1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Camera choice help

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by Blokewithnoidea, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. Blokewithnoidea

    Blokewithnoidea Active Member

    Magic! Lots of very helpful replies here. I'm so glad I signed up to this forum. It looks like my preferred direction is lots of saving and flogging stuff on eBay followed by purchase of the Sony NEX5 which you all indicate would be a good choice. ((Looking at photos I'm pleased with from my current 42x zoom camera, none were achieved using full zoom so I'm over that hang-up.))

    I had a good look at the NEX range on line and it seems to offer a lot of good points. Obviously, the image quality is of prime importance and, having briefly handled one, the quality and display look good. There is a kit that offers two lenses (in old 35mm terms, a 24 to 82 and an 82 to 300). I believe there is also an 'ultra wide' adaptor that can be fitted on the shorter lens.
    Other good features include the presence of a filter thread as I would like to use UV, polarising and possibly starburst filters. Maybe there's a lens hood too. Unfortunately, I can't get to a camera shop without a 4 hour round trip.

    I would really like a hinged screen as I like to shoot from awkward angles. My current camera screen hinges on one plane only which makes it useful in landscape but useless in portrait. I can't quite figure whether the latest NEX5 has a screen that hinges in both planes. (The one I looked at was an older camera).

    The WiFi link looks very useful. The idea of transferring images direct to my iPad just as the iPhone does, without removing the SD card is attractive. I guess this would not be important to many users.

    Pity there's no GPS. When travelling, a GPS stamp in the EXIF data is very useful.

    So, a few more questions:
    1. Are any of my assumptions above wrong?
    2. Does anyone know about the screen hinge?
    3. Any advice on those filters? I do have a pile of Cokin A series ones from years ago but I've lost the adapter.
    4. Has anyone tried the WiFi?
    5. Any suggestions of camera shops staffed by people who know in Southampton, Bournemouth, Salisbury areas?
    6. Is it worth looking at the Panasonic or do I gather that the sensor is not as good as the Sony?
    7. Does the battery charge in or out of the camera?

    Many thanks for everyone's help so far.
  2. IvorETower

    IvorETower Little Buttercup

    Two branches of LCE in Southampton, and Castle Cameras in Salisbury. I don't know about Bournemouth and there may be other good camera shops in the other 2 cities, but I am personally not aware of them.
  3. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    Most interchangeable lenses of all makes have filter threads. The main exceptions are ultra wide angles and fisheyes that have a large protruding front element.

    Ultrawide adapters tend to severely lower the picture quality, with distortion, chromatic aberration, and general softness, particularly in the corners. You may want to get one just to play around with ultra-wide composition - it needs a different way of looking at things - but you'll probably want a proper ultra wide lens if you get serious about it.

    Assuming you're talking about the NEX-5R, the most recent version (there've been several versions of NEX-5 over the years), then it looks like the answer is single axis (horizontal) only. See DPreview here.

    Just be aware of security issues with WiFi. You don't want your camera getting hacked and sending spam email! :)

    A work around is to carry a pocket GPS with track logging (most have this). When you get home, you upload your photos and the track log to your computer and software adds the GPS position to the photos by correlating the timestamps. You need to make sure the camera clock is set accurately.

    This is a bit more faffing about, obviously.

    I think Cokin A are probably too small to be much use with NEX lenses, certainly at the wide end. You're probably better getting new circular screw in filters. If the lenses have different filter sizes, you could just get filters for the bigger size, and an adapter ring. It could stop you fitting the lens hood though, which can give better protection than a filter in many circumstances, and always improves, rather than degrades, the picture quality.

    Avoid very cheap filters, that are probably uncoated, and may not even be optically flat!. There's a good comparison review of several makes of polarisers at Lenstip.com here.
    The NEX-5R seems a bit new to have many detailed reviews, but I think it probably charges the batter separately. This makes it a lot easier to have spare batteries, and leave one on charge at home while you're out shooting with the other.
  4. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath

    The two earlier respondents have answered your detailed questions pretty well. So just mopping up the odds and sods :-

    The Sony Nex 5R two lens kit and you look as though they are just right for you.

    The Nex 5 charges it's battery in camera via a USB lead which can be plugged in to your PC pr to the three pin adaptor that comes with it. I have one Sony compact which charges this way and, whilst easy, it is not the super convenience it sounds - you need to leave your whole camera perched somewhere while it does it.

    It's worth also looking at the Panasonic GX1X with the power zoom because this lens is so compact when switched off - easier to carry. However, being micro 4/3 it has a slightly smaller sensor although very big compared with a bridge camera. Crop factor for micro 4/3 is 2.0 rather than 1.5 for APS-C.

    The screen hinge being two way is not a problem on a CSC. In a compact like the Canon G11 a 3 way hinge allows the screen to twist and fold flat against the body with the screen innermost to the camera - but it's not a big advantage.

    The joy of GPS wears off very quickly - so shouldn't worry about it.

    Rather than an ultra wide adaptor to go wider than 24mm equivalent use a wider lens - part of the joy of CSC's. Like the Sony 10-18 which goes from 15-27 equivalent.

