August 4 2010 - Photo Jottings

August 4 2010


Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been working up the full reviews of both NEX lenses, along with some general observations about the camera system so far.  Listed below in no particular order are some things I’ve noticed as I use the cameras.  Both the NEX-5 and NEX-3 have the same image quality, so I’ll only differentiate between them if it’s appropriate.

Both cameras come with a flash unit in a nice carrying case, which can be attached to the neck strap; a thoughtful idea by Sony.
The 18-55mm comes with a hood, which can be attached in the reverse position for storage.  The 16mm doesn’t come with a hood, but the 18-55mm hood fits, (and doesn’t cause light fall-off), although it will not reverse as it does on the 18-55mm because the 16mm is too short.  Oddly, neither camera kit comes with a rear lens cap!  The build quality for both lenses is very good, and the focusing system is far superior to SAM.
The wireless remote that comes with some Sony cameras like the A700-900 works properly with the NEX-5 only (no support for NEX-3); which is surprising as Sony usually makes stuff like this incompatible with their other systems and models, remember the KM 5/7D and A100 non-memory batteries that won’t work with the newer memory enabled cameras?
When using the NEX-5 on a tripod, you need to tighten it down hard to prevent slippage as a result of the weird base plate.
Battery longevity is poor, I’m getting about 150 shots per charge without flash usage.  This may improve as the battery is cycled over time, that’s what has happened to my other DSLR batteries.
Start-up takes several seconds, not very good in my opinion.  Also, after sitting for a couple of days, I notice when I power up the camera it sometimes
makes an odd noise, and if you shut it off immediately, the shutter fires, that’s odd.
Manual focusing is difficult, but is precise in my opinion if you have some level of appropriate detail (and light) to gauge focus.  The screen is sharp enough to allow this.
Both models have an excellent fit and finish, and the buttons and switches are smooth, although the control wheel seems too easy to move for me.
High ISO noise reduction is much better than on the A700, probably about a full stop better.
Full HD movies in AVCHD are a pain to try and watch, because they’re only viewable when you use the included software and download from the camera.
When using the “street sweeper panorama” mode, the camera will only count one shutter actuation, not all that were used to stitch the photo, which will be approximately 40 shots in 9 seconds.  One can imagine a person that uses this feature on a regular basis will cause premature wear on the shutter mechanism.
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