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Sony's Alpha NEX-5N compact system camera. Photo provided by Sony Electronics Inc. Sony NEX-5N: New NEX-series camera offers touch screen, 10fps burst (UPDATED)
(Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - 01:01 EDT)

Next up in a raft of interchangeable-lens camera announcements for the day, Sony Electronics Inc. has unveiled its new Sony NEX-5N compact system camera, a followup to the popular NEX-5.

The Sony Alpha NEX-5N has a form-factor very similar to that of its predecessor, but take a closer look and new features abound. A new image sensor upgrades resolution just slightly to 16.1 megapixels, and adds an electronic first-curtain exposure mechanism that allows an astoundingly short prefocus shutter lag of just 0.02 second. Sensitivity ranges from a minimum of ISO 100 equivalent to a new high of ISO 25,600 equivalent.

The NEX-5N's new sensor is coupled to a new generation BIONZ image processor that allows it to capture an impressive ten frames per second at full resolution, not to mention progressive-scan Full HD video at 60 frames per second, from 60fps sensor data. Offering the chance for videographers to really unleash their creative side, the NEX-5N provides both aperture / shutter-priority and fully manual exposure for movie capture, not just stills.

The Sony NEX-5N also includes a new touch screen overlay on its articulated three-inch TFT LCD panel, while still providing the same physical controls as found on its predecessor. The touch screen allows intuitive operations such as touching a subject to perform autofocus, and also offers a range of simple slider-based controls that allow even inexperienced photographers to adjust the look of images while staying safe in the camera's iAuto mode.

A new OLED Tru-Finder electronic viewfinder accessory announced alongside the NEX-5N is compatible with its updated Smart Accessory Terminal 2.0, and provides astounding resolution of 2.4 million RGB dots. The NEX-5N also offers an improved ultrasonic anti-dust system, in-camera lens aberration correction, and a whole let else besides. Battery life is said by Sony to extend some 30% beyond that of the NEX-5, at around 430 shots on a charge.

As noted in our coverage of the flagship NEX-7 camera launch, Sony has also announced another important accessory alongside the NEX-5N: an Alpha mount lens adapter that uniquely offers phase detection autofocus capability on NEX-series camera bodies, something no other compact system camera is able to offer with any lens.

The Sony NEX-5N compact system camera should be available in the US market from early September 2011, in black or silver. Body-only pricing is set at approximately US$600, while a kit version including the Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS lens will be priced at around US$700. The FDA-EV1S OLED electronic viewfinder accessory will be priced at around US$350, and the LA-EA2 Alpha mount adapter with phase-detection autofocus capability will cost about US$400. Both accessories have planned availability from November 2011.

For much more details on this interesting compact system camera, read our Sony NEX-5N Hands-on Preview.

