D5100 user considering NEX-6

Started Mar 17, 2013 | Discussions thread
blue_skies Forum Pro • Posts: 11,473
Re: D5100 user considering NEX-6

mgn2 wrote:

I'm sure this is the n-th time somebody has asked this question, but everyone has slightly different specifics. I believe it that the IQ of the NEX-6 will be as good or better than the D5100. My main concern is AF speed and low light focussing performance. I am used to decent speed with the combination of the Nikon D5100 + Nikkor 35mm 1.8, and pretty close with the Nikon 18-55mm VR lens as well. I can literally pick up the camera with the power switched ON previously, look through the viewfinder and click instantaneously and catch the action (moving people and small child in low/medium light indoors) and get good results with a wide aperture and high(ish) ISO. How will this compare on the NEX-6? If the kit lens won't be satisfactory, which lens would get me close/equal/better and at what cost? Also, how do the wide/ultra-wide lenses for the NEX-6 compare to the Nikon wide-angle zooms (Nikkor/Tokina 12-24mm)? I'm looking for realistic answers from someone who has switched over, or currently using both systems. Cheers.

If "catch the action (moving people and small child in low/medium light indoors)" is the objective, any current mirror less will disappoint you.

For this you may want to consider the LA-EA2 - it brings the Nex to DSRL focusing speeds.

But it is not all that bad. Indoor shutter times can be reasonable, given a fast lens and a decent (higher) ISO.

The new PDAF will definitely focus on your action, better than the non-PDAF CDAF cameras did.

However, the focus lag is still long enough for a subject to leave the critical focus field and give you soft images.

Outdoors, this is less of an issue, as you can stop down, and increase the DOF.

Indoors, there is a limit as to how fast a person can move, and you may want to stop down or pre-focus. If your subjects move sideways (in focus plane) you will be fine. Worst is when they approach you. You'll find that it is a lighting/lens FL/aperture/subject distance/subject speed & trajectory gamble. Sometimes it works fine, sometimes it is just outside the DOF area.

The LA-EA2 essentially removes this focus lag.


The kit lens on the Nex-6 will not be your friend indoors - outdoors it will be great - for moving subjects, you will do much better with the SEL35F18. The IQ of the Nex-6 + E35 will trump that of the 5100 + Nikkor 35, I am sure, except for indoor keepers.

The Nex-6 can be hit or miss, depending on circumstances. The E35 has OSS and will let you shoot at very long shutter speeds, but this does not help with moving subjects.

Also, the Nex' iAuto, and even the P,A,S programming modes, are not geared towards shooting people at low light. You are better off controlling ISO, aperture and shutter speeds manually. This enables you to shoot at higher ISO, but faster (than 1/60th) shutter speeds.

As to ultra-wide zooms, there is only the SEL1018, which is improved from the SAL1118. It is considered a top notch wide-angle zoom lens, but it has its quirks.

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