Free Shipping on ALL Products
camera reviewsbest cameraslens reviewsphotography tipscamera forumvideo toursphotography bookssupport me
It is currently Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:48 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:21 am 
So I have a 60D, but I'd like to have something in addition to it that I can stash in the side pocket of my camera bag, or take to places where I can't take a DSLR.

Here's my criteria:
    - Fixed lens (zoom or prime) or pancake lens that at least has an EFL within the "standard" range (35-50mm)
    - Fast lens (at f/2.8 or faster; preferably f/2.0 or faster)
    - Optical or electronic viewfinder
    - Large sensor, preferably APS-C
    - Relatively compact body
    - Reasonably fast autofocus (or at least good manual focus)

Right now, #1 on my list is the Fujifilm X100 because it seems to fit most of my criteria (and i love the styling), but I handled one in the store, and I hated the rear controls. And I forgot to try it when I was in the store, but I've heard it's not very good at autofocusing, and that its manual focus is frustrating. Plus, it's expensive!

I'm also considering the NEX-5N w/ EVF or NEX-7 if someone can suggest a good pancake lens for it. The upcoming RX100 is another possibility, but it has no VF, a smaller sensor, and a little slow on the long end of its zoom.

The G1 X was originally my #1, but its lens is a little slow compared to my other choices, and it's pretty big.

I might also be tempted by the POSSIBLE Canon mirrorless I've heard rumors about.


Top
  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:55 am 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:30 pm
Posts: 9816
Location: UK
Hi locke42,

May I wish you a warm welcome to the CameraLabs forum.

Having recently sold my Canon 5D2 plus a good selection of "L" glass in favour of an Olympus OM-D E-M5 you can guess what my suggestion would be! When fitted with the Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm lens it handily fits in a large trouser or coat pocket and there is a great selection of glass available. I did seriously consider the NEX-7 as well but the lack of a decent lens system plus corner softness with what wide-angle options are available dissuaded me.

The CameraLabs review will tell you all you need to know about the E-M5 but I'd like to emphasise one point - it is much smaller than you'd think when looking at the photos. Try and get down to a store and have a fondle to see what I mean but be warned, fondling may seriously dent your bank balance! :twisted:

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:42 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 820
Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
The M4:3 and Fuji options are both very good choices for various reasons, as are the Sony NEX options...you won't go wrong with any of them. Certainly the RX100 looks like a great option if compactness is priority #1, and you can go without a viewfinder. I personally went with a NEX-5N as a second lightweight body to my DSLR and have been very pleased with the choice. I also wanted the APS-C sensor, and a relatively compact option, plus did prefer to have a viewfinder...though the NEX-5N's viewfinder adds on the top, it's very convenient in use and offers good resolution, and if I really need to go compact, I can take it off and go without...so it's a nice flexible option for me rather than going with a larger camera body that has it built in (ie: NEX7). The size and weight of the NEX is nothing compared to my DSLR, and even with the 18-55mm kit lens it's small and light enough to get in a jacket pocket, hang on a belt holster or pouch, or slip unobtrusively in a small camera bag or ride alongside my DSLR. It has a pancake option (16mm) and another small lens option or two (Sigma 30mm F2.8) which are smaller than the kit, though I don't have any of those myself. I love the tilting LCD option when I do go without the EVF, as it allows a comfortable waist-level shooting style which is good for slow shutter handheld work, and I love the 6-image-stacking mode for really high ISO low light handheld work.

You won't go wrong with any of these options, so shop around, handle them, and see how they work for you. You might find one particularly comfortable, or find some key feature that one of them has that you prefer.

_________________
Justin Miller
Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

Galleries:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:55 pm 
Thanks, both of you!

