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Old 08-15-2012, 11:43 PM   #1
YodasMom
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Mirrorless Cameras: Need help with choices

I am getting tired of lugging around my Sony Alpha 550 and a myriad of lenses at WDW and a few other places. Though I plan to continue to use it for landscape shots elsewhere, I would like to consider options for mirrorless cameras.

I'm looking at the Olympus OM-D E-M5 as well as the Nex 5N or 7. Is it possible to use my existing Sony (and a few Minolta) lenses with an adapter with any of these options, or would I need to purchase all new lenses? Most of my existing lenses have autofocus, if that makes any difference. I do like a lot of the features of the Olympus E-M5.

Anyone have any opinions on these or should I be waiting until some of the newer Sonys come out later this year? I have 2 trips planned this fall.

Thanks for any advice anyone has!
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Old 08-16-2012, 12:39 AM   #2
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Hi, i shoot with the Nex 7. You can use your alpha lenses on the Nex with the Sony LAEA adapters which will retain autofocus. Im always using the Sony 35 f1.8 and LA-EA2 adapter on my Nex 7. It's an amazing camera. Another thing the Nex line has is focus peaking which aids focusing manual lenses.
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Old 08-16-2012, 04:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YodasMom View Post
I am getting tired of lugging around my Sony Alpha 550 and a myriad of lenses at WDW and a few other places. Though I plan to continue to use it for landscape shots elsewhere, I would like to consider options for mirrorless cameras.

I'm looking at the Olympus OM-D E-M5 as well as the Nex 5N or 7. Is it possible to use my existing Sony (and a few Minolta) lenses with an adapter with any of these options, or would I need to purchase all new lenses? Most of my existing lenses have autofocus, if that makes any difference. I do like a lot of the features of the Olympus E-M5.

Anyone have any opinions on these or should I be waiting until some of the newer Sonys come out later this year? I have 2 trips planned this fall.

Thanks for any advice anyone has!
I have the E-M5 and love it! I too got tired of lugging my DSLR around and couldn't take all of my lenses with me. Now I take the E-M5 and can fit it, 5 lenses and a flash in a small backpack and hardly notice the weight.

Since you have Sony lenses already, one of the Nex cameras may be a better option. I have an Olympus DSLR but decided instead of using my Oly lenses on the E-M5 to go with all native lenses since I was switching primarily due to size and weight. If that is a concern for you, the m.4/3 lenses are much smaller than the Nex lenses and there are also many more native lenses for the m.4/3 system than for the Nex. If you use non-native lenses for the Nex, the advantage of it over the E-M5 is that the Nex has focus peaking.

My nephew recently bought the Nex 5N but he only has the kit lens with it. I'm anxious to try it out as I've never actually handled one.

Both of these cameras take excellent photos. Olympus has a promotion now where if you buy the E-M5 you can get $150 off any lenses, up to 3 lenses I think.
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:43 AM   #4
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Thanks, HPS3 and Pugrpooh!! This is helpful!

If I were to get any of these cameras and use any of my existing lenses, I would only use the small ones since it would defeat my purpose of trying the mirrorless system.

Any other opinions?
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:13 AM   #5
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The NEX line would make more sense if you have any intention of holding onto your current Alpha lenses AND wanted to autofocus with any of them. It would be the only option.

There are two different adapters you can get for Alpha lenses that will let them autofocus on the NEX, but they are quite different. First, you have the LAEA1 adapter - it's cheaper, and smaller & lighter. However, it will only autofocus with Sony or Minolta lenses that are of the 'SAM' or 'SSM' design - those that have focus motors built into the lens. If your lens isn't a SAM or SSM, it won't autofocus with this adapter.

The LAEA2 is a larger, heavier, more complex, and more expensive adapter - it will autofocus ANY Sony/Minolta A-mount lens. It is essentially 1/2 of a full Alpha SLT camera - it has a phase-detect autofocus system, a translucent mirror, and a screw drive for the lens all built into it. The NEX wouldn't quite have the size advantage anymore with this adapter attached, as it comes out nearly the size of the Alphas - but it will be fully, 100% functional with all your lenses...and of course, you can still have the option to use the camera without the adapter using one of the native NEX lenses when you want to travel lighter.

