Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sony Alpha NEX-5

Hands-on: Sony Alpha NEX-5 interchangeable-lens camera, C/net article/video.
It seems it's a very compact camera with very high image quality, but unfortunately with serious handling flaws. Maybe next model handles those, but I'm not so optimistic, seeing how these things tend to go. (For example, the first compact Sigma was much too slow, and it was not improved much in the second model. The same could be said for Olympus' M4/3 models.)


emptyspaces said...

Looks like my $20 Olympus XA2 is still the best large-sensor compact's full-frame! (of course, it takes an extra day to get the pictures out of it). It focuses faster than any SLR, has a brilliant design that protects the lens without an extraneous cap, and fits in a cargo shorts pocket. The meter is amazingly accurate.

In all seriousness, I've shot with some of the M43 cameras and I find them all frustrating to use. Too much tweaking and fiddling is needed. Focus is slow. Please, somebody make a simple camera that just goes.

eolake said...

It must be said for the Panasonic M4/3 cameras: they are the ones which are *not* slow in focusing. Cudos.

acensoru said...

She did that whole presentation without removing the lens cap: perhaps it was a pre-release dummy with no elements (not unknown).

Good to see the tilting screen. I refuse to buy a camera that does not offer an articulated screen, but then I am not built with magnificent rock-steady arms like Charles Atlas or Eolake Stobblehouse. I refuse to draw attention to myself by waving my arms around like a demented circus performer while trying to discreetly take pictures.

Trust me, one day screens will be on top of the camera with a folding hood, just like a Rolleiflex. A digital Rolleiflex TLR would be my dream tool. Even a Yashica 12G equivalent would be good.

eolake said...

So I'm guessing that you want the tilting screen in order to photograph discreetly from the hip, yes?
That is also one of my main reasons for wanting it. Although I admit it's also nice to have opportunities for displaying my bulging arm muscles in action for the admiring public.

acensoru said...

"So I'm guessing that you want the tilting screen in order to photograph discreetly from the hip, yes?

Yes. Using a waist level camera I am largely ignored. Actually, I am largely ignored most of the time when I am not taking pictures, but that's probably because I am a boring old fart

I have even resorted to shooting at 90° to prevent frightening off my subjects (these are the objects of my attention, not subjects in the sense of '"my people" you referenced elsewhere).

When large numbers of pix are taken from eye level (close to 'high viewpoint' in the case of people as tall as you and I) then a low viewpoint has novelty value. In addition, when taking pictures of animals I am no longer able to hunker down.

Knees are my two weaknesses, as Dorcas Lane would say. I have a tiny stool, but it's not something I care to talk about. High viewpoint pet pictures do not work well unless there is a deliberate choice and it's well done.

Take heart: I have seen pros waving their Canons (oddly, or perhaps expectedly, no Nikons) at arms length, and I was the only one sniggering.

chedopp said...

"Looks like my $20 Olympus XA2...

Flaunting your conspicuous consumption is inappropriate behavior, Emptyspaces.

I would have given 'Angles and shadows, Omni hotel parking lot, Charlottesville, VA' first prize in the recent EST blog competition (not arguing with Our Benign and Magnificent Much Loved Leader's choice here). I keep expecting the Beatles to pop their heads over the railings.

eolake said...

That is indeed an excellent picture.

(If I were you though, es, I'd darken the logo a bit, it's a bit loud for such a minimalistic composition.)

emptyspaces said...

Thanks, Chedopp, glad you like that one. I'm thinking of photoshopping the Beatles in, or possibly The Kinks.

And you should see the small pile of little film cameras I collected before settling on the XA2. I probably spent dozens of dollars in my quest, but a rich guy like me never counts!

Eo, I agree with you about the watermark, it's garish against the deep shadow.

polit said...

Yeah, you really got me now; the Kinks would be perfect for lazin' on a sunny afternoon in the shadows. Ah, the Shadows. Black, Johnny, black. I didn't actually write the Fast Show sketch that uses song lyrics, but Caroline Aherne was always hot for me, and sometimes I wonder if she gave my idea to Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson.

intsurav said...

Back in late 1999 I corresponded with Evan Williams, a co founder of Blogger at Pyra Labs, about the unreliability of the comments system. He said they were looking into it. Ten years on, and Blogger is still hurling comments into the vastness of cyberwaste. Just now was the third time this week.

At least Williams answered emails: the Googleplex is a communications black hole. Sometimes technology advances backwards, and who ya gonna complain to when you got it for free?

eolake said...

Yes, that's the problem, isn't it? Almost all the big companies are communications black holes, it's very frustrating.

eolake said...

In the nineties I got a pay service for a newsletter for Domai. Called "one list" or something. Worked fine, lots of service. A couple years later they got et by a bigger company. Not so good then. And then later, they got et by Yahoo, and it got to be yahoo groups. Try getting support for that.