Sony NEX 5N review and video footage

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EOSHD is now a Digital Photography Review contributor. Read my full IFA 2011 show report at DPReview.com here.

After a lot of Dear Sony letters they have finally entered the DSLR video game. Are they going to change it? Read on to find out.

The Sony NEX 5N is the first DSLR* from Sony that offers manual control in video mode and 24p. It precedes the higher end Sony A77 and NEX 7 by about 2 months and is priced at just $599 for the body only. The 18-55mm OSS kit lens is video optimised and has a very effective optical stabiliser. A 50mm F1.8 OSS prime will follow soon (I tried one at IFA, it’s great to finally have a stabiliser on a fast prime!) and the OLED viewfinder add-on.

* I use the term DSLR as an umbrella term for cameras now – when technically the new Sonys are SLT or mirrorless compact system cameras (CSC).

The NEX 5N like the FS100 and NEX 7 is E-Mount. It will take the same lenses (including PL) and the forthcoming Zeiss 24mm F1.8. I had a play with this lens at IFA and it is absolutely beautiful, as is the OLED viewfinder on the NEX 7 and A77.

There is absolutely no doubt that Sony have produced a dark horse here, at this price and position in the range. It offers the biggest amount of bang per square inch and per dollar that I have ever seen. Due to it’s size and compatibility out of the box with PL mount lenses, it could also replace a director’s viewfinder with a digital equivalent.

Duncan Jones on the set of Source Code

(Above: Duncan Jones frames a shot with a director’s viewfinder on the set of Source Code)

On the stills side it has a brilliant JPEG engine and some of the most sophisticated noise reduction I’ve ever seen. I prefer it to the Canon 600D and GH2 for stills – by quite some margin – and it is better than the NEX 7 and A77 at high ISOs. The 5N shares a similar image processor to those cameras, and is bang up to date – quite unlike the ageing DIGIC 4 in the 600D. It offers far more innovation for stills, with modes that genuinely improve dynamic range and low light for real – not gimmicks.

One of the first things you will want to do on the 5N to tune it for video capture is turn on the option for manual control settings taking effect in live view and set stills to 16:9. By default the 5N gains up the display for composition and it is only when you hit record that the camera takes notice of your manual settings – a bit like a Nikon. This gave me a nervous breakdown at first until I found a way to change it, because it would have been a deal breaker. And the aspect ratio of stills? With it set to 3:2 as default you will also be framing video in 3:2 and the camera will switch to 16:9 when you hit the record button. That would have been another deal breaker but keep it set to 16:9 and the camera’s live view behaves like the dedicated video mode on the GH2.

One annoyance on the GH2 has made it’s way onto the Sony. There’s a sizeable gamma shift when recording starts, meaning that you compose and expose with a very different looking image. Apparently this has something to do with TV compliance or possibly even battery efficiency (using less CPU power) in live view mode – but certainly in live view shadows are crushed and only become visible when you hit record. You need to account for this and underexpose slightly in live view.

Build is fantastic, the lens mount feels beefier than the GH2 and it really is small. It makes the GH2 feel like a 5D Mark II in comparison! Unfortunately the small size does come at the expense of physical control, with a bare minimum of buttons and dials – just one dial in fact on the whole camera. The good news is that what’s left works well and almost every button is programmable with a custom function.

Further good news comes in the form of a touch screen which many will be tempted to turn off – but actually it has its uses even for hardened video pros. It is a much improved capatative touch screen like the iPhone 4 which means it’s far more sensitive and responsive. I believe this is another first on a camera. The bad news is it can’t be used in winter whilst wearing gloves. You can touch to focus on objects to activate AF tracking – a nice… touch!

Battery life is excellent, much better than the GH2. The screen is higher resolution and better in overall quality. It tilts upward and downwards rather than outwards and round like the GH2’s, I actually prefer this mechanism on the NEX to the Canons and Panasonic hinge.

Now clearly the NEX 5N has the functionality – finally – to be a DSLR video contender.

So what’s the image like?

