I have to admit upon opening the box and finding a silver-bodied version of the Sony NEX-5 with the 18-55 zoom, my first thoughts were: this is the coolest camera ever. Sony NEX-5 Camera Sony's NEX-5 with the new E-mount 18-55mm zoom lens Why? Well, Sony has applied some rather simple notions here: put a load of decent glass …
What we all need to know....
All these pictures are very nice, but what we really want to know is what the signal strength is like, how does it function as a *phone* above all else?
Confused about the target market?
Yes I agree with the review, there is something quite cool about this camera and it illustrates that sometimes Sony does produce the goods. I am still a little confused though as to who is buying this type of camera and also other interchangeable lens cameras such as the Olympus Pen? I can only presume that they are trying to offer DSLR quality lenses on compact backs? Is that it?
Because I can't find in the review any statement of this camera offering any standard DSLR functions that allow REAL creative control over the photographs taken. Sure it has a fairly high ISO level, but where is the statement around maximum and minimum aperture stops for control of DOF/selective focus and the high and low limits of shutter speed to control motion blur and the clear capture of things moving at high speed?
I just don't get it. Sure.. it's cool. Sure... the flash and mic add ons look kind of neat. But that's it. For the £600 wanted by Sony I could buy a Canon EOS 40D or similar with a decent 18-55 lens with memory card and holdall - and get MUCH MUCH more control over my photography.
I know there will be the argument that - "well an EOS 40D is more dedicated bit of kit and you would expect it to have better creative features" and I understand that, but on the other hand - if this camera is not aiming for that space, then who is it aimed at?
Surely it's not just a new marketing angle?
I'm very interested in this type of device, if not this one specifically- the price is too high, and I'm hoping it'll come down as more of these are released.
My main reason is that I like to take a lot of band photography, but am an amateur and as such don't have access to the press pit, etc. Security never allow full SLRs in to venues, but I'm pretty sure I could sneak one of these in very easily, and still be able to take great photos.
Niche does exist
There is a market for this kind of camera, and I believe that they are gaining market share. I dont have any direct experience with this model (I tried it in the shops but to me it just felt wrong - a large lens grafted on a compact body) however I do own an olympus e-pl1. That camera has pretty much all the settings that a DSLR has, though you have to go through the menus to get to them. One advantage of micro 4/3 is that you can fit almost any legacy lens using an adaptor so you can dig out your old lens collection, or share lenses with your full size DSLR. Of course, you generally dont get autofocus, auto aperture that way. I am guessing that you should be able to do the same with the NEX?
So why not DSLR for me? Mainly I prefer its particular compromise on size and weight vs image quality. The legacy lens thing is fun but I only discovered it after I bought the camera.
I must say that I was impressed by the high ISO samples in this review - they seem to be much better than my oly.
Second the above
The market for this kind of camera is as a back-up or a safe-to-carry for DSLR users traveling in more suspect areas where you might not want to have your 5d MkII on display. Not quite what I'd be after due to the price and I'd rather just have a G11 form factor with an APS-C sensor. There's definitely the market though.
Photographic Swiss-Army Knife
Having used the NEX-5 for about 2 months now, I think the target market is actually pretty big: from enthusiast photographers (like myself) who want a carry-everywhere camera to regular people who just want to take great photographs. Many people who are convinced by camera salesmen to buy an SLR for the quality (travellers, new parents etc) but they never move beyond the Auto mode and are stuck with this giant black lump. The NEX is what they should be convinced to buy.
It's hard to explain but there really is no contest between my DSLR and the NEX. I can carry the NEX at times when I wouldn't even have thought of bringing the DSLR (random shopping trips, taking the kids for a walk, going to the gym etc) and so I get shots I'd never have got with the SLR. The SLR still gets an outing if I'm planning a specific photographic excursion, but mostly I use the NEX.
Don't underestimate the flexibility and features of this camera. It's like a photographic swiss-army knife.
"...the NEX-5 produces images to rival DSLRs, much further up the food chain"
When you say "much further up the food chain", I guess you are comparing it things like the Canon 7D, 5D and 1D?
With a price of £589 it is already more expensive than entry level DSLRs with kit lenses, and more expensive than 2nd hand or last generation but still unsold middle generation bodies with kit lenses.
I am also confused about the comments about what buttons to include. I personnaly change between Program, Time, Aperture, Manual, Custom1,2,3 far more often than I change ISO, but you think that an ISO button is a must, but a mode dial is not?
how about the new 60D?
somehow I think that this is really only competition for the EOS 1000 level, maybe its better maybe it competes with the 550? anyway both are cheaper... I really doubt its 'better' than the 60D.
