Why I sold my Olympus OMD and got a NEX 7

Sony NEX 7

[I] was one of the ones that preordered the OMD, I sold it for a NEX7, here's why.

Now before we get into any details let me first say that these are MY, let me say again MY point of view and does not reflect those of other folks. If you are leaning towards any camera, do your research.

 

Why I let go of the OMD

For the same reasons outlined in this post. I tried to love that camera but just couldn't, it actually got to the point where I considers the OMD my “work” camera, and my others as my “personal” cameras. Needless to say I did not like that compartmentalisation, but I just didn't enjoy the camera enough to go shoot with it for myself. This is against a whole lot of people whom I know use it for their street photography. Don't get me wrong, the OMD is a stellar, great camera, but just not for me. It's the old “It's not you, it's me” thing. And after all that time I still didn't trust it for some reason, I still do not know why.

But beyond the original reasons, the biggest factor for separating with my OMD is the lack of focus peaking. I got spoiled with the GXR with this and I can't live without it. But more than an annoyance it actually prevented me from buying great legacy glass to use with it. You can find great high aperture telephotos at around 200$ but without focus peaking you would be gambling with your focus more than anything.

As a freelance photographer I needed the double battery, one of the biggest reasons I bought the OMD in the first place, but now many other mirrorless cameras have third party double battery grips in the 100$ range, when I saw the NEX7 had one it was an offer I could not refuse.

The OMD is my second micro43 camera, I had the original PEN, bought it as soon as it came out. I don't know what it is about the m43 format it's just not for me, even though they both are great cameras. It's not you, it's me, now move on.

 

Why I got the NEX7

Nex7 street photography
Focus peaking + Voigtlander = Heavenly match

The camera market seems so polarized to me. Nikon and Canon are seen as camera manufacturers while Sony is seen as an electronics company and therefore gets a bad rap. It is true that Sony does not have much invested into cameras then the others but here are the reasons why I got the NEX7. Oh by the way the OMD has a Sony sensor in it, so does many Pentax and Nikon cameras, just sayin'

Price

You can get a Sony NEX7 used around $850. A steal for this kind of camera. I sold my OMD kit with grip and 45mm 1.8, I bought the NEX7, NEX3 (backup body), 28mm 2.8, 135mm 2.8, bothe legacy glass with adapter, Ownuser grip and still had a Benji left.

Got glass?

Before getting into details, the sad fact is that the Sony E mount is very poor on lenses. There is some tempting glass (Zeiss 24 is very nice) but not an overall large choice of focal lenghts at different price points. But if you are looking for an ultra wide angle, Sony offers the cheapest glass you can get. You can get the 16mm+12mm adapter for around 200$. I was looking at the Voigtlander 12mm and this is $500 cheaper and overall good quality glass.

The Nex having focus peaking means you can put legacy lenses on it and shoot pretty fast with it. I have my Voightlander 40mm mounted on my NEX7 and I do not miss the focus one bit. For a freelance event photographer like me that means I can get great leacy lenses at a fraction of the price of their newer equivalent.

Double battery grip

A chine company made this Ownuser double battery grip which you can get for $100. I will review it shortly and while it's not up to part with the NEX build quality, it does the job, all that I needed to do.

M9 Rival
The NEX7 has none of the looks and none of the charms of a Leica (I would argue it's downright ugly…) but it rivals it in Image Quality, where it truly matters. I wanted a Leica for one reason only: The top notch image quality. I don't care about the name but what the camera can produce. The famous Luminous Landscape article settled it in my mind for the quality. I then checked DXOmark and the Nex7 actually beats the M9 in the Dynamic Range department! Kodak made the sensor in the M9.

Half Medium format pixel power
I dig digital medium format, and I salivate on the Pentax 645D for the same reason I do the M9: Image Quality. The 645D is 40mp and the Nex7 is 24…halfway the resolution of MF. Of course, megapixels are not everything and there are other factors but I believe (don't take my word for it!) that stitching 4 well exposed 24mpx files will rival the digital medium format cameras. ). Unlike others who make it a sacrilege to crop, I love to do so. I try to get eveything within the camera but sometimes a little croppin is needed, 24mpx gives you good wiggle room to crop.

Other stuff

Besides the image quality of the NEX7, there are other good stuff about it like the high FPS, the superb screen and viewfinder, the rangefinder viewfinder placement.

Overall I love my NEX7 more than the OMD when I got it. Again this is my OPINION based on my PURPOSES. Others swear on their OMD and I am glad for them. As for myself I found my camera, I use it for pro and personal reasons. Due to my philosophy of gear minimalism, I will also part with my RD1, as I don't want to have too much gear.

I think the fact that people are salivating on the Xpro or XE1, OMD, the NEX is getting lesss attention, a good opportunity to get great deals on this great camera. Do it now because I am sure that when Sony releases it's fullframe NEX the prices will be jacked up again.

There is more to photography than cameras
Once you get a Nex7, what then? Cameras are good but in and of themselves they are unfulfilling, it’s like having a piano and not using it. Get Inspired Eye, a digital magazine all about photography, it will help you develop yourself as a photographer by being inspired, and by teaching you a thing or two. Like many readers said “It makes me want to go out and shoot”. You can get your risk free trial on the website.

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About The Author

15 thoughts on “Why I sold my Olympus OMD and got a NEX 7”

    1. Hehe! I like the xpro too, but I’ll stick with the NEX7. When the xpro gets less popular and when it has focus peaking, maybe I’ll get into it.

