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Sony Alpha NEX-5N Compact System Cameras
The Sony NEX-5N is Sony's second generation mirrorless camera. They've improved on it in just about every way possible, including a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor, full HD video with 60p slow-motion capture, 10 FPS burst (Speed-Priority mode), improved auto focus performance and a 3-inch tilting touchscreen LCD with intuitive Photo Creativity Touch interface.
The Sony Alpha NEX-5N is version 2.5 of Sony’s NEX compact mirrorless camera system. Sony introduced their NEX mirrorless camera line in 2009 and updated it with a new entry level model, the NEX-C3 in the spring of 2011. The 16-megapixel NEX-5N was introduced in late 2011 with a new 16-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, improved auto focus, and improved AVCHD video. The camera body is very small, with a 3-inch tilting rear LCD display. It has a full range of shooting modes, including full manual for experienced photographers and iAuto and scene modes for point-and-shooters. I first saw it at the 2011 PhotoPlus Expo and asked Sony to send me one for review ASAP. Continue reading →
Submitted by Alex Yuen a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: December 28, 2012
Strengths: compact and light weight, and close quality of the DSLR image. Very quick shutter speed in Auto mode.
a A-mount lenses adaptor available for E-mount camera body, incase you can go more serious of photographing.
Weaknesses: Note: the points I mention below are base on what I do with the camera, with my activities. I use it while on mountain biking, so compact, and light weight is priority for me. Often time I will have to quick jump out, and pull the camera and shoot before the next riders show up, so I need something almost like a point and shot most of the time.
- The dial to change to different function settings can be difficult, or sometime hit/switch to function mode by accident, and I will not be able to shoot anything till I get out of the Control mode (NEX-5R solved this problem by having the Fn Dial on top).
- The flash has to be screwed in, and the image while using the stock flash doesn't come up nicely, especially in close range. I have not tried the HVL-F60M External Flash, but I don't think I would want to spend that kind of money for the flash.
- The auto focus in Intelligent mode can be a headache sometime, especially on moving objects and close up. But I think that's matter of getting used to it. My wife complaint the images become out of focus when shooting pic of the 6 months old. She has better luck using the Canon ELPH 510 point and shoot.
Beside the Fn dial that I have to pay attention not bump into it, I think this is a great step up for people used to point a shoot camera. It is easy to handle, and shoot great quality. Compact and lightweight, easy to carry out for outdoor shooting - Mountain Biking.
I purchased the body w/stock zoom 18-55mm lens, 55-200mm lenes, wide angle lenes, and fisheye.
I purchased this about more than 9 months ago. I could say when I bought this, I totally satisfy of what it was. But now the model got refresh, and I would recommend to get the NEX-6, over the 5R even, because the 6 has a built-in Flash, and the Fn Dial on top control is a bit easier to adjust.
Type of photography: Sports
Submitted by Tin-Tak a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: March 13, 2012
Strengths: 1. Stunning photo quality
2. High ISO peformance comparable to entry level DSLR
3. Responsive (short start up time + good AF speed)
4. Light weight * small size
5. Good function (anti-blur, MF assist etc)
6. Good battery life (over 300 photos)
Weaknesses: 1. Strange user interface (eg. red-eye reduction not within flash mode. Instead it is under Setup menu)
2. Quality of kit lens not the best among its competitor
3. Poor flash (need to zoon in to around 24mm to eliminate the dark corners)
I own a NEX C3 and borrow NEX-5N from my fried for testing.
Similar to C3, "Outstanding" is the word I'll give this camera . AF is slower than my old DSLR but fast enough for shooting my young child. Outdoor is as crispy and indoor (especially under low light) is better then my old DSLR. Even under ISO3200, it can still capture lots of detail. After removing the grainy noise and applying lens correction in Photoshop, big prints as large as S8R still looks very good to me. Someone may say that the kit lens are not very good. It has built-in lens correction which corrects the barrel distortion I had with NEX-C3.
However the menu system is really "Sony". Likely it has a touch screen and 4 custom buttons which I can set the functions I need most. Basically I don't need to go to the "Sony" menu when I am shooting. The flash included is another thing that I don't like much. The coverage is similar to other ILC in-camera flash but it has dark corners at wide angle. You need to zoom in to about 24mm to take away the dark corners. However, thanks to the excellent high-ISO performance, I seldom need to use the flash.
The differences between C3 and 5N are:
- Min ISO 200 vs Nin ISO 100
- Video 720p vs 1080p
- Contnuous shot of 5.5fps vs 10fps
- No touch screen vs touch screen
- Plastic body vs Aluminum body
- Non-standard hot-shoe vs standard hot-shoe
- No remote vs remote
To me, 720p video and 5fps are already good enough. I cannot see any difference in the picture quality between 100 and 200 ISO settings, even when I view at 100%. I wouldn't buy an EVF nor an external flash either anyway. To me, I won't pay for an additional for $150 to get 5N instead of C3. Nevertheless, 5N is a excellent camera.