Resolution

Not at the GH2 mark but better than Canon. Certainly on the softer side. This is not necessarily a bad thing – soft is cinematic. What’s more important is that detail is cleanly resolved… read on…

Moire / rainbows

Heavily present in live view, mostly disappears in record mode and on final image. Hurray! There’s some ‘fizzing’ over fine patterns and details though.

Aliasing

Now this is more of a problem. Reasonably heavy on high contrast lines, especially sloping horizontals – certainly more jagged edges than on the GH2. Not a good show here.

Tonal range, gradation

This is a strong point. Fall off from highlights is handled well, gradation is quite smooth overall. Subtle shades are well rendered. On light sources, the halos that are present on the GH2 are not there on 5N footage. Skin tones look more natural on the 5N.

GH2 / 5N highlights in video mode

Compression

Similar to an out of the box GH2 in 24p mode but in 60p mode compression is a little heavy on fast action and handheld camera work. The 5N doesn’t hold a candle to the hacked GH2 however. 44Mbit and above on the GH2 looks far less compressed – because it is.

High ISO noise

Certainly a cleaner sensor than on the GH2 but the difference in video mode is far less than in stills mode. They end up roughly equal especially at the top setting of ISO 3200 (in video mode). At ISO 1600 I feel the 5N is has less noise thanks to better noise reduction but the noise on the GH2 is of a finer grain especially with Vitaliy’s high bitrate patch. The noise reduction on the Sony both in video mode and stills mode maintains a good level of detail.

Where I feel the NEX 5N has a definite advantage here is that at the same ISO it is brighter than the GH2 by quite some margin. Lastly, the portrait picture profile can give you a further boost by bringing up the mids and lows, increasing shadow detail. This effect can be achieved on the GH2 as well with the Nostalgia film mode.

Colour

This is another strong point of the 5N especially in stills mode. Colour is accurate though there are fewer picture profile presets than the GH2 and no flatter CineStyle / Cinema Gamma alike setting for video.

Dynamic range

The sensor certainly has more dynamic range than most others, the GH2 included. How much of that makes it through to the video mode is open to debate. I haven’t really shot with it enough yet, and need to do a real world tunnel test to determine exactly where it stands.

Rolling shutter

Still there, but no more of an issue than it is on all other DSLRs.

Audio

No manual control. No mic socket. In fact there is a mic socket but it’s a typical Sony proprietary one! A consumer grade Sony stereo mic can be attached to the hotshoe, and that’s about it. Dual system audio all the way for 5N users at the current time.

HDMI

It’s full HD and even progressive 1080p. It’s live and works well with an EVF or monitor whilst recording. That’s the good news. Unfortunately whether it is uncompressed or 4-2-2 is all academic because we never quite get as far as an external recorder with the 5N! The output is hobbled by an insistence on displaying various overlays and settings on the screen, as well as some in a wide black bar on the right, even when the Disp button is used to pair down info to a minimum.

Sony NEX 5N with Canon FD 50mm F1.2 L

Handling

The 5N lacks a dedicated video mode on the dial, it just has the record button. For manual control in video mode you set the camera to M. There are not many handling quirks that you can’t get around on this camera. It even has AF micro adjust. The camera has peaking built in which is useful for manual focus – highlighting the edges of objects which are in focus. Interestingly I am told the pre-production model also had zebra and a function to highlight crushed blacks but it has not made its way into the version 1.0 firmware.

The incredibly small size of this camera makes you feel rather insecure! On a big tripod it feels especially ridiculous. I do miss the dedicated switches on the GH2 – and video pros will certainly see the 5N as a bit of a toy in this regard. I’m used to DSLR video, and a lack of frilly nobs. Even I miss a AF / MF switch and dedicated mode dial.

In playback mode the camera separates stills and videos into sub-menus. I had another nervous breakdown when I saw that all my videos had been deleted, when in fact they were just hidden!

Conclusion

I feel the GH2 still has the upper-hand in overall image quality. Ultimately it really depends on what you value most…

If you value sensor size and slow motion over manual audio control, bitrate and resolution then the NEX 5N fits the job description.

