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SONY NEX-5N/CHILDREN/LOW LIGHTING

by pgant / October 25, 2011 7:37 PM PDT

I HAVE READ MANY POSITIVES REVIEWS ABOUT THIS CAMERA,WOULD THIS CAMERA BE GOOD FOR TAKING PICS OF MOVING CHILDREN,LOW LIGHTING SCENES,ANYONE WITH EXPERIENCE WITH THIS UNIT WOULD BE GREAT,THANKS....PGANT

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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by pgant

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Low light actions
by hjfok / October 26, 2011 10:45 AM PDT

You need at least 2 key things for low light action photos:
1. A larger sensor with good low light performance (low noise at high ISO)
2. A fast lens with large aperture, at least f/2.8 or larger

Other things that will be nice to have include a good AF system and fast fps.

The NEX is not really a low light action camera. It has an APS-C size sensor but the system does not have fast tele. You will need to use the D-SLR line of fast tele, these lenses are pricy and hefty, pretty much beat the purpose of having a cheaper smaller camera body.

But whether the NEX is adequate for your need will depend on what you mean by kid and low light photos. Many cameras including the NEX can make very nice low light scenic stills with a tripod and slow shutter speed. NEX will also do a decent job in light painting shots. The NEX can take very good outdoor actions with good lighting. If your definition of low light action is something equivalent to a well lit basketball stadium, then NEX can be adequate. But if you mean taking night action photos in a poorly lit neighborhood park, then NEX will not be a good choice. In those poor lighting conditions, you will need a fast f/2.8 or larger tele lens and at least ISO 3200.

As pointed out above, flash photography is also not a strength of the NEX, since it does not have a powerful external hot shoe mount flash available.

So if you need to take good quality photos in challenging lighting conditions, then you will be better off staying with the D-SLR. But if portability is more important, then NEX is something in between PS and D-SLR.

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CHILDREN,LOW LIGHTING
by pgant / October 26, 2011 2:41 PM PDT
In reply to: Low light actions

THANKS FOR ALL THE FEEDBACK:I GUESS MY MAIN ISSUE IS TAKING PICS OF MY CHILDREN INSIDE AND OUTSIDE,THEY ARE ALWAYS ON THE MOVE,SO WHEN I USE MY P&S CANON 880,MANY OF MY PICS HAVE ONE AREA OR ANOTHER THAT IS BLURRY,LIKE AT CHRISTMAS OPENING GIFTS ,JUST ONE EXAMPLE,THE LOW LIGHTING COMES IN WHEN WE VISIT MUSEUMS,TRAIN STATIONS, MY CHILDREN LOVE TO RIDE TRAINS AND THE LIGHTING IS NOT ALWAYS GOOD IN THESE AREAS,AND OTHER PICS MAY INCLUDE SHOTS AT A PLAY OR SHOW WHICH ARE LOW LIT AREAS ALSO,ANYMORE FEEDBACK WOULD BE GREAT,I AM JUST TIRED OF TAKING 5+ SHOTS TO GET ONE GOOD ONE,AND THAT ONE IS JUST OK AT TIMES ..THANKS PGANT

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Low Light Auto-Focus
by PistonCupChampion / October 26, 2011 3:25 PM PDT
In reply to: CHILDREN,LOW LIGHTING

The 5N has an exceptional sensor, and clean photos can be taken even at a very high ISO (sensor sensitivity). but there aren't really any native bright lenses for the NEX cameras, so some of the high ISO performance is lost to the "slow" lenses. The 5N also relies solely on contrast detection auto-focusing, and it reportedly can hunt or not be able to lock focus if the light is very low. Those two issues together basically mean that while the 5N can take very good photos in low light, but it is not the best choice for low light action photography. IMO a better choice would be the Nikon D5100, which uses the same sensor, but has a wide selection of available bright lenses, and a phase detection auto-focusing system which is very fast.

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Kid action photos
by hjfok / November 1, 2011 5:22 PM PDT
In reply to: CHILDREN,LOW LIGHTING

I have 2 young kids that are very active. I have a D-SLR system for the tough low light actions and family portraits. And I have the Canon S95 for daytime shots when I need better portability (something that can fit in my pants and still get good shots).

I'm not sure whether spending thousands for a D-SLR system is worthwhile for you to get some great shots. The bright zoom lenses with f/2.8 are expensive. My general zoom costs >$1000 and my 70-200mm f/2.8 IS zoom costs >$2000. Adding a camera body and a good powerful shoe mount external flash will easily run you another $1500-$6000+ (depending on what you want). That does not count many other accessories that you may want to get. Obviously you can go cheaper, but that may not be very different from the NEX.

So if you may consider spending thousands to get the premium equipment, then definitely get the D-SLR. But if you are going to just stay with the budget entry kit lenses, then it won't make a big difference whether you get the D-SLR for the NEX.

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Answer
Yes
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / October 26, 2011 12:03 AM PDT

The Sony NEX5N uses the same sensor as most DSLR cameras.
It works well at high ISO settings.
It is a bit smaller than DSLR cameras.

It does not have a built-in flash.
If you want to use flash you have to buy an external flash unit.

..

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Correction
by PistonCupChampion / October 26, 2011 2:31 AM PDT
In reply to: Yes

The 5N includes a small flash, but it is a separate unit that plugs into a port on top of the camera. Unfortunately, if you want or need a more powerful flash, the camera's port is proprietary; it cannot use a standard hotshoe flash. The only other flash that works is Sony's $150 HVL-F20S.

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