Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sony NEX is small

The perceptive reader will have noticed that in the past I've been wondering why digital cameras had to be so big compared to the sensor. For example, the Lumix GF1 is more compact than a DSLR camera, but if you see it without lens, it is still big compared to the sensor.

Well, there has been a quantum leap finally, the Sony NEX system, well at least the camera bodies, are really compact!
Lo this:

And the NEX (on the right) even has a significantly bigger sensor than the GF1... It is APSC-sized (around 18x24mm) like a DSLR sensor, versus the Micro Four Thirds system's (which the GF1 belongs to) 14x18mm. This can mean better low-light performance (the GF1 does not do well at 1600 ISO), and a bigger range in the sorts of low depth-of-field on has on hand (blurred backgrounds).
(Note: the GF1 has recently, finally been replaced, and the GF2 is actually a bit smaller.)

The lenses are much harder to make compact with a large sensor, though, so with a zoom lens on, the NEX looks rather odd, the lens is actually taller than the camera body!
But look at the difference with one of the most compact DSLRs with the same sensor size!...

The NEX-5 does not have a viewfinder obviously, but it does have a tiltable screen, which I like and which I think is an accomplishment on such a small camera body.
There are not many lenses for the NEX system yet, but I'll definitely keep an eye on it.

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