My NEX Camera?? Part II

Continuing with the test drive of the NEX 5N and two Sony lenses started earlier this week…

A reminder, all of these images are SOOC (straight out of camera) with no editing or cropping unless noted.

The 18-55 lens is uncharacteristically sharp for a kit lens.

Sony NEX 5N, 18-55mm lens

f/9, 1/100s, ISO 125

Sony NEX 5N, 18-55mm lens

100% crop of above

And I was impressed with the Sony 55-210 Zoom as well.

This first shot was taken with the 18-55 kit lens…

Sony NEX 5N, lake

f/13, 1/100s, ISO 100, 18-55mm lens

Then again with the 55-210 fully extended…

Sony NEX 5N, 55-210 lens

Same scene, 55-210mm lens at 210mm

The 55-210…

Sony NEX 5N, flag, 55-210 lens

f/6.3, 1/500s, ISO 500, focal length 173mm

Sony NEX 5N, flag

100% crop of above

These crops are taking us in much closer than I’d ever go, but the detail is pretty impressive for a 100% crop at such a focal length.

The Sony NEX 5N has two features for dealing with challenging dynamic range situations: DR Optimization and HDR Auto.

This scene was photographed mid-day with a bright overhead sun casting some pretty intense shadows.  This is with no dynamic range assistance:

Sony NEX 5N, 2 guys photo, DRO Off


Now with DR Optimization – you can see the greatly improved detail in the shadows:

Sony NEX 5N, 2 guys photo, DRO Auto

DRO Auto

And here with HDR Auto, the shadow detail is about the same but highlights are toned down a bit too:

Sony NEX 5N, 2 guys photo, HDR Auto

HDR Auto

I find myself shooting with DRO Auto as the default, but often experiment with HDR auto, with different situations responding to the two modes in interesting ways.

Weighty matters…

Our friend Prentis Drew asked after the previous post whether there was that much of a difference in weight between the D90 and this NEX 5N.  I went to the manufacturers’ websites and here’s what I found:

Nikon D90 DSLR: 22 oz/620g.  18-55 zoom: 9.3 oz/265g.  55-200 zoom: 9.0 oz/255g

Sony NEX 5N: 9.5 oz/269g.  18-55 zoom: 6.9 oz/194g.  55-210 zoom: 12.1 oz/345g

So the Nikon camera with kit lens (18-55) weighs roughly twice as much (31.3 oz/885g) compared to the same Sony combo (16.4 oz/464.3g).  Interestingly, the 55-210 Sony zoom outweighs the comparable Nikon lens.  I owned that Nikon lens for a short time and I do recall it was exceptionally light.  The build on both of the Sony lenses is good, very solid, so it’s partially due to the materials, but could be due to the elements as well.

Bottom line…

I dare say, after 10 days I’m impressed with this little shooter. But I do find I’m really missing not having a viewfinder, and I don’t like the need to choose either the flash or the EVF. And without a standard hot shoe, options for larger strobes or remote flash are very limited. Not too crazy about the touch screen, as I find but pudgy digits sometimes touch the wrong item and I have to backtrack.

But on the plus side, and it’s a BIG plus, the image quality is solid.  And it’s light and although not pocketable with the 18-55 lens, it’s still a lot smaller than my DSLR.

So… where am I on my test drive?  Still driving.  I’ll keep you posted.


About Ed Spadoni "Thoughts and opinions, resources and experiences… for emerging photographers everywhere."
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3 Responses to My NEX Camera?? Part II

  1. Pingback: My NEX Camera?? | 2 Guys Photo

  2. Thank you for your and Ray’s posts on the Sony Nex 5N. I got it last year and used it as my only camera for a trip to Europe. Got great shots with only using the 18-55 kit lens. Next week I’m taking a trip to Cuba for my ‘big’ birthday (shhhhh, turning 60 this week!) My husband got me a 5DMKlll a few months ago and I hate to leave it behind, but know I want a backup camera as this is such a special trip. The Sony is going as backup.

    I’m going to order the 55-210 lens for it since I’m not taking a long zoom for the 5D. Your review was perfectly timed to help me validate my decision. Love both of your blog posts and photos. Thank you so much for all you do to help inform the greater photographer community. I’ll, again, click through your site to B&H for my purchase. Glad to help keep you guys going!

    • Ed Spadoni says:

      Hi Hillary – thanks for the feedback and for supporting us through B&H. I think you’ll be pleased with the 55-210 and we’d love to see some of your photos from Cuba when you return. Have fun! Ed

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