I think I'm going to get a NEX-3 instead of NEX-5... any suggestions?

Started Dec 15, 2010 | Discussions
JinZM Forum Member • Posts: 86
I think I'm going to get a NEX-3 instead of NEX-5... any suggestions?

I've been trying to decide between the Panny LX5 and the Sony NEX-5 recently and think I'm going to get... a NEX-3 instead?

Why I wanted an LX5:

Good WA lens, small size, good picture quality - $400

Why I wanted a NEX-5

Much better photos on good lenses, it's a DSLR in a compact body - $650

The one thing that turned me off from the NEX is of course the mixed reviews (lots of negatives) on the 16mm pancake. This will be the only lens I will be using unless Zeiss releases a similarly wide and better pancake. However, after reading lots of threads, it seems to be able and some people can get some good pictures out of them, so I'll just hope for a good sample.

Anyway, now here's why I'm now looking at a NEX-3:

  • It's thinner? but slightly taller

  • Lenses fit the body as opposed to being bigger

  • Material wise I can't tell the difference in person. I actually thought the NEX-3 was a NEX-5 until the sales guy brought out the NEX-5, so the plastic NEX-3 body is definitely a good composition.

  • I don't even watch native 1080p TV or movies, don't see the need to shoot in 1080

  • IR remote - never going to use this feature

Am I missing anything here, or is the NEX-3 the better choice for me? I actually much prefer the body and styling (especially the lens protrusion which bothers me about the NEX-5) and there doesn't seem to be any other differences that I can tell.

I'll be using the NEX as a walk around camera, keep it around my neck or a jacket pocket. I will probably never get any bigger lenses than the pancake, or replace with future better pancakes... it seems to defeat the point of the camera.

gagas1968 Regular Member • Posts: 256
Re: I think I'm going to get a NEX-3 instead of NEX-5... any suggestions?

for the same reason i took the nex-3 too....to save the extra money for lenses....video is great on nex-3,body is beter for me but for some others nex-5 body is beter...lenses looks more natural on nex-3.....if you can buy the double kit,doit,,,,18-55 is a great lens and it fits in a very small bag...you will find beter wide lenses later but maybe not a normall all around 18-55....then you will pay much more for it than with the kit.....i regret it that i did not took the buble kit and not have the 16mm

Helen
Helen Veteran Member • Posts: 6,053
Re: I think I'm going to get a NEX-3 instead of NEX-5... any suggestions?

JinZM wrote:

I've been trying to decide between the Panny LX5 and the Sony NEX-5 recently and think I'm going to get... a NEX-3 instead?

Why I wanted an LX5:

Good WA lens, small size, good picture quality - $400

Why I wanted a NEX-5

Much better photos on good lenses, it's a DSLR in a compact body - $650

The one thing that turned me off from the NEX is of course the mixed reviews (lots of negatives) on the 16mm pancake. This will be the only lens I will be using unless Zeiss releases a similarly wide and better pancake. However, after reading lots of threads, it seems to be able and some people can get some good pictures out of them, so I'll just hope for a good sample.

Anyway, now here's why I'm now looking at a NEX-3:

  • It's thinner? but slightly taller

  • Lenses fit the body as opposed to being bigger

  • Material wise I can't tell the difference in person. I actually thought the NEX-3 was a NEX-5 until the sales guy brought out the NEX-5, so the plastic NEX-3 body is definitely a good composition.

  • I don't even watch native 1080p TV or movies, don't see the need to shoot in 1080

  • IR remote - never going to use this feature

Am I missing anything here, or is the NEX-3 the better choice for me? I actually much prefer the body and styling (especially the lens protrusion which bothers me about the NEX-5) and there doesn't seem to be any other differences that I can tell.

I'll be using the NEX as a walk around camera, keep it around my neck or a jacket pocket. I will probably never get any bigger lenses than the pancake, or replace with future better pancakes... it seems to defeat the point of the camera.

