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Thread: DP review of Sony Nex5

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    DP review of Sony Nex5

    This rather lukewarm review mirrors the other early reviews. What I find interesting is the lack of an appreciable difference in either dynamic range, or quality of high ISO images when compared to m 4/3,

    For years we have heard that the conventional 4/3 system was inferior to the APS-C cameras primarily because of the smaller sensor (other aspects like CPU, and the width of the internal pipeline are also different). It seems, that perhaps some of the earlier observations of the deficiencies of the 4/3 system were based on parts of the system other than pixel size??

    However. now with direct comparisons to APS-C sensor (Sony NEX5, and Samsung NX-10) to m 4/3, there appears to be a lack of real difference. How did the m 4/3 get to be so good, or the APS_C bodies to be so "bad" to minimize the aforementioned benefits of the larger sensor???

    What do you think???

    Martin

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin S View Post

    For years we have heard that the conventional 4/3 system was inferior to the APS-C cameras primarily because of the smaller sensor (other aspects like CPU, and the width of the internal pipeline are also different). It seems, that perhaps some of the earlier observations of the deficiencies of the 4/3 system were based on parts of the system other than pixel size??



    Martin

    That, Martin, sort of gives the wrong idea. Auto focus, high ISO capability, overall better image quality are still lacking in m4/3rds (G1) realtive to some APS-C SLRs (Nikon, various cams), IME.

    If it isn't for the swivel TFT screen, the fabulous EVF and the adaptability of various esoteric lenses (especially the fast variety), I would not continue to be enchanted with (and using) the G1, despite its shortcomings.

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Vivek

    Thanks for replying.

    Since u have NX-10, u are in a great position to compare the DR, and high ISO qualities of each system. Let's leave out the focus issues and compare these two sensor size related qualities.

    My question is is there much difference between on the two systems (DR, and high ISO quality), based on the sensor size only???

    All of the comparisons that I have seen have indicated that there are pretty similar.

    Your observations please, and anyone else who cares to comment.

    Martin

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Martin, On that question (albeit my experience with the NX10 is very limited because the cam is just so difficult to use compared to a G1)-

    The active pixel area in NX10 sensor is pretty (5 micron) close to that of the corresponding one in m4/3rds sensor while the NMOS sensor has much better
    response (IMV) compared to the CMOS of Samsung (despite the advances they claim).

    This is why I am so very eagerly looking forward to a Panasonic G3 with an improved sensor.

    The NX10, to say the least, is a big disappointment.

    I really have no idea what to do with it. I tried dumping it on the family members but alas, no takers.

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Is the G2 sensor significantly improved??

    Is the signal pipeline 4 channel instead of 2??

    Any real data about the sensor itself??

    Martin

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin S View Post
    Is the G2 sensor significantly improved??

    Is the signal pipeline 4 channel instead of 2??

    Any real data about the sensor itself??

    Martin
    Good questions, Martin!

    I feel that Panasonic should address such questions. They ought to put some info on their website or something like that instead of letting entities and individuals opining on such matters freely.


    (Everyone knows by now that the touch screen is new and novel... for the m4/3rds..)

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Well the Sony review seems to bear out what the specs implied, that it was a magnificently tiny camera with big lenses, that the interface was innovative enough to be nearly useless, and that the image quality is only very slightly better than m4/3.
    Maybe the Nex 7 will be different (but the lenses will still be too big, and for final quality, the sensor will still be too small).
    To my mind m4/3 represents a splendid compromise, APS-C loses the advantages of small, without really gaining the advantages of BIG. Mind you I'd still like to see a tiny system based around a 2/3 sensor (the size of the one in the olympus e10)

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Mind you I'd still like to see a tiny system based around a 2/3 sensor (the size of the one in the olympus e10)
    I had forgotten the size of that sensor, Jono. For all it's quirks and faults still one of my favorite digitals-- the E10 that is.

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Quote Originally Posted by Diane B View Post
    I had forgotten the size of that sensor, Jono. For all it's quirks and faults still one of my favorite digitals-- the E10 that is.
    HI Diane
    Exactly, and with today's sensor developments. Truth is there is a huge difference between the 4/3 sensor and the next smaller one (look at the pixel density stats on dpreview). I reckon a 12mp 2.3 sensor would be an excellent compromise (and let's face it, everything is some sort of a compromise).

