Sony Alpha NEX-5 Review


Review posted 11/22/2010

Quick Take

  • Great Build Quality
  • Very Comfortable size and weight
  • APS-C Size sensor allows for high quality images
  • Ability to record 1080i video with Stereo Sound
  • Fast and Quiet Contrast Detect AF system using NEX lenses
  • Superb High Resolution LCD
  • Intuitive Intelligent Auto Mode
  • Featured packed with Sweep Panorama, Auto HDR, Face Detection and more
  • Class leading performance at higher ISO speeds
  • Default Metering settings give brighter than desired exposures in some conditions
  • Limited Lens Availability without using an Adapter (only 3 NEX lens models so far)
  • Limited External Controls compared to some competing models
  • No Viewfinder (although the LCD visibility is very good in most lighting)
Bottom Line
Sony has entered the market for smaller interchangeable lens cameras with a bold design that incorporates an APS-C size sensor for great image quality in a smaller and lighter package with superb build quality for it's class, combined with a new lens mount system to allow fast and silent Autofocus for shooting HD video. If you want a feature packed camera that doesn't weigh you down, consider the NEX-5.  Read more in our Full Conclusion.
sony_nex-5_600.jpgDuring PMA 2010, Sony unveiled several new concept models under glass, including some EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens) units that looked like direct competitors to the popular Olympus/Panasonic Micro Four-Thirds cameras.

On May 11th (2010), Sony announced two of those models, the NEX-3 and NEX-5. The NEX label stands for Next Generation in their Alpha line of powerful interchangeable lens cameras, and these models boasts dSLR performance, HD video options, and a whole lot more in their compact frames. Both models share almost identical specifications, with only the body design and video options differing. 

The NEX-5 key features include:
  • 14.2-megapixel Exmor APS-C HD CMOS image sensor
  • Sony's New E-mount lens system
  • BIONZ image processor
  • Focal plane shutter mechanism
  • Sweep Panorama functions
  • Full HD (1080i) AVCHD video recording (720p MP4 option also available)
  • JPEG and RAW image capture (RAW+JPEG too)
  • High-speed 25-point contrast AF system
  • Auto HDR mode (3 frame)
  • Face detection and Smile Shutter options with Child and Adult priority modes
  • iAuto, Program , Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, and Manual exposure options
  • Anti Motion Blur and Handheld Twilight multi-frame modes (use 6 images to produce a single photo)
  • 2.3fps burst in normal mode, 7fps using Speed Priority mode
  • 49 segment metering system
  • New user friendly GUI
  • 3.0-inch tilting LCD with 921k dots and Sony's TruBlack technology
  • Clip-on external flash unit
  • Li-ion battery pack
  • MS Duo Pro, SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory card compatibility
The NEX-5 is available now in two kit configurations:
  • NEX-5 + E 16mm F/2.8 (SEL16F28) lens for $649 US
  • NEX-5 + E 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 OSS (SEL1855) lens for $699 US

What's in the box?:
  • E-mount lens; depends on kit purchased
  • Case for flash
  • NP-FW50 Lithium ion rechargeable battery
  • CD-ROM
  • Lens cap
  • BC-VW1 Battery Charger
  • Shoulder strap
  • HVL-F7S detachable flash
  • Power cord
  • USB cable (Mini B)

Additional product photos



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