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Nikon D800 or Sony NEX-7

marekfilip1

Germantown Hills, US
21 posts

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marekfilip1 Registered since 17th Feb 2012
Wed 22-Feb-12 01:32 AM

All,

This is probably going to sound like a very strange question as these two are not truly comparable, but here is what I am currently going thorugh in my head.

I currently have D300s with 18-200mm and couple of other lenses (35 F1.8 and 11-16mm F2.8 Tokina). I am very happy with the setup although sometimes I wish it was lighter/smaller as I travel quite a bit. I shoot mainly landscape/city life when I travel and my family life...

With the two new cameras coming out in spring (D800 and NEX-7), I have to decide which route to take (size vs IQ):

1. Sony NEX system is getting great reviews and would allow me to travel much lighter while theoretically getting the same level of image quality as I am used to with D300s. I realize the current NEX lense offering is small and I would probably get the 18-200 lens and the new Zeiss 24 F1.7 lense that has good reviews. Looks like they have couple other good lenses coming up to match the NEX-7 later in 2012. Lighter set up would mean I could bring the camera to more places and therefore not "miss" the picture by not having the camera on me. This is a new system, but it looks like Sony came up with some innovative technology (I believe both Canon and Nikon have their hands tied a little and are conservative in their product introductions)

2. If I am going to stay with DSLR (and their weight/size), I would want to get better quality than with Sony system and therefore I would want to upgrade to D800 that is roughly the same weight, but much higher IQ than D300s. This could take my photos to the next level (maybe )

In both cases I need to buy new lenses as my current setup is all DX based. With Sony, I would also have to get new flash (I currently have Nikon flash system) and smaller bags and maybe smaller tripod (currently Series 2 Gitzo, but that could work with sony as well)

I wonder if there is somebody else out there going through similar thinking or if I am just going crazy... I seardch the forum, but nobody has touched on this topic at all...







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PerroneFord

Tallahassee, US
2817 posts

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#1. "RE: Nikon D800 or Sony NEX-7" | In response to Reply # 0

PerroneFord Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Apr 2011
Wed 22-Feb-12 12:46 AM

Has the D7000 entered your thinking at all? It's lighter than your current setup, image quality is superb, you already have lenses that will work on it, and it's inexpensive to boot.

------
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MotoMannequin

Livermore, CA, US
8582 posts

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#2. "RE: Nikon D800 or Sony NEX-7" | In response to Reply # 0

MotoMannequin Awarded for his extraordinary skills in landscape and wildlife photography Registered since 11th Jan 2006
Wed 22-Feb-12 12:52 AM

My advice is, if your main complaint about your existing DX kit is you wish it was smaller and lighter, then FX is pretty much exactly the opposite of what you want.

I also have to question your statement that a D300s is the limiting factor in the quality of your images. In what way does the D300s limit you, that you expect the D800 would fix?

Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
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www.tempered-light.com

mikesrc

OKLAHOMA CITY, US
299 posts

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#3. "RE: Nikon D800 or Sony NEX-7" | In response to Reply # 2

mikesrc Registered since 03rd May 2009
Wed 22-Feb-12 01:16 AM

Go ahead and buy the Sony come back and lets us know what you think. Next year.

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LMMiller9

Potomac, US
1169 posts

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#4. "RE: Nikon D800 or Sony NEX-7" | In response to Reply # 0

LMMiller9 Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2005
Wed 22-Feb-12 03:22 AM

This is truly one of those apples and oranges comparisons.

I have an Olympus Pen EP-3 which I enjoy taking on business trips and other trips on which I do not want to carry the weight or bulk of my D700 plus lenses. To me, having both a decent small camera and a great DSLR makes perfect sense.

No one but you can decide on your priorities. While I am sure the Sony will produce excellent photos in most circumstances, the quality and flexibility of a DSLR plus lenses is not comparable.

