Sony NEX-5 Review

July 5, 2010 | Gavin Stoker |


Lacking the charm of the Olympus Pen series, the usability of the Panasonic G range and Samsung NX10, or the quirkiness and lateral thinking behind the Ricoh GXR, Sony is majoring on its all-conquering brand name and ready-made mass-market audience/appeal to make the NEX-5 (and NEX-3 little brother) a practical if not quite loveable option.

While the debutant interchangeable lens camera may not be (yet) the game changer that its manufacturer hopes it will be, there is still much here to admire. You have to give Sony the fact that, even if at times you feel the flair is lacking, overall it's a competent performer nonetheless.

We weren't blown away by the NEX-5's image quality - coming as it does after some very capable contenders who got there first - but there's a reasonable degree of consistency and the ability to tweak shots to a limited degree in camera if you desire; otherwise Raw shooting is the way to go.

Add in HD video, a tilting LCD and while not cheap for anyone investing in the system from scratch, the NEX-5 at least feels like it is earning your pennies and perhaps, begrudgingly and gradually, your respect. There are improvements to be made to usability and intuitiveness, and a touch screen version is only surely a matter of time. So the only real question that remains is: (ahem) what NEX?

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 3.5
Features 4
Ease-of-use 3
Image quality 4
Value for money 4