Sony Alpha NEX-5 (with 18-55mm lens, Black)
Manufacturer: Sony Part number: CNETSonyAlphaNEX-5blackwith18-55mmlens
- Bottom Line:
- For a lot of people, the excellent high-sensitivity photo quality, competitive performance, and an ultracompact body will likely outweigh the Sony Alpha NEX-5's quirks and operational annoyances.
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as of 07/25/2014
CNET editors' review
price range: $899.99
- Reviewed by: Lori Grunin
- Reviewed on: 05/11/2010
- Released on: 07/15/2010
The good: Excellent high-ISO-sensitivity photo quality; quiet, fast lenses good for shooting video and comfortable for manual focus; compact, with a nice physical design and control layout; large, tilting LCD.
The bad: No EVF option; frequently annoying user interface; unusual amount of distortion on 18-55mm kit lens; no neutral image color settings.
The bottom line: For a lot of people, the excellent high-sensitivity photo quality, competitive performance, and an ultracompact body will likely outweigh the Sony Alpha NEX-5's quirks and operational annoyances.
Awesome travel camera
by taxfool on May 24, 2011
Pros: Compact, sharp low light and high iso photos, HD video (without overheating after a few minutes), panoramic mode, articulated viewscreen, many adapters available for other lenses (manual focus only), focus assist, and fast multi-frame shooting.
Cons: Not many autofocus lenses to choose, interface menus take time to get used to (versus dials or buttons), prone to scratches, shutter is a bit loud, and cannot adjust settings in video mode. I also wish it could sync up with the Sony flashes.
Summary: I love this camera. It is fun to use, sharp, easy to carry, discreet, has many neat functions (HDR and panoramic), and can shoot in low light situations. It also ...
Summary: I love this camera. It is fun to use, sharp, easy to carry, discreet, has many neat functions (HDR and panoramic), and can shoot in low light situations. It also refreshed a lot of old manual focus lenses that may have been collecting dust (like Minolta MD and MC lenses).
I was a little hesitant in buying this camera because of users complaining about the difficult interface but I'm glad I went with my gut. The pictures come out fantastic and can challenge DSLR's because of its sensor size and processing. It is also infinitely more discreet than carrying a DSLR (I have the Sony A700 and Minolta 7D with grips) so people are less intimidated. I would even consider buying another one because my wife likes it as well.
Very good but lack buttons. (18-55 lens)
by marcelobtp on February 8, 2011
Pros: Very good photo quality until ISO 1600, then usable until 6400.
Very good video quality.
Very compact, light weight.
Super sharp 3.0" LCD.
7 fps with AF off.
Good shot to shot fps without auto review.
Good zoom lens.
Cons: Lack more buttons!
ISO 12.800 not recomended using with 14 MP.
Under very bright sun LCD is quite impossible to use.
Flash has limited range and power.
A better battery is needed.
Lacks video controls.
Colors are not really accurate.
not dust proof.
Summary: i bought mine has almost 2 months, and i really like this camera, it's beautifull with this gorgeous LCD display, good handling, sweep panorama AUTO HDR, ISO very usable ...
Summary: i bought mine has almost 2 months, and i really like this camera, it's beautifull with this gorgeous LCD display, good handling, sweep panorama AUTO HDR, ISO very usable until 1600, and many other features that extends your creativity. This camera is easy to use and i like the menus even if people say it's difficult.
So I will say about the problems of the camera that really anoys me today.
My sensor has some dirty, i've never removed the lens, even though when i take a shot with lower apertures life F18 is shows clearly some black points on the frame. my friend has the same problem, and seems that the sensor cleaner doesnt do anything.
Another thing is the autofocus, that sometimes i can't understand why it can't focus! it has difficulty to focus close objects, mainly in low light situations. Sometimes it don't focus and only with manual focus or DMF i can do it but until there the bird probably has gone...
The lack of buttons makes this camera sometimes annoyng to go on manual mode, and some options you should have direct access but you can't, i don't think its a software fault but a hardware fault.
This camera is not very portable with the 18-55 lens so be aware with that.
