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Monday, 06 August 2012

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So get a label maker, create a label that says "IBIS" and stick it on the camera. Problem solved!

ah, IBIS. one of the main gripes i have about sony, fuji, ricoh, panasonic, leica, nikon, and canon mirrorless cameras. hmm, that's just about everyone. if they all had IBIS, what a "truly exciting time" it would be, as they say on the interwebs.

It's funny, I didn't used to, but in the recent couple years I have also been dreaming about photographing. Some of the dreams quite long and pleasant, one was in Copenhagen as sunset was coming. (Though oddly, in my dreams, cities never look anything like they do in life.) I took some very good pictures in that one, if I do say so myself.

Only niggle is that the cameras have tended to be film cameras, and not very good ones either! :-)

By the way, last night I also had a long dream, in which I knew I was in a movie. And the director had made the style decision to not have any music in it, unless something in the scene produced it. (The Wire does that.) So I noticed, amusingly, that he sometimes had to twist things quite a bit, like having a truck drive up in the scene, with a big stereo system playing, sitting on the bed! To justify the sound quality, see? Hehe.

---
I haven't held a NEX. But it hasn't attracted me so far, the big lenses just look so disconnected to that tiny body. I too am leaning more and more towards M4/3. Especially Oly. I have a couple of Panasonics and quite like them, but their choice of no IBIS punctures it a bit.

Interesting synchronicity; Kirk Tuck failed his saving throw against the Nex-7 this month already.

don't worry: not all is lost: you can still get a Sony RX100 which does have both image stabilization and a Zeiss lens (as well as focus peaking).

Another version of Yogi's quote: "Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical." http://www.listmyfive.com/2b3a407a/The-Top-Five-Yogi-Berra-Quotes

The offset to no IS is that there is no good 35mm equiv lens on MFT.

There's also the fact that I know my NEX-7 will produce cleaner high ISO files than my OM-D when you down sample the images to match 16mpx. No only that but the higher ISO files will have more dynamic range available.

So therefore you can use higher shutter speeds with higher ISOs to make up for the lack.

The real problem with the NEX-7 is that the EVF is too contrasty and changing that setting to be less contrasty creates other bigger problems.

Foregive me for writing this, but that's just silly. I too always thought, image stabilisation was an important feature. Somehow I ended up with a Leica M8.2, a Panasonic GF1 with the 20mm and a Nikon D700 with a 35mm prime and a 24 to 85 zoom. Not one of the systems is perfect (the Leica comes close) but if there's one feature that I don't miss it's IS. Fast glass and high ISO have totally eliminated any want/need for stabilisation for me. I don't even think about it any more. Forget IS and go out shooting.

I suffered from GAS for the longest time when it came to cameras. All I can say is that since I got the NEX 7 i have not looked at another camera with lust and this is a huge deal for me. Even the mighty Leica does not interest me anymore. It is the exact same feeling I had when I got a 27" iMac, it suits my needs perfectly and I have no idea what other computers are out there anymore.

I dont want to encourage you to make the switch from the OM-D, I am sure it is a fine camera for you but the NEX 7 is just the perfect piece of gear if you ask me. There are hardly any compromises except for the lenses and I don´t think that even this complaint is that solid anymore.

Mike, you wrote, in a way I would never be able to (not even in Italian I mean) *exactly* what are my feeling about that camera. I'm just surprised you were not painfully aware about absence of IBIS in all the NEX series. A crazy choice if you ask me, if you think is there in their own Alpha DSLR series. I really would like someone to interview a Sony engineer and ask why.

You have perfectly logical reasoning when it comes to in body IS and that was one mental hurdle I had to overcome when moving to a mirrorless system on the basis of wanting one (30mm) lens.
With auto ISO limits set the camera will try hard to raise shutter speed to match the lens' focal length, so far it works well for me and on the rare occasion when I fit a longer lens (50-200mm zoom) that has built in IS and is super sharp.
Photography technology is changing/improving so rapidly these days that sometimes we have to throw away our old preconceptions to stay on board.....

