You have probably seen the announcement about our new cameras, the NEX-3 and the NEX-5. I had a chance to play with one of the prototypes a couple of weeks ago, and I must say it is a really cool concept.
This camera is for people who want maximum image quality and versatility in a minimum size. Whenever I show friends pictures I have taken with my Sony Alpha (a dSLR camera), they always make comments about something in the picture; the colour, the detail, or the beautiful effect. I also generally like the pictures I take on the Alpha more than the images I take on my point and shoot.
The big reason for the difference is the size and quality of the lens and the size and quality of the sensor. The sensor in the Alpha is a big APS-C size sensor, using big high quality lenses. To get to the point, the bigger sensor and clearer lens means that the image is better in almost every way. The tradeoff is the size and bulk of a dSLR vs. the compactness of the point and shoot.
The new NEX series bridges this gap. Small size with the same sensor size of an Alpha means low-noise, high-quality images. The ability to change lenses means you can get different looks and effects from changing the lenses. This is great for people who really want to reduce the amount of stuff they are carrying while still getting high-quality pictures and lens options.
When I was playing with the prototype, I noticed two things that I thought were really interesting. One was the way you could shoot a portrait with a defocused background. You've seen this effect, the person you are shooting is in focus and the background is softly blurred. This focuses your attention on the person and not the background. On the NEX-series there is a dial on the back that you roll clockwise or counterclockwise and the background gets softer or sharper as you turn it. For a complete novice, you can get this great effect easily.
The other thing that was amazing was the 3D sweep panorama. We have panorama in Sony W and T series Cyber-shot cameras, which allows you to create instant panoramas. You just click the shutter, move the camera across the scene and a panorama is created instantly. Now with the NEX-series, it will create 2 panoramas and layer them to create a true 3D image. You need a 3D television to view the images (the camera has an HDMI connector) and the file format is a standard format (.mpo is the format endorsed by CIPA), but the output is truly amazing. The best thing here is you don't need a two lens setup. It is really cool engineering.
The camera I played with was the NEX-5. The body felt really solid and it shoots AVCHD video like our Handycams, so the quality and image stabilization for video is fantastic.
Speaking of video, we also announced this week the development of Handycam products that will use the same lenses as the NEX series. It is going to be a great year for digital imaging, with more choices than ever.
For a great rundown on the NEX series, check out this YouTube video:
For a shiny marketing style rundown, check out this YouTube video:
You must be a registered user to add a comment here. If you've already registered, please log in. If you haven't registered yet, please register and log in.