Tag Archives: NEX

Undressing a Sony NEX Camera

Undressing a Sony NEX Camera

I have to say I have one of the better jobs on the planet, at least for a photography gear-head. The part I like best — well, really there’s a lot of parts I like best — but one fun part is that my job description includes: Take things apart. See how they work. Learn how to fix them.
Sometimes taking things apart is disappointing. I just don’t want to know things like “so you hold that together with a piece of Scotch tape, huh?” Some cameras and lenses look really nice on the outside, but inside there’s so much chaos I wonder if someone in the corporation is saying “We have 2 million of these parts left over, put them in something so we don’t have to write them off.”

Every so often, though, I get to see an internal design that is so elegant and efficient I think the engineers should have signed it like a painting. The Sony NEX cameras are that way. Perhaps being so small required efficient engineering, or maybe the team that designed it just was so good. Maybe the fact that there was no legacy technology that was cheap to carry over to the next model let the engineers, rather than the beancounters, make all the decisions. Whatever the reason, the layout is amazing.

I got to take apart an NEX 3 the other day (water in a camera is a bad thing) and thought some of you might like seeing the insides so I took a few pictures along the way.

The Usual Disclaimer Stuff

First things first: if your camera looks like this, then leave it alone. I have it on good authority that the curse of Serenput I (3,500 years later and we still can’t top the Egyptians when it comes to a good curse) is inscribed in the electronic chips of every NEX camera:

Whoever shall enter here and take these offerings: his arm shall be cut off like that of a bull, his neck shall be twisted off like that of a bird, his office shall not exist, the position of his son shall not exist, his house shall not exist in Nubia, his tomb shall not exist in the necropolis, his god shall not accept his white bread, he shall be cooked together with the condemned, his children shall belong to the fire, his corpse shall not be to the ground, I shall be against him as a crocodile on the water, as a serpent on earth, and as an enemy in the necropolis.

We’re semi-trained, semi-professionals with another 20 of these on the shelf. If we screw it up, we’ll only have 19 left, which is probably less critical than if you screw up the only one you have and then need to ‘splain to your wife why you have to buy a new camera.

Now Let’s Get to It!

It’s pretty obvious the 4 screws on the front hold the mount on, just like with every other camera.

And then that the three screws under that hold the mount base, which also lets you remove the lens stop. So far just about like every other camera (although unlike some there are no shims under the mount).

Flipping the camera over and removing 13 screws lets the back come right off. Thank you Sony #1: Notice all 13 screws are exactly the same size, which is a nice thing. A typical SLR uses 4 or 5 different size screws and you have to mark or remember exactly which screw goes where.

Thank you Sony #2: all the back buttons are all mounted on a single flex with one connection: you can remove and replace it in about 30 seconds should the need arise. Just the circular dial button on most cameras has 6 to 9 pieces (which I can assure you can’t be reassembled in less than an hour, 15 minutes of which is for profanity breaks, the other 45 require using a magnifying loupe which leaves you cross-eyed for the rest of the day).

The tilting LCD is surprisingly easy to disassemble – removing a few screws removes the cover and exposes the flexes. Disconnecting those and the LCD comes free.

After the LCD is removed and it’s flexes disconnected, the metal shielding plate is lifted up and the circuit boards are visible. If you haven’t looked at other cameras, you may not appreciate just how clean and well laid out this is. Every flex connector comes onto the main circuit board directly: no long, winding, taped-down cables on this camera. Notice also there is significant electrical shielding over critical cables and circuit boards (I’ve removed the secondary shield over the main board already). What nice, clean design!

After disconnecting the flexes and removing a couple of screws the two circuit boards and the plastic frame under them come out. Another ‘thank you Sony’: the smaller assembly is the memory card circuit. Those break somewhat frequently and on some cameras (yes, I’m talking about you, Canon 5D II) you may end up replacing the entire circuit board when that happens. On the NEX that would never be necessary.

Under that pretty copper shield (another point worth considering: copper is much more expensive than aluminum) is the imaging chip. It’s held in place with 4 screws and no shims. I’m not sure if the mirrorless design with it’s close backfocusing distance means alignment of the imaging chip and lens mount isn’t as critical as on an SLR, or if Sony is able to machine to such close tolerances that shims aren’t necessary. Maybe one of you can enlighten me.

The last few assemblies are the shutter and battery compartment, again easily removed.

Only after they are removed is the top button assembly accesible. So note to self: don’t break the shutter button on this camera. The electronic connections on the lens mount and the metal chassis of the camera are the last pieces out (lower right in the picture below). Even completely disassembled, there are amazingly few parts to this camera.

