Sony Nex 5n image quality


Administrator Emeritus
Jul 12, 2010
Philly, Pa
Heather, honestly.... I do like the Nex. I really like AF lenses and Sony just isn't there yet. Hopefully they will be. I only got what I was looking for from legacy glass. I burried those before you were born. If you notice the cameras I use, it's a no brained to see that AF is how I work. I think the new 24 will provide a great lens and on the 5 or new 7, it'll be a winner.
I love APS sensors. Not to big, not to small. They draw great.
The Nex has it in that area.
My daughter bought me a GXR and I'm setting it up as I write this.
So, Im not a traitor. I feel that Sony hasn't stepped up YET but they will.

Heather... Do not under any circumstances put your hands on a GXR.
Be forewarned!


Top Veteran
Apr 23, 2011
I'm on the point of forgiving you. Mainly out of self interest, I can't very well steal your wealth of knowledge without being bestest buds again.

Andy, when I used the Nex 5 with peaking, it was amazing. In any light I could focus my Leica's. I just hate a crop factor with them. Crazy thing is, I love my Canon and Oly lenses and don't mind the crop.
I am anxious to see the Nex7. It could be the wave of the future. If the finder is RIGHT, it will draw many to it.

Duane, no finder required for GXR.
Hi Don,

All this talk of focus peaking and how good the Nex is with legacy glass has got me interested. I have quite a collection of legacy glass and I enjoy manual focusing but I'm not so keen on the 2x crop factor my GH2 gives me. It has its benefits of course but in the main I'd sooner have a smaller crop factor and use more of the glass.

With the GH2 I can zoom in x5 with one button press which is pretty good for manual focusing but even that falls short in two areas. If the light is poor then the magnified view is dark and grainy. Secondly with longer lenses the magnification causes the image to get very jerky so keeping the camera still long enough to nail the focus can be tricky.

I'm reluctant to give up on m43 yet though - I have quite a few adaptors for my legacy glass plus I have the Panny 20mm and the 14-45mm lenses. I'd rather hang onto them and the GH2 at least until I know what the GH3 will bring..

However, I do have a Canon 5D with EF 200mm F2.8L lens gathering dust and I think I'm about ready to let them go. The 5D is just too hard to manual focus with my eyes.

What is the draw with the Nex7 Don? Will it have an EVF or is it more useable with your Leica glass?
I have just been looking at some image examples from the NEX 5n and 18-55 lens and i must say the IQ is quite remarkable!! They look really really good, much better than the Std NEX 5!! With legacy glass the 5n should blow just about everything out the water!!! Here is a link to the image examples: Sony NEX-5N Review: 16. Samples gallery: Digital Photography Review
Yes Andy, they are sweet images. I've decided to get a Nex 5N bundle with 16mm, 18-55 and the VF. I was gonna hang onto the GH2 but there seems little point, may as well sell it while it is still in short supply and before the GH3 appears..

Tord S Eriksson

Aug 16, 2010
Gothenburg. Sweden
Been playing around with my NEX-5N and some lenses I have for my Pentax K-5, and I must say I have after that put my K-5 on the back burner! I love that camera, but I think the 5N get more out of the lenses than the K-5. Blasphemy, I know, but just as an example look at yesterday, just before sunset (the photos are not perfect, but I'm still learning, and can't use my more modern lenses, as they have no aperature ring) : Ice cold day at the pond - a set on Flickr

Tord S Eriksson

Aug 16, 2010
Gothenburg. Sweden
My gut feeling, after having taken about 500 shots with my 5N is that it really makes good lenses shine, and not so good look OK, or it gets slightly better results with my Pentax lenses (those that apply) than my K-5 does, and that's not bragging. Wish Pentax/Ricoh had designed something along the same lines, not that Q thing ;-)!


Sep 30, 2011
Vancouver, BC
Just to chip in here. I got the EVF from Digital Rev via ebay. Took two days via FedEx. Not available in UK as yet as far as I know.
Just don't buy from DZone (either one) on eBay... lots of complaints being registered and the stories all have the same "scam" snif about them.

Canadians can find the EVF still available from 's web store albeit for $399.

On day 1 with my NEX 5N I used the EVF all the time. Today I went EVF-free just to see if I could. I can't... at least not with manual focus lenses and those aren't coming out of my bag any time soon.

