Sony NEX-5 Review

July 5, 2010 | Gavin Stoker | |

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#1 Matt

Even though this camera isn’t for me, I’m glad to see that there are more choices becoming available to the consumer. I really like the mirror-less design of the four-thirds and EVIL formats but unfortunately I don’t want to have to deal with replaceable lenses. A small zoom with a big sensor,a relatively affordable price (cheaper than Sigma’s point and shoots), and something small enough to fit in a pocket is what I’m waiting for.

Thanks for the review!

2:55 pm - Monday, July 5, 2010

#2 Hannes

I really love the simple “basic” design of the NEX-5. While much others say it looks awkward with the big lens and the tiny body I think it’s interesting, and the idea to use a standard “compact camera”-design in a system camera is what I looked for.

Also the interface seems to fit my needs. But is the picture quality good enough to justify an upgrade from an Canon IXUS 210?

Thanks for your replies!


3:13 pm - Monday, July 5, 2010

#3 zebarnabe

“First off, the rectangular body shape and blocky grip looked to our eyes closer to the austere ‘built in a Russian tractor factory’ style of Ricoh’s GXR system camera than the immediately appealing retro finesse of an Olympus Pen, or modernist rubber clad curves of the Panasonic G series.” - That must be one of the best reviews sentences around PB ...

I think this camera is at the too small point… if one fits a bigger zoom/tele lens he/she has to hold the lens and not the camera.. :/

Overall i think it’s an impressive little camera, but with m43 settled in this segment of cameras it would only please to those that want a smaller camera… but then, a premium compact would make more sense…

3:36 pm - Monday, July 5, 2010

#4 Jimmy

Has anyone tried to reduce the in camera sharpening to allow for less soft photos? Or shot in raw and see the result? the soft pics is strange and it may not be the lens but aggressive in camera processing

4:57 pm - Monday, July 5, 2010

#5 Bob Wootton

I am looking to buy a new camera; superzoom or DSLR, I am undecided as yet. However my local specialist camera shop does not stock Sony cameras because from their experience, Sony back up and support service is not good enough. Has anyone out there had this problem?

6:38 pm - Monday, July 5, 2010

#6 pb

My Tz"s yes, my g9 yes, Ep1l yes, this is image quality from a ?what? size sensor?

11:57 pm - Monday, July 5, 2010

#7 Tony


Yep, Zeb, it’s a fine and wonderful sentence and a credit to its author. However, as a former newspaper sub-editor and photographer, one has to ask: What does it mean? And I take it that the Panasonic G series has “rubber-clad” curves, as opposed to rubber clad curves? What is a clad on its own and does the possession of one improve one’s photography?

Seriously, I find this camera interesting. I see nothing wrong with using a lens as a camera. Back to basics, really.

12:02 am - Tuesday, July 6, 2010

#8 jezza


Small interchangeable lens cameras are great, but there has to be balance i think between the size of the lens and the camera body.

Its nice to have a tiny camera body but with a hulking big lens on the front the overall sze is bulky, and one would think a bit hard to handle??

Either much smaller lenses or a relative sized body packing in more and more things would be the way to go. Sometimes smaller isnt necessarily better…....

11:37 pm - Tuesday, July 6, 2010

#9 Francoise

Here it is sold for 1100 dollars with standard lens. shall i buy it ? is it good?


11:38 pm - Tuesday, July 6, 2010

#10 Tony

Francoise @9

Where is “here”? America, Europe? Asia?

As a professional photographer, I find this camera interesting. (I began my photographic career on a newspaper, in the mid-1960s. We used Leicas, then Nikons.)

Should you buy it? That depends on your knowledge. What do you wish to photograph and for what purpose? If you are serious about photography, it’s certainly an option to be considered. But first, learn the basics of photography. That is, aperture, shutter speed. Light. Get that right and pretty much any camera will do ...

I like the concept of this camera for two main reasons.

1. Its design recognizes the technical fact that photography is all about lenses - and the operator’s eye.

2. It does RAW. The digital negative. And the electronics have been shrunk. It is, I gather, strong. It is approaching my ideal digital camera - small, strong metal box, FF sensor, optical viewfinder, no crap like “face detect” or “smile” mode. In fact, no modes. Just full manual, shutter priority or aperture priority. Powered by readily available AA batteries.

Come to think of it, the new Samsung EX1 almost fits this bill ... but has yet to be proved in the field.

3:21 am - Wednesday, July 7, 2010

#11 Michael

Looks like an interesting camera. Anyone purchased one of these in Australia yet, and if so for what price?

3:28 am - Wednesday, July 7, 2010

#12 zebarnabe


Unless you’re looking for the smallest body possible for an interchangeable lens camera, there are better things, or at least more mature… (for example, micro four thirds cameras)

Also, like Tony said, don’t expect to use it to its best without knowing the basics…

9:14 am - Wednesday, July 7, 2010

#13 Tony

Jezza @8

Hmmmm. I take your point, but it depends on whether one needs a camera to take photographs - in all conditions - and be paid for it? Or is a camera simply a fashion accessory to be shown off at the local coffee parlour?

I want a simple, strong box full of durable,  no-frills electronics that will accept a good lens. Preferably Nikon. And an optical viewfinder. A must.

I’ve lugged too many heavy Nikon film cameras to not welcome the electronic revolution. But I want it light, strong, reliable - in all conditions.

The manufacturers of cameras are slowly getting it right, but I will wait for about another five years. By that time, maybe Leica will come to its senses ...

