Sony NEX 5N

Released August, 2011
New: NEX 5R (Oct, 2012)
  • 16 MP
  • APS-C 23.4 x 15.6 mm CMOS
  • 3" LCD
It has two continuous shooting modes, the first being a standard mode that includes autofocus between shots, which can maintain 2.5 shots per second, shooting until the memory card is full in JPEG mode, or for eight shots in Raw plus JPEG mode.
by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)
9 Out of 10

Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of the Sony NEX 5N

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

NEX 5N
9.3
PEN E-PL5
8.9
NEX 7
9.3
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range

Focusing

How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

NEX 5N
7.5
PEN E-PL5
7.7
NEX 7
7.6
Focus lag and focus points

Responsiveness

How much delay is there between you and your photo?

NEX 5N
8.6
PEN E-PL5
9.2
NEX 7
8.9
Focus lag, continuous shooting and Startup delay

Reviews

What do the experts think?

NEX 5N
9.1
PEN E-PL5
9.5
NEX 7
9.3
Reviews from sonyalpharumors.com, 1001noisycameras.com, techradar.com and 6 more

9

Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

NEX 5N
9.0
PEN E-PL5
9.1
NEX 7
9.1

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Sony NEX 5N

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

NEX 5N
1,079 ISO
Alpha A6000
1,347 ISO
PEN E-PL5
889 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

NEX 5N
2,800 LPH
Alpha NEX-3N
2,200 LPH
Alpha NEX-6
2,300 LPH

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

NEX 5N
235 ms
Alpha NEX-3N
272 ms
PEN E-PM2
204 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

NEX 5N
115 ms
NEX 7
22 ms
Alpha NEX-3N
22 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

NEX 5N
1,900 ms
PEN E-PL5
600 ms
PEN E-PM2
700 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

NEX 5N
10 fps
PEN E-PL5
8 fps
PEN E-PM2
8 fps

Photo Gallery Wallpaper quality closeups of the camera

Reviews Word on the street for the Sony NEX 5N


7.9
The debate of EVF vs OVF is a complicated one but these new EVF offerings from Sony present possibly the first example that we've seen that may be 'good-enough' to actually compete with the visual clarity of a true OVF.

8.5
While it looks almost identical to its predeccesor, faster focusing, less shutter lag, better video and stills, and an intuitive touchscreen interface are just some of the many improvements that have taken place under the hood, making this the best NEX camera and one of the best CSC's that we've reviewed.

9.0
The control layout is much more akin to that of a compact camera than a digital SLR, with the main camera controls consisting of just two multi-function buttons, with a rotary-bezel D-pad for menu navigation and exposure adjustment.

8.0
On paper at least, the NEX range has a key advantage to draw in the photo enthusiast - namely its incorporation of APS-C CMOS sensors, a size match for those found in DSLRs.

7.7
Video looks very good, with bright, saturated colors, relatively sharp edges, and with no rolling shutter or moiré, rock solid in 60p.

Overall

8.3 Out of 10

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight

Lens

Perhaps the kit lens could use some better coatings to improve clarity and brightness, though I shot with the 18-200mm lens as well (which performed better).
by c|net (Sep, 2011)
Chromatic aberrations were only really noticeable by their absence, a great credit to the 18-55mm kit lens.
by Photography Blog (Oct, 2011)
Of course it’s not so bad with the 16mm ‘pancake’ prime attached, but with the 18-55mm kit zoom on the front the NEX-5n’s compact-sized body can look and feel a bit unbalanced.
by TrustedReviews (Feb, 2012)

Sensor

The new 16 megapixel sensor somehow offers more resolution and an expanded ISO range without introducing unwanted noise artifacts at the faster settings, while full 1080p video at 60fps is simply class-leading.
by Photography Blog (Oct, 2011)
Shooting in Raw, we were still able to reel off about eight shots inside ten seconds, while in Raw JPEG we managed seven shots inside ten seconds.
by TrustedReviews (Feb, 2012)
Internally, the biggest change is the new APS-C CMOS sensor, which brings with it an increase in effective resolution to 16.1MP (from 14.2MP).
by TrustedReviews (Feb, 2012)

Screen

In addition, the NEX-5n also offers 1080p Full HD video recording at 30fps and a 3inch 921k-dot touchscreen LCD that’s mounted on a two-way bracket that allows for upwards and downwards tilting - for easier overhead and waist-level photography - but no sideways adjustment unlike the Panasonic G3 for instance.
by TrustedReviews (Feb, 2012)
A bright background and a dark foreground is a problem for any exposure system.
by TechRadar (Nov, 2011)
The back screen LCD thankfully remains tilting, but this time it offers the touchscreen facility that we felt it should have had originally, the large onscreen function icons lending themselves to an inquisitive prod.
by TechRadar (Nov, 2011)

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)
Sony has also included High Definition video shooting, now at Full HD 1080p at 60fps with stereo sound with the welcome ability to control shutter speed, aperture and exposure compensation during recording.
by Photography Blog (Oct, 2011)
But it's a solid camera with extremely good video quality and capabilities for its class, and though its performance isn't best in class, it's certainly good enough.
by c|net (Sep, 2011)

Image quality

Overall Sony has done a good job with the NEX series, creating a line of cameras that are capable of taking DLSR quality images in a package that is light and easy to handle and unintimidating to users upgrading from compacts.
by DPReview (Sep, 2011)
At ISO 6400 and up the noise reduction system in the 5N seems to focus more on preserving high-contrast detail at the expense of some 'graininess' in the low contrast areas.
by DPReview (Sep, 2011)
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)

Specifications Full list of technical specs

sensor

Type CMOS
Megapixels 16 MP
Resolution 4912 x 3264
Size APS-C
Area 23.4 x 15.6 mm
Crop factor 1.5x
Pixel size 22.8 microns
Light sensitivity 100 ISO to 25,600 ISO
Codecs
  1. RAW
  2. JPEG
Self cleaning sensor Yes
Tested vertical resolution 2,800 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 2,800 LPH

focus system

Type Contrast detection
Focus points 25
Supports continuous No

viewfinder

Viewfinder mirror None
Viewfinder None

performance

Max continuous shooting 10 fps
Battery life 460 photos
Continuous shooting 10 fps, JPEG
Focus lag 235 ms
Shutter lag 115 ms
Startup delay 1,900 ms

video

Video 1920 x 1080 @ 60 fps
Shoots video in 24p Yes
Shoots high speed video No
External mic jack None
Autofocus while shooting video Contrast detection
Autofocus type Contrast detection
Autofocus supports continuous Yes

display

Type LCD
Size 3"
Resolution 920 k dots
Has a touch screen Yes
Has a flip out screen Yes
Supports live view Yes

shutter

Min 30 s
Max 1/4000 s

form factor

Size 111 x 59 x 38 mm
Thickness 38 mm
Weight 269 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
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