A 16.1-million-pixel sensor, LCD touchscreen and increased shooting rate to 10fps are just three of the upgrades to Sony’s NEX-5N compact system camera. We put it to the test

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Sony NEX-5N


Sony NEX-5N review


Price as reviewed:


Build and handling

Although the NEX-5 and NEX-5N look identical, they are made from different materials. Where the NEX-5 only had a magnesium alloy top-plate, the updated camera has both a front and top that is made of magnesium alloy, with the rest being polycarbonate.

The button placement of the two cameras is identical and is still minimalist. However, the NEX-5N inherits the ability to allocate user-defined functions to these buttons. This makes it far easier to change particular settings that may be needed depending on your particular style of photography. In our tests, we set the three buttons to ISO, white balance and image style.

The biggest change is the touchscreen, which offers a new way of changing settings. While the touchscreen works well when touching to select, there is a noticeable lag when swiping a finger across the screen to scroll through settings. When trying to select a specific menu, it’s often easier to revert to using the control dial and scroll through the settings before choosing the one you want.

Like the NEX-5 and NEX-C3, the NEX-5N strikes a good balance between quick control and access, while keeping the button layout and design simple.

  1. 1. Features
  2. 2. Build and handling
  3. 3. Metering
  4. 4. Noise, Resolution and Sensitivity
  5. 5. Dynamic Range
  6. 6. White Balance and Colour
  7. 7. Viewfinder, LCD, Live View and Video
  8. 8. Autofocus
  9. 9. Verdict
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