For those of you who want to ask, no, there was no reason to put the camera back together after water submersion. We wouldn’t trust the electronics to keep working even if they did work for a while. But there are a number of nonelectric parts that are salvageable, which is why we take them apart. OK, really there aren’t a lot of salvageable parts, after water immersion. But taking them apart is fun anyway.

And to give you a bit of perspective: If I wanted to take pictures of all the parts from a disassembled SLR, I would have needed about 4 images the size of the above. I’m generally not a Sony fan, but it’s amazing how much Sony has simplified the design of this camera – not just compared to SLRs, but even to other mirrorless cameras. And props to them for doing a lot of little things that cost money but probably make the camera better and more reliable: heavy electronic shielding, gluing down the flex clamps, using copper shields instead of aluminum, etc.

About the author: Roger Cicala is the founder of LensRentals. This article was originally published here.

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Lens Rentals stripped down a Sony NEX-3, and showed off its incredible design.

What Is Inside a Sony NEX-3?

Photo by Lens Rentals

Lens Rentals stripped down a Sony NEX-3, and showed off its incredible design.

Roger Cicala over at Lens Rentals has taken a water-damaged Sony NEX-3, and stripped it for parts, in the process showing off the incredible design that went into making this tiny ILC. Reading over his description of taking it apart piece by piece, you’re really struck by how much Sony did to make it simple to disassemble, and how elegant the construction is.

For example, Cicala notes how the buttons on the rear are all mounted on a single board, rather than separately, so it only takes a few minutes to take out and replace, rather than hours like on many other cameras. Or how the memory card circuit is separate from the main circuit, so the entire circuit board doesn’t need to be replaced if only part of it fails. He even emphasizes how cleanly laid out the circuitry is, with no wasted space.

Even more incredible? A photograph like the one above of all the pieces in a standard SLR would have to be four times the size — the NEX-3 has a fraction of the number of components as larger cameras. Hopefully that means that it’s easy enough to repair, and people will keep them going for years.

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March 01, 2012 at 10:32PM


This is the Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Those are the full Canon EOS 5D Mark III specs:

Unsurpassed Image Quality 22.3 Megapixel Full Frame CMOS sensor
DiG!C 5+ Image Processor
ISO 100-25600 (expandable to L:50 H1:51200, H2: 102400
Full HD Movie (ISO 100-12800 (H:25600)

High Performance Operation 61-point high-density reticular AF (up to 41 crosstype points)
6.0 fps for high continuous shooting
Intelligent viewfinder with approx. 100% coverage
3.2-type, approx.1.04m dot (3:2 wide) Clear View LCD II
iFCL metering with 63-zone dual-layer sensor
Shutter durability of 150,000 cycles

High end features Silent & low vibration modes
Dual card slots (CF & SD)
High Dynamic Range (HDR) Mode
Multiple Exposures
Comparative Playback function
Improved durability & water and dust resistance

SPECIFICATIONS Available Colours – Black
Megapixels – 22MP
Sensor Size – 36 x 24mm
ISO/Sensitivity – 100 – 25600
Autofocus Points – 61 points
Lens Mount – Canon
LCD Size – 3.2″
Liveview – Yes
Viewfinder – Optical TTL
Min Shutter Speed – 30 sec
Max Shutter Speed – 1/8000 sec
Continuous Shooting Speed – 6 fps
Self Timer – 10 sec, 2 sec
Metering – Centre-weighted, Spot, Evaluative, Partial
Video Resolution – Full HD 1080
Memory Type – Compact Flash
Connectivity – USB 2, HDMI, Mic Input, Wireless (optional)
Battery – LP-E6
Battery Type – Lithium-ion
Charger – Includes Li-Ion Charger
File Formats – AVI, RAW, H.264, MOV, MPEG-4
Dimensions – 152 x 116 x 76mm
Box Contents – Battery Pack LP-E6 .. Battery Charger LC-E6 .. AV Cable AVC-DC400ST .. Interface Cable IFC-200U .. Eyecup Eg .. Wide Strap EWEOS5DMKIII .. CR1616 Lithium Battery+

Via CR

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February 28, 2012 at 08:32AM


Sony A77/Sony A65 firmware updated version 1.05 to be released on March 29th

On March 29th, 2012 Sony is expected to announce a new firmware update version 1.05 for Sony A77/A65 cameras. See the image above for more details.

Via Sonyalpharumors

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Sony NEX 7 to be released soon, no full frame NEX camera in sight

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February 17, 2012 at 01:03AM


Silver Sony NEX-7 camera?

Silver Sony NEX-7 camera?

This picture of a silver Sony NEX-7 camera was spotted in an Asian brochure. Currently Sony offers only a black version of their NEX-7 mirroless camera:

Via Sonyalpharumors

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Sony mirrorless camera

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Is that the new mirrorless, interchangeable camera system from Sony?

