Sony's New $600 NEX-5N Hybrid Camera Put to the Test
In addition to the A77, A65, NEX-7 and NEX-VG20, Sony will also soon be shipping the $600 NEX-5N, a diminutive, low-cost hybrid camera with an APS-C sensor. Despite the lack of a mirror (thus making the NEX-5N not a DSLR, technically), this camera should be capable of the same shallow depth-of-field images that have popularized HDSLRs, and a few sites have gotten their hands on it for testing purposes. Note that some of these videos follow the standard tradeshow practice of camera manufacturers: bring in female models to a predominantly male world in order to show "skin tones." I'm not judging, just saying. To the tests:
Here's a comparison from EOSHD comparing the NEX-5N to the Panasonic GH2; the GH2 is certainly sharper, but then again my 5D Mark II loses to the GH2 in sharpness as well (EOSHD's Andrew Reid calls the NEX-5N's resolution "better than Canon," though I still find plenty to like about Canon DSLRs, any relative lack of resolution notwithstanding). The vid:
The NEX-5N is a $600 camera, and there are some limitations beyond image quality: first of all, there's no external microphone, so you've got to go separate system sound with it. Also, there's no hot shoe on the camera, so you'll need a rig of some sort if you want to attach anything (like a sound recorder... ). However, the NEX-5N does apparently offer an unscaled mini-HDMI output. In another test, Jared Abrams at Wide Open Camera tests the NEX-5N with some Contax-mount Zeiss lenses:
Finally, EOSHD discovered that, while the AVCHD 2.0 codec performs less than admirably under duress, there's a setting on the NEX-5N designed specifically to minimize banding. Strange, but helpful. Video evidence:
See the full review below at EOSHD for more details.