|Upon the arrival of a Sony NEX-5 test sample, it is tested in our DIWA Lab. The technical data from the rigorous tests are processed and translated into understandable data. Inside the lab, testing takes place in standardized circumstances. An environment in which cameras, both compact and system concepts can be compared without a problem. Besides that, the Sony NEX-5 compact camera is extensively used in practice and evaluated as for operation and shooting in practice. This combination of lab tests and the testing in practice, results in a final conclusion that is carefully reviewed.|
|Sony NEX-5 system camera kit
The Sony NEX-5 is offered in different kit compositions. There is a NEX-5 with a 16mm f2/.8 lens, the most compact combination, or a NEX-5 with an 18-55mm lens or the NEX-5 with an 18-200mm lens. Undoubtedly new E-lenses will be introduced later on. The standard 18-55mm zoom lens has a range of 3x and a slight wide angle of 27mm. Due to the Sony NEX-5's crop factor, the 18-55mm calculated as a 35mm has a 1,5x enlargement, up to 27-83mm. The Sony E18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 generally performs well, with good sharpness at 55mm, but with some visible corner blur. Sony has managed to control chromatic aberration, and in combination with the built-in optical image stabilization, there is little to be said about this standard zoom lens.
Sony E16mm f/2.8 pancake lens
The 16mm pancake lens is very fine. The Sony E16mm f/2.8 is light as a feather and has a very compact format, which makes for an excellent combination with the Sony NEX-5. The camera with pancake lens is very small in terms of dimensions and does not reveal that it is a system camera. The Sony 16mm lens lacks optical stabilization, but due to the lighting strength and the small range of focus, such a stabilization is not really necessary. The performance of this lens is comparable with that of the standard zoom lens. There is some edge blur and some more visible chromatic aberration, but generally it is pretty good. It must be mentioned that the pancake used for this review was not yet the ‘final production’ version, so perhaps the final version will differ from our findings. The possibility of digital zoom is remarkable. The Sony NEX-5's fixed lenses offer the function of precision digital zoom.
|Sony E18-55mm standard zoom lens
The standard zoom lens, Sony E18-55mm, shows more distortion than average in wide angle. The distortion can specially be seen clearly in shots with a lot of lines. The tele position of 55mm also has a bit more than average distortion, but in general it is hardly perceivable. Also the E16mm pancake lens has a bit more than average distortion. Sony does not make corrections when converting the images to JPEG. This is something that a few competitors do and in our opinion is in the user's advantage. Especially cameras such as the Sony NEX-5 should offer as much ease of use as possible and eliminate editing as much as possible.
Sony NEX-5 color saturation
The color authenticity of the images deviates a bit according to the Gretag Macbeth Colorchecker. The Sony NEX-5 has the tendency to especially display red and blue with more saturation, while colors such as green and yellow could actually use more saturation. The skin tones are generally good with few problems in different lighting situations. Via Creative Style colors it is possible to program colors according to your own taste. This can be found in the main menu under Brightness/Colors.
Sony NEX-5 offers 200-12800 ISO
The Sony NEX-5 system camera offers a sensitivity sequence of 200-12800 ISO. In practice it appears that the ISO settings up to 1600 ISO can be used without a problem. At 3200 ISO a lot of detail goes lost, which is caused by the camera’s strong noise suppression. The higher ISO’s up to 12800 are only recommended for dire circumstances, as the quality certainly does not improve. The quality of the JPEG shots are fine and considering the NEX-‘s target group, people will be generally satisfied.