I guess since I have invested in Canon EF glass I will never know... unless canon bring out a compact body..
As a newcomer I would be wary of investing in this system and associated Glass until there was somewhere to progress to... with no higher models there is nothing to aspire to.
Interesting to read about this, but I'm not sure how you could possibly describe this as 'compact'.
Played with this camera, the interface is the worst example of Sony's PSP-esque interface for retards. It's impossible to use in bright sunlight (though this is less of a problem in the UK) as it doesn't have actual useful controls.
This camera seems to be aimed squarely at the Nathan Barley market, as it's very flashy, but ultimately only really usable as a point and shoot- exercising any form of control outside of the myriad function smart modes is like pulling teeth.
I am in the market for a compact with a decent sensor, but this sure as fsck isn't it. When using a camera, the eyecandy is supposed to be in the shot, not getting in the way of taking it.
Gotto agree with some posts above
This is above entry level DSLR prices, but with a lesser range of lens and less ability. I bought a D450 and 55-250 Canon IS lens for less that the price of this thing. OK, it can't do HD video, but it does take fantastic pictures if the idiot behind it sorts himself out.. And of course HD video doesn't need a huge sensor and big lens because it's relatively low resolution (2MP sensor is good enough for 1080 HD)
So heres a thought...
Apple fans use Nikon, everyone else buys Canon?
And the apple boys are steering clear of el reg due to it being full of 'haters' so all the comments here are from canon users...
Apple fans buy Olympus.
Linux Fans buy Nikon.
Windows / PC fans buy Canon or Sony.
... its a Sony.
We don't do Sony any more, do we?
I'm still mad at them for the linux/PS3 thing. Not that I would advocate piracy but good on those guys that finally dongled it (although it still does not solve the linux problem).
But I digress...
Seriously even if this were not a Sony, I hardly see the point of such a camera. It's a ridiculously priced stupid idea.
It's not a compact, it's not an SLR... WTF is it? Rubbish....
How easy is it to take "bad" shots?
A lot of the stuff I like to shoot benefits from having the settings slightly out to give it a different feel to usual pictures. Lots of fancy cameras make it nearly impossible to take what is essentially a "bad" (or rather not strictly to standard procedure) shot.
How easy is it to take them on this?
Shame they shunned the four thirds format
They seem to have moved to the APS-C sized sensor, not sure why, the micro four thirds format was designed for this type of camera and all the features, such as no view finder, external flash, etc, are the same as the Samsung NX1, Olympus Pen and Panasonic G series.
Shame really because the mocro four thirds lens collection is expanding and this camera could have provided some more. Also, reading the review, manual control seems to be a dog, which is also against the grain for this type of camera.
For anyone interested, (I have an Olympus Pen 1), these are street cameras, lighter than an SLR, more descrete, full manual control and shots with the same resolution and dynamic range as SLR shots. I still love my SLR's but my Pen has replaced and supassed my point and shoot for casual shots.
Personal opinion, but the proportions of the NEX-5 seem to be wrong, the lens is too big. The Panasonic and Olympus offerings, especially the silver and white versions, have a lovely retro style, but that's my taste.
not for me
it reads like an ad right from the desk of Sony. Does not sound like pro camera at all considering the price. No viewfinder? Oh goodie, another cell phone type camera that I have to squint at in full light to see the picture.
@ AC 11:11
When you say "Nathan Barley" types - I think you should explain to readers who might not know the providence of that name that it refers to the sort of vacuous thud who might just be seduced by the marketing of a company such like, erm... say... Olympus and might just be the sort of tosser who would refer to a camera such as this as a "street camera" - as if it brings anything really new to the game, apart from defining niche that didn't really need defining.
But let me assure you readers out there... no real person such as that really exists.
Since the NEX - series camera uses the same 14.2 Megapixel APS-C sensor, as most of the Alpha SLR series does, presumably it saves on production costs, via economies of scale...
(The sensor goes to a full frame model with the Alpha 500, increasing the resolution/megapixel count to the 25 Megapixel version used in the Alpha 900 model)
Besides, why would Sony pay one of it's commercial rivals, notably Matsushita Electric, in order to use their product....
As for the E-mount lens, it's 49mm diameter was that used by Konica-Minolta's last camera, the Dimage A200, which used a 7.2-50mm lens...
Conveniently just under the 29:59 minute limit customs impose, over which any camera is deemed a video camera and therefore subject to additional import duties... Most UK-market cameras impose a firmware limit for this; having the battery run out seems a novel implementation.