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Reviewed: Sony NEX-5N 16MP mirrorless camera

By dpreview staff on Oct 4, 2011 at 00:19 GMT

Just Posted: Our review of the Sony NEX-5N. The 5N is the second generation of Sony's more enthusiast-focused mirrorless models. It offers the well-respected 16MP APS-C sensor and the option to fit an external electronic viewfinder. Although the bodywork is near indistinguishable from the original NEX-5, the latest model gains a touch-screen interface and in-camera lens correction processing as two of the most obvious of its many changes. We've spent some time getting familiar with the 5N, to see if it delivers on the NEX concept's considerable promise.

Click here to read our Sony NEX-5N review

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Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 195
12
heypek
By heypek (Oct 10, 2011)

Mean the Gold Award Sony has solve the Flangedistance-Problem of the NEX-System:

since this problem is not new and, as formerly discussed, belongs as a construction fault to the body.

Even if You have tested only the Body, You had to use Lenses for testing and at least give a statement about the resulting Problems for the Lenses and what the costumer can expect if buying a Kit (as pictured).

May be the Software do a brilliant job?

0 upvotes
pockets33433
By pockets33433 (Oct 8, 2011)

it does have a live histogram setting

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Oct 5, 2011)

That's a mighty loud shutter, and there doesn't appear to be a quiet setting. Additionally the shutter's operation significantly vibrates the camera body.

0 upvotes
rurikw
By rurikw (Oct 5, 2011)

Looks nice but not quite finished. I want a properly articulated screen and I didn't see any live histogram or grids or horizon. Strange, as these are the main advantages of live view. And troublefree live view functionality is the point of MILC. Smallness and lightness are secondary benefits.

0 upvotes
dougster1979
By dougster1979 (Oct 5, 2011)

"I want a properly articulated screen and I didn't see any live histogram or grids or horizon. Strange, as these are the main advantages of live view"

err... nex 7?

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Oct 5, 2011)

The 5N has several grid options. But you have a little laundry list there, and I would remind you that it is comparatively inexpensive. Some of your items might be addressed with firmware updates, but the screen is what it is. Perhaps there is a different camera that would suit you better. I think Panasonic has one with the kind of screen you are looking for. Maybe Olympus as well. Cheers

0 upvotes
rurikw
By rurikw (Oct 6, 2011)

Right, I have drooled over the Panasonic but I like the nex's design so much more and that sensor and... I didn't think anyone would improve on the side-hinged screen but Sony did that on the a77 so I will just start saving and wait until they put it on some nex model. Looking for a worthy upgrade to my R1. The moment to strike may come within not too many years. It's all about lenses, of course. There are lots of slr lenses you can adapt but it feels a bit stupid to buy a retrofocus UWA + adapter only to learn next month that the nex-dedicated one introduced by Samron is quite good and not too expensive.

0 upvotes
Vitruvius
By Vitruvius (Oct 9, 2011)

The SLT A77 has the screen you are looking for and a bit more. The SLT 65 is basically the same for less money if you don't need weather seals.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
rurikw
By rurikw (Oct 12, 2011)

Thanks all for comments and corrections. How come I find it so hard to find the details I look for in this review? I found a grid in features but no live hist but happy if it's there. So maybe now I only lack the sufficiently acrobatic screen and more lenses. I don't want an SLT because I want no mirror, whether fixed, moving, reflective or transparent. The 24Mp sensor of the nex7 scares me off. Isn't it nice to be a consumer and complain about every product being somehow flawed when in fact they develop incredibly sophisticated products at a dizzying speed? I am sure I will find me a perfect system within two years, which is exactly when I want it. Hope you all do, too.

0 upvotes
John 3
By John 3 (Oct 5, 2011)

I would have preferred a review on the NEX-7

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Oct 5, 2011)

When was the NEX 7 released?

0 upvotes
SDF
By SDF (Oct 5, 2011)

November 7th

1 upvote
Twoeyes
By Twoeyes (Oct 5, 2011)

In the review samples at the end of this review, there is one image DSC06651 where there are some moving figures at the left end of the ornamental lake. It almost looks like a double exposure. At 1/1250 sec shutter speed, there really should not be any motion blur showing on a walking person. I am sure there will be an explanation of this phenomenon. Is it an artefact of the electronic first shutter?
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/reviewsamples/photos/1443079/dsc06651?inalbum=sony-nex-5n-review-samples

1 upvote
Kelcey Smith
By Kelcey Smith (Oct 5, 2011)

The ghosting is caused by the overlay of the multiple exposures required for 'Auto HDR'.

0 upvotes
Twoeyes
By Twoeyes (Oct 5, 2011)

This would explain it. There should be a comment to say that the 'Auto HDR' feature had been turned on... this would benefit all. For that matter are there any other shots in the samples that have particular settings applied?

