Sony Alpha NEX-5 First Impressions

Sony launched their newest prosumer-level compact digital camera here in the country yesterday. The Sony Alpha NEX-5. I got to try it out and here are some of my impressions about this odd, little camera.

Sony Alpha NEX-5 with the pancake lens

The Sony NEX-5 looks like a cross between the micro Four Thirds cameras like the Olympus PEN, Panasonic GF1, etc. and DSLRs.

It has three interchangeable E-mount lenses: wide-angle 16mm pancake lens, standard zoom 18-55mm and a high-zoom 18-200mm. You can also buy the A-Mount Adaptor (Php10,000) to be able to use every Alpha, Carl Zeiss and G Lens.

Sony Alpha NEX-5 with Alpha super-zoom lens

One of the biggest advantage of the NEX-5 over micro Four Thirds cameras is the Exmor APS HD CMOS Sensor. Typical compact point-and-shoot cameras have a sensor size of 5.7 x 4.3mm. Four Thirds system sensors are 18 x 13.5mm. The NEX-5 have a sensor size of 24 x 16mm. That’s a huge difference and it should translate to clearer images with less noise for the NEX-5.

Sony Alpha NEX-5

The NEX-5 is not your usual digital camera in the sense that you can’t find the typical mode dials on the body. Instead, Sony placed it in the digital user interface so there will be a bit of a learning curve when using this camera.

Sony Alpha NEX-5

One of the cool things about the NEX-5 is the adjustable LCD display. You can tilt it upwards so you can take waist-high shots easily or downwards for those over-the-head-of-the-crowd shots. I really like these kind of features because it allows more creativity on your shots by playing with angles.

Background Defocus Control

There’s also the Background Defocus Control feature which is an easy way for novice users to take those soft background shots. Yes you want that huh?

Just like the latest Cybershots, the Sony NEX-5 can also do Sweep Panorama that allows you to easily take panoramic shots on the fly without the aid of a stitching software. Something that would prove to be very useful for landscape photography.

Sony Alpha NEX-5 Flash Port Sony Alpha NEX-5 Flash

If there’s one thing that I wish Sony didn’t do was removing the typical hotshoe. There is no built-in flash on the NEX-5 and the external flash is proprietary and removing or sticking it into the camera can be quite a struggle.

Too bad I wasn’t able to save some sample shots on my SD cards. You can refer to these NEX-5 samples photos from dpreview.com. I’ll try to borrow a unit from Sony to properly review this interesting camera.

Quick Specs:

  • Magnesium Alloy body
  • 3.0″ LCD (angle adjustable 80 degrees up and 45 degrees down)
  • 14.2MP Exmor APS HD CMOS Sensor (23.4×15.6 mm)
  • ISO 200 – 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
  • SRP: Php37,999 which includes the standard zoom kit lens

If you’re wondering about its little brother, the NEX-3, it won’t be available in the country.

*via: Pinoy Tech Blog

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