Sony Nex 5 ftw


New Member
Hi guys,

I am new to photography and new to forums. I've been doing a lot of research and reading on micro 4/3 and comparing it with Sony NEX 5.

My previous camera was simple point and shoot from Canon. I am taking a trip next month and I wanted to capture with image quality better than compact point and shoot cameras, but SLRs or DSLRs are huge, no way I would take it anywhere. So I came across Micro 4/3s like Panasonic GF1 and Olympus PEN 2. The camera that caught my attention and the one I'm leaning towards is NEX 5.

I read a lot of reviews about NEX menu is not user friendly and not intuitive for users who want full control of camera and etc. I thought it would be fine w/ me since I know nothing of photography. I am just looking for a camera that is better image quality than regular point and shoot and compact like the point and shoot camera.

My question is, during my research I came to learn that Panasonic GF1's pancake lens is a really good lens, I was wondering do I need anything to use the pancake lens from GF1 on NEX 5?

thank you, any advice and opinions is much appreciated

Hi Jerry and welcome! You're in luck because there really are quite a bunch of knowledgeable members here that have experience with both formats. I am sure that as in not too long a time you'll get some helpful feedback so please - keep checking back here or subscribe to this thread by using the drop down menu "Thread Tools" if you want email notification.

I don't know that the NEX accepts micro four thirds lenses, such as the Panasonic 20mm but that shouldn't matter at all if you're interested in the NEX. You also need to think about what sorts of photographs you'll be wanting to take on your trip. Will the trip be in cities, the country - a bit of both, etc.? All these things will have bearing upon what sort of lens or lenses you might truly need..or you might do better with a zoom lens.

In the meantime, please make yourself at home!

P.S. If you haven't yet, you might want to take a look at this review by Amin Sabet which compares the sizes of several different cameras including the GF1 and the NEX: and I've just bumped up a great one for you: Hope these help.
Hi, welcome to our forums! I think the NEX5 would be a good choice for you, but there is no way to use the Panasonic lens on the NEX5. The Sony 18-55mm zoom included in NEX5 kits is very good if you don't mind using zoom lenses.

Hello Jerry, I own both an EP2 and a NEX5. I bought the NEX primarily for travel. It's very light in the hand and once you've used the menus a few times I don't think you would have any problems with it at all. As Amin has said already, the 18 - 55mm lens is very useful and very decent for a kit lens. I prefer the colours I'm getting from the NEX to the EP2 and in particular, the skin tones are very natural. The other thing that I find quite important is this; the NEX has a grip and the Olympus doesn't. The Olympus is fairly heavy and solid feeling in the hand and is quite difficult to pull out from a bag in a hurry if you need to use it quickly. This may not be a problem for you as you're a male (I think!) and probably have larger hands but for me, being able to have the NEX in a bag over my shoulder with the handgrip facing upwards, is really nice and easy for grabbing at a moments notice. I always like to keep my camera in a bag rather than around my neck when travelling so as not to stand out like a tourist/target ;)

Image quality. The larger sensor of the NEX will get you photos with more dynamic range for sure and out of the camera jpegs are very good too. I would advise you to look at as many photos as you can online from both cameras to see which colours/jpegs you prefer before making a decision. The EP2 is also a very capable camera but now that I have the NEX it's not seeing much use but as I said, you must look at as many photos as you can as only you can decide what looks nice to you!

Good luck with your search and don't hesitate to ask more questions here if you need to:)

I am sure you cannot effectively use an m43 lens on a NEX body. Both in terms of control (m43 native lenses are focus-by-wire, so not even focusing is likely to work which, IMO, is a great deficit of all these new focus-by-wire implementations -- no more lens swapping across systems), and also the sensor for m43 is smaller than NEX, so the image circle the m43 lens generates is likely to be smaller (what this means, is that on NEX, the image might be at least very heavily vignetted, and possibly even black in the corners, and maybe even circular).

I don't KNOW this (as in empirically tested), but based on what I know about the systems, I can't imagine m43 lenses will ever work on NEX bodies.