    Mind you, the 'feel' of that sensor translated to the E1 . . and then to the M8 and M9 which still use Kodak CCD sensors.

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    E10
    well that takes me right back a bunch of years
    funny I guess I'm part of a group that seems to have a soft spot for the E-10 and E-20.
    Sorry don't mean to take this Off Topic.
    am

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Martin
    Great observation. Nex5's image quality is killed by its intended market..and together with Nx10, there must be a huge room for improvement. The image processors need to be reengineered.

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Quote Originally Posted by Diane B View Post
    I had forgotten the size of that sensor, Jono. For all it's quirks and faults still one of my favorite digitals-- the E10 that is.
    the problem for me is that if I'm going to be lumbered with a larger style body then I'd rather not have a 2/3 sensor. My Nikon CP5000 has a 2/3 sensor and succeeds in being about as compact as GF1. Its true the per pixel density has improved, and my CP5000 had 5 megapixels. I'm not sure if I'd like more, but it would be nice to have a good 2/3 sensor if it was in a compact and robust body. You can see it here compared to my 10D



    however despite the 5 vs 6 MP of the Nikon CP 5000 vs 10D there is a substantial difference in image feel created by the smaller sensor. To be honest it makes pictures look more like snapshot cameras, despite having control over aperture and shutter. As the smaller sensor works well in close up to give better depth of field it works to make everything in focus (no blurred backgrounds) when things are at portrait distances.

    So if you like 85~100mm focal length on a full frame for portrait then you'll be disappointed using the same angle of view and shooting distance on the 2/3 camera.


    The 5000 btw was a fully magnesium body and you can just about hammer tent pegs in with it (as long as its soft ground).

    ;-)

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Martin

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin S View Post
    This rather lukewarm review mirrors the other early reviews. What I find interesting is the lack of an appreciable difference in either dynamic range, or quality of high ISO images when compared to m 4/3,
    sure ... old news really ... I don't know why but for some reason people seem to be hung up on comparing a 4/3 sensor camera in a NON SLR body to a APS-C sensor in a SLR body

    when the mirror flops up its all the same really

    The size difference is not really as significant as people mention, unlike say the difference between full frame and 4/3



    there is hardly enough area change there to make more than a dB or so in signal I'd expect

    Compare some results on dpreview ... eg




    not much in it ...

    For years we have heard that the conventional 4/3 system was inferior to the APS-C cameras primarily because of the smaller sensor (other aspects
    as I've just mentioned above the real gap in sensor size is not any significant amount ... nipping around the edges, thus its likely to be a classic case of don't believe everything you hear. If you do some reading, look at the data that is presented in sites like dpreview you can build your own picture ... rather than be told by marketing departments and sprukers on forums extolling one system over another without any real evidence.

    my opinion is that its primarily due to the impressions of the tiddly little optical finder and the lower signal processing that Oly used (canon no doubt have some cunning stuff happening in there)

    there appears to be a lack of real difference. How did the m 4/3 get to be so good, or the APS_C bodies to be so "bad" to minimize the aforementioned benefits of the larger sensor???

    my view is that you go full frame for image benefits such as shallower depth of field and higher contrast at shallower depth of field and 4/3 for fairly much everything else.

    Optical SLR systems still have some advantages, and being able to parallel process (via different sub systems) focus - exposure - display of the image will have some advantages in AF speed for some time to come. I think that any of the optical SLR cameras (say, Olympus E-3 with SWD lens or Canon EOS with USM lenses) will be better for fast AF and being able to do fast follow focus (tracking) of subjects in sport for some time yet.
    Last edited by pellicle; 18th June 2010 at 16:11.

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Size diff between APS and 4/3rds doesn't seem large, but it is nearly 2x the surface area and it has had a marked effect on high ISO performance with the top APS sensors being noticeably superior to any 4/3rds sensors. Having said that, the Dpreview review of the NEX5 was, IMO, a bit of a white-wash because they failed to mention the terrible 16mm lens that makes it unacceptable to use on the camera. I would LOVE someone to try a conventional lens on a NEX camera, Hell, TAPE it to the body just to find out what the sensor is really capable of.

