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Old Aug 10, 2013, 05:05 PM   #1
shinji
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G1X, EOS-M, or NEX system?

I have a Canon G12 now, and I'm looking to upgrade due to its low light performance. Considering the following:

1) The Canon EOS-M is the cheapest way to get an APS-C sensor. It is marked as discontinued, and you can find it for $300-400 bundled with the f/2 prime. From reviews I've read, it has terrible battery life (one person saying it went red after only 100 shots, others saying 200 is more like it, Canon claims 230). A firmware update made the autofocus faster than the initial reviews complained about, but it's still slow. The LCD doesn't articulate. It has a touch screen where you tap to focus. That f/2 lens has gotten good reviews, though.

2) The Sony NEX-5R body is $500, and the 50 mm f/1.8 lens I want is $300. Has articulating LCD and image stabilization on that lens, which is surprising/cool. More than I wanted to spend, but I'd stretch my budget if necessary.

3) The G1X is on sale for $600 at B&H, which is exactly what I'm looking to spend. Its sensor is much bigger than my G12 and Micro 4/3, but still 20% smaller than Canon's APS-C sensors. The lens has an aperture range of f/2.8 to 5.8. I really liked my G12 except for the low light performance, and this keeps the same "feel" and interface. I'm just not sure how big of a jump it will be for low light due to the speed of the lens. I'd be willing to give up interchangeable lenses if this would solve my low light problem.

Any suggestions or thoughts? My actual goal in upgrading is to get better low light performance. I don't really ever take pictures of sports or anything fast moving, and I don't see myself buying a wide variety of lenses. Really just want a fast prime.
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 05:25 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shinji View Post
I have a Canon G12 now, and I'm looking to upgrade due to its low light performance. Considering the following:

1) The Canon EOS-M is the cheapest way to get an APS-C sensor. It is marked as discontinued, and you can find it for $300-400 bundled with the f/2 prime. From reviews I've read, it has terrible battery life (one person saying it went red after only 100 shots, others saying 200 is more like it, Canon claims 230). A firmware update made the autofocus faster than the initial reviews complained about, but it's still slow. The LCD doesn't articulate. It has a touch screen where you tap to focus. That f/2 lens has gotten good reviews, though.

2) The Sony NEX-5R body is $500, and the 50 mm f/1.8 lens I want is $300. Has articulating LCD and image stabilization on that lens, which is surprising/cool. More than I wanted to spend, but I'd stretch my budget if necessary.

3) The G1X is on sale for $600 at B&H, which is exactly what I'm looking to spend. Its sensor is much bigger than my G12 and Micro 4/3, but still 20% smaller than Canon's APS-C sensors. The lens has an aperture range of f/2.8 to 5.8. I really liked my G12 except for the low light performance, and this keeps the same "feel" and interface. I'm just not sure how big of a jump it will be for low light due to the speed of the lens. I'd be willing to give up interchangeable lenses if this would solve my low light problem.

Any suggestions or thoughts? My actual goal in upgrading is to get better low light performance. I don't really ever take pictures of sports or anything fast moving, and I don't see myself buying a wide variety of lenses. Really just want a fast prime.
Since its firmware update (vastly improved the AF) the EOS-M is probably the best deal right now, but the NEX line from Sony is the most mature product when it comes to available lenses from Sony and third party manufacturers. Both are far better options then the G1X for image quality, lowlight, and AF.
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 05:54 PM   #3
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I worry a bit about the EOS-M.

It doesn't seem to have done to well and I can't say what the future will be. Yes you can get an EF adapter but then it becomes DSLR size anyway.

Sony and Fuji seem to be the leaders in this territory.

Although the G1X is nice that slow zoom is a little off putting. Something like the sony or Fuji gives you the option to upgrade to something tight and fast when the time comes.
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 11:09 PM   #4
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My recent take on the EOS M: http://www.ocabj.net/canon-eos-m-mir...camera-review/

If you want a mirror less camera with better low light performance than you have now with a fast prime, the EOS should work, but as mentioned, Canon hasn't really done anything to give confidence in the EF-M lens mount. Only three lenses and one isn't available in the US.