I should just point out that I thought the silver NEX 3 and NEX 5 were the exact same colour under bright shop lights too and initially bought a NEX 3. Due to issues with the grip size/shape not being comfortable for me (even with the case added) with the 18-55 lens (a surprise, since I don't generally need or prefer large grips) I later got a NEX 5 (also silver) and the colour is utterly different in normal lighting (I still have both for now) - I much prefer the NEX 5 which matches the colour of the lenses quite closely and also the flash, whereas the NEX 3 has a whitish/violet tinge to its silver paintwork. At least with my examples, the NEX 5 feels more solidly built, with none of the rattles my NEX 3 exhibits from all its hatches. Though it's a bit "shallow" of me, I'm more pleased with it because it feels and looks like it's better-constructed. I happen to always have preferred the more extreme styling of the NEX 5, I suppose. I'm happier with the way the accessory port cover mates with the flashgun on the NEX 5 also - less prone to catching on camera bags, clothing etc.

Karsten Meyer
Karsten Meyer Contributing Member • Posts: 803
Re: I think I'm going to get a NEX-3 instead of NEX-5... any suggestions?

Hello,

I don't understand why you compare a LX5 with it's zoom to a NEX with that pancake lens.

I own a LX3 and a NEX, but I would never go out of the house without several focal lenghts. Either the NEX with 16 and 18-200, or with some old primes, or the LX3. I love the wide angle very much, but ONLY to have this 16mm is a big, big limitation. So I would compare a double lens kit of the NEX with the LX5. The small zoom is not that bad - compared to other kit zooms.

Best Regards,
Karsten

PS: Don't forget: The LX - as every P&S - is practically silent when taking photos, the NEX makes a quite awful sound.

OP JinZM Forum Member • Posts: 86
Re: I think I'm going to get a NEX-3 instead of NEX-5... any suggestions?

Helen wrote:

I should just point out that I thought the silver NEX 3 and NEX 5 were the exact > same colour under bright shop lights too and initially bought a NEX 3. Due to issues > with the grip size/shape not being comfortable for me (even with the case added) > with the 18-55 lens (a surprise, since I don't generally need or prefer large grips) I > later got a NEX 5 (also silver) and the colour is utterly different in normal lighting (I > still have both for now) - I much prefer the NEX 5 which matches the colour of the > lenses quite closely and also the flash, whereas the NEX 3 has a whitish/violet tinge > to its silver paintwork. At least with my examples, the NEX 5 feels more solidly built, > with none of the rattles my NEX 3 exhibits from all its hatches. Though it's a bit > "shallow" of me, I'm more pleased with it because it feels and looks like it's better-> constructed. I happen to always have preferred the more extreme styling of the NEX > 5, I suppose. I'm happier with the way the accessory port cover mates with the > flashgun on the NEX 5 also - less prone to catching on camera bags, clothing etc.

Yea I'm getting either one in Black, I have had too many silver P&S and the black will be a more serious color to walk around with I think. I'm going to play with both some more and see about rattles, thanks.

Karsten Meyer wrote:

Hello,

I don't understand why you compare a LX5 with it's zoom to a NEX with that pancake lens.

I own a LX3 and a NEX, but I would never go out of the house without several focal lenghts. Either the NEX with 16 and 18-200, or with some old primes, or the LX3. I love the wide angle very much, but ONLY to have this 16mm is a big, big limitation. So I would compare a double lens kit of the NEX with the LX5. The small zoom is not that bad - compared to other kit zooms.

Best Regards,
Karsten

PS: Don't forget: The LX - as every P&S - is practically silent when taking photos, the NEX makes a quite awful sound.

I've had a few cameras in the past and almost universally never use the zoom feature. Basically, 99% of my shots are taken at base wide angle. I even had a TZ1 and TZ5 with excellent 10x Zooms that didn't get zoomed much, I guess I don't really take anything like birds or stuff that would help with zoom. If this changes in the future, I think I would want another TZ camera to handle this, or whatever they're called now in the US (ZSes I believe).

I think the silent thing can be very useful sometime, so that's a good point. I'll have to ponder if this is a large drawback.

Kiril Karaatanasov Senior Member • Posts: 2,087
Re: I think I'm going to get a NEX-3 instead of NEX-5... any suggestions?

