assistance with comparison of Nikon d5100 and Sony a65

Started Aug 18, 2012 | Discussions
Mako2011
MOD Mako2011 Forum Pro • Posts: 23,412
A system

Both are fine cameras and will serve you very well for the next 4 years or so. No disrespect but the difference in IQ of the two is really minor all things considered. Especially for a shooter new to SLRs. The thing though is that with this level of camera you are buying into a system. Nikon vs Sony vs Canon. What lens you get will move to the next body and so on. Look at lens support. Look at the companies as a whole and make a guess if you think they will be there to support later on. With Sony and DSLR type cameras only...I would be worried about down the road (10 years from now). There is a reason the forums here are for larger regards participation in Canon and Nikon vs the others. Good Luck and many great pics ahead!!!

richardday Veteran Member • Posts: 7,972
Re: A system - +1

Mako2011 wrote:

Both are fine cameras and will serve you very well for the next 4 years or so. No disrespect but the difference in IQ of the two is really minor all things considered. Especially for a shooter new to SLRs. The thing though is that with this level of camera you are buying into a system. Nikon vs Sony vs Canon. What lens you get will move to the next body and so on. Look at lens support. Look at the companies as a whole and make a guess if you think they will be there to support later on. With Sony and DSLR type cameras only...I would be worried about down the road (10 years from now). There is a reason the forums here are for larger regards participation in Canon and Nikon vs the others. Good Luck and many great pics ahead!!!

Amen to that! I'm surprised that no-one has raised it before.

As many folk here have done, they've upgraded bodies and lense over a reasonably short period and many have switched sytems, some more than once, so the chances are that you'll do the same, I have.

Choosing Nikon is a pretty sensible move as they overall QC and engineering standrds are very high, even possibly the best in the industry currently. I don't think that you'd go far wrong with the Nikon system, and the D5100 is a fine choice, I shot with a D300s and some fine glass over the last few years and have now lightened my 'load' as I've become older and now use a D5100 and really like it. See my post here:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1034&message=42295247

I would actually put little Pentax (THE one time giant in SLR cameras and lenses) ahead of Sony in the long term development and maintenance of DSLR's, Ricoh, the current owners have been in the photo business for a long long time and have shown an internal passion for photography and have stated that Pentax will be the main thrust for them in maintaining the famous DSLR marque. They are also a very substantial company finacially.

The only thing I find somewhat amusing is the name they chose to operate the Imaging Company under, - Pentax Ricoh Imaging Company (PRIC)!
http://www.ricoh.com/about/pri/index3.html

-- hide signature --

Richard Day - 'Carpe Diem!'
Gloucester UK

OP fare Regular Member • Posts: 163
Mako2011 and richardday Re: A system - +1

Thanks. That is the struggle that I have had. The history and proven leadership/commitment by the 2 biggies vs all the easy features/gimmicks/addons of the lowly Sony.

And, as toomanycanons keeps on saying, just buy one and shoot.

It is also a question of knowing myself. If I just need a toy to have fun with for the next few years......maybe the Sony.

If I am going to get more and more serious, the family choice becomes more serious and probably should go Nikon.

I think the next Nikon offering will probably offer some response to the what Sony is doing. they are packing so much in.

baloo_buc Veteran Member • Posts: 8,896
Re: TimeLordXYZ and baloo_buc : assistance with comparison of Nikon d5100 and Sony

You must have as much information as possible in order to take a decision. We are not people from the marketing department of any manufacturer so we don't really care what camera you will choose as long as you are happy with the decision.

The good thing is that you can sift good information from the forum's posts. Of course we are all biased by our experience and our preferences. But all opinions are expressed here so you can make easier a decision if you read very critically those posts.
--
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Bucuresti, Romania
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 baloo_buc's gear list:baloo_buc's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PL5 Nikon D7200 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Tokina AT-X Pro 12-24mm f/4 DX II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II R +13 more
lancespring Veteran Member • Posts: 3,974
Re: TimeLordXYZ and baloo_buc : assistance with comparison of Nikon d5100 and Sony

Why aren't you looking at the newer Sony A57? It just won the European Image and Sound Association's DSLR of the year award for 2012.

