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Should I Buy a Sony NEX-5N?


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Actually, my wife is considering buying this camera, so I thought I'd ask here if you folks think this would be a good purchase for us.

As background, we currently have a Sony Alpha 700 DSLR with an 18-200mm zoom lens that takes, in our opinion, beautiful pictures. We are not photography enthusiasts who know all about cameras either generally or technically, and aren't even familiar with all the capabilities of different settings and functions. We are more "point and shoot" types, who enjoy getting good pictures with our cameras. We do use the zoom feature quite a bit.

We are wondering if we would get pictures with similar quality to our A700 out of this NEX-5N with the lens adapter that would allow us to use the same zoom lens as on our A700. This would be in a much smaller package, which would be nice for traveling. The reviews don't help me in this type of comparison, so I would appreciate your thoughts.

I have found that for traveling the "storing lens" type of point and shoot is more convenient. Sony calls their storing lens cameras cyber-shot (if you want to stick with the Sony brand).


I will grab this type of camera quicker than if I take a bulky camera that needs its own bag or needs assembly before use. Back in the days of wet process (like wet shaving I guess) I carried 2 Minox 35GT folders. One was always in my pocket no matter where I went. My current folding lens camera is a Panasonic Lumix with a Leica lens. The glass is suburb and what you are buying is the glass as the sensor technology is pretty much standard across the board now on high end cameras.

If you are looking for advice on a portable point and shoot I would steer you to one that is more convenient to carry as you will use it more than one that you have to stop, assemble, then use.

In the studio I use a DSLR simply because of the quick interchangeable lenses. I keep the camera body locked on a monster (150 lb) Cambos studio stand. I don't think I have taken the DSLRs out in the wild in quite a while. The risk of dust is not worth the little benefit that they would bring now that point and shoot cameras have evolved to the level they are now at
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Moderator Emeritus
Thank you, Sir! I should have clarified, I'm not really looking for a point and shoot camera like a cyber-shot. We actually have an older cyber-shot model that we've had for about 10 years. We also have a Canon SD1100 that we've had for several years. Our Sony A700 takes much better pics than the SD1100, and I was wondering if the Sony NEX-5N would take pictures in quality that are closer to the A700 than the SD1100.
I am a NEX 3 owner myself. Have been using it for over a year and am still quite satisfied. The main difference with a DSLR will be the speed of the AF and I think it will be a little slower with the alpha lens compared to native NEX lenses.

My brother has quite a bad case of camera acquisition disorder and what I learned from all the camera's he owned over the past years (Pentax DSLR, Olympus Pen and now Samsung NX series) is that for some reason no camera company gets it all right.

My main critisism on the nex is the auto-white balance, especially indoors and low light. I shoot mainly in RAW nowadays and sort out the white balance later. I think the white balance issue is common for all NEX camera's (and might also be present in your Alpha).

My choice for the nex was for these reasons:
- Great sensor, can handle high ISO (I don't like using flash)
- Tilt screen, an absolute must have when shooting children from a low pov
- Works great with legacy lenses (I allready had a Konica 40mm f1.8 and a Minolta 50mm F1.7).

IMHO the compactness of a NEX will not be very significant when used with a 18-200mm+adapter so I would think a really compact camera with decent zoom range will be a more signifficant addition for the moments when compactness count.
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