Bob:
The Olympus looks good. With the lens, it's a little on the pricier side, even compared to the X100, but it's still tempting. That lens is a little on the slow side, though. Do you have a suggestion for a fast prime in that same EFL? I'm not too concerned with having a zoom lens; the main purpose of this camera is to use for personal group shots while my DSLRs is busy taking long exposures, and to take into museums and bars where large cameras would be frowned upon. As long as it's compact enough to fit into a coat pocket and has a lens fast enough to take shots in low light, it should be fine.

zackiedawg:
What lenses would you suggest for the NEX-5N? I'm perfectly happy with the body, but I'm pretty specific on the lens: standard equivalent focal length, compact, and as fast as possible. That Sigma 30mm looks like an option, but I'm guessing that needs an adapter? I'm curious, are there adapters that would allow Canon lenses to work on the NEX series? Because that would make the decision very easy.


Top
  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:35 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:30 pm
Posts: 9816
Location: UK
.
Check out my thread m4/3 Lens Choices. There are some useful suggestions from other forum members. Sigma have also announced a couple of primes for m4/3rds.

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:01 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 820
Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
locke42 wrote:
What lenses would you suggest for the NEX-5N? I'm perfectly happy with the body, but I'm pretty specific on the lens: standard equivalent focal length, compact, and as fast as possible. That Sigma 30mm looks like an option, but I'm guessing that needs an adapter? I'm curious, are there adapters that would allow Canon lenses to work on the NEX series? Because that would make the decision very easy.


Actually, the Sigma 30mm F2.8 is an eMount lens - no adapters needed, and has full functionality including autofocus. Sigma designed two lenses so far for the eMount (NEX) line: the 30mm F2.8 and a 19mm. It's not superfast, but it's quite sharp, smaller than the kit lens in size, and not expensive. On the faster end, there are two Sony eMount lenses: the relatively inexpensive 50mm F1.8, which might be a bit longer focal equivalent than you wanted, and the Zeiss 24mm F1.8 which should be lovely and right in the focal range you want, but is rather pricey so not an option if you're looking on a budget.

On the adapter side, there are three different courses you can take with the NEX. Adapter #1 is the larger, expensive Sony LA-EA2, which is a full phase-detect autofocus converter that allows you to use any Sony/Minolta Alpha mount lens on the NEX...it has a translucent mirror and full phase detect AF built into the adapter. It's pricey and chunky, but opens up the entire Alpha lens lineup since 1986, with plenty of fast prime options. Adapter #2 is the smaller Sony LA-EA1, which also accepts Alpha mount lenses but without the phase-detect AF module and without a screw drive...so autufocus would only be possible on SAM/SSM Sony lenses, with any other being manual focus only. This would still put a few fast Sony Alpha primes on the table, including the Sony SAL-35mm F1.8.

The cheaper option is to go with Adapter #3 - which covers all the manual lens adapters for any and all mounts...all of which would require manual focus. Obviously this opens up hundreds of fast primes in every budget from $5 and up...but requires manual focus on your part, and also manual aperture rings on the lens. If you decide to look at newer more modern lenses that don't have aperture rings, there are some adapters made which have aperture adjustment rings built into the adapter that can allow these lenses to be used. There are several Canon EF mount adapters available which will give you aperture control on the adapter. And there's even a new adapter for Canon EF lenses that can allow the camera body of the NEX to control aperture and IS functionality, though it's got a waiting list and is not cheap:
http://www.metabones.com/sony/buy-eos-n ... gory_id=13

The 'dumb' adapters with aperture control ring would be much cheaper and could be a passable option if you could live without autofocus. Though once you are getting into manual focus, there are so many excellent lenses that can be found super-cheap, and can be used on the NEX with $20 adapter rings, that you don't have to worry about sticking to a current brand. Some of my favorite manual lenses I picked up for under $10, including Pentax, Chinon, Soligor, Vivitar, and Konica. For low light, my current go-to lens for both fast aperture and for compact size is the Konica Hexanon 40mm F1.8, which with the Konica K/AR adapter mounted on the NEX, is a smidge smaller than the kit lens.