Larry Miller, Potomac, MD
DF/D810
http://lmmillerphotography.smugmug.com/

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texxter

Plano, US
2359 posts

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#5. "RE: Nikon D800 or Sony NEX-7" | In response to Reply # 0

texxter Awarded for his high skills in studio photography Registered since 18th Feb 2006
Wed 22-Feb-12 03:23 AM | edited Wed 22-Feb-12 11:58 AM by texxter

>I currently have D300s with 18-200mm and couple of other
>lenses (35 F1.8 and 11-16mm F2.8 Tokina). I am very happy with
>the setup although sometimes I wish it was lighter/smaller as
>I travel quite a bit. I shoot mainly landscape/city life when
>I travel and my family life...

You have a DX body and DX lenses - if you upgrade to FX you'll need new lenses. You stated that you are "very happy" with the equipment, and I assume the images you're getting from it, but wish you had something lighter.

>
>I wonder if there is somebody else out there going through
>similar thinking or if I am just going crazy... I seardch the
>forum, but nobody has touched on this topic at all...
>

Yes, I have gone thru the same thinking. When I travel I don't like to carry a bag with camera, lenses, flash, etc. I want to get high quality images out of the lightest, smallest kit.

I solved the problem with a Fuji x100 - of course, for much of my work I still need the D700 and high quality lenses - but to be honest, I travel with my x100 AND NOTHING ELSE, no flash, no lenses (of course the camera doesn't take other lenses), tripod, etc. I carry my camera in my tiny pouch with two extra batteries and cards, and I am as happy as a clam.

I didn't change anything in my Nikon kit when I bought the x100, I simply separated two usages - I carry the x100 with me always, and I use it instead of my phone whenever I care about the quality of the image. I also use it for travel. I use the D700 for studio work, and whenever I need to use telephoto, or some other more complex setup.

Remember, just because you want to travel light doesn't mean you have to buy TWO new systems. The D300s is a great camera and you can get great images with it. Get a smaller, lighter camera and you'll be all set. I personally prefer not to have to worry about two sets of interchangeable lenses, but it's up to you.

Good luck!

________________
Paco Romero
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JBS101

Canberra, AU
598 posts

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#6. "RE: Nikon D800 or Sony NEX-7" | In response to Reply # 0

JBS101 Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Apr 2009
Wed 22-Feb-12 03:38 AM

Does it have to be one or the other? If you can calmly contemplate the cost of a D800 and selection of FX lenses then I would guess you are in reasonable shape financially. Why not get the Sony and keep the D300S? You can either sell or upgrade the Nikon gear later.

That said, I faced the same decision back in film days. I sold my Pentax SLRs and bought the Pentax 110 system. It was wonderfully compact and I took it places I could never have gone with a conspicious SLR. However, everytime I looked at the prints I regretted not having the SLR.

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gqtuazon

FPO, US
644 posts

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#7. "RE: Nikon D800 or Sony NEX-7" | In response to Reply # 6

gqtuazon Registered since 18th Nov 2009
Wed 22-Feb-12 04:35 AM | edited Wed 22-Feb-12 05:04 AM by gqtuazon

A good friend of mine did a sharpness comparison between the Nikon D7000 with 85mm f1.4G and his Sony NEX 5n with the Zeiss 24mm f1.4 lens. With the weaker AA filter of the NEX 5n, the Zeiss produced sharper images than the 85mm f1.4G. He also has the Nikon 24mm f1.4G and 35mm f1.4G but based on his test amongst his Nikon primes, the 85mm f1.4G is the sharpest prime lens which is why I decided to use it as a comparison against the Zeiss 24mm f1.4.

So with the Sony NEX 7 with Zeiss lenses, you can expect to achieve sharper images, good IQ and lighter weight. Fuji Xpro1 might be another option but I would go with Sony. The draw backs are those Sony proprietary mount mics and flashes.

