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Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Re: Re: I need a large sensor on 08/28/2012 20:03:01 MDT Print View

Sony's sensors are pretty impressive now. I've been using a Nex, originally a Nex-5, which I took with me up Kilimanjaro and into the Serengeti, and now a Nex-7, which I took up Mount Rainier and on a couple of backpacking trips in the Cascades. Depending on which lenses you select, it can be pretty compact, but the quality of the pictures is very good. On top of that, the Nex-7 shoots BluRay quality video and has excellent ergonomics. I wish it were weather sealed, but at least it's pretty solidly built, and it's a good complement to my monorail.

Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Re: Re: To Not DSLR... on 08/28/2012 20:19:14 MDT Print View

"I'll look at Nex7 again. Because I really really want to believe it will replace my heavy photo gear (not mentioning my tank tripod Monfrotto weighing 3 kilos, OMG! - don't worry I will never take it again to hike. Learnt it hard way). Nex7 may be screwed on a lighter tripod. Maybe even hiking pole. The lenses are lighter and smaller. "

I still shoot 4x5. I used to use a Nikon dSLR for on-the-trail shooting, since the 4x5 isn't exactly suited for that (I choose camp sites for potential 4x5 opportunities whenever I can). After seeing the picture quality I was able to get with a Nex-7, I sold my Nikon dSLR, which was a d300. I wasn't compromising in quality, though the Nex lens lineup is a bit on the anemic side right now. I'm using several Zeiss and Minolta lenses via adapters right now on the Nex, except when I'm backpacking, in which case I take only the 50mm 5/1.8 lens, which is giving me excellent results, and is quite light.

The Nex7 viewfinder is actually very good. It's better if you manage to not lose the eye cup, but it's still very good.

I also don't understand why anyone would walk into the field with a 3 Kg tripod. It's much more sensible to carry a good lightweight tripod and hang weight on it when you're shooting. I use a 2 pound Gitzo Mountaineer, and it's plenty solid. If it's windy, I can hang my pack from it. I use this setup for my 4x5, and I have images printed at 24x30 from it that are razor sharp, so I know it's plenty sturdy enough. Very few of my large format photographs have exposure times of less than 1/2 of a second.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: To Not DSLR... on 08/28/2012 20:24:31 MDT Print View

"It's much more sensible to carry a good lightweight tripod and hang weight on it when you're shooting."

Too many lightweight tripods have a fairly low load capacity. Some don't even have any load capacity rating at all.

Hanging weight on a tripod will work halfway, but it takes time to set all of that up, so you can get landscapes, but not wildlife on the move.

--B.G.--

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
New Cameras on 08/28/2012 21:04:35 MDT Print View

"It's much more sensible to carry a good lightweight tripod and hang weight on it when you're shooting. I use a 2 pound Gitzo Mountaineer, and it's plenty solid. If it's windy, I can hang my pack from it"
I sold cameras for 30 years and used that advice with LW tripods for at least the last twenty.
Most customers liked the idea (people with a tripod usually had a camera bag too) others looked at me funny.
Just a different way of thinking...
BTW, if the legs are bending, you are exceeding the max weight...


Franco

Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: New Cameras on 08/28/2012 21:10:17 MDT Print View

"BTW, if the legs are bending, you are exceeding the max weight..."

Yeah, people seem to be oblivious to the fact that most modern professional tripods are rated for FAR more weight than the camera and lens combinations that people will be using on them, even the bigger lenses. In fact, most of these tripods are rated for more weight than the average UL backpacker with a camera would be carrying TOTAL. So why not take advantage of that by hanging a bit of weight on it to stabilize it?

In reality, that would end up working better than using a heavier tripod anyway, because hanging your pack from the hook on the bottom lowers the system's center of gravity.

I figure if someone thinks that they should both shell out extra bux and carry the extra weight of an over-heavy tripod for stability, they can have it. I'll stick to my lighter tripod and carry some extra snacks and film :)

Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Sony RX100 review on 08/28/2012 23:27:05 MDT Print View

DP Review posted its review of the Sony DSC-RX100 today

Edited by blean on 08/28/2012 23:27:37 MDT.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Re: Re: Remember, there's more than pixels on 08/28/2012 23:53:13 MDT Print View

Joseph, why haven't you tried the Nex line? Isn't it a little bit better quality then RX100? RX100 is compact camera with 4-time smaller sensor (area). And of course, the lens.

Your opinion is important for me.

