In this article I want to note down some additional insights I gained since I wrote my Review of the NEX-5N.
OverheatingAs I wrote before, I experienced some issues with overheating when I was out for my first test shoots. They arose when leaving the camera on for some time, not recording one long clip but keeping it ready to shoot. When the camera is getting too hot, one gets a warning sign on the screen as can be seen in the image on the left, and a few minutes later the camera will power down.
Today I started recording and checked the camera state every few minutes for signs of impending heat issues. I set the camera up outdoors in the shade, it was about 20°C on a sunny day. My first test was at 25p, 24 MBit/s and the overheating warning appeared after some 12 to 16 minutes, while recording continued until a total of 22:54 minutes was reached and the camera switched off. After letting it cool down I started the second test at 50p, 28 MBit/s. It recorded a full 29:50 minutes and I continued immediately. It stopped after 9:23 minutes.
This little Test is absolutely unscientific but shows that there is a problem with overheating and the NEX.
Photographing with the NEX
Every contemporary camera allows one to take great photographs. What matters most for a good result is the photographer, so the photos I got from the NEX are very beautiful with the correct settings and a nice scene.But something that can be very helpful is a good autofocus. I love my A850’s, which is very good and served me well in many situations. It’s really fast with the sony’s supersonic motor lenses. The 70-200 f2.8 has a wonderful autofocus speed on the A850, so I hoped that with modern contrast measurement techniques the NEX-5N would have a nice autofocus, although knowing it would hardly match a real DSLR’s.
While testing the NEX a bit more in depth I also went out to take some photos with the autofocus enabled. As I wrote before, I want full manual control when shooting video and don’t miss autofocus there. But while playing with photos I realized that the NEX’s autofocus is a mess. It takes seconds – feeling more like minutes – even with a lens as fast as the 70-200. Maybe it works better with the NEX lenses but I really can’t find a reason why it should.