Regards,

Glenn

km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3576 posts

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#8. "RE: Nikon D800 or Sony NEX-7" | In response to Reply # 0

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Wed 22-Feb-12 04:32 AM

It sounds as if you have two different desires that are not satisfied by any one kit. The Sony is smaller, but not good at all ergonomically so you loose control and hold stability yet not the small size and planform that is really pocket. I would suggest a V1 system and F mount adaptor. IQ is not that much different from the NEX yet is small enough to be called a real compact camera, has similar controls and can share your lenses.
The D800 is not a casual shooting camera, requiring an upgraded tripod and substantial upgrade in lenses to do it justice. If I had a D800, I would feel it necessary for a compact in the pocket for all other times.
A D7000 as suggested would be a step up from the D300 IQ yet also be more conveniently sized while retaining compatibility with your current lenses.
Whatever you do, handle them, I tried out the NEX based on reviews and found it an in-between-er that had disadvantages in handling of both compacts and DSLRs and few of the benefits. Its shape and size can only be described as "awkward". The V1 Nikon is much more intriguing, with EXCELLENT AF that is faster than the good D300 AF.
What are shooting and in what lighting conditions? I would suggest that the weak point in your system is the super zoom lens which means almost any modern compact or DSLR is going to be similar in IQ. Stepping up in lens quality will be the most instantly visible improvement. A 24-70 and 70-200 for example would change your view of what the D300...or D7000 even more...can do.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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T Spaulding

US
8 posts

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#9. "RE: Nikon D800 or Sony NEX-7" | In response to Reply # 0

T Spaulding Registered since 21st Feb 2012
Wed 22-Feb-12 01:36 PM

Something I know a little about, I've been shooting with a 5n since they came out.
First off do you like to use auto-focus?
The system used to focus in Nex cameras is much slower and less accurate than DSLRs.
There also is a lack of high quality e-mount lenses.
On the other hand, if you want to manual focus and buy Leica m lenses, you can use some of the world's best and most expensive glass.

Handling wise, I love the small size and compactness of the Nex cameras but My D90 so much easier to use and hold while shooting.

I'm going for the best of both worlds, I'm keeping my 5n and Zeiss 35mm f/2 for street shooting and pre-ordered a D800 for everything else.

-Tom

walkerr

Colorado Springs, US
16976 posts

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#10. "RE: Nikon D800 or Sony NEX-7" | In response to Reply # 0

walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Master Ribbon awarded as a member who has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art and science of photography   Donor Ribbon awarded for his most generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 05th May 2002
Wed 22-Feb-12 03:24 PM

I have a NEX-7, and it's a delightful camera to use, but don't contemplate replacing my DSLRs with it. It fills the niche I've filled with m4/3 cameras for several years, but with even better quality. Its focusing, handling limitations and lens restrictions, combined with my preference for a traditional optical viewfinder, are the items that keep me from replacing a DSLR with this camera.

On the other hand, if I were twenty years older and more sensitive to the weight of my equipment, I might give a different answer.

Rick Walker

My photos:

GeoVista Photography

piniongear

Houston Texas, US
466 posts

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#11. "RE: Nikon D800 or Sony NEX-7" | In response to Reply # 10

piniongear Registered since 29th Jul 2006
Wed 22-Feb-12 11:48 PM | edited Wed 22-Feb-12 11:49 PM by piniongear

I fully agree with Stan.
If I had your 'problem' i would just keep the D300s and lens and buy a Nikon V1 with an FT1 adapter.
An easier camera to carry and use than the V1 does not exist in my view.
That is why I bought a V1 and I love it!
Perry

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RRRoger

Monterey Bay, US
3373 posts

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#12. "RE: Nikon D800 or Sony NEX-7" | In response to Reply # 11

RRRoger Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his long history of demonstrated excellence and helping other members with equipment, technique and DSLR video in the true Nikonians spirit. Charter Member
Tue 28-Feb-12 01:37 PM | edited Tue 28-Feb-12 01:59 PM by RRRoger

>I fully agree with Stan.
>If I had your 'problem' i would just keep the D300s and lens
>and buy a Nikon V1 with an FT1 adapter.
>An easier camera to carry and use than the V1 does not exist
>in my view.
>That is why I bought a V1 and I love it!
>Perry<Quote<<<

I agree, but also recommend the D5100 for travel, and low light.
What ever you do, get "hands on" first.
If you do not like the "feel" of the camera it will not work well for you.