10:15 am - Wednesday, July 7, 2010

#14 Peter

I have used the Panasonic GH1 with it’s super zoom HD lens for 12 months now It is the best that micro 4/3rds have to offer and a great camera.

But my new Sony Nex 5 beats it hands down in most respects - but in particular low light video and stills - a key weakness of all the Panasonic G cameras.

I find the Sony menu system very pragmatic and easy to use for a pro-sumer.  My DSLR is history now as I finally have a portable camera that I can rely on.

11:17 pm - Wednesday, July 14, 2010

#15 Michael

I just bought this camera (NEX 5) and I love it.  I’m glad I didn’t listen to many of the negative reviews.  The menus are fast and easy to get to.  The camera takes fantastic photos with amazing video.

I also have the Panasonic GF1 so now I can alternate between them.

I think Sony has done a great job with this camera.

7:13 pm - Thursday, July 15, 2010

#16 Suzi

I purchased an NEX-5 about 4 weeks ago.  Initially the battery life was shocking (it seemed to be processing even when turned off). A firmware upgrade to V.02 resolved the problem and since then I have been absolutely delighted with the NEX-5.  I own a Nikon D700 which, although I love, is just too big and heavy for every day use.  The Sony has produced some cracking shots so far - a compact camera with an APS-C sized sensor is what I have been waiting for.  As a previous Song F717 owner, finally we have a true successor.  Many reviews comment the menu system is clunky, but apart from a couple of extra clicks to change ISO, everything is very well laid out and intuitive..  Quite a few reviews have moaned the defocus option is dumbing down - but is it? After all, changing the aperture does just that, whats wrong with making it more accessible to people who really cannot get their head around aperture and f stops?  Final word on the screen, I was a bit concerned about battery drain and ability to see the screen in sunlight, especially as all the controls are soft and changed via the wheel/screen and not hardware buttons. Having fixed the battery life bug, I’ve not had any problems, the screen is bright and gorgeous in daylight!

11:32 am - Saturday, July 17, 2010

#17 TomS

I am still getting used to the size and quality of my nex-5 w/16mm lens but so far I’m impressed.  Does anyone have a suggestion for a camera bag small enough that this camera won’t rattle around inside it?  I’ve seen the form fitting leather ones, but want a bag that will fit a couple of accessories too.

5:13 pm - Saturday, July 31, 2010

#18 Avril

Hi, has anyone had printed the stitched pics. the nex5 takes, does it cost more to print, does it take ages to download these shots from the camera?

1:04 pm - Wednesday, August 11, 2010

#19 Tony Shepherd

I have always been a NIKON fan and use my D300 and D80 all the time with mutliple lenses and love them.  Bought the NEX-5 with the 18-55mm kit lens a month ago and took a 10 day trip to Italy and forced myself to take just one camera.  The NEX-5 produced some of the best pics I have ever taken and I was blown away by the results.  I purchased a second battery and the optical eyepiece and spent time in Rome, Florence and Venice and took over 2,000 pics.  I am having trouble deciding which ones to process as they are so good.  If price is not an issue to you, take the plunge, spend time learning the menu system (not that bad actually) and don’t look back.  You won’t regret it.

5:00 pm - Wednesday, August 18, 2010

#20 Avril

Thanks Tony, I also have Nikon D80 plus Sony Cybershot. I hope to go a cruise to Egypt next year and didn’t want to carry D80 but find screen of the Sony difficult to see in bright sun. I hoped Nex-5 would be good for bright sun withought using an eyepiece. My other Sony has one but I find it difficult to see with as my eyesight could be better. I see you bought an eyepiece, did you have problems seeing the screen when you were away?

9:26 pm - Wednesday, August 18, 2010

#21 Tony Shepherd

Hi Avril:

I bought the eyepiece just because I was worried about the screen in bright light.  I shouldn’t have bothered, since the screen was perfect at all times, even in very bright sun.  Keep in mind that the screen tilts so you can always find the right angle to block birght lights. 

The eyepiece is also optical and not electronic, so it does not give the “through the lens” view like a regular DSL and in some instances, especially when using the lens at it’s longest telephoto setting, my pictures were not composed properly.  I found that I stopped using it almost immediately and now just keep the flash gun permanently attached (which makes the camera look kinda cool).  Hope this helps.


9:50 pm - Wednesday, August 18, 2010

#22 Avril

Hi Tony, many thanks for all your help, I will probably buy the NEX5 now as you’ve answered all the querys I had. I might wait untill nearer the end of the year to see if the price comes down a bit tho. I’m looking forward to trying out the stitching feature in Egypt. Happy snapping
Avril x

1:23 pm - Thursday, August 19, 2010

#23 Tony Shepherd

Hi Avril:

The stitch feature works very well for static pictures like landscapes and buildings and streetscapes,etc.  It’s not so good if there are people or vehicles in the scene if they are moving.  You get some interesting results - three legged people, or headless people, etc.  Other than that it’s a fantastic feature.  Good luck.


2:30 pm - Thursday, August 19, 2010

#24 chino

i’ll probably wait for the next generation of this line.. NEX-? something…

2:06 pm - Tuesday, August 24, 2010

#25 Dave

Heads up! Sony’s NEX7 (Improved but, More costly) and the NEX10 (Full HD Camcorder) are just around the corner….

6:06 pm - Wednesday, September 1, 2010

#26 chris


This camera seems very interesting but I have been wondering if the fact that the 16mm pancake lens wasn’t stabilised (as opposed to the other lenses) prestented any problems (blurry pictures…)?


