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Customer Review

98 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My back says this camera is great!, October 16, 2011
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This review is from: Sony NEX-5N 16.1 MP Compact Interchangeable Lens Touchscreen Camera with 18-55mm Lens (Black) (Camera)
After dragging an 18MP dSLR with 18-200 lens to Disneyland and taking only 200 shots. I have realized that for somewhat serious amateurs like me, the dSLR is no longer the answer. I need the quality without the bulk. I need wide angles. I need smart focus, face focus, face exposure because, well, I have a 1 1/2 year old who is moving fast in many different situations. Pointing a fat dSLR lens at him which cannot track him only looks worse at 18MP. I have previously used the Sony Nex 5, which is a totally different camera. The 5N is much more a serious amateur camera with better high ISO, higher Auto ISO, corrects for lens distortion (huge benefit) and no longer automatically underexposes to save the highlights. Serious amateur photographers know that every camera has certain unique aspects about them. This model year camera underexposes a bit, this one overexposes a bit, etc. This only comes by experience using the camera. I have not used the 5N long enough, but I can already tell it is in a just a bit higher league than the 5. But all these new mirrorless camera are better for amateurs because they help us frame the shot. Many people will say that a viewfinder is critical for photography. I am not on that side. I think that during the brief moment from film SLRs to digital SLRs, many photographers were using compact cameras with their screens on the back. Like myself, many people learned to frame a picture better like this. Of course, the older photographers don't like this because their near sight is not good due to age, but by framing a larger view (from a screen on the back), you can still keep 2 eyes on the subjects and enviorns. I don't expect many people to understand this, but you get better framing with a large screen on the back, hence the inclusion of "live view" with dSLR. Also, with the Sony NEX cameras, the camera will easily and silently focus video, which a dSLR cannot. I've been seeing all these videos shot with dSLRs lately and can tell 2 things: 1. the focus doesn't move because they can't do it easily, 2. when there is motion, either panning or subject motions, everything is a blur. Forget all of that, with kids, you need wide angles because you want to catch a kid with their enviornment. Try finding an affordable wide angle (<28mm) on a cropped dSLR sensor. None of them cheap. With the Sony NEX you can get a 24mm for cheap and then add a cheap adapter and get 18mm. Try finding an 18mm lens for a dSLR, it'll cost as much as the body itself. The compactness, the lightness, the quality of the sensor (as good as my dSLR by all measures), the ease of wide angles makes this a no brainer. It has the latest tech all to help the photographer like Auto highlights to even out exposures because sometimes we have to shoot at noon. It has face recognition exposure to keep faces exposed correctly. It has a cool stop motion 6 merged shots to look even better than one with super high ISO. A fun auto stiching panorama mode. Before I forget, it has a touch screen to pinpoint focusing and to swipe playback like an Iphone. Sony has everyone beat at this point because they have more real feature to help the photographer and have the best performing sensor in the market. 10FPS! on a consumer camera- that is amazing. They should've called it the 'Amazing' 5.

EDIT: After a few months of becoming my standard carry with me camera, I have these thoughts: The ability to attach any lens is great but time consuming. Generally, the standard zoom is more revealing and more convenient. Technique is more important. The sensor quality is just as great as originally- Images have bite, but some may say that it is not Leica-like smudgey/creamy. Just wait for Sony's 35mm F1.8 E series. That will put the cream in your coffee. Not really a PRO camera as the spinning wheel is too easy to activate with your thumb. Really a good stealth camera like a Leica- "snick, snick" is all anyone will hear. Tech helps- faces expose better, tracks eyes better. Rarely use flash, but flash itself is good. Tough- I even dented the lens. Very stealth with the flipout screen. Feels like a more intimate camera to get creative with than a machine gun. My uncle has a Sony 900 with 85mm large aperature lens which he really enjoys, "shooting."

2014 update: Even though I had to send it in to get a dark piece of dust out of the sensor/AA filter stack, it still has the best video I have ever taken and can do quick snaps with the kids. It even looks good at 3200. The small size and the small size of the lenses trumps almost anything out there, even now. I use my 16mm+Fisheye to take all kinds of videos and amusement park photos. It cannot be beat- unless I get the 20mm which reportedly is better.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 31, 2012 9:01:50 AM PDT
J. Carbone says:
How long can this camera shoot video for?

Posted on May 30, 2014 10:24:07 AM PDT
Fee says:
can it shoot video continuously for as long as your memory card allows? I am looking at one of these NEX for as much video as pictures, better than a mid range camcorder? I wish i could pick your brain as a total newcomer to all of this somewhere better than amazons comment section.
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