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Sony NEX-5 Digital Camera

Sony NEX-5

Rating: ★★★★☆

I recently purchased a Sony NEX-5 digital camera with twin lens kit from Sony Style at Heathrow Terminal 5.

Normally I would not buy from Sony directly as they can be pricey but since it was tax-free and Sony were also doing their VAT-back offer at the time (which bizarrely meant that Sony Style would still give you money off even though their prices are already supposed to be tax-free!) I got a good deal (About £470 for the twin lenses and the camera). Separately I bought a Sony case, memory card and battery from them too.

The camera comes in two colours, black and silver. The silver body looks best in my opinion since the lens is also silver.

This camera is aimed at users that want slightly more features and better quality (and interchangeable lenses) than a normal digital compact camera but perhaps don’t want to be overwhelmed with too many options (ie aren’t pro photographers).

I also have a Canon EOS 450D which is more flexible than the Sony and one of my concerns was that I would be sacrificing quality with the Sony but I am pleased to say that the photos I took recently while on hols in Dubai are excellent and the colour reproduction is very good on the Sony.

The menu is a bit quirky and when you think you should be pressing the screen you actually should be pressing buttons on the camera (the buttons take on different functions depending on what is on the screen at the time). I suspect the next model will be touch-screen.

You can also take 720p video with the camera and it’s a simple one press operation to start recording. The quality is good but not sure I’ll be selling my Sony vidcam just yet!

I do have a quibble with the fitted Sony case. It comes in three parts, a base you can attach to the camera (the base comes in different colours). A top piece which attaches to the base and covers the camera and lens and a strap which you also have to buy separately if you want it to match the colour of the case (or you can make do with the black non-leather strap that comes with the camera).

What the Sony Style sales guy neglected to tell me is that the case cover I bought only fits the pancake lens and camera body not the bigger lens that was part of the kit (so I have to buy yet another top cover if I want to be able to use it with the bigger lens).

The other niggle I have is that the flash is a separate little unit which is easily lost and when attached to the camera, the case won’t fit! Perhaps I should have just settled for the camera bag that I have….

Anyway, overall, I am very pleased with my purchase and now need to sell my Canon!

Pros

  • Small for an interchangeable lens camera
  • Looks cool
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Expensive case options
  • Flash accessory not too well thought out
  • Menu operation is a bit quirky
  • Could have benefitted from a touch-screen
  • Can be pricey unless you get a good deal

Verdict

If you’re looking to trade up from a digital compact but don’t want to go as far as a hefty digital SLR, you’d do well to look at this.


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