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Sony Alpha NEX-5 Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera w/18-55mm Lens (Black)

Sony Alpha NEX-5 Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera w/18-55mm Lens (Black)
Key Features
  • Extremely Compact HD Imaging System
  • 14.2 MP APS (1.5x) Exmor CMOS Sensor
  • Interchangeable 18-55mm E-Series Lens
  • HD 1080/60i Video / Dolby Digital (AC-3)
Sony's α (Alpha) NEX-5 takes mirror-less/finder-less, interchangeable-lens camera technology to the next level by integrating the resolving power of an APS-format imaging sensor in a camera body that's 48% smaller and 49% lighter than traditional compact DSLRs.

While the camera is physically smaller than a compact DSLR, it retains the imaging qualities of an APS imaging sensor, which contains 58% more surface area than a Four Thirds imaging sensor, and about 13 times the surface area of point-and-shoot imaging sensors. The end result is true pro-quality resolving power in a far smaller package. For still imaging, the NEX-5 captures JPEGs (Fine or Standard), RAW, or JPEG+RAW in a choice of sRGB or Adobe RGB color spaces. In addition to stills, the NEX-5 also captures HS 1080/60i video as well as Full-AVCHD video with Dolby Digital (AC-3) / MPEG-4 audio. For more precise audio there is an optional shoe-mounted shotgun mic that features 90°/120° tilt movement.

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Sony NEX-5 Overview

  • 1Description
  • 2Smallest in Class
  • 3APS-C Size HD Image Sensor
  • 4Interchangeable Lenses
  • 5First in Class with 1080/60i Video
  • 614.2 Megapixel Resolution
  • 7Up to 7 Frames-per-Second
  • 8ISO 12800 Sensitivity
  • 9Ultra-light Magnesium Alloy Fascia
  • 10Sweep Panorama
  • 11AntiMotion Blur Mode
  • 12Hand-held Twilight Mode
  • 13Auto HDR Built into Camera
  • 14Live View LCD
  • 15Tiltable 3" LCD Screen
  • 16920K Pixel TruBlack LCD Screen
  • 17Fast Auto Focus
  • 18Intelligent Auto Focus
  • 19iAUTO (Intelligent Auto) Mode
  • 20On-screen Help Guide
  • 21Control Wheel + Soft Keys
  • 22BIONZ image processor
  • 23Accepts DSLR A-mount Lenses
  • 24Face Detection technology
  • 2525-point Auto Focus
  • 26Multi-Segment Measuring
  • 27Manual Focus Assist
  • 28RAW Image Capture
  • 29"Background Defocus" Control
  • 30Accepts Image Stabilized lenses
  • 31Powerful Supplied Software
  • 32HDMI Output for HD Viewing
  • 338 Scene Selection Modes
  • 346 Creative Style Settings
  • 35P/A/S/M Operating Modes
  • 36Anti-Dust Technology
  • 37Up to 300 Shots of Battery Life
  • 38Supplied Detachable Flash
  • 39Dual Media Slots
  • 40PhotoTV HD Compatibility
  • 41Index and Slide Show Display

Sony's α (Alpha) NEX-5 takes mirror-less/finder-less, interchangeable-lens camera technology to the next level by integrating the resolving power of an APS-format imaging sensor in a camera body that's 48% smaller and 49% lighter than traditional compact DSLRs.

While the camera is physically smaller than a compact DSLR, it retains the imaging qualities of an APS imaging sensor, which contains 58% more surface area than a Four Thirds imaging sensor, and about 13 times the surface area of point-and-shoot imaging sensors. The end result is true pro-quality resolving power in a far smaller package. For still imaging, the NEX-5 captures JPEGs (Fine or Standard), RAW, or JPEG+RAW in a choice of sRGB or Adobe RGB color spaces. In addition to stills, the NEX-5 also captures HS 1080/60i video as well as Full-AVCHD video with Dolby Digital (AC-3) / MPEG-4 audio. For more precise audio there is an optional shoe-mounted shotgun mic that features 90°/120° tilt movement.

The NEX-5 is designed to use Sony E-series lenses, a compact line of optics designed to work with the reduced flange distance that resulted from the removal of the reflex viewing system. The new E-series optics are smaller than Sony's traditional DSLR optics while retaining the imaging qualities Sony is recognized for. In addition to Sony E-series optics, you can also use any of Sony's traditional DSLR lenses (as well as all Minolta AF-mount optics) on the NEX-5 by using the optional LA-EA1 lens adapter. (Note - Manual focus and full-open aperture metering only when using LA-EA1 lens adapter)

The Live View viewing system of the Sony NEX-5 consists of a hi-fidelity 3", 921,600-dot TFT TruBlack LCD that can be tilted downward 45° and upwards of 80° for composing still or video images from extreme angles and/or in tighter shooting quarters.

As for performance levels, the NEX-5's Contrast Auto Focus system has quick response times and can capture full-res stills at burst-rates up to 7 frames-per-second. Low-light shooters will appreciate the ability to increase ISO sensitivity up to 12800, not to mention the NEX-5's Anti-Motion Blur and Hand-held Twilight modes, which capture 6 rapid-sequence images of a subject, analyze the exposure and focusing details of each image, and layer the optimum portions of these exposures into a single optimized image.

Another cool feature found on the Sony NEX-5 is Sony's renowned Sweep Panorama mode, which captures up to 60 individual images and stitches them together in-camera to produce panoramic images up to 226° across by simply pressing the shutter and 'sweeping' the camera vertically or horizontally across the area you want to capture.

Other features found on the Sony NEX-5 include manual overrides for focus and exposure controls, Auto HDR capture and a Dynamic Range Optimizer for expanding shadow and highlight details, Advanced Anti-Dust technologies, 8 Scene modes and 6 Creative settings, Background Defocus, for in-camera selective-focus control, a 25-point AF system, HDMI connectivity, and up to 330 exposures per battery charge.

Because Sony NEX-series are designed with hand-held, low-light/high ISO imaging in mind, there is no built-in flash. But for times you want or need to use flash, a low-profile Sony HVL-F7S P-TTL flash (guide # 7m @ ISO 100) is included with each camera.

Included with this kit is a Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS lens (27-82.5mm equivalent), which contains 11 elements in 9 groups, 4 aspheric surfaces, a minimum focus of 0.82' (0.25 m), and Optical SteadyShot technology for up to 4-stops of vibration reduction.

Smallest in Class

This is the world's smallest interchangeable lens digital still camera (as of April 2010). Removing the conventional mirror box, AF sensor and viewfinder, and reducing the "flange back" distance enables image quality of a DSLR in a camera that's 48% smaller and 49% lighter than Sony's compact DSLRs.

APS-C Size HD Image Sensor

The NEX-5 contains the same sensor format that Sony builds into the full-sized DSLRs. With 13 times the area of the typical image sensor, APS-C makes the difference between "snapshots" and "photographs," delivering an exceptional combination of high resolution, high sensitivity and gorgeous, blurred backgrounds.

Interchangeable Lenses

Compatible with Sony's E-mount series of smaller, lighter lenses designed specifically for α compact interchangeable lens cameras. Opens up a world of creative options.

First in Class with 1080/60i Video

This is the world's first interchangeable lens still camera with 1080/60i AVCHD Full HD, exactly the same resolution and frame rate as most broadcast and cable HDTV channels. Records in 1080/60i AVCHD format, 1080/30p high definition in PC-friendly MP4 format and standard definition 480/30p in MP4 format.

14.2 Megapixel Resolution

You get incredible detail and gorgeous enlargements. Thanks to the APS-C sensor size and Sony Exmor APS HD CMOS technology, the camera achieves high resolution with no penalty in low-light sensitivity or sensor noise.

