Monday, March 7, 2011

What I Want in the Next NEX camera

I like my NEX-5. I have been using it almost exclusively since I bought it in December of 2010.  I probably shot over 10,000 frames since.  But, the current NEX cameras need some serious feature upgrades.

First and foremost, please, please add a built-in view finder, in the same class of the Panasonic G or GH series, or better.  I am in my 40s, and I can't see screen well at close range with out, er, bi-focals.  I have ordered a pair of progressive  lens, but still not done yet.  So I don't know how well it will work out.  Another benefits of a viewfinder is the accuracy of focusing.  Shooting DC style, it's difficult to get critical focus, especially at close range or very thin depth of field, because a slight movement will shift the focus.  Heck, I will even settle for an external EVF!

Second, I would like a few more physical buttons on the camera. As it is implemented currently, changing settings means going deep into the menus, and is a pain in the neck.  Even just a mode dial will make things much better.

Third, fix the %T^@#$ tripod mount!  I don't mind a slightly larger body, but make the tripod mount flush with the bottom of the camera.  The NEX-5 has the most unstable camera support of any camera I know.

Fourth, more lenses!  How about some nice, FAST autofocus prime lenses?  All other EVIL makers have better lens than NEX, if you count only the native mounts.

I am sure there are a few things I would like to have, but the above is my main concerns.


  1. How about using it waist level? My eyes are younger than yours so I don't know if it really helps.
    Damn straight on the AF lenses (though I'd be happy as hell with f2)
    As for the tripod mount, they already fixed that problem: in the nex3.
    I'm not sure if I want an EVF or video style peaking. One of the reasons I use my nex so much more than my alpha is that people are less intimidated when I'm not hidden behind a camera. We do need something to help out with focus though, especially since the screen is native 16:9.
    Anyway keep inspiring me to stick funny pieces of glass on my cameras.

  2. @soulnibbler: using the NEX-5 at waist level is normally how I would use it, but it tough to check critical focus with my, er, aging eyes :)

    For me, some people will stare at me when I mount weird looking lenses on my NEX, doesn't matter how I use them :)

  3. Hi

    so wouldn't that bring it closer to the G camera? I'm not sure but I recall there was some reason you didn't like the G ... compared to the NEX

  4. @LensBubbles: I wonder if its worth finding the external hdmi screen that LL reviewed (I believe the sony version also has peaking). An external screen with focus peaking will probably retain its value even if it doesn't work out for you so there might not be much monetary danger. Mounting the silly thing on a NEX is a whole nother problem.
    @Obakesan: If I remember right the issue was image quality above iso 1250, that and the NEX simply has a shorter registration distance.

  5. @obakesan, I love everything about the G1, except the sensor size and noisy ISO above 400. Also the video in the NEX is a bonus, although I don't use it much.

    @soulnibbler, the external HDMI screen would be too large to be practical. I don't think Sony will make an external viewfinder for the NEX-3/5 but most likely for the next version, if not built-in. This way, people will have to fork out more $$$$ to buy basically the same camera.