The Sony NEX-5N adds a high-spec 16.1MP sensor to the NEX-series. Can Sony retain its Compact System Camera image quality crown? The What Digital Camera Sony NEX-5N review...
Value & Verdict
Sony NEX-5N review – Value
Whereas many Sony products may carry a premium price tag, the NEX-5N, as per the original NEX-5, commands a sub-£600 price tag. That does make it a shade more expensive than much of the competition though, some £40 more than the Nikon J1 and around £100 more than both the Olympus E-PL3 and Panasonic GF3.
When the E-mount system was launched in 2010 the initial three lenses may not have proved enough for more demanding users. At the time of writing there are five current E-mount lenses available, and more promised to be in the works. This development sees the NEX-5N as an attractive prospect, and with the high-end NEX-7 just around the corner it’s a likelihood that equally high-end lenses will be produced over time – the forthcoming 50mm f/1.8 and Zeiss 24mm f/1.8 already have that signed and sealed. However, the Micro Four Thirds camp still has considerably more lenses, including new powered zoom lenses, which may tilt the balance back in its favour of Olympus and Panasonic for certain users.
Sony NEX-5N review – Verdict
Sony’s not flinching against the flurry of new Compact System Cameras hitting the market. With smaller-sensor, smaller designs making up the majority of the competition, the NEX-5N’s impressive image quality can happily boast to have among the best image quality going. To take the already impressive NEX-5 and better it is a job well done. For moving image fanatics, too, the NEX-5N provides more manual movie control and better final quality than any of its competitors in this price bracket. It’s impressive stuff.
However, wideangle settings may cause issues with barrel distortion and longer lenses may make the system a little large overall, plus the menu layout still isn’t as intuitive as it could be and the touchscreen could be better used.
Many will love the 5N’s pick-up-and-shoot ease of use, variety of creative modes and DSLR-like image quality. When the NEX-5N gets things right it really gets them right.