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Archive 2013 · Sony NEX vs. Olympus u4/3rds?
  
 
ddjohns1
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p.1 #1 · Sony NEX vs. Olympus u4/3rds?


Hi,

I am thinking about a smaller camera system for hiking and traveling. I have been taking my Nikon D300, along with an 11-16mm, an 18-70, and a 70-300 on hikes and trips, and with the expansion of mirrorless offerings, I could avoid the bulk.

The cameras that look the most interesting are the 16MP Olympus OM-D EM5 (as well as the Oly E-PM2 at $500) and the Sony NEX-7.

I haven't tried any of the mirrorless systems before, but I imagine the NEX-7 has the benefit of higher resolution for great landscapes, an APS-C size sensor for shallower DOF, and a built in flash. The downside appears to be the larger lens size, and the smaller selection (and at times marginal quality) of lenses.

The Olympus cameras appear to have better quality lenses and more selection, but the lack of a built in flash is a big deal to me (I like to use fill flash quite a bit.) The sensor appears to be very good- pretty close actually in DR, low ISO etc... to the Sony, but obviously not as optimal for DOF/subject isolation.

Can anyone with knowledge with these systems comment on their experience- are there other factors that make one or the other system better?

Thanks,
Dave



Feb 15, 2013 at 10:37 PM
carstenw
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p.1 #2 · Sony NEX vs. Olympus u4/3rds?


You pretty much summarised the advantages and disadvantages. There are lots and lots of threads discussing this already, try having a look through the first 10 pages or so.


Feb 15, 2013 at 10:39 PM
Jeff Kott
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p.1 #3 · Sony NEX vs. Olympus u4/3rds?


I've said this in other threads and I'll say it again. Both cameras/systems are great and I think the differences between the two systems are small compared to how the cameras feel in your hand.

I've recommended the OM-D to friends, but use the Nex 7 myself. When I pick up an OM-D, it just doesn't feel great to me whereas the NEX 7 feels very natural. I would suggest that you find a store with both cameras (you're in Palo Alto, so a trip to K&S would be in order) and just play with both cameras and get the one that feels the best to you.



Feb 15, 2013 at 10:54 PM
bcaslis
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p.1 #4 · Sony NEX vs. Olympus u4/3rds?


You have summarized the differences well. I've had both, currently have only the NEX-7. A couple of other points.

OM-D is weather resistant, has optional grip to be more DSLR like.
NEX-7 lens tend to be cheaper (example 50 f1.8 - which is excellent - is $300).

I would guess the weather resistance might made the OM-D better for hiking. However, as a travel camera, the NEX-7 is smaller. If you stick to primes and smaller zooms (not the 18-200) then the camera and lenses can be smaller than the OM-D despite the normal view that m43 is smaller. But I would agree you should try them in your hand and use the viewfinder on each to see what suites you best. Another thing to consider is image ratio, doesn't matter for some, but the 3:2 of the NEX is like DSLRs and just seems more natural to me. The 4:3 of m43 always feels strange to me (you can choose different ratios in the OM-D but you are cropping when you do that).



Feb 15, 2013 at 11:02 PM
goosemang
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p.1 #5 · Sony NEX vs. Olympus u4/3rds?


i don't know much about the two systems, but i got an OM-D with the 25 1.4 this week, didn't have high expectations, and i'm in love with this camera right now.

swore i'd never use an evf. swore i'd never use a lcd screen. swore i'd never shoot jpg. and here i am, shooting jpg's off an articulating screen and loving it. it has this great ability to let you shoot in the aspect ratio of your choice, so you can actually compose in 1:1, 3:2, 4:3, 16:9, etc. and get it right in camera instead of cropping something down after. this is fantastic. also, ability to articulate the screen and look down to compose like a waistlevel finder is really, really useful.

very well built. ergonomics are good with the exception of two poorly placed buttons (and i have big hands). i may consider the grip because it is a bit small, but i'm not sure the gain in handling would be worth the bulk. extremely responsive, especially the AF. image quality is way better than i expected.

love it.



Feb 15, 2013 at 11:05 PM
goosemang
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p.1 #6 · Sony NEX vs. Olympus u4/3rds?


oh, and the manual focusing ring on the 25 1.4 in combination with how clearly you can see the focus change in the lcd makes manual focusing really enjoyable.