PS I've tried the NEX cameras and owned the D300, D7000, D5100, and V1.
Problems I had with the NEX:
1. Did not like how they handle
2. Could not hand hold them steady enough to get an unblurred picture.
The fast and accurate AutoFocus + solid feel of the V1 really helped here
and the image detail is much better than you would expect.
Those cheap little lens are actually quite good.

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marekfilip1

Germantown Hills, US
21 posts

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#13. "RE: Nikon D800 or Sony NEX-7" | In response to Reply # 0

marekfilip1 Registered since 17th Feb 2012
Tue 28-Feb-12 12:24 AM

All,

Thank you for your opinions. To further explain my rationale - for the same image quality, I prefer the lightest camera/lens combination available. That is why I am debating between NEX-7 and D800

1) NEX-7 seems to provide image quality on par with D300S and D7000. If that is the case I would prefer the small size of NEX-7 and hope that Sony introduce 1-2 more lenses to fit my needs (wide lense and higher quality mid range zoom). I have looked at D7000 but did not think that it is worth upgrading from D300s.

2) D800 will provide better IQ quality compared to my D300s while being little lighter - 900g vs 935g (except for lenses that are heavier)

The question in my mind is do I go with 1) same IQ/ much smaller size 2) similar size/better IQ

I would rather keep just one set of camera/lenses than two... I take a lot of landscape pictures, travel pictures but also picture where I appreciate good low light capabilities indoors. Fast autofocus is a plus when I try to catch picture my 2 year old daughter who moves really fast I get some pictures blurred on my D300s as I rarely go above 1000 ISO.

I am leaning towards the D800 and have it on pre-order...

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stve10

UK
28 posts

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#14. "RE: Nikon D800 or Sony NEX-7" | In response to Reply # 13

stve10 Registered since 17th Feb 2012
Tue 28-Feb-12 12:26 PM

Sony NEX-7 has great image quality better than the D7000 which is itself has very good IQ.
They both have much better IQ than the D300s & make great travel camera's .
The D7000 is better in low light & is the more flexible camera.

The D800 should easily have the best Image Quality but as a general purpose travel camera with quality lenses its going to be much heavier.

3 great cameras that each have their strengths & weaknesses .
You should be familiar enough with how the Nikon's handle but if you haven't already you need to go & demo the Sony.

pjr

Manotick, CA
2246 posts

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#15. "RE: Nikon D800 or Sony NEX-7" | In response to Reply # 0

pjr Registered since 26th Dec 2005
Tue 28-Feb-12 03:29 PM

Just two quick points, since I'm on an iPhone right now...

- getting a new camera won't help get your photos "to the next level", especially from the outstanding D300s; take a course, workshop, read some books, join a club or some meetups, and - most importantly - practice, practice, practice - will more likely improve your photography.

- I have a Nex-5n with EVF and Fuji X100, both great when I don't want to tote weight around, but, for serious work, they don't give me the satisfaction and dependability of my D7000, which you might want to consider.

Cheers,

Phil
A Canadian Nikonian
My portfolio: www.pjr99.500px.com

Bokeh888

South Florida, US
92 posts

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#16. "RE: Nikon D800 or Sony NEX-7" | In response to Reply # 0