I would personally get the Olympus OM-D EM-5 and get the 17mm f/1.8 and 75mm f/1.8.
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 11:16 PM   #5
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normally I'm all Canon, however with this new accessory available for the Sony NEX, I'm seeing a serious upside to them. The Metabones Speedbooster is getting very good reviews

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVOhac0FQkw
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 11:27 PM   #6
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I have a Nex-7 and have been very happy with it. Lens selection is somewhat limited but it meets my current needs. Great picture quality in a small package.
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 11:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocabj View Post
My recent take on the EOS M: http://www.ocabj.net/canon-eos-m-mir...camera-review/

If you want a mirror less camera with better low light performance than you have now with a fast prime, the EOS should work, but as mentioned, Canon hasn't really done anything to give confidence in the EF-M lens mount. Only three lenses and one isn't available in the US.

I would personally get the Olympus OM-D EM-5 and get the 17mm f/1.8 and 75mm f/1.8.
Interesting. I could live with the exposure simulation issue and the improved but slow autofocus. Did you find the battery life matched up approximately to Canon's claim? Also, did you have any issues seeing the display in the sun? I think it's lame not to have an articulating display when there's also no viewfinder.

As for the Olympus, yeah I considered Micro 4/3, but I can get a bigger sensor for less money with the EOS M. Even if Canon killed off the EOS M system entirely, I would still be happy with a fast prime and an APS-C sensor.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 12:34 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by shinji View Post
Interesting. I could live with the exposure simulation issue and the improved but slow autofocus. Did you find the battery life matched up approximately to Canon's claim? Also, did you have any issues seeing the display in the sun? I think it's lame not to have an articulating display when there's also no viewfinder.

As for the Olympus, yeah I considered Micro 4/3, but I can get a bigger sensor for less money with the EOS M. Even if Canon killed off the EOS M system entirely, I would still be happy with a fast prime and an APS-C sensor.
I never tried to stretch the battery life to really test it out. So I can't attest to to the 200-230 shot capacity claimed by Canon. I did buy another battery for backup, though.

Display in the sun isn't an issue. You just have to bump the brightness as necessary.

As far as micro four-thirds vs APS-C, I really don't think you're sacrificing quality on the sensor between the two. Full frame vs MFT, yes, definitely. But with all the sample crops taken with MFT floating around, I'd have no problem with taking MFT over APS-C.

But yes, if you're content with the EOS M system as it is now, go for it.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 01:11 AM   #9
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Almost forgot, if you're wanting to stick with Canon you may also want to consider the SL1 instead of the EOSM. It's not that much bigger then the M, uses the same censor, and it uses a standard EF and EF-S Canon lenses. If your used to all the DSLR like controls on the G12, it would be the next logical step up without adding too much bulk. Especially if you use their 40mm pancake prime.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 05:13 AM   #10
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I'm not a fan of the m4/3 sensors since the sensors are so small. I do think however the APS-C sensor mirrorless cameras are great.
That being said, I'd recommend the NEX over the EOS-M. Sony NEX is the most mature mirrorless out there and needless to say it's probably the best you can get at the moment. EOS-M is a work in progress, though. If you really want EF lens compatibility, then the EOS-M is the best bet, but if you don't mind that, the NEX system is great.

If you take a look at the E-mount lens collection, you'll see a lineup of pretty good lenses off the bat. For the EF-M mount, you'd need the EF-to-EF-M adapter to use any good glass. Not to mention the NEX has the unique phase detect autofocus adaptor for A-mount to E-mount, which gives the NEX cameras phase detect focus!
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 10:31 AM   #11
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Some comments from someone who's owned a G1X for around 18 months ...
I got the camera to replace an aging G7 that was my backup in my camera bag . I was looking for something small , with good high iso capability , and an optically good moderate zoom lens .Had to have RAW capabiity . Didn't want to mess around with changing lenses , just wanted something I could pick up and use in a pinch. Heres my take ...

