I’ve been using the Sony Nex-5 since December and have been having a great time shooting photos with it. Having both a point-and-shoot (Canon S95) and a dSLR (Canon EOS 7D) made me realize that there’s a gap somewhere in between.
The Sony Nex-5 intends to fill that gap — a lightweight camera that’s almost as portable as a PnS yet has the flexibility and has as much raw power as most entry-level dSLRs.
The unit sent to us came with a number of lenses — including the kit lens and a telephoto lens (70-200mm f/2.8). There’s a ring adapter so the telephoto is able to fit the camera.
The body of the Nex-5 is composed mostly of magnesium alloy and if there’s no long lenses attached to it, one could practically mistook it for a point-and-shoot. Attach the kit lens or the telephoto and you get a mini-dSLR looking shooter (so there’s really no escaping the “heavy load” part since it will really depend on the type lens you use with the body). It’s got a decent grip but that will really depend on the size of your hands.
The controls on the unit are pretty familiar, so much so if you’ve been using other Sony cameras. The shooting toggles are placed on top while the dial for the settings is on the right side of the back panel which is mostly occupied by the large LCD display. There are also two buttons beside the screen that takes its cue from the display.
Over-all, handling and manageability of the camera is pretty simple and smooth and you’ll seldom encounter confusing moments in the navigation and menu.
What’s really useful is that when selecting shooting modes, the display puts out a short description of that function (much like a tooltip) so you’re aware of the mode you are shooting with (nice for people who are just starting out in photography or not very familiar with the modes).
The camera focuses on subject fairly quick and takes the shot at a decent speed — the sound made by the shutter gives you a nice, snappy click at the press of the button.
One of my favorite shooting mode is the panoramic — with just a single swipe, you get a single continuous panoramic photo at close to 180 degrees. Here’s a sample below I took using the Nex-5 with kit lens (click on image to see larger version).
Photo quality is impressive both on RAW and JPEG outputs. Even on low-light environments, the camera can still focus at a decent rate and produces good quality images.
I will let the photos speak for themselves. Head on to the Picasa Gallery here to see the whole set. I’m not particularly comfortable with the color saturation though (not sure if it’s just the settings but I always use the auto settings).
Video recording also ranges from good to high quality (Full HD @ 1080i). The only limitation here would be the SD card’s capacity for storage (SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo, Pro-HG Duo).
3.0â€³ LCD (angle adjustable 80 degrees up and 45 degrees down)
14.2MP Exmor APS HD CMOS Sensor (23.4Ã—15.6 mm)
ISO 200 â€“ 12800
1080i Video Recording (AVCHD, MP4)
25 multi-point Auto Focus
RAW + JPEG
30 secs to 1/4000 sec shutter speed (+ Bulb)
External flash (supplied)
2.3fps continuous shooting (max 7fps @ speed-priority)
HDMI/Video out, USB 2.0
SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo, Pro-HG Duo
Although the NEX-5 uses E-mount lenses, it is capable of using A-mount lenses with the LA-EA1 adaptor so you can use all the available lenses in the Alpha dSLR line (including Minolta and Konica Minolta AF lenses).
Suggested retail price of the Sony NEX-5 is Php37,999 that includes the standard zoom lens (18-55mm f/3.5-5.6). Not very cheap but a viable alternative to people looking for alternatives to entry-level dSLRs. Investment on additional lenses will surelyhurt the wallet though.