First look: Sony NEX-5N

First look: Sony NEX-5N
Rating
Overall:

The Sony NEX-5N has fiddlesome controls, but comes with fine features and fantastic image quality.

Does Sony’s new compact system camera have enough about it to stand out from the swappable lens crowd? Short answer: yes

Sony NEX-5N

Sony NEX-5N – The next NEX

Sony may not have been first to the compact system camera party, but its NEX range of swappable lens snappers is mightily impressive – and that’s a trend that continues with new model the NEX-5N.

This camera is pretty much the ‘NEX-5 Redux’, looking exactly the same on the outside as the first-generation NEX-5 but packing more megapixels, a larger ISO range and a touchscreen.

Given that the NEX-5 was, at the time of its launch, the smallest interchangeable lens camera on the planet, the use of this old body shape doesn’t feel like a backwards step – or at least not a major one.

Sony NEX-5N

Sony NEX-5N – Design

The NEX-5N may be small and lightweight but flimsy and plasticky it is not. The body is magnesium alloy – granite-like in its solidity – and even the tilting screen feels like it’d require some serious force to pry it off (note to Sony PR: we didn’t try to actually pry it off).

The body’s also smoother than the face of a choirboy, thanks to Sony’s aversion to buttons. While many compact system cameras rival a flight deck for controls, Sony has stripped this one back to the basics: there’s a handful of buttons and a single dial, so you’ll have to make a lot of control tweaks using the on-screen menu system and cursor controls.

Sony NEX-5N

Sony NEX-5N – Handling

While the basic idea behind this is sound, we reckon Sony’s gone a bit too far: the lack of a mode dial is the biggest pain in the posterior, as it now takes a few seconds to flip between, say, Sweep Panorama and Aperture Priority modes – on cameras with a physical mode dial you can do this almost instantly.

The menu system is simple enough, so after a bedding-in period you’ll probably forgive Sony its trespasses against buttons. And otherwise, this is a very fine camera indeed: it autofocuses with lightning speed, can shoot at up to 10fps, captures HD video in either AVCHD or MP4 and offers a variety of showy (but also handy) modes like Sweep Panorama and Auto HDR.

Sony NEX-5N – Image quality

Image quality is excellent, with low light shooting a particular strength. The NEX-5N can shoot at higher ISOs than most of its rivals without suffering the picture-ruining ravages of grainy noise, so if you’re looking for a dinky camera for dingy bars and other gloom-zones, this could be the model for you.

Source: Copyright © Stuff.tv

See more about:  cameras  |  nex5n  |  sony  |  compact  |  cameras
 
 

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