Bang for buck...talking sensors...

Pete Delaney

Well-known Member
I've been pouring over reviews of cameras lately to see where the 'best' sensors are being used. I have been impressed for a long time with what Pentax did with the K5. Frankly, I was blown away by that camera and I still look on it with a glint in my eye:rolleyes:

However, being my own worst enemy I am determined to spite my own face and stick to at least more compact cameras. I will always have a compact on hand and I use the Oly XZ-1 at the moment. Very good in my opinion but its major Achilles heel for me is dynamic range/highlight clipping. I don't think the camera is particularly different from any other compact with this issue, I just believe it's part of the trouble of having such small sensors.

That brings me to micro 4/3 and other similar compacts with inter-changable lenses and their associated much larger sensors.

My fav at the moment has to be the Sony Nex5N... remember I am talking sensors here and not particularly the functions, bells/whistles of the camera body. I am also very intrigued to see what the Nex 7 will deliver and also the new Panasonic DMC-GX1.

It's a shame Olympus didn't update its sensors with the latest set of 4/3 offerings and I sense (pardon the pun) they have missed an opportunity. Mind you with all the allegations of corruption in the Olympus camp at the moment who knows what their future direction will be?

Do you think there is an APSC sensor out there (or smaller) that can beat Sony's latest offering? The Sony is 16mp and looks to be able to capture excellent files up to ISO 800 and perhaps even 1600. I measure this against my old Nikon D300s SLR. That had a 12mp sensor that I was comfortable using up to ISO 400 only. After that for me at least the files became too compromised.

Which camera do you think has the best sensor at the moment? Is there one to come out very soon that I haven't mentioned? I really would like opinions on sensors no larger than APSC size.

Thanks for any help/opinions:smashin:

Pete.:devil: (Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells....)
 

eduk

Distinguished Member
Purely sensor alone? NEX-5N.
 

Pete Delaney

Well-known Member
Purely sensor alone? NEX-5N.

Yeah, I'm thinking this is a given... just trying to make sure. On the camera front there's always a compromise...I think the Nex 7 with the advantages of a viewfinder amongst other things is perhaps worth the extra... BUT I haven't seen evidence of how that 24mp sensor performs???

Crumbs... 24mp... if it's as good as the Nex5N it'll sell like hot cakes!!:eek:
 

Jammyb

Novice Member
No it's noisier than the 5N, but shooting raw and resizing to 16MP there's really not much in it.

Steve Huff's site is a good resource for real world shots and experiences with all these cameras.

He's currently in love with Nikon V1 which he believes has the best JPEG output outside of full frame with faultless AF and metering.

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2011/12/03/some-low-light-high-iso-snaps-with-the-nikon-v1/

Like the NEX series though it's let down by the choice of lenses currently available. Plus some people will hate the lack of dials and buttons. I handled one in Jessops and disliked the total lack of grip, but there'll be 3rd party options to stick on.
 

eduk

Distinguished Member
Yeah, I'm thinking this is a given... just trying to make sure. On the camera front there's always a compromise...I think the Nex 7 with the advantages of a viewfinder amongst other things is perhaps worth the extra... BUT I haven't seen evidence of how that 24mp sensor performs???

Crumbs... 24mp... if it's as good as the Nex5N it'll sell like hot cakes!!:eek:

http://www.dxomark.com
 

Pete Delaney

Well-known Member
No it's noisier than the 5N, but shooting raw and resizing to 16MP there's really not much in it.

Steve Huff's site is a good resource for real world shots and experiences with all these cameras.

He's currently in love with Nikon V1 which he believes has the best JPEG output outside of full frame with faultless AF and metering.

http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2011/12/03/some-low-light-high-iso-snaps-with-the-nikon-v1/

Like the NEX series though it's let down by the choice of lenses currently available. Plus some people will hate the lack of dials and buttons. I handled one in Jessops and disliked the total lack of grip, but there'll be 3rd party options to stick on.