If Sony happens to ship me a NEX-7 any time soon, and my manual focus lenses perform well out to the corners on it (they do on the NEX-5N... very well indeed) then I'll have an EVF up for sale but for now I'm keeping it.


Rich M

May 2, 2011
Been playing around with my NEX-5N and some lenses I have for my Pentax K-5, and I must say I have after that put my K-5 on the back burner! I love that camera, but I think the 5N get more out of the lenses than the K-5. Blasphemy.
Yes.....blasphemy........especially anything on the NEX over 1600ISO.



Nov 5, 2011
Today I went EVF-free just to see if I could. I can't... at least not with manual focus lenses and those aren't coming out of my bag any time soon.
Why not? Maybe it needs getting used to. I have a NEX-5 which has no view finder at all and , except with very bright light on the LCD, I think it is quite useable. I have the 5N + EVF too and I prefer to use it without EVF most of the time, especially in street photography.


Jul 8, 2010
Has anyone seen the TV show The X Factor? I don't watch it, but my wife does (and does not understand what it is about as compared to America Idol). Anyway, last night they were heavily promoting the NEX 5n. The line between TV show and adverting was not only blurred but simply did not exist! They had a "photo shoot" of the contestants with the 5n, and each contestant received one, and there were multiple 5n ads throughout the show.

Apparently, the 5n "does everything my professional camera does". Which, I suppose, means it takes pictures :rolleyes:


Sep 30, 2011
Vancouver, BC
Why not? Maybe it needs getting used to.
Eyesight, mainly. I'm slightly far sighted and have 50 year old eyes. I can't squeeze them into compliance like I used to for close viewing. But I don't want nor need glasses for moving about the world, only reading.

I went EVF-free again yesterday and found I was coping for the shooting I was doing - mostly street with a 25mm lens. So maybe "I can't" is too strong a statement.

I can live without the EVF and rely on focus peaking and my far sightedness, at least for some purposes. Street photography, yes, I think I can do that EVF free most of the time, especially when using wider angle lenses like a 25mm that has large depth of field even at f/2.8.

But if I need to nail focus with a 50mm on someones eyes, and do it quickly, I'm going to want the EVF, at least that's how it has shaped up so far.

What I'd really prefer is a slightly larger body camera like the NEX 7 with built in EVF so it's there when I need it, every time.

Anyway... I'm giving the NEX-5N more time, with and without the EVF and look forward to seeing how I feel after a few weeks of active use.


Nov 5, 2010
W. Australia
Old Glass Nikon F 35mm F1.4

After a traditional Xmas lunch of tzatziki, followed by a salad of water melon, mint, fetta & olives, just before sunset, I went for a walk with a newly arrived Metabones Adaptor.

My initial thoughts on this lens looking at the RAW images and less apparent in flickr's jpegs: sharpness: yes centre and edge, but not with the kind of acutance a Panasonic 20mm f1.7 gives; colour: of course its better than the kit zoom. The Nikon shows up subtle shades within a similar colour, particularly with greens and makes texture more visible. It is quite different too in the way it deals with dynamic range: if anything it brings out a greater range of dark tones and highlights when compared with the kit zoom. In short, it doesn't 'dump' colour, shadow and highlight detail into clumps or blocks of similar tone.

Overall there is a sense of solidity and strength in the image which is lacking in the kit zoom.

The peaking facility makes it a doddle to use and for the time being it will be my standard lens on this camera. Yes, it is heavy and slightly awkward on the body, but then the camera sits on a tripod anyhow and it is a small price to pay for what it can do.

Unlike its performance on my GF1, the automatic white balance works accurately and well with this lens.

Country Parson

Top Veteran
Apr 5, 2011
North Carolina
Like streetshooter said, when you sell the NEX (as I did) you eventually miss it. I love the GXR, but I miss the articulating screen on the NEX 5. I liked using it at waist level or even lower, since at my age getting down on my knees is not a good idea. Being quit tall it worked well for getting the camera below my eye level.


Nov 5, 2010
W. Australia
Some further reflections on 5-N RAW: The colours from straight RAW with auto white balance can be odd. There is an overall yellow cast which I remove in LR. Greens are often too strong and need to be reduced to bring out subtle differences. These two actions clean up the image well. The kit lens isn't bad stopped down but colour can be a little dull in poor light. Nikkor primes bring about a sparkle even in poor light. The camera's real strength is its dynamic range and retention of detail in highlights.

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