for portability and travel, even with lenses considered.  It's not a huge deal as the SL1 is very compact for a DSLR, but if you were to find a bag which could contain the camera body, a kit lens, and a fast prime for example, you could still wedge the NEX into a smaller bag and smaller footprint.  But since you said RELATIVELY compact, you're fine with either system.

5) Hopefully around or under $800 (I get a 25% discount on Sony Cameras)

That's something you'll have to consider.  Both very good cameras, and you need to strongly consider which one best meets your needs, then consider whether the price is in your range.  If the Canon were to meet your needs a little better, but the NEX would be cheaper, you need to figure out whether the extra cost is worth it for what you gain in functionality for your needs.

We don't have any lenses and realistically our budget right now doesn't allow for some of the awesome lenses that Canon has so I was almost dead set on getting the Sony NEX-6 until I picked up the little Canon SL1 the other day and messed around with it for a minute. I suddenly realized the power of the Optical Viewfinder and it's near instant AF. That is EXACTLY what we want! Granted the SL1's LCD live view display is MUCH slower for AF than the Sony. The Sony's AF is ALMOST as fast as Canon's OVF...but not quite. And that is our most important criteria so now I'm totally confused.

It is confusing sometimes!  Both great cameras, but a little different how they function.  I straddle the line between OVF and EVF myself, as I use both regularly.  OVFs still have advantages to me in seeing in lower light, in tracking moving targets, and in seeing fine focus details...but EVFs also have some plusses including being able to see your white balance settings and your exposure on screen, and such tricks as focus peaking to help manual focus, magnifying a scene, and being able to gain up in low light to see better.  The live view of the two cameras won't be close - the NEX is designed as a full time live view camera, and so is significantly faster in all forms of operation...if you intended to use live view most of the time, then the NEX would be better - but if you like OVFs and intend to use it, the Canon will be speedier and give some advantages with tracking.  Both types of finders have their advantages to me.

REASONS TO GET SONY NEX-6: Well, here's the thing...the Sony was a bit slower in AF in my limited testing but much better/faster than Canon when using the LCD screen and it also has an articulating screen, has wifi capability which I'm sure will be improved over time (it's a bit slow and awkward at the moment), is more compact than the SL1, shoots 1080p60 video (which means that it could be a backup cam if I was in a total bind one of my regular cams went down for some crazy reason (that's the film speed we shoot at usually))...and then finally, here's the kicker...a family member of ours works for Sony so I'd essentially get 25% off making the NEX-6 much less than the SL1.

Now you can see how I'm leaning toward Sony.

REASONS TO GET CANON SL1: Our #1 Priority is AF speed and the Optical Viewfinder was SUPER fast in my limited testing. Practically instant. Since it's my #1 priority I'm now totally unsure of which to go with (given that Sony has all those other advantages mentioned above).

I think what you need to do is decide if the AF of the NEX is fast enough, given the other advantages in features or price.  Clearly the Canon will be faster overall, in all types of focus situations, than the NEX - the NEX will be closer and almost a match in daylight, a little slower to track fast-moving objects, and definitely worse at tracking in low light...so how often do you foresee needing to focus fast moving subjects or in lower light (indoors, for example)?  If often, then you may need to stick to your needs and spend the extra money.  If only occasionally, then maybe the NEX will be fast enough for most occasions and cheaper.  With both cameras, there are ways to speed up focusing - faster prime lenses for example to help with low light, reducing the focus area down to spot focus so the system doesn't have to work as hard to acquire, honing your panning skills, pre-focusing, or even learning more efficient manual focusing. But in the end, don't get something because it's cheaper if it isn't going to meet all your needs.

I wouldn't worry so much about the argument over which has a bigger lens collection, unless you intend to buy very specialty lenses that are rare, or buy more than 18-20 lenses - for most people and most normal uses, the lens collections of both should be sufficient.  Worry about other more important factors - autofocus needs and speeds, features, price, ergonomics and handling (do you find one particularly comfortable or uncomfortable), and things like battery life or buffer size.  And don't just think about whether one is better than the other in some measure (Canon's AF is faster, NEX is smaller, etc)...think about HOW fast or HOW small it needs to be to meet your needs.

Hope that helps a little!

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SMD79
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Re: Advice from a DSLR & NEX user
In reply to zackiedawg, Jun 6, 2013

That helps a lot! Thank you!

As for posting in this forum, I figured it best to come here instead of Sony because I was already leaning toward Sony so what good does re-enforcement do me when I want to know the real advantages to the Canon cameras.

One thing that has been mentioned a few times is the AF speed of different lenses. A previous post mentioned the Canon 50mm 1.8 being not the best with AF speed, and recommended a 85mm 1.8 for portrait type photography. Is that lens better for AF? At the Best Buy, the girl (who fortunately seemed passionate and knowledgable about photography rather than just knowing what the sales pitch talking points were) mentioned the 40mm 2.8 pancake lens since it's also compact. I'd love to know how that stacks up against the 50mm 1.8 in AF speed, etc. Plus there is other brands of lenses out there so I've got a lot to think about. But like I said before, camera first, then I'll deal with lenses. My guess is a nice zoom lens and a prime that can be used for shallow DoF headshots will be good to start.

