Olympus E-PL1 User Considering NEX-5 Etc

Started Aug 16, 2012 | Discussions thread
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larrytusaz Senior Member • Posts: 2,437
Olympus E-PL1 User Considering NEX-5 Etc

I apologize if this is a long post.

What I Do Now, How I Shoot

I own the micro 4/3rds Olympus E-PL1 with the 14-42mm, I also own a Nikon D5100 DSLR with an 18-105mm VR. I shoot landscapes a lot, "portraits" of kids on occasion too.

Off & on I have pondered the Sony NEX-series because of how the Olympus PEN models have an older sensor. I don't find their performance horrible in what I do, in fact overall I'm fine with it (despite having the newer/superior Nikon D5100 to compare it to) but I can't help but be curious about the Sony NEX models given their newer sensor technology..

Also, with "quick snaps" of kids, for some reason the Olympus E-PL1 has a tendency to focus on the background instead of the kid, even when I take control of the active AF sensor & make sure their face is highlighted. Lately I seem to be mitigating this by using face-detect for such shots or by doing a manual-focus zoom-inl sort of thing after the autofocus has done its thing, but somehow I speculate the Sony NEX models may do better (more AF points?).

Other than that, I'm happy with it and in fact I really like how Olympus processes its JPEGs, with my Nikon D5100 DSLR I typically shoot RAW but when using the E-PL1 often-times I will shoot in Superfine-Large JPEG and all is fine. For me this is a significant trait with any my mirrorless gear I have because if I'm going to be that serious about it, I'll just bring my Nikon D5100 anyway most-times (although I do sometimes shoot RAW+JPEG with my Olympus).

Questions about the NEX-5 Etc

Since I shoot landscapes a lot, I would be inclined to get the 18-55mm with the Sony, and since I currently regard the DSLR as my "primary" thing, I wouldn't be inclined yet to invest in a lot of primes & the like.

Here are my concerns about getting a Sony NEX-5 kit or the like vs staying with Olympus

(1) I hear the 18-55mm has HUGE distortion . I have Lightroom 3.5. Would it be necessary to post-process fix every wide-angle shot for this?

(2) Is there any presets you can change on the Sony that will make its JPEGs look a lot like how Olympus renders them ?

(3) I use a hot-shoe mounted "spirit" bubble level because, without one, my landscapes are crooked (it's like I'm taking them from a canoe while intoxicated or something, I don't know why I'm so sloppy about that). How does one get bubble-levels on an NEX-5 when it doesn't have a normal hot shoe?

(4) How portable is a Sony NEX-5 & 18-55mm in reality?

(5) Have any of you here previously used an Olympus PEN model & are now using Sony NEX--and if so, why, and what differences have you observed?

 larrytusaz's gear list:larrytusaz's gear list
Nikon D3100 Nikon D3300 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II
Nikon D5100 Olympus PEN E-PL1 Sony Alpha NEX-5
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