Mike, I know what you mean. After happily trying out my new Sony RX100, I just received my Sigma DP2 Merrill in the mail. I can barely wait for those stupid batteries to charge (it came with two btw.). It fits into a different pant pocket size than the little Sony (or the Leica Ms for that matter.) Speaking of pants, I just saw a pare of P cubed multi-pocket adventure pants that are perfect if you suffer from gas, ... sorry GAS.

Go overindulge yourself with the Panasonic 25mm f/1.4. I don't mean to be a broken record about this, but Mike Johnston needs that lens.

Image stabilization is a nice feature, but I don't see it as a requirement for most of still photography, especially with medium wide-angle lenses like this 24mm. It really comes in handy with telephoto lenses.

Hello Mike

so I take it you are as comfortable ( or even more comfortable) shooting with the 3;2 ratio as with the 4/3ratio. I consider that the native aspect ratio is often not being given enough consideration as one of the deciding factors when choosing a camera . Having grown up with MF cameras and because most of my images are vertical I was Never comfortable choosing a camera system with a 3;2 only ratio ( the 16:9 does not count as a normal-everyday ratio)

Rent one first. After a week with that crazy user interface you'll get over it.

Keith

That "you don't need stabilisation with wide angles" is such a load of rubbish. When I had Pentax I was very grateful for it on my wide (old) primes many times, or am I not allowed to take slow shutter shots with them?

I, too was very disappointed with the lack of in-body IS but I got the NEX-7 anyway. Of course the kit 18-55 has OSS in it (and is a surprisingly useful street-shooting zoom range) but, aside from that, I find with low-noise high ISO shooting these days my intense desire for IS is somewhat mollified. I regularly shoot at ISO 1600, allowing me to avoid yip-type shutter speeds and noise is really not a problem (compared with my KM 7D where I could scarce shoot at 800 lest I create a pointilliste image). I loved my 7D but I don't think there's any arguing the NEX-7 takes better pictures and is more versatile.

OK, gang - who has a NEX7 that they can lend to Mike for a few weeks? I can't spare mine...

Love,

The Enabler

Yes, Mike, no IBIS is the NEX system's most glaring omission, followed closely by it's so-so lenses (quality and quantity, IMO.) I'm willing to bet a dollar that there are many others in your shoes, who WILL NOT buy into the system because of the lack of IBIS. Yet, I am one who jumped from an Olympus E-P1 (with 17mm, which I love) to an NEX-5 (and now 5n with EVF) because all of my 35mm lenses lose too much when adapted to MFT, but they are still usable on the APS-C size sensors used in the NEX's. I especially like the Leica mount Voigtlander 24mm and 35mm pancakes. Also, the lack of IBIS is more than made up by the 4 stop better ISO performance of the NEX-5n vs the E-P1 (Ctein's JPED+RAW method notwithstanding (I'm a photographer not a pixel pusher, he doth protest too much.)) Anyway, I highly recommend you try some Voigtlander or Zeiss or Leica glass on that NEX-7 before you truly say no. Manually focusing is EASIER and more accurate than with any other system I have tried, except for TLRs.

I think you have made the right choice. I love my NEX-7, and was out shooting this afternoon with my 28mm Elmarit and 40mm Summicron.
But I work very slowly, always manual focus and exposure. I am about to buy an L-plate for the camera.
But for someone who works at a more normal speed and more normal way, the omissions of the NEX system are probably just too much right now.
I used Leica M-2 through M-4 long enough that I am just happy to have a built-in lightmeter. And one who's shutter speed control works backwards to the display just reminds me of my M-6.

The psychological feature is certainly important, but the effectiveness of IS is real, especially with small cameras where there is insuficient mass to effectively reduce vibration. For a year now I carried both a G3 and a D700, with the latter mainly used in low light situations, such as shots in museums. The lenses used are unstabilized primes and cover 35 mm-e.

A month ago I switched from the G3 to the IS-equiped OM-D. Now it is the small camera which nets the greatest number of steady pictures, and not by a small margin.

For a moment I thought that the OM-D would make the D700 obsolete. Nice dream. But the few D700 pictures that are sharp are so from corner to corner, as the 35/1.4 AF-S plays in another league than the 20/1.7. Other IQ advantages of the larger camera shouldn't be dismissed either, such as a greater dynamic range.

As a result both the small and the big one will stay in my bag, but the latest dream is a FF body with IBIS. The nightmare being a small body without it.

This is indeed a great time to buy a camera, and the mirroless era has just started.

From time to time I'm tempted by the NEX-7 too as a replacement to my Canon 5D MkII. But my rational tought doesn't let me do it: the Canon may have a lower pixel count, shadow-noise issues and lower dinamic range, but still has a full-frame sensor that produces images with a special look that I find hard to give up to.

Besides I can't justify having more than two cameras. Alongside the 5D2 I have a Fuji X100 (wich I love), two very different cameras with different approaches to photography. The NEX would be kind of a compromise solution between a "serious job" DSLR and a "fun" street camera. It could be a great choice if I could only have one camera.

Although this is what my rational side tells me, I still lust after the NEX... so I may have to start thinking about the lack of interesting native lenses...

That's been exactly my feeling about the NEX cameras. I like to use live-view cameras mainly at waist level, where stabilization really does become important. So just for fun I recently bought a little Sony SLT and a 30mm lens. It's no NEX but it works great at waist level, IS and all.

I don't think I could ever pay over thousand bucks for a prime lens without proper focus distance marks and a depth-of-field scale. This Zeiss has the space for them and they are the types of features that help mark them as a high performance brand.

I don't understand why camera makers won't consistently implement these features through camera software and a direct-access method.

Isn't it about 50 years before you should trust a manufacturer to not starting mucking about with the lens mount, and if it is still in business, only then cautiously sink your own money into the "system"? Unless you are a pro of course, which changes the dynamics based on being paid for work.

>>But I need it. No; want it. So...no immediate gratification<<

Mike, that is simply un-American!!!

Holding on to perfectly good gear after new gear is released is NOT the kind of conspicuous consumption that made this country great!

Let's spend a little less time in remembering your German use-it-until-it-wears-out-and-then-do-without roots and a little more time wearing the numbers off of the old credit card, eh?

Geeze, no wonder the economy is having trouble recovering.

;-)

Jim


Hi Mike, I have had my Nex7 with the Zeiss and the Sony 50/ 1.8 for 4 months. Lack of IS with the Zeiss has not been a problem so far as the lens speed/high ISO capability together with the shorter focal length has given me enough shutter speed for the majority of my work. On occasion I have attached a L Bracket made for my Ball Head when doing low light landscape. Composing with the LCD tilted out is great and releasing with the self timer has produced some true Zeiss quality images. Let me also put in a thumbs up for the 50 Sony. Amazing IQ for a lens of any price but a true must buy at the $300 selling price. Now my favorite portrait lens it has produced great prints up to the 13x17 size, my Epson's max. Love TOP and hope you enjoy which ever system you choose. The big plus is to get rid of all that weight! Can't believe I used to cart a full Phillips 8x10 camera and 3 lens outfit around. No more. Regards, LD

That was the one thing that kept me from keeping the NEX7 I owned for a week. Not having IS was a deal breaker. The IBIS on the OM-D is excellent, and I've been very happy with it. That being said, if Sony comes out with a slightly larger body with IBIS, I would be very tempted to jump ship. Especially with the rumors of a 35mm/1.8 lens coming.

Mike, if it makes you feel any better, Kurt Munger had this to say about the 24/1.8's bokeh:

"Mostly harsh, although you won't be getting much background blur with this lens."

This surprised me. The harsh part. I like a 35 (though I don't have one at the moment) to shoot anything, including portraits. So bokeh does matter for me on a lens like this.

It otherwise came out looking very good.

In-body IS is still theoretically possible. It just takes skill, dedication and practice:
1. Pay really careful attention to your own body movements (particularly the hands)
2. For each movement, move in the opposite direction as soon as you notice it happening
3. Do this really, really fast
4. Practice a lot, like for the Olympics, only much harder
5. Don't worry about any strange looks people give you while training. If you mention Parkinsons they will understand and go away. When you get good enough, people won't notice your rapid micro-movements.
6. Voila! You have in-body IS for every camera you own!

