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Sony NEX-EA50 (all variants)
Including NEX-EA50UH / EA50EH / EA50H / EA50UK / EA50EK / EA50K


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Old March 23rd, 2015, 11:53 PM   #1
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Considering a 2nd EA50. Seeking advice.

I have the original EA50U and am considering a 2nd one. We have some 1/3 cameras that are used for lots of applications, but they aren't so good for pulling shallow DOF type beauty shots & setup corporate shots. The EA50 isn't perfect, but since I already have one it would be more cost effective to get another so I have 2 matching cameras for all the scenarios where I need it as opposed to having to get 2 of something else such as Black Magic or DSLRs. So, I'm trying to decide if sticking with EA50s is the way to go.
Here's my reasoning:

-I think 1080P will be sufficient for a few more years in my area before we need to upgrade to 4k so I'd rather not invest much in another 1080P camera. The EA50 is fairly cheap now. I'm not too thrilled with the current 4k cameras anyway.

-It's very convenient that the EA50 can do stills and more clients are asking for photographs.

-With new lenses the two EA50s could replace our 1/3 cameras for low light 2 cam weddings.

-Using the Atomos Ninja Blade external recorder I hope will help give a bit of a boost for color grading in post to help compete with better cameras and extend it's usefullness. So far it's working well.

-I like all the built-in features such as XLR, form factor, 1080 60P, lots of room to attach things, etc...

Thank you in advance for any thoughts on this. I plan on at least waiting until NAB to see if a replacement for the EA50 comes out. I doubt it as it seems this camera never really caught on.
It sure would be great if one came out with ND and some high frame rates (120P or 240P).
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Old March 24th, 2015, 12:32 AM   #2
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Re: Considering a 2nd EA50. Seeking advice.

Hey David

As you know some of us have 2 EA-50's already and love them. Yes the stock lens is slow ..that was the biggest issue and unless the unknown new sensor is wildly more sensitive (which I doubt until Steve let's us know) if you need low light shooting you really have to forgo the power zoom and auto focus and use manual lenses. I do mostly weddings and reception venues are very low light!! However for a very modest price, the Sigma 17-35 F1.8 zoom works wonders on the EA-50 Apart from the couples first dance where they turn the lights almost off, I can shoot great footage without any lighting!!! Fair enough, I have to focus manually but the peaking on the camera makes that easy too.

I doubt whether Sony will add faster frame rates as the FS700 has these already and over here, anyway, the FS100 is marked as discontinued .... with that in mind maybe Sony does have a replacement coming for the FS100??? Hopefully it will be a shoulder mount camera too?? I really don't like the FS series form factor but you have to remember that Sony is not interested in small markets but simply wants BIG sales for their cameras ... NAB 2015 could be interesting.

At the current pricing the EA-50 is awesome bang for buck and anything new will never be at the current price so if you are in the market, grab one!

Chris
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Old March 24th, 2015, 11:58 AM   #3
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Re: Considering a 2nd EA50. Seeking advice.

Hi Chris. Thank you!
I imagine an FS100 replacement is much more likely than an EA-50 replacement. But it would cost much more and may still be a difficult form factor as the original. A new (better) sensor EA50 would be great but I doubt it will happen. The EA-50 is no doubt a great deal. I'm trying to weigh if it will do what I need until I have to upgrade to 4K.
As you said, the stock lens is the biggest shortcoming but if I stay with EA50s I plan on getting a couple better lenses. I've been watching the Sigma for a while :)
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Old March 24th, 2015, 04:21 PM   #4
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Re: Considering a 2nd EA50. Seeking advice.

I'm also considering something like a Sony A7s because it can share lenses, can do higher frame rates, better low light, better photos(?).
Don't know how big a hassle it would be trying to match an EA-50 and A7s in post though...
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Old March 24th, 2015, 04:40 PM   #5
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Re: Considering a 2nd EA50. Seeking advice.

