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The Sony NEX-5N is an update to the NEX-5 - it gives the camera a new touch screen giving easier control of options, as well as an updated 16.1 megapixel sensor, and the ability to add an electronic viewfinder. The electronic viewfinder is rather unique in that is features an OLED screen with 2.359million dots!
The Sony NEX-5N is the same as the NEX-5, but with these additional or updated features:
- 16.1 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
- Object tracking
- 1200-zone multi-pattern metering
- 3 inch touch screen, 921k dots
- Support for EVF
- Optional XGA OLED EVF
- Full HD, AVCHD v2, 50p,50i,25p, PASM shooting
- Photo creativity touch interface (background defocus, colour, brightness, vividness, picture effect)
- Additional creative effects: HDR Painting,
- Face registration
- Soft skin effect
- Speed priority continuous mode at up to 10fps
- Ultrasonic anti dust system
- Customizable keys
- Lens aberration correction
- MF Assist and Peaking functions
- Smart Accessory Terminal 2
- Battery performance 430 photos
- Magnesium Alloy exterior
- Body weight 210g
There's also a new Sony Alpha adapter, the LA-EA2, with translucent mirror technology, it provides high speed auto focus with Alpha lenses, and features a built in motor for lenses without built in motor. For more information have a look at our NEX-5N First Look Review.
Sony NEX-5N Sensor
With the new adapter, you can add great lenses such as the 35mm f/1.4 G lens and get extremely quick focusing on the NEX system. Sample photos taken with the Sony NEX-5N and 35mm f/1.4 G Lens can be viewed in the equipment database.
New OLED Electronic ViewFinder (EVF) - with 2.359 million dots the extremely high resolution electronic viewfinder gives an excellent view of the subject, and is of a higher resolution than the 921k dot screen. Although the screen does work very well outdoors in bright sunlight, there are times when it is difficult to see and the EVF helps massively in this respect.
Battery life is improved with a battery life rating of 410 shots. In our testing we took over 220 shots and the battery life was showing as having over 50% available, this is an improvement over the Sony NEX-5 who's battery life was rated at 330 shot.
Now that the camera has a touch screen, the way you control the camera and interacted with it, has changed, and now pressing the screen will let you change options quickly without necessarily having to go into the menus so much. Here's an overview of the touch screen in operation:
Speed in use:
Speed - we tested the Sony NEX-5N, and compared it to the NEX-C3 and Samsung NX11. You can also compare the results to the new Panasonic Lumix G3, and Olympus PEN E-P3 as well as others.
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response||0.35||0.2||0.3|
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response||0.35||0.2||0.3|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||1.0||0.9||1.3
|Shot to Shot (without flash)||0.7 (1.5 with AF)
|Shot to Shot with Flash||1.8||0.7||1.1|
(shots before slow down)
|5.5fps (13 shots)||10fps (10 shots)
||3fps (15 shots)
|Continuous Shooting (flash)||2fps||2fps||2fps (infinite shots)|
|Continuous Shooting (RAW)||6fps (6 shots)||10fps (7 shots)
||3fps (5 shots)
* 14-42mm Olympus M Zuiko 14-42mm II R lens used for the GF3 camera, tested with the new Samsung Class 10 memory card.
The speed has improved over the NEX-C3 and NEX-5 with quicker focus, shutter response, and much quicker continuous shooting at 10fps. Shot to shot was also very good even with flash on.
equipment database where you can also add your own photos and review:
Sony NEX-5N Sample Photos
Portrait 1/80 sec | f/4.5 | 42.0 mm | ISO 500
1/250 sec | f/8.0 | 18.0 mm | ISO 100
1/200 sec | f/7.1 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
HDR 1/200 sec | f/7.1 | 18.0 mm | ISO 100
Sample photos show very little red eye in the portrait photo and there is good detail. Colours are bright and saturated and detail is generally good. HDR mode helps expand dynamic range, keeping detail in the shadow areas and highlight areas.
Sony NEX-5N Lens test images
Wide 1/200 sec | f/7.1 | 18.0 mm | ISO 100
Telephoto 1/250 sec | f/9.0 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
Trees 1/80 sec | f/4.5 | 18.0 mm | ISO 100
Macro 1/100 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 400
Lens test images show good detail in both the wide angle and telephoto shots. There is very little chromatic aberration or purple fringing, but where there is some it is not excessive. Macro performance is reasonable for a kit lens giving the ability to take some detailed close up photos.
Sony NEX-5N ISO test images
1/10 sec | f/5.0 | 49.0 mm | ISO 100
1/20 sec | f/5.0 | 49.0 mm | ISO 200
1/40 sec | f/5.0 | 49.0 mm | ISO 400
1/80 sec | f/5.0 | 49.0 mm | ISO 800
1/125 sec | f/6.3 | 49.0 mm | ISO 1600
1/160 sec | f/7.1 | 49.0 mm | ISO 3200
1/250 sec | f/9.0 | 49.0 mm | ISO 6400
1/400 sec | f/9.0 | 49.0 mm | ISO 12800
1/800 sec | f/9.0 | 49.0 mm | ISO 25600
ISO test images show some pincushion distortion. At ISO100 all the way to ISO1600 noise is very low. At ISO3200 noise starts to become visible, and images become slightly softer. ISO6400 shows more noise, but detail is still good and the results are very usable. Although at ISO12800 and above noise is the most prominent, and images may be best used resized on the web or processed further to reduce noise more.