1. The viewfinder sucks . Its just too small . Almost a deal breaker initially.
2. Its pretty easy to accidently shift the exposure comp. dial even though the dial has detents. Happened to me once or twice.Same thing with the video button .
3. Figure on good 8x10 prints up to ISO 2500 or maybe a bit more.
4. Maybe 3 stops IS
5.My guess is around 300 images more or less per charge .Never ran the battery down all the way . Have shot 150 or so images and maybe 15-20 minutes of video shot in minute or 2 segments and still had a decent charge.
6. The sensor/lens combination is IMHO real good . Pretty much noise free below ISO 800 , no CA visible zoomed into an image , not too much distortion ,it's kinda slow , but 2.8-5.8 is pretty comparable to an entry 18-55 DSLR lens.
7. Video works great . Much better than I expected . I actually use it . Don't expect to film your remake of Citizen Kane with it , though , as its pretty limited as to adjustments , basically you can only zoom , everything else is automatic .
8. Built in flash works well for small spaces or as a fill flash within reason.
9. It's just too big to pocket.
10 The articulated screen can be reversed for protection . There's also grid lines and a real useful level that can be brought up on the screen.
11. ISO changes are real fast , no nested menu , literally 2 button pushes and a spin of the back dial.Everything else is pretty much your standard Powershot menus.
12. The lens cap is odd , lost mine real fast . I have an aftermarket filter adapter permanently mounted and put a standard 58mm lens cap on it instead .


Hope this helps ... if you want sample images , PM me.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 11:47 AM   #12
HabSonic
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You should choose between the NEX and m43. The EOS-M system is almost dead in the US at this point. The new 11-22mm lens for EOS-M isn't even available in this country. If you're ok with one lens, you should buy a Fuji x100s..

Sensor size between NEX and m43 is a non issue. You won't notice any difference.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 01:14 PM   #13
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I know you didn't mention this, but before you decide, take a look at the Fuji X series. APSC sensor, excellent low light/High ISO quality and very good quality lenses at a reasonable price. Quite a number of lenses out now and more on the way. Might be worth buying one used/refurbished.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 03:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by someoldguy View Post
Some comments from someone who's owned a G1X for around 18 months ...
I got the camera to replace an aging G7 that was my backup in my camera bag . I was looking for something small , with good high iso capability , and an optically good moderate zoom lens .Had to have RAW capabiity . Didn't want to mess around with changing lenses , just wanted something I could pick up and use in a pinch. Heres my take ...

1. The viewfinder sucks . Its just too small . Almost a deal breaker initially.
2. Its pretty easy to accidently shift the exposure comp. dial even though the dial has detents. Happened to me once or twice.Same thing with the video button .
3. Figure on good 8x10 prints up to ISO 2500 or maybe a bit more.
4. Maybe 3 stops IS
5.My guess is around 300 images more or less per charge .Never ran the battery down all the way . Have shot 150 or so images and maybe 15-20 minutes of video shot in minute or 2 segments and still had a decent charge.
6. The sensor/lens combination is IMHO real good . Pretty much noise free below ISO 800 , no CA visible zoomed into an image , not too much distortion ,it's kinda slow , but 2.8-5.8 is pretty comparable to an entry 18-55 DSLR lens.
7. Video works great . Much better than I expected . I actually use it . Don't expect to film your remake of Citizen Kane with it , though , as its pretty limited as to adjustments , basically you can only zoom , everything else is automatic .
8. Built in flash works well for small spaces or as a fill flash within reason.
9. It's just too big to pocket.
10 The articulated screen can be reversed for protection . There's also grid lines and a real useful level that can be brought up on the screen.
11. ISO changes are real fast , no nested menu , literally 2 button pushes and a spin of the back dial.Everything else is pretty much your standard Powershot menus.
12. The lens cap is odd , lost mine real fast . I have an aftermarket filter adapter permanently mounted and put a standard 58mm lens cap on it instead .


Hope this helps ... if you want sample images , PM me.
That's pretty much everything I was curious about with the G1X, thanks! Sent you a PM.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 04:48 PM   #15
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I bought a NEX-7 last year because when traveling... I didn't want to carry my Nikon D7000 SLR setup. I can pack my NEX-7 and an extra lens or two into my laptop bag. When I take my Nikon DSLR, it occupies a whole second carry-on bag, which means that my main luggage must be checked. I hate checking any luggage (and I finally have my wife 90% trained).

