Sony NEX-C3 and 30mm f/3.5 Macro Officially Announced

Pelao

All-Pro
Location
Ontario, Canada
Real Name
Stephen
Once you learn to think like any camera, it becomes second nature.

True I suppose. What might be really innovative is if someone would reverse it a bit, and have the camera (or it's designers at least) think like a photographer. :rolleyes:

Just kidding.

Out of interest Ray, how is your Nex set up - particularly the configurable buttons?
 

Andrewteee

All-Pro
I still have a hard time using the NEX. It is my least used camera, partly because every time I pick it up I seem to have to relearn it. It's just not intuitive. I have it fully customized, but it is still not intuitive. It could be a serious camera, but it is not aimed at serious photographers. However, a more serious NEX 7 could be perfect. Although there is still the lens selection issue.
 

soundimageplus

Top Veteran
There are some quotes from the Michael Reichmann review at Luminous Landscape that pretty much sum up my feelings about the NEX system.

Sony NEX-C3 Field Report
"Unless and until one memorizes where a certain setting is to be found, it's a matter of hunting. Other cameras (including those from Sony) have menu sections branching from a common interface, making finding what one is looking for much more intuitive.
Overall I find the NEX interface to be the least friendly and most unintuitive of any current camera. It neither aids the beginner not comforts the more advanced user."

"The real difference between cameras of similar price and feature set lies in their usability. This isn't something that beginners care to hear, but it's what many advanced photographers eventually end up regarding as being of greatest importance – assuming that basic IQ is there. If the camera is difficult to use it really doesn't matter that it scores 2 points higher than another on DxO Mark. It's simply not going to get the shot, or if it does it won't be all that enjoyable to use."


There was also this short comment posted on my blog today that I also found myself in agreement with.



"This battle is won by marketing not photographers.
Pity, NEX has had potential, time is passing by and we are getting gadgets not the useful tools"
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Location
Not too far from Philly
Real Name
you should be able to figure it out...
Out of interest Ray, how is your Nex set up - particularly the configurable buttons?

Pretty simply. The wheel or dial on the back always controls the primary function of the mode you're in (ie, if in aperture priority, you just turn it to change aperture, shutter speed in shutter priority). There's an exposure comp button at the bottom of the 4-way controller and if you're in manual mode, it changes to switch the main dial between aperture and shutter speed. When I press the main button inside the 4-way, I have three choices - the default puts it into ISO mode so the wheel controls ISO, the second choice controls the AF area/method, and the third choice controls WB. I rarely get past ISO, but the others are there if I need them. The button on the bottom (below and to the left of the 4-way controller brings up the mode dial with one push, so the mode dial is always one click away. The top button isn't configurable - it brings up the menu to go in and do anything you can't do with the buttons. And the left side of the 4-way controller is the drive button, so its very easy to switch between single shot, continuous, self-timer, etc. Bottom line, I don't have to touch a button to change my primary adjustment in my current mode, ISO is one click away, the mode dial is one click away, exposure comp is one click away, the AF area is two clicks and the WB is three clicks. I don't really find it much different than any of my cameras - on the Panasonic the control wheel controls most things, but you generally have to hit a button to change what it controls - the GH2 and GF1 have slightly more direct ways of doing a couple of things (like bracketing and burst mode), but its only one more click and I don't use those functions often. My most used stuff is as instantly available as on any of my cameras (except for the X100, which has separate dials for aperture, shutter speed, and exposure comp, but a few other well documents bits of confusion).

Its not laid out like any of my other cameras, but they're all specific enough to take a few seconds to reacquaint myself when I first pick 'em up again. The GRD3 has a fairly unique setup too, but I think a really excellent one. None of these cameras get in the way. The only camera I've ever spent much time with that DID cause me interface heartburn was the EPL1, which didn't have ANY sort of dial or wheel and everything had to be controlled by pushing buttons. I could never warm up to that interface. Otherwise, they've all seemed very intuitive to me.

-Ray
 

Andrewteee

All-Pro
What do folks think about the lack of pancake lenses for NEX? Is that a factor for you in evaluating the NEX system? Shouldn't such a compact camera have at least a few compact lenses?
 

Ray Sachs

Legend
Location
Not too far from Philly
Real Name
you should be able to figure it out...
BUT and again, I'm also peeved that Sony is clearly hoping to get prior NEX owners to pay for a new camera when Sony could have just as easily provided the extra customizability to NEX3/5 owners with another firmware update.

I guess the moral of the story for consumers is to skip at least one or two generations of a camera before buying the next one.
My understanding is that Sony will release a firmware update for the existing Nex models that will contain the same stuff that's in the new camera - the "peaking", the various scene modes or art filters or whatever else. Am I missing something or perhaps I should ask "are current Nex owners gonna be missing something"? Other than the newer sensor and smaller body?