Sony NEX-5N White-balance test images
AWB Tungsten 1/30 sec | f/4.0 | 27.0 mm | ISO 200
Tungsten Preset 1/30 sec | f/4.0 | 27.0 mm | ISO 200
AWB Fluorescent 1/15 sec | f/4.0 | 27.0 mm | ISO 200
Fluorescent Preset 1/15 sec | f/4.0 | 27.0 mm | ISO 200
White balance images show the camera performing well using Auto White Balance under fluorescent lighting, although better results are available under tungsten lighting by using the tungsten preset. Detail is good in these photos thanks to the higher resolution sensor.
Panoramic 1/200 sec | f/10.0 | 18.0 mm | ISO 100 - The sweep panorama mode works well where you simply press the shutter button and rotate with the camera. The camera will stitch the photographs together automatically.
Sony NEX-5N Digital filters
Normal 1/25 sec | f/4.0 | 23.0 mm | ISO 200
Toycam 1/60 sec | f/4.0 | 23.0 mm | ISO 200
Pop 1/25 sec | f/4.0 | 23.0 mm | ISO 200
Posterization 1/25 sec | f/4.0 | 23.0 mm | ISO 200
Retro 1/30 sec | f/4.0 | 23.0 mm | ISO 200
Soft High Key 1/6 sec | f/4.0 | 23.0 mm | ISO 200
Partial Color Red 1/30 sec | f/4.0 | 23.0 mm | ISO 200
High contrast mono 1/30 sec | f/4.0 | 23.0 mm | ISO 200
Soft focus 1/30 sec | f/4.0 | 23.0 mm | ISO 200
HDR Painting 1/30 sec | f/4.0 | 23.0 mm | ISO 200
Rich Tone Mono 1/30 sec | f/4.0 | 23.0 mm | ISO 200
Miniature 1/30 sec | f/4.0 | 23.0 mm | ISO 200
Digital Filters - there are a number of filters and effects available, with the choice of: Toycam, Pop, Posterization, Retro, Soft High Key, Partial Colour Red, High contrast mono, Soft focus, HDR painting, Rich Tone Mono, and Miniature.
Lenses available: there are seven lenses currently available (16mm, 18-55 OSS, 18-200 OSS, 30mm Macro lens, 24mm Carl Zeiss, 50mm Portrait, and 55-210mm telephoto). There are also wide-angle and fisheye converter add-on lenses available for the 16mm lens as well. Adapters to use Sony Alpha / Konica Minolta Alpha lenses are also available.
On the roadmap for 2012 is the addition of a "High Performance Standard Zoom Lens (G)", a wide angle zoom lens, and a mid telephoto prime lens, bringing the total number of lenses available from Sony up to 10 lenses.
More sample photos taken with the Sony NEX-5N: have a look at samples taken with the new Carl Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 Lens, new Sony 50mm f/1.8 OSS lens, and the new Sony 55-210mm OSS Lens.
Video - The NEX-5N features Full HD, stereo sound, AVCHD, and high quality video recording, with full manual controls, P/A/S/M.
Value for MoneyThe Sony NEX-5N is available for £539 with the 18-55 kit lens with OIS, or £609 with the both the 18-55mm and 16mm pancake lens (without OIS) making it quite good value for money. Alternatively you can find the Sony NEX-5 with full HD for around £378 with 18-55 kit lens, or the NEX-C3 is available for £385 with kit lens.
Alternatives include the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3, E-P3, Panasonic Lumix G3, Panasonic Lumix GF3, Samsung NX11, as well as earlier models, the Panasonic Lumix GF2, and Olympus PEN EPL2. Of these, the Olympus PEN cameras feature a built in anti-shake sensor, and both the Panasonic and Olympus models use the micro four thirds mount, with the largest range of lenses available. More options available in our mirrorless reviews.
Image quality appears to be excellent, and even though megapixels have increased, the camera is still providing low noise levels, with the addition of a new ISO25600 range giving additional usefulness in extremely low light. The new 50mm f/1.8 Portrait lens also helps in low light.
This could be the best NEX and whilst a subtle update, it gives quicker performance in use (including an impressive 10fps shooting), better battery life, higher resolution, touch screen aids control and there are new lenses available, which will be especially good news to anyone who has already bought into the NEX system.
|The Sony NEX-5N improves on the NEX-5 giving speedy performance and great image quality.|
Sony NEX-5N ProsTouch screen improves ease of use / control
Electronic viewfinder now available
Extended ISO range, and low noise
Great colour in photos
Full HD video recording
Improved battery life
10fps continuous shooting
New lenses are quite large
Sony NEX-5N Cons
Non standard flash mount
Alpha lens adapter can make the camera quite bulky
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Sony NEX-5N Specifications
|CCD pixels||16.7Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Size (width)||23.5mm|
|Sensor Size (height)||15.6mm|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/4000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||30sec|
|ISO sensitivity||100 - 25600|
|Viewfinder Resolution||No Data|
|Video FPS||25p, 50p|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Box Contents||Camera, Shoulder strap, Battery Charger, Infolithium Battery (NP-FW50), USB Cable, CD-ROM, Flash, Standard Zoom Lens (18-55mm OSS)|