NEX 6 to replace both DSLR (Nikon D5100) and Compact?

Started Jan 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 28,603
Re: NEX 6 to replace both DSLR (Nikon D5100) and Compact?

Gimble wrote:

I have previously owned the original NEX 5. I liked it a lot, especially the video quality. However, I ended up selling it. This was because with the 18-55 kit lens it was simply too large for me to carry it around like a compact. (I am hoping the smaller 16-50 will address this.)

It will help make it more pocketable in a larger pocket and in a pinch, but it's never going to be a match for a true compact camera.  Like the bigger, chunkier superzooms and advanced compact cameras, it will be lighter and smaller than a DSLR in all regards, but rarely pocketable in most configurations.  I'd guess if a G15 would be acceptable, so too should a NEX6 with 16-50 lens - as it wouldn't be too terribly larger or heavier.

Also the focussing performance and lack of viewfinder didn’t make it feel like an SLR replacement either.

Re: the lack of viewfinder, obviously that is addressed.  While EVFs are different from OVFs, they still make a camera feel more like a camera to those used to DSLRs.  For me, moving from the NEX3 to the NEX5N as a backup body, all the difference came from having an EVF attached to the 5N - my usage of the camera went way up due to the viewfinder, making it feel like a much more legitimate replacement for my DSLR when I didn't want to carry all the weight.

As for focus speed or performance, that depends on a lot of variables.  The one thing that's not going to match a DSLR is tracking focus if this is of utmost importance to your shooting, you'll still find yourself lacking.  Low light focus speed will not match a good DSLR, but accuracy can - accuracy tends to be more related to your camera and focus mode settings and your skill in using a CDAF camera...speed will always be slower than PDAF in low light.  Daylight focus speed should not be an issue at all, if you learn to use the camera, learn to adjust to a CDAF-based system (though the NEX6 adds PDAF sensors, it doesn't have a huge impact on overall focus speed - it's more about reducing hunting by using distance information from the PDAF and in helping to track movement a little better), and learn what settings are best and most effective.  As someone who shoots with a DSLR and NEX side-by-side almost every weekend, I can tell you that in normal light the focus speed difference between the two is next to nothing - there's nothing I can't single-AF focus on accurately with the NEX, in the same time and speed as I can with the DSLR.

I keep a DSLR because a NEX can't replace EVERYTHING about it - but much of that is based on what I shoot.  Many folks don't have the same shooting needs as me, and actually could be well suited to a NEX meeting every photographic need.  For me, doing a lot of heavy wildlife and in-flight shooting of birds, the ability to focus-track a fast moving object, and the ease and accuracy of panning with an optical finder, still make the DSLR the better tool for that job.  But the NEX can stand in for the DSLR in probably 80% of my other shooting needs, and can even handle the other 20% just with more effort.  Having both is still the best solution for me, but whether you could get by without the DSLR depends on whether your regular typical shooting will involve the types of photography that a DSLR is better suited to.

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