    Now go for it before you get led in a different direction - which can go on for months whilst every user of every brand on the forum pushes their pets.
  5. Blokewithnoidea

    Blokewithnoidea Active Member

    Once again, loads of thanks to everyone. Looks like I'm there now. All I need is the cash.
    I will attempt to get to see the NEX5r rather than buying blind.
  6. Blokewithnoidea

    Blokewithnoidea Active Member

    Arghh. I've just done a bit more checking and the NEX screen only hinges in one plane. This camera is therefore not an option. Back to the drawing board.
  7. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath

    Shoudn't affect you - flipping up and down is useful for low level subjects in landscape mode. Unless you plan to position the camera by your toes whilst taking portraits the extra plane of flip really doesn't do anything for you.

    Canon G cameras no longer flip in all planes - not enough people found it useful.

    IMHO you can allow excessive imagined requirements to stop you in your tracks.
  8. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    ... in this and many other things.
  9. Blokewithnoidea

    Blokewithnoidea Active Member

    Yeah, I hear what you are saying. However, the screen tilt is an excellent feature that I use all the time. My close-up eyesight isn't that great. I frequently use the camera at waist and ground level. My current camera's screen tilts in landscape but not in portrait and I find this immensely frustrating. I never use the viewfinder. I thought I'd found exactly the right thing with the NEX.
    Before the tilting screen, I took a lot of my photos blind, just hoping the camera was pointing the right way. I notice that the Nikon p520 that replaces the p510 that I've got, does have a 2-way tilt.
    I also know that many people find the GPS features superfluous but this is another feature I use a lot when travelling. After a recent trip, I returned with 8,000+ photos, many of which I couldn't precisely position.
    I'm really not interested in photography in it's own right. I like it as a means to record the things I see. I like to use unusual POVs and take the camera almost everywhere. The compact and bridge cameras are great, would be better still with tilting screens and ideal with larger sensors to improve clarity (yes, I know there's a lens issue too but...).
    I know this will annoy purists but that's the way it is for me.
    Thanks again to everyone for their kind advice and suggestions.
    Canon EOS 60D? Now getting well beyond my price range. :)
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
  10. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath

    OK - will leave you to get on with this on your own now.

    All the best.
  11. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    How on earth do you take 8000 photos on one trip? I hardly do that in 5 years!
  12. Blokewithnoidea

    Blokewithnoidea Active Member

    Several months in foreign lands. :) (...and there are two of us.)
  13. Blokewithnoidea

    Blokewithnoidea Active Member

    Cool. Thanks for your guidance & advice. Sorry it turned out a bit frustrating. :)
  14. Snorri

    Snorri Well-Known Member

    Or a 600D?, smaller lighter and much cheaper. It has the same sensor and many of the same features like the swirly screen but yes the 60D is a better camera. But is it in the ways important to you and or worth the extra price.
  15. Blokewithnoidea

    Blokewithnoidea Active Member

    Aha, thank you. I hope to visit somewhere with less sheep and more shops very soon. I'll take a look at the 600D. A quick look at it on the web is encouraging. There are some very positive reviews too.
    Thanks for sticking with me. I'll get the right result eventually.
  16. Blokewithnoidea

    Blokewithnoidea Active Member

    Thanks for all your very rational input to this thread. I had a look at the Sony NEX5r today. The screen hinges right around until it faces forward and therefore overcomes the double hinge problem. The camera seems well-built and I have seem some excellent results from one. The body is smaller than my current bridge camera and so should do very well as a hobby camera and for snapshots too. So, after all the wranglings, I have compromised as you suggested and bought the Sony NEX5r.
  17. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Have you considered film?

    Stunning quality, brilliant learning opportunity.

    Sorry, couldn't resist.


  18. Blokewithnoidea

    Blokewithnoidea Active Member

    Yeah, right!
  19. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath

    Glad you have taken the plunge - good choice. You will be happy with it.

    Several people have written in to the forum with "problems" with their new cameras. In virtually all cases it came down to the fact that they had gone through all the menus, changed virtually every default setting, and were shooting pictures straight into the sun with the sun in the frame or in very dark places with long shutter speeds and massively high ISO's.

    For a while I would suggest using Programme Auto, and Auto ISO until you have a few pretty conventional pictures you are happy with.

    All the Best.
  20. Blokewithnoidea

    Blokewithnoidea Active Member

    My difficulty is more because I'm awkward and like to take photos from ridiculous angles. I really liked the NEX because it's compact enough to be an everyday use camera. The screen hinges right around and can be turned 180 degrees to face forward. This solved the problem for me.
    No GPS but I can get by without that. If I need to tag a location, one photo with my iPhone geotags the place so I can map the location later. GPS is battery hungry.
    Apart from a viewfinder, the NEX appears to have the main DSLR features with separate modes that prevent the mix up you can get in if (as you suggest above) you start changing defaults.
    The WiFi function is interesting and I think it's going to be a lot more useful than I originally anticipated. Firstly, the photos transfer to my computer wirelessly and securely without the need for removing the SD card or connecting a cable. They transfer to my iPhone too. This is a useful feature if you are away from the computer for a prolonged period because the photos get stored on 'cloud' memory. Secondly, the camera can be controlled remotely from the iPhone. The screen on the phone becomes the viewfinder and one tap takes the photo.

    The next stage is extra lenses and a few filters. But that's a different story.
    Thanks again .

Share This Page