Sony launched the long-awaited Sony Alpha NEX-3 and Sony Alpha NEX-5! They are interchangeable lens cameras with a 14.2 megapixel APS-C sized (23.4×15.6mm) CMOS sensor, capable of recording HD video. Both do not have mirrors, allowing for far more compact sizes! This is the NEX-5.
Left: NEX-5; right: NEX-3.
This is the cheaper, polycarbonate-bodied NEX-3 with the Sony E 16mm F2.8 pancake lens.
The magnesium alloy-bodied NEX-5 costs a bit more for a smaller figure.
Both NEX-3 and NEX-5 have an excellent TruBlack 3″ 640×480 LED-backlit screen which can swivel up and down!
This is the underside of the NEX-5, which is trimmed somewhat around the tripod mount!
They take a new NP-FW50 battery, and have a single card slot which fits both Memory Stick Duo (MSPD, Pro-HG Duo) and SD format (SD, SDHC, SDXC).
This is the Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS (Optical Steady Shot) on the NEX-3.
Yes that’s right – stabilization is now on the lens for the E-mount. Also, the E-mount has a record-breaking flange distance of 18mm, beating Micro Four-Thirds’ 20mm. This means that the E-mount will be able to use more lenses with glassless adapters for maximum quality. The shorter the flange distance, the more you can adapt! You can see the list of mounts and their flange distances here:
Sony also announced an E-mount camcorder! Also in the picture is an upcoming Sony E 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS (with Active mode).
The NEX-3 and NEX-5 do not have a pop-up flash – instead they have a detachable flash which comes with in the box! This is the cute HVL-F7S. It mounts using a new proprietary connector and screw thread to tighten.
Closeups. This flash does a guide number of 7 meters at ISO100.
On the red NEX-3. Quite a striking color that one!
There is a LA-EA1 lens adapter, which lets you use A-mount lenses on the NEX cameras.
It has a detachable tripod mount. If I could get my hands on one, I could determine if the slot is big enough for a future 36x24mm full-frame NEX!
I also imagine that somebody would install a bevel gear to allow motorized autofocus (albeit controlled by something external to the camera.)
It lets you control aperture, but does not allow autofocus, not even with SSM/SAM lenses, sadly!
The VCL-ECU1 wide-angle converter (for 18mm on full-frame equivalent) and VCL-ECF1 fisheye converters mount onto the Sony E 16mm F2.8’s front bayonet mount.
Oh and there’s Sweep Panorama, which isn’t limited to the 16mm lens. I wonder how the wide-angle and fisheye converters will work with this!
The Sony Carl Zeiss 24-70mm F2.8 SSM mounted on the NEX-5 via LA-EA1 lens adapter.
This is the external ECM-SST1 stereo mike.
Sony also sells various other accessories, including this LCS-EMB1A/LCS-EMB2A leather case. There is also a lens-covering leather jacket in the LCS-EML1A and LCS-EML2A. Oh and the STP-XH1 strap.
There will be a presumably smaller version of the LCS-WR1AM – the LCS-WR2AM wrapping cloth, in black, brown, red and white!
There is a FDA-SV1 optical viewfinder which complements the 16mm nicely.
So how does it compare to the Panasonic Lumix GF1? Obviously, much smaller!
Just the pancake lenses.
There are complaints about the menu being slow and difficult to maneuver but I’ll wait until I can try one to make any statements.
However, the wonderful things are the ISO performance which goes from ISO200 to ISO12800. I’ll wait for DxO Labs to measure the real sensor sensitivity though.
Both the NEX-3 and NEX-5 offer 7 FPS in Speed Priority Continuous mode, and 2.7 FPS in Continuous Advance. The flash sync is 1/160th of a second, unfortunately due to a focal plane shutter.
There is DMF (Direct Manual Focus) which lets you manual focus after focus is confirmed. There is also Kelvin WB available with M9-G9 color correction!
Both have the following features we first saw in Sony Cybershots:
– Auto HDR 3 shots 1-6 EV, 1 EV every 6 stages
– Handheld Twilight
– Handheld Night Scene
– Sweep Panorama which can go up to 12416 x 1856 Horizontal (Wide) at 226 degrees, or 2160 x 5536 Vertical (Wide) at 151 degrees.
– Intelligent Auto-Focus prefocuses when you frame your subject (which already exists on Cybershots anyway!)
– Face-detect 8 faces
– Smile Shutter
Sony E Mount Lenses
Sony E 16mm F2.8 – 22.5mm thin, 49mm filter thread, 67 grams, 1:12.82x maximum magnification, 24cm MFD (not stellar, but still beating the Canon/Nikkor 24mm F1.4 by 1cm)
Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS, 49mm filter thread, 194 grams, 1:3.33x maximum magnification, 24cm MFD (same as Sony 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 DT SAM)
Sony E 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS, 67mm filter thread, 524 grams, 1:2.857x maximum magnification, 30-50cm MFD (improved over original MFD of 45cm!)
Yay the lens release button is on the inside, to make it easy like the K-mount.
Woohoo, 18mm flange distance! Hello Noktor 50mm F0.95!
Oh and of course – tilt/shift adapters! You know what would be very fun? Pentax K-mount APS-C pancakes! Heck we have 7.5mm of adapter space for the Samsung NX 30mm F2.0.
We’ll finally get videos using the 135mm STF!
Future Firmware Upgrades
“The firmware to enable 3D Sweep Panorama function will come in July, downloadable via Sony�s website.”
“The camera outputs them to an MP0 file – an industry standard for 3D images so they can play back on most 3D HDTVs and monitors. ”