OMG:eek:

Thank you for this... I am truly GOBSMACKED... How the hell have Nikon pulled that off?? I have ALWAYS ignored this cam as being a joke, trying to emulate micro 4/3 without the sensor to back it up? But bloomin' eck, for the sensor size it's a little miracle?? Am I missing something here???:eek::eek::eek:
 

Pete Delaney

Well-known Member
Taking all into account I am amazed with the Nikon, if just from the technology standpoint but the Sony Nex5N seems to have the overall price/performance balance in the bag. I will watch that Nikon though:rolleyes:

EDIT: Looking at the tech behind this thing it's VERY impressive. 60FPS!!! Worlds fastest AF of ANY camera!!!

Oh please help.... it looks like the Nex5N and the V1/J1 are in a similar price band....aaaaaaaaagggggh.

pros and cons of each...cons and pros...pros and cons... oooooooohhhhhhh uuuuuuuurrhhhh ummmmmmm etc.....
 
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eduk

Distinguished Member
Nikon, get the nice F-Mount adapter thingy and you have lots of lenses :)

Of course the NEX takes lots of adapted lenses too, including Nikon. :D
 

Liquid101

Distinguished Member
Nikon, get the nice F-Mount adapter thingy and you have lots of lenses :)

Going slightly off topic...

I can't get my head around the ability to mount standard nikkors on the V/J1. Surely the whole point of this camera is quality imaging in a compact body. If you're going to stick a standard size lens on it, it kind of defeats the object.

That said - I'd really like a V1. I'm getting a bit fed up of lugging a bag of kit around with me all the time.
 

Jammyb

Novice Member
Worth keeping in mind though that the V1 isn't exactly small, it's larger than a NEX-C3 or EPM1
sidebysidesonyOly1.jpg


Any nikon AF-S lenses you adapt will have a 2.7X crop factor. blessing and a curse. If you're in to wildlife photography a 70-300mm type lens (189-810mm equiv) couples with the fast AF (if adapted AF-S lenses are still as fast) and 60FPS, could be quite impressive. Safari combo?
 

RajP

Distinguished Member
Worth keeping in mind though that the V1 isn't exactly small, it's larger than a NEX-C3 or EPM1
image


Any nikon AF-S lenses you adapt will have a 2.7X crop factor. blessing and a curse. If you're in to wildlife photography a 70-300mm type lens (189-810mm equiv) couples with the fast AF (if adapted AF-S lenses are still as fast) and 60FPS, could be quite impressive. Safari combo?

That means my 150-500 becomes a whooping 405-1350mm:eek: defo safari combo....
 

Ian_S

Distinguished Member
You really don't need that sort of reach on a safari... And you are going to really struggle to operate a bigger lens on one of these, there's nothing to hold onto. And with no viewfinder trying to operate one whilst watching the rear screen will probably only make for good youtube material.
 

Jammyb

Novice Member
I would have thought the more reach the merrier? I've never used anything above a 70-300mm on an APS-C and find that woefully inadequate even for the herons down the local pond.

The V1 has an EVF. The AF-S adapter has a tripod collar.

I have read that people using larger adapted Sony lenses on NEX cameras are finding they balance better than you would think. Slightly counter intuitive I know. But with a large lens your left hand balances the lens and your right supports the body, just less for your right hand to do.
 

Ian_S

Distinguished Member
The things you can never have enough reach for are small birds. And, provided it's securely tripod mounted, (at the lens unless you want to tear the adapter from the mount) then you might just get away with it. Freehand though with a big lens (and I'm sorry but a 70-300 is not a big lens) it would be so unbalanced you'd never keep it still enough. And the greater the effective FL the more critical keeping it stable becomes.

As for on safari, you can get quite close to most subjects, and they are rather big, so no real need for 1000mm plus.


210mm, virtually no crop, in the Maasai Mara, from a vehicle.

I have to say, on the NEX in particular with a 1.5x crop, putting a long lens on it, say a big Sigma, seems like the most pointless exercise going as it's hardly a compact solution at that point. If you're going to carry around a stonking great lens, why not just carry around a DSLR body too. I thought the whole point of these systems was size and convenience.

Now, if the Nikon has a 2.7x crop, then you can see why someone might try it, but on the same crop format? :confused: On the Nikon though you would not need a huge lens to get decent length, so as a compact solution with a something to 200mm zoom lens you could probably get some excellent safari pics for no real weight. Which is what I thought these systems were about as opposed to perching them on 5kg lenses...

