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Thread: Tale of 2 camera extremes

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    Tale of 2 camera extremes

    Cross Posted on Sony & Pentax. NEX7 and Pentax 645D experience today:

    Today was one of those magical days here on Long Beach Island, NJ. Yesterday/Last night was stormy; typically, next day we get blue sky, with a bunch of lovely, fast moving clouds. They start over the main land, blow over the bay, reach the island and sometimes do not dissipate over the ocean (most times they do). Today was such a day. I grabbed by Pentax 645D with 35mmA, 75mmA, and 120 Macro (also manual focus version). I only used the 35mm. Camera on tripod, mirror lock up, manual exposure, circular polarizer. Mirror lock is a breeze: turn a switch on the body. Setting ISO, shutter speed and F stop likewise a breeze. I have been doing it for 55 years. I have not processed the images yet, but think I have some keepers. I also took the NEX7 with 4 lenses, but only used the Zeiss 24mm f1.8. The others stayed in the trunk of the car. I put it around my neck to make any "grab shots" that I may encounter. There were several opportunities to use it. Beautiful sky, beach, waves, and a man came along walking his tiny daughter (with a RED coat). There were several more opportunities to use the NEX. I wish I could tell you I had a good experience. I did not. First trying to view through the finder and rotate the polarizer to see the affect is impossible for a left eyed shooter. Several shots were screwed up, because I wanted to shoot at f13, and they ended up at F20 and F22...the dial changes too easy. Then several more were screwed up (happened 3 times): I grabbed a quick shot, and the ISO changed from 200 to 16,000!!! For left eyed shooters, my nose must rub the round dial on back that changes ISO. It is MUCH too free spinning. My next adventure with this camera, I plan on bringing masking tape and taping all the dials. The final problem, is that towards the end of the day, I must have turned a dial, or pushed a button that turned on the big distracting level in the viewfinder. I sat in the car for 15 minutes going through endless menues trying to turn the GD thing "off". I still have not found it.
    Thank God for my 645D and Sony A900.
    Good luck to all and good shooting!
    Dave in NJ

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    Re: Tale of 2 camera extremes

    You may have been shooting for 55 years, but I'll bet you've never encountered a camera which can be customized so extensively as the NEX-7! More than most, this is a camera where you want to check out the manual and familiarize yourself with the various user options.

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    Re: Tale of 2 camera extremes

    Quote Originally Posted by gurtch View Post
    Cross Posted on Sony & Pentax. NEX7 and Pentax 645D experience today:

    Today was one of those magical days here on Long Beach Island, NJ. Yesterday/Last night was stormy; typically, next day we get blue sky, with a bunch of lovely, fast moving clouds. They start over the main land, blow over the bay, reach the island and sometimes do not dissipate over the ocean (most times they do). Today was such a day. I grabbed by Pentax 645D with 35mmA, 75mmA, and 120 Macro (also manual focus version). I only used the 35mm. Camera on tripod, mirror lock up, manual exposure, circular polarizer. Mirror lock is a breeze: turn a switch on the body. Setting ISO, shutter speed and F stop likewise a breeze. I have been doing it for 55 years. I have not processed the images yet, but think I have some keepers. I also took the NEX7 with 4 lenses, but only used the Zeiss 24mm f1.8. The others stayed in the trunk of the car. I put it around my neck to make any "grab shots" that I may encounter. There were several opportunities to use it. Beautiful sky, beach, waves, and a man came along walking his tiny daughter (with a RED coat). There were several more opportunities to use the NEX. I wish I could tell you I had a good experience. I did not. First trying to view through the finder and rotate the polarizer to see the affect is impossible for a left eyed shooter. Several shots were screwed up, because I wanted to shoot at f13, and they ended up at F20 and F22...the dial changes too easy. Then several more were screwed up (happened 3 times): I grabbed a quick shot, and the ISO changed from 200 to 16,000!!! For left eyed shooters, my nose must rub the round dial on back that changes ISO. It is MUCH too free spinning. My next adventure with this camera, I plan on bringing masking tape and taping all the dials. The final problem, is that towards the end of the day, I must have turned a dial, or pushed a button that turned on the big distracting level in the viewfinder. I sat in the car for 15 minutes going through endless menues trying to turn the GD thing "off". I still have not found it.
    Thank God for my 645D and Sony A900.
    Good luck to all and good shooting!
    Dave in NJ
    There is little point in shooting at f/13 with the said combo. F/5.6 is enough.

