Sony NEX-5: a proper camera for cyborgs like me

Unboxing Sony NEX-5

I’ve been waiting for a proper camera, one that gets as quality as a DSLR, without the bulk and bore. Sure there are micro four-thirds like the Olympus PEN series, but they just didn’t tickle my adamantium bone.

Having recently played with the Sony NEX-5, I fell in love with its features. It’s great for a DSLR newbie like me who wants to take diverse range of photos, as well as a videography hobbyist who likes experimenting with videos.

It’s a serious camera with an impressive APS-C sensor, which Sony says is 60% larger than a Four-Thirds sensor, and 13 times larger than a typical video camera sensor.

Unboxing Sony NEX-5

If you’ve seen the cameras I’ve used over the years, you’d know that I tend to go for the hybrid video/photo cameras, such as the Sony M2 and Sanyo HD1010 which tend to be pistol-grip by design. The NEX-5 lets me take everything up a notch, by having a proper image sensor, and the hardware customizability of a video camera (e.g. compact stereo mic add-on).

The physical and software interface is intended for amateur photographers. Though I’ve been taking photos and videos for years, I never really bothered with the mechanics behind camera, going instead with gut feel for lightning and composition. This camera keeps much of the controls on-screen instead of having a control dial most professionals are used to.

Unboxing Sony NEX-5

To guess at Sony’s design philosophy, it’d likely be the sheer lack of space for buttons and dials on such a tiny camera body. They turned this problem into an opportunity, by putting the controls in the software interface and adding contextual tips as well as a full-blown photography guide right in the menu system. While I prefer experimenting rather than reading the manual, it’s really handy having the guide right there to explain how I could execute specific creative shots.

BlinkBl_nk at Blu Jazz

I still getting used to the camera, but from my first run covering the BlinkBl_nk meetup last night, I’m glad that I finally have a camera that takes such sharp pictures in the dark. See what I mean by looking through the BlinkBl_nk photo gallery.

Unboxing Sony NEX-5

For those of you who love unboxing photos, I’ve got that too.

And finally if you wish to compare the Sony NEX-5 with current micro Four-Thirds as well as DSLRs, this is my favorite article detailing the NEX-5’s features, with side-by-side physical comparisons.

I bought this camera at the Sony Style store in Bugis Junction for exactly $1199 SGD, and it came with a $300 coupon for a second lens when it gets released. Comparing retail prices worldwide, this is a pretty good deal for Singaporeans.

This is only my second day with the camera, but I’ll do my best in answering any of your questions in the comments.

5 thoughts on “Sony NEX-5: a proper camera for cyborgs like me

  1. Oh man, I love the NEX-5's design, but the 1080i video recording is annoying to me. There's absolutely no 720p option, huh? By the way, the NEX-5 has native Eye-Fi support, meaning that there are menu options to control the Eye-Fi from the camera's settings when you insert the Eye-Fi into the camera.

    1. As you know I've been reading up on the Eye-Fi. The thing that was attractive about it was the Geo model which uses skyhook to determine the geolocation (they say they don't need to sign in to a network to triangulate).

      The link to the Eye-Fi being compatible with NEX-5: http://thedigitalstory.com/2010/06/eye-fi_contr

      If you wanna get it (69.90 USD for Geo X2, 49.90 without Geo), let me know, so maybe we can share the vPost.

  2. Thanks for this really useful post! Very informative.
    I went on to research this camera further and have just bought one.
    I am really pleased with it so far (although it is noisy).

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