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Sony NEX-5N 16.1 MP Compact Interchangeable Lens Touchscreen Camera With 18-55mm Lens (Silver)
 


Sony NEX-5N 16.1 MP Compact Interchangeable Lens Touchscreen Camera With 18-55mm Lens (Silver)

The performance of a DSLR, in about half the size and weight. The NEX-5N is the interchangeable lens camera that fits in your pocket. Enjoy Full HD 1080/60p or 24p movies, astounding low-light pictures, continuous shooting up to 10 fps, incredible panorama shots, and 3.0-inch tiltable Live View touch screen LCD.

  • DSLR quality in your pocket
  • Up to 10 fps shooting to capture the decisive moment
  • 16.1 MP Exmor APS HD CMOS image sensor
  • Full HD movie shooting 60p/24p
  • Photo Creativity Touch provides easy access to image adjustments

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What customers say about Sony NEX-5N 16.1 MP Compact Interchangeable Lens Touchscreen Camera With 18-55mm Lens (Silver)?

  1. 202 of 204 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Excellent camera – be sure to customize the menus, November 9, 2011
    By 

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Sony NEX-5N 16.1 MP Compact Interchangeable Lens Touchscreen Camera With 18-55mm Lens (Silver) (Camera)

    (Minor updates below added in June 2012). I bought the NEX-5N in mid-October 2011 just before a trip to Europe. The bottom line: it takes superb photos without flash, especially in truly adverse lighting conditions (wine caves 1,000 years old, for example). As others have written, the camera with the 18-55 zoom takes extremely high quality photos – there’s no quality penalty to get the benefit of the small size and light weight vs. a top DSLR. So I think it could be used happily by both people trading up and people trading down. But the camera does have quirks, some serious. Many other reviews cover the overall high points of the camera, so I’ll focus on a few review elements I think need reinforcement.

    The NEX-5N has a full auto mode, but I hope most buyers will take the trouble to learn the camera’s full capabilities, because the camera can produce some amazing photos once liberated from auto mode. However I have to say that the learning curve is steep, not just because the camera has a lot of capability, but also because the user interface is a real pain in the neck until you adapt to it. The lack of dedicated controls, a consequence of the small size, creates a lot of complexity in daily use.

    Here’s a specific example to illustrate some of the potential frustrations. The camera can take an auto-HDR (high dynamic range) photo. It will instantly merge three shots that it auto-brackets (in steps you specify) to yield a picture that would take several minutes to produce if you had to merge three shots yourself using editing software. Great ability, but here are the steps if you haven’t customized the menus: 1. turn off raw if you were using it, which requires at least 3 menu presses. 2. press menu again and select the “brightness/color” controls. 3. scroll to and select DRO/Auto HDR. 4. scroll to and select HDR. 5. if desired, press “option” and then change the HDR exposure differential for bracketing (ranges from 1 EV to 6 EV). 6. Press OK twice. In total, you have to go through 6-9 key presses to get the camera ready to take an HDR photo. Then to go back to normal shooting, you have to go through all the steps over again. Your subject has to be no livelier than a sloth to allow this to work out.

    You can avoid many of those steps by customizing the menu buttons. This requires first understanding what the camera can do and how you will use it, which will realistically take a few days of experimentation. Then you have to futz with programming the menus for a while until you have the customization set the way you want it. Then you have to get used to the new customized menus. In other words, there’s a steep initial investment to get usable access to all the power the camera possesses. Most DSLRs have serious learning curves as well, so to me this isn’t a reason to avoid the NEX-5N. But it is something to be prepared for. I found that I was taking low-light photos that I couldn’t have taken with any DSLR I’m familiar with, so I ended up being quite happy with the camera, but I did some cursing at it before I got to that point.

    The best features:

    1. Extraordinarily good native low-light capability, plus several modes that enhance that underlying natural capability of the camera and lens: examples include hand-held twilight mode, anti-blur mode, auto-HDR, and dynamic range optimization. All four are different. It really benefited my photos once I figured out how those modes differ and when to use them. My shooting may not have been typical — I was spending hours a day in ancient wine cellars, gothic cathedrals, and the like, but even for snapping a low-light shot in a restaurant with friends (no flash), the camera was great.

    2. The size and weight are unbeatable. I bought a Kata Grip-10 DL camera bag, which on paper was supposed to be a skosh too small for the camera, but it worked out perfectly. I could wear the Kata bag on my belt, zipped closed with camera inside, flash attached, a spare battery, spare SD card, and the “raincoat” that shipped with the Kata bag, all fairly inconspicuously.

    3. The tilt screen makes a real difference.

    The features the jury is still out on:

    1. The detachable flash was on my list as a problem until I actually used the camera. The last two weeks I left the flash attached all the time and that worked fine, although I found I almost never used the flash. When I did use it, it overexposed the main subject almost every time, so I dialed back the flash output slightly. Once I get the optional viewfinder, I think I’ll be able to put the flash aside and not miss it much.

