Sony Alpha NEX NEX5K Digital Camera with Interchangeable Lens – Product Description:
The performance of a DSLR, in about half the size and weight.5 The NEX-5 is the interchangeable lens camera that goes wherever you do. Enjoy Full HD 1080/60i movies,2 astounding low-light pictures, continuous shooting up to 7 fps, incredible panorama shots, and Live View on a tilting 3.0-inch6 LCD.
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Sony Alpha NEX NEX5K Digital Camera with Interchangeable Lens – Customer Review:
VERY, VERY GOOD, WITH SOME LIMITATIONS!
People, I LOVE this camera. I bought it thinking there was an 85% chance I was going to return it, but am happy to tell you that as soon as I uploaded my first pictures, I was smitten. I was most worried about picture quality, because I had previously owned a Sony a200 and a700, and ended up selling both for a Canon and Nikon, because the picture quality just wasn’t up to snuff. My most recent camera was a D300s and I would say that the nex5 performs almost as well as it in most situations and even better in a few. And the nex5 video blows the D300s out of the water! Obviously everyone has different needs and preferences from their camera so all I can do is tell you what my needs were and why the nex5 is so great for them.
The picture quality was the most important thing for me, which was more than adequate so the next most important criteria was the LCD. The LCD on my D300s was a complete joke, as I couldn’t see squat on that thing in even moderate sunlight. This was extremely frustrating but since it was based on an OVF anyway, I just dealt with it. But I started my photography in this digital age on a Canon S2IS which had a swivelling screen and full-time live-view, and honestly, I’ve missed that method of taking pictures ever since I moved up to dSLR’s. The two things that I wanted most out of the LCD on the nex5 were adequate visibility in bright sunlight, and real-time exposure compensation, so that you know EXACTLY what your picture would look like before you take it. It passed both of these tests with flying colors. The second day I had it, my wife and I went fishing on the river, in the afternoon sun. Live view photography would have been impossible on my D300s but I had no problems with the nex5. Understand that it will get a little washed out, but I was still able to compose as well as I needed and set exposure almost spot on. When I got home and uploaded my pics, this was confirmed for me as they just looked amazing. The best part about it was knowing that I wouldn’t have gotten any of those shots with my D300s, simply because I wouldn’t have brought the dang thing because I already had a bunch of stuff to carry. The sony just fit in my pocket (cargo pocket, with 18-55) and was out of the way until needed.
The other great things about this little guy are the ISO performance, which is ridiculous (better than D300s) and the high-speed continuous mode. Just to be straight on this, it will take 7, full-resolution photos a second, but locks exposure and focus. If you want it to refocus and adjust exposure, the best it can do is about 2 1/2. Of course there’s the panoramic mode (haven’t tried it), HDR mode (don’t like it), and twilight mode (don’t like it). Oh yeah, and I love the detachable flash which is solid as a rock when attached, but since I hardly ever do flash-photography, I love to be able to get it out of the way for the majority of the time.
For me this is the best camera on the market right now. I tested it against the Lumix G2 and thought the picture quality is noticeably better on the Sony (I do think focus is faster on the G2 though – certainly a great camera too), not to mention the form factor is so much smaller! But, with all that said, I fully plan on selling it in the fall when the new batch of cameras come out because there are a few things that the nex5 doesn’t have that I desperately want.
First of all, the menu sucks. There’s no way around it – if you ever try to change the settings, you are going to be frustrated by it. I could live with that, but there are other things missing. As good as the LCD is, I really want an EVF, even if I have to have a slightly larger body. I also really need just a few more buttons, namely: ISO, Focus lock, AE lock, but I do like the minimalist approach, because I absolutely hate the millions of buttons that Canon and Nikon throw on their cameras. As I mentioned, the video is very good, and although it does have an exposure control, so you can increase or decrease the brightness by two stops at any time (kind of neat), I need full manual control over video. The only other things that I don’t really like are just nagging things that I could live with, but I’m hoping will improve in my next purchase, they are: battery life, screen blackout, and shutter noise. Battery life goes really fast on this camera and spares are ridiculously priced at $70, but I can understand that it takes a lot of juice to run that screen, so I could live with it. The screen does black out when you take pictures for what seems just a hair too long. It’s not terrible, and for a $700 camera it’s actually very good, but it’s just something that would bother me in the long run. The shutter is surprisingly loud. The first day I got it I took a picture of my wife taking a nap on the couch and it actually woke her up! I’m not saying it sounds like a freight train, but unfortunately, I love taking incognito pictures in crowded places and would definitely have to be a little more careful with this little guy.
So, all in all, this is my favorite camera I’ve ever owned. I mention that I plan on selling it only because I know that the evolution will be to bring more and more functions to this small sized, mirrorless style camera, otherwise I wouldn’t. If I had to choose between every camera out there right now, I’d choose this one every time. But I’m keeping a keen eye out for the nex7 and gh2 that should be coming out this fall, and guess that one of those cameras will be pretty much perfect for me.
Now that they’ve started manufacturing adapters for the NEX, I got myself a Canon FD lens adapter which has really taken the camera to a whole new level. Understand that you will only have manual focus with any adapter but Sony makes it very easy by dedicating the bottom button to MF Assist which zooms in so you can make sure that your focus is sharp! Even though some of the lenses dwarf the tiny little NEX, it still handles very comfortably and efficiently. If you love this camera but are frustrated with the selection (or lack of) of lenses, check out the options on ebay – those old lenses are a real bargain now.