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    You only need to look at Imaging Resource's comparator test shots where they used an Alpha lens with the camera for their test shots. The superiority is very visible and evident in favor of the NEX 5. See image below at ISO 3200, EPL-1 to the left and NEX 5 to the right. The second comparison, also at ISO 3200 is the Panasonic G2 on the left and the NEX 5 on the right.
    Last edited by barjohn; 26th June 2010 at 22:28.
    V/r John

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Having owned a G1, a GF1 and a Ricoh GXR-A12, I can tell you first hand there is a significant image quality difference in favor of the larger sensor. Under the right conditions, they all produce excellent images; however, when the lighting gets difficult the bigger sensor wins.
    V/r John

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Barjohn:

    Which Alpha lens did IR use in the comparison???

    There is a real improvement in that comparison.

    Only problem using an Alpha lens on a NEX, besides a size differential, is that the Alpha lenses have no built in IS.

    Martin

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Quote Originally Posted by barjohn View Post
    Having owned a G1, a GF1 and a Ricoh GXR-A12, I can tell you first hand there is a significant image quality difference in favor of the larger sensor. Under the right conditions, they all produce excellent images; however, when the lighting gets difficult the bigger sensor wins.

    If that is the case, how come my NX10 still has <500 actuations?

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Martin, I made an error, the lens they used was: "The Sony NEX-5, Nikon and Canon used our laboratory-standard Sigma 70mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro lenses, which are very sharp."

    Vivek, It was a generalization. There are always exceptions to every rule. Every image I say posted on the NX10 seemed sub par to me. They (Samsung) used a heavy hand on noise reduction and a heavy anti-alias filter making for a very unpleasing look to me.
    V/r John

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Just returned from B&H. The Sony rep was there, and he had an NEX5.

    Nice package. Great LCD.

    Small body with large lens. GUI was as described previously.

    Now, we need real reviews to see about IQ. (Maybe better lenses,Zeiss??).

    Still unavailable here, probably deliveries early July. Sales person said they have many pre-orders.

    Martin

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin S View Post
    Just returned from B&H. The Sony rep was there, and he had an NEX5.

    Nice package. Great LCD.

    Small body with large lens. GUI was as described previously.

    Now, we need real reviews to see about IQ. (Maybe better lenses,Zeiss??).

    Still unavailable here, probably deliveries early July. Sales person said they have many pre-orders.

    Martin
    The 16mm is a write-off. The kit lens reminds me roughly of the quality of Canon's old 18-55mm, so it's middle-road. What they need are new, more expensive primes (expensive because you cannot build a good 16mm "DX" lens and sell it for $250) and some adapters to use existing manual lenses.

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Rayqual announced adapters but at stupid initial prices ($200 plus). We do know how that movie ends. A little patience will needed.

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Quote Originally Posted by RichA View Post
    The 16mm is a write-off. The kit lens reminds me roughly of the quality of Canon's old 18-55mm, so it's middle-road. What they need are new, more expensive primes (expensive because you cannot build a good 16mm "DX" lens and sell it for $250) and some adapters to use existing manual lenses.
    I've handled Nex5 with 16mm yesterday. It is pretty nice in manual mode, with known limitation regarding ISO settings. It fits in hand very good, and 16mm is, physically, nice match. I also like 24mm FOV on the camera, but I've taken few snaps (on my card), and although I can not open RAW, only JPG, quality of 16mm is not even near close to pana 20/1.7 (yes, I know it is actually 40 vs 24, but pictures from pana 20 look much much better).

    I'm only interested in image quality with legacy glass, since 1,5x is much better than 2x for some of my lenses - for example, leica 35 in M mount becomes normal lens from short telepohoto. If the quality turns good, i can live with all limitations.

    Hrvoje

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    hsertic:

    The high ISO issues with the 16mm - are they the same issues that barjohn posted, or are there additional issues with that lens??

    Agree that Sony needs some higher quality lenses. I hope that the Sony marketing plan, of P+S shooters conversion to a more advanced camera, doesn't conflict with better (more $$) lenses.