I would like it to have a custom color mode that appears on the creativity mode, because the colors are not very accurate, normal people will not notice because the variation is not worrysome.
I really recomend people to buy the 18-200 lens because it's ultra sharp and you will get the best picture and super 11x zoom, losing all the portability, if pretend to use just one lens.
18-200 seems to be a rare item, so you will have to search well, and the price is too high.
To finish i recomend you guys to wait to NEXT NEX generation because they should re-think somethings and maybe add some others like touch screen gyroscope, because the image when viewed does not rotate with your movement.
That's it a very good camera to people who are searching for DSLR image quality with a compact size, very good ISO and don't worry too much with manual controls.
Obs: I normaly use Aperture priority and Manual, i'm not a pro, but not an amature either.
Wanted something light to carry on vacation.
by kgtexas on January 28, 2011
Pros: Size does matter! I didn't want to lug an SLR + accessories when traveling (did that way back when). This camera gives me the high end photos + control + HD movies I wanted over the point and shoot I've used over the last 10 yrs. Bought a 32GB SDcard
Cons: Lens selection is limited for now, except if you get a lens adapter to fit the other brands (but lose AF). Bought a 2nd battery (2200 mAh) non-Sony for $25 and works perfect, so I don't really have problems with battery life.
Summary: I bought this 5 months ago (I've been a Canon user for 28 yrs.) and have no regrets, my son bought the NEX-3 (to save some $'s) and has ...
Summary: I bought this 5 months ago (I've been a Canon user for 28 yrs.) and have no regrets, my son bought the NEX-3 (to save some $'s) and has the same opinion. Am now shopping for a 75mm-300mm zoom and then will be set. Now its time for Canon and Nikon to step their game (in this class of camera).
Portable and convenient SLR
by imj68 on January 2, 2011
Pros: Photo quality, ease of use
Cons: No hot shoe for flash
Summary: I think after playing with a few micro4/3 cameras (Panasonic, Olympus), I settled on this primarily because of size and price. I'm not a professional and did not ...
Summary: I think after playing with a few micro4/3 cameras (Panasonic, Olympus), I settled on this primarily because of size and price. I'm not a professional and did not want a DSLR but I wanted to step up from the point and shoot cameras I have had in the past. I wanted something portable that I could carry on my frequent tips. I've had it for a few days now and have enjoyed using it and am very pleased. Some of the complaints about the menu system are valid but many have been addressed by the latest firmware update.
DSLR quality shots, near p&s portability.
by mcfhsueh on December 24, 2010
Pros: Small size, light weight, fast shoot speed, beautiful and crisp LCD, low light shots, easy background defocus mode, hi quality video, simplified controls - none of those dial here & there, button here and there.
Cons: Hand grip is p&s sized, a bit too small for DSLR (heavier lens), battery seems to decrease a little too fast, no date stamp imprint on photo file. No standard sized hot shoe for flash.
Summary: Why did Sony leave out the date imprint function on the NEX? Canon's Rebel DSLRs don't have this feature either, but Nikon's Dxxxx series does. I wanted ...
Summary: Why did Sony leave out the date imprint function on the NEX? Canon's Rebel DSLRs don't have this feature either, but Nikon's Dxxxx series does. I wanted a camera that takes higher quality shots but don't want to lug around a full DSLR in the steamy hot weather while on vacation.
The NEX-3/5 has the densest LCD (also wide screen), a DSLR class lens, light weight, and small. "Roam like a tourist, shot like a Pro", that's Sony's slogan for this unit, and my sentiments. With the pan-cake lens, I can fit this into the side pocket of my cargo pants, with the 18-55mm lens in another pocket.
After upgrading the camera firmware to v3.0, the problem with menu selections not looping over is fixed.
I especially like speed of this camera's shot to shot, the easy to use panorama, and easy background defocus function. Once you see this unit's LCD, other cameras' would seem backward and crude.
