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Old May 16, 2012, 7:17 PM   #1
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Default Which NEX?

Im contemplating ditching all my A-mount crop lenses and my a55 for a NEX.
It would be mostly for video and an occasional photo, but 90% of the time for video.

Keeping in mind this will serve as a video camera is it worth the extra $$ for the NEX-7?

I have shot video with the NEX-7 and was very happy with the results (but not happy that apple does not use AVCHD, thats another story).

How is the NEX-5N with shooting video, is there any features I would miss that the 7 has?

Anyone???
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Old May 17, 2012, 6:31 AM   #2
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For video, no, there isn't any advantage to having the NEX-7 over the NEX-5N. In fact, I'd say you could probably do just as well with the NEX-C3, with the exception that the C3 only records mono audio, while the 5N records stereo.

The nice thing about the NEX cameras for video, as opposed to a P&S camera, is the manual zoom. (P&S cameras use a zoom motor which makes noise that is picked up by the camera's microphone.) Unfortunately, the NEX series uses Contrast Detect AF, not Phase Detect AF, so AF may hunt while recording video, so not only will you hear that, but you'll see it too.
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Old May 17, 2012, 9:32 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by lomitamike View Post
Im contemplating ditching all my A-mount crop lenses and my a55...
NOOOOOO!

I mean, it makes no sense. Your A55 does great video, plus you have the benefit of all those lenses.
Why would you consider the NEX? Just because of the weight?
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Old May 17, 2012, 2:57 PM   #4
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NOOOOOO!

I mean, it makes no sense. Your A55 does great video, plus you have the benefit of all those lenses.
Why would you consider the NEX? Just because of the weight?
Marawder,

Yes, the a55 does great video with SSM lens's. With screw drive lens's it gets noisy while focusing, even SAM lenses are not real quiet.

Nex lenses were originally designed for video so their focus is near silent.

The size is definitely an important factor in the decision. A NEX body with a 18-200 lens would be a good replacement for the a55 and 18-250 that rarely comes off it.

I'm not leaving the a-mount system. I just picked up an a900 to go with my a850 for a total FF system. I have just 4 DT len's (not counting the 8mm fisheye that I will use on FF).

I find FF preferable with still photography and small camera/large sensor preferable for video.

One other thought, the translucent mirror is not a good design IMO. the reason being is it's another surface to collect dust and dirt and needs cleaning occasionally. It's not easy to clean I've had to do it, and I just prefer to not have it.

TCAV thanks for your reply.
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Old May 17, 2012, 3:53 PM   #5
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BTW, tomorrow, Sony will announce the NEX-F3, the replacement for the C3, (along with the A37, the replacement for the A35) so you may want to wait. Details are scetchy, but it may be worth it.
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Old May 18, 2012, 12:36 PM   #6
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Tough Call.

Preliminary samples I've seen from the new NEX-F3 look to be overly contrasty, with "muddy" mid tones straight from the camera, resulting in photos that need to be post processed to get reasonable quality from them for viewing/printing.

But, it looks like DRO was turned off by default, and using it may give the mid tones a needed boost.

I haven't examined any RAW files from one yet (or files using different camera settings for things like Picture Style that influence the tone curve) to get a better feel for any changes Sony may have made to the AA filter, etc.

Are you in a big hurry?

What is your primary reason for wanting an NEX camera (other than the obvious savings in size and weight)?

Lens selection is a bit lacking compared to the Alpha Mount models, and although you can use adapters, that adds size, weight and cost.

If video is the primary priority, you may want to look at something like the NEX-VG20, and get one including the 18-200mm lens

http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/sto...8&N=4294947112

But, I'd probably wait and see what Sony has in store for an upgraded Full Frame dSLR model if you want to get rid of all of your crop lenses and cameras, and size/weight isn't the biggest issue, as it's video capability is likely to be better than current Alpha Mount models when it's introduced.

I've already set aside a few $K for an A850/A900 replacement, and I'm taking a wait and see attitude for now. Hopefully, it will be released before my patience expires and I spend the money on something else, as I just haven't been swayed a lot by Sony's APS-C sensor offerings like the A77. So, I'm still using my old A700 waiting on something that offers a lot more, hoping that the next full frame Alpha model is going to "fit the bill" with better high ISO performance compared to the A850/A900, with better AF, video options, etc.). :-)
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Old May 18, 2012, 10:17 PM   #7
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Tough Call.

Preliminary samples I've seen from the new NEX-F3 look to be overly contrasty, with "muddy" mid tones straight from the camera, resulting in photos that need to be post processed to get reasonable quality from them for viewing/printing.

But, it looks like DRO was turned off by default, and using it may give the mid tones a needed boost.

I haven't examined any RAW files from one yet (or files using different camera settings for things like Picture Style that influence the tone curve) to get a better feel for any changes Sony may have made to the AA filter, etc.

Are you in a big hurry?

What is your primary reason for wanting an NEX camera (other than the obvious savings in size and weight)?

Lens selection is a bit lacking compared to the Alpha Mount models, and although you can use adapters, that adds size, weight and cost.

If video is the primary priority, you may want to look at something like the NEX-VG20, and get one including the 18-200mm lens

http://store.sony.com/webapp/wcs/sto...8&N=4294947112

But, I'd probably wait and see what Sony has in store for an upgraded Full Frame dSLR model if you want to get rid of all of your crop lenses and cameras, and size/weight isn't the biggest issue, as it's video capability is likely to be better than current Alpha Mount models when it's introduced.