In a nutshell I feel that if you’d like an APS-C sensor but with a mirrorless mount, and you really feel the difference between APS-C and Micro Four Thirds in terms of image aesthetic the NEX 5N is your only choice at the moment. It is nice to have a larger sensor in what is essentially a mini GH2 with 1080/60p. As a discrete b-camera and stills tool there’s no doubt here – get it for that. But there are critical areas where the GH2 has a major upper hand in terms of video mode, and the 5D Mark II remains a full frame specialist!

Aliasing on the 5N is rather bad – almost as bad as on the 7D in 720p mode, and there’s no manual audio control.

However the 5N does have a softer cinematic image and is brighter at the same ISO with a shallower depth of field at the same aperture. The sensor handles highlights better, without the halo effect around street lights and other light sources. Colour, gradation and tonality are great on the 5N – especially skin tones, oranges and yellows. The Sony sensor does a nicer job with these than the GH2.

Pros (over the GH2)

  • 1080/50/60p – a first in DSLR video – great for slow motion
  • Smooth gradation and colour
  • APS-C sized sensor yet mirrorless mount – another first
  • Better stills than the GH2 and even the 7D
  • Tons of innovative and actually useful modes for stills like sweep panorama, handheld twilight, high speed continuous shooting and a subtle 3-shot HDR mode that genuinely gives you more usable dynamic range like on a full frame sensor.
  • Alloy build, better battery and incredibly discrete
  • 25p for broadcast in Europe and the UK

Cons (over the GH2)

  • The video image isn’t as cleanly resolved as GH2. Whilst colour and gradated tones are great, resolution is lower and it’s aliasing heavy.
  • Lower bitrates than the GH2
  • No manual audio control or mic socket

Stay tuned to EOSHD for a NEX 5N comparison with the Canon 600D.

About Author

British filmmaker and editor of EOSHD, Andrew works in Berlin on his own self funded filmmaking and video projects.

74 Comments

  1. I wanted to enjoy the video for not only the 5n, but also for the NEX 7, but alas I really couldn’t. My computer simply could not properly playback the 1080 50p footage. I downloaded it, but it didn’t help. I messed around with VLC Player settings and nothing. So I played back some 1080 60P footage from other camera reviews and they played back silky smooth. Does this mean that 25/50p footage just doesn’t play nice in NTSC regions?

  2. It won’t be due to regions, it will be down to your processor. Certainly 1080/60p is much more demanding than 24p or 25p. But the video above is all 25p and the 60p footage in that is conformed to 25p slow motion. If you can’t play that it will be down to individual PC quirks, full screen it on Vimeo and see how it streams.

  3. I think my computer has problems ()_o I played it in full HD/full screen on Vimeo and it played fine. I think something intensive might have been running in the background. I’m sorry for jumping to conclusions.

  4. Hi Andrew!

    Thanks for this review, very informative. I want to ask you, do you recommend the Nex 5N over a T3i or 60D?

    Good luck

  5. thanks for the review, its the first good bit of info ive seen on the camera so far. if you still have it, is there anyway you could shoot a res chart with the nex-5n, gh2, and maybe a canon for good measure? over i think the cameras worth the money just for stills, but as far as video goes im not sure its worth consideration at this point, not even as a b-cam if the aliasing is as bad as you say it is.

  6. Great review, thanks!

    When you say “The 18-55mm OSS kit lens is video optimised and has a very effective optical stabiliser,” are you referring to the kit lens that adds a 100 bucks to the purchase price or the more expensive f2.8?

  7. Many thanks for posting that. Unless the Canon is softer at 1.4 than the Samyang you can really see how good of a job Panasonic has done with their video implementation on the GH2, I don’t know what they do to their videos to make them sharp but whatever it is it just works. For dynamic range and low light it’s not as distinguished, but oh man that crispness!

    Comparing that shot of the dancer in your NEX-7 video it also looks like there isn’t too much difference between the NEX-5’s video quality and the NEX-7’s, the 7 looks like maybe – just maybe – it doesn’t have as many horizontal aliasing issues but with such a short clip it’s very hard to tell (those white balance settings couldn’t be any further apart!). The NEX-5’s color looked a little overcooked at times at the Berlin show, have you tried playing with the saturationo/sharpness/contrast settings? (did you buy an NEX-5? if you did it would be interesting to see how its video compares to your Sony compact).