Thanks again for all the advice. I'm leaning more toward Canon now because of our #1 priority but as gimmicky as it sounds I do wish it came with an articulating screen and wifi. My wife mentioned that we'll probably be getting this camera later this summer so who knows, maybe another NEX or Canon camera will come out and make me rethink everything all over again.

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photonius
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Re: Advice from a DSLR & NEX user
In reply to SMD79, Jun 7, 2013

SMD79 wrote:

That helps a lot! Thank you!

As for posting in this forum, I figured it best to come here instead of Sony because I was already leaning toward Sony so what good does re-enforcement do me when I want to know the real advantages to the Canon cameras.

One thing that has been mentioned a few times is the AF speed of different lenses. A previous post mentioned the Canon 50mm 1.8 being not the best with AF speed, and recommended a 85mm 1.8 for portrait type photography. Is that lens better for AF? At the Best Buy, the girl (who fortunately seemed passionate and knowledgable about photography rather than just knowing what the sales pitch talking points were) mentioned the 40mm 2.8 pancake lens since it's also compact. I'd love to know how that stacks up against the 50mm 1.8 in AF speed, etc. Plus there is other brands of lenses out there so I've got a lot to think about. But like I said before, camera first, then I'll deal with lenses. My guess is a nice zoom lens and a prime that can be used for shallow DoF headshots will be good to start.

Yes, there are different types of motors in lenses.

the 50mm f1.8 is an micromotor that you usually find in inexpensive lenses, it's the slowest and noisiest of all. The very new STM is much quieter, and faster. It was specially introduced for the newer bodies for video, so that the AF system can do continuous, smooth focusing during video without noise and jerky movements of the AF mechanism.

Ring USM (ultrasound motor) is in all the more expensive lenses, it's very fast and very quiet and drives the focus without any extra gears. Then there is micro USM. It still uses a small USM motor, i.e. it's quiet, but speed may not be much different from a micromotor, because it still uses gears from the motor to the lens focusing mechanism which slows it down. This is found in lenses such as the 50mm f1.4, 70-300 IS, and some older consumer lenses.

Does it mean an USM is always fast? Not necessarily. It also depends on the lens design. For example the 85mm f1.2 lens, the focus is still quite slow (slower than the cheaper 85mm f1.8), because of the big lens elements that need moving, and the large throw of the mechanism, i.e. you have to turn the lens a lot from minimal focus to infinity. The large throw allows for very fine focus adjustments, which the f1.2 lens needs due to the very thin DOF at f1.2.

So, the 40mm f2.8 lens has probably the better AF than the 50mm f1.8. On the other hand, if you want to have DOF, the 50mm f1.8 is better of course, because of aperture and the longer focal length. The 85 f1.8 would of course also be an excellent choice, better AF than the 50mm f1.8. But it's also a question of how much money you want and can spend.

Anyway, that's why on a budget, the 50mm f1.8 is good starting choice for shallow DOF headshots. With more money, you have more choices of course.

The kit lens (18-55) is a very good standard lens that comes with the body.

Thanks again for all the advice. I'm leaning more toward Canon now because of our #1 priority but as gimmicky as it sounds I do wish it came with an articulating screen and wifi. My wife mentioned that we'll probably be getting this camera later this summer so who knows, maybe another NEX or Canon camera will come out and make me rethink everything all over again.

Well, new EOS-M bodies are rumored to come this year, but nobody knows exactly when. The SL1 and 700D are very new, so nothing will happen there for a year.

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Jim Maher
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Re: Advice from a DSLR & NEX user
In reply to photonius, Jun 7, 2013

I agree with the comments about lens speed and motors in the  above  comment with one significant exception.  In real life the difference in speed between a 50 1.8 and something like a 40 2.8 are probably going to be unnoticeable to you.  Some lenses like the 85 1.2 are slow to focus but the 40 2.8, 50 1.8, and 85 1.8 are all very fast in most real life situations.  Going to a more complicated and slower zoom lens you will see a considerable decrease in speed.  All in all, for a portrait lenses pick among those first 3 based on the focal length you would be most comfortable with.  Any of them would be a great way to get started.  My experience with these lenses have been with  5D3 & 5D2 bodies but as I just received a SL1 I look forward to trying them out on this camera.

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WilbaW
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Re: Advice from a DSLR & NEX user
In reply to Jim Maher, Jun 8, 2013

Jim Maher wrote:

In real life the difference in speed between a 50 1.8 and something like a 40 2.8 are probably going to be unnoticeable to you.

Good question. I just tried it and I couldn't say which is faster. Back to back you really notice that the 50 sounds like a box sliding on a rough floor, while the 40 sounds cool and robotic.

Going to a more complicated and slower zoom lens you will see a considerable decrease in speed.

Not always (depending on whether "more complicated and slower" is defining a group or just adding some information). I tried an EF-S 15-85 (USM) at 42mm, in the same test as above (back and forth between infinity and ~0.5m), and I couldn't say that was noticeably faster or slower. 100L vs 70-300L @ 100 - yeah, no contest.

