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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 6:27 am 
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Nice shots Tom... feel free to include links to flickr or where the original are hosted so people can take a closer look if they want...


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 9:51 pm 
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Hi everyone, I'm pleased to announce I've finally completed my full review of the NEX-3 and NEX-5!

Sony Alpha NEX-3 / NEX-5 review!

I realise the review is a bit late compared to many. Sony NZ has been a bit slow at supplying new models to test. But the plus side is this meant I got to test a final production NEX-5 running the latest firmware - and this also gave me a chance to test the new 3D capabilities. Suffice it to say I've also provided a detailed report on the HHT and AMB modes.

I should also note I've spent several weeks exclusively testing the NEX-5 and writing this report, because the more I used it, the more I felt it was one of the most important and exciting cameras I've tested. Indeed what started as a brief report has turned into the longest and most detailed review I've written to date - it's over 20,000 words long.

Yep, that's right, I actually liked it. This is in some contrast to some other reports you'll have read. This could be due to a variety of factors.

Initially I did find it frustrating to use, but as I completed my tests and started using it as a normal photographer, I found it quite usable. What's frustrating for camera reviewers when they're testing might not be as frustrating during normal use for many photographers. Now don't get me wrong, it may not suit everyone, but the laborious user interface may not be as bad as you think. See my review for full details.

Some reports have been with early samples, running older firmware. My sample was final production, updated to firmware version 2.

Maybe I also got on with it because I was a previous owner of several Sony F-series Cyber-shots, so the unique L shape felt familiar.

Either way I really enjoyed my time with the NEX-5. Check out my review for the full sotry - and please do take the time to read it all because many of the comments you may have heard or read about it have been addressed throughout.

Let me know what you think,

Gordon


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:11 pm 
Amazing little thing, It would make a great throw around camera where a DSLR is impractical.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:00 pm 
As always, great review!

You actually make me want to own those cameras, even though I already use an EP-2. What to do, what to do...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:51 am 
Hi Gordon, quick question for you.

You say that
Quote:
Unlike many cameras which degrade their output over HDMI once recording starts, the NEX-5 impressively outputs a Full HD image while recording

However, is it possible to get rid out the menus on the HDMI output and just get a clean video feed?
That would make the NEX cameras super useful if you have an HDMI capture device for things like video live streaming, something I know quite a few people are interested in.

Cheers


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:29 am 
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Great review Gordon, thanks.
It gives a good image of what it's like. I really appreciate the photographers impression that comes out of you review. I've read many reviews, not only about cameras, that give the reader all the technical data and clever ratings but lack the important information about the real life, day to day use.
I was always attracted by technology and wonderful gear, but now, after 55 years, maturity starts creeping in, and I won't be attracted so easily by a wonderful piece of equipment, full of features and new gadgetry, that in casual use, won't bring anything useful for me.
Your review placed this new Sony in its place very well, and pointed out exactly what I wanted to know. I think it's an amazing piece of kit, but for me it's too good and large to use instead of my compact (its main feature is that I can put it in my trouser pocket), and not enough to replace my DSLR. But if my daughter will ever want to take more serious pictures than her giggling girlfriends' shots, I'll certainly get her this one.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:53 am 
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Another thought.
If I'll stop dreaming about an M9 and land my feet on solid ground, I think it would be a nice camera for street photography.

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Canon PowerShot S100
Canon 50D , SIGMA 10-20 f3.5 ,Canon EF 24-105 L IS USM, Canon EF 100/2.8 macro Canon EF 50/1.4 ,Canon EF 85 f1.8,Canon EF-S17-85 4-5.6 Old Tamron 28-300 inherited from my Canon Rebel G film camera
Canon580EXII
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 12:49 pm 
Gordon, let me add my kudos to the others. A very well done evaluation. You expressed more accurately than any other how I feel about the camera. It's not my best camera, but quickly becoming my favorite one.

Tom


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:00 pm 
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Thanks for your comments everyone.

Once again, the more I use the NEX as a normal photographer, the more I like it.

PS - thelostswede, that's a very good point. Unfortunately once you press the record button, there's no display view that's 100% clean. The minimum information displayed is the word REC in red, the recording elapsed time and the framing guides for less wide aspect ratios. If you're using compensation, that'll be displayed too.

So the screen shot here is what you'll see as a minimum, minus the exposure compensation.

Image

So it's ok for use as a monitor, but not for recording the HDMI output.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:03 am 
Thanks and that's a real shame, fingers crossed for a fix in a future firmware upgrade, but not having any big hopes for it.
There doesn't seem to be any consumer level camera/camcorder on the market that can output via HDMI without on-screen displays which is a real shame, especially as HDMI capture cards are starting to become quite affordable.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 3:42 pm 
Hi folks,

I'm an Alpha user, but last year recommended a D90 to a family member. They're delighted with that and HD video (although it pains me that they don't learn how to use it properly), but my in-laws now want me to advise them about a camera.

I'm also considering getting one of these, but would like to know if anybody knows the following.....

Does the shutter release work like a compact, or is it an instant photo like a standard DSLR????

this is a must for me. Compacts do my head in with shutter lag.

Of course, I'll be checking this out in the shop soon, but just wanted to know about that and any other experiences NEX owners may have.

Mike


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 4:10 pm 
Mike,
Shutter lag is caused by the time it takes the camera to focus. If you prefocus and wait for focus lock confirmation with the NEX (half press of the shutter release button), the shutter will release instantly when the release button is fully depressed.

The NEX has a contrast detection focus system which is similar to point and shoot cameras and can take longer to lock focus than the phase detection system found in DSLR. Low contrast scenes can slow focus even more.

If you regularly take shots without pre-focusing, you will experience a delay to some degree. Action photography is not the best use for the NEX.

All that said, I haven't found it to be much of a problem for how I shoot.

Tom


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:56 pm 
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Tom's right that the NEX isn't quite as quick as a traditional fast DSLR, but I still found it very responsive in use and fine for some action sequences as you can see in my review. It's certainly quicker than typical point-and-shoot compacts.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:37 pm 
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To randomly jump in here, I quickly checked out the NEX when waiting at the airport earlier this week. I have to say in real life, the kit zoom doesn't look as big as it does in pictures. The body did look quite tiny compared to m4/3. I didn't get to hold it though, as it was tied down by security devices and I didn't fancy communicating with the brain dead. If it gets more interesting lenses (fast pancakes) then I might even switch from the E-P1.

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Lenses: EF 35/2, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 10-18, 15-85
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 50/1.4A, 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS
Compacts: Sony HX9V, Fuji X100.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 7:18 am 
I got to hold a NEX3 recently, but not the NEX5 (which was not in yet).

I actually did not like the tactile sensation of holding the metal lens. The metal, and the fine grooves, were not pleasant to my fingertips in some way that I can't quite place. Maybe the fine grooves reminded me, subconsciously, of a fingernail clipper's nail file! Yes I think that's it!

Not a deal-breaker. But I have to keep reminding myself I want a small camera, and by small I mean smaller than the A55V...


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