Check one out at a local camera store, and you will really be impressed.

http://www.eisa.eu/award/28/european-slr-camera-2012-2013.html

 lancespring's gear list:lancespring's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Nikon D600 +1 more
SteveCooper
SteveCooper Contributing Member • Posts: 569
Re: assistance with comparison of Nikon d5100 and Sony a65

Hi,

I came from an old Sony F828 enthusiast camera. I loved the EVF that showed me a real preview of the picture (WYSISWG).

My Nikon D90 still bugs me sometimes because it won't do that. The Sony A65 does and it is cool- very cool. But....

You are going to HAVE to use GOOD lenses- with 24MP, that kind of resolution will show the flaws of cheaper lenses.

The Sony flash system is not even comparable to Nikon's CLS. No contest- Nikon wins.

Choice of lenses- again Nikon wins hands down. Do you want a fisheye? forget Sony. Do you want or need a tilt/shift perspective control lens? again, forget Sony. Do you want extreme telephoto? Nikon offers a LOT more choices. I would say if you're going to spend $1,000.00 on an A65, get a D5100 & a SB910 off camera flash or a D90 or D7000 with a SB700. The D90 & D7000 have a pentaprism- the D5100 has a pentamirror and does not have a flash commander mode built-in....

I do some cropping with my D90 pics, but I don't usually print anything larger than 13"x19" on my Canon 9000MkII printer. I am VERY pleased with the results I get.

Any of the cameras mentioned above will give you very good results.

I WILL tell you if you go the Sony route, you WILL love the evf, BUT if you ever go to another system you will quickly discover you have to learn more about photography to get the results you could easily preview with the evf on the Sony. I would almost go so far as to say that your "technical skills" (not creative) could be stunted by using the Sony evf. With a Nikon or Canon (or standard Sony DSLR without the translucent mirror), you HAVE to learn how to use your shutter and aperture settings to get the "look" you want. If you use the A55/65/77 you can just spin the dials (including setting WB) until you get the light the way you want it in the evf and take the picture.

I hope the last paragraph made sense- to anyone who has used both types of cameras, you know what I mean.

Good luck!

 SteveCooper's gear list:SteveCooper's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix S100fs Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F828 Nikon D300S Nikon D7200 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR +8 more
RUcrAZ
RUcrAZ Veteran Member • Posts: 5,165
D5100 can use old lenses

I use a Nikon D5100. It takes and uses 40-year old Nikon lenses (in "Manual" mode, of course) without any modifications. Just mount & shoot. No other "35mm" camera system that I am aware of has maintained the same mount (which can use old lenses) for this long. Their engineers "got it right" long time ago. Just something for consideration.
RUcrAZ

richardday Veteran Member • Posts: 7,972
Re: @ fare

fare wrote:

Thanks. That is the struggle that I have had. The history and proven leadership/commitment by the 2 biggies vs all the easy features/gimmicks/addons of the lowly Sony.

And, as toomanycanons keeps on saying, just buy one and shoot.

It is also a question of knowing myself. If I just need a toy to have fun with for the next few years......maybe the Sony.

If I am going to get more and more serious, the family choice becomes more serious and probably should go Nikon.

I think the next Nikon offering will probably offer some response to the what Sony is doing. they are packing so much in.

Remember - "All that glitters isn't Gold" - Be happy with your choice, make it and dispense with the agonising, it's not good for your health!

Above all - Enjoy this wonderful hobby and become a photographic artist! This oft quoted saying comes to mind:

  • Amateurs worry about the gear

  • Pros worry about the money they earn

  • Artists worry about the light

Have fun and develop the passion. - Enjoy!
--
Richard Day - 'Carpe Diem!'
Gloucester UK

richardday Veteran Member • Posts: 7,972
Re: D5100 can use old lenses

You're right - 1959 in fact - Wow!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikon_F-mount

The Pentax K mount has also been around since those early days, or so it seems, well, 1975!
http://kmp.bdimitrov.de/http://kmp.bdimitrov.de/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentax_K_mount

As far as I can ascertain the Minolta A mount used by Sony in the current DSLR range was introduced in 1985, a mere youngster compared to Nikon F!
--
Richard Day - 'Carpe Diem!'
Gloucester UK

Bailey151 Senior Member • Posts: 1,144
Re: D5100 can use old lenses

Shunda77 wrote:

It's all about lenses with a DSLR, and Sony don't come close to the range, quality and price of Nikon lenses.