I use that set up, EA50 and A7s and they match well. I shoot mainly interviews lit with redheads or LED panels and the guy who edits the footage in Premiere CC has no complaints. I switch to AVCHD on the A7s rather than XAVCS though.
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Old March 24th, 2015, 09:13 PM   #6
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Re: Considering a 2nd EA50. Seeking advice.

Thank you, Matt! That is encouraging news indeed. If the EA50 and A7s can intercut ok, then that may be my best solution. Granted I'll still have to deal with DSLR ergonomics and some other inconveniences, but it will offer me a DSLR photo solution while also serving as a video camera for setup type shots as well as having a low light advantage.

Too bad they don't make an EA50 replacement with an A7s sensor! :)
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Old April 1st, 2015, 11:17 PM   #7
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Re: Considering a 2nd EA50. Seeking advice.

[QUOTE=Chris Harding;1880651] However for a very modest price, the Sigma 17-35 F1.8 zoom works wonders on the EA-50

Chris,

What mount do you use for the Sigma lens, I gather that it does not come with e-Mount fitting.
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Old April 1st, 2015, 11:25 PM   #8
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Re: Considering a 2nd EA50. Seeking advice.

Hi Bruce

We do photography too so I share my lenses with my Nikon bodies so obviously both cameras have an NEX to NIK adapter. One camera has a fancy Novoflex that cost me $300 and the other has an elcheapo eBay adapter made in China for $15.00 ... admittedly the cheap one needed some gentle work with my wife's emery board and then finishing with 1200 waterpaper but it works just as well. If you are Canon I'm sure they have adapters for the Canon mount. It's just a convenience thing for me and the ability to share glass.

I actually sold both my Sony 18-200 power zooms and bought faster lenses!! Makes the EA-50 close to the FS100 in low light!

Chris
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Old April 1st, 2015, 11:59 PM   #9
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Re: Considering a 2nd EA50. Seeking advice.

Hi Chris,

I'm afraid I am too reliant on auto focus to completely go to manual only zoom lenses. Prepared to be manual for a prime lens for real low light, like Bridal dance. I have a 28mm f1.8 - that will be a good test for me to see how I can adapt to full manual. I am also expecting a Sigma 19mm f2.8 as it is supposed to be quicker at auto focus than the stock lens.

One thing I find is that the focus assistant "peaking" is not accurate enough for me to tell the difference. It seems to always have the background in colour (I use yellow) when I am trying to focus on a mid distance object. Both the object and the background have yellow edges in the LCD, but when I get it into post the background is invariably in focus and the object is out of focus. I can tell the difference in the LCD with closeup objects, its the mid distance ones that trick me.
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Old April 2nd, 2015, 01:12 AM   #10
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Re: Considering a 2nd EA50. Seeking advice.

Hi Bruce

Sadly I found the Sigma 19mm poor at autofocus and sold it. Manual just take practice AND knowledge of approximate DOF for the lens you are using. If you are on tripod it's really easy to focus .. set yellow at "middle" and use expanded focus and you nail it every time ..I use to do wedding speeches with the background sharp and the subject soft!!! You need to expand focus for those. I mainly do weddings so in low light AF is usually hopeless regardless of the lens

Use this program and make a mental note of DOF for all your lenses and you won't have an issue even at F1.8!! My stock lens used to hunt like crazy in low light but in good light it was excellent.

Online Depth of Field Calculator

I also focus handheld and make sure that the camera is pointing a bit downwards so the background is cut out totally ..adjust with peaking and then go back to a level camera and focus is always perfect but on a static camera you MUST use expanded focus when stuff is behind the subject.

Chris
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Old April 2nd, 2015, 08:05 PM   #11
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Re: Considering a 2nd EA50. Seeking advice.

Thanks Chris,

Great info. I have previously looked at The DOF calculator - and need to "Focus"(pun intended) more on DOF and retain the information.

I wondered about the different settings for peaking - I picked the low setting as I thought that may be more accurate, so will try "middle" and see if is more suitable for my eyes.

