Thinking about new system: NEX or Micro Four Thirds? The now and the future?

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by gdourado, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. gdourado

    gdourado Regular

    Feb 8, 2012

    How are you?
    So, since my last post about wanting to buy a compact camera, i did a lot of thinking and reading online and I didn't buy a thing yet...

    I've been thinking... I really like my 5D, but I'm just not using it... I mean I haven't used it for a few months.
    The last time I used it to get a serious amount of pictures was when on holiday in Italy in 2011. I like the pictures very much, but walking through Venice and Firenze all day with the 5D and 24-105 and spare batteries and filters and hood, was not very enjoyable...
    So i'm really considering selling the DSLR and just jump to a mirrorless system...

    If I do so, my main two contenders will be the NEX-7 for the NEX system or the Panasonic GX1 for the Micro Four thirds...
    I'm just really torn beetween these two choices...

    I think the NEX-7 is a great camera, with a great sensor, great control, great EVF... You name it...
    The thing for me is the NEX as a system...
    The lenses are just not there...
    The ones that exist are too big, like the 18-55 kit, the 50 OSS and the Zeiss 24.
    The 16mm pancake makes it kind of pockatble, but I'm not found of the focal length of 16mm prime on APS-c...

    The panasonic is a great little camera.
    It has a smaller sensor, which in turn means less detail, dynamic range and more noise. But is it really that much less of everything IQ wise?
    Also, the Micro foir thirds system is more matured and has a great choice of small primes, and primes that are not that small, but have great optics...
    The Focal lengths of it's primes I think would suit me more...
    I could have the 20mm 1.7 and have a pockatble camera, and if I wanted, I could have zooms for walk-around, tele-zooms fo plane spotting and a bit of wild-life, primes for portraits...

    I'm just afraid to go Micro four thirds and in 4 or 5 months time, Sony launches some great new lenses...
    I don't know, but I also think that because the sensor of the Sony is so big and the camera sooo thin, they cannot build quality optics that are as small as micro four thirds...
    Is it true?

    Would the IQ be better with a GX1 and Lumix 25mm 1.4 or NEX-7 with 18-55 kit?
    What would you take and why?

    Please help me out here...
    I keep going back and forth beetween choices...

    Thank you!
    • Like Like x 2
  2. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Ooo:daz: And now you really might want to think about what the new Olympus MD is going to offer as it sounds pretty great. It's good that you have held off so far, gdourado.

    I'm sure more helpful members will come along to add their opinions as the day and evenings wear on.:drinks:
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Sony will launch new lenses in the future, which may or may not be great. One thing is for sure though, m4/3 already has great lenses and in smaller packages.

    If I had to pick between the GX1 + PL25 vs. NEX7 + kit lens, I'd go with the GX1 + PL25. In terms of high ISO stuff, the NEX7 and the GX1 are comparable (the NEX5n is at least a stop better than the GX1). But the PL25 is a much superior lens than the kit 18-55, assuming you are good with using only a prime. And the faster aperture would also allow you to shoot the GX1 at lower ISO.

    Just my 2 cents. Let us know what you decide!
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Julien

    Julien Top Veteran

    Jan 6, 2012
    Paris, France
    I don't have much to add to Armando's answer. I'd take the GX1 + PL25 as I don't think I would notice much difference with NEX7+kit in good light, and in low light the GX1+ PL25 would be much better (PL25 gives you a 3-4 stops advantage over the NEX kit). Another thing is I really prefer putting my money on a lens than on a body, as a lens keeps its value for much longer (especially with mirorless cameras where there's a new body every three months or so).
    • Like Like x 1
  5. James Murphy

    James Murphy Rookie

    Oct 2, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I currently have a NEX-5N and it does take great pictures AND video. The video was important to me. I do HATE the large lenses, though.
    I really envy the complete m43 lens line up. If the video from the new Olympus video is good enough, I might sell the 5N and pick up the Oly because it will take years for the Sony lens lineup to even remotely approach the m43 lineup. And even if the lineup is the same, the NEX sizes will never be as small. Plus I can buy faster m43 lenses TODAY vs. the unknown Sony lineup tomorrow.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. pictor

    pictor All-Pro

    Jul 14, 2010
    It depends on what you want to photograph. It is right, that Sony does not offer as many lenses as µ4/3, but if Sony offers all lenses you need, that won't matter. However, there is no way to ignore, that µ4/3 is the only system of compact cameras which offers a full system. Sony will announce new lenses, but we can be very sure, that it will need some time until Sony will offer a comparable range of lenses. Sony cannot even deliver all lenses which they have introduced because of the flood in Thailand.

    Do not forget that the interface of both systems differ enormously. Some people prefer the interface of the Sony, other prefer that of the Panasonic. The screen of the NEX-7 is much better and can be tilted. The built-in EVF of the Sony is an enormous advantage, too. The size of the lenses of Sony may be a big disadvantage, though, depending on your wishes how small your camera actually should be.