Other than photographing from a moving car I find that the nex is so easy to hold at low shutter speeds that image stabilization is a non issue. I can certainly hand hold for longer exposures than I could with my Pentax D10. For any photo with live humans in it , the humans will blur long before the rest of the image.

Anyone who has mastered 1/15 second exposures with a TLR will have no problem with the nex at 1/8 second.

The nex mount lenses you want are the two $200 sigmas that are just amazing. That and some manual focus lens adapters.

Zeiss love. Echoes with me, Mike. Echoes with my Milwaukee-brace stiffened vertebrae, when I have to justify their being crushed under the weight of a ZF Makro-Planar 100mm or a ZF Distagon 35mm, rather than the minute Voigtländer Apo-Lanthar 90mm (excellent lens, by the way, so it stands to reason CV stopped making it) or the bantam pancake 40mm Ultron.
What? Zeiss ZF have no IS? Age and infirmity encroaching, I had to make do with my own IS. It's called a monopod. It's also good for keeping wolves at bay in the tundra. The ballhead alone weighs probably more than a Nex-7. Not exactly pocketable. But it pushes the envelope. And it does away with the pretense that I could still hand-hold a 35mm for 1/15s at f/1.2.

Funny--I'd take the OM-D over the NEX-7 any day of the week. I've got a little Oly Pen PL-1 that I opted over the NEX-5 about a year ago. By the way, my FF 35mm is a Sony a850, which is a wonderful studio camera.

I am amused that folks who once thought that 400 ASA film and a fast prime was all you needed to work in low light are now bemoaning no stabilization in a camera that can work at 3200 ISO with the same quality as our old 400 ASA films. I usually use universal (tripod) stabilization, so I do not worry as much about in camera versus in lens stabilization.

I share your love for the 35mm"e" FOV, Mike. It's been my normal focal length since the mid-70s, but I've been surprised in the past few days at how much that preference seems to run counter to current popular thought.

I've been researching and reading everything I can find on the Nikkor 35/1.4G AFS lens, and I've found that often, the reviewers prefaced their remarks by commenting about the boring, pedestrian nature of the 35mm (full frame) field of view. It was almost as if they had to justify the review to their readers. (No justification needed for me - the lens is on its way.)

OTOH, I don't share your feelings about IS. My first and only experience with IS was during a road trip with my Fuji X10. After the IS screwed up a number of once-in-a-lifetime shots, I've turned it off and I won't turn it back on. In fact, that camera has been demoted to use as a visual notepad - any notion I had of doing "serious" work with it has vanished.

The fact of the matter is that after forty years of shooting in all kinds of situations, I'm confident enough in my ability to nail a steady handheld shot, that turning the task over to a shaking sensor or a vibrating lens element isn't in the cards for me.

Of course, I'm generally shooting with heavier, more stable cameras than the NEX, so I've got inertia working in my favor, but putting that aside, the position of the camera when using an eye-level viewfinder gets me 90% of the way there.

You need to get over the IS dependency Mike, and trust your skill and experience - that, and shoot a few extra frames when you're at the edge of your comfort level...

No IS?

Why back in the day, a real photographer would get up in the morning, hunt down a grizzly bar and gnaw a hunk out of its arse for breakfast while it was still alive, then load up his jackass with a real camera (with a real viewfinder and none of that thar new-fangled sissy EVF-stuff) and a tripod and head out into a July blizzard and come back with dozens of masterpieces. Youngsters these days are just spoilt. Nothing that a good thrashin' couldn't cure though.

Or, in lieu of a thrashing, you could just take your money and buy a Panasonic Leica 25mm 1.4 for your Olympus. Puts the sluggish 20mm to shame, methinks. It even focuses fast on an E-P3 and is a nice 50mm equivalent. Finally, a lens that lives up to all that I have read, while costing less than a gadzillion dollars.

