Sony Alpha NEX-5 (NEX5KS) digital camera
Sony Alpha NEX-5 review: The Alpha NEX-5 embodies the out-of-the-box thinking that gadget fans often admire about Sony
- Small but comfortable to hold, great image quality
- Lens-based image stabilisation
The Sony Alpha NEX-5 is an excellent camera for people upgrading from compacts who want to increase capability but not bulk.
Price$ 1,049.00 (AUD)
Sony's Alpha NEX-5 bridges the gap between compact camera and digital SLR with some high-performance features.
The Alpha NEX-5 embodies the out-of-the-box thinking that gadget fans often admire about Sony. This camera brings together features from both point-and-shoots and digital SLRs. Its high-performance features, which include the 14.2mp, APS-C CMOS sensor, a 25-point autofocus system, and a 7fps burst mode, go beyond the world of compact cameras.
Yet, the Sony Alpha NEX-5’s 285g body is so compact that the diameter of the 18-55mm E-mount lens barrel extends above the top plate. The camera's 3in LCD screen occupies most of the real estate on the back of the body, leaving just enough space for three buttons and a dial. And even though the NEX-5 is petite, it’s still comfortable to hold.
The LCD angles upward 80-degrees and downward 45-degrees. That means no matter which angle you want to hold the camera for shooting, you can adjust the screen to accommodate, which encourages you to shoot more creatively. Keep in mind that the Sony Alpha NEX-5 has no optical or electronic viewfinder, though an optional electric viewfinder can be bought separately.
The Sony Alpha NEX-5 has a total of six external buttons, including the shutter release. Sony pulls this off by using a clever menu system that’s graphical and easy to navigate. For example, instead of putting a physical mode dial on top of the camera, Sony creates a picture of one on the LCD that you can rotate using the multipurpose dial on the back. After about an hour of shooting, we were able to find all the settings we needed using this unique system.
The Sony Alpha NEX-5 performs like a digital SLR camera when it comes to image quality. Exposure, colour fidelity, sharpness, and image noise are impressive – it out-performed other interchangable-lens cameras in our lab’s subject image quality tests.
We decided to push the limits and take the Sony Alpha NEX-5 to a basketball game and shoot at ISO 1600 and 3200. The shots were solid with saturated colours and well-controlled image noise. Plus, shooting at 7fps enabled us to capture action that we would have missed with a compact camera. Raw capture is available too, but it limits burst mode to eight shots or five frames for Raw+JPEG.
In the Sony Alpha NEX-5 camera's Movie mode, both the video and the stereo audio quality are very good.
The Alpha NEX-5’s small body means that Sony had to opt for lens-based stabilisation instead of in-body. At the time of writing, a stabilised 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom and 16mm f/2.8 prime lens in the new E-mount were available. Both are quality optics that look handsome on the camera.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Google Daydream View VR full, in-depth review
- 3 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 4 Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: including Portrait Mode
- 5 MSI GS70 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
- Google Camera 3.2 lets you snap pictures while recording video
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- PTProject ManagersACT
- FTTechnical Solutions Architect -Cloud /Work Location - CanberraVIC
- FTLevel 1/2 Service Desk AnalystWA
- TPSenior System Engineer - WintelVIC
- CCProgress DeveloperQLD
- CCEmail Production SpecialistQLD
- FTEnterprise Account ManagerQLD
- FTPractice AdvisorNSW
- TPProject Coordinator. Business Process Improvement ProgramNSW
- CCTest Lead : Perth BasedSA
- CCInfrastructure Architect - CloudVIC
- FTTraffic / Production ManagerNSW
- FTILSP ManagerNSW
- CCPMO Lead/ ManagerACT
- CCUX DesignerNSW
- TPSolution Architect | HRISQLD
- FTJava Security SpecialistNSW
- FTLevel 3 Managed Services ConsultantNSW
- FTWinforms Developer - European Integration ProgramVIC
- FTInfrastructure and Data Centre Support OfficerACT
- FTRF EngineerNSW
- CCAutomation TesterNSW
- FTAnalyst Programmer Investment BankingVIC
- CCProject CoordinatorNSW
- FTSenior .Net DeveloperVIC