    Martin

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Would it make sense to consider using the Alpha lens adapter, and the 30mm Sony Macro lens????


    Martin

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Martin, I would not think so.

    Here is why-

    1. The adapter is more expensive than the lens.

    2. Not that fast and possibly will not AF (even if it would it would be slow because of CDAF).

    3. Many 30-40mm (manual focus) fast lenses that can be adapted for the NEXs are there.

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI Diane
    Exactly, and with today's sensor developments. Truth is there is a huge difference between the 4/3 sensor and the next smaller one (look at the pixel density stats on dpreview). I reckon a 12mp 2.3 sensor would be an excellent compromise (and let's face it, everything is some sort of a compromise).

    Mind you, the 'feel' of that sensor translated to the E1 . . and then to the M8 and M9 which still use Kodak CCD sensors.
    I had an idea of making my own with an F30 and a pentax 110 SLR, the sensor size is quite close to 2/3" and outruns it for noise control. The F30 chassis wouldnt quite fit so I downgraded to an F20, the whole shebang can fit within an extended Pentax body utilising what used to be the motor drive.

    the project fell over when I couldnt engineer a way to lift the mirror when firing the shutter. Its possible that an EVF type 2/3" camera might be easier to convert in that way

    nevertheless, this is a representation of how the IC lens SLR would look


    and the F30 chassis next to the 110 mirrorbox/OVF

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Thanks Vivek for the comments.

    The price for an adapter will go down.

    I don't know if the NEX 5 has any easily accessed viewfinder magnification control that would assist MF??

    Martin

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin S View Post
    hsertic:

    The high ISO issues with the 16mm - are they the same issues that barjohn posted, or are there additional issues with that lens??

    Agree that Sony needs some higher quality lenses. I hope that the Sony marketing plan, of P+S shooters conversion to a more advanced camera, doesn't conflict with better (more $$) lenses.

    Martin
    I've taken a few snaps with 16mm at ISO 800 and F2.8 with both RAW and JPEG files - Although I can not opet RAW's, JPEG's look much worse than images taken with G1 and 20/1.7. There is much less contrast, borders of the frame look blurred (known issues, but I thought they were resolved), and per pixel sharpness is also worse than images from G1.

    To me, NEX looks like a great concept, and I would buy immediately if the quality of 16mm lens is close to Pana20. I do not see user interface as extremely bad, since I'm almost always using A or M mode, and it is not a problem to adjust shutter and aperture. For ISO change menu must be used, but with rotary controler it can be done pretty fast. Compared to G1, camera is significantly smaller, but it fits in hand very good.

    Hope this helps,

    Hrvoje

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Is there a VF magnifier command for assistance in focussing MF lenses???

    Martin

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    I just received my NEX 5 with 18-55 lens and the LCD goes into magnifier 7x mode if you select the option for auto with MF and turn the focus ring on the lens and can be further magnified to 14x. I haven't yet tried full manual mode so I can't comment on that. The LCD is the best I have seen so far. When set to daylight mode you can clearly see it and compose including MF even in bright Southern California sunlight. No other LCD I have tried comes close.

    I have been shooting a few side by side comparison shots against the GXR-A12 and the images are even sharper when the lens is set to 33 mm to match the GXR. Considering there are no profiles yet for LR 3 it looks very good with more detail which surprised me given how good the GXR is (much better than the GF1 in my opinion). So far,I have only been testing at ISO 200. Later I will try higher ISOs and low light as time permits. I am anxious to get an M lens adapter and see what it does with Leica glass. The GXR body that was smaller than the GF1 seems gigantic when next to the Sony. It is tiny. With a nice f1.8 24mm pancake it would be semi pocketable and really awesome. So far I haven't found the menu system to be as bad as DPR made it sound but it is early in my testing. It is pretty quick and easy once you learn where things are. Most of the time is spent learning the logic and once you have it things go pretty fast. I find it an easier UI to use than the OLY EP-1 with all of its buttons. The logic is pretty easy to follow and learn.
    V/r John

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Mine arrived yesterday but after a 6 hour flight delay I didn't get much time to play with it at 1AM. The body is indeed shockingly small. The exterior build quality of the lens is really very beautiful. Interior o of the lens when zoomed is plastic. Johns comments on the LCD seem spot on and so far the interface doesn't seem massively annoying. In Aperture priority changing the aperture and the EV are both simple. You do need to go into the menu for ISO. Auto ISO only goes up to 1600 and I haven't tested out the files to see what happens when I go above that. Strange that I did not see a rear cap in the box (lens comes attached ) and there is no body cap. Sony is sending a rear cap but they don't seem to have a cap for the body as a part yet (strange).