JinZM wrote:

Anyway, now here's why I'm now looking at a NEX-3:

  • It's thinner? but slightly taller

Thickness is almost identical

  • Lenses fit the body as opposed to being bigger

  • Material wise I can't tell the difference in person. I actually thought the NEX-3 was a NEX-5 until the sales guy brought out the NEX-5, so the plastic NEX-3 body is definitely a good composition.

  • I don't even watch native 1080p TV or movies, don't see the need to shoot in 1080

  • IR remote - never going to use this feature

IR remote is nice as it is the only way to use bulb mode.

NEX-5 grip was more appealing to me. Hold both and judge for yourself - for me the 5 allows me to hold the cam firmly with my middle finger. NEX-5 holing is much like DSLR - NEX-3 is designed to be handled more like compact camera.

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Helen
Helen Veteran Member • Posts: 6,053
Re: I think I'm going to get a NEX-3 instead of NEX-5... any suggestions?

JinZM wrote:

Helen wrote:

I should just point out that I thought the silver NEX 3 and NEX 5 were the exact > same colour under bright shop lights too and initially bought a NEX 3. Due to issues > with the grip size/shape not being comfortable for me (even with the case added) > with the 18-55 lens (a surprise, since I don't generally need or prefer large grips) I > later got a NEX 5 (also silver) and the colour is utterly different in normal lighting (I > still have both for now) - I much prefer the NEX 5 which matches the colour of the > lenses quite closely and also the flash, whereas the NEX 3 has a whitish/violet tinge > to its silver paintwork. At least with my examples, the NEX 5 feels more solidly built, > with none of the rattles my NEX 3 exhibits from all its hatches. Though it's a bit > "shallow" of me, I'm more pleased with it because it feels and looks like it's better-> constructed. I happen to always have preferred the more extreme styling of the NEX > 5, I suppose. I'm happier with the way the accessory port cover mates with the > flashgun on the NEX 5 also - less prone to catching on camera bags, clothing etc.

Yea I'm getting either one in Black, I have had too many silver P&S and the black will be a more serious color to walk around with I think. I'm going to play with both some more and see about rattles, thanks.

OK - with black, there's obviously no issues about how closely the body finish matches the lens or flash because it's not meant to. Funnily enough, when I've seen the black versions of the NEX 3 and NEX 5 in shops, I've found them easy to tell apart (the black NEX 3 looked like unpainted black plastic) but whether that's what it's really like, I hesitate to say (given that my silver one didn't look like it had seemed to in the shop). Black vs silver is all down to personal preference, of course (unlike you, I've had more black than silver compacts!). As somebody else said, the NEX 3 feels (to me) more like a compact than the NEX 5 does, due partly to its flat grip but also its construction materials.

iBuzz Regular Member • Posts: 289
Re: I think I'm going to get a NEX-3 instead of NEX-5... any suggestions?

JinZM wrote:

I've been trying to decide between the Panny LX5 and the Sony NEX-5 recently and think I'm going to get... a NEX-3 instead?

Why I wanted an LX5:

Good WA lens, small size, good picture quality - $400

Why I wanted a NEX-5

Much better photos on good lenses, it's a DSLR in a compact body - $650

I'll be using the NEX as a walk around camera, keep it around my neck or a jacket pocket. I will probably never get any bigger lenses than the pancake, or replace with future better pancakes... it seems to defeat the point of the camera.

Big decision here,

If you really want to put your camera in your jacket pocket and you just want to get one lens, get the Panny LX5. You will get a better and faster lens (f2 at 24mm), with a good focal range (24-90mm) in a small package.

Yes, the NEX will take better pictures on good lenses but is their 16mm is good enough for your needs?

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Joao Cardoso Contributing Member • Posts: 780
Re: I think I'm going to get a NEX-3 instead of NEX-5... any suggestions?

The 16mm may not be a very good lens but its not that bad either. Its just a matter of making good use of it. You can always improve the output with some simple post processing. Here are 2 extreme samples but each image didnt took me more than 5 minutes to PP):

-- hide signature --

Regards,
Joao Cardoso

Joao Cardoso Contributing Member • Posts: 780
Re: I think I'm going to get a NEX-3 instead of NEX-5... any suggestions?

