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Sony Nex 5N Underwater


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#1 Longimanus1975

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 01:26 PM

Does anyone have the new 5n underwater yet?

What do you think of it?

I am interested as I am thinking of investing, just want some feedback before making the investment

#2 Stewart L. Sy

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 06:45 PM

Functionally, there are no differences between the Nex-5 and 5n. There is the increased resolution and the faster AF, though in good light, I didn't find the AF lacking on the NEX-5. IQ at the ISO's we used would be pretty much a wash. The other features of the 5n...touch screen, EVF can't be used UW anyway. Here's my review on the Aquatica AN-5 Housing and my thoughts of the NEX-5 for UW use. http://www.atlasomeg...rwater-housing/

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#3 Longimanus1975

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 01:34 AM

Functionally, there are no differences between the Nex-5 and 5n. There is the increased resolution and the faster AF, though in good light, I didn't find the AF lacking on the NEX-5. IQ at the ISO's we used would be pretty much a wash. The other features of the 5n...touch screen, EVF can't be used UW anyway. Here's my review on the Aquatica AN-5 Housing and my thoughts of the NEX-5 for UW use. http://www.atlasomeg...rwater-housing/

Stu


Many thanks for the info on this, the review was very informative. Can I ask how you feel it performs against a dslr?
The reason I ask is that I attended a course and had a play with a dslr, it was great to use with good pictures, I now would like a slr but don't want the weight when I am travelling, don't really want to limit myself in anyway
Would be grateful for your thoughts

#4 Stewart L. Sy

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 10:03 AM

For image quality, there is essentially no difference as the 5n uses the same sensor as the D7000. What you do give up a bit is AF speed as the kit lens is a bit slower (f5.6) than say a 60macro(f2.8) and a DSLR's AF will still out perform the NEX, maybe to a lesser degree with the 5n as it's claimed shutter response is very fast. When using the 16mm pancake with the fisheye conversion lens, I had no issues with AF. I am keen on trying out the new 30mm macro once it's released. The new Aquatica close up +5 & +10 diopters will simply screw into the existing flat port that will be used for the 30macro, since you don't lose any light with a diopter, AF speed should not be affected.

AF issues of course are easily remedied by having a good focus light. I was shooting in slightly cloudy water that confused the AF a bit, but the images still came out. I can't stress enough that access to the rear command wheel and joystick is what makes the difference with this camera especially in manual mode.

Like any optically triggered system, if you're not after higher speed shooting then the wait for the on camera flash to recycle is not a big deal, but TTL strobe exposure was a nice feature to have back.

Video recording cannot be easier with 1 button access, I do dislike how Sony hides the video files in a subfolder in a separate directory.

the NEX system is certainly a capable performer. New lenses from Sony, Tamron and Sigma will only add to the versatility of the system. I can't speak for the other brands but the AN-5 (& 5n) housings with the dome port for the 18-55 lens isn't much bigger than my 7D with grip and the 24-105L lens, so you can pack your entire UW & topside NEX based system into a moderately sized photo backpack.

Stu



Many thanks for the info on this, the review was very informative. Can I ask how you feel it performs against a dslr?
The reason I ask is that I attended a course and had a play with a dslr, it was great to use with good pictures, I now would like a slr but don't want the weight when I am travelling, don't really want to limit myself in anyway
Would be grateful for your thoughts


Edited by Stewart L. Sy, 14 December 2011 - 10:12 AM.

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#5 A.Y.

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 10:51 AM

Image quality:

NEX-5N's image quality especially at high-ISO is impressive. In fact 5N's JPEG engine is better than any APS-C dSLR from Nikon and Canon right now. See for yourself if I'm exaggerating: dpreview ISO6400 JPEG comparison. D7000 uses Sony sensor so the RAW performance is basically identical - ISO6400 RAW comparison. Nikon D3100 uses Nikon's own sensor and it's clearly not as good as the 5N. I'm a long-time Canon dSLR user, but won't buy another Canon body unless it can match or surpass Sony sensor's performance.