    2. Movies. I am not a big movie shooter so this was not a critical item for me. I hoped I would receive a camera after the “clicking noise” was fixed in manufacturing, but no, mine does click during video recording. Sony is kidding themselves if they really think the clicking…

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  2. 51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    High quality of photos, light, excellent low light performance, October 20, 2011
    By 
    Ali Julia (boston, mass) –
    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)
      
    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)
      

    This review is from: Sony NEX-5N 16.1 MP Compact Interchangeable Lens Touchscreen Camera With 18-55mm Lens (Silver) (Camera)

    I am a long-time DSLR camera user who wanted a small camera to travel with. I was looking for a camera which would produce results similar to my DSLR and allow me to change lenses yet be lighter than my current Canon DSLR camera.

    I like:

    (1) The camera is really light compared to my DSLR. Several times I panicked “where is my camera” while it was hanging around my neck. It was so light that I did not feel its weight.

    The body of the camera is 4 1/8 inches wide x 1 inch wide in the narrow part. It is small but not so small that is inconvenient to hold or operate. Overall the camera feels good in your hand, the mechanical parts (hinges and other controls) feel well made and pretty sturdy.

    (2) I am pleased with the quality of the photos I took.

    (3) Features that I loved, two features I never had in other cameras I owned:
    * Sweeping panorama – I absolutely loved it! It worked fantastically even hand held taking photos of night time skyline. (I am attaching a photo showing this feature)
    * Anti blur – in addition to having Optical Steady Shot this camera has an option for hand-held night shots. It takes 6 photos in quick succession and combines them to generate one shot reducing blur due to unsteady hands.
    Note: these settings produce JPEG format even when the setting is set to RAW

    (4) NEX-5N comes with a separate battery recharger, which is handy since the camera drains the battery rather fast it is nice to have a spare battery charging while the camera is being used. I purchased a 3-d party (Wasabi) battery pack (two NP-FW50 batteries, one Wasabi AC charger, one car charger converter for Wasabi AC charger, European converter) which works well with my NEX-5N. The entire pack costs less than one extra SONY battery: Wasabi Power Battery and Charger Kit for Sony NP-FW50, Alpha SLT-A33, SLT-A35, SLT-A55V, NEX-3, NEX-5, NEX-5N, NEX-7, NEX-C3

    (5) NEX-5N has a touch screen interface, I found it most useful to select the area where I wanted the camera to focus. The auto focus often selected the point of interest in the middle of the frame, when I was trying to compose a photo using 1/3 rule.

    (6) I was able to use the tripod quick release I use for my SLR without any special adapters. The quick release plate is a wider than NEX-5N body. It extends both in the front and the back of the camera. You cannot balance the camera on it (it tips forward), however once it is on the tripod it is very secure. I am attaching a photo which demonstrates the fit of the quick release.

    (7) SONY will have an OLED high resolution view finder for NEX series shortly. This will improve the ability to see the LCD screen when using the camera in the sun. Note: the mount on the OLED electronic viewfinder is only compatible with NEX-5N and is not compatible with NEX-C3.
    Update: I now own the OLED view finder. Love it. For more details you can see my review of it: http://www.amazon.com/review/RXNWAESUUHR49/ref=cm_srch_res_rtr_alt_8

    I don’t like:

    (1) Edited 10/23/2011: When I originally purchased the camera Photoshop CS5 did not recognize the RAW format produced by NEX-5N. However today I downloaded the latest CS5 update and now it recognized ARW files generated by NEX-5N.
    (Many thanks to clskip who alerted me to the availability of this update!)

    (2) The camera drains the battery, I plan to buy at least one possibly two spare batteries. On the day when I shot a lot of sweeping panoramas and anti motion blur photos (these options require multiple shots to generate one photo) I drained the battery completely. Need to buy several extra batteries (see #4 above for cost effective recommendation).

    (3) Default settings could be better. I changed almost every setting.
    The changes I found most helpful:
    * Changed LCD display to Big Font Size Display (located under top menu called “Camera”)
    Why: this mode removes unessential icons surrounding the screen.
    Large font is easy to read, the controls became much more clear
    * Turned off pop up help (located under “Setup” and called “Help Guide Display”)
    Why: The pop-up help gets in the way of every operation, you cannot see the screen as it totally obscures
    what you are looking at, when you get rid of pop-up then the screen you were looking at also goes away.
    * Turned off object tracking (located under “Camera” top menu)
    Why: When you are trying to compose a photo where the focus is NOT in the center, you can use the touch screen
    to indicate where the focus should be. However, if the object tracking is turned on the focus begins moving
    and shifting even though the thing you are trying to focus on is not moving. The camera prefers
    items in the…

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