Oh and dont get the 16mm alone. If yiou have to choose a lens, choose the 18-55. If you also like the size and focal of the 16mm, get both. To get a NEX only with the 16mm is not a good idea imo. Unless you plan to complement it with some manual focus lens.
--
Regards,
Joao Cardoso

OP JinZM Forum Member • Posts: 86
Re: I think I'm going to get a NEX-3 instead of NEX-5... any suggestions?

iBuzz wrote:

JinZM wrote:

I've been trying to decide between the Panny LX5 and the Sony NEX-5 recently and think I'm going to get... a NEX-3 instead?

Why I wanted an LX5:

Good WA lens, small size, good picture quality - $400

Why I wanted a NEX-5

Much better photos on good lenses, it's a DSLR in a compact body - $650

I'll be using the NEX as a walk around camera, keep it around my neck or a jacket pocket. I will probably never get any bigger lenses than the pancake, or replace with future better pancakes... it seems to defeat the point of the camera.

Big decision here,

If you really want to put your camera in your jacket pocket and you just want to get one lens, get the Panny LX5. You will get a better and faster lens (f2 at 24mm), with a good focal range (24-90mm) in a small package.

Yes, the NEX will take better pictures on good lenses but is their 16mm is good enough for your needs?

This would be an easier decision if the LX5 wasn't so close in price to the NEX-3! To be honest, I don't quite feel like the LX5 is good enough to be $400, while the NEX-3 is a pretty darn good piece of DSLR body for $550 (with a lens included).

You hit it on the head though, the question I have been researching this entire time... it really does come down to LX5 vs 16mm NEX, is the NEX good enough or better with just this lens? It's a little discouraging to find so many people complaining about the 16mm, but there are also good results from it as well.

Joao Cardoso wrote

Oh and dont get the 16mm alone. If yiou have to choose a lens, choose the 18-55. > If you also like the size and focal of the 16mm, get both. To get a NEX only with the > 16mm is not a good idea imo. Unless you plan to complement it with some manual > focus lens.

I wouldn't want the 18-55 because then the camera is no longer compact and defeats the point of the NEX for me... and if I were to take a non-compact camera with me, I'd rather use the 18-200. Neither is wide enough either compared to the 24mm equivalent, which is a pretty big difference.

wolfpuppies3 Senior Member • Posts: 1,747
That was my choice as well

I have both the 16 and the 18-55 and find that I use the zoom more often. The flash is fragile trash, of course, but not needed very often.

I could care less about IR remote or video at all.
--
Photography at the speed of sound.

Mike Fewster Veteran Member • Posts: 6,774
Re: I think I'm going to get a NEX-3 instead of NEX-5... any suggestions?

Joao Cardoso wrote:

The 16mm may not be a very good lens but its not that bad either. Its just a matter of making good use of it. You can always improve the output with some simple post processing. Here are 2 extreme samples but each image didnt took me more than 5 minutes to PP):

I have been agonizing over the LX5/Nex/3/nex 5 chaice for my alternative to my A700. I think I am going to go with the LX5. Its 24mm shots (where I regularly shoot) seem considerably better than the Nex 16mm. With due respect Joao, I think those shots of yours are as good as I have seen from the Nex16 and I feel that the LX5 has a clear edge. I have no doubt that the zoom lens on the Nex is better than the LX5 for longer focal length however a lens any larger than the 16mm starts to make the package too big for what I want from a second camera. I don't have to buy for a couple more months and I am hanging in in case another lens becomes available for the Nex.

I probably would have gone with the Canon S95 but it doesn't go wide enough.

-- hide signature --

Regards,
Joao Cardoso

-- hide signature --

Mike Fewster
Adelaide Australia

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Mike Fewster Veteran Member • Posts: 6,774
Re: That was my choice as well

Wolfpuppies 3, that is one fabulous photo with your signature. Is it one of yours?
--
Mike Fewster
Adelaide Australia

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