Now for the color accuracy and over-saturation reviewers have complained about - I don't mind. I'd rather have a fast enough camera on hand, get the shot, then deal with the color & saturation afterward using software. For most people shots, it doesn't really matter if the color is dead on or not; I'm not sending the shots in for a photo contest. But if I missed the shot because the camera was too slow or I didn't bring the thing because it was too bulky, that cannot be fixed!
Overall, I'm satisfied with this camera. The Sony sales reps present at Best Buy really helped. They pointed me toward the Sony brand, whereas before I'd always look at the traditional established camera brands.
Favorite micro four thirds camera design.
by DJB91 on December 9, 2010
Pros: This camera is the smallest and most comfortable micro four thirds camera in the world at the moment.
Cons: The menu system on this camera is one of the most frustrating interfaces I have ever had the pleasure to use. I feel like Sony was trying to be artsy with the menu system but failed miserably. They should fix the menu system with a firmware update.
Summary: The hardware on this camera is very good. I have had the pleasure of holding both the Nex-3 and Nex-5 both are solid feeling cameras even know Nex-3 is made ...
Summary: The hardware on this camera is very good. I have had the pleasure of holding both the Nex-3 and Nex-5 both are solid feeling cameras even know Nex-3 is made of plastic. They're comfortable to hold and the shutter button is right wear it should be unlike some cameras. The image quality of this camera is very high, I would say right above an intro dslr. The features on this camera seem designed for point and shoot users which in my mind defeats the point of upgrading from a point and shoot to begin with. The scroll wheel on the camera as shown in the video does pass what you're looking for some of the time which can be really frustrating, All and all I believe the design of this camera is very unique and that Nex-5 is a platform for something better to come. I love the high resolution pop out screen. I wish it were less shiny and resisted finger prints better.
It would be nice if it filmed in 1080p instead of 1080i. It would be nice if it had built in flash that didn't take up space on the hotshoe. There is no optional viewfinder available and it would be really nice if Sony started using Carl Zeiss lenses again. Another big bonus would be if image stabilization was built into the body of the camera thus making all adapted lenses stabilized.
The video quality of the camera is terrific for how compact it is but the sound quality is very poor. Maybe an optional microphone with wind cancellation could fix this.
Great all around camera.
by nosliwffej on November 12, 2010
Pros: Fantastic HD video.
Easy to use camera. Generally very good photos.
Cons: Menu can be tough to negotiate
Summary: I've been waiting for a great camera which would also function as a video camera. The wait is over. I love this thing. The pictures are quite good and ...
Summary: I've been waiting for a great camera which would also function as a video camera. The wait is over. I love this thing. The pictures are quite good and the HD video is spectacular.
Almost a DSLR that I can throw in a briefcase
by galindenba on October 20, 2010
Pros: Excellent picture quality. Loaded with features. Small size and lenses essentially allow me to carry a fairly versatile photo kit in my brief case. Great price for the body and 2 lens kit. Long battery life.
Cons: DSLR lens adapter does manual focus only (Apparently this is not avoidable or Sony's fault). Controls can be a bit confusing at times. Only being able to frame via the LCD is a bit of a problem when sunny out.
Summary: First of all let me say I own the camera and use it a lot. I am also an avid wildlife photographer with over 30 years in the field so ...
Summary: First of all let me say I own the camera and use it a lot. I am also an avid wildlife photographer with over 30 years in the field so I own a great deal of high end kit already. Very good camera for the size and the price. Not for pro's per se, but perfect for the advanced amateur who is looking for a smaller camera with advanced features and performance. Autofocus area function seems to pick areas without much reason to do so. Electronic viewfinder would have been nice, but I doubt they could have made the body as small as it is if they added one. Like it a lot. Very happy that I bought it. Don't agree with the prior "fragility" review either. This thing travels everywhere with me and gets thrown around with my soft briefcase so it's taken a lickin' and keeps on shooting. I do primarily underwater photography and there are already 2 U/W housings out for it. Can't wait to get this thing on a dive to see what it can do. A higher performance compact U/W system is just what I've been waiting for. Adapter available for full size DSLR lenses. Like their newer laptops uses MS or SD cards.....thank you Sony...you finally figured that one out.As I said above, I could not wait to dive this camera. I shot with this camera and a Nikon D80 both in underwater housings for ten days in Papua New Guinea. At the end of the trip (And there were major pro guys traveling and shooting with me), I did a slide show and shuffled the images to see if anyone could tell the difference between the two systems....nobody could tell either in wide angle or macro.