    But at the end of the day it depends on your personal needs. Your question, if you should better take the GX1 and the 25mm or the NEX-7 with the 18-55mm, is rather odd. You should better ask:

    NEX-7 and 18-55mm vs. GX1 and 14-45mm (*)
    NEX-7 and Zeiss 24mm vs. GX1 and Leica 25mm

    (*) the 14-45mm is Panasonic's best standard-zoom

    The Panasonic 14-45mm is said to be better than the Sony 18-55mm, which is said to be decent, but not great. The Zeiss 24mm and the Leica 25mm are great lenses and I would like to own both of them. It depends on your liking. Do you want a classic normal lens? Then take the Leica 25mm. Do you want it a little bit wider? Then take the Zeiss 24mm. I would take that as my main criterium for your choice.

    Please look at your photographs taken with the Canon 5D. Have you shot your favorite pictures at 35mm or at 50mm? Which is more important to you? Buy the NEX-7 (or the NEX-5) and the Zeiss 24mm, if the majority of your favorites have been taken at 35mm, or the GX1 and the 25mm, if 50mm is your preferred focal length.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. blb

    blb Guest

    I would just reiterate the old "try before you buy" adage as folks here seem to defend their personal choices as fiercely as they would (I hope!) their children. Also, for what it's worth, it seems that there are more m43 folks here than there are Nex-types, and, if true, that may color the feedback you get. I've had the Epl1, Epl2, gf1, g1, gf2, and now the 5n. For whatever nebulous and personal set of variables, the olympus cameras just didn't do it for me - I liked neither the feel nor the images. If I were to do this all again, I would probably have stayed with my first purchase - the gf1 and 20mm - and learned more about shooting RAW and the benefits of shooting prime, but, though I personally liked the panasonic's better - especially the feel of them - I never liked them enough to pull them out instead of my t2i. Now, the opposite is true. I love the feel of the 5n, the metal, the heft, the machined feel of the lens - I enjoy taking it with me and, in terms of IQ, I can't match it with my rebel. So - for me - the camera is plenty small (it easily fits in my coat pocket) and is not heavy around the neck. But, I respect that others prefer one of the m43 brands, and I get that the m43 lens are better (and being produced by more manufacturers), but at some point you don't root for the best football team, or even necessarily, the team with the best quarterback. You root for the team that captures the intangibles.
  8. olli

    olli Super Moderator Emeritus

    Sep 28, 2010
    Metro Manila
    I think most people here will recommend the kit they use so it won't really help you much. I would simply endorse pictor's point that any system that has what you need is a complete system for you. That's all that matters. For me, there are no complete systems because what I need is the equivalent of the 24-70 2.8 zoom and no system yet has that lens. Sony have one promised on their roadmap but now pushed back to late 2012 or early 2013; Panasonic had shown a 'concept' lens but with no indication as to when it will appear for real.

    So, you need to do as pictor suggests: what do you use now, and what does that tell you about what you need. And which system will deliver what you need?

    Also, I would suggest that if you can you should try to get hold of these cameras and see how they feel in your hand. IMHO this is often a more crucial aspect of a camera than a lot of the technical stuff that gets highlighted. Having said that one technical thing you might bear in mind is that if you are used to the big bright 5D viewfinder and plan to continue shooting with a viewfinder you will find the one on the NEX-7 closer to your current experience than the Panasonic add-on viewfinder (though they are both very good).

    Good luck.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Julien

    Julien Top Veteran

    Jan 6, 2012
    Paris, France
    Well personally I'm invested in none of those two systems, and I've only tried to answer the original question (GX1+PL25 or NEX7+18-55) But if the question was for instance "pick one body and one lens from any mirrorless system" I'd choose NEX-7 + Zeiss 24mm in a heartbeat (but that's an entirely different question).
  10. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    All I can say is that while you are afraid and waiting, photographic opportunities are passing you by.
  11. Isoterica

    Isoterica Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    First-- you need to decide what you want to shoot, that will determine the type of camera you get as to what lenses will be available [or wanted], what options are on the body itself.. etc. Going from a DSLR to a smaller camera is generally a loss in IQ if not other options though the compacts are getting pretty nice.. Lenses, sensors, raw capability etc.. Determine what you want to do and what is the minimum you want out of this new setup.

    Second-- you are polling people and that is great but as others have already admitted, each person has a bias in one direction or another. Now it isn't bad to hear their reasons behind their choices but ultimately the choice is yours. Take what you need, toss out what doesn't apply, always listen to alternatives just to broaden your choices but remember you have to carry it..

    Third-- I have said before that I do recommend borrowing or renting to try first. Even going to a camera store and handling them you can often tell if they feel right or don't. Some cameras just aren't ergonomically set up well, other's are too small for larger hands or have odd grips, sometimes something about a camera just turns you off. Go fondle them and if you can.. test a few out.

    It took me months to decide on a DSLR.. deals will come and go, new items will come out.. you can use your current camera while you still have it so don't feel pressured, focus on the choices you have and start narrowing the field and if a new one pops up, consider it, weigh it and reorder. Soon you'll figure it out.
  12. gdourado

    gdourado Regular

    Feb 8, 2012

    Thank you all for your replies!