    Bottom line the NEX-5 seems like an incredible camera for the price, loaded with features that (on the stills side at least) leave any micro 4/3 choice – or consumer Canon – in the dust

  8. NEX-5N for the win. As a GH1 user, I can say that the Panasonic cameras really pack a punch but I think the new Sony NEX-5N will have the upper hand. Yes, the Panasonic has higher bit rates but it is not really a fair comparison since the GH2 is hacked. I don’t really trust hacks because I like stability and I want to avoid glitches. When I compare cameras, I compare the video performance in stock form.

    The NEX blows away the GH2 in terms of low-light performance and dynamic range and to be honest, I was never a fan of the Panasonic video image, it is too sharp for my tastes and lacks the graceful softness of the Sony and Canon cameras. The 1080p 60p is a deal breaker for me and lets face it, that slow mo NEX footage at the end of the clip was stunning. Add the fact that the camera lists for $300 less than the GH2 and I think Sony has a real winner on their hands.

    Also, how many people seriously record audio on their DSLR’s? If you need audio, you need to go with a separate recording device like the zoom H4N. It may just be my opinion but I think Sony wins this round. I will be interested to see what Panasonic does with the GH3. Besides, the Sony is so cheap, you can pick one up regret free, adapt virtually any lens mount type you may have to it and then sell it when something better comes along.

  9. I think Andrew also mention about the unhacked GH2 which still handles aliasing better than the NEX 5N. The latest GH2 hack offer better stability, I hope Andrew will report on that in the near future.
    I don’t like the NEX 5N ergonomic as a video camera. 1080p 60fps is cool. It is a split decision and no clear winner. Panasonic will be releasing a new vedo friendly firmware soon.

  10. I pre ordered my 5n. I just sold my GH2 and just hated the battery life,stills aspect (my gf1 produces better stills wtf?) and tired of the panasonic “sharp video look and unnatural skintones” and the plasticky build.
    I still keep my GF1 with Leica dg & voigt as its not worth selling.
    I borrowed a NEX 5 for a couple of weeks and do be honest didnt find the alaising too bad (didnt think it was as bad as 720p on 7d) and felt it could be killer if had manual controls and progressive format .
    So going with 5n this time as its answered my requirements. High quality stils,High quality video & a rangefinder styling (which I prefer anyways) in a solid build…plus the slightly larger sensor will go well with my nikon/voight collection ;-)
    Samples seen from 5n look pretty minimal in alaising/moire to me…your video looked great….and good enough for my uses

  11. 5N image really reminds me of the Canons APS cameras, but a cleaner image and a mirrorless body. I think its price is what is making is extremely appealing to me (and I need 25P).

  12. At the moment the GH2 has the better video quality all-round (although it could be said the NEX is more cinematic looking – video on the GH2 is very sharp and contrasty) but the NEX has a larger sensor and 60p. It really is a case of no clear winner, you’re right – the winner will depend on what you value most in terms of features. I’m keeping both.

  13. Good reasons for getting it. See – it really depends on what you need and everybody differs. Certainly in the case of 25p for broadcast work in Europe, the GH2 can’t give you that yet.

    Yes – 5N image reminds me of Canon as well, but with less moire.

  14. The proof of the pudding is when it comes to editing. Can grading make GH2 into looking cinematic equal to or better than NEX 5N going through the same process?

  15. did you tried fcpx… ?
    I have it, and would like to know if it supports them.

    I tried your video (downloaded from vimeo) but its very choppy playback in fcpx.

  16. I don’t recommend FCPX. Prefer Premiere Pro CS5 / CS5.5.

    No support for native AVCHD 1080/50/60p in FCPX.

    You have to rewrap the files to Quicktime http://www.eoshd.com/content/3576/re-wrap-avchd-clips-to-quicktime-in-no-time and even then performance is not great and there are bugs.