+1 You're actually buying the lenses more than the camera, bodies come & go....glass? Not so much.

richardday wrote:

You're right - 1959 in fact - Wow!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikon_F-mount

A fact that helped them greatly at one point. Canon lost more than a handful of pro shooters when they changed the mount............took them quite some time to make their way back. At one point it was comical -any sporting event & ALL the photographers were "yellow & black".

TrojMacReady
TrojMacReady Veteran Member • Posts: 8,725
Re: toomanycanons e: assistance with comparison of Nikon d5100 and Sony a65

baloo_buc wrote:

Sony has 24 MP and losses 30% of the light by design.

There is a handful of good Sony lenses but the price is higher than Canon or Nikon offerings (in Romania at least).

There's more than a handful of excellent Sony glass and if you account for all the excellent Minolta glass available, there's little to be desired (about 400 AF lenses).

I don't know exactly why but Sony never came close to the competition using the same sensors (both in compact cameras and in large sensor cameras).

This is another persistent myth. It's only really the case with the A900 vs D3X (which did cost several times as much too and was released later..) in terms of noise and DR, but the former still has much better colour separation.

An A500 is no worse than a D300S in terms of noise, or DR throughout the range, a 5N or A580 has the same noise levels as a D7000 or 5100 etc etc.

It's the SLT's that lose up to half a stop extra due to the current design where the AF sensors get a constant light feed aswell.

TrojMacReady
TrojMacReady Veteran Member • Posts: 8,725
This is false.

baloo_buc wrote:

The 30% is 2/3 stops so instead of shooting at ISO3200 you are shooting at ISO4200. In bright sunlight it doesn't matter too much if you use ISO100 or ISO160.

The first version was quoted to divert 30% of the light to the AF sensors. That is 0.51EV on the log2 scale, to be exact, not 2/3 of a stop.

The NEX 7 and A77 show slightly less than half a stop difference (second generation SLT design, no more ghosting either).

TrojMacReady
TrojMacReady Veteran Member • Posts: 8,725
Re: D5100 can use old lenses

Bailey151 wrote:

Shunda77 wrote:

It's all about lenses with a DSLR, and Sony don't come close to the range, quality and price of Nikon lenses.

3 excellent stabilized (in body) primes for less than $690 combined, brand new.

Show me the Nikon equivalent for less.

And people often overlook older AF glass aswell. I use a pocket sized (hence the nickname pocketrocket) Minolta 125mm f/2.8, a 25 old lens in mint condition bought for less than $250. Fast AF, stabilized through the body, butter smooth bokeh and sharp wide open. Just one of those many gems.

TrojMacReady
TrojMacReady Veteran Member • Posts: 8,725
forgot the list...

TrojMacReady wrote:

Bailey151 wrote:

Shunda77 wrote:

It's all about lenses with a DSLR, and Sony don't come close to the range, quality and price of Nikon lenses.

Sony 35mm f/1.8
Sony 50mm f/1.8
Sony 85mm f/2.8

3 excellent stabilized (in body) primes for less than $690 combined, brand new.

Show me the Nikon equivalent for less.

And people often overlook older AF glass aswell. I use a pocket sized (hence the nickname pocketrocket) Minolta 135mm f/2.8, a 25 old lens in mint condition bought for less than $250. Fast AF, stabilized through the body, butter smooth bokeh and sharp wide open. Just one of those many gems.

baloo_buc Veteran Member • Posts: 8,896
Re: This is false.

