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Thread: Sony nex 5n Vs Panasonic GX1

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    Sony nex 5n Vs Panasonic GX1

    Hi Everyone

    I'm new to the site (which is fab) and would like a little bit of advice - I would like to upgrade from a standard point and shoot to something that I can play with a little bit more. However I don't want a DSLR mainly because the size and weight will limit how much I use it. I want something reasonably intuitive and easy to use but at the same time something that will encourage me to be a better photographer and learn about about my camera. After lots of thinking, I am trying to decide between the Sony Nex 5n (twin kit: 18-55mm and 16 mm pancake) and Panasonic GX1. Has anyone got any recommendations, tips or advice?

    I think I am swinging towards the Sony Nex 5n because of the large sensor and that it is supposed to be amazing in low light conditions. What puts me off is the lack of buttons and the size of the 18-55 mm kit lens. However, the GX1 looks and feels good and is supposed to do lots of fancy things but what scares me is the amount of buttons, and that I will end up using the easy available intelligent auto button rather than learning. Also I read some dubious reviews about the xZoom lens not being as good or sharp as people would expect it to be. Ultimately picture quality is the most important to me.

    Please help - Thank you!

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    Re: Sony nex 5n Vs Panasonic GX1

    Quote Originally Posted by Pang View Post
    Hi Everyone

    I'm new to the site (which is fab) and would like a little bit of advice - I would like to upgrade from a standard point and shoot to something that I can play with a little bit more. However I don't want a DSLR mainly because the size and weight will limit how much I use it. I want something reasonably intuitive and easy to use but at the same time something that will encourage me to be a better photographer and learn about about my camera. After lots of thinking, I am trying to decide between the Sony Nex 5n (twin kit: 18-55mm and 16 mm pancake) and Panasonic GX1. Has anyone got any recommendations, tips or advice?

    I think I am swinging towards the Sony Nex 5n because of the large sensor and that it is supposed to be amazing in low light conditions. What puts me off is the lack of buttons and the size of the 18-55 mm kit lens. However, the GX1 looks and feels good and is supposed to do lots of fancy things but what scares me is the amount of buttons, and that I will end up using the easy available intelligent auto button rather than learning. Also I read some dubious reviews about the xZoom lens not being as good or sharp as people would expect it to be. Ultimately picture quality is the most important to me.

    Please help - Thank you!
    I have a GX1 and really like it, although the G3 is a better buy. It isn't that much bigger and it has a built in viewfinder, swivel screen and is cheaper!

    The 14-42x zoom has indeed had some dodgy reviews, i've never used it (the standard 14-42 is not that big). The sony 16 f2.8 also has dodgy reviews

    The Sony will give you better image quality at high iso however I went m4/3 for the wide range of lenses, you can use either Olympus or Panasonic on a m4/3 camera. The better high iso of the sony is compensated, in my view, by the greater range of fast prime lenses, the 14f2.5 and 20 f1.7 are VERY small and good quality.. the Olympus 45 f1.8 is also meant to be very good - I've not used that.

    The buttons? I can understand it is intimidating but if you don't have them you will soon want the manual control options as your photography grows. You do get used to it! Try using Aperture mode and seeing what adjusting the aperture does to shutterspeed. same with ISO. There'll be people here happy to help!

    hope that helps.

    Pete

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    Re: Sony nex 5n Vs Panasonic GX1

    Quote Originally Posted by thequacksoflife View Post
    however I went m4/3 for the wide range of lenses, you can use either Olympus or Panasonic on a m4/3 camera.
    Worth noting, however, that adaptors are available for the NEX cameras that allow you to use a variety of lenses from other manufacturers. I have a friend who's using his Leica lenses on a NEX-5, for example, with great results.

    I have the NEX-5n and do like it although if I had to do it over again I would have spent the extra money to get the NEX-7. The touchscreen menu is indeed frustrating, since not everything is where you expect it might be, and it takes time to dig through the menus to change settings, by which time whatever you were trying to photograph (or the fleeting light you were trying to capture) could be long gone. There are a couple of soft keys that you can set for easy access to common settings like ISO to save you having to dive through the menus. But it would all be a lot easier with manual dial controls.