    Also bear in mind that 1080/60p is much more demanding on your machine than 24p is… Twice as demanding on the CPU. If you get choppy playback don’t be surprised. You’ll need an i5 or i7 and a beefy hardware accelerated graphics card with OpenCL or CUDA support, and at least 4GB of RAM.

  17. i have imac i5 and mbp 17 …. isn’t that strange ?
    I can’t use media converter .
    I installed it and when i am trying to install the avchd script , it tells me that it can’t !
    Don’t have enough permissions to install it (i am an administrator in both machines…). go figure!

  18. Hi Andrew! Thanks for the very first video centric review of this camera. As a one man crew, I’d be interested in focus tracking performance and on board sound (with or without accessory microphone). Could you comment on these two? Thanks!

  19. Hi!

    Can you verify if you can switch the region mode on the 5N? I’m live in a PAL region and hoping to get 24p from the 5N.

    Thanks

  20. Quick question, Andrew… What about using one of these Sony-to-normal microphone adapters? For example I found one on BH for 30 bucks bhphotovideo.com/c/product/564249-REG/Sony_VMCK100_VMC_K100_Microphone_Adapter.html

    Should work, no?

  21. Hey Andrew, would you reckon the GH2 & 5N would be complementary? I would imagine I use the 5N for wider shots and the GH2 for more tele. Would they go hand-in-hand for two camera setups? How difficult would it be to set similar colours, contrast etc?

  22. I second this interest in the focus tracking performance. The main negative for me with the GH2 video is the autofocus. Even though I try not to use auto, there are times that, as a one-man crew, it would be very helpful. However, it’s unusable on the GH2 with all the hunting and even has issues in stills mode. That’s with the kit lens (my others are Canon FD so no auto with them anyway). I assume that the Pany 14-140 video optimized lens would perform better but it alone costs more than the 5N with kit. If the 5N can give me decent autofocus when needed in addition to the 60p for slow-mo, I’m making the switch.

    Here’s a good comparison of the Nex-5 audio with and without the accessory microphone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaLkVz53osc&feature=related It seems to help with directionality and wind noise. I would guess that the audio is pretty much the same between the 5 and 5N.

  23. This is very tempting especially from a stills perspective and it seems like it’d be great for timelapse…however, I’m looking around and there doesn’t seem to be a proper intervalometer for the NEX series. Is this correct? All I can find are a bunch of DIY projects. Isn’t there a proper $50 intervalometer for the NEX cameras like every other camera?

  24. Great review and first again! Looking forward to test the 5n myself. How is the image compared to the little brother HX9v? (apart from much bigger sensor en manual control)

  25. Thank you, Andrew – extremely helpful footage and analysis. I’m new to the dslr video world and am wondering if you think someone might develop a Vitaliy-type hack or “patch” for the 5n, given its potential. What do you think? It seems like the sensor is capable of more than it might be producing at the current bit-rate.

  26. I thought the GH2 looked more cinematic in the video you shot. For instance the alley shot with the car. The GH2 has a more graded look and more dramatic with the darker shadows. I do like how the Sony is brighter on a number of shots and pulls out the detail in darker areas for more even lighting throughout the shot. Might grade better? I wonder how much of this is film mode setting though, as you mention nostalgia mode brightens up the GH2. Could settings like contrast also perhaps be making a difference here? Also, what if you increase exposure on GH2 does it help shadows or just start blowing highlights too much? Thanks for the review!

  27. Great review and video! It got me very excited, especially when watching the volleyball girl in the pink bottoms… the colors and skin tones were great. Lol. Nice camera work and editing. I like how you then cut to shot with the men all looking through the 3D glasses, like maybe they were enjoying the volleyball in 3 dimensions. Funny.

    Still glad I got the GH2, but would be nice to have more dynamic range and 60p like the Sony.