Feb 15, 2013 at 11:06 PM
bcaslis
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p.1 #7 · Sony NEX vs. Olympus u4/3rds?


Should have mentioned focusing. OM-D has faster AF, NEX-7 has focus peaking for manual focusing (and zoomed view also).



Feb 15, 2013 at 11:10 PM
carstenw
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p.1 #8 · Sony NEX vs. Olympus u4/3rds?


Goosemang, do you have the auto-zoom turned on for manual focus?


Feb 15, 2013 at 11:10 PM
carstenw
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p.1 #9 · Sony NEX vs. Olympus u4/3rds?


bcaslis wrote:
Should have mentioned focusing. OM-D has faster AF, NEX-7 has focus peaking for manual focusing (and zoomed view also).


Without meaning to sound combative, I would like to mention that I have repeatedly tried focus peaking with NEX cameras, and never found it to particularly helpful. I spent quite some time with a NEX-6 and NEX-7 in the local Sony store, tweaking various settings, but I just couldn't get it to the point where I felt I could rely on it as much as just plain zooming in (which is supported by the E-M5, and I think also the NEXen). Different people appear to have different opinions here, so it is definitely worth trying out before deciding.



Feb 15, 2013 at 11:12 PM
goosemang
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p.1 #10 · Sony NEX vs. Olympus u4/3rds?


carstenw wrote:
Goosemang, do you have the auto-zoom turned on for manual focus?


i don't have auto zoom, i don't think. that's where it never stops focusing, right? that's off.

i have it set for one shot AF with mf enabled



Feb 15, 2013 at 11:14 PM
 

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goosemang
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p.1 #11 · Sony NEX vs. Olympus u4/3rds?


carstenw wrote:
Without meaning to sound combative, I would like to mention that I have repeatedly tried focus peaking with NEX cameras, and never found it to particularly helpful. I spent quite some time with a NEX-6 and NEX-7 in the local Sony store, tweaking various settings, but I just couldn't get it to the point where I felt I could rely on it as much as just plain zooming in (which is supported by the E-M5, and I think also the NEXen). Different people appear to have different opinions here, so it is definitely worth trying out before deciding.


the magnification works really well for very critical focus, but the lcd is clear enough to me that i can manual focus without the magnification without any issues. i'm really surprised how good this is with an evf.



Feb 15, 2013 at 11:16 PM
goosemang
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p.1 #12 · Sony NEX vs. Olympus u4/3rds?


oh one more thing: the om-d is very D, if you get what i'm saying. it's not analog, and it's a long way from it. things like the evf, the clarity of the rear lcd, the touch screen, the tap to shoot... it's very electronic. i find it weird, but i am actually enjoying the features which is unexpected and maybe why i'm having so much fun with it. it's like the anti-x100.

re: the nex-7, i tried it out in the store a couple of times, but it never clicked with me. sony in general just never feels right to me. but that's just me



Feb 15, 2013 at 11:18 PM
carstenw
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p.1 #13 · Sony NEX vs. Olympus u4/3rds?


goosemang wrote:
i don't have auto zoom, i don't think. that's where it never stops focusing, right? that's off.

i have it set for one shot AF with mf enabled


I mean the feature where when you touch the focus ring, it automatically zooms in, and zooms out again when you let go of the focus ring.

I agree with you about the NEX-5/NEX-6/NEX-7 and RX1 cameras, I tried them all, wanted to like them, but just didn't click with them, apologies for pun.



Feb 15, 2013 at 11:19 PM
Jeff Kott
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p.1 #14 · Sony NEX vs. Olympus u4/3rds?


carstenw wrote:
Without meaning to sound combative, I would like to mention that I have repeatedly tried focus peaking with NEX cameras, and never found it to particularly helpful. I spent quite some time with a NEX-6 and NEX-7 in the local Sony store, tweaking various settings, but I just couldn't get it to the point where I felt I could rely on it as much as just plain zooming in (which is supported by the E-M5, and I think also the NEXen). Different people appear to have different opinions here, so it is definitely worth trying out before deciding.


