The electronic viewfinder is optional

Sony is refreshing its line of micro-camera and the NEX-5N is the update to the NEX-5 that was previously Sony’s high-end micro-camera. The NEX-5N uses the same principle of having a DSLR sensor in a relatively compact body, with interchangeable lenses. Although the NEX-5N looks very much like the NEX-5 on the surface, a closer look reveals important changes.First, the sensor has been bumped to 16.1 Megapixels (from 14.2). Secondly, the ISO range has been increased to 3200 from 1600. This is great for low-light situation, even if some amount of noise will be added to the photo. While the NEX-5 did have an optional optical viewfinder, the NEX-5N has an optional electronic viewfinder, based on a 1024×768 OLED display.

The auto-focus system can now track objects and it is possible to shoot up to 10 photos per second in burst mode (versus 7 before). In interestingly, the metering system (it measures ambient light to tune the settings automatically) now uses 1200 zones (versus 49 before). That’s quite a jump, but I’m curious to see how the camera reacts in the real world..

Finally, Sony managed to do this with a camera that is a little lighter (210g versus 229g) with a better battery life (430 shots versus 330). At $699 (body+18-55 lens), the NEX-5N is much more affordable than the NEX-7 and can easily compete with what the competition has in this category.

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