  28. reimaginecinema on

    Hey, quick question. First off I got a GH2 and it is really nice based on your recommendation. However, even after I applied the hack 42mb/s 3gop the noise is really bad…I mean at iso 320 it’s almost as much noise at 1600iso with my 60d. Why is it doing this? Isn’t a hacked gh2 supposed to be really good for lowlight and outperform my 60d. My 60d is destroying the gh2 in low light which almost makes me want to switch back to the 60d. Help would be greatly appreciated, I’m in the middle of shooting an important project. Thanks!
    -Jacob

  29. Andrew, did you ever try rewrap2m4v? I’ve used it on all the mts files that have cropped up from Sony lately and it handles them perfectly

  30. If the GH isn’t doing it for you, (assuming you still have the 60D), use what camera is working best. That being said, it is CRITICAL that you understand how the hacking works. Read up @personal-view forum. If all the hack settings are not in order, they will most likely clash in some way, causing problems rather than improving the image.

    Its a lot of reading, I know, but you need to know exactly what you are doing, or at least know who on the forum is reliable source for settings. There are lots of people on there right now throwing out ideas for “amazing” settings, and this is okay. Things are still being tested. I suggest downloading ProTools 3.62d and applying forum user cbrandin’s most recent suggested settings. He is a reliable tester working very closely alongside Vitaliy Kiselev, the programmer.

  31. reimaginecinema on

    I did read up quite a bit before I applied the hack, which is why I just upped the bit rate and changed top to 3. After doing more tests I found the noise was just really bad in the tans and greys (colors of the walls), and read up a lot on people having these problems. The whites and blacks look great though. I’ve been reading up more about cbrandons settings and thinking of reapplying it. Does 42mb sec AQ4 Gop12 seem like good settings? I think that’s one that Chris recommended. Some people preferred AQ2 but others AQ4. I do steady cam and tripod stuff I don’t think I’ve usually had a whole lot of problems with motion…a reply would be awesome Andrew or B3guy

  32. It’s really slow, at least with the El Cheapo 18-55mm kit lens. You can touch on the screen to activate it and it works faster in live view than whilst video is rolling.

  33. It is locked to the region you buy it in to stop grey market imports. Only Canon allow switching of PAL / NTSC, it is something Sony and Panasonic could do well to mimic.

  34. @reimaginecinema Very strange, what lens are you using? Slow aperture in dim conditions won’t help, neither will a high shutter speed.

  35. reimaginecinema on

    For those shots I was using the Samyang 35mm 1.4, at an aperture of F2.8, shutter speed 50.

  36. reimaginecinema on

    here is the one shot that stood out the worse, ISO 320. I think it hates the tan color…I wouldn’t mind if this was ISO 3200 but it’s bloody ISO 320. What are your thoughts on 42mbs AQ4 GOP12?
    http://vimeo.com/28577263
    lighting was intentionally dramatic based on the content of the scene.

  37. why? just pick up a 5N and keep the GH2, they’re cheap enough, and they’re complimentary units.

  38. Good stuff, your trademark level of practical advice for us fellows without big budgets! It does look like a great camera.

    Things that might bug me the most are the gamma shift live view, that sounds a little frustrating, and the lack of cine-gamma or similar flat mode (though your recent discovery of ‘Sunset’ mode seems to be useful).

    It appears softer than the GH2, but the most remarkable thing about the side-by-side comparison is how much more ‘movie like’ the 5N feels despite the sharpness issue. I think this is the reason I’ve never yet bought into M4/3 (aside from wide-angle lens selection), something about it — even at equivalent focal length etc. — always feels a bit more ‘video’… Only when side by side though.

    I think it’s something like diaphragm size in microphone capsule design. Though each one differs in some way, there are certain esoteric characteristics that are common to diaphragm of each similar size. Perhaps small digital sensors don’t feel the same as small film because of the way photodiodes gather light in a more rigid (straight on) manner than the latter, it’s inherently less organic, and the final image is naturally more ‘tunnel like’.

    Either way I’m really looking forward to seeing how the NEX5n compares with your 600D in terms of handleability, versatility and the final image quality!

  39. How does 5N compare to a consumer grade camcorder? I have Canon HF100 which I shoot 1080p 30fps on fully automatic and I am very happy with the results. Would 5N give me a comparably quick AF tracking and totally silent zoom?

    I would love to sell my camcorder and Nikon D3100 and get a small hybrid camera with good enough video. Looked at Panasonic G3 recently but the video performance on it was rather disappointing, very slow AF.