_________________
Justin Miller
Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

Galleries:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:30 pm 
I might not be reading your post in its entirety (that's a lot of information!), but did you mention what "Adapter #3" was? I'm assuming you mean the $20 adapters that only allow for manual focus.


Top
  
 
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 820
Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
Yep - option 3 would be any of the simple adapters (more like spacer rings really) that go for $15-50 or so, and can adapt whatever manual mount you want. I've got 2 - for Pentax K mount and Konica K/AR mount.

_________________
Justin Miller
Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

Galleries:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:13 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:30 pm
Posts: 9816
Location: UK
.
This may be of relevance to the discussion as, while it is ostensibly an OM-D E-M5 review, it draws a number of direct comparisons between the E-M5 and NEX-7 written by a photographer who already has a deal of experience with the latter.

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:59 am 
What does everyone here think of the Fuji X10?

It and the Canon G1 X have sorta started to stand out because of their relatively low price (~$500-600), high IQ, and relative compactness. The OM-D E-M5 is just a little too expensive. The X100 is also probably too expensive unless I can get one used.


Top
  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:03 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 820
Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
Both fine cameras in their own right...depending on what you're looking for though. For ME, and judging by what type of camera you seemed to indicate you were looking for...I'd personally think the Fuji X10 would be going to too small a sensor. It's quite good for a small sensor, but not going to handle the real low light stuff quite as well. The G1X sensor is excellent, but for me I think the body is too bulky and large...more like that of a superzoom camera. If compactness including pocketability is not a concern at all, then I can't see if you are going with a larger body not just going for a NEX or OM-D and get the additional advantage of a growing lens system. The X100 would certainly meet the low light standards with an excellent sensor, though only you could tell if you'd feel limited or restricted with a relatively wide fixed lens only. I'm not personally in the market for any of these cameras myself - my DSLR and NEX are a great two-body combo and pocketability isn't something I really need - but I still think if I were in your shoes, where compactness, portability, and still good low light capability are paramount, that the RX100 might be the best looking package - bigger sensor, very fast lens, RAW capability, stabilized, image-stacking in-camera for high ISO work, zoom lens with some variable range, and still pocketable.

_________________
Justin Miller
Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

Galleries:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:33 pm 
Quote:
For ME, and judging by what type of camera you seemed to indicate you were looking for...I'd personally think the Fuji X10 would be going to too small a sensor. It's quite good for a small sensor, but not going to handle the real low light stuff quite as well.

Well, I've been looking at the noise comparisons at high ISOs, and the X10 seems to do favorably well. The reason I came back to it was because its lens is much faster than the G1X or the RX100 at the long end, which should offset its small sensor disadvantage. Sure, I can't really get shallow DOF, but I can't do that with the G1X or RX100 either, but at the same time, sometimes I don't want to. I'd like to use this thing mainly for street photography, and even at f/2 the X10's hyperfocal range is really short. On top of that, I've heard good things about the Fuji X-cameras' JPEGs. I like shooting RAW with my DSLR, but in this case I really do want something that requires minimal hassle. Having manual exposure is good, but for a travel camera that will accumulate thousands of shots, I don't really want to be doing post processing on it. That's why I'm leaning more to the X10. Plus, it's the cheapest option.

I'm really curious to see the f-stop progression on the RX100. One of the reasons the G1X is dropping on my list compared to the X10 is because its fastest f-ratio in the middle focal lengths where I'm most likely to use it is pretty mediocre, only f/3.5 or f/4. I'm wondering if the RX100 is similar.

Quote:
The G1X sensor is excellent, but for me I think the body is too bulky and large...more like that of a superzoom camera. If compactness including pocketability is not a concern at all, then I can't see if you are going with a larger body not just going for a NEX or OM-D and get the additional advantage of a growing lens system.

