EPL 5 or NEX 5R

Started Mar 29, 2013 | Questions thread
Sergey Borachev Veteran Member • Posts: 3,752
Re: EPL 5 or NEX 5R

Don't worry about the little things too much.  Worry about the big ones, the ones that are important to you.

The clearest difference to most people is IBIS. Some lenses, either Sony or M43 do not have lens IS.  So this is important as it could mean whether you get that picture at that moment or not.  The E-PL5 has IBIS.

Lens is very important to those who are keen photographers, but may be not to you at this time. We all know there are more lens choices with M43, but importantly, also better high quality lenses at more affordable prices, without having to buy big and heavy Carl Zeiss lenses etc.  Yes, there is also the issue of lens size and weight.  Except for 2 or 3 lenses, the NEX lenses are much bigger and harder to balance/handle once mounted.  However, if you can find the Sony lenses you will be using, and they are not too big, costly and good enough quality, then no problem with this point.

The image quality is of course also very important and the NEX sensors are better, but the difference is small, and unless you will be making very large prints, this should not be important.  Besides, as DPR's review of the E-M5 said in its conclusion, you need to go to FF cameras to get significant improvement in IQ.  NEX cameras are APS-C cameras, with much smaller sensors than FF.  A M43 camera compensates for the small IQ difference by better quality lenses.

AF is important to many types of shooting and there is no question that the E-PL5, which has the same AF as the E-M5, is better and faster for most shots.  The PDAF in the 5R does not do much to improve C-AF, based on most reports and is therefore not a big advantage.

DOF control is a little better with the Sony but again, it is not a whole lot of difference, particularly when you note that Sony does not have as many fast lenses (which give more bokeh and therefore compensates for the small difference in DOF control).  And there is also compensation in terms of more depth when you need it in your photos with M43.  So, this DOF control difference is really nothing.

Panorama and video would be better with the NEX, but the E-PL5 has other nice features too, including LiveBulb or Live Time, flip-up screen, good JPEG.  Some NEX has focus peaking to make it easier to use old manual lenses, but Olympus cameras compensates for that with IBIS to stabilise those old lenses.  All these less important features are not so important as those above and it is a draw, give and take.

I think the only time when it seems better to get a Sony is in this situation.  If you will be only using 1 lens or at most 2 pancake lenses in the short FL range, then the next 5R looks OK.  You will then get a small camera that has a big grip and also small lens and it is very nice for travelling.  It would be even better to get the NEX-6, as it also has a built-in EVF for an all-in-one solution.  However, if you ever want to get more lenses, get more serious in photography, then all those other problems mentioned above like lens choice, big lenses, AF, IBIS etc will affect you as your demands grow.  Maybe it seems fine for now to have such a pancake based system, but you should also think longer term.

Consider what you need in future, if you want to try shooting others things, get more serious into photography, or just want to upgrade to a better camera to take advantage of the latest technology.  Then, having two makers, Panasonic and Olympus, will give you a clear advantage in choices of bodies, options and features that you may need later.  For example, you might want to take better quality video in future (GH3), have a weather proof camera (GH3 or E-M5), a more ergonomic, better handling body (G5), ...

So, do your friend a favour and tell him to switch to M43 instead unless he has very special requirements in cameras.   IMO, it is unlikely that NEX could ever compete well with M43, due to the advantages M43 has - size and handling, IBIS (for Olympus cameras), video features (GH?), body choices, and a lens line-up that is practically impossible to catch up ...  a most likely reason why Sony is buying into Olympus.

Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow