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Showing 1-10 of 151 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 230 reviews
on July 31, 2016
fantastic video and photo quality,shoots very good 1080 60p video at 28 mbps in avchd format,image sensor has really good dynamic range for both videos and photos,camera is very small and compact like a point and shoot but with better image quality very easy to get blurry backgrounds.there is no timelapse mode or intervalometer but timelapse is possible with and IR led trigger on an iphone or android device with a third part app and IR led that plugs into the headphone jack btw it works great :) auto focus is good not the fastest but reliable,camera somtimes with overheat on very hot days while recording alot of video on cooler days no issue at all with temperature.i have shot on a canon dslr in the past and the image quality is comparable but the sony has better high iso video and photos then the canon t3i also video is more detailed in my oppion.overall amazing camera super compact with great image quality.well worth the money....
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on October 21, 2012
The Sony NEX-5r has just come out and the price on this camera, the 5n, has dropped to around $500. After doing a fair amount of research, I decided to buy the 5n due to a variety of stellar reviews and the hard to beat new price. I recently went on a two week vacation in Europe and used both this camera and my previous camera, a Lumix Lx3.

THE GOOD:
WOW. The image quality of the 5n is amazing. The color saturation is incredible even at high ISOs. And the metering is fairly spot on in most situations. It handles complex lighting situations very well, generally getting a well balanced exposure. For instance, a standard outdoor shot will show great color and detail throughout the image, from the pavement to the sky. The Lx3 on the other hand, will only be able to handle one or the other, with the sky being blown out in most situations (keep in mind the Lx3 has a much smaller sensor and is from 2008; still, it is a very good camera at iso100). Contrast is also excellent and objects in the foreground feel closer than objects in the background. In comparison, the Lx3 tends to feel a bit flat overall.

ISO is usable up to 6400, after which it gets chunky and crummy. Still, you can get great shots at extremely low light with amazing color that was just not possible at this price range until now.

The kit lens is good and much better than I expected based upon some of the reviews I read. Still, in this regard the Lx3 is better. The Lx3 is just a little bit sharper and that makes a difference. Also, I found that I didn't like the distortion on the widest setting with the 5n and much prefer the Lx3's widest setting. In addition, the kit lens is pretty slow. Still, it is a good quality lens that I am happy using, though at a higher price point (5r, natch) I might grumble more about the slowness/sharpness.

I found the grip on the camera and the general feel to be good and had no problems in this area.

The screen is pretty good in bright light. Not great, but pretty good. And the fact that it moves aprox. 90 degrees up is a godsend for a variety of situations.

THE NEUTRAL:
The menu system takes a bit of getting used to, but once learned, is fairly easy to navigate. I found using the manual controls more intuitive than the touch controls, but to each his own.

The size of the camera with the kit lens verges on being too big, but manages to still feel compact enough. My wife was able to fit the camera into a fairly small purse. Also, it is very light in weight which helps.

The color accuracy is very good. The camera captures what you see very well. However, when I look online at some shot comparisons of an outdoor scene with one of the Olympus PENs (don't remember if it was the 2 or the 3) the Olympus just looked better, though it was clear that the Olympus was not color accurate. On the other hand, the PEN series seems to have horrible grain at higher ISOs, so this immediately took the PEN out of the running for me. Anyway, I haven't tried any of the other color settings on the 5n, so this is more of a thinking-out-loud comment than any real statement. In general, I think color accuracy wins the day.

THE BAD:
Ugh. There is no in-camera anti-shake. And this takes a lot of getting used to. I'd wager that a good 20% of shots will be missed by anyone using this camera until they learn how to compensate for this issue by using a higher ISO than should be needed or using the shutter priority setting or whatever else. Major whiff on the part of Sony and basically keeps this camera from being truly great. There are pictures that you'll take that you will think are in focus by viewing the monitor that will be ruined by motion blur upon viewing on your home computer. Basically, until you learn how to compensate for the lack of anti-shake, it is a must to zoom into the photo to ensure that it isn't blurry (on the playback screen). In a dark setting, I can take a photo with the Lx3 at 1/15 with little worry of motion blur. But with the Sony it a crap-shoot.

The shutter is extremely loud.

The camera takes a bit too long to start up. This is only noticeable if you're trying to take a a quick picture of something... by the time you've taken off the lens cap and started up the camera the shot will be missed.

The focus isn't particularly fast or good. And it is especially bad in low light, even though the red light emanating from the camera is extremely bright.

If you order the black 5n, the lens that comes with it will be silver and not black to match the body.

I didn't really use the flash, so no word on its function. But the color of the flash is a sort of grey-silver, and it doesn't match the silver on the lens. So if you care about the aesthetics of a thing, then a black body with a silver lens with a grey flash starts to look a bit like Frankenstein's monster.

Camera strap is adequate but a bit on the cheap side.

No camera case is included.

The menu system and camera controls are not very intuitive. I've read that they are much better with the newer 5r. But in comparison to the Lumix, where you can switch aspect ratios manually, switch shooting modes manually, and in general access everything you want a little easier, the Sony really loses in this area.

It is somehow easy to accidentally adjust the settings on the camera to under-expose (exposure compensation). I was never able to figure out how I was doing this, but it happened enough times that I started to learn to check the exposure compensation setting if my pictures looked like they came out too dark in a light setting that should have been fine.
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on March 18, 2012
I have a large dslr camera, and bought the NEX 5n to have as a second camera. We frequently get together with friends and go to dinner, and I don't like to use a flash in a restaurant. My SLR with a fast lens does o.k, but its bulky and its also more attention-getting than a small camera.

I took the NEX 5n into a dimly lit restaurant and using the Anti-Motion Blur mode, I was THRILLED with the photos I got. This is the camera I've been looking for for a long time.

My camera does not suffer from the "clicking sound" some have trouble with during video shooting.

Due to its very small size, there isn't room for a lot of buttons and dials, so most of the camera's settings have to be reached via a rather cumbersome on screen menu. You can customize 3 of the buttons on the back of the camera, and that helps tremendously, but there are still several things I wish were more readily available without fumbling through the menu.

There is no viewfinder so you must frame your photos using the LCD screen, which can be difficult in bright light. This can be improved by adjusting the brightness setting, or for $300+ you can purchase an add-on electronic viewfinder. If you use an add on viewfinder, you have to remove the flash because they both use the only attachment fixture...so it's either flash OR viewfinder, but not both at the same time. The camera is so good with low light that I almost never use the flash, but because the flash comes with a little plastic case that attaches right to the camera strap, the flash is always handy if needed.

The bottom line: I LOVE this camera, and though the menu is cumbersome I'd still buy it again because the low light capabilities are awesome.
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on July 22, 2012
I won't get too in depth with details and camera jargon. Just an easy to understand review for the other amateur shooters out there. I've had a couple of DSLR's in the past 7 years and that is all I've shot with. Have been wanting something smaller that could produce equal quality images. I'm coming from a D90, which is not a very big camera to begin with, but this Nex 5n is such a great traveler for the difference in weight alone. If you walk around town with a full size DSLR slung over your shoulder you will begin to get fatigued. I don't even notice I'm carrying this little guy. So far I only have the 16mm and the kit 18-55 lens. Threw on a filter for each and went to shooting on a recent vacation. I couldn't believe the quality of pics I got. Tried out the manual modes, but mostly just used Auto because that is what I wanted. A camera that is just easy to use and takes great pics. The intelligent auto is great. Always gets it right. Even in dark situations I've been able to capture excellent lighting by using the layer mode. --- takes several pictures and smooths them out into 1 image. It's such a cool feature I found myself using it a lot.

Bottom line, this camera is packed with features. I don't care about the video feature, but it works well. This was not an impulse buy. However, if it had been, I would have kept the camera anyway. Now my D90 is just sitting in the closet getting lonely. I'll still use it in the future, but I'm having fun with this camera. I notice a lot of people getting their first DSLR for one reason or another. I think that it's worth considering a camera like this if you are not a professional. This will give most people all the image quality they will ever need and then some. The ILC type cameras just seem to be a new technology that a lot of people don't know about so they aren't considering them. I'll say it again, give these some serious thought if you aren't a pro. Much easier to carry around and they don't look like a big target for a thief if you are out in the streets. Only downfall is the live view LCD doesn't let the battery last as long as a DSLR. My D90 stays charged for months. This 5N has to be charged at the end of the day.
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on April 30, 2012
I am a long time Canon DSLR owner, my current being a T1i, and a small selection of lenses. I have enjoyed that camera for years, and it's done great taking photos for portraits, weddings, family events, and outdoor/landscape stuff. I started looking for a new camera, because I wanted better high ISO performance (I shoot a lot of photos in low light situations), and something lighter while still taking good photos. I learned about mirrorless cameras as a "bridge" between point-and-shoot and DSLR cameras, and from my reading, these new NEX camera sensors were rivaling their DSLR counterparts (low-mid end DSLRs).

I decided to take the plunge and try one out. The newer NEX-5N seemed to be the popular pick, with big improvements over the NEX-5, and in many ways rivaled the NEX-7. I've had this camera for a few days now, and have taken probably 45 photos. So far, the ISO performance has been very impressive. It totally beats the pants off of my T1i in low light with no flash. That's not to say that there is no noise, but at ISO3200, I can capture very pleasant photos, which I've never really been able to do before. The shutter response is nice and fast, and in burst mode can shoot a lot a photos in just a few seconds.

I really like how much smaller an lighter this camera is. I don't feel like I am toting a bowling ball around. The on screen functions take getting used to if you are already accustomed to a DSLR with analog wheels and buttons. I have taken to it pretty quick, and have also programmed the custom button settings to my liking.

The kit lens seems on par to most kit lenses. It does a decent job, and is good as a general use/walk around, but leaves you wanting more like a f2.8 zoom or 1.8 prime in creative situations. The include flash...is a flash. :) It's direct only, and doesn't provide any bounce option. It's fairly bright and acceptable for single person or a small group scenario. I do very little direct flash lighting, so it's not something I would use much.

I have ordered the optional flash, which has bounce options. I have also recently read that sony is making a hotshoe adapter to allow owners to use traditional SLR flash units, like my Canon 550EX.

The adjustable live view screen works really well. It allows for some creative shooting, without have to guess what the shot might come out like. The "auto" mode actually works fairly well for general use, but you'll want to learn manual mode to create exactly what you want. I noticed that sometimes in auto mode, it would choose to not flash, and instead crank up ISO to 1600 or even 3200 for a shot.

I have not yet experienced the clicking type sound that some earlier purchasers have experienced, but i'll try some different scenarios, and see if mine is ok.

Overall, I am very happy with this camera, It's light, it's fast, and it takes good photos (even when the light doesn't agree). I've also ordered the 50 1.8 lens, and am looking forward to it.
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on March 11, 2015
Boy this little guy and i have had some serious adventures. I got it back in 2013 so for 2 yrs strong its been going, way over 10,000 exposures. And its only now that the sensor shows an increase of noise in the pictures. Hands down an amazing little camera, and at the price it goes for now its a steal.

[If you've got extra spending cash check out the big brother. Nex7]

I've had it in 0 degree temperatures to the point it stops working (multiple times). My niece spilled a cup of coffee on it. I've shot in a light rain with nothing covering it to the point its practically dripping wet. I've dropped it. The tripod has been knocked over with it attached. Its been thru hell to say the least. And its still working.

Performance wise its a monster. The amazing shutter speed can "freeze water" as I like to say. I kind of wish i wasn't doing this review on my phone so I could post some of my pictures as examples. Combine this camera with an external flash linked with wireless triggers and you've got yourself some serious results (given you know what your doing).

If your looking for Incredible Power with professional results at an affordable price, or your already a professional and just need a side piece that can keep up, this is what your looking for.
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on May 30, 2012
I've been using the 5N for 4 months now, and have to say I'm VERY impressed, having tried various DSLRs and Panasonic/Olympus ""EVIL" systems. I waited for a couple months for the NEX 7, but am glad I stopped waiting. While the 7 has a higher pixel count the 5N is far better in low light, and is significantly smaller and lighter. How many times do you really need over 16 Mega Pixels? Also, the cost of the 5N is literally 50% less. The 5N has been the IDEAL travel camera (we just returned from the BVI): pocketable with the 16mm and an after market 28mm Russian lens using the Leica M-39 adapter. I HIGHLY recommend this camera, as well as the 18-55 lens, the 16mm and the fisheye adapter and an extra battery, as well as a large fast memory chip (64GB Komputer Bay class 10 works very well); and the extra audio adapter (but only if you plan to take advantage of the excellent 1080p video). The bottom line: with many cameras available, this this the one I use constantly ...not to mention the rest of my family, who also have very nice fancy cameras of their own, but all prefer mine.

PROS: Small, light weight, solid, high quality, reliable. Best available ergonomics. Excellent features. Excellent sharpness, color saturation and low light performance. HDR built-in works well, but is better if you increase the range +- 4-6. The flash works surprisingly well- at close range, but be careful to remove lens "sun-guards" to avoid a possible small flash shadow effect(also sometimes need higher f-stop to avoid overexposure). Feels fantastic in your hand. Nice display screen, with excellent display options.

Cons: Nothing major- but it can always be better: "Native" E-Lens selection is still somewhat limited, although the only thing I really want that is missing now is a good light weight, lower f-stop fixed telephoto (100-200mm) that has the built-in auto focus & anti shake features (Available already with adapters). Also know, that it will take some getting used-- to learn all the many, many features available, especially if this is your first Sony NEX. --Practice, and get a good guide book.

Update: 2013 Jan. I added the 80-200mm zoom telephoto lens, and am still extremely happy with the quality and versatility. The Menus still seem a bit cumbersome.
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on July 14, 2012
I looked at the NEX-3, considered the NEX-5 then waited for the next iteration (the 5N); was briefly swayed by the NEX-7, and finally clicked on the 5N. Owning it now for almost a month, I continue to be excited with the pictures I'm taking.
Some "experts" are fond of saying that consumer digital cameras are not fit for substantial-sized prints, but this week I printed a wide-angle street scene sunset, taken using the Auto HDR setting. Tack-sharp printed at 13x19, I was blown away by the detail--individual bricks visible; no noise/grain, excellent color rendition.

I was able to capture what I saw.

I've been interested in photography for many years (bought my first SLR in the early 70s) and although I've frequently been pleased with the result of my effort, all too often I have been disappointed when recalling what I saw as I snapped the shot versus what was printed or captured on the slide/negative.

To a degree that began to change when I began digital photography a dozen years ago. But this camera is the first I have owned that allows me to take pictures that are, simply, what I see.

I still own Sony's DSC-R1, their older prosumer non-interchangeable-lens APS-C camera. It was known for its great lens and sensor, but had no image stabilization. I loved it, but didn't love its size and weight, nor did I love having to often use a tripod (for situations in which the NEX-5n doesn't require one).
However the DSC-R1 remains the preferred camera when quiet is a requirement, or when I need to 'sneak up' on a subject and photograph a camera-shy subject without looking at them. The LCD screen on the R1 will swivel a full 360 degrees! And of course the shutter is almost completely inaudible, so no one is aware a photo was taken.
But the NEX-5N sounds like the SLRs that spawned it--the kuh-lunk of its shutter is a dead giveaway to subjects that they've been snapped. This is why--despite the NEX's diminutive size, interchangeable lenses, stabilization, HDR, and other features--I haven't sold the R1.

But the photo I described earler? I couldn't have taken it with the R1.

And the video. Oh wow. I am able to take excellent 1080p video with decent stereo sound and still have (as others have mentioned) all that in just one device. Now I'm looking for video editing software with the knowledge that this will deliver raw footage I won't need to be ashamed of on high-definition screens.

Summing up, finally I'm able to get the pictures I envision when I compose them. My father was an excellent golfer who played golf from his pre-teens into his later years without a hole-in-one until he was over sixty. Photographically speaking I feel like I'm hitting holes-in-one pretty often these days. It's the NEX-5N that's made it possible.

UPDATE 12/27/2012

This camera continues to impress with sharp photos with the kit lens and the tele-zoom (Sony E-mount 55-210mm).

At times it seems to be underexposing slightly, perhaps 1/3 F-Stop less than I thought I was getting. However none of those exposures were unusable, and all still had good shadow detail despite the apparent underexposure.

Thus far I have had absolutely none of the clicking sounds during video that some folks described having with earlier iterations of the NEX-5N. The videos are excellent, with good stabilization and decent sound. But friends who have seen the videos are impressed with the sharpness and quality, and have even commented on the relatively low amount of camera shake at high telephoto magnification.

The only negative I have experienced is some binding of the kit zoom lens at the outer end of the zoom ratio (40mm to 55mm). I am seriously considering sending it back to Sony, but fear I will not only miss having the lens to use while it is being examined under warranty, but that Sony may simply glance at it and send it back un-repaired. While I believe in Sony's ability to design great products, I am not impressed with their warranty service and tech support. Sony needs to learn from Amazon: When you allow product returns and exchanges, you actually enhance sales of product. If Sony would re-commit to being a consumer-oriented service organization and not only a product manufacturer, it might see a resurgence of consumer loyalty, along with a company turnaround.
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on December 13, 2012
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Added 4-24-14 AFTER MORE yEXPERIENCE

This camera is really impressive over time, as I have now had several of my club member's cameras for a day or two loan, and I find the 5N unbeatable. The 5N even equals the $1100 Oly EM-5, esp. at high ISO's.

My latest kick is the panorama - it's so addictive (try it in B&W !!) Also, I'm using video a lot more now than I ever did with previous cameras - this camera has very well focused and exposed video.

I have customized the "soft keys" or buttons (Look under "Settings - Custom Key Settings"). It has made a world of difference in my speed of shooting. I have the buttons set :

A> bottom button (in Auto the Help key) : Focusing area
B> center-of-ring button (in Auto the Mode selector ) can choose three things: Metering area / WB / D-range
C> right click on ring (in Auto the Live selector) : ISO

ORIGINAL REVIEW :
-----------------------------------------
Indoor no-flash, the Sony NEX 5N is pretty much a game changer. Most cameras have to use slow shutter speeds indoors in ambient light, because they just can't control noise and smear at ISO 800 and above. For instance, I wouldn't let my nice Lumix LX5 go above ISO 800 indoors. Now, using the NEX 5N Auto mode indoors will often result in ISO 1600 or even 3200, and there's no problem : the APS-C sensor, and the processor's programming let me use ISO 3200 like it was 800...!! I then have a much faster shutter speed available, to help stop the blur of most kid and pet movements. Auto WB indoors is sometimes tricky, but by setting WB using a white napkin or other reference, the 5N is near amazing.

How did I come to choose the NEX 5N ?? Well, I am retired, and I spent a LOT of time on forums for Sony, Panasonic, Canon, etc... But I especially played a lot with dpReview.com's "High ISO comparison" tool:

One day I put the Canon G15 against the Nikon P7700 and the Lumix LX7. For the fourth and final unit, I happened to choose the Samsung NX1000, because I had seen it on a big sale at Amazon. The Samsung with its APS-C sensor was so superior, that I began to look for other cams that used the same type sensor. DpReview had the NEX-5N rated at 79, so I put it on my list to play with. The NEX simply blew everyone's socks off, including in later comparisons the Micro 4/3's from Nikon and Olympus. I watched Amazon for several weeks, and in mid-November I was lucky to find the 5N at $140 less than the small Sony RX100 and the Samsung NX1000, which had been my two top choices up to that time.

The NEX-5N also has near-excellent video. There is no "clicking sound" that early buyers sometimes mentioned, but once in a while there is a background motor noise during quiet periods of recording.

Something else I really like: the 5N has a quieter shutter than any DSLR. All DSLRs are noisy beasts in comparison, very good for calling attention to themselves at the wrong time. The NEX-5N is of course still louder than say,, a LX7, but if you set the "Front Curtain Shutter" option to "enabled", the sound is very much reduced.

Some reviews say the included 18-55 kit lens is only Very Good, not great; mine has no noticeable problems, and I've become a lot more critical than I once was. In tests side by side, the NEX slightly outdid my Pentax K-30 and K-01 kit lenses for sharpness in most every type of scene. Auto focus is near perfect in good light, and very good in low light.
Macro with the kit zoom, using menu setting "Camera - AF/MF - DMF". can give some pretty nice shots, but you will need to stay 9-10" away with this lens to focus. By cropping, you will get a great photo, since the NEX is so sharp and noiseless at low ISO.

CONCLUSION:
============
A./ This camera far exceeds premium compacts and almost every micro 4/3rds for lack of noise at every ISO. With the kit zoom, you will need a strap rather than a pocket. You may like to look for a good used Sony 16mm pancake lens, or a used 16-50 power zoom. I highly recommend the 1650PZ , as it makes the 5N ready for almost every situation.

B./ Compared to any DSLR under $1200, the 5N is their photographic equal, and 50% lighter to carry. Put a protective UV filter on, and you're good to go street shooting out of the box.

C./ However, the 5N is not a replacement for an action photographer using a DSLR in the field, where frequent ISO , WB, Focus Point, HDR, and other setting changes have to be made on-the-fly. This is foremost a great family camera.
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I doubt few people have had hands-on access to more cameras in the $150 - $800 range that I've had, through the amateur club I just joined last summer. Join an informal group or a real photography club - you'll have a great time and be much better able to decide which camera, at what price, is the best for your needs.
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on October 17, 2012
I bought my NEX-5N from Amazon and it arrived promptly on 10/17/2012. I've been reading the reviews so one of the first things I tried was the video! And I am sad to say but I too am a victim of the clicking noises. However, I will admit that it takes great pictures. I am returning and trying my luck with a second one... I give Sony 2 stars for continuing to sell these bad batches and also for letting this type of basic usability issue pass their QC process.

UPDATE - Amazon delivered my replacement NEX-5N on 10/19/2012 but that too was clicking. So when I asked for a 3rd replacement they said the policy is 2 tries then refund so I'll be returning both after all. Sony is currently selling this camera for 499 plus tax (no where near as good as the current Amazon price) but I'll try my luck there since I do like the camera.

P.S. I was at my local Best Buy yesterday and held one of their demo's to my ear and shook it a bit and clearly heard the rattling noise so I guess there's a lot of these bad ones out there:(.

Final UPDATE 10/24/2012 - I came home with my 3rd NEX-5N, this time from the SONY store and it had the same clicking issue!! I tried all three side by side and realized my first one from Amazon clicked considerably less than the other two (though obviously not perfect since it put me through all this adventure).

So based on my personal experience temporarily owning 3 NEX-5Ns AND playing with one at Best Buy, I hesitate to believe that there are actually models out there with zero video recording issues. My conclusion is that the noise is likely not as pronounced in some models or some buyers may not be as concerned because they love the good quality pics it takes.
I myself am leaning more towards keeping the 1st NEX-5N from Amazon since the camera seems to work well and I likely won't record videos as much. I have a few more days to make up my mind before having to ship back for refund.
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