Top positive review
26 people found this helpful
on 16 November 2013
The NEX-5TL is small and lightweight, which is ideal when space is at a premium and doesn't compromise on the quality of still shots or video footage that you can capture (I have been able to put the camera in a pocket without feeling bulked out). The camera is equally strong across both media and avoids the need to double up with kit.
Automatic options enable the snapshot amateur to produce excellent results without needing to delve into features in depth and a host of shooting options are available via on screen menus for the more exacting or professional photographer. On screen help menus offer the opportunity to become proficient on the fly rather than constantly consulting a printed manual.
The touch screen menus and a 180 degree pivot for the LCD screen (useful if you are into taking selfies) offer a more dextrous feel and the digital zoom adds significantly to the functionality.
It's suitable for the full range of users from the snapshot amateur to the semi professional. The former can choose to stick with automatic options that produce stunning images but there are a host of shooting options (and associated help) available at your fingertips via the touch-screen LCD to keep the more intense photographer happy.
This is a compact and lightweight item of kit, which makes it an ideal companion on a holiday as it doesn't take up a lot of space or make you feel as though you are carrying a ton of equipment.
Fantastic still shot capabilities combine with very high quality video so there is no need to double up on equipment if you like to take both media.
NOTE: The one essential item that is not included with the camera is any form of memory card. You will need to purchase one before you can truly start to experiment with the camera. I use a SDHC class 10 card, which enables fast shooting without any discernable time lags or loss of data.
* Picture and Video Quality
These are both superb. When new to the camera, the automatic options will enable you to immediately take great images without very much effort, even in very low light levels. Your skills can be honed via the host of shooting options easily accessed via the menu but I know that, even if I have to grab the camera to catch something unexpected, the resultant shot will be good.
* Touch LCD Screen
This can be switched on or off; I have it enabled as it makes navigating through the onscreen menus a much easier and faster option. As the camera does not have a view finder this screen is the only means by which to compose shots so I have added a screen protector to guard against scratches, which has not impaired either the visual quality of the screen or the sensitivity to touch. It can be tricky at times to fully view your subject on the screen in very bright sunshine, although the ability to tilt at an angle does help somewhat.
The LCD screen can be tilted up to sit at anything up to 180 degrees to the camera body, which makes it much easier to monitor what you are taking when the camera is on a tripod or held at low level - as well as enabling the easy taking of self portraits. The screen can also be tilted to face down (sitting in a v-shape at about 30 degrees to the camera), which makes it easier to take shots above the head, for example.
* Interchangeable Lenses
The camera is supplied with a 16-50mm power zoom lens. This lens provides a sound base for many requirements, in particular video, aided by the digital zoom automatically kicking in after a slight pause at the 50mm level. By magnifying the existing image, the digital zoom will reduce the resolution of the result. It is worth noting that this quality reduction is not so apparent when viewed via the screen and may result in a disparity between the quality of what you see on camera and the end result.
Sony offers a range of fully compatible lenses to purchase separately, including an 18-200mm zoom that allows you to get much closer to some action and a fisheye convertor for ultra wide angle shots.
* Battery charger
The battery (and any spares) can only be charged whilst in the camera with the supplied accessory. It isn't a deal breaker, minor overall and if you only use one battery you'll wonder why I even mention it. I do take a lot of photographs and video and, although the battery life is good, I always have at least one spare battery for fear of running out on a long day out. An external charger makes life easier and is one accessory I'd recommend as an optional extra.
* In Summary
This is a lovely camera that offers the portability and convenience of a compact without compromising the results; you don't need to be an expert, or know the manual inside out, to achieve good results with this camera. It does the hard work for you.