Sony’s first interchangeable-lens camera is the Sony NEX-5. It was also launched alongside the less-respected NEX-3 model. The NEX-5 features a 14.2 megapixel Exmor APSHD CMOS sensor, Sony Nex 5 Black Friday Deals 2021 25 point contrast-detect automaticfocus system, 49-segment exposure meter, and a tilting LCD panel with 921,000 dots resolution. It certainly has what it takes to be competitive with both the well-known Micro Four Thirds cameras from Panasonic, Olympus, as well as the more recent Samsung NX series. The magnesium-bodied NEX-5 can capture fast-moving action at 7fps and shoot Full HD (1920 x1080i), video as high-quality AVCHD file. It also comes with a clip-on flash that attaches via an attachment terminal. The new E mount system allows for the fitting of lenses, but the NEX can also accept regular Sony Alpha lenses with the LA-EA1 adapter. The Sony NEX-5 is available in the UK for just PS549, PS579 with an 18-55mm f/3.5-6.9 kit lens, and PS679 with both the 18-55mm f/3.5-6.9 and 16mm f/2.8 lenses. The NEX-5 is available in the USA with the 18-55mm f/3.5-6.9 kit lens for $700 and the 16mm f/2.8 for $650.
It’s easy to useThe NEX-5 feels, in a way, like when Sony purchased Konica Minolta’s DSLR expertise in 2005, and then unexpectedly bought the company’s camera-making arms wholesale at the beginning of 2006. The 14.2 megapixel APS CMOS sensor-sporting interchangeable lenses camera is also called the Alpha. It arrives after the well-received turn of its direct competitors.Olympus and Panasonic were the first to break through. Olympus and Panasonic were the first to announce their Micro Four Thirds system G1 in late 2008. This was the start of the entire ‘compact camera, DSLR-quality’ race. Last summer, the retro-styled Pen won over the hearts of many photo enthusiasts who are starved for new (or recycled) ideas.
We’ve seen Ricoh’s innovative lens and sensor-swapping GXR system debut to much praise, but mostly skepticism. Then Samsung introduced its mirror-less Micro Four Thirds rival, the NX10, which shares a similar look with many of Panasonic’s G series options (except the DMC-GF1). Both maintained their compact dimensions while delivering superior quality.
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While it seems that Sony is late to the party with its hybrid camera already in full swing, other big names like Pentax, Nikon, and Canon are yet to make their announcements regarding their own hybrid camera. They lack the marketing and development power of Sony so there are still a lot of ‘worse’ ditherers.
We’ll examine the current landscape and determine what the NEX-5 has to offer that makes it superior to other trailblazers. Sony believes the NEX-5 will become the best option for those who don’t want to bring both a compact camera and a DSLR on holiday.We had our first ‘play’ experience with the NEX-5 at a Sony event to celebrate the launch. There were models in outrageous fashions strutting their stuff on a catwalk.The NEX-5’s 18-55mm kit lens was too heavy to be used properly. The camera’s settings were difficult to access via the fiddly scroll wheel on the back of the camera – instead of cross keys or traditional control pads – and interior night setting was difficult. Many of our images turned out soft despite the optically stabilized kit zoom.
We tried to use the NEX-5’s Sweep Panorama feature. This feature was previously seen on Cyber-shot models. Here, it is being introduced in the Alpha range. The NEX-5 failed to respond to our panning motions and produced a single image. Although the image looks flat on the LCD of the camera, Sony claims that it can be viewed in 3D using one of its Bravia TVs via mini HDMI. In the absence of an optical viewfinder, we felt that the large, 3-inch widescreen format, 921k dot resolution display was well suited for touch screen operation. We were drawn to the large, friendly icons that listed all of the shooting options. This would have allowed us to feel more comfortable with touch screen operation. However, our curiosity was unsuccessful. Sony already uses this technology on several Cybershots. It will be included on the next generation (NEX) model/s.
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One week later, the NEX-5 arrives at the Photography Blog test bench for a second, more thoughtful appraisal. There are positive things to be found in cold light. The camera feels solid in your hand, even though it has a lens attached. We were unable to find one for review at the launch.
With the provided shoulder strap attached via side mounted lugs, it was time to head out into the sunlight. We didn’t notice one thing on first inspection but it becomes apparent when we start to experiment. The screen can tilt back and forth – or, unfortunately, outwards at 90deg. This allows for low and high angle compositions that we wouldn’t have tried without. Sony also includes High Definition video shooting at Full HD 1080i, with stereo sound, for the first time ever on an Alpha camera. The NEX-5 matches the Panasonic G-series options, and the Olympus E-PL1 with a dedicated red camcorder-style button for quick thumb-operated video access. Sony also wants to make the NEX-5 the world’s smallest interchangeable lens camera at 229g and 24.4mm deep if you don’t count its lens mount and camera grip. This is a significant feat as neither of them could be done without. The NEX-5’s low light sensitivity with flash is also expected to impress rivals. It can range from ISO 200 up to an maximum ISO 12800 equivalent setting. It’s impressive stuff and matches the specs we are used to seeing in mid-range DSLRs. How does it perform?
As with Panasonic’s GF1 directly rival (and unlike Olympus Pens), there is no in-body image stability offered by the NEX-5. This is because the NEX-5 does not offer a lens. The optically stabilized 18 to 55mm zoom can be purchased as part of a package deal for PS599 all inclusive. Although we experienced occasional softness, it worked well. It was at least as effective as the lens-based or in-camera anti-shake methodology used by other brands.
The provided lens is a key component of the NEX-5’s setup. However, with or without it attached via Sony’s new E mount (instead of the standard Sony Nex 5 Black Friday Deals 2021 Alpha mount used by other DSLRs in the family), the camera design appears a bit basic compared to its competitors – especially when viewed from front.