(Sorry, the title of this post might not be very appropriate, in light of the previous one. Nothing beyond the figurative expression intended.)
I love cameras, and for the most part I love using them—I even dream about using them, sometimes. And after struggling for years to commit to just one, I've given that up and now own a number of cameras. (I really do need to put a few of the less-exercised ones up on Ebay.)
Seldom, however, do cameras "grab me" like the NEX-7 did the other day. I just took to it instantly. Loved the way it felt in the hand and up to my eye, loved its apparent responsiveness and focus speed and control layout. It was a case of "want at first sight."
I figured this immediate and visceral camera-lust was my punishment for carefully reaffirming, just the other day, my commitment to Micro 4/3 and its lens system. Because when does a grass-is-greener option grab you more forcefully than when you've just come out publicly in favor of something else?
I even considered selling on my nearly-new OM-D to Ctein, who's been circling around one of those, and diving into a NEX-7 with both feet. True, it has few lenses, but it does have the one I need—a 35mm prime equivalent. It's even a Zeiss, my longtime favorite lens marque, and it's expensive—and I once notoriously declaimed the motto "You can never spend too much on your lenses." All good.
Or almost all. A commenter, Bill Mitchell, brought me thudding down to Earth again. He wrote simply: "No IS?"
Rats. No, no IS. I had just assumed it was in there. It's a Sony, after all. Sony, which early on accepted from Minolta the IBIS paradigm, went the other way in its mirrorless offerings. The E-mount lenses have their IS (Sony calls it "OSS," for "optical steady shot") in the lenses, not in the body.
I had hoped that with video getting more and more prevalent, wide-angle lenses would increasingly have IS even though the conventional wisdom is that the wider the lens, the less IS is needed for still shots.
I've never been conventional, which is probably why the conventional wisdom doesn't seem to apply to me very often. Didn't Yogi Berra say something like "Ninety percent of baseball is half mental?" Well, I think 90% of handholding cameras is half mental. Image stabilization is partly a psychological feature...in my case. I'm convinced that when I shoot slow shutter speeds, I suffer from a version of what golfers call "the yips." That is, the act of trying too hard to hold the camera steady makes me jerky and trembly. Just by virtue of the fact that it's there, IS makes me relax, and I don't get the yips. I would probably hold a camera steadier at slow shutter speeds if I just thought it had IS.
But I need it. No; want it. So...no immediate gratification, no fence-jumping, no intemperate system-switching, no personal overindulgence, no abandonment of Micro 4/3 for now.
I still lust after a NEX-7, though.
Note: Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site. More...
Original contents copyright 2012 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by Will: "Not just IBIS is in play here, but the game changing '5-axis' stabilization of the OM-D, which in my experience is the absolute best IS anyone has come up with thus far. It is not a panacea for every situation, but when you need it, it makes one hell of a difference. As for 16 versus 24 MP, yawn. I have enough poster-sized prints with 12 MP and no complaints from any of my clients yet. Finally, yes, I also would like a 17.5mm ƒ/1.4 or ƒ/1.8 for Micro 4/3. Anybody want to bet something like this is not in the works at Oly or Panasonic? OM-D for me. Better system."
Featured Comment by kirk tuck: "To all the 50mm-equivalent lovers like me: Sony is introducing a 35mm ƒ/1.8 Nex lens next month. Now we're talking."
Featured Comment by Mike [not yr. hmbl. host —Ed.]: "I had an NEX-7, and sold it in favor of OM-D. The Olympus has faster and more reliable focusing. The facial recognition focusing is much more accurate and customizable then on the Sony—you can specify which eye to focus on—left/right/nearest. I marvel at how accurate it is,—a perfect thing for photographing portraits. Facial recognition focusing in combination with a touch screen allows to quickly switch between the two modes. Oly also has more accurate reproduction of skin tones. And a good prime lens in Micro 4/3 mount does not cost an arm and a leg. Sony has a very convenient in-camera HDR mode, and the form factor is just about perfect, but I still think that focusing speed of the OM-D is preferable."
Featured Comment by Richard Parkin: 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:
Kureishi (Product Planning):
At the beginning of the project we made a mock-up of the product brochure to clearly define what features and value we wanted to provide.
"Sony will not be alone in designing the product brochure first."