Sony NEX-3 / NEX-5

May 11, 2010 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Digital | 7 Comments |
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Sony has launched its first mirrorless interchangeable-lens system cameras, the Sony NEX-5 and the Sony NEX-3. Both cameras feature 14.2-megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS sensors, 25-point contrast-detect autofocus systems, 49-segment exposure meters and 3-inch tilting LCD panels with 921,000-dot resolution. Both the NEX-3 and the NEX-5 can capture fast-moving action with a high-speed burst of full-resolution images at up to 7fps. The new Sony NEX cameras feature the new E mount, but can also take regular Sony ? lenses via the optional LA-EA1 adapter. The NEX-5 has a magnesium alloy body and shoots Full HD (1920 x1080i) video as high-quality AVCHD files. The NEX-3 captures 720p HD video as compact MPEG4 files that are claimed to be “ideal” for PC storage and web sharing. Although the cameras have no built-in flash, they both come supplied with a super-compact clip-on flash that attaches via an accessory terminal (there’s no hot shoe though). The NEX-5 and NEX-3 cameras from Sony will be available in the UK from June 2010.

Sony Press Release

A revolutionary approach to interchangeable lens cameras from Sony

New Alpha digital cameras with DSLR picture quality and responsive shooting
World’s smallest and lightest1 interchangeable lens digital camera (NEX-5)
14.2 effective megapixels Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor
1080i HD movie recording (NEX-5) with stereo sound, fast and silent autofocus
Intuitive new interface with Help Guide and Shooting Tips
E-mount lens system compatible with ? DSLR lenses (with optional Mount Adaptor)
Sweep Panorama with 3D capability2

Professional quality images are now available to all. Enjoy the stunning picture quality and shooting responses prized by DSLR users in two exceptionally compact new cameras that are brilliantly easy to use.

Joining the Alpha family, the NEX-5 and NEX-3 team DSLR-quality imaging with the convenience of interchangeable lenses in a sleek new design, that slips easily into a bag or pocket. In contrast with conventional DSLR models, the ‘mirrorless’ construction shrinks the thickness of the cameras to just 24.2mm (NEX-5 excluding grip and mount) and 25.4mm (NEX-3, excluding grip and mount) at their slimmest points. As a luxurious extra refinement, the NEX-5 features a tough yet light-weight magnesium body, making it the world’s smallest and lightest interchangeable lens digital camera1.

At the heart of both cameras is a newly-developed Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor with a resolution of 14.2 effective megapixels. Far larger than the sensor inside conventional compact cameras, its key to the extremely low image noise and creative defocus effects that consumers have come to expect from DSLR cameras.

Still and video image quality is further refined by the powerful BIONZ processor that ensures speedy DSLR-style shooting reflexes with quick, precise autofocus and minimal shutter lag. Both cameras can also capture fast-moving action with a high-speed burst of full-resolution images at up to 7fps (AF/AE fixed from first frame).

An elegant, uncluttered user interface – featuring a new ‘never get lost’ menu – makes the powerful creative possibilities of the NEX-5 and NEX-3 accessible to photo enthusiasts and snap shooters alike. Shooting parameters are easily accessed via an intuitive control wheel and two soft keys. Turning the control dial, for example, allows depth of focus changes to be previewed ‘live’ on the LCD3, giving effortless control over beautiful, pro-style portraits. Further help for photographers developing their skills is provided by a library of on-screen shooting tips and a friendly help guide.

Images and camera settings are displayed on the large, bright 3” Xtra Fine LCD screen with TruBlack technology that tilts up or down for comfortable viewing in any shooting position. The screen features an auto-brightness function for excellent visibility, even when you’re outdoors. TruBlack screen technology enables an even more vivid, high-contrast view of images and camera settings.

Compatibility with a wide range of interchangeable lenses dramatically expands the artistic possibilities of the E-mount camera system.

