Body & Design
Sony's NEX-5 seemed remarkably small for camera with an APS-C sized sensor and, of course this is still true of the near-identical 5N. Interestingly, the camera isn't totally identical - although it's retained the same silhouette, its construction has been modified (it no longer has a seam-line running along the top of the camera - instead it has a magnesium alloy top plate that connects the front and rear halves). The result is a camera that retains the NEX-5's looks, but gives a better impression of quality.
Of course, for all that compactness, it's only really with the 16mm pancake lens attached that the 5N is anywhere near pocketable (unless you're talking about really large pockets). We've shown it here with the 18-55mm kit zoom attached, as this is likely to be a much more versatile option for the majority of those considering this camera.
In terms of button layout, the 5N is nearly identical to the NEX-5, with the most notable change being the new placement of the movie record and playback buttons to either side of the power switch. As with the NEX-C3, one of the directional buttons on the control dial is not labelled, as it is now a user-assignable control.
One of the biggest changes from the NEX-5 is the addition of a capacitive touchscreen that offers an alternative method of controlling the 5N's functions and navigating the menus. Users of previous NEXs will be able to pick up the 5N and use it in exactly the same way as they're used to, but that is not to say that the touchscreen interface doesn't add to the overall user experience. Sony has simply implemented it in a way that that does not diminish overall usability compared to the previous cameras.
The included flash unit is the same as the one that has been packaged with the previous NEX models (NEX-3/5/C3). It's not easy to attach in a hurry, so we suspect most people will either leave it attached at all times (as it doesn't add too much bulk or weight), or just leave it at home.
Along with the release of the NEX-5N, Sony has also introduced a new accessory port-mounted electronic viewfinder, and an Alpha mount lens adapter that uses Sony's SLT technology to offer fast phase-detection auto focus with compatible lenses. There's also an electronic viewfinder (the FDA-EV1S) that uses a high-resolution OLED display to create a viewfinder with enough detail and contrast to begin to rival some optical view finders. It's the same display that we were so impressed by in the company's flagship SLT A77.
This excellence comes at a price, of course - adding a viewfinder to the 5N will set you back around $349. However, we were impressed by how well it integrates with the camera - it features an eye-sensor so that the viewfinder engages seamlessly, rather than feeling like an add-on.
To further expand the range of lenses that NEX owners can use with full functionality, Sony has also announced the LA-EA2 adapter that promises fast autofocus with all existing Alpha mount lenses. This uses the company's SLT technology, with a fixed 'translucent' mirror and built-in phase detection AF sensor, plus an AF motor for 'screw-drive' lenses. Somewhat reminiscent of Leica's old 'Visoflex' system for its M-mount film rangefinders, the rather bulky housing also has its own tripod socket as the protrusion from bottom of the adapter will make it nearly impossible to mount the camera body to a tripod. The LA-EA2 includes the same 15-point AF sensor as the SLT-A65 and the original SLT-A55.
|The Sony LA-EA2 NEX-to-SLT adapter promises fully-functioning fast phase-detection autofocus with all Alpha-mount AF lenses - something no other mirrorless system can quite match|
While this certainly expands on the range of lenses accessible to NEX owners, we're not entirely convinced of its real-world practicality (especially as, at $399, it's not cheap). We have a sneaking suspicion that it need only exist to show that the NEX can be used with more than the handful of native E-mount lenses, rather than being a big seller. It seems likely that most people who own a range of Alpha lenses will already have SLRs to use them on, increasingly supplemented by 'real' SLTs. And perhaps the biggest attraction of mirrorless camera over SLRs is compactness, which rather goes away when using AF lenses with such a large adapter. But for those who bought a NEX and then discovered that they really wanted an SLT after all, it could well come in handy.
Sep 28, 2014
Sep 24, 2014
Oct 4, 2011
Sep 5, 2012
Lens manufacturer Voigtlander has introduced a 65mm F2 macro lens for Sony E-mount that it says "rates as one of the finest in the history of Voigtländer."
The UK released a preview of their upcoming drone safety regulations, and it looks like drone pilots will have to both register their device and pass safety awareness tests.
