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Author Topic: NEX7 Rolling Review -- conclusion  (Read 20474 times)

John Camp

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NEX7 Rolling Review -- conclusion
« on: December 16, 2011, 05:57:39 pm »

I'm putting this new topic up to avoid the arguments about methodology in the other thread.

I found the review and the conclusions to be quite interesting. I own a Panasonic m4/3 system, and I have remained with that system because I felt that ultimately it had potential for IQ virtually as good as the NEX system, and, critically for me, it was smaller and lighter when carried as a system. I never doubted the IQ would be better with the larger sensor; however, that doesn't speak to size. NEX only makes sense to me if the lenses are also compact -- the NEX system is not THAT much smaller than, say, a Pentax K-5 or a Nikon D7000, if you have to carry Pentax- or Nikon-sized lenses around, and given that, I much prefer the optical viewfinder on the DSLRs.

So, while the review was interesting, I think the really critical questions for NEX are:

-Will there be a full range of *compact* system lenses, or will they be the same size as the general run of APS-C primes and zooms?
-Is it possible to make relatively fast compact zooms for APS-C? I note that the Panasonic m4/3 long zoom, an excellent-quality 100-300mm lens (equiv. 200-600) is only 5.5 inches long.
-What are the chances that Panasonic will catch up with Sony in sensor-making technique? Do they really have that potential?
 
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: NEX7 Rolling Review -- conclusion
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2011, 10:41:59 pm »

Hi,

As I see it the NEX is already a success. On the other hand I see the big lens, small camera problem.

I find the NEX-7 attractive, but I may feel that the A77 is the more compelling alternative. Hard to know, until both cameras have been tested side by side. Right now I have the impression that the A77 has the better user interface.

One of the great attractions of the NEX-7 is that it accepts a lot of interesting lenses and makes them quite usable thanks live view and peaking. The real problem, in my view is the crop factor. It turns a 50 mm into a short tele, which is not a bad thing, but for wide angles you need ultrawides, and those can run into problems with lens cast.

As it is right now, I don't feel like buying neither the NEX-7 nor the A77. I have an Alpha 900 full frame DSLR, and I actually like the heft of the body. What I miss is live view, a capability already added by an Alpha 55 SLT. AF works well on the A900, by the way. Would Sony come out with an NEX-9, having full frame sensor and better user interface (PRESETS PLEASE!!!), I would be clearly interested.

Best regards
Erik


I'm putting this new topic up to avoid the arguments about methodology in the other thread.

I found the review and the conclusions to be quite interesting. I own a Panasonic m4/3 system, and I have remained with that system because I felt that ultimately it had potential for IQ virtually as good as the NEX system, and, critically for me, it was smaller and lighter when carried as a system. I never doubted the IQ would be better with the larger sensor; however, that doesn't speak to size. NEX only makes sense to me if the lenses are also compact -- the NEX system is not THAT much smaller than, say, a Pentax K-5 or a Nikon D7000, if you have to carry Pentax- or Nikon-sized lenses around, and given that, I much prefer the optical viewfinder on the DSLRs.

So, while the review was interesting, I think the really critical questions for NEX are:

-Will there be a full range of *compact* system lenses, or will they be the same size as the general run of APS-C primes and zooms?
-Is it possible to make relatively fast compact zooms for APS-C? I note that the Panasonic m4/3 long zoom, an excellent-quality 100-300mm lens (equiv. 200-600) is only 5.5 inches long.
-What are the chances that Panasonic will catch up with Sony in sensor-making technique? Do they really have that potential?
 
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Jeremy Roussak

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Re: NEX7 Rolling Review -- conclusion
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2011, 04:59:12 am »

It saddens me to say it, but given the choice of a Sony NEX-7 and a Leica M9 I'd choose the latter. At least you can focus the Sony.
Former?

Jeremy
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: NEX7 Rolling Review -- conclusion
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2011, 05:01:27 am »

Hi,

Can you explain, please?!