    The kit lens is nothing to write home about, but some of the other e-mount lenses are very good indeed (especially the Zeiss models of course, but even some of the Sony ones are good). Even though this review on the Luminous Landscape is of the NEX-7, it's worth reading because there's a section where he talks about the e-mount lenses: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...month_on.shtml.

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    Re: Sony nex 5n Vs Panasonic GX1

    Quote Originally Posted by bhurley View Post
    Worth noting, however, that adaptors are available for the NEX cameras that allow you to use a variety of lenses from other manufacturers. I have a friend who's using his Leica lenses on a NEX-5, for example, with great results.
    indeedy a fair point. you can do the same for m4/3. although I doubt anyone moving up from a p/s is going to be buying Leica Lenses and of course the original poster was concerned by size, adding adapters makes everything bigger.

    like you i'm not a big fan of touch screens.

    anyway I popped into ask Pang why he dismissed the Olympus m4/3?? and to note that there are some excellent deals on older models.

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    Re: Sony nex 5n Vs Panasonic GX1

    The Olympus cameras would be a great choice too. I think the company's recent ethics crisis has steered some people clear of them but the cameras themselves have gotten very high marks.

    One of the general issues with either of the cameras the OP is considering is that while the camera itself is small and "pocketable," it can become bulky very quick depending on the lens. The NEX 5n body by itself could slip into a trouser pocket, but with the kit zoom you need a standard camera case (actually there are slimmer cases designed for the NEX series, but still it's not something you can just toss in a coat pocket or slip into a side pocket of your daypack).

    Having recently graduated from a "glorified point and shoot" (Canon G9) to the NEX 5n, I have to say I debated the portability issue for many months and am still not sure I made the right decision. There were two reasons why I wasn't taking more photographs: 1) even the G9 felt bulky to me so I wasn't taking it everywhere with me, and 2) I wasn't happy with the G9's image quality in lower-light situations. I was on the verge of getting an even smaller camera (Canon S-100; this was before the new Sony RX100 came on the market; if it had been available I would have chosen it), but then I decided that I really wanted to focus on image quality since that would probably motivate to take the camera with me more often.

    In the end, I am very pleased with the NEX 5n's image quality and I love the flexibility of interchangeable lenses. But it does come at the expense of bulk, and I still find that I don't take the camera with me as often as I might otherwise. We do a lot of bicycle touring, where weight and bulk are prime considerations, and I may end up getting an RX-100 or something similar in the future specifically for traveling light.

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    Re: Sony nex 5n Vs Panasonic GX1

    Quote Originally Posted by bhurley View Post
    The Olympus cameras would be a great choice too. I think the company's recent ethics crisis has steered some people clear of them but the cameras themselves have gotten very high marks.

    One of the general issues with either of the cameras the OP is considering is that while the camera itself is small and "pocketable," it can become bulky very quick depending on the lens. The NEX 5n body by itself could slip into a trouser pocket, but with the kit zoom you need a standard camera case (actually there are slimmer cases designed for the NEX series, but still it's not something you can just toss in a coat pocket or slip into a side pocket of your daypack).

    Having recently graduated from a "glorified point and shoot" (Canon G9) to the NEX 5n, I have to say I debated the portability issue for many months and am still not sure I made the right decision. There were two reasons why I wasn't taking more photographs: 1) even the G9 felt bulky to me so I wasn't taking it everywhere with me, and 2) I wasn't happy with the G9's image quality in lower-light situations. I was on the verge of getting an even smaller camera (Canon S-100; this was before the new Sony RX100 came on the market; if it had been available I would have chosen it), but then I decided that I really wanted to focus on image quality since that would probably motivate to take the camera with me more often.

    In the end, I am very pleased with the NEX 5n's image quality and I love the flexibility of interchangeable lenses. But it does come at the expense of bulk, and I still find that I don't take the camera with me as often as I might otherwise. We do a lot of bicycle touring, where weight and bulk are prime considerations, and I may end up getting an RX-100 or something similar in the future specifically for traveling light.
    to be honest any of the mirrorless systems (except the Q) will deliver a step up in quality. When I travel light I stick the Gx1 and the two pancake primes in a pocket. I guess it's why the op is considering the Panny power zoom.

    The RX100 is interesting but many will want a viewfinder......

    but I do understand your point.....

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    Re: Sony nex 5n Vs Panasonic GX1

    Whether you go NEX or m4/3 generally boils down to which is more important to you: the sensor? Or the lenses?

    The NEX has an APS-C sensor vs. a four-thirds sensor. But m4/3 has a much larger lens selection, and because of the smaller sensor, the lenses are smaller, too.

    And if you want a simpler camera than the GX-1, Panasonic also offers the GF3, G3, GF5, and G5.

    You could also look at the newly announced Canon EOS M (also an APS-C sensor), but that system only has two lenses, and won't be out until October.

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    Re: Sony nex 5n Vs Panasonic GX1

    I'd invest on the system that has more available lenses. Camera bodies will get obsolete but lenses hold their value and will stay with you in your photographic journey longer.

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    Re: Sony nex 5n Vs Panasonic GX1

    Quote Originally Posted by bgomez View Post
    I'd invest on the system that has more available lenses. Camera bodies will get obsolete but lenses hold their value and will stay with you in your photographic journey longer.
    The thing is, though, that with adaptors you can put just about any lens on some of these cameras. You can put hundreds, maybe even thousands of lenses on a NEX 5n -- Canon lenses, Nikon lenses, Sony lenses, Leica lenses, Zeiss lenses, the list goes on and on. Not all of them integrate fully with autofocus etc., but you can still use them. The adapters add some weight and bulk, which offsets the convenience of having a small camera, but it gives you a lot of choice: if you want to travel small and light you can do that, or if you get your hands on some great lenses from other manufacturers you can do that too.

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    Re: Sony nex 5n Vs Panasonic GX1

    Quote Originally Posted by bhurley View Post
    The thing is, though, that with adaptors you can put just about any lens on some of these cameras. You can put hundreds, maybe even thousands of lenses on a NEX 5n -- Canon lenses, Nikon lenses, Sony lenses, Leica lenses, Zeiss lenses, the list goes on and on.
    Every lens you can adapt for NEX, you can adapt for micro four-thirds. And there are some you can adapt for micro four-thirds that you cannot adapt for NEX because of vignetting on the larger sensor (half-frame, 1" video, super-16 cine lenses). And frankly, I've already adapted Nikon, Leica, and Zeiss lenses to my Canon EOS cameras. For me, the thrill has modified with time.

    The biggest difference here, though, is that because of NEX's smaller lens lineup, you are more likely to have to adapt a manual lens to get what you want (and nothing wrong with that if you like using adapted manual focus lenses, but if you don't or you need autofocus due to poor eyesight or fast-moving action...), whereas with micro four-thirds, it's much more of a choice due to inclination. The larger lens lineup on the micro four-thirds side of the fence means if you want autofocus and a smaller lens in the native mount, you can have it. With NEX, it's a bit iffier.

    The only advantage with NEX is if you already own Sony Alpha lenses, because the NEX adapter for those can support AF, AE, and aperture control. This is the same advantage that EOS-M is liable to have among Canon folks who already own a pile of EF and EF-S lenses.

    One other thing. Using m43 or NEX with Canon or Nikon G lenses is problematic, because these lenses have no aperture ring, and there's no electronic communication between the adapted lens and the camera body. You can shoot with the lenses wide open or at a set aperture (with Canon lenses, if you unmount the lens while holding down the DoF preview button, it will stay at the aperture set, but you have to remount on a EOS body and go through this all over again if you want to adjust the aperture). This type of adapting cross-brand nearly always means old manual lenses, manual focus, manual aperture, and relying on stop-down metering.
    Last edited by inkista; 31st July 2012 at 08:16 PM.

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