    Try reading the manual and familiarize yourself with the camera and its functions.

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    Re: Tale of 2 camera extremes

    hi Vivek
    I usually shoot at f13 as a compromise for depth of field, and diffraction effects. Works for the seascapes that I do. The dial lock function may do the trick, thanks all who responded
    Dave

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    Re: Tale of 2 camera extremes

    This makes sense for medium format, but not for APS-C!

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    Re: Tale of 2 camera extremes

    Quote Originally Posted by llumiombres View Post
    This makes sense for medium format, but not for APS-C!
    You are right...I use a 645D and FF A900 at f13. I need to re-evaluate for the smaller sensor NEX.
    Thanks for the heads up.
    Dave

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    Re: Tale of 2 camera extremes

    I don't own a 7 but if it is like other Sony's look for a button or on the wheel for DISP. That will toggle through 4or 5 different views in the viewfinder and LCD for either taking pictures or viewing them. This is the place you will be able to turn that level feature on or off.

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    Re: Tale of 2 camera extremes

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DE View Post
    I don't own a 7 but if it is like other Sony's look for a button or on the wheel for DISP. That will toggle through 4or 5 different views in the viewfinder and LCD for either taking pictures or viewing them. This is the place you will be able to turn that level feature on or off.
    Yep, a quick press UP on the control wheel will toggle the views, and you can decide which views to toggle between in the menus.

    The menus of this camera will start making sense after a while, and all of the nameless buttons can be confusing, but, once you get the camera all dialed in, I think it's fabulous to handle, for the most part.

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    Re: Tale of 2 camera extremes

    Sorry to hear you were so frustrated by the 7 Dave. As others have said, a little time familiarizing yourself with the menus, and customizations should have you dialed in to an extremely responsive and easy to control camera.

    Sony completely nailed the complex vs. efficient control formula with this camera - plenty of complexity in the menu system that completely disappears once you are in shooting mode, while leaving you with almost instant access to every type of exposure control plus other "modern" digital functions.

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    Re: Tale of 2 camera extremes

    Doug... you broke down and got a NEX7 eh?

    I am going to wait and see if the next generations helps wide angle legacy glass performance like the 5N did over the 5. The flash hot shoe and the EVF on the 7 mean next to nothing for me and the way I use a NEX BUT being able to use my 28 ContaxG or even the 21 wide open without smearing or color shift will get me to pull my wallet out with the 24mp censored NEX in a heartbeat. I have the a77 otherwise.

    Doug do you like the IQ better than your 5n with legacy glass?

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    Re: Tale of 2 camera extremes

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DE View Post
    Doug... you broke down and got a NEX7 eh?


    Doug do you like the IQ better than your 5n with legacy glass?
    Not for the most part. While the edge smearing isn't as bad as I'd feared, there was color shift with several of my rangefinder lenses. I settled on the CV 15, G 35, G45 and G90 for use with the NEX-7, and sold everything else. Only the CV 15 has the color shift, but I don't use that lens very often. The integrated EVF was the big lure of the NEX-7, to me. The extra resolution, control dials, and EVF are nice, but, if you don't care about those things, I'd stick with the 5N.

    That being said, I've actually ordered the Sigma 19, 30 and Sony 24, 50 to see if I'm maybe interested in AF options. We'll see.

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    Re: Tale of 2 camera extremes

    Thanks for the feedback Doug ..... I'm still with my 5 and mostly use the ContaxG 45 on it.

