What started back in 2008 has become a glorious trend: stuffing DSLR-sized sensors into compact camera bodies. First it was Olympus and Panasonic with its Micro Four Thirds standard followed recently by Samsung's NX10. Now Sony is flexing its digital imaging muscle with the introduction of its own compacts sporting APS-C-sized sensors and interchangeable glass. Both CNET and LetGoDigital already have previews of the NEX-5 -- the "world's smallest and lightest interchangeable lens digital camera" according to Sony. And by the looks of that comparison shot above with Olympus' diminutive PEN E-PL1, we're guessing that's a pretty accurate assessment. CNET was particularly stoked by the "aggressively priced" pre-production NEX-5 it took for a spin. Although the camera's not without faults -- quirky UI and controls (hey, it's Sony!), inconsistent autofocus, lack of electronic viewfinder, and a general lack of manual controls -- CNET found the NEX-5 to be "fairly fast" with "really quiet" lenses for both zooming and focusing. Most importantly, it judged the photo quality and noise profile to be "really good" while producing "sharp" 1080/60i AVCHD video. Mosey on through the break for CNET's video preview of the NEX-5 and then hit up the source link for some sample photos and a good spec-by-spec comparison of the NEX-5 with its micro format competition.
Gallery | 11 Photos

Sony NEX Cameras hands-on