0 upvotes
Twoeyes
By Twoeyes (Oct 6, 2011)

Thank you DPR for adding the comments under the review sample images.

0 upvotes
voz
By voz (Oct 5, 2011)

Isn't writing the megapixel count in the title of the review very 2003? ;)

3 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Oct 5, 2011)

Yes, it is, but to give dpreview some credit, that mp count in the head line quickly differentiates this camera from the Nex 7.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Oct 5, 2011)

Y'all at DPReview realize that the test shot is very slightly out of focus? Not as bad as the A77 mess, but still the edges of that white on black cross should be sharp without any sharpening in the raw extraction process.

Oh and both this Nex 5N and the A77 have a bit of shadow noise at really low ASAs. Though unlike focus, that's entirely Sony's fault.

And what is this focus problem, is it bad glass--a Sony G lens fully open--is it that the auto focus is inaccurate, or is DPReview doing something wrong?

0 upvotes
Jim Lowell
By Jim Lowell (Oct 5, 2011)

When you started by " Y'all ", you lost me dude.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Oct 5, 2011)

Jimmy,

Most languages, though not really English, have a "you" plural, that you don't get that just means your not open to different ideas.

Photos that are consistently out of focus make me think that there be something wrong with the camera and or lens, dude.

0 upvotes
Jim Lowell
By Jim Lowell (Oct 5, 2011)

Another excellent review as usual, DPR. But, as exciting as the new type of camera this is and the new innovations and image quality which is great to see, I can't get past the fact that these new cameras are stuck in the middle between any DSLR today and high quality P&S cameras. Would I want one? Sure! Would I buy one? No. They have to reduce the lens size and make them more 'pocketable' before I'd go for it over a good P&S. I'll always use my DSLR simply because of the lenses and image quality, for now. If they bundled all this great tech into an old Nikon 990 style camera, wow. Good things to come in the future.

0 upvotes
policeman0077
By policeman0077 (Oct 4, 2011)

lenses! lenses! lenses! compact lens with good optical performance is urgently needed

2 upvotes
Rooru S
By Rooru S (Oct 5, 2011)

Indeed...!

0 upvotes
Supr X
By Supr X (Oct 4, 2011)

Very interesting camera . . .
Good work Sony and thanks for the info., DPR!

0 upvotes
Ashley Pomeroy
By Ashley Pomeroy (Oct 4, 2011)

The sweep panorama image on page 10 - with the balloons - is lovely.

2 upvotes
R Valentino
By R Valentino (Oct 4, 2011)

I still don't see the benefits of these type of cameras over a DSLR, either a compact crop or even FF models.

None of them will fit in your pocket with the lens attached. Once you reach that point it makes little difference if it's one pound or two hanging around your neck. Especially with what you give up compared to DSLRs.

Give me a good compact model like the S100 or Samsung WB750 (IQ withstanding) any day for travel.

0 upvotes
Rooru S
By Rooru S (Oct 4, 2011)

There are thousands of people that since mirrorless cameras has been released to the market, they're having fun with old MF lenses. That's one great benefit. Give great use to very good old optics at a lower price compared to newer lenses.

Many of those cameras are not intended to be carried in your pants pockets. Just provide a lightweight combo with the same quality from a full-size camera. That's another benefit. Maybe it's you and some other people, but the sales numbers speak by themselves. m4/3 and APS-C mirrorless have great acceptance in the current market.

4 upvotes
Ashley Pomeroy
By Ashley Pomeroy (Oct 4, 2011)

I've just come back from a holiday in Italy. I took my Canon 5D MkII and the classic trio of zooms - wide, normal, tele - and by God I had to keep reminding myself that it was worth it. Lovely images, but on reflection it wasn't much fun carrying the camera around. When I came back I bought a cheap second-hand NEX 3, and next go on holiday I'll take that instead.

It's lighter, smaller, I can carry a bottle of water in my bag, and a book, instead of leaving those things behind, because there wasn't space.

3 upvotes
mg_k
By mg_k (Oct 5, 2011)

@ Ashley Pomeroy

You clearly don't care about quality then. I would expect someone that owns a 5D2 care more about IQ.

the NEX is lighter, smaller, so your point being? you get crappier photos too.

0 upvotes
chyll2
By chyll2 (Oct 5, 2011)

i know that 5D mkII IQ is a lot better than Nex 3 but I would not call NEX 3 output as crappy.

0 upvotes
increments
By increments (Oct 5, 2011)

Rooru S,

As you pretty much stated by saying 1000s, I don't think we even need to consider the old lens compatibility as a benefit for 99% of potential users. DPR will provide a skewed user-base here.

I'm not entirely convinced by the weight argument to explain sales either. I'm inclined to think it's more about less intimidating looks, yet promise of more "pro" pictures for most P&S upgraders. This is borne out by the adverts I've seen in the UK. (May be different overseas.)