    I'm sure knowing Sony they will come out with a next generation 7 in a year or two. I can wait for now.

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    Re: Tale of 2 camera extremes

    hello gurtch,

    Commiserations. Your experience brings to mind some comment by Visual Basic developer Alan Cooper, who went on become a much-respected world class usability advocate.

    Cooper's premise is that when you cross a car with a computer you get a computer; cross an aircraft with a computer, same result (Airbus); and no surprises the same is true of camera/computer blends. The lesson is that the immediacy and feedback of hard, instantly comprehensible controls are much more attuned to human biomechanical preferences than any computer device will ever manage.

    This quality of knowing which way a thing works is called 'affordance', and is closely related to ergonomic excellence, as exemplified by the A900. MotoGP and F1 competitors will sacrifice a little outright performance for high levels of 'feel' from the machine's dynamic systems.

    The effort required to absorb and retain all manner of esoteric instructions as outlined on page 129 of the (almost always deficient, hence aftermarket guides) 'user manual' simply gets in the way of the creative process. Yet many people seem to rise to the challenge and actually enjoy finding the secrets hidden from view. To the extent the adjustments cannot be habituated, fluency is lost however...a price to be paid.

    My perception is that Sony and others are making the small cameras for different photographers, who value low size/bulk over such considerations; and who are happy to fit in with 'the program' and work around the ergonomic issues, like overly weak control detents. No one miniaturised our hands, unfortunately. And the more control surfaces the more care must be exercised.

    Aperture. The old maxim was: more images are lost to lack of DOF than to diffraction, but the NEX7 has very high pixel density and is an APS-C camera. I suggest you try f5.6-f8-f11 and see which works best for your particular needs. All the best and thanks for the tale.

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    Re: Tale of 2 camera extremes

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DE View Post
    Thanks for the feedback Doug ..... I'm still with my 5 and mostly use the ContaxG 45 on it.

    I'm sure knowing Sony they will come out with a next generation 7 in a year or two. I can wait for now.
    I tell ya, if you're primarily just using the G45, you might actually consider the NEX-7. It's about the most detailed digital camera/lens combo that I've ever used.

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    Re: Tale of 2 camera extremes

    Yeah Doug I was thinking that too but I would like my next NEX to be able to use my 28 and possibly the 21 (but I seriously doubt the NEX will ever be able to handle the 21 with its steep rear element to sensor angle).

    I like the 24apc sensor on my a77 at up to ISO 400 after that I start seeing color noise but I am very sensitive to it as well. Back in the 70's I went to medium format because I did not like the graininess of the 35 mm format even at 100 iso. I am sure the NEX 7 would really make the g45 pop but for $1200 I'd want the 28-90 Contax lenses all to pop as well. The 28 is the kicker for me right now. I have seen some g35 shots and only one of them looked like it might of had a slight smear the rest looked good. I know the 45 and 90 would be great as they are already in my 5.

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    Re: Tale of 2 camera extremes

    Quote Originally Posted by philip_pj View Post
    hello gurtch,

    Commiserations. Your experience brings to mind some comment by Visual Basic developer Alan Cooper, who went on become a much-respected world class usability advocate.

    Cooper's premise is that when you cross a car with a computer you get a computer; cross an aircraft with a computer, same result (Airbus); and no surprises the same is true of camera/computer blends. The lesson is that the immediacy and feedback of hard, instantly comprehensible controls are much more attuned to human biomechanical preferences than any computer device will ever manage.

    This quality of knowing which way a thing works is called 'affordance', and is closely related to ergonomic excellence, as exemplified by the A900. MotoGP and F1 competitors will sacrifice a little outright performance for high levels of 'feel' from the machine's dynamic systems.

    The effort required to absorb and retain all manner of esoteric instructions as outlined on page 129 of the (almost always deficient, hence aftermarket guides) 'user manual' simply gets in the way of the creative process. Yet many people seem to rise to the challenge and actually enjoy finding the secrets hidden from view. To the extent the adjustments cannot be habituated, fluency is lost however...a price to be paid.

