Sony Nex 5N Camera Test Video.
The new Sony Nex 5N camera is a killer little interchangeable lens camera. We needed an ultra portable camera that I can always have with me at all times. We decided to not go the traditional camera test route and have a little fun this time around. Models in Bikinis instead of charts and ISO scales. We simply wanted to see how this little puppy would handle skin tones in varying light. We also wanted to see how well we could handle it under pressure. We only had the models for about an hour, so in many ways this mimicked a real shoot. We had to deal with a few issues along the way. One of the hurdles was the Sony interface. We are not at all familiar with it and trying to navigate through a new menu system slowed us down a little. However this only lasted a short while as we found the few critical adjustment options WB, ISO, Frame rate, etc and we were ready to rock and roll. We shot everything in the “standard” picture style and made zero adjustments. We used Contax Zeiss glass ranging from 16mm f2.8 through 85mm f1.4 and also tried out the tiny Contax 28-70mm f3.5 zoom lens. We used a Sony E mount to Contax/Yashica Dot Line adapter. (Stay away from this one it showed some areas of light leaks in our ISO test). The interior shots were simple enough. We got some killer advice from our friend Nancy Schreiber to use both black and white backdrops. This really did show us quite a lot about the cameras performance. Notice the white backdrop in the shadows as the light dims. This was a critical test because we will be using a black backdrop for all of our interviews for “The BoardOf Education” Documentary. I am employing this technique mostly for continituity but to also isolate my subject and make them feel a little uncomfortable. (More about that later). We also wanted to check out how well the new 1920 X 1080 60P worked. This is one of the strengths of this ultra compact camera. A first for a camera of this kind. We will need a little slow motion here and there for the transitions between states in our movie. This also turned out to be a huge pain in the ass on the post side of life. FCP and FCPX can not recgonize the AVCHD 2.0 60P footage from the Sony Nex 5N. (Other editing systems like Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 will handle the .MTS files without a hitch). Luckily we turned to the twitterverse and got a few solid suggestions. Andrew Reid over at EOSHD recommended using Media Converter to simply convert the AVCHD files into .MOV files. That solved the problem of reccognition. We were in! Not quite, we had to backpeddle a little because our footage was shot at 60P but played back normally. No slow motion effect. Step two. We had to then take the new .MOV files and convert them to ProRes files in MPEG Streamclip and then conform them to 24P in Cinema Tools. We picked up the second half of the equation from our dear friend Philip Bloom. Finally we were able to start editing. This conversion process took a considerable amount of time. A good thing to know for future refrence. This is mostly due to the very new AVCHD 2.0 CODEC required to shoot 60P at 1920 X 1080. I’m sure there will be plug ins and remedies in the near future. However for now this is the only way to deal with it if you are using FCP. This is why we test these cameras. There is no replacement for going through this process. No manual is going to tell you the steps required to figure this out. No blog post will give you the ability to use a camera in a professional manner. It is time spent shooting with the camera system that will give you the capability to make it perform the way you want. I cannot emphisize this enough. Take the time to become confidant with your cameras and you will get stunning results. It may very well be your confidence that sets your imagary apart from the others. The camera is simply the vehicle to get you there.
A few things to note before buying one of these bad boys.
1. No Hot Shoe Mount. AKS will have to be rail or clamp mounted.
2. SD card in Battery Compartment. Lame placement.
3. No External Microphone input. Sony ECM-SST1 Sony Mount is pretty lame. Click here for test.
4. Mini-HDMI Out. Full 1080 HD. No scaling while recording with a Marshall 7″ monitor.
5. Mini-USB Out.