Thinking about new system: NEX or Micro Four Thirds? The now and the future?

gdourado

Regular
Feb 8, 2012
That would be too expensive and also I wouldn't know were to spend my money in the future... If in the 4/3 system or the Nex...

Yes, the NEX really looks like a good camera...
At least on paper...

Anyway... I am in more confusion today!
Yesterday, I went to a store here and they had a Samsung NX200 on display.
I toyed around with the camera... And I really liked it...
They didn't have a card on the camera, so I couldn't try out the slow write times that every review out there states...
But the rest, I really liked. The screen was really good, the body had a great size and fitted really well in the hand.
I liked the user interface. The menu system was really intuitive and I liked the overall controls of the camera.
I couldn't test IQ or anything, but now I'm considering the NX200...
I saw online... I can get a NX200 with the 18-55 NX lens for half the price of the NEX7 with the 18-55 lens...
Now that's a difference...
Also, the samsung seems like it has a good lineup...
I could have the 18-55 has a walk-around zoom.
The 20mm and 30mm pancakes are small and the camera is almost pocketable with them. The Focal lengths are great.
35mm and 45mm equivalent. Great for street and general shooting.
They have a roadmap where they will launch a 55mm pancake, great for portraits and a 80-400, great for wildlife and spotting.
It seems good.
I could get the NX200, 18-55, 20mm and 30mm and still stay below the NEX7 price...

The camera doesn't have a viewfinder, not even as an option... The ting is... Would I really miss this? The screen seemed good enough...
Also, IQ...
I read that the sensor is really good, but not quite in the same league as the NEX in dynamic range and low noise...
Is it a big difference?

Any experience with the NX200? How would you rate it?

Thank you for your help.

Cheers!
 
B

blb

Guest
It seems like I remember seeing others bring this up under other posts, but I think the question of pocketability is a red herring as, unless we're wearing coats or one of those safari photographer vests, I doubt many of our cameras spend much time in our pockets. My 5n and kit fit easily in the pockets of my winter coat, but I'm going to look like a doof if I walk around with it in the pocket of my shorts - even if it would fit. But, that said, a wallet and keys is often more than I want in my pants pocket - add a cellphone - and I'm struggling to keep them up. And, even when I'm only shooting with my cellphone, I find I have to keep it out or I miss or choose to pass on a lot of shots. Finally, it would seem that all the posts asking "What bag for..." attest to this. Anything, including a smaller dslr, is going to feel much smaller than your 5d - have you thought of a t2i or something like that? Then you'd get a good size break, but also get to use some of the lens you're already accustomed to.
 

pictor

All-Pro
Jul 14, 2010
It seems like I remember seeing others bring this up under other posts, but I think the question of pocketability is a red herring as, unless we're wearing coats or one of those safari photographer vests, I doubt many of our cameras spend much time in our pockets.
Pocketability is a bad concept. Kirk Tuck wrote a fine article about that: Pocketability? It's a bad word and a worse concept. What really matters, is portability.
 

Armanius

Bring Jack back!
Jan 11, 2011
Houston, Texas
Jack
I believe Samsung is supposed to come out with some new cameras too.

If you get the NEX7, the Zeiss seems like a must in order to take full advantage for the sensor's resolving power. The kit lens isn't bad. At least it wasn't on my NEX3. But I think the Zeiss would be a must. For me anyway, given that I like the 35mm focal length.

As for VF's, I like VF's, whether OVF or EVF. But many people function perfectly without them. So it's a matter of preference, assuming the NX200's screen doesn't get washed out in bright sunlight like a lot of others do.
 

pictor

All-Pro
Jul 14, 2010
If you get the NEX7, the Zeiss seems like a must in order to take full advantage for the sensor's resolving power. The kit lens isn't bad. At least it wasn't on my NEX3. But I think the Zeiss would be a must. For me anyway, given that I like the 35mm focal length.
I think that you are completely right. It is said, that the lenses of the NEX are bad. I don't own a NEX, but I am very interested in cameras. As far as I have read, there is only the 16mm, which seems to be really bad wide open (but useful, if stopped down). All other lenses seem to be state of the art. The Zeiss 24mm seems to be excellent and the 50mm is very promising, too, as far as I have seen. I am rather tempted by the NEX-7, the 24mm and the 50mm, because this would be a fine set with which I could do most of what I like to photograph.

In my opinion the Zeiss 24mm is the main reason why I would buy a NEX. And the Leica 25mm is an excellent reason to invest in µ4/3. Of course the NEX-7 is an excellent camera, but I doubt that it is better than the Olympus E-M5 (I would, however, prefer the NEX-7 to the Panasonic GX1). Thus I broke down the question of the thread opener to the question, if the Leica 25mm or the Zeiss 24mm meets ones personal needs best.
 

Pelao

All-Pro
Jul 11, 2010
Ontario, Canada
Stephen
I think that you are completely right. It is said, that the lenses of the NEX are bad. I don't own a NEX, but I am very interested in cameras. As far as I have read, there is only the 16mm, which seems to be really bad wide open (but useful, if stopped down). All other lenses seem to be state of the art. The Zeiss 24mm seems to be excellent and the 50mm is very promising, too, as far as I have seen. I am rather tempted by the NEX-7, the 24mm and the 50mm, because this would be a fine set with which I could do most of what I like to photograph.

In my opinion the Zeiss 24mm is the main reason why I would buy a NEX. And the Leica 25mm is an excellent reason to invest in µ4/3. Of course the NEX-7 is an excellent camera, but I doubt that it is better than the Olympus E-M5 (I would, however, prefer the NEX-7 to the Panasonic GX1). Thus I broke down the question of the thread opener to the question, if the Leica 25mm or the Zeiss 24mm meets ones personal needs best.
You may be right about the new Oly and the 7 being close in performance. But I think the judgement really depends upon what is important to you. A lot of people focus on high ISO performance. That's not my interest at all. Until I see otherwise, I am betting that at low ISO the 7 has better DR than any M43. That's an area that interest me.

If I were to go Nex 7 I would be getting the 24 and 75 too. Probably a nice kit.

But I really want to see how the Oly performs. It's a nicely specified body.
 

pictor

All-Pro
Jul 14, 2010
A lot of people focus on high ISO performance. That's not my interest at all. Until I see otherwise, I am betting that at low ISO the 7 has better DR than any M43. That's an area that interest me.
I don't consider the differences at lower ISO as big enough to make a choice because of that. Amin has made a test at Mu-43.com regarding dynamic range: Dynamic Range - What's It All About? A Panasonic GH2 vs Pentax K5 Comparison. Since the dynamic range of the NEX-7 is comparable with the dynamic range of the K5 and the E-M5 will most probably be very similar to the GH2 regarding dynamic range, I consider the expected difference as negligible. I consider the difference at higher ISO as very negligible, too, as far as the difference between the NEX-7 and the latest µ4/3 cameras is concerned. I have come to this conclusion after looking at several raw files and looking at tests of DxOMark and Digital Photography Review. Therefore I have concluded, that we can be free to choose cameras because of their design of the user interface, availability and quality of lenses...
 

bartjeej

Hall of Famer
Nov 12, 2010
bart
Well, regarding the matter of pocketability, I do think it's important. I'm not fanatical enough to carry a large camera around all the time; in fact, I want a camera that doesn't require any thought or additional carrying method to bring along, but I do like to be able to make good quality photos whenever I encounter something I find interesting.

In my opinion, a small-sensor serious compact like my EX1 or the LX5 / XZ1 / X10 / G12 is a great compromise. I carry it in my coat wherever I go (no-coat-necessary weather is rare in the Netherlands), although I must admit it creates a slight bulge. Maybe if the S100 with its 24mm wide angle had been out at the time, I would've gone for that camera instead, even if its lens isn't anywhere near as fast as the larger compacts.

I find the E-M5 incredibly appealing, but I'm still not sure if I'd be getting my money's worth out of it, if I only take it along on special occasions where I expect photographic opportunities to arise. And if I also have a very capable compact that does go everywhere I go, I fear the just-beyond-jacket-pocketable E-M5 might get left at home for all but the most special occasions... Maybe if they release a compact, weather-resistent ultra wide-angle lens it would be an easy choice, because it would offer compositional opportunities beyond those of coat-pocketable compacts. But as it stands, the IQ I can get out of my EX1 is enough, at least in daylight...
 

Pelao

All-Pro
Jul 11, 2010
Ontario, Canada
Stephen
I don't consider the differences at lower ISO as big enough to make a choice because of that. Amin has made a test at Mu-43.com regarding dynamic range: Dynamic Range - What's It All About? A Panasonic GH2 vs Pentax K5 Comparison. Since the dynamic range of the NEX-7 is comparable with the dynamic range of the K5 and the E-M5 will most probably be very similar to the GH2 regarding dynamic range, I consider the expected difference as negligible. I consider the difference at higher ISO as very negligible, too, as far as the difference between the NEX-7 and the latest µ4/3 cameras is concerned. I have come to this conclusion after looking at several raw files and looking at tests of DxOMark and Digital Photography Review. Therefore I have concluded, that we can be free to choose cameras because of their design of the user interface, availability and quality of lenses...
I am sure a lot of people feel the same way. There are those, like me, who do not feel the same. As Amin points out, there is a difference in DR between M43 and some APSC sensors. He then asks the right question - how much does it matter. And of course the answer is personal: your standards, the subject matter and conditions under which you shoot, and the final output.

For a great deal of my shooting the previous generation of 12mp M43 sensors were more than adequate. But for some things, and particularly landscape and some city scape, I found them lacking. The newer sensors have much improved high ISO, but the overall DR remains less than the larger sensors. It's certainly true that this may not matter to you, and to many others, but it certainly matters to me.

The Nex 7 has, in my view, a much better DR than any current M43 sensor. I don't expect the Oly to reach Nex 7 levels, but it would be wonderful if it were to happen. And of course it will only matter to some of us.

Sadly, I do not yet feel your sense of freedom in choosing between cameras. There are differences in output, and some of it matters to me.

I'll certainly keep my M43 gear, and add to it. But I'll be adding to it in the not too distant future.
 

wt21

Hall of Famer
Aug 15, 2010
Another thought (not sure I remember it being mentioned): AF on the new Pens is faster and surer in my experience than the NEX (at least the NEX3 and NEX 5n, which are the two I tested. Not sure on the NEX 7)
 

gdourado

Regular
Feb 8, 2012
This is still very puzzling...
And I just feel I should make a decision and stick with it...
The longer I stay stuck in this equipment reviews and forums, the less time I am actually shooting.

So, I have pretty much 4 contenders now...

- Nex-7
- Nex 5N
- NX200
- GX1

The NEX-7 is the most expensive. But It has better controls than the 5N and the EVF.
The NEX-5N is half the price, but has fewer direct controls and no EVF. The EVF can be added at a cost and extra bulk, but the 16 mpx sensor seems better for low noise and more forgiving on lens quality.
The NX200 was already stated in previous post as the GX1.

The GX1 has a very good lens lineup, but I probably wouldn't need or buy them all...
For example, if I go with the 20mm 1.7, the 25mm 1.4 would be to much a cost to have in conduction with the 20mm...

The NX200 has a good lineup and good perspectives...
But the body can have it's quirks, like the raw file size and lock ups during slow write times...
But the lenses are there for what I think my needs would be.
I could buy into the system and when they launch a better body, just upgrade...

The NEX would be the other way around...
Buy the excellent body and hope they launch lenses in the future...
Can be a bigger gamble...

And the size...
On the NEX, the 24mm is a great lens, but it cost 5 times the price of the Samsung 20mm and is longer...
I is sure to be better, but with the advances in post processing software, is that a big of an issue when sharpness, contrast, color correction can be applied with ease?
And the 50mm is a good lens... But also big... If the Samsung comes out with the 55mm pancake at the size of they're 20mm...

See? Just questions...

Cheers! and thanks for bearing with me :)
 

retow

All-Pro
Jul 24, 2010
The core of camera systems are the lenses, digital bodies come and go as the technology has not "plateaued" yet. Sony's current lens offerings and their lens roadmap offer nothing exciting to me, that's why I would not consider the NEX an option. That leaves mft or Samsung's NX as choices.
 
B

blb

Guest
I'm definitely going to show my ignorance here, and probably my stupidity, but for the rest of us newbies, would someone please explain the oft repeated notion that we ought focus on the lenses and not the body/sensor, etc.

I know the difference between a slow and a fast lens - but isn't it true that a sensor's ISO capability also comes into play?

I also understand that good glass is sharper than poor glass, but again, aren't there still trade-offs?

And why is it that anyone who plans to shoot, at least initially, with a kit lens it looked down upon and directed to look at non-ilc's?

And, finally, I don't see how some of you can, on one day, argue that we all ought to be shooting with a fast prime (the 50mm always being the first suggestion, even though that means different things on different sensors) learning, as the saying goes, to work with what you have and to "zoom with your feet," and then argue the next day that you wouldn't buy a particular body because of the inadequacy of the available lenses. It doesn't seem that it can go both ways.

Anyway... I'm probably not making many friends with this one, but, especially in a forum that is supposedly about thinking differently, it is frustrating to run into so much fundamentalist purist-ism.
 

Briar

All-Pro
Oct 27, 2010
Scotland
Karen
Hi blb

I can't answer your main question but I wanted to respond to one of your comments.

There is no problem if someone wants to use the kit lenses. I use the kit lens on my NEX5 and have even won the weekly challenge here using that lens. I think most folk here are interested in what people can do with available lenses/cameras/phones rather than looking down on lens/cameras/phone choices. Please don't think we are looking down on anyone for choosing kit lenses. My NEX journey hasn't taken me any further than the kit lenses but my micro four thirds journey has, simply because it offers me more options. I use both systems still, I'm no purist, I like variety.

Your comment about fundamentalist puritism just made me smile. Don't feel your comments/opinions are not welcome just because they differ from others views.
 

olli

Super Moderator Emeritus
Sep 28, 2010
Sofia, Bulgaria
olli
I don't think your characterisation of viewpoints on SC as 'fundamentalist' (funny how it's always used in a pejorative sense) is an accurate one. Broadly speaking, people stress the importance of lenses over sensors but it doesn't follow that broadly speaking people think the latter is unimportant.

On your specific question as to why, for me one key factor is that sensor technology develops much more rapidly than lens technology. Buy a high quality lens today and it will still be a high quality lens in five years time. Buy a camera with a high quality sensor today and there will be a better one along in six months. Stick with a system and the new camera you buy in 5 years time with the super-duper latest sensor will work perfectly well with your 5 year old lenses.

I haven't come across anyone on this forum 'looking down' on those of us who use kit lenses either. I use the kit lens on my NEX-5, but when Sony (or Sigma or Tamron) eventually get around to making a fast standard zoom I will buy it. Why? Because (assuming it is comparable in quality to typical mid-price fast standard zooms) it will give me more options for shooting, and increasing your options for shooting is, for me, the only reason to buy any photographic kit, whether camera/sensor or lens.
 
B

blb

Guest
I appreciate the follow-ups, and certainly most I've encountered and read here on SC have been supportive - but here are couple related questions - and these truly are out of ignorance...

In this conversation, there has been some suggestion that the 5n or 7 should be taken out of consideration if one is not going to buy the 24. Others have flat-out said that they don't like, or don't shoot, zooms. Others talk of the versatility a range of prime lenses offer, even though a couple zooms often cover the same range and more. Now, I understand that primes are usually faster and sharper - but as other's frequently point-out, most of us are not printing many photos, and then not at large sizes, and, as is also frequently pointed-out, pixel-peeping at 100% magnification is not what photography is about. So, with cameras like the 5n and the newer ones easily capturing "usable" images at 3200 or even 6400, what really is to gain from using primes instead of zooms - especially if one were to purchase higher quality zooms? Are there really images that can be captured with a "nifty fifty" that cannot be captured with a zoom set at the equivalent focal length?