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Rakumi
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The Canon and here is why....
In reply to SMD79, Jun 9, 2013

1.  Growth.  It is using the same system as their top of the line.  If you decide down the line you do not mind the slight increase in size of say a Rebel camera to get an articulating screen or a super fast action camera like the 7D/60D equivalent in the future for when the kids grow up and do sport activities, your lenses will all still work.

2.  Do not worry about wifi, i have bought very fast micro SD cards (used with sd convertor) capable of handling my 60D rapid shots and  video mode which i then place micro SD in my phone and send and load to pages.

3.  I would not be surprise if the Canon 100D is simple a more capable camera in almost all aspects.  Ex. AF, burst shots, noise, etc.

Good luck.

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SMD79
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Re: The Canon and here is why....
In reply to Rakumi, Jun 10, 2013

Rakumi wrote:

1.  Growth.  It is using the same system as their top of the line.  If you decide down the line you do not mind the slight increase in size of say a Rebel camera to get an articulating screen or a super fast action camera like the 7D/60D equivalent in the future for when the kids grow up and do sport activities, your lenses will all still work.

2.  Do not worry about wifi, i have bought very fast micro SD cards (used with sd convertor) capable of handling my 60D rapid shots and  video mode which i then place micro SD in my phone and send and load to pages.

3.  I would not be surprise if the Canon 100D is simple a more capable camera in almost all aspects.  Ex. AF, burst shots, noise, etc.

Good luck.

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Darkness is the monster and your shutter is your sword, aperture your shield and iso your armor. Strike fast with your sword and defend well with your shield and hope your armor holds up.

Curious what makes the 7D/60D "super fast action" cameras?

Regarding wifi, yeah, it's not ready yet even on the sony but I figured I have a hotspot on my phone so it'd always be nice to just shoot a great pic over to my phone whenever I wanted without doing the whole power down, remove, insert, power up thing with a micro sd. But nevertheless, that's a great idea using the micro sd.

...

This is a tough decision. My wife was just given a $500 gift certificate to South Coast Plaza (in Newport Beach) for helping out with this event. She called me and said "let's get a camera!". Sure it'd be a few hundred more but the gift really helps. Knowing it was a mall, I figured, well that rules out getting that 25% sony discount so I was resolved to get the canon.  Finally, decision made. Done!  ... Then I realized there's a Sony store there and I could get the same 25% discount there too. Doh! Back to square one. Well, not exactly square one...this thread is really helping me  understand a lot of things related to these cameras and lenses, etc. all of which will ultimately influence my final decision. Thanks again for all your input!!!

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Rakumi
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Re: The Canon and here is why....
In reply to SMD79, Jun 10, 2013

SMD79 wrote:

Rakumi wrote:

1.  Growth.  It is using the same system as their top of the line.  If you decide down the line you do not mind the slight increase in size of say a Rebel camera to get an articulating screen or a super fast action camera like the 7D/60D equivalent in the future for when the kids grow up and do sport activities, your lenses will all still work.

2.  Do not worry about wifi, i have bought very fast micro SD cards (used with sd convertor) capable of handling my 60D rapid shots and  video mode which i then place micro SD in my phone and send and load to pages.

3.  I would not be surprise if the Canon 100D is simple a more capable camera in almost all aspects.  Ex. AF, burst shots, noise, etc.

Good luck.

-- hide signature --

Darkness is the monster and your shutter is your sword, aperture your shield and iso your armor. Strike fast with your sword and defend well with your shield and hope your armor holds up.

Curious what makes the 7D/60D "super fast action" cameras?

Regarding wifi, yeah, it's not ready yet even on the sony but I figured I have a hotspot on my phone so it'd always be nice to just shoot a great pic over to my phone whenever I wanted without doing the whole power down, remove, insert, power up thing with a micro sd. But nevertheless, that's a great idea using the micro sd.

...

This is a tough decision. My wife was just given a $500 gift certificate to South Coast Plaza (in Newport Beach) for helping out with this event. She called me and said "let's get a camera!". Sure it'd be a few hundred more but the gift really helps. Knowing it was a mall, I figured, well that rules out getting that 25% sony discount so I was resolved to get the canon.  Finally, decision made. Done!  ... Then I realized there's a Sony store there and I could get the same 25% discount there too. Doh! Back to square one. Well, not exactly square one...this thread is really helping me  understand a lot of things related to these cameras and lenses, etc. all of which will ultimately influence my final decision. Thanks again for all your input!!!

Ok... so what i meant was super fast compared to say an entry level camera.  Meaning now you are shopping for light and portable but down the line you may want fast instead of portable regardless of size, just making the point you wont have to change your lenses.  If i am not mistaken, sony NEX is not compatable with is traditional dslr lineup.  That is where i was going with that.

And the micro sd card, just an option.  Of course you would wait till your day of shooting is over before transfering, otherwise i agree it would be annoying if after every photo you went back and forth.  But this idea is really meant for if you cannot get to a computer, like if you are away on vacation.  You can shoot all day and do your sending and posting at the end of the night in your hotel room.  You get the idea.  My vote is the canon with the 40mm pancake just for the small profile.

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