11:11 am - Saturday, September 4, 2010

#27 Steven

Well reading the comments I think im decided…

I was going to buy the DSC HX5 as I was hooked on the sweep panorama.Also I was going to get a camcorder to accompany the camera but then saw reviews on the NEX5 Im gonna just put the money towards this camera instaed of a camcorder as well…Is this wise?? Also im just your usual holiday snapper who wanted something different just didn’t want the large DSLR’s

3:10 pm - Sunday, September 12, 2010

#28 liam

hi michael. u said u have Gf1 and NEX5. which one do u prefer? which camera can produce better quality pictures. i am dilemma in chosing between these two cameras. thanks bro =)

3:17 pm - Sunday, September 12, 2010

#29 Md Saiful Alam

Thanks for posting the nice info of Sony NEX-5

10:20 am - Tuesday, September 21, 2010

#30 Clipping path

I like the blog . Thanks

10:23 am - Tuesday, September 21, 2010

#31 mavxp

Can you get an GPS accessory for the NEX5 for geotagging photos? Anyone know?

11:50 pm - Friday, September 24, 2010

#32 Richard

I noticed that the camera gets warm. Is this normal?  Thanks.

6:55 am - Thursday, September 30, 2010

#33 Tim

All, after reading the review, where it questioned the image quality, I want to thank those who have commented on real life experience.  Interestingly, the Photo Blog reviewers gave all the M43 products in the same price range higher image ratings, even though the sensors are so much smaller.

After getting your feedback I think they should try again!

4:05 pm - Saturday, October 9, 2010

#34 Dave

“I think this camera is at the too small point… if one fits a bigger zoom/tele lens he/she has to hold the lens and not the camera.. :/”

Don’t most cameras with a longer barrel have you supporting the lens?

I am not sure what your beef is.

Indeed I bough a Nex5 and am quite impressed, better than the 4/3 olympus we have. Night shots especially awesome. The low noise level is good to see. The bigger sensor is definately an huge advantage over 4/3, you can see it instantly in the pictures.

The latest firmware, v3, fixes a lot of the GUI complaints, it cannot get much simpler.

And it is in between basic snap shots and professional, it’s somewhere in the middle ground, so you can only compare to it’s near rivals. And on that score, for price to performance, it wins hands down.

People who make comments about holding the lens barrel maybe have not used an SLR… but really, I am not sure it’s fair to compare to 2000 dollar SLRs at all.

It’s an advanced/high end compact. It nears the SLR and betters some of the lower end ones.

It’s not fair to expect much more at the price level.

8:47 pm - Saturday, October 16, 2010

#35 Chris S

Pretty new to this. Would a Nex 5 work well with a Zeiss 35mm 2.0 rangefinder lens and adapter? I’m thinking primarily for travel.

10:34 pm - Saturday, October 16, 2010

#36 Josh H

The review states that putting on the flash is difficult because of access to the screw. I thought this too at first until I found the back access hatch on the flash that totally exposes the screw and makes it simple.
With the v3 firmware, having soft button customization is awesomel now having direct access to iso and setting the features I want makes this camera a much better camera control wise.

It’s awesome they are offering both lens in a deal now, and with a md/mc adapter there are a lot of very cheap options for used glass to expand the camera.

4:58 pm - Thursday, October 21, 2010

#37 Pedro M. Porrata

Excellent pictures with the 18-55 model SEL 1855 lens. 3meg minimum resolution is ok for casual shooting. BUT the camera is not well backed up by Sony yet. It is too new. I lost my flash on the first day I received it, October 2nd, 2010, and to this date October 22, Sony cannot provide this flash through any of its outlets, SonyStyle, Sony Parts, or dealers. More so, there are no compatible flash units in the market. So, if you need a larger flash, forget it. It is shameful that Sony can put such a fine camera in the market without proper backup. I would NOT purchase this camera until full back up is available through Sony or through dealers

9:26 pm - Saturday, October 23, 2010

#38 Gareth Owen

Well,How boring can people be on such things that DON’T matter.I purchased a Lumix G1 Panasonicin Feb2010.Not a patch on this NEX5.Night time shots fantastic,easy to follow menu(hardly looked at instruction book )and are people so weak that they can’t put another hand up to the lens!I think it looks great and certainly people do ask “what sort of camera is that ?”
I agree with the back up comment I have ordered the 200mm lens and have now waited two months.i am Uk based but was in Switzerland recently and no shortage of them there.Looks like the UK really has lost the plot.But seriously anyone want a G1 Panasonic cheap !

5:32 pm - Sunday, October 24, 2010

#39 Bob


D3100 or nex5, what would you say?

5:22 pm - Wednesday, October 27, 2010

#40 Gareth Owen

sorry bob what is a D3100

12:16 pm - Thursday, October 28, 2010

#41 zebarnabe

I think he means Nikon D3100 ... it is a different equipment all together…

NEX5 sensor seems to be a bit better (i would say a stop of advantage), but the ergonomics and other features kinda make it bad… personally i would go for a Nikon as the smallest body my hands can have is a G1/2/10/GH1/2 body size… smaller than that and i’ll be pressing lots of buttons by accident :/

Lens might be another pressing issue… and flash unit…

On a side note, and being totally honest, i kinda dislike sony stuff, so i may be biased to Nikon (or any other) from the start…

12:37 pm - Thursday, October 28, 2010

#42 Gareth Owen

I am not a professional but on thing I do know is that very often with any hobby/sport you will end up with more than one item.I shoot in the field and over clays and have five different guns ! maybe that awnswers some questions of the readers!!

10:47 am - Friday, October 29, 2010

#43 Peter McCullough

Understand where you are coming from - but the whole point is that people cannot afford or do not need 5 cameras.

I had several guns, until I realised that my Beretta Ultralight was the perfect gun for me.  Sure there are compromises, but it is a great, small light gun for the field but very capable in all uses except where you need magnum cartridges.

Same is true of the Nex-5.  If you want a small but capable SLR-type camera with interchangeable lenses - it is very hard to beat.  The Lumix series are OK, but in low light they are a disaster, especially on video - the Nex-5 has no such compromises, indeed it is better than many traditional SLR’s.

I am no Sony fan - this is the first Sony product that has impressed me - OK the menu is not everyone’s taste because it is different - but I find it quick and easy to use - others will hate it.

As they say - the best camera is the one you have with you - that means my best camera is my iPhone 4 (and it is great for 720p video and non-moving subjects), but the Nex-5 is small enough to be there a lot of the time.  The Lumix GH1 will be in the cupboard at home along with all the other big clunky stuff.

8:13 pm - Friday, October 29, 2010

#44 zebarnabe

Yep, Nex-5 also impressed me in image quality, not so much in video…

“The best camera is the one you have with you” .... that’s why i carry the GH1 + 14-140mm in a single small bag (it’s a bag for a bridge camera, it even has the picture of a Canon SX20 on the paper) everywhere i go - one camera, one bag, most of my needs are filled ;)

But yes… currently mobile phones with camera are everywhere and are more than enough to grab nice mementos and many people want a camera just for that, rarely printing those or requiring lots of quality…

I can’t understand why you say GH1 is a disaster in low light videos (perhaps G2 or G10 doesn’t work as well), sure, NEX-5 has less noise, but saying it’s a disaster…

I would add to that and say: the right camera for you is the one that more closely fill your needs ... so being a mobile phone or a medium format camera, if it works for you… get it!

11:21 pm - Friday, October 29, 2010

#45 Peter McCullough

I had exactly the same as you - GH1 + 14-140 - and as a camera it was a great replacement and improvement on my Nikon.  But at dusk, the video was unusable - the stills were too noisy - the Nikon was better.

The Nex-5 changed all that, performing very well at dusk and even darker.  This was a big issue for me.

The GH1 is still to big to fit in a coat pocket - so a smaller, lighter and cheaper camera that outperforms is too good to pass up.

I sold my GH1 for 400 more than I paid for the Nex-5 - good deal and I am pleased with the outcome.

9:52 am - Saturday, October 30, 2010

#46 Gareth Owen

Thanks Peter you talk one has picked up on my comment of not being able to get the 200mm lens Iv’e had one on order from Jessops for about to months.They say it is still being made!!...I was in Switzerland recently and a photo shop in Basel had them in stock so should have got one then.The other point I would like to make is the price of the case for the Nex-5 £80 + or so what a joke.

10:57 am - Saturday, October 30, 2010

#47 Gabor

This review is far olympus pen oriented! I really feel that who wrote this review, already had his opinion before trying NEX-5 and “just” did his job, well, i won’t criticize it, but not impartially/ neutrally.
I just bought one NEX-5 and I have to say that the camera’s manufacturing quality is amazing, much above the standard (the body is in Magensium alloy! Not Chinese made plastic like the most!!). how can you give only 3.5 for the design!?
The APS-C sensor gives you a low light sensitivity that any micro 4/3 won’t never be able to give… image quality is amazing, FULL HD videos are awesome… Up to now only pros, no conservatives. I really recommend this camera to everybody. When you need AUTO mode the camera does his job very well, when you want to play around with the manual settings you can change everything you wish. Well done SONY, brilliant product !

5:49 pm - Thursday, November 25, 2010

#48 Daniel Brown

I am going on African Safari next year. I ‘m hoping to capture some amazing shots of wild life, I’ve never handled anything beyond your normal point and shoot camera costing less that £90.
I was contemplating getting a canon D500 (which I now find too bulky and would like to travel on the light side), until I saw this - I like the size and it fits my budget. But would it give me quality shots for moving wild life and at a distance. My knowledge of cameras is next to nothing pse help!

5:29 pm - Sunday, November 28, 2010

#49 NigelusPrime

Buy the kit option with two lenses if you can - the 16mm equates to a 24mm wide angle on a 35mm full frame - stop it down to f8 and you will get some of the sharpest images you have ever seen from a Digital camera, let alone a compact!
I think a 16-105mm zoom would be a good one for Sony to bring out - the 18-55mm zoom is just a little too short at the telephoto end - Image quality from the 18-55mm zoom is not brilliant at full aperture, but perks up remarkably around f5.6/f6.3  
If you’re having problems with battery life - upgrade the firmware to Sony’s latest version, it makes a big difference!

10:25 pm - Monday, November 29, 2010

#50 Pedro M. Porrata

As of today Sony has not made the flash for the Nex-5 available for sale. I ordered one on October 2nd and am still waiting. My new camera has not had a flash unit since I bought it. I am patient but Sony could and should do a better job at making these indispensable parts available sooner.

11:25 pm - Monday, November 29, 2010

#51 Tim

No flash?  Mine came in the box with my Nex-5.  You should check back with your dealer or Sony direct in your area.


9:17 am - Tuesday, November 30, 2010

#52 NigelusPrime

The flash was supplied with my ‘kit’ Nex-5 and it is listed as being part of the kit - in the UK the flash is supplied with th eNex-5 wether ort not you buy the single lens option or the dual lens option kit.

