Sony NEX-5

Sony Alpha NEX-5 front

Sony NEX-5 overview

Sony NEX-5 is Sony's Entry-Level Mirrorless camera first revealed on June of 2010. The camera has got a 14MP, CMOS APS-C size sensor with a peak resolution of 4592 x 3056.

Sony launched the fresher Sony NEX-5N (Read Full Comparison) as a way to upgrade this camera.

The NEX-5 is placed #82 out of 117 in Entry-Level Mirrorless cameras and all around #374 out of 1465 for cameras in our database. You can check our Smart camera filter to find camera listings based on your personal criteria.

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The following is a chart of multiple criteria used in the scoring system.

Sony NEX-5 family

The Sony NEX-5 is part of a family of digital cameras. You can see the complete list below.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Sony-Alpha-NEX-5T front thumbnailSony NEX-5T
NEX-5 vs NEX-5T
16MPAPS-C10.0 fps2013
Sony-Alpha-NEX-6 front thumbnailSony NEX-6
NEX-5 vs NEX-6
16MPAPS-C10.0 fps2013
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Sony-Alpha-NEX-3N front thumbnailSony NEX-3N
NEX-5 vs NEX-3N
16MPAPS-C4.0 fps2013
Sony-Alpha-NEX-5R front thumbnailSony NEX-5R
NEX-5 vs NEX-5R
16MPAPS-C10.0 fps2012
Sony-Alpha-NEX-F3 front thumbnailSony NEX-F3
NEX-5 vs NEX-F3
16MPAPS-C6.0 fps2012
Sony-Alpha-NEX-7 front thumbnailSony NEX-7
NEX-5 vs NEX-7
24MPAPS-C10.0 fps2011
Photography Glossary
Sony-Alpha-NEX-5N front thumbnailSony NEX-5N
NEX-5 vs NEX-5N
16MPAPS-C10.0 fps2011
Sony-Alpha-NEX-C3 front thumbnailSony NEX-C3
NEX-5 vs NEX-C3
16MPAPS-C6.0 fps2011
Sony-Alpha-NEX-5 front thumbnailSony NEX-514MPAPS-C7.0 fps2010
Sony-Alpha-NEX-3 front thumbnailSony NEX-3
NEX-5 vs NEX-3
14MPAPS-C7.0 fps2010

Sony NEX-5 Pros and Cons

Here is a list of benefits and drawbacks of the Sony NEX-5 based on criterias that are generally seen as useful in a camera.

comes with HDMI port
exports RAW formats
good MP (14MP)
has a tilting screen
interchangeable lenses (Sony E mount)
manual focus
nice screen size (3 inch)
screen has good resolution (920 thousand dot)
sensor size is decent (APS-C)
video res high (1920 x 1080 pxls)
display is not selfie friendly
doesn't have phase detect autofocus
does not have headphone port
does not have mic port
does not have Time Lapse function
lack of image stabilization
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Sony NEX-5 Sensor features

The Sony NEX-5 houses the Bionz processor. The dimension of the sensor on the Sony NEX-5 is 23.4mm x 15.6mm (APS-C). The 365 mm² sensor can resolve 4592 x 3056 pixels using aspect ratios of 3:2 and 16:9.

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The CMOS sensor boasts 14MP and provides a native ISO range of 200 to 12800. RAW format is saved so you have more margin for error.

The graphic below displays the NEX-5's sensor size when compared to other common sizes. The NEX-5 sensor comes with a crop factor of 1.5 and is presented in green.

Sony Alpha NEX-5 sensor size Pentax 17 Pre-Orders Outperform Expectations by a Landslide

To get an idea of different aspect ratios, you should refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Sony NEX-5 dimensions

Sony NEX-5 weighs around 0.63 pounds (287g / 10.12 oz) and features external proportions of 111mm x 59mm x 38mm (4.4" x 2.3" x 1.5"). The weight of general Entry-Level Mirrorless camera is 329g and the Sony NEX-5 is lighter as compared to other competitors.

