Originally posted February 6th, 2012
Today just an update on my continued use and experience with the Sony NEX-5N mirrorless compact camera. At the time of writing that review, I was sort of on the fence with the Sony. While I was pleased with the images, it just didn’t quite “feel” right. Hard to fully put my fingers on why, but some of it was the IQ associated with the inexpensive kit lenses and the rest was the feel of the camera. It felt like a gadget. Truthfully I was very close to selling it a few times and then something happened. The 4 way controller stopped working on my main DSLR, a Nikon D7000, at Christmas and required me to send it in for repair (I am still waiting for it to return BTW). This put a halt to me moving on and let me spend more time with the Sony NEX-5N.
Right now I absolutely love this system. What changed? Great question. 3 things changed. First, I tried the OLED electronic viewfinder. Second I tried the amazing Sony Zeiss 24mm f1.8 lens. Third, I tried the manual focus assist with focus peaking to address the autofocus accuracy issue. Honestly, with these 3 changes this thing is a new camera. One of which I absolutely love. So much so that I am considering investing a bit more in Sony. Right now Sony is the only camera manufacture that can fit my compact camera needs adequately as well as have fast DSLR’s with APSC sensors for motion and a high resolution full frame sensor for landscapes. There are also adapters that allow use of the Sony Alpha lenses on the NEX as well as adapters for me to use my Leica M mount lenses on the NEX bodies. Overall, I am very pleased. I only have one remaining quible and one area I’d still love to see improvement.
Dust – I have used and traveled with many, many cameras with interchangable lenses. The NEX series is the worst of all of them for dust contamination. This is a major issue that needs to be fixed. Right now, I am at apoint where I won’t change a lens in the field.
Autofocus accuracy – While I have solved my primary autofocus accuracy issue by the focus peaking assist, I still would like more speed and accuracy in focus lock. Many new smaller cameras such as Olympus and Panasonic are killing it with their small sensor cameras in this area. Sony has to improve.
Anyway, I’m loving this camera. It’s light. It is compact. It is wildly capable. Here are a few landscapes and still life images from the past month. All taken with the Sony NEX-5N and Sony Zeiss 24mm f1.8 lens. All shot RAW and processed in Adobe Lightroom 3.6.
Sunrise – This shot is one of my recent favorites. Love the feel and the mood. There is incredible detail in there too thanks to the lovely Zeiss lens.
Anyway, as you can see, I’m pretty pleased with my camera set up. Now….If Sony would just come out with a few other Zeiss NEX lens to complete the lens line up.