Updated on Aug 30, 2011
A very good camera, with very few compromises.
by brokenwings786 on January 19, 2011
Pros: Compact size, stylish look, great metallic build quality, 7 fps fast shutter speed (faster than many DSLRs), good image quality, very good video quality, tilt-able high resolution LCD, relatively cheaper than it's competitors.
Cons: Picture quality is relatively soft, because of the soft lenses.
Menu system takes a while to get used to.
No hot-shoe, mediocre flash performance.
Short battery life. Long recharge time.
No image stabilization in body. (Neither in 16mm kit lens).
Summary: Overall NEX-5 is a great pocketable camera, with good image quality, impressive HD video quality. Any serious amateur, like myself will love this camera. The best thing is obviously the ...
Summary: Overall NEX-5 is a great pocketable camera, with good image quality, impressive HD video quality. Any serious amateur, like myself will love this camera. The best thing is obviously the size, I don't think you can buy another camera of this size with such great image quality. However, the images are still softer at times with NEX-5 if we compare to it's competitors such as Olympus EPL-1 and Panasonic GF1 & GF2.
The major turn off is the Sony kit lenses. If you are buying a 16mm kit lens only then let me tell you, you won't get any image stabilization, as it's not built into the body and neither in the 16mm kit lens. The zoom lens, however, has built in IS.
The build quality is great, it feels solid in hand. Despite it's small size the grip is still decent. But camera body is so small that there is no place to put any buttons on it, and you have to dig through menu's most of the time to access any little feature. The firmware 3 update however, let's you program a couple of buttons, so you can access some features such as ISO by a couple of touches.
The LCD is very crisp and clear, I did not have many problems manually focusing using LCD. It can tilt in two directions only, it's not fully tilt-able like Canon G12 however.
There is no built in flash, but that's not a big deal as there is a small flash that can be screwed on top of the camera. The flash however, takes some time to recharge after every shot, so forget using flash in continuous shooting. There is no hot-shoe, no 3.5mm microphone jack, that means you are restricted to use Sony's accessories only, such as flash, microphone and view finder (if camera supports one?).
Another problem is the battery life, it drains quite fast and takes 250 mins to fully recharge. Camera exhibits noise in low light condition at high ISO, bokeh is not awesome for such a wide prime lens, and camera also exhibits color fringing under certain conditions.
Despite all these problems, I still think NEX-5 is one of the best, if not the best pocketable high quality camera. After-all we can't expect a chunky battery, lots of dials, view finder and flash in such a tiny body. But one thing Sony needs to work on is the lens quality.
0 out of 1 users found this user opinion helpful.
Compact but fragile
by skibum70 on July 17, 2010
Pros: DSLR features
Cons: Shutter quite noisy.
Annoying menu system.
Summary: After getting a NEX-5 on the day it was released and playing with for a couple of days the camera stopped working with a "Camera error" message at startup. Sony ...
Summary: After getting a NEX-5 on the day it was released and playing with for a couple of days the camera stopped working with a "Camera error" message at startup. Sony Helpline was incredibly unhelpful passing me from support number to support number. Luckily Parcelforce have "lost" it in transit so I will at least get the insurance on it. I don't think I will be spending the insurance money on another NEX-5.
0 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
Specs: 14.2 megapixels,
27 - 82.5mm F/3.5,
15.6 x 23.4mm,
Exmor APS HD CMOS,
Optical (Steady Shot)
Specs: 14.2 megapixels,
27 - 82.5mm F/3.5,
15.6 x 23.4mm,
Exmor APS HD CMOS,
Optical (Steady Shot)
Specs: 14.2 megapixels,
15.6 x 23.4mm,
Specs: 14.2 megapixels,
15.6 x 23.4mm,
Exmor APS HD CMOS