When the NEX cameras were first announced in May 2010 by Sony, many people were surprised by how small they were. At the time (and I believe this is still true) they were the smallest APSC sensor cameras ever made. This was a really big break through. I was very interested in the cameras for other reasons entirely –
1. I knew these would make great candidates for infrared conversion. Why? See my previous post here for more info.
2. It would not be possible to make better use of old obsolete lenses. If you say it was already possible to adapt lenses to the m43’s cameras, I would have to agree, but the advantage to the NEX is getting closer to using the full coverage of the lens. Instead of having a 2x crop factor on the m43 would only have a 1.5x crop factor, which as a DSLR shooter I am already very comfortable with.
The small size of the NEX-5 turned out to be more of a hindrance (thank you Sony for listening and creating the incredible NEX-7) than a help for me. I was excited 3rd parties out there like Ownuser and LCDVF came to the rescue. The Ownuser battery grip (I will do a write up on this grip in a later post) really makes the camera easier to hold. The LCDVF helps by giving you a giant viewfinder to look into the NEX’s LCD display, it also lets you use the camera eye level propped against your head, which can help you get a DSLR perspective and help with stabilizing the camera in low light situations. I hope to do more in-depth write-ups on these different products in a future posting. For now, suffice to say that the NEX can be useful a lot more like a “normal” DSLR but with all the advantages I was looking for that a mirrorless offers. Oh, and it looks really cool too: