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Sony Alpha NEX 3 / 5 (firmware v2) Gordon Laing, September 2010

Sony Alpha NEX-5 gallery

The following images were taken with a Sony Alpha NEX-5 equipped with the Sony 18-55mm kit lens; since the more affordable Alpha NEX-3 shares the same sensor and image processing, the results below are also reflective for that model.

The Alpha NEX-5 was set to its best quality L:14M RAW plus JPEG mode. White Balance and DRO were set to their default Auto modes. Noise reduction was also left at the defaults. Optical Image Stabilisation was enabled for all these handheld images.

Since the camera is aimed primarily at those upgrading from point-and shoot models, we've taken crops from the in-camera JPEGs below, but we also have a RAW comparison in our results pages. We also have dedicated results pages show-casing the Handheld Twlight and Anti Motion Blur modes.

The individual exposure mode, file sizes, shutter speeds, aperture, ISO and lens focal length are listed for each image. The crops are taken from the original files, reproduced at 100% and saved in Adobe Photoshop CS4 as JPEGs with the Very High quality preset, while the resized images were made in Photoshop CS4 and saved with the default High quality preset. The three crops are typically taken from far left, central and far right portions of each image. Some of the images below can be downloaded for further analysis; please respect our copyright and only use those images for personal use.

Note: you may wish to open a number of galleries for direct comparison of detail and noise: Olympus E-P2 sample images, Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 sample images, Canon EOS 550D / T2i sample images.

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  Landscape: 4.68MB, Program, 1/640, f7.1, 200 ISO, 18-55mm at 18mm (27mm equiv)


Landscape: 8.84MB, Program, 1/500, f7.1, 200 ISO, 18-55mm at 18mm (27mm equiv)


Landscape: 4.59MB, Program, 1/250, f9, 200 ISO, 18-55mm at 55mm (83mm equiv)


Portrait: 3.5MB, Ap Priority, 1/1000, f5.6, ISO 200, 18-55mm at 55mm (83mm equiv)


Macro: 5.34MB, Ap Priority, 1/15, f8, 400 ISO, 18-55mm at 55mm (83mm equiv)


Indoor: 5.03MB, Program, 1/40, f4.5, 400 ISO, 18-55mm at 18mm (27mm equiv)


Indoor: 4.06MB, Ap Priority, 1/8, f5.6, 800 ISO, 18-55mm at 18mm (27mm equiv)


Indoor: 4.65MB, Ap Priority, 1/60, f5.6, 1600 ISO, 18-55mm at 18mm (27mm equiv)


Speed Priority: 4.78MB, Ap Priority, 1/2000, f7.1, 800 ISO, 18-55mm at 55mm (83mm equiv)


The sequence below was taken with the NEX-5's Speed Priority Burst mode at a rate of around 6.25fps, so the ten frames represent about one and a half seconds of action. As explained in the main review, the focus and exposure are locked from the first frame in this mode, but it can still allow you to grab fast action sequences with success.

Sony Alpha NEX Speed Priority Continuous shooting

Landscape: 8.43MB, Sweep Panorama, 1/200, f10, 200 ISO, 18-55mm at 18mm (27mm equiv)

Another unique feature of the Sony NEX cameras are their Sweep Panorama modes which can grab a series of images as you turn the camera and automatically stitch them into a wide panoramic image. Here’s an example, showing a 180 degree sweep atop the Skyline Gondola balcony where we take our real-life resolution test photos.

It’s a doddle to create these images, with the camera guiding you through the sweep, and automatically making up for any wobbles as it stitches them together. It's a fun and useful facility, that’s capable of impressive results with ease. The NEX cameras running firmware 2 or later can even generate 3D Panoramas in-camera; see our Features page.


Now check out our verdict!

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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