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February 09, 2012 at 08:33AM


Sony NEX E-mount roadmap 2012-2013

click on image for larger view

This is is Sony’s E-mount (NEX) roadmap for 2012-2013:

G high performance standard zoom

High magnification zoom

Standard zoom

Wide angle zoom

Mid-magnification zoom

Large aperture standard prime

Middle telephoto prime

Pancake (prime)

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February 08, 2012 at 06:23AM


Pentax will announce their 2012 plans at the CP+ show, here are the details

Those are the new products for 2012 Pentax is expected to announce at the CP+ show in Japan this week (Google translated):

Pentax smc DA 645 25 mm / 4.0: NEW RELEASE No, but suitable only as a DA lens. First delivery in April 2012 probably.

Pentax smc D FA 645 90mm / 2.8: Lightweight telephoto lens, ideal for portraits with a special Bokeh. Market introduction in 2012.

Pentax smc DA 560mm / 5.6: Expected long telephoto lens for K mount for sports and nature photography. Market introduction in 2012.

Pentax smc DA 50 mm / 1.8: Bright lens with telephoto lens for low-K bayonet launch in 2012.

PENTAX interchangeable lens for K-01: Focal length and launch is still open. Especially the slim design for K-01.

PENTAX interchangeable lens system for Q: Telephoto zoom lens with excellent performance, focal length is not known. Market introduction in 2012.

PENTAX interchangeable lens system for Q: Especially in thin lens (cover design), focal length is not known. Market introduction in 2012

Q adapter for Pentax K-mount adapter for conventional lenses on the Pentax K Q: With integrated shutter unit. Only manual focusing possible. Launch in spring 2012

Pentax Image software for the transmitter 645D. Following features, the software that is offered as an option on CD-ROM:

• Images can be directly stored in a file on the PC. At the same storage on SD Memory Card is available in the camera.
• The shutter can be operated via the PC
• Available in Japanese and English
• Launch of Spring 2012

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February 07, 2012 at 10:16AM


Olympus SZ-31MR and TG-820 specs

Olympus SZ-31MR

Here are the basic specs of the Olympus SZ-31MR and TG-820 compact cameras that will be announced in the next two days:

Olympus SZ-31MR

16MP 1/2.3 CMOS sensor

25-600mm equivalent 24x zoom

lens: f/3 – f/6.9

3 in. touch screen (920k dots)

ISO 80-6400

dual Image Stabilization

in camera panorama function

200 shots battery life

Olympus TG-820

Olympus TG-820

12MP 1/2.3 CMOS sensor

5-25mm equivalent 5x zoom

lens: f/3.9 – f/5.9

3 in. LCD (1030k dots)

ISO 100-6400

dual Image Stabilization

in camera panorama function

220 shots battery life

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February 05, 2012 at 11:48PM


Olympus OM-D E-M5 specs and accessories

I still don’t have all the details, but there will be several new accessories announced for the Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera (see picture above). Here are some updated camera specs:

16MP

5 axis image stabilization

ISO range: 200-25,600

4 fps

Shutter speed: 60-1/4000 seconds

1.44M EVF

3 in, OLED touch screen with 610k dots resolution

No built-in flash

Full HD video recording

29 minutes maximum video recording time

Dimensions: 122mm x 89mm x 43mm

Weight: 369 grams (body only)

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January 31, 2012 at 04:16AM


MicroOLED Squeezes 5-Megapixels Into a Viewfinder Display

Will a 2560×2048 0.61-inch display finally equal a traditional viewfinder?

The electronic viewfinder has long been the poor cousin to the optical viewfinder — sticking a small, pixelated screen against your eye has never really compared with the perfect visually fidelity provided by an SLR‘s viewfinder. But now the French company MicroOLED has announced a new display that’s promising an astonishing 5.4-megapixels in just 0.61-inches. There are, of course, a few caveats. That insanely high 2560×2048 resolution is only with the greyscale version, and if you want 16 million colors, you’re saddled with SXGA (1280×1024). That’s still plenty powerful, though, and beyond Sony‘s current 1024×768 EVFs that you see on the likes of the NEX-7.

What’s also very interesting is that MicroOLED claims that the pixels are packed in so densely that they’ve completely eliminated any gaps. The resolution is so dense, that you won’t see any darkness peeking between the dots on the screen.

MicroOLED is planning on marketing the display for night-vision displays and military applications, head-mounted displays for surgeons, and most promisingly for us “professional camera and camcorder equipment.”

The questions that now remains is how much the system will cost, and how long before we see it begin to hit consumer cameras? And will it live up to the expectations, and finally give ILCs a viewfinder that’s the equal of an optical?

[via Imaging-Resource]

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