Best regards
Erik



It saddens me to say it, but given the choice of a Sony NEX-7 and a Leica M9 I'd choose the latter. At least you can focus the Sony.
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dseelig

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Re: NEX7 Rolling Review -- conclusion
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2011, 05:55:24 am »

I always wonder why so many of us do the this is better then that. I own two m9s no not rich a working pro and have to have tow bodies. I got a nex 5n for iso 6400 which I need. but there are other things is does my 90 cron is a 135 f2 the sweep panorama and 16 by 9 format . And lastly three bodies to work with at once. A very nice thing when shooting with prime lenses. I can focus both the sony and the nex. Each camera brings a different set of advantages and disadvantages. And let us applaud Michael for throwing his opinions out and not taking the vague easy way out in his reviews.
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JohnBrew

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Re: NEX7 Rolling Review -- conclusion
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2011, 08:08:50 am »

While the CSC concept is interesting, I haven't cancelled my order for an M9-P.

JohnNewman

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Re: NEX7 Rolling Review -- conclusion
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2011, 09:53:54 am »

While the CSC concept is interesting, I haven't cancelled my order for an M9-P.

And whilst I find the APS-C concept interesting, I haven't cancelled my order for a NEX 7 :)  Just joking, I'll certainly keep my Nikon gear (at least for some while) but am looking forward immensely to taking delivery of the NEX 7 and would like to add my thanks to Michael for the very informative rolling review.  It'll be a great reference as I get to grips with it.  I briefly had a 5N which I returned to my dealer, got a full credit for the amount paid and ordered the 7.  The joy of getting out in the hills with lightweight gear was even greater than I had hoped and if the image quality of the 7 is even anywhere near my expectations, I'll be one happy bunny :D

John
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Peter McLennan

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Re: NEX7 Rolling Review -- conclusion
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2011, 10:41:12 am »

What happens with legacy lenses with no on-lens aperture controls?  My Nikon 12-24 might be a good fit on the NEX-7, but how will the Sony actuate the aperture?
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michael

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Re: NEX7 Rolling Review -- conclusion
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2011, 10:51:28 am »

You'll need to get an adaptor that has aperture control.

The best is the one from Novoflex...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Novoflex-Adapter-Nikon-Lenses-Sony-NEX-Cameras-NEX-NIK-/390373197192?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5ae40e4588#ht_3644wt_922

Michael
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douglasf13

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Re: NEX7 Rolling Review -- conclusion
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2011, 02:03:35 pm »

Hi, John.  I think the beauty of NEX for a lot of us is the ease at which it works with manual lenses.  My NEX-5N with the CV 15/4.5, ZM 35/2 and ZM 50/1.5 is a ridiculously small package for the IQ, and it is a joy to use manually.

Despite Michael's wonderfully complete review, I actually decided to cancel my NEX-7 preorder and stick with the 5N.  The dials of the 7 are nice, but I shoot manual lenses with aperture rings, so much of it is lost on me, and, despite preferring the lower profile of the 7's EVF, I love being able to tilt my 5N's EVF, and I shoot left eyed, so it makes a little more sense.  Add the better corner performance with rangefinder lenses, and the 5N still ticks more boxes for me, despite the devilish allure of the sexy NEX-7.  

p.s. I also use a nice, Italian leather half case on the 5N, which makes the grip and body size nearly identical to the 7. The 5N is a fun camera, and I nearly always shoot it like a waist level Hasselblad.

« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 02:06:11 pm by douglasf13 »
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01af

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Re: NEX7 Rolling Review -- conclusion
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2011, 04:05:11 pm »

As I see it the NEX is already a success.

From reading Michael's and other's reviews, this is my impression, too. I am very much tempted to purchase a NEX-7 next Spring.


I find the NEX-7 attractive, but I may feel that the A77 is the more compelling alternative. [...] Right now I have the impression that the A77 has the better user interface. One of the great attractions of the NEX-7 is that it accepts a lot of interesting lenses and makes them quite usable thanks live view and peaking.

My sentiments exactly! The NEX-7 is very compact ... but when used with big lenses, this particular advantage will mostly disappear, or may even turn into a disadvantage. All things considered, as a working photographer's tool the A77 (which shares the NEX-7's APS-C-format 24 MP sensor) probably will be the better choice. But then, the NEX-7 can take my Leica M lenses, and the A77 cannot ... arrrggh!