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The following is a pic of the Sony NEX-5 beside a soft drink to help you to have a feel for its size.

Sony Alpha NEX-5 dimensions scale

The top view below will show the button arrangement on the NEX-5.

Sony Alpha NEX-5 topview buttons dials

Sony NEX-5 Lens features

The NEX-5 fits the Sony E mount and has 170 lenses available. Here is a few of the lenses we have in our database that will fit the NEX-5.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Venus-Laowa-100mm-F2.8-2X-Ultra-Macro-APO-Sony-FE lensVenus Laowa 100mm F2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO100mmf/2.8638g
Venus-Laowa-24mm-F14-2x-Macro-Probe-Sony-E lensVenus Laowa 24mm F14 2x Macro Probe24mmf/14474g
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Sony-Carl-Zeiss-Sonnar-T-E-24mm-F1.8-ZA lensSony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T E 24mm F1.8 ZA24mmf/1.8 225g
Zeiss-Batis-25mm-F2-Sony-FE lensZeiss Batis 25mm F225mmf/2.0 335g
Sigma-85mm-F1.4-DG-DN-Art-Sony-FE lensSigma 85mm F1.4 DG DN Art85mmf/1.4630g
Sony-FE-24-70mm-F4-ZA-OSS-Carl-Zeiss-Vario-Tessar-T lensSony FE 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar T24-70mmf/4.0 426g
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Sony-FE-40mm-F2.5-G lensSony FE 40mm F2.5 G40mmf/2.5 173g
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Sony NEX-5 Connectivity

The NEX-5 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Cameras that have NFC and Bluetooth connectivity are able to be controlled wirelessly by smartphones. You are able to send pictures and sometimes alter settings without the hassle of connecting straight with the camera.

Several apps also stream a Liveview and press the shutter when you aren't close to the camera. If the camera contains a HDMI out, it can easily be attached to an external screen. Virtually all cameras will allow you to charge the battery using the USB socket.

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Sony NEX-5 Video features

The highest video quality on the Sony NEX-5 is 1920 x 1080 and it can record in AVCHD format. 1080p quality gives a great balance in quality vs file size but FULL HD won't leave you with much room to crop. The body doesn't include a mic and headphone jack so you have got absolutely no control over your sound. It is probably a better idea to take a look at another camera in case you require decent sound in your video clips.

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Sony NEX-5 Weather Sealing

Sony NEX-5 doesn't have weather proofing so rainy conditions may ruin the camera.

Sony NEX-5 Display and Viewfinder

The Sony NEX-5 has got a 3 inch tilting screen having a resolution of 920 thousand dots.

Please be aware that the screen offers no touch support.

Sony Alpha NEX-5 screen and viewfinder Snapchat Adds Watermarks to AI-Created Images

The ViewFinder specs regarding Sony NEX-5 are below:

  • ViewFinder None

Viewfinders are rather handy in bright outdoor conditions which may make the camera display washed out and very difficult to view.

Sony NEX-5 Shutter features

Sony NEX-5 can shoot continuously at 7.0 fps. The max shutter speed is 1/4000 sec.

Photography Glossary

Sony NEX-5 Flash and Hot shoe features

Sony NEX-5 has got external flash ability but is without built-in flash. The max flash sync speed is 1/160 sec.

Sony NEX-5 Autofocus features

Sony NEX-5 has got only Contrast Based Autofocus and lacks Phase Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection autofocusing is more quicker & precise as compared to Contrast Based autofocusing.

The AF system has got 25 focus points to select from. Sony NEX-5 boasts manual focusing when required in low light or you want to have more precise control on focusing.

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Sony NEX-5 Battery life

The battery power (NPFW50) for the Sony NEX-5 is fashioned to last for 330 pictures based on the CIPA benchmarks which is comparable with its competition. The typical Entry-Level Mirrorless camera battery life is 343. Fujifilm X-S20 has the highest (750) battery life in this group of cameras.

Listed below is a list of Entry-Level Mirrorless cameras that come with the strongest battery life:

Sony NEX-5 for specific kinds of photography

The following bar chart provides a summation of the Sony NEX-5 for specific kinds of photography. To understand more, check out the specific section below.

Sony NEX-5 Portrait photography details

The Sony NEX-5 gets a points total of 72 which is very good, and means the camera is a respectable fit for portrait photos. Shooting portraits leans greatly towards sensor dimensions, support for RAW photos plus the flexibility to utilize off-camera lighting.

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you can focus manually
good megapixels (14MP)
sensor size is nice (APS-C)
delivers RAW files

Street photography with Sony NEX-5

Having a superb score of 76, the Sony NEX-5 is a terrific pick for street photography. A good street photography camera offers a good balance of image quality plus portability.

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screen tilts up and down
sensor size is decent (APS-C)
supports RAW files
does not have image stabilization

Sony NEX-5 as a Sports photography camera

A reasonable sports photography points tally of 52 indicates the Sony NEX-5 is fairly suitable for taking pictures of sports. A camera should have great focusing and continuous shooting for sports photography.

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MP count good (14MP)
decent sensor size (APS-C)
no image stabilization
has no phase detect autofocus

Sony NEX-5 as a Travel photography camera

Size is very crucial in selecting a camera for travel. Over-all, the Sony NEX-5 gets a average 59 for a travel camera which makes it somewhat acceptable to purchase for your holidays.

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MP count decent (14 megapixels)
missing Time Lapse recording
screen isn't selfie friendly

Sony NEX-5 as a Landscape photography camera

For anyone looking to choose a camera for landscape pictures, the most important aspect will be image quality. The Sony NEX-5 with it's nice grade of 68 for a landscape camera is a good fit in the current market.

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you can focus manually
switch lenses (Sony E mount)
pretty good screen size (3")
good resolution (14 megapixels)
sensor size is nice (APS-C)
supports RAW formats
does not have image stabilization
does not have Time Lapse mode

Sony NEX-5 Vlogging highlights

A camera for vlogging should have a moving display screen, microphone port and if possible IBIS. Taking all things into account, the Sony NEX-5 is not really acceptable as a vlog camera as it receives a lousy rating of 28.

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high video quality (1920 x 1080 resolution)
screen isn't selfie friendly
does not have image stabilization
no external microphone port

Sony NEX-5 Alternatives

If you want replacements to the NEX-5, here is a number of the top scored cameras which fall into the category of Entry-Level Mirrorless.

The chart down below offers you an overview of the NEX-5 compared to it's top ranked competitors suggested above.

There are a bunch of cameras you might see as alternate options. To browse through a extensive comparison, simply click on the "compare" link.

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General Information
Model type
Sony Alpha NEX-5
Entry-Level Mirrorless
Body design
Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Processor Chip
Sensor size
Sensor dimensions
23.4 x 15.6mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
3:2 and 16:9
Full resolution
4592 x 3056
RAW pictures
Max native ISO
Min native ISO
Manual focusing
AF touch
AF continuous
Single AF
AF tracking
Selective AF
AF center weighted
Multi area AF
AF live view
Face detect AF
Contract detect AF
Phase detect AF
Total focus points
Lens support
Sony E
Total lenses
Focal length multiplier
Display type
Display size
3 inch
Resolution of display
920 thousand dot
Selfie friendly
Touch operation
Viewfinder Information
DXO scores
DXO All around rating
DXO Color Depth rating
DXO Dynamic range rating
DXO Low light rating
Lowest shutter speed
Highest shutter speed
Continuous shooting speed
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation
Change WB
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash distance
12.00 m
Flash options
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, Rear Curtain, Fill-in
Hot shoe
WB bracketing
Highest flash sync
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (60 fps), 1440 x 1080 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Max video resolution
Video data format
Mic jack
Headphone jack
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental seal
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
287g (0.63 lbs)
111 x 59 x 38mm (4.4" x 2.3" x 1.5")
Battery life
330 shots
Battery form
Battery Pack
Battery ID
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec, 10sec (3 images))
Time lapse shooting
Storage media
SD/ SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo
Storage slots
Retail price