Since I bought the NEX-7... my Nikon D7000 has almost gone completely unused. I have a lot of money sunk into my Nikon DLSR setup (especially lenses)... but I suspect that some day I'll sell it all.

As far as the NEX-7... There are a couple of things I wish it had:
  1. Dual SD cards (I like mirror mode)
  2. Integrated GPS
  3. Better/easier menu system
Most (or maybe all) smaller camera only have a single SD slot. Mirror mode prevents image loss due to an SD card failure. I've only had one failure in my life (years ago with a Nikon D100/Lexar CF).

I am frustrated with cameras in general that they do not have a GPS built in. I've tried using a handheld GPS (or GPS app for my iPhone)... but importing the GPS track info is usually more trouble than I want to do. Aperture 3 makes it easy to assign a location (ex: Maui) to all photos in an entire project... but it would be nicer if I had individual location geo-tags for each picture.

Menu system: I think that in many ways... Sony is the antithesis of Apple when it comes to simplicity. The camera industry in general is this way... and something they should focus on before the lose the majority market to cell phone cameras. The NEX-7 menu system can use some help. The NEX-7 does have the triple wheels which helps a lot.

/Jim
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 07:32 PM   #16
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I'd take a look at the Samsung NX cameras too. Lenses seem better and cheaper than the NEX equivalents, APS-C sized sensor too, much nicer menus to use. Also the NX bodies have Auto-ISO in manual mode whereas NEX bodies don't, for some it's no big deal but I think it's very important.

Lens price examples:

NX 12-24: $550ish
E 10-18: $850ish

NX 30/2: $199
E 35/1.8: $448

NX 45/1.8: $250
E 50/1.8: $300

Last edited by twitch31; Aug 11, 2013 at 07:39 PM.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 09:06 PM   #17
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Sensor size between NEX and m43 is a non issue. You won't notice any difference.
Plenty of people see differences between micro four thirds and APS C sensors. To me, it's large enough to avoid micro four thirds. Too much noise and not enough dynamic range.
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 09:27 PM   #18
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I shoot micro 4/3 and full frame (Nikon). Between the autofocus speed and lens selection of micro 4/3, the mirrorless APS-C systems have lost any appeal. The noise/depth of field/etc differences are miniscule to me. If I had to choose between EOS-M, NEX, and G1X (which has roughly a m4/3 sensor), it would easily be NEX.
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Old Aug 12, 2013, 11:41 PM   #19
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Plenty of people see differences between micro four thirds and APS C sensors. To me, it's large enough to avoid micro four thirds. Too much noise and not enough dynamic range.
In this thread, we're comparing m43 to Canon APS-C sensors which have more noise and less dynamic range... Your point is valid for m43 vs NEX, but the difference is so small.
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Old Aug 13, 2013, 02:02 AM   #20
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The NEX-3N with kit lens is now on sale for $399. There's a Sony announcement this week where they're expecting to unveil new cameras in the NEX line.

Tempted to go with that and sell the kit lens to buy that 50 mm f/1.8. Any NEX users here have a NEX-3 series camera and regret not going with the NEX-5 series?
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Old Aug 13, 2013, 10:14 AM   #21
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I would second the suggestion of the SL1 with the 40mm/f2.8 STM pancake lensover the NEX. It's a tiny body, but it is a real SLR and takes the entire EF range. The NEX series have great IQ, but I feel their lens range is limited and with lens, they really aren't all that small.

If you want size is important, I would look at m43. I shoot fullframe dSLR, but if I were to look for a mirrorless system, I would go Olympus.
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Old Aug 13, 2013, 12:11 PM   #22
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In this thread, we're comparing m43 to Canon APS-C sensors which have more noise and less dynamic range... Your point is valid for m43 vs NEX, but the difference is so small.
It's not small if you can see it and care about it.
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Old Aug 13, 2013, 12:22 PM   #23
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The NEX-3N with kit lens is now on sale for $399. There's a Sony announcement this week where they're expecting to unveil new cameras in the NEX line.

