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SONY NEX Digital SLR Question

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
First off i am fresh off the boat here in dslr land. All i know is that point and shoots have nothing on a DSLR and i know that dslr stands for digital single-lens reflex. Here is my situation and the reasoning behind wanting to get a dslr camera. Starting in September i will be studying abroad for a full academic year at Aarhus School of Business in Denmark. I will have about 6-10 hours of class a week and plan to do lots of traveling. I will also be staying over there during winter break and will be visiting many other European countries. I would like to be able to carry a camera on me at all times so i can document the places i travel and the people i meet. I plan to have a FLIP video recorder for videos and a dslr for pictures. I would rather not get a point and shoot as i would like to be able to take the best possible pictures. I plan on picking up some photography magazines and learning some tricks and techniques to taking photos, etc. My plan is to probably pick up a dslr camera this summer and play around with it for a little bit and get the hang of it. Learn the camera and how to take great pictures and such. Basically whatever dslr i get will be my entry camera into the dslr world. As of right now i am currently looking at the Sony NEX Digital SLR line of cameras. I like these because they are smaller than normal dslr cameras yet still take high quality photos and most importantly i can easily store in a backpack. But obviously i posted here asking for OCN's help so please help direct me in the right path to what you guys believe would suit me best.
post #2 of 14
First off, the NEX series aren't actually DSLRs. They have DSLR sensors and are capable of DSLR quality pictures, but they lack the single lens reflex that define all DSLRs.

These systems are called Electronic Viewfinder, Interchangeable Lens (EVIL) cameras. Compared to DSLRs, they're often smaller but lack an optical viewfinder, the mirror, and have more cramped controls.

Personally, I'd prefer a DSLR myself. I've no issues travelling with my 50D, despite its size. A good sling strap around my shoulder and I hardly notice it. For me, the benefits are the longer battery life with the optical viewfinder and the improved ergonomics of the camera over an EVIL. EVILs are compact, yes, but the inherent nature of the body makes it uncomfortable for me to use/control, whereas all the controls on DSLRs are easily accessible to me for rapid changes. Additionally, if you want to get a standard lens on the EVIL, they're usually the size of DSLR lenses and break the compact nature of the body. The body itself is compact, but throw an 18-55mm on there and now you have a small body with a normal-sized lens. It's no longer compact and very lens-heavy.

Additionally, DSLRs have larger lens libraries so you'll have more lenses to choose from for your travels. Lenses are everything, since they're the part of a DSLR system that give you flexibility and finer control over the end result of your image.

Personally, I'd direct you towards entry level DSLRs myself. More comfortable to use and usually are the smallest bodies in the series. The Canon Rebel T3/T2i/T3i and Nikon D3100 are good places to start looking. The T3 and T3i are new cameras so electronic stores might not have them yet, but I'd think it's worth waiting for. These cameras are smaller than their brothers yet offer great performance.

To compliment these cameras, I'd grab the 18-55mm IS/18-55mm VR (Canon/Nikon, respectively) lenses that come with the camera, and throw on a 55-250mm IS/55-200mm VR for telephoto capabilities.

In my experience, I can see this kit serving you well for travel photography.

Another good place to look if you want compact cameras are high end compact cameras, like the Canon G series or the Canon S90/S95. They offer larger image sensors than traditional point and shoots, so have better IQ than normal point and shoots (although not DSLR quality). They also all offer full manual controls. The S95 is a personal dream-list camera of mine. More compact and cheaper than an EVIL, yet in the right hands could still make some fine pictures.
post #3 of 14
+1 on the recommendation of a DSLR over an EVIL. An EVIL would be ideal with a pancake lens, which would then make it very compact, but you will still be hampered by slower performance and cramped controls. I've traveled abroad extensively, and in the beginning (several years ago), I used point-and-shoot cameras and battery life was a huge problem. EVIL cameras will suffer from the same problem due the smaller battery capacity and needing to use the LCD as a viewfinder so much, but it will still be better than a P&S. For example, a typical P&S using a lithium ion battery will have perhaps a 200-shot capacity, whereas the the Sony NEX3/5 can do 330 shots, and the Canon T2i can do 440 shots, and a camera like the Canon 7D can do 800 shots.