Sometimes this all reminds me of my father who as something of an audiophile, kept working on his system, exchanging this piece for that, configuring his speakers one way or another, tweaking this setting or that, until he got as close as he could to the settings the test instruments and albums told him he should. He spent much money and a lot of time on his system - but he rarely if ever just listened to music.

blb
nex 5n, canon t2i
 

Luckypenguin

Hall of Famer
Dec 24, 2010
Brisbane, Australia
Nic
Remember that there is more to prime lenses than just sharpness and resolution. I could actually name a few prime lenses that I don't feel are as sharp as some zoom lenses at equivalent focal lengths. I don't find myself shooting low light very often so the value of the larger maximum aperture of a prime lens to me is mostly in depth-of-field control, and less it's influence on exposure or ISO. The look of a 50mm lens shot @ f/1.8 cannot be simulated by a zoom lens @ f/5.6. I won't always be shooting the prime lens at that aperture, but I can when I want to. The other value of a prime lens is that it can hone your vision to see at the one focal length, although this could be seen as either an advantage or a disadvantage. A zoom lens offers flexibility, a prime lens creates a challenge.

I don't have a particular preference for either type of lens, I shoot with both types myself, and I don't offer any judgement on anyone else's choice to do the same or different.
 

wt21

Hall of Famer
Aug 15, 2010
Hi blb--

I'll try to answer a few of your questions with just my opinions:

Kit Lenses -- I prefer not to use kit lenses for a couple of reasons. 1) I find that if I want to shoot around 80-90mm equivalent (the "long end" of kit lenses) I usually want something faster than f/5.6, to get a bit of background blur. Add to that that a number of kit lenses can be weaker at the long end. 2) I like to shoot subjects off-center, and it's the edges of kit lenses that tend to be weakest. 3) Kit lenses are usually not especially long or wide, so you end up with a "jack-of-all-trades/master-of-none." Having said that, I continually am surprised by coming across posts by folks of great pics, just to find out they were shot with a kit lens! But kit lenses do little to inspire me, personally, whereas I find primes do. The other problem with kit lenses is they are like fleas. You can't seem to easily get rid of them, as they come with just about every camera. So, there's a "mundane" element in there, too. I am not sure I've ever seen anyone here "look down upon" someone else (which would indicate a confrontational posting), though I am sure there have been postings of the nature "have you tried a prime lens???"

Prime lenses -- "I don't see how some of you can, on one day, argue that we all ought to be shooting with a fast prime learning, as the saying goes, to work with what you have and to "zoom with your feet," and then argue the next day that you wouldn't buy a particular body because of the inadequacy of the available lenses." This is not contradictory. It's one of the reasons I've been mainly shooting m43 over NEX. I have 3 great primes -- 14mm, 25/1.4 and 45/2.8 macro. I take usually one out with me to shoot at a time. The whole "it helps you learn" is subjective. It certainly FORCED me to think about my shooting variables. With the kit zoom, I didn't pay attention to what focal length I was at, and because the aperture changes with the zoom, I often didn't pay attention to that, either. With so many variables, it was hard for me to be cognizant of how I was shooting. A prime forces you to pay attention ("aw, man -- this lens is too long (short), etc.). Primes also tend to have better Bokeh (tend, being the operative word. There's great variability) and tend to be sharper, so perceived IQ, all other things being equal, tends to seem higher. (did I say "tends" enough ;). I think 50mm lenses are recommended for several reasons: 1) a 50mm lens is the "normal view" on a 35mm equivalent film camera, 2) it turns out the 50mm is actually a very inexpensive lens to design, therefore based on 1 and 2, 3) there are LOTS AND LOTS of cheap legacy 50mm lenses around, so it's a great place to start for the budget-conscious newbie, and most (all?) $35-60 50mm lenses are adaptable to the new CSC cameras.

Hope the above perspective helps in someway. If not, feel free to ignore :)
 

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