Tempted to go with that and sell the kit lens to buy that 50 mm f/1.8. Any NEX users here have a NEX-3 series camera and regret not going with the NEX-5 series?
I can't speak to the NEX-3, though I do love my NEX-5N and have posted about it elsewhere. I also have the 50mm/1.8, and like it, as well as the more expensive 35mm/1.8, which I also like a fair bit.

I eventually did pick up the EVF for the 5N, and have found it to be pretty invaluable, not just for taking images, but also for reviewing them in a variety of conditions. I don't believe the 3 will allow you to mount the EVF, so you'd be limited in that way. If you could pick up a lightly used 5N for a heavy discount, I'd opt for that over the 3.
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Old Aug 13, 2013, 03:55 PM   #24
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I can't speak to the NEX-3, though I do love my NEX-5N and have posted about it elsewhere. I also have the 50mm/1.8, and like it, as well as the more expensive 35mm/1.8, which I also like a fair bit.

I eventually did pick up the EVF for the 5N, and have found it to be pretty invaluable, not just for taking images, but also for reviewing them in a variety of conditions. I don't believe the 3 will allow you to mount the EVF, so you'd be limited in that way. If you could pick up a lightly used 5N for a heavy discount, I'd opt for that over the 3.
Yeah, the 3N has a built-in pop-up flash, but you cannot put an EVF on it. I'm coming from a G12, though, not a dSLR, and I'm used to the LCD. I wasn't planning on buying the EVF anyway.

Curious though, do you find the 35mm f/1.8 to be an overall higher quality lens than the 50 mm f/1.8? I would actually prefer the 35 mm.
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Old Aug 13, 2013, 04:23 PM   #25
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Yeah, the 3N has a built-in pop-up flash, but you cannot put an EVF on it. I'm coming from a G12, though, not a dSLR, and I'm used to the LCD. I wasn't planning on buying the EVF anyway.

Curious though, do you find the 35mm f/1.8 to be an overall higher quality lens than the 50 mm f/1.8? I would actually prefer the 35 mm.
I wasn't planning on buying the EVF either... I was also planning on just doing a lot of manual focusing with an inexpensive adapter to use all of my nikon lenses, but here I am with a couple of primes for the e-mount, and probably $900 less in my wallet for having picked up the primes and the EVF. I'm also having a great time, taking more pictures than ever, and really liking the results, though, so I'm certainly not upset about it.

I don't know exactly what you'd be looking for in terms of whether I think the 5mm is of 'overall higher quality' than the 50mm, so I'm not sure quite how to answer that question. When I first got each of them, I did some side-by-side shooting against the 35mm/1.8 nikon that I tend to love on my Nikon D7000, as well as the 50mm/1.8D that I also tend to like on my Nikons. I found the results to be comparable in both cases, meaning that I could see slight differences, but they were subtle and nothing that would make me choose the nikons vs. the sony's based on IQ alone. When handled properly, all of those lenses will give you fantastic results, and the shallow depth of field and low-ligh capabilities are lovely and helpful, respectively. The Sonys each have IS, so they should technically allow you to shoot in even lower light conditions than the Nikons would.

So, given that I feel the IQ is pretty solid for both the 35 mm and the 50mm, the question is really which focal length you feel is more useful when paired with the APS-C sized crop-sensor of the NEX series. I love the more portrait-oriented 50mm length on that sized sensor, though I find it to be a little too long to just leave on the camera for walking around and not feel like I'm wishing for something a little wider. The 35 mm has, for me, been a pretty good compromise. In a pinch if I'm looking for the same portrait type shot but only have the 35mm, I'll stand at the distance for the perspective I'd want if I had the 50 mm, and then just plan on cropping a bit later. For many uses, there are enough pixels to support this if you take care when shooting.

The 35mm is also a fair bit smaller, and that adds to the feeling of portability. It also seems to hunt a bit more on the autofocus, which is the only downside I see vs. the 50 mm. Not a deal-breaker, or even a big deal, just something I've noticed.

If you're leaning towards the 35 mm focal length, I think you'll like the 35mm sony lens. Another plug for the NEX-5 series vs. the 3 is the articulating screen, which also comes in pretty handy.
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