So while they are clearly popular, I don't think they fulfill the convenience requirement for many as a 2nd camera. With pancake lenses they get pretty close for me and will probably supersede compacts as a 2nd camera for me soon.

0 upvotes
qwill
By qwill (Oct 4, 2011)

Loved the review,brilliantly detailed,(i'm a newbie) and for someone like myself who is not technically up-to-speed with all things digital, has left me with nothing to question .Sounds like a fantastic camera,maybe not if you are used to a SLR but i would be thrilled to have this.Also level of knowledge by the bloggers is incredibly helpful and seems quite impartial regardless of favorite manufacturer.

3 upvotes
mugupo
By mugupo (Oct 4, 2011)

I has this camera, to be honest the kit lens 18-55mm offer image not where near as sharp as other company kit lens. is great camera but still require too many click to change like iso. Is annoying u can't use higher than iso 3200 in auto or movie mode. The video isn't perfect some 1080p 60fps video is lagging and has overheat issue if you use about more than hour of operation could cause the camera to shut down.

2 upvotes
balios
By balios (Oct 4, 2011)

Have you customized the controls? On my Nex-5 (not 5N), changing ISO involves clicking the center button then spinning the wheel, which is the same number of steps as my Canon 7D.

Now the Nex is nowhere near the 7D in terms of direct control, but by customizing the control layout, it can become much more functional compared to the factory settings.

1 upvote
Rooru S
By Rooru S (Oct 4, 2011)

Overheat issue is obvious given the small size of the camera with such a powerful processor. There's no way to dissipate heat compared to a fullsize. Every camera has it's compromises.

I think, since firmware 02 or 03 on NEX-series cameras, I just need to do 2 clicks to change ISO. I wouldn't call that "too many". If you want to go higher, you can use Aperture priority mode and set ISO manually and have better low-light performance compared to other cameras in movie mode.

0 upvotes
Dave Deacon
By Dave Deacon (Oct 4, 2011)

NEX 5 is still a good camera and with discounts even better plus a few adapters and very cheap legacy lenses - even its video is good. There's not a lot in IQ between these cameras. The cheaper C3 does very well against the 5n. Not a lot to lose if you don't want the extras. These cameras trash any compacts and rival many DSLRs. Pity Canon is not in there having a bash...

0 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (Oct 4, 2011)

Sony did a better job miniaturizing their system than even existing m4/3-s, but I don't like the trade-offs of this miniaturization. First of all, a body that small becomes uncomfortable to handle. Then cutting on essentials, like built-in flash is a very bad decision, you never know when you might need it, and keeping the snap-on flash always attached makes it fragile and inconvenient. Moving more and more operations from mechanical buttons and dials to the LCD menus isn't great either. Absense of optical or electronic viewfinder is really bad decision. I also didn't like the auto-focus on NEX-5N when I tried it in the store, it was excessively hunting in low light, like no other camera I tried. Sample pictures look good overall, but not unlike pictures from other cameras in the same category. The few landscape shots I've seen I didn't like though, trees, mountains look too mushy with poor tonal transitions, but it might be due to jpeg. Overall, it's a good point-and-shoot camera.

0 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Oct 4, 2011)

i like it a lot !
i think i will buy this only for video shooting, and a nikon adapter.

photowise i wont buy a cam without viewfinder, but for filming its cool i think, better than mft/gh2 i wanted to buy before i guess

0 upvotes
random78
By random78 (Oct 4, 2011)

As much as the camera might be impressive, how can it have a gold award without any lenses to use with it. What good is the high-iso performance if it has to be paired with a slow 18-55mm kit lens. I actually like NEX a lot and do use it myself with manual lenses but as a general system I just don't see how it can be recommended to anyone relying on native AF lenses.

10 upvotes
Elaka Farmor
By Elaka Farmor (Oct 4, 2011)

Exactly! If I buy Nex-5N it´s only because of the unlimited manual focus lenses out there.....

2 upvotes
inevitable crafts studio
By inevitable crafts studio (Oct 4, 2011)

probably its because the gold award is for the camera not the lenses ? just guessing ... ^^

6 upvotes
increments
By increments (Oct 5, 2011)

As stated, camera awards are based only on the camera. But I do understand your view.

0 upvotes
rw1
By rw1 (Oct 4, 2011)

I looked at this camera in the store, and found that the fonts on a number of the review screens are uncomfortably small. Obviously I don't want to have to put on reading glasses to use a camera. Does someone who has the camera know if the fonts can be adjusted in size?

Thanks.

1 upvote
Gediminas 8
By Gediminas 8 (Oct 4, 2011)

I read somewhere that yes, they can.

0 upvotes
Kelcey Smith
By Kelcey Smith (Oct 4, 2011)

The font size can be changed on the shooting display by pressing the DISP button on the control dial. This only affects the font size on the live view screen however.