Bokeh888 Registered since 31st Dec 2011
Tue 28-Feb-12 11:23 PM

>All,
>
>This is probably going to sound like a very strange question
>as these two are not truly comparable, but here is what I am
>currently going thorugh in my head.
>
>I currently have D300s with 18-200mm and couple of other
>lenses (35 F1.8 and 11-16mm F2.8 Tokina). I am very happy with
>the setup although sometimes I wish it was lighter/smaller as
>I travel quite a bit. I shoot mainly landscape/city life when
>I travel and my family life...
>
>With the two new cameras coming out in spring (D800 and
>NEX-7), I have to decide which route to take (size vs IQ):
>
>1. Sony NEX system is getting great reviews and would allow me
>to travel much lighter while theoretically getting the same
>level of image quality as I am used to with D300s. I realize
>the current NEX lense offering is small and I would probably
>get the 18-200 lens and the new Zeiss 24 F1.7 lense that has
>good reviews. Looks like they have couple other good lenses
>coming up to match the NEX-7 later in 2012. Lighter set up
>would mean I could bring the camera to more places and
>therefore not "miss" the picture by not having the
>camera on me. This is a new system, but it looks like Sony
>came up with some innovative technology (I believe both Canon
>and Nikon have their hands tied a little and are conservative
>in their product introductions)
>
>2. If I am going to stay with DSLR (and their weight/size), I
>would want to get better quality than with Sony system and
>therefore I would want to upgrade to D800 that is roughly the
>same weight, but much higher IQ than D300s. This could take my
>photos to the next level (maybe )
>
>In both cases I need to buy new lenses as my current setup is
>all DX based. With Sony, I would also have to get new flash (I
>currently have Nikon flash system) and smaller bags and maybe
>smaller tripod (currently Series 2 Gitzo, but that could work
>with sony as well)
>
>I wonder if there is somebody else out there going through
>similar thinking or if I am just going crazy... I seardch the
>forum, but nobody has touched on this topic at all...
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
I have done it with the Olympus PL-2 with the Panasonic 20mm/1.7 and Panasonic/Leica Micro Four Thirds 45mm /f 2,8 that I bought because I did not want to lug around the weight, especially on airplanes.

I spend a considerable amount of time traveling to visit my grandchild (10 times a year) about 1300 miles away. It became such a hassle traveling with a Nikon D 90 with a Nikon 24-70 lens that I went Micro Four Thirds and kept the D 90 and the Nikon zoom. (I later traded the Nikon D90 for a D7000 and purchased G primes). MFT is pretty good with the the right glass. However, it is in no way comparable to the D7000 with Nikon primes. Unquestionably, the Nikon D 800 will be superior IMO to the D7000. The Sony will not touch the D800.

It is clear to me that weight and bulk can be a huge hassle. I loathe the weight and bulk. Currently, I leave my MFT camera and lenses at my daughter's home and do not travel with a camera when visiting my grandchild. I use the MTF equipment at her home. It works. The D7000 is for everything else.

But your decision is, "which way to go with one system?" I would go D800 with FX Nikon primes for a lighter weight. The D7000 with primes a quite awesome. It can only be better with the D800. The Sony will not be on the same level as either Nikon camera with great Nikon glass. Good luck. All the best.

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DVDMike

Metro Atlanta, US
2225 posts

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#17. "RE: Nikon D800 or Sony NEX-7" | In response to Reply # 0

DVDMike Registered since 25th Mar 2003
Wed 29-Feb-12 02:48 AM


For me, my D300 with the 35 1.8G is the lightweight travel camera. I am very happy with the quality, ergonomics and weight of this set-up that you already own. If you are complaining about weight now, your lens choices will be limited for a FX body such as the D800. I just don't see how moving to a D800 helps you any.

Define taking your photos to the "next level". More mega-pixels are not going to change the quality of you photos unless you are printing larger. I put out a calendar this year shot of various landscapes of Colorado. I shot with the D300 and with the D3x. I think that there were more D300 images that made the calendar than the 24MP D3x. The D3x did not take my images to the next level at all. But it dis allow me to make larger prints.

Now when I went to the D3 from a D2x, this move did take my photography to a new level. It allowed so much more natural light photography and photography with a much more balanced ambient to flash ratio that my creativity and end photos were changed significantly by moving to the D3. But until we see more photos from the D800, I am not going to suggest that anyone's photography is going to jump to the next level if they are moving up from a D300s.

The D300 is still an outstanding camera. I still use it for my primary action sports camera for daylight, even over my D3, because it shoots pretty fast (with the grip) and is DX and my longest lens is only 200mm. I've pre-ordered a D800, but not to replace my D300, but to replace my D3. My D300 will get replaced with a D7000 or maybe a D400 depending on what it turns out to be.