  40. Great review. Something that I would like to know, but that is somewhat off topic… How do you get the great image quality on Vimeo that your sample clip has? What editing software? What settings for rendering? My videos look great on my computer but not very good on Vimeo.

    Cheers,
    Mattias Ranbro

  41. I think it is down to the following stuff…

    – The 5N holds onto more detail in the shadows whilst the GH2 crushes them almost to black which gives it a higher contrast look but less dynamic range
    – The GH2 has a sharper image which is more clinical so you have to use legacy glass to rough it up more
    – Gradated tones are a bit smoother on the 5N
    – Colour is better on the 5N. The GH1 and GH2 could never quite do yellow without a hint of green or orange without a hint of brown and yellow

    All these points are VERY subtle but when you add them all together the GH2 doesn’t look quite as cinematic as the Sony.

  42. kirilkaraatanasov on

    Hello,

    thanks you for the great review. I am a NEX-5 user and have been gatting around the limits of the 5 for quite some time.

    You now post NEX-5n has full manual controls – what does this mean?

    Can you change aperture, iso and/or speed during video?

    Is there S mode video? I was thinking of – fixing speed to 1/50th, setting Auto ISO and playing with the aperture (manual lenses always allow this) and exposure compensation while shooting. Is this possible?

    Is auto-iso working on video in M mode? (NEX-5 did not have auto iso in M mode)

    I have seen in Steve Huff’s review that NEX-5 can be set to iso 6400 for video. You post that iso is capped at 3200. Which one is correct?

    Thanks again for sharing your impressions. Very useful.

  43. Which doesn’t make much sense (if you’re shooting at the sensor max res.), since you can crop it later on your photo editing soft. For video, it makes MUCH sense, since it can sample 1080 lines from the center of the sensor, and give you true Full HD (with no alias if implemented right). You can’t crop 1080 out of a video that’s already 1080!

  44. The Aliasing on the 5N looks really bad IMHO. That doesn’t look better than any Canon for me. the quality and Detail of the GH2 looks far more pleasing to my eye. I wish we could pick every best feature of every camera out there and make one “perfect” camera.

    5N body Size, 5D sensor size, GH2 color, sharpness and antialiasing, etc…

  45. Has anyone experienced the “clicking” issue with the 5N? I actually heard the noise after recently reading about the problem in engadget. I like the camera, but am planning to return it, and now looking at a Panasonic DMC-G3 (or maybe the more expensive GH2). I’m trying to find reasonably smaller camera that takes great still and very good video, mostly for personal home videos. Someone please help me out here, what should I do about the sony clicking? or What do you recommend?? The engadget review is here:
    http://engt.co/od8p1z

  46. Hello,

    I was thinking of purchasing this camera for night time shots that I would stitch together in QT, creating time-lapse video of the starry night. I was wondering if the camera can be programmed to shoot for say, 60-90sec at 15-30min intervals. Probably with the 3.5, or even the smaller wide-angle lens with the 2.8 f-stop.

    What would your advice be? Should I use this camera? Can the settings be customized that detailed? What lens would be best?

    Keep in mind that I am coming from using a 50mm Nikkormat FTN – completely manual.

  47. Andrew,
    I left this comment over on dpreview but did not receive a response so shopping it over here, on your site:

    “The Sony A77 gets a much better video mode than seen on its predecessor, the A55, but rather squanders the sensor size advantage”… This is the first I noticed a distinction between how the A77 captured video from NEX-7. How does the NEX-7 handle it differently?

    I have a hard time keeping up with how each camera (sensor) is handling video and I think it would be extremely helpful to myself and others if you one day put together a quick primer on how the different manufacturers are handling video off their sensors, within their own line and as compared to other manufacturers–just the most notable models of course, the one’s you like to shoot and comment on. I’ve seen you comment on this throughout various posts but having it all in one concise article would be valuable.

    Regards,
    Andrew

  48. Id love to see some 5d mark ii video compared to the 5N. I can tell you this the fact that is shoots practically noise free at 3200 makes me want to dump my 7d. haha. My thoughts price wise 5n a no brainer all day. I bought 2

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