1 upvote
Uri Ben
By Uri Ben (Oct 4, 2011)

Sorry not for me - slow AF.

4 upvotes
hammerheadfistpunch
By hammerheadfistpunch (Oct 4, 2011)

I have to admit, their noise/chroma algorithms in JPEG are pretty darn impressive. In RAW there doesn't seem to be too much difference between other APS-C/MFT sensors at high ISO but in JPEG...amazing.

1 upvote
hammerheadfistpunch
By hammerheadfistpunch (Oct 4, 2011)

The first video sample is 1080i60 not 1080p60, FYI.

0 upvotes
Kelcey Smith
By Kelcey Smith (Oct 4, 2011)

You are correct it should read 60i. I've updated the information in the review.

Thanks!

0 upvotes
erringtont
By erringtont (Oct 4, 2011)

Are the In-Camera "Lens Compensation" adjustments active in RAW and/or Jpeg? The review does not cover this.

0 upvotes
Kelcey Smith
By Kelcey Smith (Oct 4, 2011)

Lens Compensation adjustments are only applied to the JPEG files. If you shoot in RAW+JPEG mode you will get and adjusted JPEG and an unadjusted raw.

I've also added a statement about this in the features page.

0 upvotes
Mikael Kaplar
By Mikael Kaplar (Oct 4, 2011)

Well, as size goes I have the 28-300 L zoom with my canon cameras. It is HEAVY and BIG but in gigs when I don´t know what is waiting for me - it is a very usable lens.
Now I have the Nex 5 with the 18-200mm lens, which is equals a 27-300 in full frame cameras. If you ever had this two setups side by side you´ll know which one is smaller, easier to carry around and still does the job wonderfully.
But to each one size is different.

PS. I bought the Nex 5 and 18-200 combo because I nearly paid for the lens and the price of the camera was only 9 euros :)

0 upvotes
Patman888
By Patman888 (Oct 4, 2011)

Why are the M43 fanboys talking like the size of the lens is the most important thing in a camera system? Newsflash, it is not. In fact, the lens size ranks very very very low to a lot of people.

If you really want a shitty pancake zoom then you should get a point and shoot camera.

I would like to see the fanboys explain this when they say the NEX is not considered a compact system. How would the explain the nexc3 with kit lens being smaller than the GF3 with the 14-42 in almost every dimension? lol Just look at the comparison pictures from that link below. I know they are going to bring up the Panasonic x pancake zoom but that isn't even out yet and seems like a pure novelty item to me. lol

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/DMCGF3/DMCGF3A.HTM

0 upvotes
xMichaelx
By xMichaelx (Oct 4, 2011)

Hmmm...where all these "fanboys" again? Someone here's a troll, and it's not who you think it is.

0 upvotes
Sarge_
By Sarge_ (Oct 4, 2011)

I find it's the DSLR bodies that make things so bulky. My NEX-5 with 'huge' 18-200 lens fits in most shorts and jacket pockets (granted I am 6'2" so my pockets are larger than many).

Regardless, for backcountry, skiing, chasing my toddler around - my D90 is ebay history, my D3 only comes out when someone's writing a check. The NEX-5n is the perfect camera, save for the additional NEX-7 dials (I'll be upgrading, but just waiting to see the NEX-7 full reviews).

On my last shoot, I even used the NEX-5 w 18-200 as a second camera for a few 'zoom' shots. It's so easy and convenient - it was in my pocket, ready to shoot. Can't do that with a GH2, much less any other DSLR.

I'll be buying the Zeiss E prime as soon as it's available, too.

0 upvotes
Gediminas 8
By Gediminas 8 (Oct 4, 2011)

Why can't a GH2 be in your pocket ready to shoot?

0 upvotes
Patman888
By Patman888 (Oct 4, 2011)

Michael

You must be blind. Bjorn L's post springs to mind and there are plenty others. Unfortunately, you only see those types of posts in NON M43 discussions. You never see ridiculous statements like that in M43 discussions. hmmmmm... Maybe you are one of them since you didn't notice the blatant NEX trolling by the hurt M43 fanboys in here. lol

0 upvotes
increments
By increments (Oct 5, 2011)

Patman888

I'm not a m4/3 owner, but certainly size must consider Camera + Lens in order to make a practical decision. For many people here pancake lenses make the packages the size they want.

Also, the pancakes on the m4/3 and NX systems are all decent. Pentax Limited lenses are also of very good quality.

0 upvotes
bigdaddave
By bigdaddave (Oct 4, 2011)

It sounds an interesting camera.

But boy is it ugly (I know, shouldn't matter)

But boy is it ugly

1 upvote
Calvin Chann
By Calvin Chann (Oct 4, 2011)

That was my first impression too and I wasn't at all interested. But users like Steve Huff got me interested.