-Ray
 

Pelao

All-Pro
Location
Ontario, Canada
Real Name
Stephen
Pretty simply. The wheel or dial on the back always controls the primary function of the mode you're in (ie, if in aperture priority, you just turn it to change aperture, shutter speed in shutter priority). There's an exposure comp button at the bottom of the 4-way controller and if you're in manual mode, it changes to switch the main dial between aperture and shutter speed. When I press the main button inside the 4-way, I have three choices - the default puts it into ISO mode so the wheel controls ISO, the second choice controls the AF area/method, and the third choice controls WB. I rarely get past ISO, but the others are there if I need them. The button on the bottom (below and to the left of the 4-way controller brings up the mode dial with one push, so the mode dial is always one click away. The top button isn't configurable - it brings up the menu to go in and do anything you can't do with the buttons. And the left side of the 4-way controller is the drive button, so its very easy to switch between single shot, continuous, self-timer, etc. Bottom line, I don't have to touch a button to change my primary adjustment in my current mode, ISO is one click away, the mode dial is one click away, exposure comp is one click away, the AF area is two clicks and the WB is three clicks. I don't really find it much different than any of my cameras - on the Panasonic the control wheel controls most things, but you generally have to hit a button to change what it controls - the GH2 and GF1 have slightly more direct ways of doing a couple of things (like bracketing and burst mode), but its only one more click and I don't use those functions often. My most used stuff is as instantly available as on any of my cameras (except for the X100, which has separate dials for aperture, shutter speed, and exposure comp, but a few other well documents bits of confusion).

Its not laid out like any of my other cameras, but they're all specific enough to take a few seconds to reacquaint myself when I first pick 'em up again. The GRD3 has a fairly unique setup too, but I think a really excellent one. None of these cameras get in the way. The only camera I've ever spent much time with that DID cause me interface heartburn was the EPL1, which didn't have ANY sort of dial or wheel and everything had to be controlled by pushing buttons. I could never warm up to that interface. Otherwise, they've all seemed very intuitive to me.

-Ray

Thanks. Appreciate the notes. Not overly dissimilar to the G3. Although it (G3) has a mode dial, everything else is accessible in broadly the same way: via a button that brings up the appropriate settings.
 

Armanius

Bring Jack back!
Location
Houston, Texas
Real Name
Jack
My understanding is that Sony will release a firmware update for the existing Nex models that will contain the same stuff that's in the new camera - the "peaking", the various scene modes or art filters or whatever else. Am I missing something or perhaps I should ask "are current Nex owners gonna be missing something"? Other than the newer sensor and smaller body?

-Ray

IF Sony's update allows for further user assignable buttons, the only thing I can think of would be the new sensor and the art filters.
 

Amin

Hall of Famer
The great thing about the Sony 30mm macro is the price. At $249, it's an affordable macro lens, if not a great general use normal.
 

Armanius

Bring Jack back!
Location
Houston, Texas
Real Name
Jack
The great thing about the Sony 30mm macro is the price. At $249, it's an affordable macro lens, if not a great general use normal.

Affordable is great, but its appeal to NEX users will be limited at best. I'm probably way too much of a cynic, but it sure seems like Sony is withholding the "good stuff" until all the not so good stuff has been released and NEX users have already bought the not so good stuff just out of their sheer desire to have native lenses. I suppose marketing rules dictate that if you release the good stuff before the not so good stuff, no one will buy the not so good stuff. But then, the question is, why not release only good stuff? Aargh.
 

Janis

Regular
Location
Central Texas
I'm mystified by the aperture and focal length of the new macro, but I love macro and at 249.00 will at least try the lens. I've taken tons of good pics with the NEX-5 and don't understand why it's considered so hard to use. You just have to set it up first and take a few dozen pics to get used to it, like any other camera. I don't go into the menus much and to me it's much easier to use than my EPL-1, on which I constantly hit the wrong button and change settings accidentally. On the NEX the center button/dial gets me to ISO (which I usually leave on Auto), white balance, which I also leave on Auto most of the time and it's pretty darned good, and metering mode. The bottom button I use for shoot mode. I shoot shutter or aperture priority and spin the center dial to control them. The exposure comp button is right there, also. I would prefer the camera to be slightly bigger, but I use the kit zoom (as well as the 16mm) and have no problem with it not balancing. Whether you like its looks is totally subjective and basically irrelevant. It is a tool, not a fashion statement. The important thing to me is the excellent image quality in a small package with the ability to go to at least 1600 ISO with no problems. Sony is innovative and I can't wait to see what they do next, and that's after over 30 years of Nikons. I do NOT want a touch screen or a smaller body, though. I should also say I love the tilting LCD and being able to hold the camera at waist level, but also have a Clearviewer for when I want a (sort of) viewfinder. I definitely want more lenses but the lack of lenses is not a dealbreaker for me because like most of us here, I have other cameras.
 

Janis

Regular
Location
Central Texas
The tilt screen is the only way I have the nerve to do people/street pics. It's also good for giving a more interesting angle on almost anything, and great for pets, flowers, and other things low to the ground. I'm addicted to it!
 

Armanius

Bring Jack back!
Location
Houston, Texas
Real Name
Jack
I used to like the side swivel LCD like in the GH2 (good for self portraits). But I must admit that the NEX tilt screens is much more useful for covert picture taking.
 

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