So, consider a DSLR for sure. The entry-level models still have full automatic controls, so the learning curve isn't any worse than with the NEX's.
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post #4 of 14
against the two recommendations above, i am going to suggest to go for a EVIL as you have originally planned.

i find it extremely uncomfortable and inconvenient to carry my dslr around for my photo-a-day. right now with my DSLR i basically have to carry a large sling bag or a backpack with me and still not have much room for other stuff, having my camera with me will add a good 4-5lbs of weight. with a EVIL i could just throw the camera in a smaller bag (even with a zoom). it will also cut down on weight im guessing like 1lbs maybe 2lbs max AND have room for a notebook/ipad/etc.
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post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mz-n10 View Post
against the two recommendations above, i am going to suggest to go for a EVIL as you have originally planned.

i find it extremely uncomfortable and inconvenient to carry my dslr around for my photo-a-day. right now with my DSLR i basically have to carry a large sling bag or a backpack with me and still not have much room for other stuff, having my camera with me will add a good 4-5lbs of weight. with a EVIL i could just throw the camera in a smaller bag (even with a zoom). it will also cut down on weight im guessing like 1lbs maybe 2lbs max AND have room for a notebook/ipad/etc.
Looks like someone threw in the monkey wrench here! So far all three posts have been filled with great information. I really do not know what to do as of now and that is the sole purpose behind this thread. Can you guys suggest some good websites, forums, and magazines for photography that would be worth my while to read. mz-n10 hit on a crucial area for me which is mobility. Next year when i am abroad i will have my backpack/laptop/camera/and other traveling supplies. So space is going to be a concern. What are some other peoples input here?

Edit: +rep to all so far except for GoneTomorrow because he is too cool for rep.

Another question i have is are there in a difference in lens between cameras? Can a dslr use evil lens and vis versa? Also can a cannon use a nikon lens? And how many lens' should i have being a beginner, i was thinking probably two right? Also what kind of lenses?
Edited by RAFFY - 2/21/11 at 1:30pm
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by RAFFY View Post
Looks like someone threw in the monkey wrench here! So far all three posts have been filled with great information. I really do not know what to do as of now and that is the sole purpose behind this thread. Can you guys suggest some good websites, forums, and magazines for photography that would be worth my while to read. mz-n10 hit on a crucial area for me which is mobility. Next year when i am abroad i will have my backpack/laptop/camera/and other traveling supplies. So space is going to be a concern. What are some other peoples input here?

Edit: +rep to all so far except for GoneTomorrow because he is too cool for rep.

Another question i have is are there in a difference in lens between cameras? Can a dslr use evil lens and vis versa? Also can a cannon use a nikon lens? And how many lens' should i have being a beginner, i was thinking probably two right? Also what kind of lenses?
If I remember right, Canon is able to use any lens with the right adapter because its mount is completely electronic, whereas Nikon cannot. However, you'll probably use autofocus and likely in-body aperture control with an adapter. As for Sony and their EVIL/DSLR mounts, I'm not entirely sure on that but hopefully someone else will know.

For someone new, I'd rather just get lenses meant for that system. It saves you some hassle.

As for the number of lenses, you should have as many as you need. For some people, that number could be one lens or five lenses. I recommend getting the DSLR with kit lens only, and from there evaluating your own personal needs and buying new lenses from there. For travel, I'd think the best kit for the money for you would be the 18-55mm IS and 55-250mm IS for Canon, 18-55mm VR and 55-200mm VR for Nikon.

And as for space, usually one bag fits all my equipment. I'm not sure if having an additional bag is bothersome for you, but it works well for me. What I usually do is have a large bag (my Timbuk2 Snoop) lug all my equipment around, and a smaller bag that fits just my DSLR and two lenses for day trips. I pack the smaller bag with the camera/lens appropriate for that day and leave the rest in my hotel room.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by RAFFY View Post
Looks like someone threw in the monkey wrench here! So far all three posts have been filled with great information. I really do not know what to do as of now and that is the sole purpose behind this thread. Can you guys suggest some good websites, forums, and magazines for photography that would be worth my while to read. mz-n10 hit on a crucial area for me which is mobility. Next year when i am abroad i will have my backpack/laptop/camera/and other traveling supplies. So space is going to be a concern. What are some other peoples input here?

