Touch and go
The one massive benefit of the NEX-5N’s interactive screen is its ability to set the focus at the touch of a finger, which is always handy and its responsiveness is good for such things. However, the display's sensitivity sometimes caused settings to be inadvertedly changed either while shooting or carrying the camera, and on occasion even images were deleted. Another issue is the lack of a user-defined menu in the on-screen interface.
The new 16.1Mp APS-C sensor offers improved sensitivity
Aside from its capacitive touchscreen technology, the 3in 922k-dot resolution LCD screen can also be tilted 80 degrees upward and 45 degrees downwards to facilitate framing from different shooting positions. The screen itself is bright and crisp with good detail and anti-reflective technology.
The NEX-5N sports a revised and improved version of the Exmor APS HD CMOS DSLR-sized 16.1 MP sensor first introduced with the NEX-C3, which coupled with an ad hoc optimisation of Sony’s BIONZ processing engine, produces beautifully detailed and colour-rich images.
With the latest adapters NEX E-mount cameras can fully utilise A-mount lenses too
Besides larger images, the sensor upgrade also features sensitivity improvements, now pushed from ISO 100 to ISO 25,600 with good noise characteristics across the entire range. Dynamic range is also surprisingly wide and balanced for this class of camera, while the 49 multi-segment metering system does an excellent job at getting the right exposure first time around in virtually all shooting conditions.
The 18-55mm zoom lens, with a maximum aperture of f/3.5 at wide angle and f/5.6 at full telephoto, might be large but is solidly built and has a pleasingly smooth zoom and focusing ring operation. It is not the sharpest zoom around but certainly a very decent kit lens. The choice of NEX E-mount lenses is increasingly along with improved compatibility with all Sony, Minolta and Konica-Minolta A-lenses.
Next page: Light work
Re: ISO Test Images
"I am not a photgrapher ..."
Neither am I, but I've been in the industry for a long time first on the processing side and these days in software, and I'll try to explain.
ISO is a measure of light sensitivity. In the film days you basically achieved higher sensitivity (ie ISO) by using larger grains of silver halide, hence the grainy appearance of high ISO films (this is an oversimplification, but will suffice). In digital you increase the sensitivity by turning up the gain on the photosites (again a simplification) which introduces noise into the image. You can compensate for this with noise reduction, but this tends to introduce "smearing" so has to be applied carefully. The advantage of a larger sensor is that you can have larger photosites for any given pixel count, which means greater sensitivity, which in turn means you will get better results at any given ISO setting than a smaller sensor.
"For a static target wouldn't it be better to keep the exposure time the same (0.1 - 0.05 seconds?) whilst increasing the ISO. The images would then display an improvement in quality rather than a reduction!"
Doing this would simply result in grossly overexposed images - think about it: you turn up the sensitivity of the sensor by, say, a factor of 4 from ISO 100 to 800. If you keep the exposure time the same then the sensor records an image that is 4 stops overexposed.
The bottom line is that a high ISO image will always be less good than a low ISO image in decent lighting. A large sensor will have better high ISO performance than a small sensor (all other things being equal), and will generally be better in low light but to get a properly exposed image you can't just "turn up the ISO" and leave everything else the same, and expect magical low light performance.
This being the Reg I'm sure someone will be along at some point to tell me I'm wrong about everything in an amusingly cynical way, but I think i've got the basics right...
Re: Touch screen 100% optional - you never need touch it.
No, no it doesn't, unless your reading comprehension and understanding of how one uses a camera in modes other than program auto are entirely lacking. Have a nice day.
Re: Re: Included software
"The Sony camera group is producing excellent, innovative products."
Have you used a HX9V? The pictures look great until you zoom in and you see the awful washy watercolour effect from compression/noise reduction. Awesome video capture though :/ It has put me off buying another Sony camera for quite some time.