Fantastic Image Quality for the Price: Sony NEX-5N Review

A positive Sony NEX 5N review is easy for this sleek little Sony Camera with Great Image Quality

I’ve had a great week carrying around the [amazon_link id=”B005IHAIJ8″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Sony NEX-5N[/amazon_link] that I picked up at a local Best Buy last weekend to review.  With the 25 mm lens and fantastic image quality, this small Sony NEX-5N camera can replace two of my cameras: my Canon DSLR and my Canon point-and-shoot.  There are a few issues that keep this camera from being perfect and my main gripes are its menu system and selecting dial, ergonomics, and currently, compatibility with mac.

I’ll go through these and a few of the features important to me about this camera.


The camera is very small.  It is mostly lens.  I carried it with me every day for the past week and it wasn’t a burden at all.


Because the camera body is so small and the lens is quite heavy and large, the balance of this camera isn’t good.  It is rather hard to hold and take a picture with using only one hand.  It’s actually pretty awkward to hold it and take a picture.  If I do keep it, I’ll attach the strap so that if — no… WHEN — I drop it, it will fall only to my chest instead of to the ground.

Battery life

This camera comes with MP-5W50, a lithium ion battery, which is great because the camera is able to tell you where you are with the battery and you can have an idea of when it will run low.  That is a nice feature, so there’s no guesswork there.

The Flip Feature of the Touch Screen

In landscape, this feature is very cool and useful.  However, it is not designed for portrait mode.

The Touch Screen

The touch screen works really well and I like the focus tracking.  The focus tracking does fail now and then, but it does a pretty good job of keeping a desired object in focus.  I do have a problem maneuvering through the menus which only have 2 levels which leaves a lot to scroll through, and with the text so small, it is too easy to click on something by accident when trying to scroll.

The Dial

There are way too many functions controlled by the dial. Because of so many features being built into the dial, it is too easy to click on things by accident.  For me, the dial is the biggest downside of the camera.  I can see why the [amazon_link id=”B005IKZU8O” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]NEX-7[/amazon_link] has a dedicated wheel on top for additional functionality with fewer mistakes.

Intelligent Auto Mode

This feature turns the camera into more of a point-and-shoot camera and works pretty well.  I tested it this week, and it seemed to work fine.  And, although I prefer to turn this mode off, I would share this camera with my wife who only wants point-and-shoot, so it can work for both of us.

Image Quality

Fantastic.  Unfortunately, my macs aren’t able (yet) to process the RAW files from this camera.  But they are amazing.  Sharp. Clean. Crisp. Scary Good. (Click on the thumbnails below to see.)  I can’t imagine using a bigger camera now because this little camera can take amazing pictures.

Flash Port

Seems flimsy, and I’m afraid to use it.

Versus NEX-7

The NEX-7 has the same image sensor with much higher pixel density.  I don’t know if NEX-7 can deliver better image quality, but if it can, I might have to wait for the NEX-7.

In the meantime, the [amazon_link id=”B005IHAIJ8″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Sony NEX-5N[/amazon_link] is an awesome camera with fantastic image quality.  Do realize a few things: adding the price of a lens, you are entering the price range of a [amazon_link id=”B00472MQL8″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Leica X1[/amazon_link] (retail $2000), and I don’t have that kind of cash available now to see how that camera compares.  For this price ($699), this is a VERY nice camera.  My more expensive Canon DSLR cost more and takes inferior pictures.

Downside for Mac Users: macs aren’t able to get RAW files of the images out YET.  Soon, though, I’m sure.

Super Gadget Guy

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