Sony NEX-5 system camera review
Now that Sony has put itself onto the system cameras market with the Sony NEX-5, the attention for this segment of cameras will only increase. This is a positive development. The existing system cameras by Panasonic, Olympus and Samsung all take as their starting point the minimization of the DSLR camera. In our opinion, this is a clear difference between Sony and the other trio. Sony seems to have taken the compact camera as base on all levels, and has upgraded it to a system camera. In the end, the results of these manufacturers are the same, namely a compact format system camera. A difference that has crept in along the way to this end result is in the experience. This is the experience that you have as a user of these cameras.
Photography experience with the Sony NEX-5
This is where Sony makes a vital difference. When we shot photographs with the Sony NEX-5, we didn’t have a DSLR-experience, but it seemed as if we were shooting with an advanced compact camera. This may be a typical Sony-experience, but I personally prefer to experience the typical Alpha feeling. But then again, I do not belong to the target group that Sony is aiming at with the NEX-5. And that group is the masses: the amateur with a compact camera that wants more quality, but wants to keep the ease of a compact camera. Therein Sony has been successful, as this target group will most likely keep photographing in the same way, and gets a high DSLR image quality in return.
Watch photos of the Sony NEX-5 on a 3D Bravia TV
The quality of the images is very good. The camera delivers fine JPEGs, while preserving all the features that you would expect from a DSLR camera. Good sharpness, striking colors and as extra, Full HD video-recordings. The advantage of the quality of the high ISO values in comparison with the compact camera is more ease and extra freedom of photography. The impressive Sweep Panorama function is addictive and offers a lot of creative freedom of photography. Whoever already proudly owns a 3D Bravia television can even display the Sony NEX5’s results in 3D.
Photograph manually or automatically with the Sony NEX-5
When you let the Sony NEX-5 go ahead in automatic, then you will be able to shoot quickly. It runs a bit less smoothly when you want to change the manual settings. We miss the command dial on the camera, which is now included in the menu; we would like to see quick buttons, for example for ISO, or a programmable button which can hold certain functions. The camera’s menu is very beautiful, though, and actually gives you the urge to touch it. Perhaps Sony can consider equipping the next generation of NEX cameras with a touch display?
Sony NEX-5 review conclusion
When we follow the philosophy behind the Sony NEX-5, then we can speak of a successful first introduction. The Sony NEX-5 chooses its own way, and if this is the most successful way, should become clear this year. Sony has in any case shown daring and knows how to produce a remarkable system camera. The amateur photographer will undoubtedly be rewarded for its step up from a compact to the NEX-5, with a higher image quality and more creative freedom of photography. The Sony NEX-5 is an excellent choice for that target group. The serious or hobby photographer will in our opinion be a bit less inclined to look at the NEX-5, as the competition in the form of Micro Four Thirds, among others, is still just a bit too serious for that.
Sony NEX-5 save photo & video files
Perhaps Sony will make future NEX cameras aimed at the serious photographer equipped with a double card slot. Such a specification is especially handy and practical. You could save RAW and JPEG files separately, or use one card as an automatic back-up. And what about the possibility of saving video and photo separately? Now, when you have photo and video on one card, and want to show this, the camera’s menu should make it clear which one of the two is shown, but apparently it is difficult to show both in the same mode?
Considering a storage capacity of 16GB:
14 Megapixel resolution - 4594x3056 - 3:2 - JPEG - Standard - 3626
14 Megapixel resolution - 4594x3056 - 3:2 - JPEG - Fine - 2569 pictures
14 Megapixel resolution - 4594x3056 - 3:2 - RAW&JPEG - 745 pictures
14 Megapixel resolution - 4594x3056 - 3:2 - RAW - 1054 pictures
Video resolution AVCHD - 1920x1080 - 1 hour 58 min 50 sec
Video resolution MP4 - 1440x1080 - 2 hours 52 min 30 sec