Edit: +rep to all so far except for GoneTomorrow because he is too cool for rep.

Another question i have is are there in a difference in lens between cameras? Can a dslr use evil lens and vis versa? Also can a cannon use a nikon lens? And how many lens' should i have being a beginner, i was thinking probably two right? Also what kind of lenses?
dpreview.com is a great site for camera reviews and info.

EVIL cameras can use lenses from other mounts only with an adapter, and depending on which lens mount is being adapted, AF and metering isn't always possible. Sony NEX's can adapt to the larger Sony A mount lenses, and Olympus EVIL's can adapt to regular 4/3 lenses, both using their own brand of adapters. To adapt anything else (Canon EF, Canon FD, Nikon F, M42, etc) will require a third party adapter. Fotodiox makes some of them.
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post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by r31ncarnat3d View Post
If I remember right, Canon is able to use any lens with the right adapter because its mount is completely electronic, whereas Nikon cannot. However, you'll probably use autofocus and likely in-body aperture control with an adapter. As for Sony and their EVIL/DSLR mounts, I'm not entirely sure on that but hopefully someone else will know.
the sony e-mount (EVIL mount) can mount ANY lens with an adapter without a glass element, with the sony adapter (dont remember the name) you can mount a-mount (DSLR mount) lenses with aperture control, if the a-mount lens has SSM/SAM there is also autofocus. all other lenses will be fully manual (manual focus, aperture)

what r31ncarnat3d, said is not entirely true. sure canon can mount and use any lens, but it requires an adapter with a optical lens in it which degrades quality and changes the focal length.

suggestion's r31ncarnat3d gave for lens selection is very good for light/beginner photographer and all DSLR manufacturer will have those two focal length for lenses (~18-55mm and 55-200mm).

but if you decide to go with the sony nex, you really only have 3 native lenses to choose from, 16mm f/2.8, 18-55mm and a 18-200mm. i would suggest to go with just the 18-55, since the 16mm is too specialized for someone new and the 18-200 is far too big of a lens to still keep the camera light and compact.
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post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Again +rep to all you guys, very informative post that answered all my questions. Still though what are some good magazines i can pick up to better educate myself in DSLR and how to take great pictures. I just want to learn some tips and tricks to really achieve great shots. Another question i have is what if it is raining out and i want to take pictures? Can i buy some sort of cover the cameras? Also with the lenses it sounds like i should buy the camera with a kit and based on how i feel with the camera get a lens according to my needs and what i care for. Looks like in the next couple of days ill have to go to best buy and pick up some of these cameras and see which ones i care for.

-r31ncarnat3d: can you post a picture of your bag that holds the camera and 2 lenses please. would just like to see it for a size reference.
post #10 of 14
i just got the Nex-5 2 weeks ago. i LOVE IT. its very small, even with the larger of the kit lenses on it (18-55mm) i got it mainly because i wanted DSLR quality pictures, in an easy to use small package. this camera is great for people who dont want a crap load of options, but again want excellent pictures.... i took a panoramic photo of the mountains a few days ago....and its really an amazing little camera..... its no canon t2i by any means, but its simple to use and small. i got the 2 lens kit with a 16mm and 18-55mm lenses. there is another lens the 18-200mm lens.

as of now its only got 3 lenses, but there are i think 4 more to be released this year, PLUS third party lens companies like sigma are going to be releasing some soon.


i completely recommend this camera to someone who wants point and shoot easiness with DSLR quality pics.

dpreview has a whole forum just for the Nex cameras...its here

you may have to log in to see it, but i spent like a month on here reading as much as i could to help my decision.



good luck on your choice



also i better say this......the Nex-3 was just discontinued on the Japanese market mostly since the Nex-5 has everything the Nex-3 does plus some. so id say itll be discontinued here soon. the good thing is....you can get one for a lot cheaper now....and also it may be a good sign that the Nex-7 may be released soon
Edited by Squeeker The Cat - 2/24/11 at 4:20pm
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