August 24th 2011 11:32 am

Heads up! A newer version of this product is out!

final rating

reviewed on
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Criteria Comments Rating
  • Image quality The Image quality is stellar great!
  • Video quality No comments great!
  • Battery life Battery was nearly depleted after a 5 hour tour with semi aggressive shooting. good
  • Design and form factor It would be a 5 if it wasn't for a build/design error that results in a clicking noise during video recording. good
  • Durability the lcd screen scratches very easily. good
  • Speed (start-up time, lag) No comments great!
  • Ease of use Changing options and advanced setting features can be buried pretty deep in the menu. good
Detailed review
I'll admit I'm a novice to more advanced photography, but I'm also a quick study. That being said, this is a really nice camera to upgrade to from a point & shoot. I wouldn't expect serious DSLR users to to enjoy the experience very much because many options can get buried in the menu system. Depending on your target the more time you spend digging through menus the less time you have to shoot. However with enough practice you can get to what you need in a fairly decent amount of time.

The image quality is very good. The camera is very fast and the AF is quick and accurate. The camera does have a very nice feature that allows you to fine tune the focus. The display will zoom in on the Auto Focused object and allow you to manually focus. It's one of my favorite features. The camera is also capable of shooting 10 FPS, if you want to take advantage of this. I recommend getting a very fast memory card. I currently am using a mem stick rated for 20Mbs and it has a hard time keeping up past the initial 10 shots. I'm pending a 45Mbs SD card to see if the results are improved.

I'm not much of a videographer, but the clarity looks amazing. It seems most 5N suffer from a build/design issue that creates and audible click noise as you are recording while moving the camera. It can get pretty bad. Sony seems to be offering a fix for warrantied devices. I have yet to contact them.

A few things I wish were better. I really would have liked a hot shoe included on the device, you are basically limited to the stock flash which isn't that powerful nor is it directional. The upside is that the sensor can handle a very high range of ISO without much noise; so as you become a better photog you should be able to compensate for the lack of flash, but it would've been nice.

I think the LCD glass could stand to be a lot more durable. The one moment I didn't treat it like a glass ball, I got a scratch on the center of my LCD.

I'm hoping in the years to come as the NEX line expands so too will the accessories. The Sony lenses are priced high and aren't getting very good reviews. There's an accessory that allows you to use Alpha lenses but that itself is also $300. Hopefully the S&D of the line will bring the price of accessories and lenses down.

Overall it's a great unit with a ton of potential. Great for upgraders who want to learn but still have the option of a very dependable Auto mode with really nice features to play with.