I loved IS until I realized it costs a lot to fix and I dont actually need it under 200mm.

I insist on in body IS. That said, when it broke on my A700, I am not sure how long I used it without knowing it was broke. Am now using the A57, but the A700 still comes along as a back up.

I get a much better image from my Nex 7 than from my micro 4/3,s.
And to the person who wrote the post above this and likes 35's The Nex7 and the Voigtlander 35 1.2, excellent. Joanlvh

NEX-7. Used it. Liked it. Didn't love it (though we as a review site loved it). Terrible menus. Cool controls. I like the EM-5 better. It has more lens options, of better quality (Sony's persistent shortcoming). Once Sony figures that out, they're a great option; for now, it's MFT for me.

I don't believe I'd allow the lack of IBIS to prevent me from buying an NEX-7. But the focus speed of the NEX-7 might hold things up - depending on what I was shooting. Landscapes, architecture and portraits would be fine. Action, sports and even weddings might not be. At least from what I could tell from the limited time I have spent with the camera. YMMV, especially if you have other cameras.

IS--every time I've used it in various video cameras-- makes me seasick.

It does't have IBIS because:

- It has APS-C sized sensor in a small body, it would be much larger with IBIS.
- In lens IS is better for video (does not overheat sensor).

So this was a deliberate choice from SONY.

Mike, you got it all wrong!
No IS in a lens you like?

Simple, really: get a MFT adapter, mount it on the OM-D and away you go!

This is the bit that neither Canon, Nikon or Sony have fathomed yet about the total sense of the OM-D system: mount ANY lens on it and the lens has got IS!

For FREE!

Heck, even my WWII Sonnar180/2.8 has it now.
Beat that, Nex's of this world!

I love my NEX-7. Not having IS is not a problem for me. It is my walk-around do all camera. It has helped me trim my tools to a minimum. When I was able to produce this shot http://tinyurl.com/8prnopd at ISO 1600 handheld, I knew the NEX-7 was a keeper.

Buy the camera with the beautiful and reasonably priced 50mm f1.8 oss, take some pictures, make a few videos and you'll be in love all over again.

I confess that my time with the Olympus E-PL2 has been very short lived. The handling was driving me nuts, and the image quality disappointed. It had to go! The impression given of your experience with the OM-D wasn't like this. So, unless there's something that you really don't like about the OM-D, or something that you need from the NEX-7, then best stay where you are.

As you know, there will be something EVEN BETTER next year/week, or tomorrow...

The I-my-own-BIS works surprisingly well with the 50mm and shorter non-OSS lenses that I use on my 5n.

The OSS in the Sony 50 mm and the 18-55mm works well too.

Not buying because of lack of IBIS? Hmm. Image stabilization is only a 'nice to have' for me.

The NEX 7 has intrigued me from time to time, but I just can't get hot about it. Nor about the OM-D either, although I think it's a very fine camera. I guess I've just gotten a bit jaded and am enjoying what I have already. Which is already much more than I need ... !

Roberto: "I really would like someone to interview a Sony engineer and ask why."

I believe it's because in-lens IS produces better results with video, and video (like it or not) is a major consideration on the part of manufacturers (it's probably a major consideration behind Sony's move from DSLR to "SLT"). Consider that IBIS has only been implemented by Konica Minolta & Pentax (two companies that had no IS lenses) and Olympus (for reasons unknown). Maybe a digicam here & there, but everyone else has gone ILIS, including new ILC systems.

Robin P: "With auto ISO limits set the camera will try hard to raise shutter speed to match the lens' focal length."

I really wish Sony would get on the stick and implement Auto ISO in M mode. (That's one of the main reasons I switched from Sony to Nikon DSLR). But that aside, there are times you just don't want to, don't need to shoot at 1/EFL provided you have some form of stabilization.

Daniel Francisco Valdez: "Yes, Mike, no IBIS is the NEX system's most glaring omission, followed closely by it's so-so lenses"

I can see lack of IBIS being a deal breaker for some individual photographers, but given that it's currently only implemented in Sony SLTs, Pentax DSLRs, and Olympus cameras, and is missing from all Canon & Nikon cameras, I'd hardly call it a glaring omission. Anyone unwilling to buy into NEX for that reason has precious few choices in cameras.