Sony Alpha NEX-5N
Sony's NEX-5N compact system camera. Image provided by Sony Electronics Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera TypeCompact System Camera
Model NumberNorth America: NEX-5N
Dimensions4.4 x 2.3 x 1.5 in.
(111 x 59 x 38 mm)
Weight9.5 oz (269 g)
Planned Price $600 (body only)
Planned AvailabilitySeptember 2011
Image Capture
Sensor TypeSony Exmor APS HD CMOS
APS-C (approx. 1.11 in. diagonal)
16.70 megapixels (total)
16.10 megapixels (effective)
Filter TypeRGBG
Focal Length Multiplier1.50
Aspect Ratio16:9, 4:3
Image Dimensions4912 x 3264 (16.0 megapixels)
4912 x 2760 (13.6 megapixels)
3568 x 2368 (8.4 megapixels)
3568 x 2000 (7.1 megapixels)
2448 x 1624 (4.0 megapixels)
2448 x 1376 (3.4 megapixels)
12416 x 1856 (23.0 megapixels)
8192 x 1856 (15.2 megapixels)
2160 x 5536 (12.0 megapixels)
2160 x 3872 (8.4 megapixels)
7152 x 1080 (7.7 megapixels)
4912 x 1080 (5.3 megapixels)
1920 x 1080 (2.1 megapixels)
Capture SpeedContinuous: 10.0 frames per second for 10 frames
Image Quality2 levels
Image Preview / Review
LCD3.0 in. diagonal
921,600 dots (307,200 pixels)
Playback Zoom14.0x max
Lens TypeSony SEL1855 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS
3x optical zoom
49mm lens thread
Lens MountSony E-mount
Image StabilizationYes
Focal Length18.0 - 55.0mm (actual)
27 - 83mm (35mm equivalent)
Aperture Rangef/3.5 - 22 (W), f/5.6 - 34 (T)
Focusing SystemContrast Detect: 25-area, Center, Flexible Spot; with Face Detection
Has AF assist lamp
Manual focus possible
Focusing RangeNormal: 10" - 4,081" (25 cm - 9,999 cm)
ISO SensitivityAuto (100-3200), 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, 25600
Shutter Speed30 - 1/4000 second
Exposure ModesAperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering Modes< td>1200-zone Multi Segment, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure Compensation+/- 3.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White BalanceImage Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash, Color Temp./Filter, Custom
Internal FlashModes: Autoflash, Fill-flash, Rear sync., Slow sync., Red-eye reduction
Range: Lens dependent
Flash Exposure Compensation+/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
Scene ModesSweep Panorama, 3D Sweep Panorama, Anti Motion Blur, Scene Selection (Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports Action, Sunset, Night Portrait, Night View, Hand-held Twilight)
Digital ZoomUp to 10x Precision digital zoom with prime lens attached
Self TimerYes, 2, 10, 10 with 3/5 shots seconds
Movie FormatAVCHD 2.0 / MP4; Audio :Dolby Digital (AC-3) / MPEG-4 AAC-LC with audio
Recording MediumMemory Stick PRO Duo, SD/MMC including SDHC, SDXC
File SystemFAT16, FAT32, complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
VideoHigh definition: Yes (HDMI)
Standard definition: No
ComputerUSB 2.0 High Speed
OtherMini HDMI (Type C), Smart Accessory Terminal 2
Battery TypeLithium-ion rechargeable
Battery Form FactorProprietary InfoLithium NP-FW50
Product Bundle
SoftwarePMB (Picture Motion Browser) , Image Data Converter S, Image Data Lightbox SR
Battery / Charger1 x Proprietary NP-FW50 Lithium-ion rechargeable battery and charger
Digital Print Order Fo mat (DPOF) compliantYes
PictBridge CompliantYes
Internal MicrophoneYes
Internal SpeakerYes
Tripod MountYes, Metal
Remote ControlYes, Optional RMT-DSLR1 IR Wireless
Notes3", 921K-dot, Tilting Touchpanel LCD, Optional XGA OLED TruFinder EVF, 1080p60 AVCHD 2.0 Videos, 10fps Full-res Burst Mode, Sweep Panorama, Hand-held Twilight, Anti-Motion Blur, Auto HDR, DRO, SD/MS Duo Media Support.
More Photos
Sony's NEX-5N compact system camera. Image provided by Sony Electronics Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's NEX-5N compact system camera. Image provided by Sony Electronics Inc. Click for a bigger picture!
Sony's NEX-5N compact system camera. Image provided by Sony Electronics Inc. Click for a bigger picture!

UPDATED 2011-08-24 04:18ET: Added product specifications, photos, and the official press release.

Original Source Press Release:

Sony's New Ultra-Responsive, Compact System Camera Boasts World's Fastest Release Time Lag And Quick, Responsive Autofocus

2nd generation NEX-5N produces 16.1 megapixels and Full HD 60p video

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 24, 2011 -- Sony adds superb responsiveness, image quality, and creative possibilities to its line of E-mount interchangeable lens cameras with the new α NEX-5N model. Housed in a rugged, light magnesium alloy body, with an intuitive touch-screen interface, the camera is just 23.3mm at its slimmest point.

“The NEX-5N camera extends the sleek, minimalist design of the acclaimed NEX-5,” said Ernesto Bravo, senior business manager of the alpha group at Sony Electronics. “But it’s also a giant step forward from its predecessor in terms of still image and HD video quality, Auto Focus and speed-of-capture performance.”

Response is accelerated even further by a release time lag of approximately 20 milliseconds, the fastest of any interchangeable lens digital camera. Combined with an improved autofocus (AF) algorithm and more efficient image processing, this results in an AF that is significantly faster than the current NEX-5 model.