Focusing:

For sports, dSLR's faster phase-detection autofocus will make a big difference. NEX-5N needs a phase-detection autofocus adapter to match dSLR's AF performance. Overall 5N's AF is perfectly good for traveling. 5N's Manual Focus Assist - live-view zooming in whenever focus ring is turned - and focus peaking - edge in-focus indicator - functions are great in obtaining focus under extreme low-light conditions.

Video:

NEX-5N has 1080 60p AVCHD 2 video. Most Nikon dSLR have 1080 24p. Just curious, which Nikon dSLR has 1080 30p? Most Canon dSLR have 1080 30p (T1i 1080 20p). Personally I'm spoiled by 1080 60p so won't settle for anything else anymore.

Video autofocus:

All NEX cameras have video autofocus. Nikon has perhaps two dSLR with video autofocus. None of the Canon dSLR has it, which is why I switched to NEX - tired of waiting.

Video silent lenses:

NEX lenses are video silent with silent autofocus and some with silent in-lens stabilizer. Am I correct that Nikon and Canon have not released any video silent dSLR lens yet?

It's not hard to understand why Nikon and Canon have lost a combined 35% dSLR market share in Japan to the mirrorless. Smartphones are fast eroding the P&S market, forcing camera makers to the mirrorless segment. With mirrorless now satisfying the needs of more and more advanced shooters, dSLR market will continue to erode.

#6 Longimanus1975

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 01:54 AM

I really appreciate the information above, it gives me a great insight into the capabilities of the nex 5n.

I think you have both made my mind up, its just a shame that there are not a few more lenses.

Just a couple of questions with regards to the Nex 5n

I have heard about a clicking problem when doing video recording, is this still the problem?

Can someone explain the focal length of a 16mm lens on the new 5n (e.g. 16mm on a full frame is 16mm, not sure what/how to calculate the new 5n length)
I apologise if I have the terminology wrong, hope you understand what I am trying to say.

Is there also anything else I should take into consideration before purchasing this?

#7 echeng

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 08:27 AM

You multiply the focal length by 1.5 to get approx full-frame equivalent. The 16mm would be like a 24mm.

I purchased a NEX-5N recently, and the image quality, especially in low light, is phenomenal—probably better than any existing SLR except for the D7000 (which makes sense). There are many better lenses available for SLRs, though, and that is a big difference.

The shutter lag is also greatly reduced when compared to the NEX-5. I never feel like I need the camera to be faster, but I haven't tried shooting action with it, yet.
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#8 Stewart L. Sy

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 08:34 AM

Supposedly the the clicking issue has been resolved and any new in box 5n should have no issues.

The 16mm pancake comes out to a 24mm equivalent, the NEX cameras are APS-C sensors (1.5 crop)...HOWEVER :) The ports for the pancake lens is a flat port, so there is a 20% increase in magnification due to diffraction, so you get about 29mm equivalency. The 18-55mm kit lens is shot behind a dome so there is no diffraction, so you end up with a 27mm lens.

That said, add either the wide angle or fisheye conversion lenses to the 16pancake and you get 22mm or full frame fishy respectively. Both conversion lenses are shot behind a 4" glass dome (in the Aquatica AN-5(n) configuration).

I've heard rumors that some strobe brands may not work in s-ttl with the Sony pre-flash. I used S&S YS110a's and they worked fine, so does the YS-01's

cheers.

S.

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#9 Longimanus1975

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 09:28 AM

Again, thanks for the info!

I think my last question is based around the flash, do I have to buy the add on flash for the new 5n? I assume that I do to get the strobe to fire

#10 A.Y.

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 09:53 AM

This should give you some ideas of the field of view of the two kit lenses + wide-angle converter above water. The fisheye converter will deliver considerably wider FOV.

Posted Image

#11 Longimanus1975

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 11:04 AM

That is a great diagram, many thanks for this

#12 oskar

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 12:38 PM

How do you find the Uw ergonomics given that nex 5n got some review critique för the ui. Especially aperture and shutter control in manual mode. Cheers
O

#13 kkfok

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 11:05 PM

I am thinking to use it for underwater video. Does it MWB well underwater? Does it inherit the White Balance Error - 9900k M9 of Nex5?