The issue is price. The G1X is only $700 on Amazon. The NEX-5N body alone is about the same price as the G1X. And the OM-D E-M5 is $1,000 for the body alone. I'd love the NEX-5N, but any lens I get for it won't have the same range as the G1X, will likely be much bigger, and make it much more expensive.

But, as I said, right now the G1X is #2 behind the X10.

Quote:
The X100 would certainly meet the low light standards with an excellent sensor, though only you could tell if you'd feel limited or restricted with a relatively wide fixed lens only.

Yeah, I think my fascination with the X100 is mostly for its novelty. There's no doubt it takes amazing pictures, though. It seems like it would be the best option for street photography. In that sense, it's not really in the same race as the other options I've mentioned. With the G1X, X10, and RX100, I'm looking for a general purpose camera that can take the same range shots as my DSLR (60D w/ 24-136mm EFL), just more portably. With the X100, I'd be getting it as a camera that does a few things really, really well.

Anyway, I'm still torn.


Top
  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 820
Location: Boca Raton, FL, USA
I'm with you on that - in fact, I credit the X100 for being the reason I got into the NEX. I was happy with a tiny pocket camera and a DSLR as my 'two camera' setup...if it needed to be good, bring the DSLR, otherwise the P&S can get the emergency stuff when you just wish you had a camera on you. I didn't think I needed an in-between sized system, and was not interested in the M4:3 or NEX when they were introduced. It was when the Fuji X100 debuted that I found myself really drawn in - the classic rangefinder look, the excellent high ISO results, the controls...it had me just minutes away from buying. But the doubt crept in when I started thinking about focal length...while I do shoot plenty in the standard focal range, I just didn't know that I'd be happy in the end having ONLY that focal available to me, and never another. So I started considering whether I should look at some of the mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras again. Fortunately, Sony was coming out with a firmware fix at the time that addressed my biggest dislike - the menu system. Once I saw that it would allow user-programmable external buttons, and the APS-C sensor wasn't too far off the Fuji at higher ISOs, the fact that I could get into the NEX system for far less money than the X100 is what finally drew me over to the NEX3. Since then, I upgraded to the NEX-5N to get that better sensor and finally that X100-style high ISO result, but still with the ability to change lenses and have variable focal lengths.

In the end, I pretty much relegated the P&S camera to the closet storage - I just don't ever use it anymore. This has helped me see that I just don't really have a need for a 'pocketable' camera - though if I did, surely the RX100 looks tempting. I can't say I know enough about the Fuji X10, other than seeing some fine shots shared by others with it...though most seem to comment that it's not up to the low light capabilities of the larger sensor cameras. I'd presume it's solidly in the realm of the Panny LX and Canon S100 smaller sensor cameras with fast lenses. Between the 3, the Fuji might be my choice if I were looking. But that bigger RX sensor would draw me that direction over the Fuji.

You're right that no single NEX lens will match the G1X range, at least now or for the foreseeable future. I think the selling point would be the expandability of the NEX system, in buying new or different lenses when you're looking for an upgrade or more range...but certainly you're right that this will challenge the budget quite a bit. If the G1X body isn't too big for you, and if you don't need faster performance for your type of shooting, the G1X certainly looks to have a very nice sensor in it, and performs admirably well in low light/high ISO...moreso even than the X10. The X10 counterbalances that with a more compact package, and a lower price, and still respectable performance for most basic photographic needs.

Tough call!

_________________
Justin Miller
Sony DSLR-A580 / Sony 18-250mm / Minolta 50mm F1.7 / Sigma 30mm F1.4 / Tamron 10-24mm / Tamron 150-600mm / Tamron 90mm F2.8 macro / Minolta 300mm F4 APO
Sony A6000 / 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 / 55-210mm F4-6.3 / 10-18mm F4 / 35mm F1.8 / 16mm F2.8 / via manual adapter, lots of Pentax K mount, Konica K/AR mount, and Leica M mount manual lenses

Galleries:
http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2012 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.
/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs

Webdesign by Alphabase IT
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group