I have focus peaking set to low and red on my Nex 5N and Nex 7 and find that when I am taking a photo of a person and see a red glint in the person's eye (without zooming in) I have always achieved perfect focus on that eye. I find this to be much faster than zooming in with magnified view, zooming out to check composition and then taking the photo.



Feb 15, 2013 at 11:25 PM
goosemang
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p.1 #15 · Sony NEX vs. Olympus u4/3rds?


carstenw wrote:
I mean the feature where when you touch the focus ring, it automatically zooms in, and zooms out again when you let go of the focus ring.

I agree with you about the NEX-5/NEX-6/NEX-7 and RX1 cameras, I tried them all, wanted to like them, but just didn't click with them, apologies for pun.


oh, with manual focus. no, i don't use it. i find that i can do it no problem without it, which is impressive.



Feb 15, 2013 at 11:28 PM
ddjohns1
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p.1 #16 · Sony NEX vs. Olympus u4/3rds?


Wow, thanks for all the information, very much appreciated. It is good to hear the Sony lens options are OK and not overly expensive. The resolution for landscapes would be a big plus. I did look (briefly) at a local Sony store but they had the cameras stupidly attached to cables that had to be pulled out of from the table base so you couldn't really get a good feel for the cameras. They did appear to require adaptation to a whole new complex set of controls, so I need to spend some time with them, perhaps at K&S as mentioned above. I also hear the NEX-7 might be due for EOL discounting in the coming months.


Feb 15, 2013 at 11:38 PM
douglasf13
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p.1 #17 · Sony NEX vs. Olympus u4/3rds?


carstenw wrote:
Without meaning to sound combative, I would like to mention that I have repeatedly tried focus peaking with NEX cameras, and never found it to particularly helpful. I spent quite some time with a NEX-6 and NEX-7 in the local Sony store, tweaking various settings, but I just couldn't get it to the point where I felt I could rely on it as much as just plain zooming in (which is supported by the E-M5, and I think also the NEXen). Different people appear to have different opinions here, so it is definitely worth trying out before deciding.


It probably takes weeks to master focus peaking. You can't really get a sense of the nuances of it at the store. Once mastered, I'd say it is nearly as good as a rangefinder. That being said, the new split screen manual focus method in the upcoming Fuji X100s looks like it'll be even better.



Feb 15, 2013 at 11:40 PM
bcaslis
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p.1 #18 · Sony NEX vs. Olympus u4/3rds?


Jeff Kott wrote:
I have focus peaking set to low and red on my Nex 5N and Nex 7 and find that when I am taking a photo of a person and see a red glint in the person's eye (without zooming in) I have always achieved perfect focus on that eye. I find this to be much faster than zooming in with magnified view, zooming out to check composition and then taking the photo.


This is my experience also. It doesn't work for everything, but anything with some contrast you can quickly manually focus without zooming in.



Feb 16, 2013 at 12:26 AM
bcaslis
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p.1 #19 · Sony NEX vs. Olympus u4/3rds?


ddjohns1 wrote:
Wow, thanks for all the information, very much appreciated. It is good to hear the Sony lens options are OK and not overly expensive. The resolution for landscapes would be a big plus. I did look (briefly) at a local Sony store but they had the cameras stupidly attached to cables that had to be pulled out of from the table base so you couldn't really get a good feel for the cameras. They did appear to require adaptation to a whole new complex set of controls, so I need to spend some time with them, perhaps at K&S as
...Show more

There are some big discounts already. I got a NEX-7 in January with $100 off and a free 16mm lens. Right now there is a $200 discount on the NEX-7.



Feb 16, 2013 at 12:27 AM
ddjohns1
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p.1 #20 · Sony NEX vs. Olympus u4/3rds?


Just read this on Photozone in a lens review for the NEX-7:

"As already mentioned the 24 megapixel sensor of the Sony NEX 7 seems to have a rather difficult characteristic especially regarding its resolution capabilities at the image corners. This behavior has been confirmed by user observations in the meanwhile (feel free to google). This is a bit unfortunate because we feel that the sensor shouldn't have such a deep impact on the lens quality. The lens quality will be somewhat better on Sony's 16 megapixel sensor."

Most of the images I've seen posted on FM look great. Not sure what to believe.



Feb 16, 2013 at 03:34 AM
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