    My perception is that Sony and others are making the small cameras for different photographers, who value low size/bulk over such considerations; and who are happy to fit in with 'the program' and work around the ergonomic issues, like overly weak control detents. No one miniaturised our hands, unfortunately. And the more control surfaces the more care must be exercised.

    Aperture. The old maxim was: more images are lost to lack of DOF than to diffraction, but the NEX7 has very high pixel density and is an APS-C camera. I suggest you try f5.6-f8-f11 and see which works best for your particular needs. All the best and thanks for the tale.
    Thanks Philip PJ. Your take on automation vs. ease of use via familiarity is right on with me. A recent shot with Pentax 645d. So easy to use, I forget dials and buttons and menus...free to pay attention to the scene, and PHOTOGRAPH!!!


    http://www.modernpictorials.com/Ocea...3%20framed.jpg

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    Re: Tale of 2 camera extremes

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DE View Post
    Yeah Doug I was thinking that too but I would like my next NEX to be able to use my 28 and possibly the 21 (but I seriously doubt the NEX will ever be able to handle the 21 with its steep rear element to sensor angle).

    I like the 24apc sensor on my a77 at up to ISO 400 after that I start seeing color noise but I am very sensitive to it as well. Back in the 70's I went to medium format because I did not like the graininess of the 35 mm format even at 100 iso. I am sure the NEX 7 would really make the g45 pop but for $1200 I'd want the 28-90 Contax lenses all to pop as well. The 28 is the kicker for me right now. I have seen some g35 shots and only one of them looked like it might of had a slight smear the rest looked good. I know the 45 and 90 would be great as they are already in my 5.
    Are you viewing your images all at the same size? I don't find the NEX-7 to really be any noisier than my 5N when output to the same size, FWIW.

    The G35 on the NEX-7 behaves more or less like it does 5N. The corners don't get acceptably sharp until f5.6-ish, and, even at that point, there is still some field curvature muddying them up a bit.

    Agreed about the G 28. Probably not a great choice on the NEX-7.

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    Re: Tale of 2 camera extremes

    Doug, I will be the first to admit I am anal about noise. I have always been anti noise or anti grain. Actually, I should be shooting much higher priced tech cameras but I like to have a roof over my head and food on the table more than seeing noise in my prints. Photography for me at this time in my life is nothing more than a passion; back in the late 60's-early 70's it helped put me through college and being a source of income doing weddings and dog shows I got severely burned out with photography and did not pick a camera up for years after I got out of college. To this day you will not see a human in any of my photos. People ask me to take photographs for them and I always politely decline.

    I see the noise in my prints. Before, I always shot base ISO for my work but I have been doing more BIF stuff recently with the a77 and a 70-400g. That being said in order to stop the eagle wing tips I have to shoot higher shutter speeds than 1/1250 and that forces me to up my ISO. Bam here comes the noise that I hate to see in prints even using Topaz or DXO7.

    Yeah, I knew the G35 and wider had smearing and color shift with large apertures on NEX at infinity focus even though many say it is not there with the G35. There again it is something that I may be unreasonably sensitive to but I can see it. That is why I usually have my G45 on my NEX 5 as it is the shortest focal length Contax G lens that show no smearing or color shift no matter what the settings. No workarounds needed, no extra steps in post processing. I do a bunch of scenics with the g45 and NEX5 and am constantly using Singh Ray filters in the process. 99% of the time even the corner smearing of my 28 is a non-issue because I usually shoot small apertures but if I am going to spend more money on a new body I would like it to be an improvement in wide angle lens performance over my 5. The 7 still sits heavily in my mind as a probable purchase just for what you pointed out about its incredible detail with the g45 (big buying point for me). Someday, one of my local shops will have a 7 in the showcase and I will take a card and my 28 and 45 in and give them a try to see the images it creates using my current workflow at home and the prints it creates. Then I will make my final decision to buy or wait.

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