Edited by tauneutrino on 08/29/2012 00:14:37 MDT.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Re: Re: Remember, there's more than pixels on 08/29/2012 00:06:31 MDT Print View

I'm not sure what are you talking about here, but the quality of, say, Nex-7 doesn't come close to Canon 5D Mark II. The huge difference is the lens. For Canon/Nikon DSLRs there are 300 lenses. Some of them are high-end quality lenses - you just cannot achieve such sharpness on your Nex.

The talk good DSLR vs mirrorless is meaningless DSLR is much better in terms of quality, ergonomics, ease of use. But is much more bulky and MUCH more heavier (consider lens weight also).

For me it is very interesting with what mirrorless models old DSLR users replaced their beloved cameras.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Re: Re: Re: Re: To Not DSLR... on 08/29/2012 00:25:20 MDT Print View

WOW! You might be very serious if you're taking your 4x5 into the wild! Those trips were work trips or for your own pleasure? You say you've used same LW tripod for 4x5 camera?

BTW, how would you rate Nex-7 video vs, say, FF DSLR video such as 5D Mark II? I know, the focus on 5D is not that convenient, but if you look on quality side only?

Also, are you happy with the dynamic range of Nex-7? How does perform the wide angle 16mm f/2.8 lens in landscape photography? How you shot with this camera most of your pictures? I saw 2 dials on back of camera, are they for aperture/shutter speed? I'm asking, because I don't want camera with all the controls through menus. From reviews I read you can customize some of the Nex-7 buttons with functions (just like on your Nikon D300). Can you hang spot mettering as one of functions? I find it very useful. Is there a DOF preview? How do you switch between aperture/shutter speed priority and full manual mode, via menus? You find it comfortable?

Also, are there filters available for the 16&50mm lens? In particular, neutral density graduate filters are interesting. Less interesting are polarizing filters. Maybe special filters for sunsets... Ah, we're UL here :)

Sorry for too many questions :) But I'm on decision to buy the Nex-7, so your input would be very helpful. Thanks!

Edited by tauneutrino on 08/29/2012 00:29:20 MDT.

Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Re: Re: Remember, there's more than pixels on 08/29/2012 00:27:21 MDT Print View

"I'm not sure what are you talking about here, but the quality of, say, Nex-7 doesn't come close to Canon 5D Mark II. The huge difference is the lens. For Canon/Nikon DSLRs there are 300 lenses. Some of them are high-end quality lenses - you just cannot achieve such sharpness on your Nex."

Reality says you're wrong.

But then again, most of my lenses are Zeiss lenses, so one must wonder what your major malfunction is, since one could easily put one of the crappy Canon kit lenses on a 5d Mark II and then point out that the image looks like crap because you put a lousy lens on it.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
Re: Re: Re: Re: Remember, there's more than pixels on 08/29/2012 00:39:09 MDT Print View

Do your zeiss lenses focus automatically?

Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To Not DSLR... on 08/29/2012 00:50:16 MDT Print View

"WOW! You might be very serious if you're taking your 4x5 into the wild! Those trips were work trips or for your own pleasure? You say you've used same LW tripod for 4x5 camera?"

Yes, I like being able to print my landscape images big. So far, 24x30 has been my largest print size, but we haven't pushed the drum scanners to its limits yet, because a 2-4 GB image is a bit unwieldy. :)

It's both work and pleasure, for me.

I use a Gitzo Mountaineer tripod for both my 4x5 stills and for my cinematography, most of the time. There are times when the tripod wasn't really an option, like when I was chasing a photographer around the studio while she was doing a baby photo shoot, and when I was climbing Mount Rainier.

"BTW, how would you rate Nex-7 video vs, say, FF DSLR video such as 5D Mark II? I know, the focus on 5D is not that convenient, but if you look on quality side only?"

It's BluRay quality. The noise blew me away -- there was a LOT less than I expected even at 800-1600 ISO. I don't use autofocus very much when I shoot video, I normally manual focus -- I find rack focus and follow focus to be a LOT easier with manual focus than with autofocus, especially with professional lenses.

"Also, are you happy with the dynamic range of Nex-7? How does perform the wide angle 16mm f/2.8 lens in landscape photography? How you shot with this camera most of your pictures? I saw 2 dials on back of camera, are they for aperture/shutter speed? I'm asking, because I don't want camera with all the controls through menus. From reviews I read you can customize some of the Nex-7 buttons with functions (just like on your Nikon D300). Can you hang spot mettering as one of functions? I find it very useful. Is there a DOF preview? How do you switch between aperture/shutter speed priority and full manual mode, via menus? You find it comfortable?"

The dynamic range is better than I'd expected also. I honestly thought that the 24 megapixel sensor would be problematic in that regard, but apparently Sony's put a lot of R&D into their sensors, because the results I got blew me away. I expected it to be comparable to my older d300, but it wasn't... it was far ahead.