0 upvotes
pixel_colorado
By pixel_colorado (Oct 4, 2011)

With a pancake lens it's fine...but a sizable lens on it and it's a whole different story.

0 upvotes
probert500
By probert500 (Oct 4, 2011)

It's actually a beautiful little thing - elegant.

0 upvotes
Bjorn_L
By Bjorn_L (Oct 4, 2011)

The summary of this review is completely false:
"Photographers upgrading from compact cameras, looking for the benefits of a large APS-C sensor with out the size of a traditional DSLR. "

The nex-5n is a nice camera with a lovely sensor. It performs well, but it is not in any way compact. A camera is only small if the body and lens taken together form a small package.

That a larger sensor performs better than a small one is only to be be expected. But it is simple physics, if you use an APS-C you end up with APS-C lenses in size and weight.

Compare a complete solution using a m4/3 or Nikon 1, and a Canon 1100d & Nikon d3100. Compare the total volume and weight and you will see that the NEX-5n is right in there with the DSLRs and far from one of the more compact solutions.

8 upvotes
Joesiv
By Joesiv (Oct 4, 2011)

True, but at the same time, consumers with compact cameras are "upgrading" to DSLRs all the time. This is why the cheapie models all have manuals built into the interface so non enthusiasts can attempt at controlling their new dslr.

So, if NEX is smaller with body than dslrs, why can't it be an upgrade? Especially if it is the same shooting experience (hold camera out and use liveview). It's amazing how many people used to compacts will instictively put a dslr out at arms length and wonder why it's not showing the picture.

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Oct 4, 2011)

Not "completely false." The weight is lower. With a pancake, a NEX will fit in a coat pocket.

A GH2 is hardly "compact," and a G3 with a 300mm telephoto is no more pockeable than a DLSR. Whether the Nikon 1 fills the "true compact" sweet spot remains to be seen, and will depend on whether the IQ of a 1" sensor affords sufficient advantages to be worth the high cost.

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Oct 4, 2011)

No, that would be false. The 18-55 kitlens is about 2 cm longer than the Nikon 1 series kitlens but comparable in diameter, the NEX superzoom is similar in size to the Nikon 10-100 and actually weighs less and the body is similar in size and weighs less too. The current Panasonic kitlens is similar in size, the superzoom only marginally smaller and lighter but the body isn't really smaller either. The latter goes for the Olympus bodies aswell, but Olympus scores points with the collapsable kitlens.
A D3100 body alone is still roughly twice the weight and more than 3 times the volume.
And you're forgetting that the D3100 isn't going to take most of those tiny old legacy lenses, which make it possible for the NEX to fit a jacket pocket (just like with the pancake).

5 upvotes
Wenger
By Wenger (Oct 4, 2011)

I think you misread that sentence, it doesn't mention that the nex is compact, it just says that it is smaller then the size of a DSLR.
Look at this picture of a D7000 and a nex-c3 with kit lenses:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/45203414@N06/6038116965/
It's hard to argue that there isn't a substantial space and weight saving without compromising sensor quality with the nex.

0 upvotes
commiebiker
By commiebiker (Oct 4, 2011)

I have an NEX5 and am seriously considering the NEX7...and believe me, it is way smaller and lighter than draging around my D3, or even D700 w/o the battery pack. I can use the 16mm kit lens, plus a 50 mm manual lens and have a nice small kit to carry around, and still get good IQ....not that I would mind some good glass made specifically for this camera, but good gracious, how small does it need to be...this is plenty small for me

2 upvotes
probert500
By probert500 (Oct 4, 2011)

It is small and light relative to most dslrs.

You may want to compare it to m4/3 etc but the image quality of the nex is just leaps and bounds beyond - and not only because the sensor is 40% bigger - it's just a better sensor.

This is a superb camera.

0 upvotes
petterd
By petterd (Oct 5, 2011)

It is not only a matter of size here, looks also matters.

0 upvotes
Simon97
By Simon97 (Oct 4, 2011)

Sony's low shadow noise on this sensor has Canon's engineers scratching their heads.

I must admit though, the E-PL3's JPEGs are nothing short of beautiful.

0 upvotes
tkpenalty
By tkpenalty (Oct 4, 2011)

Sony is playing on the lack of knowledge consumers have over noise performance... JPEG wise chroma noise reduction seems to be the sony/nikon way of artificially improving noise performance. Canon's engineers aren't scratching their heads.

This camera doesn't even beat a D3100; whats so special about it?

2 upvotes
mactheweb
By mactheweb (Oct 4, 2011)

Unfortunately, it does. I work with files from several camera owners. We all shoot theater in low light. This is a similar sensor to that in the Nikon D7000 and Pentax K-5, and it is markedly better than any Canon crop sensor for low light, including the one in the 7D. Jpegs are somewhat worse and raw files are a full stop to a stop and a half worse.

