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:



While it may seem that Sony has just added 2 million pixels to the NEX-5 and rebadged it, there is far more going on in the NEX-5N. For example, the image sensor isn’t just of a higher resolution, as it also has a better dynamic range and improved handling of noise. The new optional EVF and phase-detection Alpha mount adapter are great additions to the NEX line-up, although they are expensive. While the touchscreen LCD is useful, it is not as significant as we would have hoped.

However, the Sony NEX-5N is bettered by few compact system cameras when it comes to image quality, and although it may be seen as the little brother to the NEX-7, for many it will be hard to argue against investing in the image quality, size and handling of the NEX-5N.


Dioptre Adjustment:N/A
White Balance:Auto, 6 presets, plus custom and Kelvin settings
Built-in Flash:No, external supplied – GN 7m @ ISO 100
Shutter Type:Electronically controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane type and electronic front curtain
Memory Card:SD, SDHC, SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo
Viewfinder Type:N/A (optional optical for 16mm lens or electronic LA-EA2)
Output Size:4912x3264 pixels
Focal Length Mag:1.5x
Max Flash Sync:1/160sec
Sensor:APS-C-sized CMOS sensor with 16.1 million effective pixels
White Balance Bracket:No
AF Points:25 automatically selectable points, 187 selectable single points
Field of View:N/A
LCD:3in touchscreen TFT LCD screen with 921,600 dots
Exposure Modes:PASM, iAuto, 8 scene modes
Power:Rechargeable Li-Ion battery (supplied)
Weight:210g (without battery or card/s)
File Format:Raw, JPEG, raw + JPEG simultaneously
Shutter Speeds:30-1/4000sec in 1⁄3 steps plus B
Drive Mode:3fps or 10fps for JPEG 10 shots, raw 6 shots, raw+JPEG 4 shots
Colour Space:Adobe RGB, sRGB
Exposure Comp:±3EV in 1⁄3EV steps
ISO:100-25,600 in 1EV steps
Lens Mount:Sony E mount
RRP:£509.99 (body only)
Focusing Modes:Auto, manual, DMF, face detection
DoF Preview:Yes
Metering System:1200-zone evaluative metering, centreweighted, spot
Connectivity / Interface:USB 2.0 Hi-Speed, HDMI
Compression:2-stage JPEG
  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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