9:57 am - Tuesday, November 30, 2010

#53 Mr Alvarez

How did you get the sample images that goes beyond 55mm? The lens of the unit you evaluated at that time is 18-55mm only?

10:45 am - Sunday, December 5, 2010

#54 Pedro M. Porrata

The dealer did not have a flash to provide me. They suggested I contact Sony Parts, which I did. Sony Parts took the order to be shipped to a friend in Florida because they don’t ship to Puerto Rico. They also asked me for a credit card which I gave them (AMEX), and am still waiting for the part, two months plus 4 days into the fracas. Counting on Sony I got back to the dealers too late and I lost my opportunity for a full camera replacement (30 days). So now I have to wait for Sony and they seem not to be interested in helping me. I have called the order department, the service departement and a special service department for priority service. NONE have responded to my request for the flash. All of you that received your flash with the camera please don’t lose it because Sony is not ready to supply a replacement.

12:24 am - Tuesday, December 7, 2010

#55 Grentey

I think the bigest problem of computer HDR of the NEX-5 is the AUTO-HDR works from +/- 1 EV to +/- 6 EV in the NEX-5 but the exposure bracketing for Photomatix Pro, Artizen HDR o Photoshop ONLY works
from +/- 0,3 EV to +/- 0,7 EV. (0.7 steps).

Anyone can understand the reasons of that deficit (very easily solvable with a new firmware) in the best Sony 3D camera?

The problem with the computeral HDR in the Nex-5
is its poor exposure bracketing: only +0,7 , 0 , -0,7 (or +0,3 0 -0,3…

From the web:


“One big problem of the NEX is if you want to use the auto bracket feature, it is limitated to ±0.7EV with 3 shots. To get a good result with photomatix you will need at least ±2.0EV shots. To achieve that result with the NEX you’ll need to change the settings between each shot, so it won’t be possible to do it handheld”.


“The images clearly need some post processing. Not sure this is really a con for us because it is hard to believe that the camera could do a perfect job. As the result the camera produces very soft and de-saturated images.

Only 3 shots in bracketing and the bracketing only allows +/- 2/3 EV exposure steps. This seems strangle because the in-camera merge allows more EV spacing.

The easy solution, from Sony for us, is to increase the exposure steps of the bracketing for acheve the best HDR results.

In the ideal world we would like to be able to get all exposures as RAW files and the merged image as well. If this would be too hard to implement then Sony should at least allow to get the middle exposure as a RAW file because we are not really happy with the NEX JPEG quality (shadows are way too much crushed for our taste)”.



6:30 pm - Tuesday, December 7, 2010

#56 Andrew

Hello everybody!

Please tell me, it is enough to buy the 16 mm lens or I need the 18-55mm to take nice photos? I’m short with money…And is it true that with the 16mm it’s impossible the defocusing feature- a nice feature?

Thanks a lot!!!

8:05 pm - Wednesday, December 8, 2010

#57 Nigelusprime

So long as you don’t mind manual focus only- you can buy lens adapters off eBay for around £25 / $45 which will allow you to attach Nikon, Canon, pentax bayonet lenses to your NEX - it is even possible to get an adapter for m42 thread lenses - this greatly increases the versatility of your NEX and avoids you having to shell out for expensive Sony dedicated lenses -I used my Nikon 60mm macro on my NEX5 courtesy of one of these adapters and got wonderful high quality images.

11:10 am - Thursday, December 9, 2010

#58 DRS

Could someone please tell me what if any is the difference between the Nex 5 and the Nex 5K.

10:25 pm - Sunday, December 12, 2010

#59 Tim

So far as I can tell it’s just a kit number i.e. a Sony NEX-5 with a 18-55mm Lens.

9:17 am - Monday, December 13, 2010

#60 Baij Patel

I’m planning to buy this at the airport next week or online before the end of the year while Sony have their VAT-back offer in the UK.  I wasn’t sure having read the review but the majority of your comments here are very positive so I’ll give it a shot!

12:57 am - Saturday, December 18, 2010

#61 sean

Hi guys,

bought one myself.

While it takes nice photos (a nice upgrade from my previous camera ... an old fujifilm finepix) its menu system is somewhat agrevating.

I just spent an hour trying to work out why I couldn’t select the exposure bracketing .. because all it would tell me is that it is “currently disabled” but not tell me why.

Another annoyance;

I would think it is common sense to be able to do exposure bracketing on a self-timer?

Lets say you wanted to do your own HDR, and use bracketing to do so. You can’t do it with the nex-5 with any confidence, because you have to be holding the button down when it takes the shots. It doesn’t let you set it up, let the camera go (on a stand) and do its thing in a few seconds.


Or am I missing something?

Otherwise, takes nice shots. A good newbies camera. But needs work on the menu system.

7:00 am - Saturday, December 18, 2010

#62 Nigelusprime

I like the comment about the NEX-5 being a good ‘newbies’ camera, but I would like to add, that from my perspective - a professional who has been equipped with a brace of Nikon bodies and a wide selection of lenses from 6mm to 1000mm for many years. I have found the NEX-5 a totally refreshing approach to compact high quality digital photography - true the menus are quirky and I hope Sony will address this issue with future firmware updates, but that little camera is capable of capturing stunning quality ‘commercially’ valid images if needed. To those of you looking for a great point and shoot, ‘street camera’  try it with the pancake lens, with the aperture set f5.6 or higher - the results may astound you!