In terms of the reverse, the NEX lenses might throw an image circle big enough to use on m43 bodies, but the focus distance of the NEX is shorter, I believe, and you'd still have the focus-by-wire issue.

last comment: this is, frankly, one reason I'm reluctant to spend up on the more expensive focus-by-wire lenses. At least with a $1000 Leica or Voigtlander lens, you get aperture manually, and manual focus. With these new systems (NEX, m43), the lenses are only good until the maker stops supporting those lenses, and they are not cross-body transferable (except in the case of m43 standard - where a couple of vendors are writing to the same lens standard).
That last point of yours is a good one. Something to think about for anyone starting out or thinking longterm, though it does seem as though micro four thirds is in there for the long term - and one can use legacy lenses on them. I wish I were able to see better in order to focus fast enough manually.
Hi Jerry,

If you are only asking about the 20mm lens, I can't confirm technically but I can say practically that there is no adapter available to attach a m4/3 mount to NEX. Regardless, you may find the 20mm restrictive for travel shots as its 40mm view after crop factor can be quite limiting. This is my experience from my travel shots as I wind up shooting 98% of my shots at the wide end and even then I wish it were wider.

If you are asking about opinions re NEX or m43, I have a NEX3 now and recently had a e-pl1 which I sold. The e-pl1 produced sharp colorful pictures straight out of the camera. For my needs (quick snapshots), I found it weak in low lighting with its kit lens whereas the NEX is better in that regard with the kit lens. Having said that, the m43 system has many more autofocus lens choices that can mitigate the problem.

Last piece of advice, if you do go with the NEX, get it sooner than later so that you have time to explore its features. Some of them can be very useful while travelling but to maximize their benefit you should practice/experiment before you go on your trip.
Thanks everyone for a lot of useful inputs and advice. It seems like I'm getting the NEX 5 this weekend. Will definitely mess with the zoom lens and play with it. Planning on getting the pancake lens as well for portability. Will post an update or questions if I have any on operating or some photography questions. Please bear with me, I'm a noob and might ask some silly questions...=)
No such thing as silly camera or photography questions here, so don't hold back! So often a quick explanation by someone who has used the camera in question can make a huge difference in the learning curve. Believe me, I know and have benefited from a lot of help. Keep us posted!
Hi every1, just got my nex yesterday, and been playing with it since, I gotta say, I love the functions and features. I got the zoom lens kit, really wanted the pancake lens. Any1 point me in the direction where I can get pancake lens for cheap? What is the latest firmware for Nex5? Another thing is the camera saves both in raw and jpg? What is RAW for? Another thing my gf compared the pictures I took to her Canon point and shoot camera and she said there is no difference, I didn't tell her myself, but I told her there is a big difference (I'm thinking there is no difference). Why is that?
Did you take the pictures in bright daylight or inside, in low light? The NEX will show it's strength inside.

Also, the kit zoom lens is pretty limited. But take a head shot of her (i.e. a picture where you are close enough at 55mm, that you only have her head in the shot) then do the same with the Canon and tell us what you think.

Bright light, pictures of buildings, you may not see much difference (but there still is).

All in all, though, kit lenses are limited. The NEX really needs a better prime lens for people to see the difference (kind of like the m43's 20mm 1.7)
Hi Chiencheng, did you know that you can change the contrast/saturation/sharpness parameters in your camera? If you click on the Brightness/colour menu then onto creative style you choose that function (mine is set on standard or Std.) press the small button that says option this will then allow you to +/- settings for contrast, saturation and sharpness for your jpegs. You might want to play with these settings a little to get the desired result. I would say that you should definitely up the sharpening. I have mine on +2. Don't know if this will be of use and you may know this already anyway :) I know where to get a 16mm for £99 but I don't think you are in the UK?
NEX jpegs

Chiencheng, you may want to post some pictures as people can be more helpful if they see what kind of pictures you are taking? Many people say that the camera will overexpose in bright light and if you feel that this is the case then dial in a -0.3 or -0.7 compensation. Just a thought :)
thanks again guys for these great inputs. For some complications I had to return the NEX5 that I had, but I ordered another one and on the way, hopefully I can get it soon and post some pictures to get feedback.

btw... what is the purpose of RAW images?
Simply put - RAW images are the raw data taken by your camera with no on board editing or compression. The files are huge and much much better for editing in lightroom/photoshop or the manufacturers own raw editor. If the camera is set to take only Jpg files then the camera will add it's own saturation, contrast, sharpness etc and get rid of all the data it no longer needs, compressing the file down to something much smaller. You have less room to edit Jpg files.
People say the big drawback is the menu's instead of actual buttons, but coming from a point and shoot, this is no big deal. I even think it is nice not having buttons and levers all over the place. Makes this camera more portable and something you will want to take with you without needing a separate suitcase.

As to the lens issue, go search Ebay. I have seen adapters for just about every make out there. At first this might have been a huge problem, but not anymore.

As noted though the lack of a bigger flash could be a huge liability for those looking to step up their game. For those like me however that just want more than a point and shoot offers without the hassle of all the extra gear, it is a great camera.