Maybe I should wait for the A99 and then buy that and the NEX-7 ...?


Would Sony come out with an NEX-9, having full frame sensor and better user interface [...], I would be clearly interested.

No way. Forget it. The Sony NEX system is, and always will be, restricted to APS-C format.

It is more likely that a camera that represents a hypothetical 35-mm full-frame 'NEX-9' will come from Leica, called 'M10.'
« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 04:06:53 pm by 01af »
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douglasf13

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Re: NEX7 Rolling Review -- conclusion
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2011, 04:26:30 pm »

The NEX-7 with something like the Zeiss 24/1.8 is still MUCH smaller than the A77 and equivalent lens, and it is significantly lighter weight, too.  Sure, you can't fit the Nex-7 in your jeans, but it's still a small system that means being able to use smaller bags and loosing pounds of weight.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: NEX7 Rolling Review -- conclusion
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2011, 04:46:30 pm »

Hi!

I'm not sure. Leica is rumored to have an AF system on way. It would make a lot of sense to have it full frame and have M-compatible mount, but that would not be an M10.

Sony is rumored to release three FF cameras next year. A pro model, like D3, an amateur model and one with a "hybrid mount". A Sony representant is said to have stated that the E-mount is compatible with full frame.

I guess we will have to wait and see.

Best regards
Erik


No way. Forget it. The Sony NEX system is, and always will be, restricted to APS-C format.

It is more likely that a camera that represents a hypothetical 35-mm full-frame 'NEX-9' will come from Leica, called 'M10.'
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John Camp

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Re: NEX7 Rolling Review -- conclusion
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2011, 06:12:28 pm »

I've often wondered why camera companies aren't somewhat more cooperative, at least in *thinking* about their products. For example, if I owned Pentax, I would have asked the engineers to see if they could design the flash interface to get full functionality from the Nikon flash system, without violating any patents. Since the interface for flashes is generally pretty simple, I suspect it could be done -- and Pentax users would then have access to the best flash system ever made, and I doubt that Pentax would even notice the loss in its own flash system, which is pretty minimal.

Similarly, I think Sony should encourage, and even commission, Zeiss to come up with a whole range of small, fully-functioning primes for Nex -- and then NEX really *would* be the new Leica, and I would buy one in an instant. Throw in one or two somewhat compact zooms, and it'd be a beautiful system. But IMHO, as expressed above, compactness is essential. I think they might be able to achieve that by giving up the idea of super zooms, and going with perhaps four shorter-range zooms instead of the usual three. Sony might also take a close look at Leica's two tri-elmars: those are compact, even the wide one, and would be a terrific addition to the NEX system. But just pooping out a bunch of so-so Sony consumer zooms ain't gonna do it.

   
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Ray

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Re: NEX7 Rolling Review -- conclusion
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2011, 06:16:26 pm »

What happens with legacy lenses with no on-lens aperture controls?  My Nikon 12-24 might be a good fit on the NEX-7, but how will the Sony actuate the aperture?

I sometimes use my Nikkor 14-24 on my D7000. The lens has superb performance on a cropped format body and is no doubt good enough to deliver even more resolution with a cropped format 24mp sensor.

However, comparing the weights of the two camera systems with this lens, we have about 1.85Kgs for the D7000 with lens, and maybe 1.45Kgs for the NEX-7 with adapter and lens, a saving of about 400gms which, in itself, is worthwhile, but not if one has to sacrifice all the automatic functions of the camera, including autofocussing when shooting video.

I think I would rather wait for Nikon to produce a 24mp cropped format. I'm reminded of a difficulty I experienced in cold weather in Nepal earlier this year. My D7000 refused to autofocus when cold. I found it very inconvenient having to manually focus every shot, and missed a few critical moments as a result.
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DaveCurtis

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Re: NEX7 Rolling Review -- conclusion
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2011, 06:36:23 pm »

The key to getting the best out of these new generation of high quality sensors contained in relatively low cost bodies is access to very high quality lenses.