Quality-wise, the OMD, NEX5N and NEX7 are all excellent, so you can't go wrong with any of them. I shot with an A550 which I upgraded to an A580, and also had a NEX3 which I upgraded to a NEX-5N...I like having the two camera systems for different needs. I mostly use the NEX with the eMount NEX lenses because they're smaller, lighter, and autofocus easily and quickly...and stick with the A580 for the bigger lenses and more advanced action work. IQ wise, there's no way you could tell an A580 shot of the same subject from a NEX-5N shot - it's the same excellent 16MP sensor.
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:54 PM   #6
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I also would agree that the NEX line would make sense since you can get the adaptors to use with your other lenses. I also have used the Sony Alpha cameras and like Justin first bought the NEX-3 and have now upgraded that to the 5N. I'm now using the NEX camera more than the Alpha but since I have many great and favorite lenses from the Alpha line I'm more than pleased that I can still use them with the NEX if I choose to. Or, I have the option to just go light and use the NEX lenses. The 16mm is a favorite but even the 18-55 is very easy to carry in my bag.

As for which one that's going to depend a bit more on your preference. I have no issues giving a great recommendation for the 5N. One of the big plusses of it is the touchscreen. But the flash is an accessory and if you wish to have a viewfinder that is also an accessory and it's one or the other at a time. I don't use flash much so it hasn't been an issue though. The NEX 7 provides the built in flash and the built in viewfinder but no touchscreen. However it does have more manual controls so mostly that's a non-issue although I do like the touchscreen for selecting a focus point. Or the new NEX-F3 looks to be quite nice too and has the built in flash but again, no touchscreen. Size wise the 5N is the smallest then the F3 and then the 7. Sometimes I wonder if I ought to go from the 5N to the 7 because I often have the viewfinder attached so I'm adding to the size but I do like being able to take it off and still having a more compact camera. But if someone said you have to trade I wouldn't be upset.
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Old 08-18-2012, 08:48 PM   #7
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Thanks again for the input!! It's really helpful. I'm still considering my options, but will likely go for either the Nex 5N or Oly OM-D, unless something else comes out soon.
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Old 08-18-2012, 10:05 PM   #8
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I have a canon 5d3 and recently purchased a Sony nex f3 for a trip to DL and it worked quite well since everything was outdoors. The rotating LCD it has is great for a candid on a ride. No guessing on where to point it. I have just the kit lens. I did use the 55-210 and it was nice and light but pretty long. Now the cons the lens af can miss sometimes. The nr on Iso 1600 and above softens the details and at 2500 and above there can be lots of purple fringing in the shadows. I think I am going to preorder the canon eos-m since it has the phase/contrast detect focus and I believe canon optics are better. Plus it has a hot shoe. Just myop.
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Old 08-18-2012, 11:13 PM   #9
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I bought a Lumix G3 last year for travel and I really like it. It worked very well @ WDW. I am not going to lug my Nikon D800 around while on vacation.
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Old 08-19-2012, 01:40 PM   #10
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One thing that is making me lean somewhat toward the Olympus right now is that I will be using it to take shots both with autofocus and manual focus on trips to WDW. This is because I have taken years worth of photos already at WDW and, some times, I want to capture an image quicker without taking the time to make manual settings. I've heard the Sony Nex line does not capture autofocus shots as clearly........Is this true?

For trips where I am photographing images that are newer to me, or for landscape or nature photography, I will be back using my Alpha DSLR and lenses.
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Old 08-19-2012, 02:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YodasMom View Post
One thing that is making me lean somewhat toward the Olympus right now is that I will be using it to take shots both with autofocus and manual focus on trips to WDW. This is because I have taken years worth of photos already at WDW and, some times, I want to capture an image quicker without taking the time to make manual settings. I've heard the Sony Nex line does not capture autofocus shots as clearly........Is this true?

For trips where I am photographing images that are newer to me, or for landscape or nature photography, I will be back using my Alpha DSLR and lenses.
I haven't used the Olympus so I don't know how it's autofocus speed compares but I don't have complaints about the NEX autofocus sharpness. And the 5N makes it quite good with the ability to use the touchscreen to select your focus point without having to use some other toggle or focus select wheel or button. I use the autofocus for the majority of my pictures although focus peaking on the NEX also makes manual focus very easy to use. I don't think anyone would be very forgiving if the autofocus wasn't consistently sharp.

Focus speed can be variable depending on if you are using NEX lenses or adaptors being used with different types of Alpha lens but again I couldn't compare those set ups to the Olympus to comment on if one is better or worse in that regard but I don't think that is what you were referring to.
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:15 PM   #12
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I have an Olympus PEN EPL1 that I use for video recording, and for taking out when I don't way to lug my Canon T3i around.

I love it, and the photos taken on it are amazing!

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Old 08-19-2012, 04:21 PM   #13
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These "Which one should I get?" threads are kind of funny cause naturally people gravitate toward the one they know best which is generally the one they use themselves!

First, I think either is a good choice.

Second, I'll divulge I'm an Olympus user. I use Olympus dSLRs and have lots of large, heavy lenses, and I also have an Olympus PEN Mirrorless which has smaller micro 4:3 lenses. I think it is an advantage to have auto focus with lenses when you use an adaptor on your mirrorless system. With that said, I bought an Olympus adapter but I have yet to use it! Turns out, I really like the micro 4:3 lenses. They just seem to go better with the smaller camera. This wasn't something I anticipated before I started using it. I figured I'd want to use all the big guns but honestly, I haven't had a need as of yet. (And I just got the two kit lenses, not the better quality ones.) I'm sure I will someday and I certainly like having the option, but I use that camera mainly for fun or when I'm traveling really light, so keeping it simple is working out well. The 14-42 kit lens is retractable and makes the system fairly small when it's on. Nice feature.

This statement of yours is telling:
Quote:
If I were to get any of these cameras and use any of my existing lenses, I would only use the small ones since it would defeat my purpose of trying the mirrorless system.
I think you're wise to think this way, based on my own experience. Other people may be different but you know yourself best.

Regardless of which camera you buy, you know you'll be using the smaller lenses. Check. With your smaller Sony lenses, I guess you'll have auto focus with an adaptor on the NEX. (Don't know all the ins and outs of the NEX and Sony lenses, but I think so.)

With an adaptor on an Olympus you can use those lenses also (I have read that you can use any lens on a PEN or other m4:3 with an adaptor), but they will not auto focus. Only 4:3 lenses with an Olympus adaptor will autofocus.

If you are considering the OMD, however, you would want to get the better m4:3 lens with it anyway. It is in a different class than the PEN. There are becoming a lot of m4:3 lenses to choose from, and they are nice glass. Supposedly the sensor in the OMD is a Sony sensor, too and doesn't have as many of the issues with noise at higher ISOs that previous sensors had. (Personally, I try to shoot without using higher ISOs so it hasn't been a huge issue for me anyway.)

I've read a lot of reviews of the OMD from people using it and they are leaving their dSLRs at home and not worrying about it. Amazingly, too, these are not just Olympus loyalists but users of all brands as well. I'm not giving up my dSLR but I would have zero hesitation about getting an OMD. I probably will eventually when I have some extra funds.

Like we always tell people here, whatever you buy has to feel comfortable to you in your hands, and you should find it pleasing to the eye, etc. I don't know if there are OMDs around to play with, but if you can find one you should check it out. With either one, if your not happy, you can always exchange it. Some people seem really happy with their mirrorless systems, and others don't like them, or prefer the simplicity of a point and shoot. Everyone's different. All you can do is give it a whirl.

Good luck!
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I've read a lot of reviews of the OMD from people using it and they are leaving their dSLRs at home and not worrying about it. Amazingly, too, these are not just Olympus loyalists but users of all brands as well. I'm not giving up my dSLR but I would have zero hesitation about getting an OMD. I probably will eventually when I have some extra funds.
I just gave up mine today! Along with the 12-60mm lens which seems gigantic to me now. I would love an equivalent lens for my OM-D - that one was on my E600 95% of the time. My nephew bought them so I'll have visiting rights.
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:40 PM   #15
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For me the choice of which mirrorless camera was based largely on the lineup of lenses available. I migrated from Canon EOS and wanted to have as good a selection as that (or at least close to that, not including lenses that mere mortals can't buy or carry, like 600mm).

Micro 4/3 has by far the largest number of native mount lenses for mirrorless.
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=40938009
This list does not yet include some of the latest lenses, such as Panasonic's 12-35 f/2.8. The mirrorless lenses are not less $$$ than FF or APS-C but they sure are smaller and lighter!
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