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:

Video is no longer available:

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.

Link: Sony Nex 5N Camera Test Video/Review - EOSHD

Your Comment


it looks awesome, but I'm intrigued... how can this little puppy have so little moire and so much aliasing??

September 7, 2011 at 8:38AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


I am wondering the same thing. So much Aliasing... is the Nex 7 better with antialiasing`?

September 9, 2011 at 4:13PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


EOSHD is having a blast with their new 5N; here's a new article, with a comparison against vg20 and fs100, and also 5N video vs 5N downsampled stills:

September 8, 2011 at 1:52AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Check out my award winning short film shot entirely on a Nex5n. I used the Zeiss 24mm 1.8 for most of it.

February 23, 2012 at 7:28AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM