Monday, December 13, 2010

The NEX Factor

So I couldn't resist, and bought an NEX-5 this Sunday with the 18-55mm kit lens.  I also got the 16mm f2.8 pancake since Henry's has a 1/2 price special on it when buying the NEX-5 zoom kit.  Unfortunately, the 16mm is back ordered and I won't get it for a few more days.

So what made me buy the NEX?

Three things:

1.  Very short flange focal distance of 18mm.  This essentially allows you to use pretty much any photographic lenses on this camera, including range finder lenses.

2.  Larger APS-C sensor.  As much as I like the Panasonic G1, getting wide angle for it, even a 24mm equivalent is expensive.

3.  Hopefully better image quality.  Sadly, the first few images I have taken haven't given me this impression.  In fact, the image quality reminds me of the Canon 7D/T2i.  OK, not a fair evaluation with only about 10 images.

The camera is very small.  Much smaller than I thought.  The large zoom kit lens makes it look even smaller.  However, it's not uncomfortable to hold.  Not as nice as the G1 though.  As the camera was designed for digicam upgraders, its UI definitely takes some getting used to.  Luckily, Aperture Priority is pretty much all I have used.  The screen is definitely better than the G1 screen.  Very sharp and vibrant.

Like the G1, this camera will be mostly used with manual focus lenses.  I have ordered a Canon FD, Canon EF (since I have a large number of adapters for EF mount), and C-Mount adapters.  I have a Kern-Pillard Switar 50mm f1.4 cine lens, as well as the JML 50mm f0.95 TV lens, which I could not use on the G1 due to their very large lens barrel.  I am hoping it will fit the NEX.  The image circle should be large enough on the APS-C sensor, but I will have to see after the adapter arrives.

I am a little excited about the NEX.  Hopefully I will find the image quality good enough to keep it.

Christmas Tree -- NEX-5 with 18-55mm kit. ISO 1600. Click to enlarge.


  1. excellent ... a pace car :-)

    I'll be watching this space with interest. I've considered the GF-1 but wondered about the NEX too. The above image (while small(yes I clicked)) gives a good impression of noise at 1600 ... seems better than the G1


  2. obakesan, I kinda like the NEX-5 better. Yes the high ISO is better on the NEX-5, especially 800 or higher. I can't wait for my manual focus lens adapters to try it out and see how easy/hard it is to use.