Customer Review

47 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Giant Killer! Awesome Still Images and Video Quality, September 21, 2011
This review is from: Sony NEX-5N 16.1 MP Compact Interchangeable Lens Touchscreen Camera with 18-55mm Lens (Black) (Camera)
I'm a long time Nikon user, going back over 40 years. I work in technology, presently, and have owned digital cameras since 1990 when the first consumer digital camera, the Logitech Fotoman, came out which produced 320 x 240 pixel B&W images. Since that camera, I've owned over 35 digital cameras and have witnessed the evolution of digital imaging, with great excitement, to the present day.

All the while I've been waiting for the size and weight of digital SLR's to come down. This has now been accomplished by most manufacturers with some very small true SLR's from Nikon, Canon, etc., along with a huge amount of point-and-shoots from all manufacturers.

The challenge for me, which kept me buying, was to find the quality of a digital SLR (APS-C variety) to fill the void between the relatively low image quality of the P&S's and the ponderous size of high quality SLR cameras. I find that I really can't carry my Nikon D300 or even D90 all day on field trips to cities that I shoot without being worn out at the end of the day ("Father Time" isn't any help in this equation, either).

Enter the Sony Alpha NEX-5N. I passed on the original 5N do to the cost and the fact that I have 4 cameras presently in play. I got the 5N primarily as something to play around with, not thinking that it would rival or replace my Nikon SLRs. The high ISO quality and resolution at most ISO's really amazes me. Although the 18-55mm kit lens isn't the highest quality it is substantial enough to render some really nice images. Anything I'm not totally satisfied with can be tuned up in LightRoom, anyway, as are all of my images.

I carried the NEX-5N around New York City this past weekend and didn't even know I had a camera around my neck! It is that light! Some have written in their reviews that they want a wrist strap for their 5N's. Personally, I stay away from them. Once you strap something around your wrist you really lose the use of one hand, unless you want to bang the camera into everything. The neck strap allows you to pick the camera up when you need to shoot and have both hands free as you are moving around doing other things. I recommend the Optech Classic straps with the loop connectors. Not too bulky for such a small camera and only around $20.

I plan on getting the "Trufinder" OLED eye level viewfinder in November when it comes out, albeit with the Sony high price. Certainly, I don't plan on getting rid of my Nikons which are used for studio photography as well as field photography. As yet, there is no way to directly link my studio electronic flash to the 5N, other than tweaking down the power and using the photo eyes on the sudio flash to sync with it. The supplimental flash is actually pretty decent, by the way, and is really tiny, in keeping with the size of the camera.

A few negatives preventing the NEX-5N from achieving perfection are: The size being almost too small for some hands, (I've read that the 7N is slightly larger with better ergonomics, but at double the price, I'll wait), video audio clicking sounds that Sony has acknowledged are not just our imagination (I don't shoot enough "quiet video" for that to matter, but video HD qualtity on my Sony Bravia is stunning!), and the current lack of lenses which should improve over time. Also, the somewhat klugey menu interface is clumsy, but I have assigned the most used functions to the soft keys which makes changing ISO, white balance, metering methods, etc., direct.

Finally, with all the tech toys and tools coming out at the rate that they do, we should all remember the one golden rule of tools and technology: "The most flexible element in the interface between humans and machines is the person, him or herself." We forget that when we use something enough, we adapt, by nature. Nothing is perfect!

NYC Gallery of Sony NEX-5N photos here: [...]
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 2, 2011 11:53:36 AM PDT
F. Chen says:
I also have a nikon d90 and I'm considering getting this camera to make it easier to carry since I have a new baby. I mainly have a 35mm f/1.8 on my d90. I'm very interested to see how you feel about the low light photos from the sony vs the nikon d90. Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 19, 2011 4:29:52 AM PDT
I have used my friend's D90 in low light and the NEX 5N with 16mm f/2.8 and there is no comparison, the NEX is hands down the better IQ, both in dynamic range and noise.
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