Sony Alpha NEX-5N – A Powerful Mirrorless Camera with High-Quality Features

Are you looking for a powerful camera that can offer the best image quality, high resolution, and advanced features? Then Sony Alpha NEX-5N is the perfect camera for you. This mirrorless camera comes with an array of features and its lightweight design makes it ideal for travel photography. Here’s why Sony Alpha NEX-5N should be your go-to camera.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Sony Alpha NEX-5N article cover photo

Key Features

Oct 03 2011


16 megapixels


Sensor TypeAPS-C

Other similar cameras

Overview of the Alpha NEX-5N

Capturing beautiful moments is something that we all love, but our choice of camera plays a critical role in ensuring an exceptional end result. Sony Alpha NEX-5N is a camera that doesn't fall short of any feature that you’d want in a high-end camera. It comes equipped with 16.1-megapixel image sensor, capable of providing excellent image resolution and clarity. In addition to this, it offers swift autofocus and high-speed shooting, making it ideal for capturing fast-moving subjects. Also, its smart design makes the camera lightweight and portable, making it easy to travel with and shoot without hassle. Let's dive into more features and find out why Sony Alpha NEX-5N is one of the best mirrorless cameras in the market today.

Sony Alpha NEX-5N Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Sony Alpha NEX-5N camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


Compact and lightweight
16.1 megapixel sensor
High ISO performance
Supports interchangeable lenses
Full HD video recording


Limited battery life
No built-in flash
No viewfinder
Limited autofocus performance in low light
Some users report problems with overheating

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Sony Alpha NEX-5N

Weather sealed
Dimensions111 x 59 x 38mm

Weather Sealing

The Sony Alpha NEX-5N is not sealed against water and dust, so it's important to be careful when using it in such conditions. If you often shoot in environments with water or dust, it's recommended to check out another camera with weather sealing.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderElectronic (optional)
Screen TypeTilting
Screen Resolution920k dots
Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a tilting 3.00" screen, with a display resolution of 920k dots. This makes the Sony Alpha NEX-5N not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. The camera also features a touch screen, which adds to its ease of use.


Alpha NEX-5N includes a electronic (optional) viewfinder with no electronic viewfinder of resolution with a coverage of n/a and a magnification of n/a. This feature enhances the camera's suitability for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Sony Alpha NEX-5N has a 16MP sized CMOS sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 16 pixels. Sony Alpha NEX-5N has a native ISO range of 100 - 25600 which can be boosted to null - null. It can also save files in RAW format which gives you a wider room for post processing.

Key Features

Oct 03 2011


100 - 25600

ISO Range

Extended ISOnull - null
Max resolution4912 x 3264 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


77 / 102

Color Depth

23.6 / 26.5

Dynamic Range

12.7 / 14.8

Low Light ISO

1079 / 4505

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Sony Alpha NEX-5N camera has above average color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also above average, allowing it to retain low amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is poor, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the Alpha NEX-5N is average

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: APS-C



Connectivity, storage, battery

StorageSD/ SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo
Battery Life460 shots
Battery ModelNPFW50
Wireless Connectivity


The Sony Alpha NEX-5N supports SD/ SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo with 1 slots for storage. This may suffice for everyday use. However, for professional applications such as wedding photography, it is not recommended as a memory card malfunction could lead to the loss of all footage.


The Sony Alpha NEX-5N uses the NPFW50 model of battery pack. This is rated for 460 shots shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Sony Alpha NEX-5N does not have a built-in flash, but it does offer a flash shoe that allows you to attach external flashes. This provides more versatility in your lighting choices.


The Sony Alpha NEX-5N boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/4000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Sony Alpha NEX-5N includes contrast detection autofocus (AF), with 25 number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

View on Amazon


What is the sensor size of the Sony Alpha NEX-5N?

The Sony Alpha NEX-5N features a CMOS sensor

Is the Sony Alpha NEX-5N weather sealed?

No the Alpha NEX-5N does not have weather sealing.

When was the Sony Alpha NEX-5N announced?

The Sony Alpha NEX-5N was announced on Oct 03 2011

Does the Sony Alpha NEX-5N have in-body image stabilization?

No the Alpha NEX-5N does not have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Sony Alpha NEX-5N?

The Alpha NEX-5N has a native ISO range of 100-25600, which can be expanded to ISO null-null for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

View on Amazon

Similar Camera Reviews