If I owned a M9 with leica glass I would order a NEX 7 tomorrow. A no brainer!

The kit lenses are not up to the task. And even good quality zoom lens with large zoom ranges will struggle at 24MP.
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douglasf13

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Re: NEX7 Rolling Review -- conclusion
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2011, 08:51:12 pm »

I've often wondered why camera companies aren't somewhat more cooperative, at least in *thinking* about their products. For example, if I owned Pentax, I would have asked the engineers to see if they could design the flash interface to get full functionality from the Nikon flash system, without violating any patents. Since the interface for flashes is generally pretty simple, I suspect it could be done -- and Pentax users would then have access to the best flash system ever made, and I doubt that Pentax would even notice the loss in its own flash system, which is pretty minimal.

Similarly, I think Sony should encourage, and even commission, Zeiss to come up with a whole range of small, fully-functioning primes for Nex -- and then NEX really *would* be the new Leica, and I would buy one in an instant. Throw in one or two somewhat compact zooms, and it'd be a beautiful system. But IMHO, as expressed above, compactness is essential. I think they might be able to achieve that by giving up the idea of super zooms, and going with perhaps four shorter-range zooms instead of the usual three. Sony might also take a close look at Leica's two tri-elmars: those are compact, even the wide one, and would be a terrific addition to the NEX system. But just pooping out a bunch of so-so Sony consumer zooms ain't gonna do it.

   

Sony has encouraged every lens maker to make e-mount lenses by making the mount specs publicly available for free last spring, so it's just a matter of time.

That being said, making these lenses short is difficult.  Most rangefinder lenses 35mm and wider have at least some kind of color shift and/or loss of detail on the NEX cameras.  The recent Zeiss paper about wide angels explains this in detail, and it shows why Sony has made retrofocus lenses like the 24/1.8, which means longer length.
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douglasf13

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Re: NEX7 Rolling Review -- conclusion
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2011, 08:53:33 pm »

The key to getting the best out of these new generation of high quality sensors contained in relatively low cost bodies is access to very high quality lenses.

If I owned a M9 with leica glass I would order a NEX 7 tomorrow. A no brainer!

The kit lenses are not up to the task. And even good quality zoom lens with large zoom ranges will struggle at 24MP.

The NEX kit lens is probably the best kit zoom from any manufacturer.  It is up to the 24mp, at least in the central 2/3rds of the frame.  Most Leica glass doesn't live up to it's billing on the NEX-7, because of the sensor filter pack thickness. Sony needs to axe the AA filter in these cameras.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: NEX7 Rolling Review -- conclusion
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2011, 05:54:01 am »

Hi,

Do you actually know if the Sony NEX-7 has a AA-filter? Has that been stated clearly anywhere?

The IR filter may be a source of problems to, it's normally quite thick and it would affect some Leica lenses. That was the reason that the M8 had very thin IR-filter. For the M9 the engineers came up with a thicker filter, but probably thinner then what is mostly used with other cameras.

Sony has the luxury to be able to construct it's lenses for the stuff sitting in front of the sensor. (CGA, microlenses, AA-filter and IR filter).

Best regards
Erik


The NEX kit lens is probably the best kit zoom from any manufacturer.  It is up to the 24mp, at least in the central 2/3rds of the frame.  Most Leica glass doesn't live up to it's billing on the NEX-7, because of the sensor filter pack thickness. Sony needs to axe the AA filter in these cameras.
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JohnNewman

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Re: NEX7 Rolling Review -- conclusion
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2011, 10:54:12 am »

The NEX kit lens is probably the best kit zoom from any manufacturer.  It is up to the 24mp, at least in the central 2/3rds of the frame.

Hi Douglas, that's quite re-assuring as my aim is to use the NEX 7 for 3 months or so, mainly with the kit lens before making any decision as to either further lenses (especially manual focus types) or selling my Nikon gear.  Your earlier post showed a lovely leather case for your NEX 5 - would you mind posting a link to the manufacturers so that I can see if anything is available for the 7.

Thanks

John
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