Well, after much thought I upgraded the Sony NEX 5N. The NEX 5 was a great camera but I couldn’t live without a viewfinder so when I got a chance to “get rid” of it, I purchased the NEX 5N model. I was really not expecting much of an improvement despite the reviews I had read, but this is really a different camera. I am not going to enter into much technical details since the web is full of 5N analytical reviews, so I will just point the things I liked most.
First of all, it’s fast, and I mean very fast. It fires like a machine gun and it’s great for capturing the subject instantly. The new 16mp sensor is a blast and its high ISO performance is fantastic. I can now shoot at available light even with slow lenses like the Voigtlander 15mm and 21mm. It also shoots great video (in which I am very interested lately). Finally, the touch screen is very very useful. I never thought that I would like a touch screen on a camera, but in many situations it compensates the lack of dedicated buttons (which they are present of the NEX 7). Especially, the Custom Menu where you can store five of your favorite functions, has become a breeze to use since when I press the center button it presents me on the bottom of the screen my stored presets, so with only two movements I can get what I want.
It’s really a massive improvement over the NEX 5 since it addresses all the complaints I had. Combine it with the wonderful OLED viewfinder and that’s a camera I will certainly use a lot.
Now, I chose the 5N over the NEX 7 for a couple of reasons. First of all, all reviews point that the NEX 7 sensor does not get well with legacy wide angle lenses. I own the Voigtlander 15mm and 21mm lenses, and I am also thinking of adding some day the Voigtlander 12mm. So, the 5N was the way to go since I am more into wide angle than telephoto lenses. Also, the ISO performance of the 5N is better. I can live without 24 megapixels, I mostly do landscapes at high resolutions and for that I prefer my medium format film cameras. Also, the Tri-Navi system of the NEX 7 is great but with the addition of the touch screen I am mostly covered, it’s the only advantage over the 5N, and that was enough to make me go for the NEX 7.
I had the chance to shoot with the 5N during the last three days and got some good images while I was traveling. It even survived a drop in deep snow during its first day (!), the camera was severely wet and frozen but fortunately there were no consequences.
All images in this post were shot with the Sony NEX 5N with the 18-55 zoom lens. The panoramic image below is a panoramic stitch which resulted in a 85 megapixels pano. The very fast operation of the 5N allowed me to get these shots quickly which is essential when making a stitch panorama.
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