Charles Hueter: "I don't think I could ever pay over thousand bucks for a prime lens without proper focus distance marks and a depth-of-field scale."

This hit home a couple weeks ago, trying to shoot lightning outside in the dark and trying to figure out whether I was focused at infinity. I managed, but with focus by wire, that lets you keep turning the focus ring as long as you want, and no way of seeing what's in focus in the dark, I had to stop & think for a minute. Not that having to think now & then is a bad thing, but photography is much more enjoyable when you can control a camera the way you want to control it.

Clayton Lofgren: "when it broke on my A700, I am not sure how long I used it without knowing it was broke."

When I switched from Sony to Nikon, I queried my metadata in LR to see how much I relied on IS (for lenses that aren't available in VR on Nikon). It was something on the order of 15% of my shots taken with my 28mm prime and 25% of shots taken with my 85mm, but those included a lot of shots that I figured I could live without. On the other hand, I had to consider my nagging distrust of a sensor that moves around in the camera. My KM 7D had its IS mechanism repaired because it failed. And it also had a tendency, I believe, to overheat after a while, resulting in a purplish cast on one side of the image above ISO 1600. Granted, technology improves, and now I have lenses with moving elements. I also had to work through a period where I often had soft images because I had a tendency to pick up the camera quickly and grab a shot without waiting a second for the sensor to "settle down" (it was reacting to the motion of picking it up). With lens-based VR, I'm more likely to see that (particularly on the NEX' 18-200, the image can sort of "drift" for a second after recomposing in the LCD as it settles, which is a bit disconcerting). Maybe it's rationalizing, but I'm more comfortable with a sensor that doesn't move ! The Oly's IBIS is supposedly excellent, though comes with a "buzzing" noise from what I understand (and Olympus has a supposedly excellent new nearly $400 underwater camera that has generated loads of complaints of buzzing sounds being recorded on video due to its IS - which, though probably lens-based, just goes to show that the technology isn't entirely "there" yet). Overheating is still a known issue - on Sony's SLTs, there are guidelines for how much video you can expect to record before the sensor overheats, and it's longer with SSS turned off. (Some people have gone out and purchased Sigma OS lenses to use with Sony SLTs for shooting video).

Then one of the most annoying things Sony has done recently, not only on NEX, but on their SLTs as well, is to move the on/off switch into the menu. On NEX, it's lens-based, but the switch isn't on the lens. On my A700, the switch is on the body, but on new cameras, it's in the menu. Back to that issue of control. I turn IS on & off as I raise & lower my shutter speed. I asked a Sony rep at Photoplus about that and his response was "Why would you turn it off ?"

And then you have the NEX 50/1.8 which has IS in it (unusual for a 50mm lens). So putting all of that together, I appreciated IBIS in my KM and Sony DSLR bodies, but don't miss it.

- Dennis

As a an overall system I

    nearly
get excited about the Sony NEX's. There's no doubt that the 7n is an awesome camera but the lack of IBIS, the slightly clumsy or expensive lenses, the cost of the top of the range cams all conspire to make me less excited than I should be.

However (and this is a big however) I haven't found a more enjoyable or cheaper way to shoot manual lenses in the digital world. Set up the cam right and you'll live in manual mode with quick shortcuts and without having to look at the ugly menus. Focus peaking makes all but the most precise manual focusing a breeze and shooting TLR style with the screen is a pleasure in all but the brightest of daylight.

The real biggy for me is that you can pick up an NEX3 body for probably half what most people here have paid for their point and shoot (£150 in the UK if you're lucky). If you have a collection of manual lenses you can pick up an adaptor for £20 and then with that you're off! The sensor on the NEX3 may be old in today's terms but it's still good to great in the grand scheme of things. I've got very acceptable shots at iso 6400 from raw. The NEX3 is my carry round cam and it lives dangling from a lanyard off my shoulder and under my jacket. The lanyard is long enough to swing the camera out and shoot comfortably but short enough that I can brace it using the lanyard to keep the camera steady for low shutter speed shots.

Mated with good lenses it's an awesome value combo and a whole load of fun to shoot manually.

I don't understand why image stabilization gets neglected from wide angles. When it's included (either in body or in lens), it affords the user to shoot handheld at simply ridiculous shutter speeds. Here's an example that I took this weekend:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ghosstrider/7727399226/in/photostream

That was taken with a K-5 and DA 14mm at .8 seconds. God bless Pentax and their Shake Reduction system.

The Nex-7 was the camera I wanted. I bought a GH2 instead because the m43 lenses appeal me more. The Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 is just fantastic and never disappoint me. The Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 looks good but I feel it's too expensive for a crop format lens.
I am also a big fan of IBIS (Pentax user here) but I can get consistently sharp pictures from the 25mm f/1.4 at 1/30s which is for me the lowest limit to take pictures of humans anyway.

DON'T sell the OM-D! If you do,you'll regret it later....

Mike, given the same choice I would have gone with the OMD as well. The Sony is a technically well executed camera, but the OMD has far more nice primes (stabilised by the camera) and a few very neat features including long exposure preview. Not sure the IQ difference is that great either.

I still can't pick up a Sony without the electronics side of their business making it's presence felt. I still like the "mechanical connection".

Of course I don't own either, I have an Xpro1 which just shows that none of us are the same and fortunately they make enough cameras now to please almost everyone (except forum members at dpreview of course). And yes, I absolutely love it, warts and all.

Anyone who does not consider image stabilization useful must be a human tripod. (Either that or he shoots with a real tripod most of the time.) Of course, there are circumstances in which IS is superfluous, but then there other circumstances in which it is very helpful. I say this as someone with a steady hand and a soft shutter finger. It is surprising that Sony chose to omit IS from the NEX bodies, but Panasonic did the same with their Micro-4/3 cameras.

The real problem with IS systems is that they still require you to actually hold the camera and push the button. This is quite tedious, as is the chore of deciding where to actually aim the camera. Since we no longer need to worry about focus, exposure, or holding the camera steady, surely camera makers can relieve us of the last remaining burdens of our point 'n shoot cameras--the actual pointing and shooting. Then we will finally be free to be the great photographers we've always wanted to be.

I feel the same way about weight.
Years past, you had plastiky-amateur cameras and heavy-bulky-pro cameras.

Today, everything is light and small (OMD, NEX, so on...), but my brain keeps telling me "you are not a soccer mom, you need a two ton euipment".

For me, hand shaking is not a problem, subject moving is. IBIS will not help when you are photographing an awake four-year old .

If you think you need IBIS, then you need it. Thankfully I don't think I need it, so I am free to enjoy many more cameras as a result.

But having more choices leads to GAS, which is a bad thing, or so I am told (repeatedly).

So I just need to convince myself that I need a whole range of features that are not available on any one camera, then I can cure my GAS. Whoops, forgot about lenses. I love lenses. Dang!

I had a Nex 5N and I felt the lack of IS pretty sorely. It's harder to hold a smaller camera still, and I had to brace that thing like there was no tomorrow to avoid blurring my images. In the same situations IS allowed me to shoot much more freely with less--contortions.

As a proud owner of the NEX-7 and the Zeiss 24mm, I can say that I haven't missed IS at all. Most of the time that I am shooting, it wouldn't make a difference, and in low light, I can push the ISO up and the aperture down for really great results.

I saw another commenter say something I agreed with. If you think you need IS, get it, but more importantly, just go take pictures. With whatever you have. I often fall prey to gear-envy, but I am realizing more and more that the longer I pine away after the next great camera, the less time I spend shooting with the great camera I already have. Specs have their place, but when they get in the way of the craft, its time to step back and reconfigure our priorities.

MacCruiskeen, the Sony Party-shot sounds like the answer to your needs ! It seems that they've discontinued it, though.