Ideal for everyday shooting, the low-profile E 16mm F/2.8 ‘pancake’ lens (SEL16F28) minimises bulk when the camera is being carried in a coat pocket. Its field of view can be boosted even further by the VCL-ECU1 Ultra Wide Converter and VCL-ECF1 Fisheye Converter that deliver high-definition optical performance in a sleek, co-ordinated design.

Featuring in-lens Optical SteadyShot image stabilisation for clearer handheld images, the E 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 zoom (SEL1855) is perfect for every day shooting. The NEX-5 and NEX-3 are available in kit form with either lens, or as a double-lens kit that provides even greater shooting versatility.

The E 18-200 F/3.5-6.3 zoom (SEL18200) lens is also available and offers a powerful 11x magnification range. It also features Optical SteadyShot image stabilisation in the lens and Active Mode ensures steady movie capture even when on the move.

An optional LA-EA1 mount adaptor extends compatibility to the ? family of 30 lenses, plus a huge range of other legacy A-mount lenses (Manual Focus only).

The NEX-5 and NEX-3 are also the first ? cameras to offer the extra convenience of HD video recording. At the touch of a dedicated Movie REC button, both NEX-5 and NEX-3 shoots Full HD (1920 x1080) video as high-quality AVCHD files that can be enjoyed by connecting to an HD television. HD video (720p) can also be captured by NEX-3 as compact MPEG4 files that are ideal for PC storage and web sharing.  As an option, the smart accessory terminal on both cameras accepts the compact ECM-SST1 Stereo Microphone (optional) that captures a high-quality soundtrack for your HD videos.

The NEX-5 and NEX-3 are the first Alpha cameras featuring Sweep Panorama. Just press the shutter button and sweep the camera horizontally or vertically. A high-speed burst of frames is stitched together automatically to create detail-packed 23 megapixel panoramas with a 226 degree effective angle of view4.  As a world’s first, Sweep Panorama files can also be enjoyed in stunning 3D on compatible BRAVIA™ 3D televisions.5

As previously introduced on the DSLR-A550, Auto HDR has been further refined. The NEX-5 and NEX-3 can now shoot a high-speed burst of three images at different exposure values that are combined in the camera. This produces a single High Dynamic Range image with extended highlights, more mid tones and shadow detail.

Both cameras come supplied with a super-compact clip-on flash that attaches via the smart accessory terminal when needed for low-light shooting. Other optional accessories include the FDA-SV1 Optical Viewfinder plus colour coordinated cases and shoulder straps.

The NEX-5 and NEX-3 cameras from Sony will be available in the UK from June 2010.

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7 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Gilo

I guess it shoots RAW?

4:59 am - Wednesday, May 12, 2010

#2 Narada Thomas

@Gilo

Yes, It does. With RAW+Fine and RAW+Standard. :-)

6:17 am - Wednesday, May 12, 2010

#3 Thomas

Yes: http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/NEX5/NEX5A.HTM

8:00 am - Wednesday, May 12, 2010

#4 matt

It looks good, but... Samples on other sites show pretty serious colour fringing, much worse than on competitor cameras.

8:23 am - Wednesday, May 12, 2010

#5 Anonymous

watch this link at YouTube (it's Japanese)..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uicep63xgYo

at the 6:09 mark, you will see 2 NEW LENSES that Sony would be releasing..
1 FISHEYE, the other ULTRAWIDE ANGLE..

4:52 pm - Friday, May 14, 2010

#6 Robin Whalley

Looking forward to trying this out. I have an old 10Mpixel Sony R1 which is an amazing camera. I am hoping this is in the same class but smaller.

6:29 pm - Friday, May 14, 2010

#7 John Price

This is a great camera which I have now as my basic "compact" to complement my KM 5D and Sony A350.
With the firmware upgrade you can designate the lower soft button for ISO, it shoots RAW, is fabulous in low light so you hardly need a flash, Auto HDR is a boon, you soon get used to the menus, leave it on Aperture Priority. Get a screen protector and a generic spare battery and there is no looking back.
Brilliant.

10:01 pm - Monday, February 14, 2011