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upgrade to a7Sii vs a7Rii from NX1?


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Hi all,
Lurker here, but appreciate very much the resource of the forum. I am seeking advice from those with more experience about the NX1 vs the Sony A7 cameras. I have tried to read up but still a bit stuck.

I am curious to know from people who have actually moved over from the NX1 to the a7Rii or a7Sii as their main camera -- or who have added the a7Rii or a7Sii and kept the NX1 and use it along with one of the Sonys. How much of an adjustment did you face? Did you stay and never look back? Did you go back to the NX1? Or use them both for different situations?

I have the Samsung NX1 and have been using the Samsung 16-50 S lens. I have some frustrations with the setup and find a few things very appealing with the Sony a7Sii and a7Rii.

Frustrations with NX1:

  • with the 16-50 S lens it is very heavy/front heavy*
  • low light is not meeting my needs for some projects

Appealing things about the a7Sii and a7Rii are of course:

  • smaller/lighter weight (maybe with Sony 24-70?)*
  • great low light
  • IBIS (I normally shoot handheld so the IBIS is a big draw)

But the Sony cameras have shortcomings / trade-offs also; of course NX1 still betters it in points at a lot less money (and I already own the NX1....)

I am trying to decide if I should stick with lugging the Samsung around and accept noise in/forget about lowlight, trade in for one of the Sony's (which one??), or keep the Samsung and get a Sony.

*And yes I prefer to have a zoom on the camera as the main lens -- normally the only I carry -- as I am often shooting organically and keeping one lens with some on the fly focal length options is essential. The lens also seems to matter... I was looking at the 24-70 Sony, but this seems to have quite mixed response.

STAY?
I normally hate changing lenses, but I think I will have to get a compact lens or the pancake lens to make this camera a viable hand holding option for me, but those are not stabilized. I would be curious to see a side by side of how much NX1 1.4 firmware with Digital Stabilization works compared to Sony IBIS. Does this close the gap a little? Do you still need the heavy stabilized 16-50 S lens? (or some other optically stabilized lens that I don't own...)

This doesn't really solve the low light problem though!

4K is a must, which is why I am looking at the Sony's to solve the lowlight issue rather than cheaper HD options.

GO?
Video is still the main thing for me and I'm trying to figure out if the difference is big enough to get the a7Sii instead of the a7Rii. I know everyone says a7Sii for video and a7Rii for stills or mixed use. I've tried to read the nuances of why this is so. But still I am a bit uncertain of just *how much better* the a7Sii would be for video than the a7Rii. I haven't been able to tell how much of a difference there really is both in the "character" of the image and the lowlight performance in real world use. Enough to warrant keeping the NX1 / carrying around a second camera for stills to get that increased performance? 

I am not a pro but not a newbie. I have been mainly working with footage directly from the NX1, so I'd have to learn how to work with the SLOG and grade on the Sony if I want to really unlock its potential, it seems? But I don't really understand the SLOG 3 vs SLOG 2, etc yet. If -- at the end of the day/it is all said and done -- there isn't a huge difference with a7Rii and a7Sii, the a7Rii might be the better option even if video is my main focus?

Many many more people seem to be buying the a7Rii, so I wonder if it might even be more quickly improved with firmware updates than the a7Sii? (I know it won't change the sensor but it at least solved the overheating right?)

HALFWAY:
So keeping the NX1 and getting the a7Sii is also an option. But then I have to carry around 2 cameras, 2 lenses, 2 sets of batteries, etc...

Enough for now...

I would be very interested to here real stories from those who have ample experience with NX1 and the Sonys. Thanks!

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Won't bore you with a long story, but in short, I went from an a7s and instead of sticking with Sony, I went to the nx1.

Now if low light is that big of a problem for you, I don't think you have much of a choice, you'll probably want to move to the a7s2. While I do miss being able to shoot at night by the moon and a flashlight (essentially), I've not really found myself lacking with even the most basic of lighting kits (of course your situation may differ).

I'm also not entirely sure you'll find the lens/body weight ratio much changed in your favor by switching to Sony.

We do know all signs point to the nx system being dead, so really they biggest benefit of switching is that you'll be switching into a system with more longevity.

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I don't care so much about the longevity of the system or trying to predict the future. Maybe I should, but I am more concerned with something that solves my problems and opens possibilities here and now : )

To clarify, I was talking about the smaller/lighter/cheaper f/4 lens. I wouldn't be able to afford the new camera and G Master Lens anyway and new body anyway. Nor -- knowing how I shoot -- would I carry something that heavy around, especially for handheld.

I realize a comparable Sony set up with a zoom will still be front heavy; when I did the quick math the Sony and the 24-70 f/4 came out lighter and when I held it in a store it seamed more well balanced, most noticeable the lens was a lot lighter -- about a third of a pound. A few ounces lighter, slightly less front heavy, slightly more compact might not make a *huge* difference, but I thought it might be more manageable. Side by side: http://j.mp/1UkUDGd

75% of my shots are not something I can use lighting kits for, unfortunately.

The IBIS on the Sonys and even the increase on low light to the a7Rii open up the door on a world of possibilities, a7Sii of course throws the lowlight door wide open.

I've never been able to shoot in moonlight to know exactly what I am missing, but I am finding the NX1 a little too limiting even in some indoor lowlight situations.

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Assuming you use the camera with no lighting kits we can all agree the NX1 is very bad in low light, worse than the old 550D. 