Up to 7 Frames-per-Second

Capture the decisive moment in sports and get the ideal baby photo. Up to 7 fps continuous shooting at full 14.2 MP resolution with exposure and focus fixed at the first frame. Standard continuous shooting at up to 2.3 fps.

ISO 12800 Sensitivity

Incredibly clear low-light pictures without sacrificing detail. As of April 2010, this is best-in-class performance, made possible by low-noise Exmor APS HD CMOS image sensor and refined BIONZ image processor.

Ultra-light Magnesium Alloy Fascia

The camera combines high strength with low weight, thanks to the Magnesium alloy front fascia.

Sweep Panorama

Capture expansive landscapes automatically. Press the shutter, sweep vertically or horizontally. The camera does the rest, continuously shooting images and stitching them together. Up to 23 MP image size. Up to 226 degrees maximum sweep angle (16mm focal length).

AntiMotion Blur Mode

Corrects for subject movement to capture amazingly clean and sharp images in low-light. The camera leverages the large, APS-C image sensor and captures six images in a fraction of a second. Combining the data from all six creates a single image that minimizes subject blur.

Hand-held Twilight Mode

Get cleaner and sharper nighttime pictures-beyond the capability of traditional cameras-without using flash or a tripod. The camera leverages the large, APS-C image sensor and captures six images in a fraction of a second. Combining the data from all six creates a single image of extraordinary detail and low noise.

Auto HDR Built into Camera

High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography captures more scene contrast than a single exposure can handle by combining the best highlight detail from one shot and the best shadow detail from another for one incredible shot. Until recently, you needed a computer and editing software. Sony builds HDR in. Handles severe backlighting and other high-contrast scenes (Recommended for still subjects).

Live View LCD

The LCD monitor is active full-time for composing shots. Provides a what-you-see-is-what-you-get preview of white balance, focus, depth of field, exposure and 100% framing accuracy, plus informative on-screen displays.

Tiltable 3" LCD Screen

Empowers your photography with a different point of view. Tilts down 45° and up 80° to frame high- and low-angle shots that would otherwise be hit-or-miss.

920K Pixel TruBlack LCD Screen

Sony's Xtra Fine LCD monitor has best-in-class resolution (as of April 2010). The TruBlack screen includes a special resin layer to suppress internal reflections, increase contrast compared to conventional LCDs. Sunny Weather mode boosts visibility even further in bright sunlight.

Fast Auto Focus

Some cameras in this class are slow to focus. That can make you miss the shot on fast-moving subjects like sports and unpredictable subjects like pets and babies. Sony's fast Contrast Auto Focus system typically takes just 0.3 seconds. Also offers continuous Auto Focus when shooting movies.

Intelligent Auto Focus

Pre-focuses as you compose the shot, further reducing focusing time to a bare minimum.

iAUTO (Intelligent Auto) Mode

Unifies and simplifies Sony intelligent technologies. Takes advantage of Intelligent Scene Recognition, Face Detection technology, and Optical SteadyShot image stabilization without leaving auto mode so you always get the best shot.

On-screen Help Guide

Provides ready reference, explains the camera's modes and settings. Walks you through camera operation so you get the best shot. Helps you advance from basic operation to greater sophistication.

Control Wheel + Soft Keys

Unlike cameras that bristle with knobs, buttons and dials, the NEX-5 features a simple turn-and-click Control Wheel and context-sensitive Soft Keys. It's elegant, uncluttered and intuitive.

BIONZ image processor

The brain of the camera is a refined version of Sony's BIONZ image processor. Its chroma noise reduction delivers high-resolution, low-noise photos even at ISO 12800 sensitivity. Also enables fast processing for up to 7 fps continuous shooting of data-intensive 14.2 megapixel images. Sweep Panorama and 6 image layering.

Accepts DSLR A-mount Lenses

Using the LA-EA1 adaptor (sold separately), you can attach the full selection of α A-mount system lenses, which includes 28 current models and an installed base of millions of lenses worldwide. Operational restrictions apply.