Duration Product Used: 6-10 years
Price Paid: $770.00
Similar Products Used: NEX-C3
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by armando_m a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: December 17, 2011
Strengths: Image quality
high ISO performance
OSS & great handling allows for very slow shooting speeds and get good results handheld
Weaknesses: Autofocus specially in low light, bear in mind I compare it to my DSLR
I recently got a Sony Alpha Nex 5N and this are my impressionons
The camera is small and light , feels nice and well made
While it looks a bit out of proportion with the 18-55 kit lens it handles really well,
the lens is large in comparison to the body.
The screen has excellent resolution and I have not needed to adjust the brightness, when used in bright sunlight I just turn around and shade with my body in order to review the photos
When shooting I was pleasantly surprised on the image quality I was seeing on the display , and was not dissapointed when seeing the photos on my computer, the quality is excellent.
I have not need to adjust the white balance it seems to pick the right one regardless of light conditions,
from sunny, cloudy ,shade, to incadecent or tungsten light
It's quite easy to use in auto mode, easy to hand it to anyone the results will likely be great.
Shooting at night or in dark conditions:
1. the kit lens has optical stabilization, my impression is that it works better than the VR on my nikon 18-200 lens, and also better ,than the stabilization on the olympus epl1, I have obtained great images handheld at 1/10 of a second.
2. There is an anti-blurr mode that shoots multiple images and stack them allowing to obtain decent images in the darkest conditions, it uses auto iso only, it will quickly go to the highest ISO, 3200 in auto mode unless the auto iso setting are specifically changed, results are decent, but using the OSS I have used ISOs lower than 3200, at very slow speed and obtained results just as good
or better, and available in RAW format.
When shooting at high speed - 10 frames per second !! - the lcd will black out, if you are panning you'll do it blinded.
When shooting single images there is no noise until the shoot is complete, the front courtain is electronic.
I have changed the configurable buttons so I can easily change the ISO, another one to select between focusing modes, with only this 2 actions it has helped me to not have to navigate the menus as often, which is a slow experience.
Autofocus is ok in good light, I like the touch screen to tell it where I want it to focus and does it fairly quickly, I have not tried continous autofocus, but I'm not optimistic about it.
Autofocus in dark conditions can be painstakingly slow or just not work at all, the camera will shoot regardless if focus has been acquired or not, although it does let you know focus has not locked yet.
Manual focus has the focus peaking function , a very clever implementation that highlights the areas the camera detect in focus.
The Manual focus ring in the kit lens is - I think - focus by wire and quite slow, would be great on macro lens, but at 55mm can be testing to your patience.
The kit lens wide open at f3.5 to 5.6 is soft on the edges , quite different to my experience with the nikon kit lens 18-55.
I have't really tried the video mode and I'm not really interested
I tried some of my nikon lenses with a home adapter, manual focusing using focus peaking is easy and precise, I shot handheld and was easier to focus using the whole image without zooming in, perhaps when doing macro the zooming in will be needed. The home adapter made of cardboard lasted only a couple of shots, it didn't withstand the weight of the 85mm lens.
The flash works well, I have tried it in interiors and works well, but to be honest, between the high ISO and the OSS the flash is rarely needed.
The lcd is quite exposed and it is delicate subject to scratches, be careful or get a cover for it, don't ask me how I know :(
I'm using the software provided to convert the RAW to TIF and then follow my usual post processing flow with capture nx2, and nik software.
Duration Product Used: 2-5 years
Price Paid: $550.00
Purchased At: department store
Similar Products Used: Olympus EPL1
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by Greg McCary a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: October 15, 2011
Strengths: Great image quality, low noise at high iso, tilting lcd and easy to see in bright light, focus peaking.
Weaknesses: Hard to manual focus in extreme low light situations, quirky but improved navagation, af will miss or just not focus from time to time, noisy shutter an noisy self timer.
I have tried several of the new mirrorless cameras and never have warmed up to any of them. I am old style and like a camera I can shoot in manual easily. The new firmware upgrade makes the Nex series much easier to navagate. I started with the Nex 3, upgraded to the 5 and now have a 7 pre ordered. DXO marks are close to the M9. The 5 is a wonderful little camera and what makes it a winner for me is the amazing image quality. Low noise at high iso as well. It focuses fast enough though there has been a time or two af has failed me. It is a quirky camera but the more you use it and get use to it the more you will love it. It has a great lcd screen and the best of any of the mirrorless cameras I have tried. Nice in bright light and the tilt feature helps even more. Focus peaking makes it easier to manual focus. I manual focus when I do landscape work and it makes it easy to use my M mount lenses. Cons would be. Non traditional hot shoe so I can't fire a wireless flash, quirky navagation, can't focus well in extreme low light, noisy shutter and self timer, dail on the back is easy to nudge a knock your settings off. Pros, amazing image quality and almost no noise up to and including 6400iso. Fun to use.
Duration Product Used: 6-10 years
Price Paid: $600.00
Purchased At: Amazon
Similar Products Used: E-P1, E-P2, E-PL1, Nex 3
Type of photography: Outdoor
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