#14 Jock

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 06:27 AM

How do you find the Uw ergonomics given that nex 5n got some review critique för the ui. Especially aperture and shutter control in manual mode. Cheers
O



Hi Oscar,

I would wait for the NEX 7 - maybe you would like to read my comment on the NEX 5 here:
http://wetpixel.com/...t...42809&st=24

Image quality (technical) - is this REALLY something that needs to be discussed when we talk about the latest cameras? I doubt. All modern cameras are on a very, very high level. If I had to choose between a camera with better ergonomics or with better image quality I would go for the camera with the better ergonomics. Just my 2 cents.

Greetings,
Jock

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#15 Stewart L. Sy

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 08:17 AM

@Longimanus1975

The NEX-5(n) comes with a flash, it screws onto a shoe on top of the camera.

@A.Y.

Great way to show the difference in field of view, don't forget thought that the 16mm pancake lens is shot behind a flat port, and if you remember you Open Water, looking through a flat plate of glass gives you 20% more magnification...so the 16 will be very close to the 18-55 since that is shot behind a dome.

@Oskar, Jock,

It depends on the housing, as I mentioned in my review, on the Aquatica that I have (and own personally), the rear dial functions exactly like that of the camera, dial, multi-function controller and button (center of dial). Shooting in manual cannot be easier, a simple press on the down button of the dial changes the dial's function from aperture to shutter speed and vice versa. Playback and video buttons are dedicated and you can even program the 2 softkeys for ISO, shooting mode or exposure compensation. I have no experience with the other housings and how the rear control dial is set up.

A nice feature on the Aquatica (and Nauticam) is that the rear LCD is angled up 15degrees, makes for a very natural look down shooting position.

S.

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#16 Phil Rudin

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 08:35 AM

I have attached my review for the Nauticam NEX-5 housing in issue #57 of underwater Photography magazine, UWPmag.com and a link to the NauticamUSA web site that has my sample images using the 16mm with the wide angle and fisheye adapters. The 16mm can also be used with the Nauticam 4.33 inch dome port rather than the flat port for the full angle of view. The adapter lenses are around $100.00 each and for the cost prrovide very nice wide angle choices until somthing better comes out for NEX. The NEX-7, according to DDPReview is the best APS-C sensor camera image quality wish at this time. I would expect to see housings by Feb/Mar that access the tri-navi control system which has been the draw back to many of the single control mirrorless and entry range DSLRs.

Phil Rudin

http://www.nauticamu...gory/sony-nex-5

http://ejlabs.net/tmp/UwP57.pdf

#17 Longimanus1975

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 09:20 AM

[quote name='Stewart L. Sy' date='Dec 16 2011, 08:17 AM' post='297603']
@Longimanus1975

The NEX-5(n) comes with a flash, it screws onto a shoe on top of the camera.

Stewart, are you saying the flash comes in the box?

#18 Longimanus1975

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 09:30 AM

Phil, many thanks for the link, the info is very beneficial.
I had thought of waiting for the nex 7 but with the delays and the extra expense I was not sure whether it was worth it, it seemed that the nex 5n was getting very good reviews with low light levels and picture quality!

#19 Phil Rudin

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 09:57 AM

I agree that the NEX-5n has great image quality and better high ISO numbers than the NEX-7 will likely have, not an issue for me as an underwater camera. The NEX-7 does have the OLED viewfinder which will appeal to many. I would expext total cost, camera and housing to run $800.00 to $1000.00 more depending on the housing.

Phil Rudin

#20 Longimanus1975

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Posted 16 December 2011 - 10:35 AM

I agree that the NEX-5n has great image quality and better high ISO numbers than the NEX-7 will likely have, not an issue for me as an underwater camera. The NEX-7 does have the OLED viewfinder which will appeal to many. I would expext total cost, camera and housing to run $800.00 to $1000.00 more depending on the housing.

Phil Rudin


Thanks Phil, do you think the viewfinder will be beneficial underwater? I suppose most slr use a viewfinder at present. Coming from a compact and not using a viewfinder I am not sure this will be a plus to me?
I am not sure about the extra investment, this will already be a large outlay, not sure I can warrant spending the extra money