3 upvotes
hiplnsdrftr
By hiplnsdrftr (Oct 4, 2011)

It is rather perplexing the lack of solid (pancake) primes...

And why all the MP for the NEX-7 ?

Design by committee?

4 upvotes
Peter LO
By Peter LO (Oct 4, 2011)

Sony's lukewarm attitude in developing E-mount lenses may suggest that it sees NEX as poor men's digital back.

1 upvote
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Oct 4, 2011)

You may not like the lenses they developed, but 7 native lenses in a year and a half isn't lukewarm in my book. Easily beats what either Panasonic or Olympus did.

3 upvotes
increments
By increments (Oct 5, 2011)

7 lenses in 18 months is certainly good going, but we tend to evaluate based on what we can get as users.

If compact lenses are what you want m4/3 is the more complete system.

0 upvotes
sensibill
By sensibill (Oct 9, 2011)

There weren't 7 native lenses a week ago, and they're only just about to be available. In fact, you cannot yet order the 50mm, 210mm or Zeiss lenses from Amazon. The kit lenses are so-so, the 16mm is garbage. NEX glass is not great overall, doubtful most of it fully exploits the 16MP. The 24MP of the 7 all but required the creation of the big heavy $400 pellicle Alpha adapter so NEX could get glass that exploited the MP.

0 upvotes
AvanGarde
By AvanGarde (Oct 4, 2011)

I would buy NEX system but 18-200 is way to big,too long,too heavy and too slow.18-150/120 fast lens would be perfect.

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Oct 4, 2011)

And even larger. Simple physics. The 10-100 lens for the Nikon 1 series, covering a similar range, is about the same size and heavier. And that's covering a sensor 3 times smaller.

1 upvote
wutsurstyle
By wutsurstyle (Oct 4, 2011)

They should make an optional K-adpater to utilize the family of small Pentax primes.

0 upvotes
Magnus W
By Magnus W (Oct 4, 2011)

You mean like this?
http://www.rocksphoto.com/goods.php?id=978
Fact is, there are now adapters for almost every mount out there...

0 upvotes
djec
By djec (Oct 4, 2011)

this already exists, check ebay.

0 upvotes
wutsurstyle
By wutsurstyle (Oct 4, 2011)

haha oops! I totally forgot. And looking at the A-mount adapter that they have, it wouldn't be much compact if they made it Autofocus either.

0 upvotes
Rooru S
By Rooru S (Oct 4, 2011)

K-adapter + Pentax pancakes = no longer small but yet smaller than other combinations.

A-mount adapter provides AF on SAM and SSM lenses. second A-mount adapter provides PDAF on every A-mount lens (including screw-driven AF lenses from both Konica-Minolta and Sony lineup).

0 upvotes
gmol
By gmol (Oct 4, 2011)

Talking about a small package, a panasonic g3 (or gf3 if size is the most important) with the new X pancake zoom (plus the 20mm/f1.7) seems the perfect compromise between size and IQ. Sony's kit zoom is huge, and the new Olympus kit zoom is not nearly as discreet as the new X zoom, IMO.

1 upvote
Rooru S
By Rooru S (Oct 5, 2011)

Sorry Sir but, huge compared to what?

And The Olympus kit zoom seems fine to me. X pancake zoom...get a Canon S95 then.

0 upvotes
EvanZ
By EvanZ (Oct 4, 2011)

I have a C3 and I love it. It's like a frat party where you can BYOG (bring your own glass).

0 upvotes
Biggstr
By Biggstr (Oct 4, 2011)

Looking at Dpreview's own data, it appears that the NEX-5N has one stop over the new Olympus Pen line with respect to noise ... not a "deal breaker". But the NEX lenses are enormous! Having shopped the NEX-system cameras, I decided on a PL3-based system to avoid backaches on walkabouts. The PL3 is the size of a "point and shoot". The lenses are comparable in size; the PL3 and a few lenses fit in a small fanny pack. It wasn't the D5000 that was getting to me; it was the size and weight of the lenses. It doesn't matter how small the camera is if the lenses stay the size and weight of traditional SLR systems. There are cameras that fit in pockets, camera that fit in jackets, and cameras that need traditional photo bags. The NEX-system cameras need traditional photo bags to accommodate the size and weight of the lenses and, with respect to system weight, bring little new to the table.

0 upvotes
JohnCarolan
By JohnCarolan (Oct 4, 2011)

As others have said, nice sensor/camera, but lens options let it down. I'm not interested in zooms, I want a compact large aperture prime, either a 35, 40 or 50mm equivalent. The Zeiss is too big and too expensive. Fuji X100 looking more and more attractive.

9 upvotes
D8334
By D8334 (Oct 4, 2011)

Stop crying like a baby.

