Pro NEX-5n?

Sony NEX-5n LA-EA2 adapter 16-50mm f/2.8 a-mount lens
Sony NEX-5n LA-EA2 adapter 16-50mm f/2.8 a-mount lens

I put this together for the piece I wrote on the adapter. Interesting, but hardly useable, right? Well in fact it is very useable. In fact it works very well indeed. Since the NEX-5n has such good high ISO performance, I've been testing it out indoors, to see how it works as an indoor events camera. Since there usually needs to be some perception of the "big camera = pro photographer" illusion (nonsense though it is) I tried the 16-50mm f/2.8 a-mount lens on it.

Despite the size of the camera (or lens controller, as it might be more accurately described in this case!) the outfit does have a certain "stand back I'm a pro" look about it, particularly when there's a photographer behind it.

Sony NEX-5n LA-EA2 adapter 16-50mm f/2.8 a-mount lens
Sony NEX-5n LA-EA2 adapter 16-50mm f/2.8 a-mount lens

In terms of handling and operation, I find it difficult to fault. Yes its lens heavy, but that isn't particularly unusual. Look at any sports photographer, and almost everything they use is similar. Coming from the traditional background of cradling the lens in my left hand when looking through the vewfinder, I'm used to that anyway. Those who are used to compact cameras and live screens would find it unusual, but then I find that method of handling a camera strange.

In terms of AF and speed, I'm also not finding any problems. The AF speed is fine and in terms of motordrive shots, it is very quick indeed, and if shooting jpgs. I can shoot burst after burst without the buffer slowing me down. However with raw there are times when the camera won't let me shoot as it saves the images. 

There's a downside I guess in terms of no weather proofing, but as I said I'm looking at this for indoor and dry weather use. How about build quality? Well I can't say anything definitive on this as I haven't had it long enough to know. It certainly feels a very solid camera indeed, but how it would stand up to repeated heavy duty use, I cannot say. However I do know that I and other photographers have subjected m4/3 cameras to pretty serious use, and they seem to stand up to it fine, so I see no reason why the NEX-5n shouldn't cope with what I would put it through.

The great advantage is the cameras really impressive high ISO performance. These are all taken at ISO 3200 as jpgs. and they are very good indeed.






There is even some latitude to pull up some shadow detail without adding noise, which at ISO 3200 is good news.

It would take a lot of courage to use a NEX-5n for "pro" jobs but as a back up camera I can see it working very nicely. I may have an opportunity soon to give it a go, and I'll report back on what happens.