Sony announce new NEX-3 & NEX-5

The E-Mount Experience

The much-anticipated launch of the new Sony NEX series has arrived! NEX stands for New E-Mount Experience, making them a different breed of cameras to both Micro Four Thirds and Digital SLR cameras. The Sony Alpha NEX cameras have an APS-C sensor and as of Sony research on the 11th May 2010, they are the world's smallest interchangeable lens cameras, with a full size APS HD CMOS sensor and 14.2 megapixels, as well as Sweep Panorama with 3D compatibility.

The Sony Alpha NEX-3 is aimed at those just starting our in photography, whilst it's bigger brother the Sony Alpha NEX-5 is for the more experienced photographer.

So, what are the USPs of these two models?

  • New ? digital cameras with DSLR picture quality and responsive shooting
  • World’s smallest and lightest* interchangeable lens digital camera (NEX-5 only)
  • 14.2 effective megapixels Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor
  • 1080i HD movie recording (NEX-5) with stereo sound, fast and silent autofocus
  • Intuitive new interface with Help Guide and Shooting Tips
  • E-mount lens system compatible with ? DSLR lenses (with optional Mount Adaptor)
  • Sweep Panorama with 3D capability**

The two new NEX cameras are slimline models designed to be easy to carry around, in the style of a traditional "compact" camera, yet they have the capability of Digital SLRs. The cameras are 'mirrorless', making the NEX-5 only 24.2mm wide. The NEX-5 also features a tough yet lightweight magnesium body - super sleek and super light.

Both the NEX-3 and NEX-5 come with Auto HDR and Sweep Panorama. Auto HDR means that, like on the Sony Alpha 550, the cameras will shoot a high-speed burst of three images at different exposure values that are then electronically combined in-camera. Thus, you get a single High Dynamic Range photo with extended highlight and shadow detail. Sweep Panorama is a new feature for Sony and can be utilised by simply pressing the button and sweeping the camera either side-to-side or up and down. The camera takes a high-speed burst of frames that are stitched together automatically to create a detail packed 23 megapixel panoram shot with a 226 degree effective angle of view***.

A super-compact clip-on flash can be attached via the smart accessory terminal on the camera - both cameras are supplied with this. The flash gives a little boost of extra light when shooting in low-light situations.

New lenses for the NEX series

Three lenses have been announced in conjunction with the launch of the NEX series, a 16mm pancake lens, an 18-55mm zoom lens and, for the NEX-5 only, an 18-200mm zoom lens.

The 16mm pancake lens is a low-profile lens that keeps the profile of the camera small when out and about. Ideal for everyday situations, it's a lovely little lens that will produce some great shots.

The 18-55mm lens is ideal if you are going slightly further afield. Perfectly matched to the body of these cameras, the 18-55mm lens will take you closer and deliver clean, crisp images with its in-lens SteadyShot image stabilisation.

Both these lenses are available with the NEX-3 and NEX-5 either separately or as a double lens kit.

Additionally, there is a 18-200mm zoom lens for use with the NEX-5. With a powerful 11x magnification range and the Optical SteadyShot image stabilisation with Active Mode at wide angle for extra help when shooting steady movies.

View the Sony NEX-3 range at Wex Photographic.

View the Sony NEX-5 range at Wex Photographic.


* As of May 11, Sony research. Among the interchangeable-lens camera bodies.
** Via firmware update available summer 2010.
*** At maximum with E 16mm F/2.8 lens in wide mode setting.