Record Screens & Menus

Note: the NEX-5 only outputs video using the HDMI port, and no cable is included. Therefore we had to photograph the LCD for the screens below.

Here we can see the NEX-5's iAuto (Intelligent Auto) exposure mode. This mode turns this capable photographic tool into a simple point-n-shoot camera, where the camera chooses not only the typical exposure settings, but also analyzes the subject being framed in order to select an appropriate Scene mode settings for the shot. On top of this, Sony has incorporated some interesting user controls that allow you to easily adjust the look of your photos even when using this fully automatic user mode. By rotating the control wheel, you can defocus the background, etc. This is a very cool feature that the inexperienced will enjoy.

There's also a built-in Shooting tips menu, which will help you capture better photos in a variety of shooting situations, with simple hits and tips on how to capture the photos you are looking for.

When half-pressing the shutter release in iAuto mode, you will see which of the AF points will be used for autofocus as well as the shutter speed and aperture values the camera has chosen.

The main menu gives you access to various options on the camera. Here we can access the Shooting mode, camera settings, image size and quality, the brightness and color menu, playback options, and finally the setup menu.

To select the camera mode, you simply rotate the control wheel on the back once you've selected "Shoot Mode" from the main menu (shown above), or by pressing the center soft key depending on which exposure program you are in. As you rotate the wheel, the above graphic is shown along with a brief explanation of the current modes intended use. Available options include: iAuto, Program AE, Aperture priority, Shutter speed priority, Manual, 3D/Standard Sweep Panorama, Anti Motion Blur, and SCN.

Program AE mode is mostly automatic, however you do haves access to most all of the camera settings (ISO, White Balance, etc.), however the Aperture and Shutter speed are still chosen by the camera.

In Aperture priority mode, you now select the aperture setting used by the camera. This allows you to control the range of focus, also know as depth of field. Here you can blur the background by using a large aperture (small f/number) to help your subject really stand out, or use a small (large f/number) setting to get your entire landscape in sharp focus. The camera will select the proper shutter speed setting to match the aperture you choose.

Shutter speed mode is the exact opposite. You select the shutter speed, and the camera will choose the corresponding aperture. A fast shutter speed will help you freeze action, while a slower setting will allow you to capture the flow of moving water, night scenes, etc.

In manual mode you select both value, for complete control over the exposure process. In all three modes small shutter speed and aperture scales are shown on the bottom of the screen, with small icons on the left and right to help you understand the intended use: slower shutter speeds for stationary objects or fast speed for moving subjects; shallow aperture for keeping your subject in focus with the background blurred or a broad aperture for both the foreground and background to be in focus.

There are 11 scene modes available on the NEX-5, 8 of which are located under the SCN position on the virtual "Shoot mode" dial. As you rotate the control wheel, a small sample image and brief explanation of the selected setting is shown. You can choose from: Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports action, Sunset, Night portrait, Night View, and Handheld Twilight.

Here you can see the screen when using the NEX-5's 3D Panorama mode. This is accomplished through a unique method where the camera captures separate left and right eye images, when combines them in-camera. When viewed on your 3D capable devices (TV, etc.), the images appear to "come alive" right in front of your eyes.

Camera shooting menu:
  • Drive Mode - Single, continuous (burst), self-timer, bracketing
  • Flash Mode - Autoflash, Fill-flash, Rear sync., Slow sync., Red-eye reduction
  • AF/MF Select - Choose Autofocus or Manual focus mode
  • Autofocus Area - Multi Point AF (25 points), Center Weighted AF, Flexible Spot AF
  • Autofocus mode - Single-shot AF, Continuous AF, Direct Manual Focus, Manual Focus
  • Precision Dig. Zoom - Toggle the digital zoom settings (when single focus lens is used)
  • Face Detection - On or Off
  • Smile Shutter - On or Off
  • Smile Detection - On or Off
  • Panorama Direction - Choose the direction used in 3D and normal Sweep panorama modes
  • Shooting Tip List - Enter the shooting advice menu which has 80 tips from Pros
  • Display Contents - Control the amount of information displayed on the LCD screen

Image quality menu:
  • Image size - 16:9 : L (12M) 4592x2576, M (6.3M) 3344x1872, S (2.9M) 2288x1280; 3:2 : L (14M) 4592x3056, M (7.4M) 3344x2224, S (3.5M) 2288x1520
  • Aspect Ratio - 16:9 or 3:2
  • Quality - JPEG (Fine or Standard), RAW, RAW + JPEG
  • Panorama Image Size - Horizontal, Vertical, or 3D
  • Movie File Format - AVCHD or MP4
  • Movie Image Size - AVCHD: 1920x1080 (60i); MP4 HD 1440x1080 (30p), VGA 640x480 (30p)

Brightness/Color menu:
  • Exposure Compensation - ±2EV (1/3 EV increments)
  • ISO - Auto or manually selectable from 100 to 12,800
  • White Balance - Auto,Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash, Setting the color temperature, and Custom
  • Metering Mode - Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot
  • Flash Compensation - ±2EV (1/3 EV increments)
  • DRO/Auto HDR - On or Off
  • Creative Style - Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, B/W

The NEX-5 can record HD video using two different compression formats. You can capture full 1080i (60i) HD video using the AVCHD option, or you can select from several MPEG-4 options: 1440x1080 and 640x480; all at 30p.

Here you can see the Creative Style selection screen, which allows you to see a live view of what each setting will do to your photos. Like we have listed above, you can choose from: Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, and B/W

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.