12:58 pm - Saturday, December 18, 2010

#63 sean

Yes, I should qualify my ‘newbies’ comment.

I stated this only with from the point of view of someone who is a newbie; Someone usually content with point and shoot on Automatic mode. And the NEX-5 does a wonderful job of it. And ‘newbie’ because from all my reading reviews, the lack of fine control (or at least, quick and convenient) is something that is pointed to as something that a professional would not be content with. Although, the latest firmware (v3) makes some amends with this.

Again, my only complaint with this camera is the seemingly illogical restrictions within modes (as described in my earlier comment). And I only complain, in the hope that others have also found this a problem, and that the more people who say so might prompt sony into recognizing it as an issue, and provide a solution for it in a future firmware update.

Otherwise, I am quite happy with it.

1:35 pm - Saturday, December 18, 2010

#64 Nigelusprime

.... And before I forget

Try to resist the temptation to capture only jpeg images with your Nex, it is far better to capture raw or raw + jpeg with these cameras and post process with your ‘favourite’ image processing application. Jpegs will yield soft images, which can be improved with post processing, BUT, to nowhere near the extent thar raw images can be processed. Remember that raw provides you with the most detailed digital negative, from which you can always derive jpeg or tiff images later.

1:36 pm - Saturday, December 18, 2010

#65 sean


thanks for the tip! I’ll give the raw format a try!

1:38 pm - Saturday, December 18, 2010

#66 mat

It is UGLY, huge barrel on compact power and shoot camera, unaccepetable. will go for any newer entry level dslr, or proper looking camera.

8:34 am - Sunday, December 19, 2010

#67 Nigelusprime

Go on then, but it’s the photographer that makes the picture, not the camera, so purchasing purely on aesthetics is no guarantee to achieving good results - once a snapshotter, always a snapshotter!

11:18 am - Sunday, December 19, 2010

#68 Mohammed Al-Dhafeeri

To all people who owned professional cameras from either Nikon or Canon. After you had purchased NEX-5.

1- Would you recommend it?
2- Is it really that the image quality is not that good?
3- Have you tried the 16mm lens, is it really that the images produced on aperture more than 12 are not that sharp?
4- Overall what do you think?

I got Canon 450D, and I need a new camera that record HD videos. So, I’m kinda lost. I don’t want to take photos that are not really in good quality. I’m happy with the fine results of my 450D. I hope the NEX-5 is the same tho!

Thank you in advance, waiting to hear your opinions and answers to my questions.

7:57 am - Saturday, December 25, 2010

#69 Claire


It has been really helpful for me reading all these comments.  I was stuck between deciding to buy an Olympus Pen and the Sony Nex-5.  I am now deided on the Sony.  I have just one question, at the moment but budget only allows me to buy one lens, which is the better lens to have on it’s own before I am able to buy the second?  I am tempted to go with the 16mm lens to begin with due to size?  Any help on this would be greatly appreciated!!

3:56 pm - Wednesday, December 29, 2010

#70 Pedro M. Porrata

I would buy the short zoom, 18-58. It works great for all kinds of photos, later you can buy the other lenses. Please read my comment on losing my flash unit. Make sure you don’t lose yours by attaching it well… Up to now, almost three months after I purchased the camera Sony has not shipped my order for a new flash and they say it is still out of stock.

5:08 pm - Wednesday, December 29, 2010

#71 Claire

Hey, thanks for responding.  I have ordered it today and managed to find it for an ok price with both lenses, so have ordered it with both now.  I will be collecting it on Friday.  I will take extra care not to lose the flash!! Thanks for the warning.

9:03 pm - Wednesday, December 29, 2010

#72 Baij Patel

Tip for anyone buying the Nex-5 (may be too late for you Claire):

I got a really good price by buying from the Sony Style shop at Heathrow Terminal 5 last week.  I found a price for £467 online (following Sony VAT cashback promo) at for the camera plus the two lens kit and 5 year warranty.  Sony Style matched the price but could only offer 1 year warranty.  I have since seen the camera with only one lens being offered for £499 in a regular Sony Style shop (ie not tax-free and without VAT-back offer).  The other benefit from buying from Sony Style at Heathrow was that Sony’s VAT-back promo that was running till Dec 24 could be processed by them immediately (ie I didn’t need to post a form and wait for the cheque).  So all in all, a very good deal.
Been looking at my pics from my Dubai holiday and I’m really impressed with the colours the Sony produces although the flash is a little weak.
Not impressed that the flush-fit Sony camera case cover you can buy doesn’t even allow space to keep the flash attached to the camera body however you can hang it off the strap.
Hope that helps someone!

11:22 am - Thursday, December 30, 2010

#73 Nigelusprime

You did well to get the two lens kit at a good price - the lenses bought in isolation tend to be really expensive! Bought in a bundle however they represent real value for money. I hope you have many a happy hour taking great pictures with your new Sony. A word or two of advice though… Firstly get to know the camera’s ‘quirky’ menu system well, it will make things a lot easier knowing where it’s menu controls are hidden and how they operate. Also consider shooting in raw + jpeg simultaneously so you get the best quality if you need it and also the convenience of print ready compact jpegs.

11:43 am - Thursday, December 30, 2010

#74 Claire

I am collecting it tomorrow now, so once I have got it will spend the rest of the day getting used to it and learning how to use it.  Thanks for the advice, much appreciated :).

3:20 pm - Thursday, December 30, 2010

#75 Claire

Picked the camera up today. Absolutely love it.