Dear Richard Parking
"If it is sometimes puzzling why cameras are designed the way they they are, it may be worth reading the description of the process [PDF link] at Sony for the RX100:"

But there is quite a method to that madness, eventually, and it does quite something to do if you pay attention to what Mike usually says:

Who is this camera for? What will this client look for this camera?

Explain it, and if it can not be explain, then that feature goes off the camera. It is not that much of a mad thing, to be honest.

Don´t sell what you can not explain.

No one may ever see this comment, it's late after a long workday.

When I first got my EM-5, I was compelled to do two things: hear the "hum" and try the IBIS.

1. The hum was a big disappointment. A centimeter from my ear, just a nearly inaudible waterfall-like sound was all.

2. The IBIS astonished me. A snapshot in my pitch black living room at midnight, with the 45mm f/1.8, ISO 3200, the camera hand-held and shutter speed of 1/2 second, was clear, sharp, unblurred. So, what other cameras can equal this feat?

JRA

Too bad you found out about the missing IS. You could have happily shot at 1/15s for years with the NEX-7 :)

I have to admit that as much as like the ibis on the EM-5, I really like being able to set the shutter speed at which the ISO starts to ramp up. 1/80s seems to get the kids frozen in time...

Man... ¡just put a Panasonic Leica DS 25 mm f/1,4 on that OM-D body!

Mike,
What you really need is this: Sigma DP2 Merrill. Check this out, it blew my mind.
In mirror less, its a waiting game right now with systems other than M43, which has matured.

OM-D is a mature camera, there're no fine prints here. Fast AF: tick. Incredible IS: tick. Image quality: tick. Low light: tick. Drool quotient: tick. Lenses: tick. Fast lenses: tick. VF: tick. Bells and whistles: tick.

Nex is cooking right now. It will take an year or so to get there. Right now, the AF is, "well" fast enough, but not quite there. Lenses, no, not there. etc. etc.

PS: you have to go inside a dimly lit building/church to see what OM-D's IS does, even vis a vis conventional IS tech.

anurag

What about yer K5???

Dear Inaki
What you say makes sense but that is not the same as what was related by Sony at the linked article where they claimed that they started with the brochure first!
The right way to do it is described in the Ricoh GR Digital "InsideStory" at:
http://www.ricoh.com/r_dc/gr/gr_digital/story/01.html
A quote from the Planning section: 'Initial stages of the development plan were to clearly define exactly why users of the GR1 camera hold the opinion that, “the GR1 is a fantastic camera”. “Regular users of the GR1 are not just amateurs, a lot of professional photographers use it too. We decided that the best place to start would be to thoroughly explore the reasons why those users like the camera so much, then to clearly define a target that each member of the development team could share”, explained Mr. Noguchi. Research was performed on pretty much anyone who had something to say on photographs or cameras, including owners of the GR1, subscribers to camera magazines, high-end amateur photographers, photo cameramen, and journalists.'

Another comment on Richard Parking's note about product design. A popular method/process in software design these days is TDD - Test Driven Design, where you write the tests before you write the software. KInda similar to the brochure first thing..

In the meanwhile, i am thinking of buying another OM-D...
And in the meanmeanwhile, Sonyalpharumors says Nex6 will have a new 16mp sensor (SR5, means confirmed).
Maybe you should wait a bit Mike.

Dear MacCruiskeen,

Thanks for that. Right on.

Test Driven Design is but one of several similar software development methods which try to avoid the disasters inherent in spending a lot of time planing and then trying to follow the plan..

I led a project a dozen or so years ago where we tried to write the manual first, making it as easy to understand as we could, and then writing the software to match the manual.

The idea was that if you can't tell someone how to do something over the phone, you either need to redesign the user or redesign the software. Redesigning the user is of course a joke.

Of course with some products you have a pretty good idea what the user is going to do with it. With a tool like a camera trying to guess what the user is going to do with it is a terrible idea. I want to attach my NEX to a 20 foot pole , but there is no remote.

I'm glad the "take exposure without lens" feature didn't get left out on account of it being hard to explain. It's the reason I bought the camera.

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