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Sony NEX-5n - Sample Images: ISO Performance

Audley Jarvis

By Audley Jarvis



Our Score:


Sony NEX-5n ISO

The ISO test scene in full and at ISO 100

Sony NEX-5n ISO 100

As this 100% crop shows ISO 100 is clean, sharp and free of noise with plenty of shadow detail.

Sony NEX-5n ISO 200

ISO 200 shows no discernible difference from ISO 100.

Sony NEX-5n ISO 400

ISO 400 there's the merest hint of softening in shadows, but nothing to really worry about.

Sony NEX-5n ISO 800

By ISO 800 this softening in shadow areas continues, but again it's not really doing the image any harm.

Sony NEX-5n ISO 1600

At ISO 1600 noise has become visible, although it's only really noticeable at 100% and above.

Sony NEX-5n ISO 3200

ISO 3200 is the tipping point - where image noise and the softening effects of noise reduction begin to become noticeable. Overall quality at smaller image sizes is still very good though.

Sony NEX-5n ISO 6400

Image noise has become much more prominent at ISO 6400, although images remain usable at smaller sizes.

Sony NEX-5n ISO 12800

Moving towards the top of the sensitivity range, ISO 12,800 shows a marked decline in quality.

Sony NEX-5n ISO 25600

The top setting of ISO 25,600 is really only for use in emergencies.

Of course, there's only so much 100% crops shot under studio conditions can show, so here's a real-life scene shot at different ISOs.

Sony NEX-5n ISO 100

ISO 100 (for comparison)

Sony NEX-5n ISO 1600

ISO 1600

Sony NEX-5n ISO 3200

ISO 3200

Sony NEX-5n ISO 6400

ISO 6400

Sony NEX-5n ISO 12800

ISO 12,800

Sony NEX-5n ISO 25600

ISO 25,600


February 17, 2012, 9:28 pm

Excellent review!

The last camera I purchased based on a TR artticle was the Panasonic FZ28 and I was pleased with it's results.

I am tempted to purchase NEX-7...are you planning to do a review on that any time soon?


February 20, 2012, 4:49 am

I brought a NEX-5N a few months ago in the twin lens kit. Despite having the initial click on video recording (really ruines the video sound) which is a well known fault, Sony fixed it for me within 3 days and since then its been great.
Picture quality is awesome, especially in low light and with the 16mm lens on we take the camera everywhere as its small enough to fit in your pocket. Its such a good camera that I have since sold my A200 DSLR and lens and just use the 5N now. Love it!

scott donaldson

February 20, 2012, 3:41 pm

Nice review - just a shame that it took you 6 months since launch to do it.


February 20, 2012, 6:10 pm

If this was reviewed last year, it would should have been camera of the year and not the Lumix G3. I bought the Lumix G3 but didn't like it and changed it for the Sony NEX 5n. The NEX 5n walks all over it in the image quality and dynamic range with the large sensor.

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