Just read your comment Baij… that’s a good price.  I got mine with both lenses for £499 - although I did find one online for £459 but wasn’t in stock, and I wanted it now, so paid £499 for it.  Am looking forward to taking some more shots with it.  I would love to use it in Dubai as all my many Dubai photos were taken with a 7mpx digital camera!! I shall have to go back there soon!

7:56 pm - Friday, December 31, 2010

#76 CB

I am already sold on the specs and look of this camera and will be buying one to replace my Canon DSLR that i had to unfortunately sell last year but still have a couple of questions…

1) I am a stickler for how my gadgets ‘look’ (especially when parting with this kind of money!) and while i prefer the black option i hate how it clashes with the silver lens. Is it worth going for the silver body to match the lens OR should i stick with the black anyway as i intend to invest in other lenses later on which are most commonly finished in black?...

2) Assuming i get a lens adapter to allow for dedicated macro and telephoto lenses would i still be able to use the in-camera function that allows you to adjust how much the background is blurred using the main dial? I’m assuming this is linked to to the kit lenses that can auto-focus…?


12:05 pm - Tuesday, January 11, 2011

#77 sean

No way man!!!  ;)

Take another look at the black body with the silver lens. At first, I thought the same as you.
But after a while, it grew on me. And I think the black body looks much better than the silver.
The silver body gives it a bit of a more ‘fake’ look… while the black looks solid.
The silver lens though is really solid, and looks good with the body.

12:19 pm - Tuesday, January 11, 2011

#78 grentey

After join the Sony NEX-5 camera
with the Panasonic 3D Lumix lens (H-FT012)
using an adapter (NEX E-Mount to micro 4/3)
the result is the hybrid W8 camcorder
and is possible to shoot 3D dynamics stills
and also to make video clips.

2:39 pm - Friday, January 14, 2011

#79 Duane

Sony Nex-5 is like a compact digital Sony camera with a lense, this cannot be leveled to DSLR cameras available in the market, DSLR is still the best when it comes to image sharpness and other features that you can do in editing the pictures.

8:23 am - Wednesday, January 26, 2011

#80 CB

Dont worry i know the NEX-5 cant replace a DSLR - i meant a replacement for my ‘high end’ camera as opposed to point & shoot compact. I will in time get a DSLR again but this is more for fun/hobby shooting for now.

Anyone able to answer my second question???

2) Assuming i get a lens adapter to allow for dedicated macro and telephoto lenses would i still be able to use the in-camera function that allows you to adjust how much the background is blurred using the main dial? I’m assuming this is linked to to the kit lenses that can auto-focus…?


9:21 am - Wednesday, January 26, 2011

#81 Rick

I agree with Duane, I have bought NEX-5 18-55mm lens for USD$655, its not really worth buying, image sharpness is poor, and “defocus” doesn’t work most of the time. With NEX-5 price, its more practical to have entry level DSLR camera.

11:42 am - Wednesday, January 26, 2011

#82 CB

Interesting i have read a lot of comments on other blogs/forums saying dump the kit lens and get some good glass (with third party adapter). Im intending to get the NEX-5 with the standard pancake lens and then start investing in other specialist lenses - sacrificing the auto focus isnt an issue for me but i would love to keep the background de-focus if possible…

11:50 am - Wednesday, January 26, 2011

#83 sean

I don’t know. Duane’s comment didn’t make much sense to me. All cameras have lenses, and editing is best done on a computer, later, not on the camera.

I have the NEX-5 camera, and in comparing it at least to my girlfriends Sony 550D, it is very good quality. Of course, it has a bigger sensor.

It is unfortunate though that the lens choice for the camera (the e-mount lenses) is still quite poor, with only 3 to choose from.

However, I’m looking forward to a good zoom lens next year maybe.

It is not a DSLR, true, but it is pretty damn good, and does what I wanted it to do. A great update from my old pocket camera, and still very light to handle. That ‘background defocus’ is a little difficult, can be attributed to the 18-55mm lens, not the camera. But for those wanting to be able to quickly and easily create a panorama, or quickly and easily (without post-processing) create a HDR shot (features which I have found in no other camera) then, it does the trick!

A couple of little faults (can’t use self-timer or remote with bracketing or HDR) can be fixed with a firmware update, as indeed have some problems with the interface already, with the 2nd release of firmware (v 0.3 I think) which make the camera much easier to use and configure.

11:13 pm - Wednesday, January 26, 2011

#84 Nigleus Prime

Rick - NEX-5 18-55mm lens for USD$655 ??? That seems an awfully large amount considering you can buy an NEX 5 kit with flash, pancake 16mm and the 18-55m zoom for less than £500 (USD799) here in Britain.
As for the 18-55mm zoom, it is actually a very good performer when used carefully, has yours been knocked or dropped? Try using it at f8 or smaller in shutter priority mode, you may be surprised at the quality it can squeeze onto the Sony’s 14MP sensor - one of the problems with the NEX range, and any other compact for that matter, concerns how programme and auto modes default to high shutter speeds to minimise shake, at the expense of ‘sensible’ aperture values, thus the lenses when used in such modes are more often than not used wide open, or near enough to wide open so as NOT to display the best quality such lenses can achieve.
As for ‘defocus’, if such a facility is the ‘prime’ requirement for buying an NEX 3 or 5, then I suggest the choice of an NEX APS-C sensor camera is a mistake anyway. The main point of the current NEX range is to create near DSLR quality from a diminutive, discreet and lightweight device - this it achieves very very well!