    First, I will say what I like to shoot and how I usually use my camera.
    I use my camera alot when I travel.
    I've used my 5D mainly as a travel camera.
    When I travel, I use the 24-105 F4L IS lens.
    I like that lens because of it's reach and flexibility.
    When travelling, I shoot everything, from landscapes, city scapes, street, portraits of my wife and such.
    I usually take the sigma 50mm 1.4 to use in interiors and low light, like museums, churches...
    When I travel, I like the IQ of this combo, but I'm getting to dislike more and more the bulk and the sheer size of the system.
    I think the 5d and 24-105 makes me to noticiable on the streets and markets and such. I would like a stealthier camera.
    I also walk alot on foot, and by the end of the day, the weight of the camera is noticiable.

    When not travelling, I used to take photos when going for a walk, portraits of my wife, landscapes and a bit of general photography.
    These days I'm shooting less and less because I don't fell like taking the camera with me, It is to obstrusive to take when not going out specifically for taking pictures.

    That's why I'm thinking about going for a smaller and lighter system.
    I don't shoot sports, and don't shoot professionally. Just for me and my enjoyment.

    As for the systems, I now the M4/3 has more lenses...
    The thing is, would I use them all or even buy them?

    For travelling, I would need a normal zoom.
    The m4/3 has the 14-42 and the nex the 18-55.

    I saw this:
    View attachment 2693

    Amanzingly, the NEX zoom is not bigger than the M4/3, and neither system is pocketable with a normal zoom. So, a small shoulder bag would be necessary.

    In the M4/3 I like:
    - Panasonic 20mm 1.7
    - Panasonic 25mm 1.4
    - Panasonic 7-14mm f4
    - Panasonic 100-300
    - Olympus 45mm 1.8

    These lenses are sweet.
    I like the size of the 20mm 1.7. There really is nothing like that on NEX, yet. It's a lens I could use on the GX1 for street and a pocketable solution.
    The 25mm is a good lens, but expensive and not small. A camera bag is needed, so I could just go NEX7 and Zeiss 24... Not the same FL, but good.
    The 45mm is a sweet portrait lens. It is small and cheap. The sony has the 50mm 1.8, while a little bit biggerm none of them wouldbe pockatable and the price is pretty much on pair...
    The FL is not the same, but I like my 50mm sigma on a crop body for portraits.
    The 100-300 would be fun for it's reach to try some wildlife and plane spotting.
    Notting really like that on the NEX, but the 100-300 is big also, so if a telezoom comes to the NEX, it will probably not be that much bigger...
    I just don't know...
    If sony would launch something like the Panny 20mm, it would pretty much seal the deal for me...

    • Like Like x 1
  13. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    It sounds to me like you really want the Sony, so...
    • Like Like x 1
  14. retow

    retow All-Pro

    Jul 24, 2010
    How important is a Vf for you? If not at all, have a look at the Samsung NX200 with pancake lenses. Probably the only pocketable aps-c sensor system with interesting lenses.
  15. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    I echo Nic there. Gotta go with your heart! :smile:
  16. drd1135

    drd1135 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Lexington, Virginia
    Yeah, you clearly want the Sony, so get it. If you get the Panny you'll be second guessing yourself far more. The Nexs and lenses are more like small SLRs than compacts, but that's a good carry around system anyway since none of them are pocketable. Get the NEX 7 and the Zeiss 24 as mentioned above and you'll have your own version of X-100 except that other lenses will eventually appear.
  17. +1 I agree..
  18. wt21

    wt21 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    It depends on your use case. The only use case you listed was walking in Italy. I find I tend to use only the extreme ends of zooms. These smaller cameras do not yet have a zoom combo that is as good as a 5D + 24-105. So, you end up using primes. Do you know what focal lengths you used mainly with the 24-105? If mainly 25, then the GX1 + Oly 12mm would excel. If mainly 105, then the NEX + 50mm/1.8 gets close, or a GX1 + 45mm macro or Oly 45.

    My favorite travel kit -- combo of size and weight, even with the "lesser sensor" would be the Oly 14-150 + 20mm/1.7. Preferably on the new O-MD. Very small and versatile kit.

    NEX may come out with better lenses, and m43 may come out with better sensors, but I think you have to go with the here-and-now, and base your decision on your use/needs.

    One other point -- if you are obsessive over 100% crops and really like to push pictures hard in post-production, you might be a bit happier with the NEX, if you can live with the lens choices (here I'm thinking AF, if you are OK with MF, then you could find more flexibility with NEX).
  19. krugorg

    krugorg All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    Like a few other wise people have said, it sounds like your heart wants the NEX. I bet you will love the NEX with kit zoom and you can always grab the Zeiss or 50mm prime at some point.

    But... just don't go into it thinking that you are going to get a small pancake that is as fast and as sharp as the 20/1.7 m4/3, at least in the next couple years. That is the trade off with the larger sensor.
  20. krugorg

    krugorg All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    I changed my mind... I think you should buy both!

    Get the NEX7 with kit zoom and then buy a small m4/3 body, say an E-PM1, with the Panasonic 20/1.7. The whole kit will still be quite compact and will give you the best of both worlds. :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 1