It sounds like you want to do two things, go smaller and lighter and take your photographs to the next level. The D800 with larger lenses is certainly not going to get you smaller and lighter. And it may or may not help you get to the next level. While I cannot say what camera/system is best for you, based on what you have now and your criteria, I don't think the D800 sounds like it would fit the bill for you.

KnightPhoto

Alberta, CA
4971 posts

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#18. "RE: Nikon D800 or Sony NEX-7" | In response to Reply # 17

KnightPhoto Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2006
Wed 29-Feb-12 12:01 PM | edited Wed 29-Feb-12 12:07 PM by KnightPhoto

For what it's worth I have gone (am in the midst of building a kit) from smallest lightest and biggest heaviest with an in-between specifically only for birds and mammals.

So that means a Nikon 1 V1 with 10-30, 30-110, SB-N5 for the small light "in my coat pockets" shooting. Personally I love it and the fast AF is great for everything including kids.

For serious shooting, two FX cameras one for low light and one for high res/DR. All my 'serious shooting' lens purchases are targeted with this eventual FX kit in mind.

For birding and mammals, of which I do a lot of, two DX cameras. Anyhow for me DX is purely the domain of telephotos and super telephotos, I don't need a normal zoom or wide angles or primes for DX.

I'm not looking, no longer looking, for one set of gear to do everything for me. For a period I toyed with the idea of building a small light kit around my D7000 but gave up on the idea because the body while small is not extremely small to the point where I could stuff it in a coat pocket. RRRoger's idea of a D5100 (or even a D3100) makes more sense here.

I have been looking at a lot of NEX-7 images on DigLloyd and he loves the camera for what he calls ALLView shooting, which centres around manual focus, low ISO, live view and ability through adapters to mount f0.95, f1.4 Leica, Zeiss, Nikon etc. primes. The high res of the Sony sensor looks great, but be aware the Sony implementation is a noisy one (as usual). My hope is that future Nikon implementations of this sensor will tame that problem.

Anyhow the NEX-7 looks interesting, I think you definitely give up some AF performance, high ISO performance, and some handling ergonomics and overall shooting speed (contrast detect AF I believe), but you do get a much smaller package in the camera but not in the telephoto lenses which are basically every bit as big as conventional DX lenses. So a NEX-7 with small high quality primes might achieve what you are looking for. BTW DigLloyd has dozens of full-res samples (if you join - DAP is actually great). I thought the images looked great albeit noisy once you hit ISO400. BTW Lloyd trashes the thought of 18-55 kit f3.5-f5.6 and 18-200 kit styles lenses by making the observation of what is the point on a 24mp DX sensor (FX 54 mp equivalent)

Edited to add: and another lens consideration is diffraction on a 24mp DX sensor. Lloyd is avoiding that by shooting at f0.95, f1.4 maybe up to f2 etc. He is not shooting an f5.6 lens that needs to be shot at f8 or f11 (where diffraction will be kicking in).

Might as well toss in - have you looked at the new FujiFilm X1-Pro three fast primes kit? I love the idea.

Best regards, SteveK

'A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.' -- Dorothea Lange
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pentwater

Jupiter, US
175 posts

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#19. "RE: Nikon D800 or Sony NEX-7" | In response to Reply # 0

pentwater Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Dec 2003
Wed 29-Feb-12 11:42 AM

Hi Filip,

Having a smaller "carry around" system was important to me so I "added" a M4/3rds system to my kit. You, however, indicated that you did not want to maintain two systems, ergo your current dilemma. The thought that crossed my mind was that as I migrated to a full frame system, the amount of "stuff" I had seemed to grow in proportion to the increase in sensor size! Therefore, if you make the leap into the D800, you might find that the volume and weight of the gear you will have for that one system will far exceed your d300s system plus a smaller mirrorless system.

One other point mentioned by many others, I like the fact that I have a choice. When I am shooting landscapes or wildlife, the DSLRs come out. For casual shooting, it's the Oly (though that NEX7 has caught my eye!) Whatever you do, I would just recommend that you reexamine the reason that you feel you only want one system. For many of us, the two systems is the best of both worlds.

Good luck with your decision! Either camera would be a great acquisition!

Bill

G