1 upvote
2012 Imaging
By 2012 Imaging (Oct 4, 2011)

"stop crying like a baby." what a moronic comment.

3 upvotes
Thoughts
By Thoughts (Oct 4, 2011)

Some fanboy is unhappy here about some truth. Zoom lenses also look too big compared to the body, which is price to pay to go for a large size. Sony needs to work harder on bringing some new lenses out.

3 upvotes
darkref
By darkref (Oct 4, 2011)

who cares that the lenses look bigger in comparison to the body? it's still a lot more comfortable to hold than the 4/3rds (tried them today in the shop)

0 upvotes
probert500
By probert500 (Oct 4, 2011)

The kit zoom isn't that large and the images are sharp if you stay away from the extremes. So yeah - quit crying like a baby.

0 upvotes
JohnCarolan
By JohnCarolan (Oct 4, 2011)

Merely expressing my preferences and making some observations, and all without being childishly offensive. Try it sometime.

2 upvotes
seachicken2000
By seachicken2000 (Oct 4, 2011)

Why do you say "SLT adapter support: No" for the NEX-5? On the Sony Japan webpage for the LA-EA2 adapter it states: "LA-EA2
NEX-5・NEX-5N・NEX-3・NEX-C3用" (用 means "use").

http://www.sony.jp/ichigan/lineup/mountadapter.html

0 upvotes
msusic
By msusic (Oct 4, 2011)

I think one MAJOR negative point should be that Nex simply lacks lenses and upcoming lenses (which haven't been released yet) are quite big an unbecoming of a such small camera.

Nex currently only has a bad kit lens, bad pancake and a huge super zoom.

24mm Zeiss is going to be very big and awfully expensive, 50mm might be ok but it's still relatively big and focal lenght is not interesting at all while 30mm macro is too slow for a prime lens and quite short for a macro lens.

Too bad system cameras rely on lenses ;)

3 upvotes
Calvin Chann
By Calvin Chann (Oct 4, 2011)

Where did you read that the kit lens was bad?

0 upvotes
NorthwestF
By NorthwestF (Oct 4, 2011)

DPR reviewed the kit lens. It's not "bad" as you made it up.

1 upvote
probert500
By probert500 (Oct 4, 2011)

The kit lens is quite good. What's your point?

0 upvotes
heypek
By heypek (Oct 10, 2011)

for lens quality just browse i.e. digitalkamera.de

0 upvotes
Boissez
By Boissez (Oct 4, 2011)

Dear Dpreview. You may have gotten a bit optimistic on your low light/high ISO score. The NEX-5N scores higher there than both the Canon 5D Mk II and 1D MkIV (!)
Surely this must be some kind of mistake.

2 upvotes
inFocus
By inFocus (Oct 4, 2011)

Read and reflect on this quote, taken from the conclusions page; "Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category"

3 upvotes
2012 Imaging
By 2012 Imaging (Oct 4, 2011)

duh!

0 upvotes
Drareg Ajerap
By Drareg Ajerap (Oct 4, 2011)

What I would like to know if the new Sony 16MP sensor has already overtaken the first generation FF sensor in terms of high ISO performance so I will stop my hunt for an affordable 5DMk1 and get either the C3 or 5n maybe before Christmas.

Is there anyway we can compare the high ISO outputs of the Nex 5N and the 5DMk1?

0 upvotes
wmac
By wmac (Oct 4, 2011)

DxO mark has compared censors but I am not quite sure whether they have done that for Nex-5N.

0 upvotes
wmac
By wmac (Oct 4, 2011)

Check this comparison for 5DMarkI and Nex-C3

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Cameras/Compare-Camera-Sensors/Compare-cameras-side-by-side/%28appareil1%29/737|0/%28brand%29/Sony/%28appareil2%29/715|0/%28brand2%29/Sony/%28appareil3%29/176|0/%28brand3%29/Canon

0 upvotes
TrojMacReady
By TrojMacReady (Oct 4, 2011)

Yes, DXO tested the C3 and the Canon 1Ds, with the former doing slighly better at high ISO and showing much better at DR.
The 5N seems to be a hair better than the C3 at high ISO yet.

0 upvotes
probert500
By probert500 (Oct 4, 2011)

I love the nex but I also have the 5d mk1 and 2 and the full frame offers resolution advantages that an aps sensor can't. If ultimate detail; is your game go with the 5D. If it's small, fun to use etc - the nex.

0 upvotes
Calvin Chann
By Calvin Chann (Oct 4, 2011)

Got mine three weeks ago and have been lovin' it since. Shape is a bit weird at first, but you soon get used to it and the focus speed isn't as good as the m43 brigade, but the IQ is much better. Swings and roundabouts.