  1. I’m also a NEX 7 lover. This cam has flaws and quirks but it stole my heart, without me knowing it. My best mirrorless to date (and I did try all the Fujis, m4/3 and NX)…

  2. Hey there!

    Me again..so Ownuser has 2 grips that you can get..

    The first one being a simple extra bit of grip that you can place into your tripod mount, and the second being an actual grip with a vertical shutter (the one you have).

    Basically, I want either one of them. The first option, being cheaper in price, is a much more tempting option for me. However, having 2 additional batteries with a vertical shutter would be nice. What are your opinions on each grip? I don’t see the review blog of your review on the grip you own unless I missed it somewhere.

    Also, are there any other kinds of these grips out there? Any more third-party companies making them that you know of?

    Thanks heaps!
    -Joe

    1. That review is coming in a series of articles for the NEX7 (Like I did for the Ricoh GRD IV)
      I can’t speak for the non battery grip. For the battery grip it does the job. Not the same build quality as the NEX, shutter release is a bit plastic but I like mine.

      It really depends on what you want to do. Do you even NEED all of this juice? When I go out in the streets I pull it out, when I go to weddings it’s back up. I really see the double battery for pro uses or if you want to do long videos, timelapses or something.

      The batteries you have, are they Sony OEM? I have some 3rd party batteries, sometimes the camera doesn’t want to recognize them so I have to switch them places in the grip and it works.

      Don’t know of any other grips, sorry! Hope that helps, shoot any more questions you might still have!

  3. Super cool, you answered just about every question I was looking for. Truth is, I guess I don’t need it but I can’t stand the grip of the NEX 7. My pinky and ring finger always seem to go underneath the body. Right now I’m using a leather half-case grip that helps some but it’s still bothersome and uncomfortable after long periods. Eventually, I plan on shooting lots of video, and yes, my 2 extra batteries are some third-party ones I got off Amazon. The only real reason I would want this Ownuser grip is because I’d like a more substantial grip for longer shooting times. Right now the vertical shutter can be found on eBay for around $110 USD and the regular grip without batteries can be found for around $60-$70ish. Either way, I don’t think I’d be making a bad deal and I am aware the quality won’t be up to NEX standards, but knowing me I’ll cop out for the dual battery grip anyways, lol. I’m such a sucker sometimes. All in all, I’m just like you in wishing these grips had some sexiness and appeal but afterall, if there’s one thing you’ve taught me about photography, it’s all about the heart you put into every shot and not the camera that really matters. But I’d still go against that and say….”sexy should still be relevant!” Lol. Thanks a lot.

    Totally and loyally looking forward to those blogs, hero.

    Once again, thanks for the tips.

    1. Hey man thanks for making my day 🙂
      Now you putting pressure on me, jeeez…..

      Things need to be sexy sometimes….the best camera is the one you love!
      If you plan to shoot video, what kind, serious or non serious?
      If you plan to take the serious route, there’s other things you need…..

  4. Odd justifications going on here but your honesty shines through. I shoot sony FF with Zeiss glass. For the small stuff I”m going OMD. They have focus peaking now so their goes what looks like your number one pet peeve. With 17MP you can still crop quite a bit. More native lens choices as well, but they are both good. I’ll take the 5 axis and dirt cheap 45 and now the stellar 25mm and call it a day.

    1. Well those are MY justifications 🙂 When I wrote that it was a while back. Sony’s E mount issues is the lack of lens choice, Olympus has a bunch and at a very good price too I agree.

  5. Here is my take. The NEX series is in every way technologically and ergonomically superior. The downloadable apps are brilliant. The Art Filters of the Olmpus suck big-time in comparison to the NEX. The NEXs have remote Android control. The on-off switch on the OM is slow to use and annoying. The buttons are hard to find and take a fingernail to press. The handgrip is much less good. The NEX can be used for very fast one-handed operation and quick change of settings on the fly, which takes ages with the OM. The menu control dial of the NEX is far superior. The swing-out screen on the NEX 5 series allows self-portraiture, which I would have thought was a basic requirement of a swing-out screen.

    But I would always choose the Olympus. Why? First, the anti-shake. It’s actually no better than the antishake on the Sony A55, but it is a very good antishake and I am very shaky. Second, the NEX gives an accurate colour rendition, but to me as to many others it is unpleasing. I have to filter every shot individually in Photoshop. With the OM, it seems to have some kind of algorithm that brings out the best in each photo. Almost always, trying to improve the shots just spoils their subtlety. They’re best straight out of the camera – and that saves me three hours provessing every time I take the camera out.

    Om 2 sp, Om 4 ti, Nex 5R, Nex 7, OM D EM-5, Sony A55 (fav!), Panasonic DMC FZ-28, DMC-S3 and I would kill for a Sony A 77.

    1. OMD bakes the files if you’re shooting in JPEG. I know, I have Oly and Sony A and E mount gear. Olympus DESTROYS the shadows- they literally deficate on them. People gush over their JPEGS but they are too punchy with too much clarity and contrast- even dialed down on muted or natural setting. Plus, the freaking greens man. You have to adjust them as soon as you get the camera.

      Sony takes a more subtle approach. Subtle to me translates to more realistic. I’ll take that thank you very much.

      Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Olympus for what they do. They make the best cameras in the business PERIOD….all things considered. It’s one of the best user experiences you can have. I wonder how long that will last though. Rumor is- next NEX7 will have 5 axis and 4k. Now what they needs is more glass to compete and then what? Nothing is what. Sony can own the market but we’ll see how that goes.

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