National Geographic photographer Bob Holmes talks about light, and why you need to learn how to 'see' and not just 'look' at your subject.
Photographer Alessandro Barteletti shares the story behind his National Geographic Italia cover, shot with a 10-year-old DSLR and an iPhone flashlight.
Fashion catalog photographers in China have some next-level models to work with. In this video, you see one model hitting 30 poses in 15 seconds as the photographer snaps away.
Photographer Paul Adshead breaks down 11 photography-related smartphone apps he couldn't live without—from a pocket light meter to a lighting diagram app.
Fast-growing Chinese flash brand Godox is teasing a brand new flash trigger... for smartphones. The Godox A1 is a 'phone flash system' that can act as both flash and 2.4GHz trigger.
On July 12, Canon opened its newest Technology and Support Center, designed to serve the motion picture industry, in Burbank, CA. DPReview got a sneak peak and takes you behind the scenes.
The Sigma 14mm F1.8 Art is truly one-of-a-kind. It offers the fastest aperture of any lens that shares its focal length, produces beautiful sunstars and is incredibly sharp to boot. If you're in the market for a fast ultrawide prime, this looks to be the one to get.
In this article, expert macro photographer Thomas Shahan shares advice for successful closeup photography of bugs, insects and small animals.
DJI's new firmware makes it difficult to fly in restricted airspace, even when you have proper clearance. Is DJI placing themselves between professionals and the FAA?
Go behind the scenes with National Geographic photographer Renan Ozturk and see what it takes to capture a dangerous, harrowing, stunning Nat Geo photo essay.
Erez Marom tells the story behind this ominous photo of the sand 'reaching up' towards the mountains at Skagsanden beach in Norway. He calls this photo 'Torment.'
DPReview staffer Carey Rose has taken the Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 along for everything from a city-side boat ride to a bachelor party across the mountains. Find out how the little Leica fared.
Canon just unveiled the largest 12-ink printer on the market. The new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer can make prints from 17 all the way up to 60 inches wide.
"Standing in one of the holiest places on earth, I felt uneasy," writes Wired's Jason Parham. "Most of my fellow visitors, I realized with a brief bloom of nausea, were taking selfies."
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk has been receiving great reviews, but it's a challenge to see it in its full glory. This handy infographic reveals the aspect ratio chaos that is wrought as the industry retreats from film.
Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label's Annual Bullying Survey 2017 reveals yet again that Instagram, more so than any other social network, has the worst effect on youth mental health.
It's been a crazy day for innovative patent news. Apparently Sony is thinking of developing a medium format curved sensor camera.
An update to the Silkypix Raw converter fixes some bugs and adds support for several popular new cameras.
This crazy custom-built underwater camera shoots 8x10 large format film. It's supposedly "the first successful underwater 8x10 ever made," and it can be yours for $5,800... plus shipping.
Blackmagic just reveled a new accessory for their Cintel Film Scanner. The Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader can capture KeyKode data and high-quality audio from film in real-time as it is being scanned.
A new Nikon patent shows a lens designed for a curved full-frame sensor. Could this be the high-end Nikon mirrorless camera people are hoping for?
The ability to shoot images at 1,000 fps first appeared in a Sony smartphone sensor. Now the Japanese manufacturer is using the same feature for industrial applications.
Astronomy expert and photographer Dr. Tyler Nordgren thinks you should "see your first eclipse, photograph your second." But if you do plan on taking photos this August, here are a few tips from someone who's been there.
How confident are you that you can spot a manipulated photo? A recent study at the University of Warwick shows that many people are pretty bad at it.
If you purchased a Leica TL2, do NOT attach Leica's Visoflex electronic viewfinder. Leica is working on a fix, but for now, it's possible the viewfinder will break your camera.
Google just released Motion Stills for Android. Unlike the iOS version, the Android app uses a redesigned video processing pipeline that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded, creating instant results.
A huge copyright lawsuit between photography firm VHT and Zillow Group is heating up again, as both sides appeal a court ruling that granted VHT $4 million in damages.
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet spent 6 months on board the International Space Station where he worked with Google capturing spheric panorama images that are now available in Street View.