Face Detection technology

The camera can automatically detect up to eight individual faces and adjust focus, exposure, white balance and flash to help deliver crisp, properly lit images of family and friends. Can prioritize children or adults.

25-point Auto Focus

25 sensors cover a very wide area of the scene, for accurate focusing even when the subject is far from the center of the frame.

Multi-Segment Measuring

Optimizes exposure based on 49 segments. Choice of Multi, Center and Spot metering accommodates a full range of shooting situations.

Manual Focus Assist

Greatly magnifies the viewfinder image when you touch the focus ring, making it easy to get razor-sharp images. Works with E-mount lenses only.

RAW Image Capture

The NEX-5 saves your pictures as compact JPEG files or ultra-high quality RAW files. RAW files save images prior to de-mosaicing, white balance, sharpness and color enhancement. This retains maximum latitude for enhancing the image on your PC.

"Background Defocus" Control

Cameras with APS-C sensors take beautiful pictures because they can blur the background. That helps make your subject stand out as the center of attention in portrait photography. But you've had to know about aperture f-stops and shutter speeds. Now Sony makes it easy. Simply turn the Control Wheel one way for backgrounds in focus, the other for background defocus.

Accepts Image Stabilized lenses

Selected E-mount lenses incorporate Optical SteadyShot image stabilization to combat the effects of camera shake. Building stabilization into the lenses enables the camera body to be remarkably thin and light.

Powerful Supplied Software

To help you refine and manage your images, the camera is equipped with computer software including Image Data Converter SR, Image Data Lightbox SR and Picture Motion Browser (PMB).

HDMI Output for HD Viewing

Enjoy HD movies and stunning still images on a compatible HDTV. The camera includes an HDMI output. In addition, the BRAVIA Sync system works with compatible Sony BRAVIA HDTVs enabling you to control camera playback using the television's remote.

8 Scene Selection Modes

These help you get the shot by optimizing the camera for specific shooting situations. Select from Portrait, Sports, Macro, Landscape, Sunset, Night View, Night Portrait and Hand-held Night Shot modes.

6 Creative Style Settings

Control how the camera processes your images with six finishing styles: Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset and B&W. You can even fine-tune contrast, saturation, and sharpness to your personal taste.

P/A/S/M Operating Modes

The NEX-5 offers a full range of controls from the beginner's iAUTO mode to P/A/S/M: Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual. On-screen prompts help you refine your skills, build your confidence and exercise greater creative control.

Anti-Dust Technology

Anti-Dust Technology helps keep the CMOS sensor clean, resulting in consistently clear pictures. First a static-free coating on the sensor's low-pass filter helps repel dust. Then vibration automatically dislodges dust from the sensor.

Up to 300 Shots of Battery Life

Take up to 300 shots on a single charge with Sony lithium ion Stamina battery power. Sony's InfoLITHIUM battery system enables you to see the percent of power remaining, so you can keep shooting in confidence.

Supplied Detachable Flash

To help you shoot more effectively in formal portraits, the supplied flash has a Guide Number of 7.

Dual Media Slots

For cost-effective, convenient storage and sharing of your images, the camera accepts Memory Stick PRO Duo/Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo and SD/SDHC media (Class 4 or higher recommended). (Memory card is required. All are sold separately.)

PhotoTV HD Compatibility

Optimizes compatible BRAVIA televisions for gorgeous display of digital pictures.

Index and Slide Show Display

Quickly review your photos using 6- or 12-frame index views, or as an automatic slide show with fade-in/fade-out effect.