The camera’s Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor with 16.1 effective megapixel resolution is complemented by a specially-optimized version of the powerful BIONZ® image processing engine, resulting in exceptionally clean, low noise images. Maximum sensitivity is also boosted to ISO 25600, the highest among mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras (as of Aug 2011), allowing for very high-quality handheld shooting in low-light conditions.

The NEX-5N camera shoots smooth AVCHD™ Progressive (Ver2.0) Full HD movies with high-quality stereo sound at 60p -- the same resolution and frame rate as Blu-ray Disc™ media, a first for interchangeable lens cameras with an APS-C size sensor. Faster readout from the sensor doubles the maximum frame rate to 60 fps and, when shooting at the 24p setting, movies achieve a beautifully expressive, artistic and cinematic feel. Additionally, continuous auto-focus while recording video has been improved and object Tracking Focus has been added, which allows a target object to be selected and tracked accurately via the touch-screen, even when the subject is moving.

Photographers can also fully control exposure with Program, Aperture/Shutter Priority and all-Manual modes (P/A/S/M) -- just like the most advanced DSLR cameras. Stereo audio quality is improved, with revised circuitry that lowers wind noise levels, especially when shooting quiet scenes.

The NEX-5N is the first E-mount interchangeable lens camera from Sony that features an intuitive new Photo Creativity Touch interface. Background Defocus, Exposure, Picture Effect and other adjustments can be quickly and easily previewed, applied and combined via the LCD touch panel and control dial, with traditional “photo jargon” simplified for beginner shooters.

In Speed Priority Continuous mode, the NEX-5N captures fast-moving action at up to 10 fps (actual speed depends on shooting conditions and memory card performance), the fastest burst speed of any mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (as of Aug 2011).

Recently introduced on the new NEX-C3, Picture Effects simplifies the production of sophisticated artistic effects ‘in camera’, with no PC or post-processing needed. There are now 11 modes and 15 effects, including new HDR Painting, Soft Focus, Miniature, Rich-Tone Monochrome and Soft High-key. A generous palette of other artistic imaging functions includes 3D Sweep Panorama™ mode, Soft Skin, Auto HDR, Handheld Twilight and Anti Motion Blur Modes.

The camera’s 3-inch Xtra Fine LCD™ display can angle up to 80 degrees up or 45 degrees down for easy viewing in any shooting position. TruBlack™ technology assures superb detail and contrast with dramatically reduced on-screen reflections.

Enhanced by the new Photo Creativity Touch interface, the LCD makes composition, shot review and adjustment of camera settings easier and more flexible than ever.

Lenses and Accessories
The growing choice of E-mount lenses compatible with all α E-mount cameras now includes the new Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA (SEL24F18Z), E 50mm F1.8 OSS (SEL50F18) and long-awaited Telephoto zoom E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS (SEL55210).

The world’s first mount adaptor with built-in Translucent Mirror Technology™, the optional LA-EA2 Mount Adaptorallows phase-detection AF with the majority of A-mount lenses for both still image and video shooting. The optional Electronic Viewfinder FDA-EV1S, XGA OLED Tru-Finder™ display offers high resolution/contrast and wide viewing angle. With these two unique accessories, user can adapt their NEX-5N cameras to most any shooting situation and environment.

Also new in the range of accessories, the stylish body case (LCS-EB50) and lens jacket (LCS-EL50) help protect the camera and lens from scratches, the shoulder strap (STP-XS3) fits tightly to the body and the soft carrying case (LCS-EMF) holds the E-mount camera body with attached lens as well as an additional lens or other accessories.

Pricing and Availability
The NEX-5N ultra-compact interchangeable lens digital camera will be available this September in black and silver with an 18-55mm kit zoom lens (model SEL1855) for about $700 and as a body-only for about $600.

The new E-mount Telephoto zoom E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS (SEL55210) will be available this October for about $350. The new Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* E 24mm F1.8 ZA (SEL24F18Z) and the E 50mm F1.8 OSS (SEL50F18) will each be available this December for about $1000 and $300, respectively.

The new LA-EA2 mount adaptor and FDA-EV1S OLED viewfinder will both be available this November for about $400 and $350, respectively.

The new camera kits, lenses and compatible accessories will all be sold at Sony retail stores as well as other authorized retailers throughout the Sony dealer network.

For “sneak peak” videos of the new products, please visit www.sony.com/cameravideos.


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