I wouldnt agree with that, having worked with the 600D for years and now jumping to the NX1.

Firstly the NX1 is much more sensitive than the Canon, situations where I needed to go to ISO 800 on the Canon, I can easily stay at ISO 400 on the NX1. Even comparing it to the Nikon D800 video, the NX1 fairs much better, theres a lot less noise and banding and the image is still very crisp. Id even go as far as saying its only behind the A7 series, because its pretty much on par/better than any other 4k camera.

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NX1, while fantastic in good to decent conditions, has just okay (or bad depending on what you compare to) low light. 800 ISO is optimal, with suggested max of 1600; this is pretty common agreement and reflects my experience also. That's not enough for me since I have been facing less than optimal conditions and found the NX1 coming up short. 

Just how bad the NX1 is in low light or just how it compares to an old Canon is not the central question... I was asking as primarily 4k video shooter who needs better low light than NX1 can do and *sometimes* needs to take a still, but not wanting to sacrifice too heavily on video for extra megapixels. NX1 + a7Sii vs a7sii alone vs a7Rii were options I was considering which I thought others with more understanding and experience than I have may have considered and decided, and then who could share experience.

Thanks!

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Not really surprised, if I understand right we're looking at the results of stills. Obviously the A7sII won't have the same advantage regarding noise as the A7rII who can enormously downscale the picture to increase quality. I think the A7s II is better when it comes to dynamic range in high ISO though (but then quality of light is also often so-so when shooting in low light).

In video recording that will obviously be a different result.

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My opinion? Keep the NX1 and buy a used A7s for those heavy low light situations. Will save you money compared to selling the NX1 and buying the new A7s II or A7r II. If you have nikon glass I recommend checking out a D750. Excellent low light even at 60 fps an a great image. 

Why do you need 4K? Do your clients demand it? Are they going to know that you upscale the lowlight footage? Or is it that  you just prefer it? If your doing event work no one is going to care about the resolution, just getting a good image. 

Also, get a simple shoulder rig. IBIS will not solve all your problems and switching to a body with a smaller grip isn't going to make handholding any easier. 

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I definitely appreciate other options not on the table. Before getting the NX1 and LX100 (for 1600 iso at f/1.8 and ultraportable) last year I went through options of a7S and D750, but ruled them out because I need 4k.

Well, do we really need any of this stuff? No, but I want 4k. : )  I have been using 4k the last year and for me the ability to punch in or reframe is absolutely huge. And on an upcoming project I may output to 4k rather than HD.

So, really I am on the fence of keeping NX1 and getting a7Sii (and eating ramen for a couple months) or selling NX1 and getting a7Rii

Shoulder rigs are not always possible; I've used one but honestly just found it cumbersome. I'd get a small gimbal before getting another shoulder rig. I want better handheld so I want the body stabilization of the a7Rii or a7Sii. Also it is more gear to carry and I need ultra portable (part of why I consider the a7Rii instead of a7Sii + NX1). The way I shoot, the discrete nature of just the camera (maybe a stereo mic or zoom h1 added maximum) is ideal, with option to go to tripod if I need to actually be stable. I find also people (non-actors) are much more comfortable and "natural" when it is just a handheld camera.

Literally the only lens I have that's better than a jar lid with a hole poked in it is the Samsun S 16-50.

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I can tell the a7Rii is a noticeably better stills camera than the nx1 and a7Sii (and nx1 better than a7sii in decent light)

I'm willing to sacrifice a bit on stills (7% of what I do but still needed) for video (93% of what I do and more important at the end of the day).

I'm willing to keep the nx1 -- which I already own -- for stills and b cam if the a7sii is dramatically better than the a7rii for video. Is the a7sii enough better for video to lug around 2 cameras and shoulder the cost of 2 cameras? 

Can the a7Rii -- which seems to even have some advantages over the a7Sii -- do all the work of a7sii + nx1 without a dramatic sacrifice except in the most extreme low light? Or are the trade offs for its versatility in terms of video too great? and the hassle of switching b/t FF and Crop in stills and video too impractical?

I'm interested in real world experiences and use

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I was really close to pulling the trigger on switching from my NX1 with 16-50mm S lens to the A7S ii, but after debating for awhile, I decided to just stick with my NX1. The big factor for me was that I've already paid for it and looking at reselling, it'd be tough to get anywhere close to what I paid (after selling fees on most sites or trade ins I'd be looking at like $1300-$1800). In order to pick up the Sony body and a decent lens, I'd likely be looking at around $4000. Even though I shoot everything in 4k, I usually downscale to 1080 since my primary audience is on YouTube and most watch from tablets/phones. 

I think you just really need to weigh what you're missing and ask yourself if it's worth the price of investment. 

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I too were debating on getting an a7sii but I wouldn't do it. It dont think you'll see the quality jump you're looking for. I went from the a7s to the nx1 and I enjoy the detail and ergonomics of the nx1 more. I didn't need 4k nor is anyone asking for it cause it honestly hasn't caught on yet but I got a 4k cam just to downscale cause it hides noise in the process. I would get a cam that shoots 14bit like a blackmagic or a hacked canon than go to Sony to be honest. A Canon 1DC is a better choice than an a7sii. I know this is subjective but while I owned the a7s I quickly noticed if I have to bump up to 12,800 iso for a shot most likely the lighting was garbage to begin with. Garbage lighting still equates a garbage image  in most circumstances 

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