What do you think of a 7" monitor - would that make much difference? It probably be useless in sunlight, but that is not where I have problems with nailing the focus.

I like you idea about pointing down for expanded focus, as I am paranoid about sharp backgrounds and soft subjects. I am mostly weddings and interviews so manual interior focus on tripod is usual for me, but run and gun on manual is a trial - I need lots of practice - thanks for your good ideas.

I have been trolling around here forums for a couple of months trying to absorb the really useful information you seasoned posters have been uploading. It feels good to start to take part so others can benefit as well.
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Old April 2nd, 2015, 10:48 PM   #12
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Re: Considering a 2nd EA50. Seeking advice.

Sadly Bruce, a 7" monitor (unless you draped a cloth over your head) is worse than useless except in the dark ! It's really useful to remember the approximate DOF of your lenses at different distances and how much DOF you actually have! Mainly though for moving objects ... When I do bridal entry I know if I'm 2 m from the bride she will be in focus from Xcm to Xcm which is useful and for me, focus pulling is a pain!!

Seriously grab the camera and use focus peaking on say an object 5m away from you and shoot a few seconds. Then do the same shot but take expanded focus to 8X and you will find you were actually slightly out ..readjust and shoot again and look at both clips ..one will be sharper where you used expanded focus. It's quite fuzzy at 8X but you only look at the peaking.

I tend to work close when handheld so focus is very easy so working 2 m or less from people you don't need expanded ..it will be sharp ... When I get to speeches where the cam and tripod is 3 or 4m away from the lectern and I'm zoomed in a bit ..that's where you can easily slip up and expanded focus will mean the difference between the speaker being sharp or the background being sharp ... prior to speeches I will often ask someone to stand there while I focus my A-Camera !! The further away you are from the subject (and zoomed to keep the same frame composition) the more critical focus will be ...If I can I would rather be 3m from a lectern than 5m ... I have less chance of a focus error if I'm closer and zoomed less.
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Old April 6th, 2015, 09:02 AM   #13
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Re: Considering a 2nd EA50. Seeking advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Sadly Bruce, a 7" monitor (unless you draped a cloth over your head) is worse than useless except in the dark !
I have no idea how you can say this? I have two of them I use extensively. One is a high end Small HD and the other one is a low end Marshall. Indoors anywhere from average room light to dark reception lighting they work great. And the EA50 is big enough to handle them and hardly notice they are there. The Small HD is worthy of trusting for focus and the Marshall is OK at it. There are however, really cheepo monitors out there that are only good enough for composition, not focus.

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Old April 6th, 2015, 08:41 PM   #14
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Re: Considering a 2nd EA50. Seeking advice.

Hi Steve

I do weddings in bright sunshine .. you simply cannot see a monitor in our weather ... yes, in the reception maybe it's useful but where most work is done exterior on tripod for me it's hopeless especially for focus. I guess the only time it might be used would be for speeches which is on tripod with one camera but handheld on the 2nd. Do you seriously use a monitor on the run? Handheld ??

I could see a huge advantage of a high resolution monitor in an indoors interview setup for a commercial shoot but I cannot see any way it would be an advantage for me doing mostly handheld. I'm using the viewfinder almost exclusively so for me to stop and look at a camera mounted monitor would be pointless.

How are you finding the new "M" model??

Chris
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Old July 3rd, 2015, 10:55 PM   #15
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Re: Considering a 2nd EA50. Seeking advice.

I'm thinking more seriously about pairing my EA50U with an A7s.

Here's my thoughts:
It sounds like they will match okay for 2 camera interviews.
The A7S will give me a better DSLR for photos. More people keep asking for photo work.
The A7s will give me better low light for weddings when I need it.
They can share lenses.

So if I do that, besides more batteries and a couple more lenses,I'll need a flash. It'd be great if the flash could also work on the EA50, but may be different. What else do you recommend?

I expect as new cameras come out, the A7s will drop in price, and also the EA50, for that matter.
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