It seems that the difference of 1/6 stops is very important for you. So I agree that Sony is the only camera in the world that losses more than 0.5 stops and less than 0.67 stops. The other cameras just lose 0 stops.
--
Victor
Bucuresti, Romania
http://picasaweb.google.com/victorpetcu69/
http://picasaweb.google.com/teodor.nitica/
http://picasaweb.google.com/vpreallize/
http://picasaweb.google.com/v.petcu.gci/
http://picasaweb.google.com/vpetcu.gci.arhiva/
http://s106.photobucket.com/albums/m268/victor_petcu/

 baloo_buc's gear list:baloo_buc's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PL5 Nikon D7200 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Tokina AT-X Pro 12-24mm f/4 DX II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II R +13 more
ktisis Forum Member • Posts: 68
Analysis paralysis

But he's right on the general notion that new DSLR buyers frequently experience "analysis paralysis".

The technical qualifications of the camera mean a lot on paper, but, in practice, you'll likely be happy with the image quality of either camera. BUT...that says nothing about how you like USING each camera -- how intuitive you find the controls, how easy you find it to operate when you aren't really up to speed in making critical decisions (and thus want full auto to work perfectly), how much you'll make use of some of the features present on one but missing on the other camera. Further, it takes a good amount of actual photography for you to discover what the strengths and weaknesses of your equipment really are in your view.

I discovered something recently, in considering (finally) an upgrade for my now-ancient D50. Namely, I've become a "Nikon guy." I tried several cameras in the store. Only the Nikon models (even the D5100) didn't feel completely alien in my hand. Choosing one of them means I'd have to re-learn how I operate the camera by feel. I don't think I want to do that. Only you are qualified to determine which of these options feels best to you.

My advice: Buy from a store that will let you return it up to 30 days later if you decide another model is going to work better for you.

My final comment might bug some folks here. Namely, it is that my experience with Sony electronics more broadly has been almost universally poor. Only the Playstation 2 has survived more than six months past its warranty. All the other Sony stuff I've had in the past decade -- tape decks, CD players, point and shoot cameras, PDAs, etc. -- has all died not long after the end of the warranty. That alone is enough to have me sticking with the more traditional camera manufacturers (Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Olympus, etc.)

TrojMacReady
TrojMacReady Veteran Member • Posts: 8,725
Re: This is false.

baloo_buc wrote:

It seems that the difference of 1/6 stops is very important for you.

I stick to the facts: between 0.3 and 0.5 EV in practise (where it matters), not 0.7 EV. The ISO numbers you quoted were off too and didn't even represent the difference you quoted. Not sure how you calculated them.

So I agree that Sony is the only camera in the world that losses more than 0.5 stops and less than 0.67 stops. The other cameras just lose 0 stops.

Wrong again, see above. And besides that, every camera sensor loses light due to the different filters in front (especially different CFA's).

You also might want to reword the above in "currently sold" to begin with, because a bunch of Canon cameras qualify for beamsplitting as well.

TrojMacReady
TrojMacReady Veteran Member • Posts: 8,725
Re: Analysis paralysis

Makes you wonder how long that sensor in the D5100 will keep working?

My only two Canon cameras never made it past the first year. Meaningless on a larger or current scale, unless you also believe the D800 issues are an indication of the products in general.

Barry Fitzgerald Forum Pro • Posts: 29,888
Light sucking mirror

Huge turn off esp for low light shooters
The SLT's are worst in class for this type of shooting.

The EVF v OVF debate is a thread on it's own. IMO the D5100 is not comparable to this Sony model price wise you're looking at the D7k granted a bit more but not hugely so. D5100 is under featured IMO so look higher up the range

Having tried the SLT's I dislike the EVF's with a passion. Yes they are big, but WYSIWYG is a myth the contrast is too high and shadows crush and highlights are blown in the VF but not in the shots. Not really as useful as some might expect

OP fare Regular Member • Posts: 163
hey barry re. sucking mirror

Good points. The mirror sucks light and light is what most of us want instead of 10 fps with continuous auto focus. And i have read posts by prs who say they were never impeded by 4 fps.

But all manufacturers, i think, are going to be playing with this technology to assist video quality.

And, you are right about the hgher price poinnt of the a65 buying some tech that is not on the 5100. I like the sony bundle of features, but i do have questions about quality, commitment, support long term.
Thanks

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