Sony NEX and reaction.

It seems you can't release a new camera these days without the usual blast of vitriol from those who own similar products from rival manufacturers. The level of insecurity amongst camera owners constantly surprises me. Heres a few recent well-informed, objective, thoughtful comments from various forums.

"NEX completely sacrifices optical quality for size"

"I suspect an awful lot of them will return them - "why can't this camera take sharp photos?"

"They sound like cameras that are more for the p&s crowd than for those of us who want to use our cameras to their full potential."

"No doubt that pixel peepers or those upgrading from P+S cameras will buy them"

"My point is that as a brand Sony doesn't say photography to me"

These are just a few. There are many more.

As examples of exaggeration and snobbery they are pretty typical. When some review points out a flaw, it is seized on with glee by those who take every opportunity to rubbish a rival system. If you thought that the competitive "banter" between Nikon and Canon owners was bad, it seems nothing as compared to that between buyers of what might be called micro camera systems. To see some of the "unpleasantness" that can occur between Panasonic and Olympus m4/3 owners is both surprising and, to me, incomprehensible. Don't lets even get started on m4/3 "versus" the Samsung NX10.

My personal favourite from the above comments is "My point is that as a brand Sony doesn't say photography to me" ???? Apart from the fact that Sony make the sensors for a large number of cameras, this statement is pointless to say the least. If you want to become a "supporter" or "rubbisher" of a large asian manufacturing corporation then don't let me stop you, but isn't this pretty ridiculous?

Surely it makes more sense to assess a product on how it works for us, and what we want to do. Cameras are a means to an end & should be treated as such. Having spent part of the last two days using a Panasonic GH1 fitted with a 45 year old Leica lens and a Canon 550D fitted with a 1980's design Nikon manual focus lens I have no "allegiance" to any particular brand. I save my "loyalty" for Birmingham City football club. Something that in the main requires enormous fortitude and the ability to withstand ongoing and perennial disappointment!!

I looked at some of the samples from the NEX-3 and NEX-5 and thought them to be fine. The high ISO results looked particularly good. I took a particular interest in the 16mm lens and the video performance. A 24mm f2.8 (35mm equivalent) lens is a very interesting option and one Panasonic, Olympus & Samsung seem reluctant to produce. The only in-depth video review I've seen, is in the main, positive. It also seems that, as with much of the Sony photographic equipment output, it will be competitively priced.

So why all the hysteria? As ever I'm mystified at these never ending attempts to both justify purchases and to assert purchasing "superiority" I assume its a consequence of our acquisitive age that somehow status is believed to be defined by ones choices. The "If I bought it, it must be good" ethos.

Its all pretty sad really. I for one appreciate more choice. No manufacturer has ever given me 100% of what I want (or anywhere near) and I suspect that they never will. So any new developments are to be welcome. I can see myself popping a NEX-5 + 16mm f2.8 into the camera bag. Whether I do or not is my choice. I certainly won't start questioning the moral right to existence of other competing cameras if I do buy one.


Dpreview have just posted some samples shot with the NEX-5 + 16mm lens.
These are really rather good. Some purple fringing, but then nothing worse than I've encountered on £1000+ Canon lenses. Theres a particularly excellent shot at 3200 ISO. Certainly provides more evidence that this may be a useful combination.

Words - D