Sony launches NEX-5N APS-C mid-range mirrorless compact
Sony has announced the Alpha NEX-5N a successor to the popular NEX-5. Although the NEX-5N looks nearly identical to the NEX-5, it shares very few components. It features a 16MP APS-C CMOS sensor and a touch-screen interface. It also takes advantage of the newly-published AVCHD 2.0 standard to offer 1080p60 HD video. We've had our hands on a pre-production NEX-5N and have prepared a preview looking at the features it's gained. We've also shot a real-world samples gallery to give a taste of what it can do.
SONY'S NEW ULTRA-RESPONSIVE, COMPACT SYSTEM CAMERA BOASTS WORLD'S FASTEST RELEASE TIME LAG AND QUICK, RESPONSIVE AUTOFOCUS
SAN DIEGO, Aug. 24, 2011 – Sony adds superb responsiveness, image quality, and creative possibilities to its line of E-mount interchangeable lens cameras with the new α NEX-5N model. Housed in a rugged, light magnesium alloy body, with an intuitive touch-screen interface, the camera is just 23.3mm at its slimmest point.
"The NEX-5N camera extends the sleek, minimalist design of the acclaimed NEX-5," said Ernesto Bravo, senior business manager of the alpha group at Sony Electronics. "But it's also a giant step forward from its predecessor in terms of still image and HD video quality, Auto Focus and speed-of-capture performance."
Response is accelerated even further by a release time lag of approximately 20 milliseconds, the fastest of any interchangeable lens digital camera. Combined with an improved autofocus (AF) algorithm and more efficient image processing, this results in an AF that is significantly faster than the current NEX-5 model.
The camera's Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor with 16.1 effective megapixel resolution is complemented by a specially-optimized version of the powerful BIONZ® image processing engine, resulting in exceptionally clean, low noise images. Maximum sensitivity is also boosted to ISO 25600, the highest among mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras (as of Aug 2011), allowing for very high-quality handheld shooting in low-light conditions.
The NEX-5N camera shoots smooth AVCHD™ Progressive (Ver2.0) Full HD movies with high-quality stereo sound at 60p – the same resolution and frame rate as Blu-ray Disc™ media, a first for interchangeable lens cameras with an APS-C size sensor. Faster readout from the sensor doubles the maximum frame rate to 60 fps and, when shooting at the 24p setting, movies achieve a beautifully expressive, artistic and cinematic feel. Additionally, continuous auto-focus while recording video has been improved and object Tracking Focus has been added, which allows a target object to be selected and tracked accurately via the touch-screen, even when the subject is moving.
Photographers can also fully control exposure with Program, Aperture/Shutter Priority and all-Manual modes (P/A/S/M) – just like the most advanced DSLR cameras. Stereo audio quality is improved, with revised circuitry that lowers wind noise levels, especially when shooting quiet scenes.
The NEX-5N is the first E-mount interchangeable lens camera from Sony that features an intuitive new Photo Creativity Touch interface. Background Defocus, Exposure, Picture Effect and other adjustments can be quickly and easily previewed, applied and combined via the LCD touch panel and control dial, with traditional "photo jargon" simplified for beginner shooters.
In Speed Priority Continuous mode, the NEX-5N captures fast-moving action at up to 10 fps (actual speed depends on shooting conditions and memory card performance), the fastest burst speed of any mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (as of Aug 2011).
Recently introduced on the new NEX-C3, Picture Effects simplifies the production of sophisticated artistic effects 'in camera', with no PC or post-processing needed. There are now 11 modes and 15 effects, including new HDR Painting, Soft Focus, Miniature, Rich-Tone Monochrome and Soft High-key. A generous palette of other artistic imaging functions includes 3D Sweep Panorama™ mode, Soft Skin, Auto HDR, Handheld Twilight and Anti Motion Blur Modes.
The camera's 3-inch Xtra Fine LCD™ display can angle up to 80 degrees up or 45 degrees down for easy viewing in any shooting position. TruBlack™ technology assures superb detail and contrast with dramatically reduced on-screen reflections.
Enhanced by the new Photo Creativity Touch interface, the LCD makes composition, shot review and adjustment of camera settings easier and more flexible than ever.
Lenses and Accessories
The growing choice of E-mount lenses compatible with all α E-mount cameras now includes the new Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA (SEL24F18Z), E 50mm F1.8 OSS (SEL50F18) and long-awaited Telephoto zoom E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS (SEL55210).
The world's first mount adaptor with built-in Translucent Mirror Technology™, the optional LA-EA2 Mount Adaptorallows phase-detection AF with the majority of A-mount lenses for both still image and video shooting. The optional Electronic Viewfinder FDA-EV1S, XGA OLED Tru-Finder™ display offers high resolution/contrast and wide viewing angle. With these two unique accessories, user can adapt their NEX-5N cameras to most any shooting situation and environment.
Also new in the range of accessories, the stylish body case (LCS-EB50) and lens jacket (LCS-EL50) help protect the camera and lens from scratches, the shoulder strap (STP-XS3) fits tightly to the body and the soft carrying case (LCS-EMF) holds the E-mount camera body with attached lens as well as an additional lens or other accessories.
Pricing and Availability
The NEX-5N ultra-compact interchangeable lens digital camera will be available this September in black and silver with an 18-55mm kit zoom lens (model SEL1855) for about $700 and as a body-only for about $600.
The new E-mount Telephoto zoom E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS (SEL55210) will be available this October for about $350. The new Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA (SEL24F18Z) and the E 50mm F1.8 OSS (SEL50F18) will each be available this December for about $1000 and $300, respectively.
The new LA-EA2 mount adaptor and FDA-EV1S OLED viewfinder will both be available this November for about $400 and $350, respectively.
The new camera kits, lenses and compatible accessories will all be sold at Sony retail stores (www.store.sony.com) as well as other authorized retailers throughout the Sony dealer network.
For "sneak peak" videos of the new products, please visit www.sony.com/cameravideos.
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