Sony's camera bonanza left us Pocket-linters rushing to get our hands on one of the brand new NEX-5N cameras.
The new ultra-slim, yet highly formidable camera, boasts a lot of the specifications found on its bigger brothers, the DSLT A66 and A77, including the option to add an OLED viewfinder and mount any a-mount lens.
From the brief play we had, the main noticeable change with the NEX-5N is the jump in megapixels and the autofocus system, both of which bring with them significant improvements over the previous gen NEX-5.
Inside the NEX-5N is a 16.1-megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor, as well as a newly designed Bionz processor. This adds a seriously improved ISO response and focus speed, both of which we have now tested and can confirm perform admirably.
The NEX-5N snaps very quickly to single objects and can then track them intelligently if you so desire. With the LA-EA2 adapter slapped on the front and an a-mount lens, things get even quicker. We attempted to focus with a top of the range Sony 300mm lens and found that despite the tiny size of the NEX-5N, it did so incredibly quickly.
Build-wise, Sony has kept up its somewhat shiny approach to compact camera design. The NEX-5N does feel slightly plasticky in the hand and not quite the premium level of the more expensive Alpha cameras, it is, however, definitely in line with other competitors. The screen is particularly bright with very good viewing angles, it does also, of course, tilt should you need to compose a difficult shot. Unfortunately, we are yet to have a chance to try out the OLED finder but if it performs anything like the A65's, it's definitely worth the investment.
The camera is incredibly slim for the amount of performance it offers. The grip means it sits very well in the hand while the customisable click wheel allows you to access more in-depth camera control settings. We like the inclusion of a dedicated movie button as well as two buttons that can have individual settings assigned to them.
Movie is captured in the AVCHD 2.0 codec all the way up to 50fps Full HD (1080p). Like with the previous NEX camera, it is very very good, with smooth movement and saturated colours. Stills are also sharp and contrasty but without lengthier testing it is difficult to be sure of the niceties of the NEX-5N's imaging capabilities.
All in all, good stuff from Sony on the compact front. Until the full joys of the more powerful NEX-7 are placed in our hands, however, we can't be sure which one we would opt for. Check back with Pocket-lint later for more on the new Sony cameras.
Fan of the NEX range? Let us know in the comments below...
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