    More later.

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Terry, sounds like we were both flying yesterday. I didn't get home until 3 am. I forgot to mention the AF is very quick, much quicker than the EP-1 or GXR A12. It seems to me on par with the GF1 but maybe a tad slower. It would be hard to tell without having both cameras and measuring them. Boy in fast shoot mode it really shoots fast.

    Terry, I will be interested in your comparison shots against one or more of the m43s cameras. I will later provide GXR comparisons. Right now my wife wants to go shopping to help restore the economy single handed.
    V/r John

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    I didn't get too much accomplished today but took a few test shots. Impressed with the IQ. Decided to try out the handheld twilight multi-shot mode. This is where the camera takes a series of shots to get the right exposure but also no camera shake from slow shutter speeds. It is quite foggy tonight.

    The EXIF that shows up on LR is:
    Handheld out a window.
    55mm ISO 6400 f5.6 1/15
    Only resized.

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    This little thing seems to be wonderful. I will buy mine here in Austria finally, was in SFO this week but could not find one in the shelves of my usual shops.

    I will get a kit - NEX5, 16 and 18-55 - they offer for a very attractive price here in Austria.

    Keep posting results - really promising camera!

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Terry, was this straight from jpg? I would say an incredible iso 6400 shot. Very clean and sharp for a multi-shot image.
    V/r John

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    This little thing seems to be wonderful. I will buy mine here in Austria finally, was in SFO this week but could not find one in the shelves of my usual shops.

    I will get a kit - NEX5, 16 and 18-55 - they offer for a very attractive price here in Austria.

    Keep posting results - really promising camera!
    The only US stock seems to be with the mothership at Sonystyle.com. Disregard any pre-order notices and dates as things are shipping even if they have a later date shown. For instance the Alpha adapter says it ships on July 5 but I ordered one and it is set to ship on Monday. The only caveat is the 16mm lens which seems to be not out as a standalone lens just yet.

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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Quote Originally Posted by barjohn View Post
    Terry, was this straight from jpg? I would say an incredible iso 6400 shot. Very clean and sharp for a multi-shot image.
    That multishot in the above post is a straight from the camera jpeg.

    Below are shots from around my desk I was trying to test the min focus distance (about 10 inches), the transition to OOF areas and ISOs. Again all untouched jpegs.

    55mm ISO 1600 f7.1 1/30. This is the full image reduced.




    100% crop
    ISO 2000 18mm f3.5 1/250




    100% crop
    ISO 1000 18mm f3.5 1/30


  39. #39
    Senior Member barjohn's Avatar
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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    One thing I have just learned this morning is that there is a significant difference in the metering modes between spot, center and multi when you have a scene with high contrast. Shooting my bookcase this morning when it was pretty dark in the room except for a light wall and a photo with a white matt in the frame, the NEX in multi mode produced an image that looked pretty close to what the human eye saw. The GXR A12 in multi mode produced an image that looked much brighter than what the eye saw, almost like the central area was being illuminated. Then when I changed the NEX to center exposure it looked more like the GXR image. I also tried changing the GXR exposure setting to centered but the difference was smaller but present. I would be interested to hear what others are finding. By the way the body gets warm from that big sensor and small body to dissipate heat.
    V/r John

  40. #40
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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Starting new thread in the Sony Forum....

  41. #41
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    Re: DP review of Sony Nex5

    Quote Originally Posted by barjohn View Post
    One thing I have just learned this morning is that there is a significant difference in the metering modes between spot, center and multi when you have a scene with high contrast.
    John, It is never too late to learn anything. This is the case with any cam/any brand.

    Have fun!

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