Sony Alpha NEX-5

Released May, 2010
New: NEX 7 (Aug, 2011)
  • 14 MP
  • APS-C 23.4 x 15.6 mm CMOS
  • 3" LCD
Video is sharp, and the lenses are really quiet, both for zooming and focusing, but you have practically no controls beyond a background defocus.
by c|net (May, 2010)
8.6 Out of 10

Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of the Sony Alpha NEX-5

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

Alpha NEX-5
8.7
NX300
9.0
NEX C3
9.2
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range

Focusing

How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

Alpha NEX-5
5.9
NX300
9.4
NEX C3
6.4
Focus lag and focus points

Responsiveness

How much delay is there between you and your photo?

Alpha NEX-5
8.2
NX300
9.7
NEX C3
8.3
Focus lag, continuous shooting and Startup delay

Reviews

What do the experts think?

Alpha NEX-5
9.2
NX300
9.2
NEX C3
9.6
Reviews from trustedreviews.com, sonyalpharumors.com, photographyblog.com, dpreview.com and 1 more

8.6

Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

Alpha NEX-5
8.6
NX300
9.2
NEX C3
9.0

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Sony Alpha NEX-5

Low light image quality Highest ISO setting that still achieves great image quality

Alpha NEX-5
796 ISO
D3300
1,385 ISO
Nikon 1 J1
372 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

Alpha NEX-5
2,400 LPH
D3300
3,000 LPH
NEX C3
2,800 LPH

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

Alpha NEX-5
670 ms
Nikon 1 J1
94 ms
NX300
116 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

Alpha NEX-5
115 ms
Alpha A5000
22 ms
NX300
71 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

Alpha NEX-5
1,000 ms
NX1000
1,700 ms
Rebel T2i
400 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

Alpha NEX-5
7 fps
Nikon 1 J1
60 fps
Alpha A5000
3.5 fps

Photo Gallery Wallpaper quality closeups of the camera

Reviews Word on the street for the Sony Alpha NEX-5


8.0
Mac users, we're pleased to announce Macphun's brilliant HDR software Aurora HDR 2017 is out now with special launch pricing.

9.0
It is the smallest interchangeable lens camera on the market, but has outstanding build quality, plenty of useful features, excellent performance and the kind of still image and HD video quality you'd be lucky to get from a digital SLR.

7.7
The new all-aluminum Sony E-mount lenses dominate the NEX-5's body, and they feel great, with a smooth rotation for both zoom and manual focus.

Overall

8.3 Out of 10

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight

Lens

You should also keep in mind that unlike the Alpha DSLRs, which have image stabilization built into the camera, the NEX models use optical stabilization in order to achieve the smaller body sizes, and you won't find it in all the lenses.
by c|net (May, 2010)
We'll begin with the fact that the camera feels solid gripped in the palm, though with lens attached it's too large for most jacket pockets (so we weren't able to ferret one away for appraisal at the launch).
by Photography Blog (Jul, 2010)
And while the sweep panorama still suffers from some unavoidable artifacts, such as Picasso-like pieces of people walking through the scene, it does capture enough detail that it doesn't look so bad when you zoom in.
by c|net (May, 2010)

Screen

The tilting monitor is good for shooting over the guy in front of you, as you can tell from my shadow in this pic.
by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)
On the new model the screen can be flipped up all the way as pictured below.
by DPReview (Aug, 2012)
Although not immediately visible, another change relative to its predecessor is the hinging of the screen.
by DPReview (Aug, 2012)

Video

What Sony has also included here, again for the first time on an Alpha camera, is High Definition video shooting, at Full HD 1080i with stereo sound.
by Photography Blog (Jul, 2010)
The magnesium bodied NEX-5 can also capture fast-moving action at 7fps, shoot Full HD (1920 x1080i) video as high-quality AVCHD files and is supplied with a compact clip-on flash that attaches via an accessory terminal.
by Photography Blog (Jul, 2010)
To the left of this switch is a dedicated playback/review button, and just below the switch, on the slope that melds into the back plate, the dedicated movie record button.
by Photography Blog (Jul, 2010)

Image quality

Overall, the photo quality is really good, and the camera has one of the best noise profiles in its price class, dSLRs included.
by c|net (May, 2010)
In some cases, the full size image has been reduced for bandwidth purposes, and a crop taken from the original full resolution image has been placed below it to show the overall image quality.
by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)
I was able to take night-time shots of a firework display with an exposure time of one second without using a tripod, and get good sharp results on most images.
by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)

Focus

Sony branding and DSLR-style lens release button aside, all we find on the faceplate is a small porthole-shaped window for AF assist/self timer lamp, rectangular CR3 battery-sized and shaped handgrip with lightly ridged surface for a firmer hold, plus shutter release button on the forward-sloping edge at its top.
by Photography Blog (Jul, 2010)
The camera feels fairly fast, though the autofocus system tends to be inconsistent.
by c|net (May, 2010)
As you'll gather from those figures, the autofocus system is extremely fast, focusing in a fraction of a second in good light.
by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)

Specifications Full list of technical specs

sensor

Type CMOS
Megapixels 14 MP
Resolution 4592 x 3056
Size APS-C
Area 23.4 x 15.6 mm
Crop factor 1.5x
Pixel size 26.0 microns
Light sensitivity 200 ISO to 12,800 ISO
Codecs
  1. RAW
  2. JPEG
Self cleaning sensor Yes
Tested vertical resolution 2,400 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 2,400 LPH

focus system

Type Contrast detection
Focus points 25
Cross type focus points 0
Supports continuous No

shutter

Min 30 s
Max 1/4000 s

form factor

Size 111 x 59 x 38 mm
Thickness 38 mm
Weight 287 g
Is weather sealed No

features

Is a smart camera No
Includes a GPS No
Supports HDR Yes
Automatic panorama Yes
Create realistic 3D images Yes
Image stabilization None

video

Video 1920 x 1080 @ 30 fps
Shoots video in 24p No
Shoots high speed video No

display

Type LCD
Size 3"
Resolution 920 k dots
Has a touch screen No
Has a flip out screen Yes
Supports live view Yes

viewfinder

Viewfinder mirror None
Viewfinder None

performance

Max continuous shooting 7 fps
Battery life 330 photos
Continuous shooting 7 fps, JPEG
Focus lag 670 ms
Shutter lag 115 ms
Startup delay 1,000 ms
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