What I really want to see is whether Sony delivers on the lenses. If they do, then it'll be a much tougher decision whether to go for the NEX-7 plus lenses or stick to the m43 system. In limbo at the moment.

0 upvotes
probert500
By probert500 (Oct 4, 2011)

The image quality of the nex is so much better than the m 4/3s that I've seen (and tested) that it's no contest in my mind. M4/3 is just not that good - I don't care what glass you stick on it. You say swings and roundabouts - I say lipstick on a pig.

0 upvotes
whtchocla7e
By whtchocla7e (Oct 4, 2011)

Image quality looks no better than the NEX-C3.
That's not a bad thing but I shouldn't have bought into the earlier hype based on a few over sharpened samples.

0 upvotes
probert500
By probert500 (Oct 4, 2011)

Same sensor and processor - why the dismay. It does have nore flexibility and better build qulity.

0 upvotes
JWest
By JWest (Oct 4, 2011)

Until there's a decent pancake prime I can put on a NEX camera to make it pocketable, it really doesn't matter to me how good this camera might be, I'm sticking with my NX100.

I know not everyone is bothered about pocketability, but personally I don't see the point of these cameras unless they're extremely portable. If I have to carry a bag, I may as well bring my DSLR.

5 upvotes
Drareg Ajerap
By Drareg Ajerap (Oct 4, 2011)

good point.
my main interest in the NEX though is that it can mount and focus M39 screwtypes. And it has this nice peeking mode for MF.
maybe in the next couple of years we can have compact or bridge type cams (like the early Oly C series) w/ apsc or m43 sized sensors...this might increase portability.

0 upvotes
nonomad
By nonomad (Oct 4, 2011)

Totally agree ,with the lenses available these "compact cameras" simply aren't,the quality IQ seems to get get better and better but there is no point if the total package means your still lugging around the equivalent of a DSLR and if a pancake lens is the only one that makes these cameras portable ,i would rather take the G12 route until a solution is found .

0 upvotes
NorthwestF
By NorthwestF (Oct 4, 2011)

There is a big difference between a "heavy" DSLR bag vs lighter Nex bag.

2 upvotes
duartix
By duartix (Oct 4, 2011)

I really don't see much of a point in comparing the monster of a sensor NEX-5N with the decrepit 3 year old one in the Olympus E-P3 with both the Panasonic G3/GH2 is at least 1EV stop ahead of it.
Yes this sensor is beyond any doubt the best 16MP around at High ISOs and trounces the competition in DR, but up until ISO1600, the Panasonic G3/H2 is still ahead when we're talking about detail/noise balance.

I find it also a bit disappointing that this site is touting the 1080/60p as the next best thing since sliced bread, not testing it hard enough to figure the sensor is being heavily subsampled for video and showing much less resolution (and a lot more noise) than the G3/GH2 @ 720/60p or 1080/60i.

The big irony is that the poor old E-P3 with a fully binned sensor for video wipes the floor with the NEX-5N and I'm not even talking about high ISO where it is a massacre.

Don't get me wrong: the NEX-5N is a monster for stills, but the video capabilities are hardly what the ratings say.

2 upvotes
jaja_m
By jaja_m (Oct 4, 2011)

30mm f1.8 PANCAKE 30mm f1.8 PANCAKE 30mm f1.8 PANCAKE 30mm f1.8 PANCAKE 30mm f1.8 PANCAKE 30mm f1.8 PANCAKE 30mm f1.8 PANCAKE 30mm f1.8 PANCAKE 30mm f1.8 PANCAKE 30mm f1.8 PANCAKE

10 upvotes
Miwok
By Miwok (Oct 4, 2011)

... Or even f2.8 if really tiny ;)

1 upvote
Rooru S
By Rooru S (Oct 5, 2011)

I don't mind pancake, but compact (a few mm longer than SEL16F28 doesn't hurt) and good quality and at least F/2 is enough given the 18mm registration distance and APS-C sensor.

0 upvotes
gzig
By gzig (Oct 4, 2011)

What is it with Sony sensors and that Siemen STar CHart? Why can't it get it right?

0 upvotes
danichtfuer
By danichtfuer (Oct 4, 2011)

Take a look at the original JPGs or RAWs and you will see that it's the website which makes the stars look weird not the sensor.

1 upvote
jose vu
By jose vu (Oct 4, 2011)

very nice review, thx very much, this will help me in my decision :D

1 upvote
Mapel
By Mapel (Oct 4, 2011)

This will be my nex(T) camera!!! I don't mind about native glasses (for now) 'cause I'm in love with legacy glasses :)

1 upvote
tkpenalty
By tkpenalty (Oct 4, 2011)

This is a great camera but theres no good glass to go with it... :S

7 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Oct 4, 2011)

Boy, Sony is sure showing the way...
bye bye Nikon, your just another Wang...

1 upvote
Total comments: 195
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