And have you seen the state of the Sony adapter that's required for full AF of normal lenses? I don't think I've ever seen a more cumbersome setup... It even comes with it's own mirror and phase detect AF !!
 

simonblue

Distinguished Member
Going slightly off topic...

I can't get my head around the ability to mount standard nikkors on the V/J1. Surely the whole point of this camera is quality imaging in a compact body. If you're going to stick a standard size lens on it, it kind of defeats the object.

That said - I'd really like a V1. I'm getting a bit fed up of lugging a bag of kit around with me all the time.

I think its just a selling point,just brought the J1 after trying a load of them,got down to the new sony Nex-3 or the J1,just liked the feel of the J1,looking forward to having a good play with it over the week :)
 

Jammyb

Novice Member
@Ian S

To be fair that's why I was talking about a moderate weight and priced lens stabilised lens like a 70-300mm VR. You're the one who brought up 5Kg + lenses.

Even RajP's big sigma is under 2kg

I agree with not seeing the point of the NEX + huge SLT adapter + big lenses.
 

twist

Distinguished Member
Not sure Id trust a 2kg lens on a compact mount unless tripod mounted. I had a 70-400 on my A55 and that felt like itd break if held by body only.
 

Pete Delaney

Well-known Member
I must say I'm still very 'nervous' about the J1/V1 from Nikon. The irony is that high ISO quality is best in good light - precisely when you are not needing it. In low light a smaller sensor will show lots of grain/noise in the shadows. I think the Nex5n has a genuinely capable APSC sensor that can compete with many DSLRS on full frame. In the shadows there is much less noise/grain.

As usual there are trade-offs. The Nikon seems to have AF and tracking and metering pretty much nailed and those are all very relevant issues for me.

The Sony has a fabulous sensor and packs more detail with 16mp versus 10mp for the Nikon. I would guess that the dynamic range is also superior and again I prize that in a camera.

On the net I have found the J1 and 2 kit zooms for well below £600. The Sony with its walk-round zoom is similarly priced.

I'm going to hold off to the last possible minute in case there is a sudden price drop/sale or until I've fully satisfied myself regarding the ability of these cameras.

The Steve Huff review is VERY positive on the Nikon but that's just one persons opinion and I think more views are needed on this new cam.

Perhaps dpreview will get a full review out soon?
 

McCol

Well-known Member
My experience with cameras is not as in depth as others here but I bought the Sony Nex 5n last week, twin lens for £599, with £50 cash back form. We wanted a camera that could be compact to capture our niece and nephew and also our 2 jack Russell's but also with option of changing lenses if need be.

Tried the G3, J1 and the Epl3 by taking a memory card to jessops playing around with all 4 cameras, taking similar shots to look at on home pc.

Overall the image quality from the nex was for my partner and me the best out of the cameras, g3 was a tad on the soft side. J1 didn't feel comfy in the had to use. Despite the look of the nex 5n it really is a joy to use, nice and compact with the 16mm and easy to hold with the 18-55mm lens fitted. Menus are easy to navigate with either the touchscreen or the dial and button.
 

Jammyb

Novice Member
I get more excited by lenses than camera bodies, so as interesting as the 1 series is until there's some nice fast primes I'm staying away.

I can't understand why Nikon only managed F2.8 out of their Pancake lens
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
I didn't think the Nikon 1-series output was that impressive, the samples I've seen are not as good as the flagship micro 4/3 sensors which in turn aren't as good as the Sony 16MP sensor. Plus there's the problem that the system isn't any smaller or cheaper than other systems and the apertures are no faster either (in fact slower in some cases) so the smaller sensor seems fairly pointless.

jammyb - bear in mind it's a wide angle lens which puts in line with the Sony 16mm F2.8 (24mm equivalent) and the Panasonic 14mm F2.5 (28mm effective) rather than the longer, faster lenses like the Panasonic 20mm F1.7 (40mm effective), Samsung 30mm F2 (45mm effective), Olympus 45mm F1.8 (90mm effective)

If I was looking for the best sensor in a mirrorless camera I'd be straight to Sony, the 16MP sensor seems superb which I've already found impressive in the D7000/K-5 etc. However the bulky lenses is the dealbeaker, for me the point of a compact camera is to fit in my pocket which the NEX system cannot do unless only using the 16mm lens.

John
 

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