A77/A65/NEX-5N Launch, Part 2

I was at the Sony Alpha SLT-A77, SLT-A65 and NEX-5N launch in Malaysia on the 24th of August 2011. This entry covers the Sony Alpha NEX E-mount system.

The lens on the left is the Sony E 30mm F3.5 Macro 1:1.

I did not get to test it in better lighting. Here it is, a JPG from the new Sony Alpha NEX-5N, brightened in Photoshop.

The NEX-7 was under a glass chamber so we could not try it. 🙁

Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA, at F1.8.

Why is it called a ZA lens anyway, when it is not an A-mount lens?

Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS, at F1.8.

Also with the 50mm. Interestingly it is the shortest F1.8 in-lens stabilized prime (the Canon 200mm F1.8 L IS USM is on the other end.)

Left to right: HVL-F7S, HVL-F20S, HVL-F20AM. Pardon the flash gel on the F20AM!

This is what it looks like on the camera. It has a wide/tele switch on one end and a bounce/forward switch on the other. The wide-angle panel does not get in position when in bounce mode, a clever design brought from the HVL-F20AM.

The lens is the Sony E Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 24mm F1.8. It is smaller than pictures say and quite pocketable! It has this nice rangefinder lens look.

Shot with the HVL-F20S. It can brighten half a hall!

Shot at 210mm so you get the idea how far away the flash works. The HVL-F20S gives a guide number of 20 meters at ISO100, telephoto position (50mm). Best of all, it is already compatible with my NEX-5!

This is shot with the Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS, by the way, at 210mm. It’s 1/3rd of a stop darker at both ends compared to the Sony 55-200mm F4.0-5.6 DT, and focuses 5cm further at 100cm minimum focus distance (where the A-mount version does 95cm.)

The Sony 50mm F1.8 DT SAM focuses to 34cm close, while the Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS focuses to 39cm close. Another loss there. Fortunately the Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA focuses to 16cm close, better than the Sony Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 24mm F2.0 ZA SSM at 19cm close.

The 55-210mm is rather handsome. A nice touch is that all the lenses have 49mm filter threads, except the Sony E 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 Active OSS!

The FDA-EV1S is an electronic viewfinder that only fits on the NEX-5N. Why?

They blocked it off by adding a screw under the FDA-EV1S so it would not mount on my NEX-5! That said, even if it could, it would not be compatible as it uses the new Smart Accessory Terminal 2.

The NEX-5N has an extra hole for the screw.

The new LA-EA2 Translucent Mirror Technology SLT A-mount to E-mount adapter, also isn’t compatible with my NEX-5 (yet). On the left, it shows no aperture reading, and does not autofocus. A future firmware update will allow the NEX-5 (and probably the NEX-3) to use the LA-EA2 to autofocus.

I am very excited about this – the ability to use phase detect on a mirrorless camera is awesome! The ability to add a mirror to a mirrorless camera is even cooler.

Left: The Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS and Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA both have their apertures wide open when not mounted on a camera, which is the opposite from all other E-mount and A-mount lenses.
Right: The mirror is upside down. Why wasn’t it that way on the A55 to begin with? This would avoid dust from landing on the mirror!

Left to right, top to bottom:
– The NEX-5N loses out by not being able to customize the Left action of the D-pad. The NEX-C3 had such ability.
– Lens corrections are abundant even in the NEX-5N!
– Wow, AF Microadjust! I can only hope this is there because of the LA-EA2 adapter, and I also hope they’ll put this in the new NEX-5 firmware.
– Version 1.0 but is really not the final version.
– Live View Display “Setting Effect OFF” allows auto-gain when using the NEX-5N in a studio. Though I don’t see how it would trigger a studio light other than the pop-up flash!
– Front Curtain Shutter On allows for much smaller shutter lag.
– LCD Brightness can be set to Sunny Weather – strangely, it was missing from the unfinalized SLT-A77 unit I tried, though my SLT-A55 has it.
– Object Tracking is real cool.
– ISO25600, better than the SLT-A77. Presumably allowed because it’s mirrorless.

More reading here:
A77/A65/NEX-5N Launch, Part 1

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