My Petite Camera: The Sony NEX 5N

For a very long time, I was shooting not only outfit pictures for this site, but runway and other fashion images for DelectablyChic! (and its predecessor, Prospere Magazine) using an advanced point-and-shoot.  However, I knew that if I wanted better pictures, I needed to invest in a better camera, something with interchangeable lenses.  I got Sony’s a55 (Alpha 55) camera back in August.  It’s about the same size as an entry level DSLR and I don’t look out-of-place at fashion events when I carry that camera (opposed to a point-and-shoot).  However, I don’t always want to carry a camera that size around.  Even though it’s smaller than PROFESSIONAL cameras, it’s still very clunky.   That’s why I invested (once again) in a second camera, the petite Sony NEX 5N around November 2011.  This camera, which also has interchangeable lenses, is much lighter, weighing in at around 1/2 pound and measuring at approximately 4-3/8 × 2-3/8 × 1-9/16″.  Unless you carry clutches all the time, it fits perfectly into most bags – especially if you are going on vacation (my Hong Kong pictures were either taken with the NEX 5N or my BlackBerry).  The NEX 5N is not a DSLR, but falls into the mirrorless category, similar to cameras like the Pentax PEN and Nikon 1.

Trailer for the NEX 5N

I still use my bigger camera, mostly for outfit shoots at home or major fashion shows while using the NEX 5N for other events, including product launches, food-related events and smaller fashion events.  However, as of late, I’ve been using the smaller camera more and more.  I used the NEX 5N for almost all studio shows at the most recent Toronto Fashion Week and two of my most recent outfit picture posts were taken with it rather than the a55.  It works just as well, if not better than the a55, if not better.  However, the NEX 5N does not have a built-in viewfinder and the flash is detachable (sister cam, the NEX 7 is slightly bigger and has both built in flash and viewfinder.  Catch is that it’s like $1,400 in Canada ($1,349 in the US) while this one is around $700).  To some, it just doesn’t look “professional.”  This is something that bloggers often struggle with.  Are they supposed to appear professional or more like “regular people”?

Cynthia with her camera, wearing:

  • Top: Elie Tahari, size XS
  • Camisole: Smartset, size XS
  • Cardigan: J.Crew Jackie Cardigan, XXS
  • Jeans: Allison Izu
  • Shoes: STUART by Stuart Weitzman, size 5

What kind of camera do you use for your outfit pictures?  Would you invest in a camera like the NEX 5N over a standard DSLR? Why or why not?

About CynthiaC

Cynthia Cheng Mintz, founder of Shorty Stories, also runs the online-only lifestyle magazine, DelectablyChic!

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  • Cee

    I bought Sony’s NEX 3 (which I think is discontinued now) a little over half a year ago as an upgrade to my 6 year old point-and-shoot. I’ve had so much fun with it, from taking outfit pictures to vacations, and pretty much everyday photos. I absolutely love it. If I had to nitpick, it’s the lack of remote control ability with a self-timer (what I use for outfit photos). I don’t believe that’s an issue with the NEXT 5N. Enjoy yours!

    • Isn’t it great?  As for remotes, the NEX 5N uses a standard Sony remote which has a 2 second timer button next to the one for the regular shutter.  You don’t need the 10 second if you have a remote anyway. 🙂  I’m not sure about the NEX C3, which is the camera that replaced the NEX 3 last year.

      I only started using a remote a couple of weeks ago and I think my pictures are better now!

  • ClaraCWhitsett

    Such a nice article

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