Sony NEX-5 Specs

Camera TypeCompact E-mount interchangeable lens digital camera
ResolutionEffective: 14.2MP, Recorded: 14.6MP
SensorExmor APS HD CMOS sensor (23.4 X 15.6mm)
Bit DepthNot Specified by Manufacturer
File FormatsStills: JPEG (Standard, Fine), RAW, RAW+JPEG
Video: AVCHD / MP4 (MPEG-4 AVC (H.264))
File Size3:2
L (14M): 4592 x 3056
M (7.4M): 3344 x 2224
S (3.5M): 2288 x 1520

L (12M): 4592 x 2576
M (6.3M): 3344 x 1872
S (2.9M): 2288 x 1280

Color SpacessRGB, Adobe RGB
Image StabilizationAnti-Motion Blur Function in camera, Some lenses have Optical SteadyShot
Crop Factor1.5x
LensE-mount 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS (35mm film equivalent: 27-82.5mm)
9 groups, 11 elements (4 aspheric surfaces)
Lens MountE-mount
Focus TypeContrast 25 point autofocus and Manual Focus
Focus Range9.8" (0.25m) - infinity
Accessory Lens/Filter Mount49mm
Shooting Controls
SensitivityAuto, 200 to 12800
Shutter Speeds1/4000 - 30 seconds, bulb
MeteringMulti-segment, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure ModesiAUTO, Program Auto (P), Aperture priority (A), Shutter priority (S), Manual (M), +/-2EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
White BalanceAuto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash, Setting the color temperature, Custom
Mirror Lock-UpN/A
Burst CapabilityContinuous (2.3fps)
Speed Priority (7fps)
Self Timer2-sec. or 10-sec. delay, (single, continuous 3 or 5 frames)
Interval RecordingN/A
Remote ControlNot Specified by Manufacturer
Built-in FlashNo, External HVL-F7S flash supplied
Effective Flash RangeGuide Number: 7 (in meters at ISO 100)
External Flash ConnectionSmart accessory terminal
Dedicated Flash SystemNot Specified by Manufacturer
Max Sync Speed1/160
Built-in MemoryNo
Memory Card TypeDual memory card slot:
Memory Stick PRO Duo, Pro-HG Duo, PRO-HG HX Duo
Still Images per GBRAW: 68
A/V Recording
Video RecordingYes, MP4 (MPEG-4 AVC (H.264))
Video ResolutionAVCHD: 1920 x 1080/ 60i (59.94i Interlace) Approx. 17Mbps (Average bit-rate) HD: 1440 x 1080/ 30p (29.97 Progressive) Approx. 12Mbps (Average bit-rate)
VGA: 640 x 480/ 30p (29.97 Progressive) Approx. 3Mbps (Average bit-rate)
Video Clip Length29 minutes
Audio RecordingDolby Digital (AC-3), MPEG-4 AAC-LC, Optional Compact Stereo Microphone
Viewfinder TypeOptional optical viewfinder FDA-SV1
Viewfinder Coverage100%
DisplayTiltable 3" 921,600-dot TFT TruBlack LCD
Connectivity/System Requirements
ConnectivityUSB 2.0, HDMI (Type C)
System & Software RequirementsWindows 2000, XP (SP2), Vista
Mac OS X (10.1.3 or later)
Operating/Storage Temperature32 - 104°F (0 - 40°C)
DurabilityNot Specified by Manufacturer
Battery TypeInfoLITHIUM NP-FW50 battery, 7.2V
Power AdapterAC adapter for NEX cameras
Dimensions4.36 x 2.31 x 1.5" (110.8 x 58.8 x 38.2mm)
Weight8.1 oz (229g)

Sony NEX-5 Reviews

My first Sony but not my last

By worriedman
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2012-05-22

This is a great camera. It is small enough to carry anywhere and image quality is excellent. I got it for the panoramic mode which really very good but find I am carrying it more and more because of its size. I also like being able to go fully manual for some pictures. I recommend this camera highly.

Portable, Powerful Sony NEX-5

By KEhrie
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2011-12-20

I was looking for a compact camera that is easy-to-use in versatile situations with superior lens options and good video functionality. A friend turned me on to the Sony NEX series and I couldn't be happier. The photo quality, even after only a brief tutorial with my new camera, is far superior to the Nikon D60 that I was using previously.

Excellent Beginner's Camera

By Mark
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2011-12-17

This was my first EVIL camera and it is excellent, especially at this price range. It takes gorgeous pictures and has easy to use controls for any lighting situation. None of the preset functions feel gimmicky and actually serve a purpose. Sweep panorama mode is probably the most fun while hand-held twilight is the most useful. The physical size of this camera is also a huge bonus compared to the standard DSLR. If you buy the 16mm pancake lens I can easily see this being carried around in a jacket pocket. Unfortunately, the stock lens is on the big size but it's great for almost every situation. Don't expect to pocket it with the kit lens, though. The video mode is has nice quality, but only good light. Only the NEX-5N (And 7) allow manual controls over video. All you can adjust on this model is the contrast, saturation, and sharpness via the various creative styles. Low light video has visible noise. Overall this is an excellent travel camera for taking photos and family videos. I highly recommend getting the pancake lens for maximum portability.

It's Everything I Wanted in a Camera!

By Anonymous
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2011-12-15

I'm at an amature when it comes to photography, but I know what I want from a basic picture and from the camera taking my picture, and I've (mistakenly) looked for it in $200-300 point and shoots. This camera is EXACTLY what I've been looking for. I read reviews about the camera, and I agree with all of them except the negative comments (every once in a while there comes along a faulty product ... but I didn't get that and I haven't had to deal with Sony directly, so i can't speak to their quality of customer service). The camera is compact enough to fit in a coat pocket (the lens of course adds more size than a regular point and shoot), and it really is easy to just carry around. One of my favorite aspects of the camera, and the one that really makes this camera worth the money (i've been looking for a camera that does this) is the low-light capabilities. Most point and shoots have difficulty keeping a steady shot in anything but bright light -- indoors is almost off-limits without a flash, which affects any natural lighting. The nex5 does the low-light. I took it into the bathroom with the light off and only a trickle of light coming in, and it still took a half-decent pic! I had to close the door for pitch black conditions to get a bad picture. Although there aren't many quick buttons on the exterior, the menu setup really is easy to use. It is well-organized and easy to navigate the options. Although the option to designate which functions are controlled by the quick buttons, I wish there were a little liberty in assignment options (for example, if i want the ease of switching between color and b/w, it's impossible to assign a b/w function to those buttons). Regardless of that very minor setback, the menu is still easy to use. One other small option that i wish it had is being able to change the point of focus in the intelligent auto mode. Point of focus can only be changed in the manual modes. That being said, the intelligent auto mode takes REALLY good pics. The back LCD is superb. The images are super clear, and even the menu search is pleasing to the eye and easy to use with the scroll button. Up and down tilt makes it easy to get those other point of reference shots (shooting above a crowd or taking a shot near the ground). In short: I LOVE THIS CAMERA.

very happy with this bundle

By Anonymous
Rated 4 out of 5
Date: 2012-01-19

shopped around best price with bundle love how small camera is but the pictures are great

Great camera for real estate

By Ron real estate professional
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2012-01-02

Finally, after 10 years I'm able to upgrade to a camera that is functional for our business. The w1de angle lens and ultra wide converter have been great so far. I purchased the F20 flash too. Took great pictures for my 1st new listing in 2012. Still working thru the settings. Only thing I may miss is an auto zoom - but so far no big deal. Happy with my gift to myself!!

Addictive little camera!

By Anonymous
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2011-12-25

Easy to use , takes great pictures , really fast, now my canon g10 collecting dust! i was in line [email protected] on black friday to buy this, than i found it here at b&h for about $90 cheaper! camera arrived 2 days later , really happy with the purchase ! thanks B&H !

Love It!!

By hnc
Rated 4 out of 5
Date: 2011-12-21

This is our family camera and we love the ease and portability of it. My 8 yr. sold son enjoys using it to snap photos of his interests and my husband and I have loved having it to take pictures at all of the sporting events and family gatherings we have been to.

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