1:08 pm - Thursday, January 27, 2011

#85 Richard Templeton

The NEX-5K is a great camera.  The accessories leave a LOT to be desired.  Not wanting to spend over $800 for the e mount 200mm lens I bought the LA-EA1 adapter, downloaded the auto focus firmware and attached my SAL55200 Alpha lens.

After the fact Sony informed me that a 10 to 20 second delay in focusing would be normal(?) in this configuration and not to use it for any action type photos.

Not what I have come to expect from Sony.

2:41 am - Friday, January 28, 2011

#86 sean

Hi Richard,

I am wondering; I am also looking for a lens to buy, and well, the 200mm lens is quite expensive (but then, so are most lenses I think)
But I am curious to know what you went with, and how much it cost (and which currency).

Also, regarding the firmware; I tried installing the auto-focus firmware, but it didn’t work.
Probably has something to do with the fact that I don’t actually have the LA-EA1 adapter yet, but I wasn’t sure if the firmware applied to the camera itself, or the adapter,  (I assumed the camera) and it wouldn’t matter if the adapter was attached yet or not.

Any idea?

3:32 am - Friday, January 28, 2011

#87 sean

ah whoops! I missed that you already had a lens. sorry. Firmware question still applies though, if you don’t mind!

3:35 am - Friday, January 28, 2011

#88 Frank

I’m a newbie to my NEX-5. Should there be any difference in color between the RAW and JPEG files when shooting raw+jpeg? From the same shot of a stationary race car-the JPEG shows red/orange (the color I remember seeing)-the RAW shows almost neon/pink red. Could I have mis-adjusted any of the camera settings? I import to iPhoto on a Mac. Anyone have any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

4:14 am - Saturday, February 12, 2011

#89 Bee Jay

I’ve read lots of comments & reviews about both the NEX-5 & the NEX-3, many have commented on the lack of imiage sharpness. Would this be rectified by moving the camera’s inbuilt sharpening setting to high?

12:29 pm - Wednesday, February 16, 2011

#90 Duane

Your right Rick.

Hi Sean when the image sharpness produce by a any camera, is poor definitely your photoshop or your computer cannot do much editing on it, like NEX-5 does, its very limited and you will not enjoy. Hope this make sense to you now. Have it, can attest it, do you have NEX-5?

12:40 pm - Wednesday, February 16, 2011

#91 NigelusPrime

Personally, I would never dream of relying on ‘in-camera’ sharpening - its far better to apply “Unsharp Mask” in your favourite photo application after you have downloaded the images.
The best way to get good results from the NEX series is to shoot RAW, then convert to TIFF, make your alterations/improvements, then save them to your preferred file format

12:54 pm - Wednesday, February 16, 2011

#92 sean

Hi Frank,

Regarding your question about the RAW format;

It is probably the software you are using to import.
Try the sony provided processing software. I think the exact format sony uses isn’t quite supported (yet) by other software. I had a similar experience when trying to use a couple of software programs on linux (ufraw, raw studio); strange colours. But using the sony software the colour was fine.
Hopefully someone at ufraw get the time to investigate what strange stuff sony has done to the file format!

3:33 pm - Wednesday, February 16, 2011

#93 zebarnabe

sean and Frank,

DCRaw supports NEX-3 and NEX-5 RAW formats in its latest version… I’m not aware of any issue with it, since i only looked at source code of it… It should work fine.

8:38 pm - Wednesday, February 16, 2011

#94 retro

I think the NEX-5 with leica lens adapter and a 28mm or 35mm is totally “it”!

8:43 am - Friday, February 18, 2011

#95 zebarnabe


With those lens I would rather get a Leica body :/

But having the leica noctilux f/0.95 would make my day :]

11:56 am - Friday, February 18, 2011

#96 retro

Hi zebarnabe,

With you 100% on that one!

Just send me the £3600 extra for the M9 and I’ll try it out!

Oh, and the £6100 for the noctilux…

Good snapping!

1:50 pm - Friday, February 18, 2011

#97 Frank

Thanks-Sean and Zebarnabe!
Based on your posts I dug into Apple’s support site and discovered the NEX-5 RAW files are compatible ONLY with the latest Aperture 3 program and therefore ONLY with the newest iPhoto that runs on OSX 10.6.6. I’m still running 10.5.9 for my audio software compatibility. So anyone considering a NEX-5 in RAW mode on a Mac has have the latest software.

The NEX-5 menu system does suck a bit!

Thanks again for your help!

6:59 am - Saturday, February 19, 2011

#98 Bee Jay


As someone relatively new to digital photography there’s loads I’m still learning. After your comments I spent a few hours checking the differences between in-camera sharpening & photoshop. As you’re someone who knows the NEX-5 would you say that if you often shoot JPEG images you’d be better off looking elsewhere?


5:22 pm - Tuesday, February 22, 2011

#99 NigelusPrime

I would say that if your primary intention is to capture images in the vastly inferior and lossy jpeg format, you would be far better off saving a considrable amount of your money and buying a well equipped, but less complex compact camera from Fujifilm, Canon, Nikon or Pentax - such cameras which genetrally output to jpeg format only will cost around half of the cost of an NEX, whilst being similarly compact.

6:55 pm - Tuesday, February 22, 2011

#100 Will

Bought it for £380.04…bargain and produces absolutely awesome pictures :)

9:36 pm - Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, hdmi, mirrorless, sony, 14 megapixel, 1080i, 7fps, system camera, nex-3, nex5, nex-5, Sony NEX-5, Sony NEX-5 Review, nex 5

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