The two dials up top on the Nex-7 by default control shutter speed and aperture, while the 3rd dial on the back controls ISO. Sony really nailed the UI in that regard. I don't think that you can change that particular combination, but there's a button on the top toward the front that lets you cycle through a series of settings that you CAN customize, and in each custom setting group you can configure all three dials. I also have a button set to turn autofocus on and off.

It does have a spot meter setting. The DOF preview is on the monitor, Sony took advantage of the fact that both the screen and the eyepiece are OLEDs. Both are high resolution, reasonably accurate as far as color, and show the same information. That means that you can turn on a live histogram, and you can also see an approximation of the scene as rendered using your current shutter speed, ISO, and aperture setting combination.

Changing from aperture/shutter priority, single shot, burst, self timer, etc is pretty quick, since it's all done through one dial. Press the correct quadrant, the menu shows up, and spin the dial until you get the setting you want. It's nice and quick.

"Sorry for too many questions :) But I'm on decision to buy the Nex-7, so your input would be very helpful. Thanks!"

No problem!

The Nex-7 is a great camera. I'm actually still a bit shocked that Sony pulled it off, because it really surprised me with its combination of image quality and compactness and ergonomics. It's the first digital camera I've used that is set up to be as smooth in operation as a Leica m7 or a Nikon fm3a or similar traditional body. What's even more impressive is that the menu system is still poorly organized and somewhat clumsy, yet the camera still ends up being exceedingly smooth to operate.

Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Remember, there's more than pixels on 08/29/2012 00:51:04 MDT Print View

"Do your zeiss lenses focus automatically?"

They can, but not with the adapter I have. Not that i care, since I prefer manual focus for most of my work, especially for cinematography, so I haven't upgrade to the adapter that will allow me to use them with autofocus.

Not that autofocus has anything to do with sharpness, of course... you're just trying to find an excuse to justify your earlier misplaced criticisms, since they didn't hold up to reality. Good luck with that.

Joseph R
(Dianoda) - MLife

Locale: Chicago, IL
Re: Re: Re: Remember, there's more than pixels on 08/29/2012 11:43:58 MDT Print View

Hi Gregory,
The reason behind no NEX for me is a bit of a story. But it basically comes down to size.

I had progressed my ultralight philosophy to the point where I was bringing no camera at all on some of my ultralight trips. That was frustrating - traveling to beautiful places of the world and having no camera because I did not want to or could not dedicate the space, weight, and care that my DSLR requires in my pack. Even when I have the DSLR with me on trail, it can be a pain to use - my DSLR+lens (a Canon 7D, and the lens is usually a Rokinon 35mm f/1.4) is big enough that it is either being used or is in my pack. Having to stop to pull out the camera for a quick shot meant that the quick shot was a multiple minute stop - more time consuming than I preferred.

So while I'm sure I'd be happy with an NEX7 + Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 (and the image quality would definitely be a step up compared to the RX100), the thought of another interchangeable lens system, even a much smaller one, still seemed a little cumbersome. It would likely still need to be stored in my pack when not in use. That lead me to searching for the most camera I could actually fit in my pocket. The Canon S100 was very high on my list, but when Sony announced the RX100, given the size of the camera and the sensor size, it went right to the top of my short list.

My big DSLR and lenses aren't going anywhere. They will find themselves in the backcountry again, whenever the main goal is photography. I plan to move on to a 5DIII or maybe even a 1DX body in the next year or two (photography is a bit of a side business for me). The RX100 is for all the times I wish I had a camera with me but didn't - road biking, fast and light backpacking trips, climbing, etc. I find the camera endearing because it lets me no longer have an excuse for not having a decent camera with me wherever I go.

clay stewart
(Reluctantwaterhauler) - F
What about a GF3 or GF5 with the retractable 14-42X lens on 08/29/2012 19:23:37 MDT Print View

I personally wouldn't take a point and shoot over a M4/3 setup, if size and weight was the main concern, with the current choices in M4/3. For less than 12 oz you could have a camera that wasn't much larger than a point and shoot, with a lens, and have all the choices of other lenses too. With the 14 2.5, 14-42X or even the 20 1.7, the cameras are very small and the sensor is a good bit larger than the Sony. I don't really trust lenses that extend every time you power the camera up, as it means eventually it either won't come out or go back in, then you are screwed. With an interchangeable lens camera, you just get a new lens or body.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: What about a GF3 or GF5 with the retractable 14-42X lens on 08/29/2012 19:41:00 MDT Print View

A fine alternative. My only complaint is no ability to accept an EVF, but I've seen incredible GF3 deals (2-lens kit for $300).

Cheers,

Rick