I've already set aside a few $K for an A850/A900 replacement, and I'm taking a wait and see attitude for now. Hopefully, it will be released before my patience expires and I spend the money on something else, as I just haven't been swayed a lot by Sony's APS-C sensor offerings like the A77. So, I'm still using my old A700 waiting on something that offers a lot more, hoping that the next full frame Alpha model is going to "fit the bill" with better high ISO performance compared to the A850/A900, with better AF, video options, etc.). :-)

I feel the same way about the A77 after having use of one for a week. I just never got comfortable with it but, I did have the NEX-7 during the same time and was more fascinated with it. I ended up with an A55 when a friend wanted to upgrade to the A77, so I got an A55 for very cheap.

As for the cost of the new FF, I would think a few K should be plenty for Sony's new FF offering. With the new Canon at $3500, Nikon D800 at 3K and E at $3200, I would be surprised to see it costing more then 3K. Especially if you buy from B&H or one of the big out of state retailers to avoid sales tax.

I decided to buy FF a while back, after the sale price that Henry's had I couldn't resist and spent my A77 funds. I'm so impressed with FF that I bought an A900 a few days ago for a second body for weddings.

I hope you don't have to wait too long for Sony's new FF, but in the meantime the A700 is still a darn good camera.

Back to the NEX;

I am not in a hurry and I use the A55 mostly for video (although the A55/18-250 is a great lightweight photo/video travel package) and having used the NEX7 for a week I felt that was much more comfortable for video and smaller for travel. Thinking more about it, that was a great all round little camera.

I checked out the NEX-VG20 you mentioned but I have never considered one. I don't know anything about them and don't know if that would suite my needs better then a 5n or 7.

I know I mentioned this earlier but it is a concern I have with SLTs. The translucent mirror is second surface that has a direct effect on the image. I had some very stubborn sticky dirt work it's way onto the mirror and I don't know anyone more consciences then I am when changing lenses. I cannot see how you clean this mirror more then a few times and not scratch it. But it may never happen again either.

Your info on the NEX-F3 is the first I have heard about IQ. I'm guessing the user reports will get better. The NEX-5N for $540 seems to be where I'm looking right now but that may change tomorrow.
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Old May 19, 2012, 5:03 PM   #8
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Look at the dpreview.com samples from the NEX-F3 and see what you think.

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/05...nds-on-preview

I think they're bit contrasty (for example, shadows too dark compared to the rest of the image) with "muddy" mid tones (faces, etc., given proper exposure of most of the image).

But, I have not taken the time to read what others think of them yet, and it does look like they were taken using RAW+JPEG with DRO off (and DRO turned on should boost the mid tones). Using a different Picture Style setting would probably make a big difference, too.

I'm just not thrilled with the default tone curve with DRO off from what I can tell browsing through those samples (and again, that's just my opinion of them, as I have not taken the time to read the opinions of others that have viewed those samples).

The way Sony approached it by default is probably not a big deal anyway, as you could tune the camera settings more to taste if shooting JPEG (or have even more leeway as to how the final images look by shooting RAW).

As for going full frame, I've been tempted to get a Sony A850 or A900 from time to time.

I like the way the current Sony full frame models work from a lens perspective, as the larger photosites for each pixel place less demands on the lens quality needed for best results (without the diffraction issues you can run into when stopping down the aperture much using a model like the A77, where you're stuffing 24MP into an APS-C size sensor, meaning you'll start seeing slightly softer images from diffraction if you stop down much past around f/5.6 or so).

It's nice to use lenses that give you a wider angle of view with a model like the A850 or A900, too (versus what you get using the same lenses on a model with an APS-C Size Sensor).

I've also noticed that some of the focus accuracy issues with some older lenses don't show up with the full frame models.

I have spent some time with them. For example, I took all of the sample photos after the standard ISO series in our A850 review here (starting with the head shot of the young lady, who is my younger sister's daughter -- IOW, she's my niece):

http://www.steves-digicams.com/camer...photos-56.html

I've got tons more I took with it (but we try to keep the number of samples down to a minimum needed to show how a camera works), and I was particularly impressed with how it worked with some of my other lenses, too (for example, a Tamron SP 20-40mm f/2.7-3.5 that I have was really "wide angle" again, and focus accuracy with it on the A850 was superb), and a lens like my Tamron SP 35-105mm f/2.8 wasn't too long on the wider end anymore for general walk around use. Ditto for using it with older Minolta Autofocus primes (28mm f/2, etc.)

But, I think I'll take a wait and see attitude until the next full frame Sony models, since a better AF system and better higher ISO performance would be desirable, and I'd expect to see big improvements in both areas.

As for the NEX models, the only one I've personally spent much time with was the NEX-5. They're neat little cameras, and video quality is not bad at all (better than expected), especially considering the stereo audio recording that's built in without even using an external mic setup, and the E Mount lenses are designed for very quiet Autofocus, too (so that you're not getting the louder AF noise you get with most other camera models if using Autofocus when recording video).

You'll have to decide if the compromises of using one is worth it or not (limited lens selection without using an adapter, etc. -- although because of the short registration distance, using adapters does open up their use to loads of lens choices from a variety of lens manufacturers).
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