Tag Archives: unbox

Sony NEX-5R twin lens kit

An opportunity recently came up for me to procure myself one of these Sony NEX mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras and what better time than right around the corner from Christmas? Main reason for wanting this sort of camera? First, a HUGE sensor relative to the size of the camera (1.5x crop like most DSLRs) and fantastic video abilities. Without further adieu, I present to you the latest Sony NEX-5R(Y) with the Y denoting the twin lens version.

For a small camera, it comes in a decently sized box which is quite packed, so what’s inside? At the top of the box is multiple manuals (differently languages), warranty/support cards and software CD. Lifting the top flaps reveals 3 compartments, the left contains the Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS zoom lens. The middle compartment contains the NEX-5R body itself attached to the Sony E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS zoom lens and the final compartment on the right containing a host of power cables, microUSB cable, desktop charger, battery pack, shoulder strap and detachable flash.

Now the original NEX series cameras came with the 18-55mm F3.5 which was pretty big when mounted on the NEX type cameras (similarly sized to a crop body 18-55 equivalent lens from Nikon or Canon), this made the camera unpocketable. This new 16-50mm is definitely much smaller and retracts when powered off, another additional feature is the power zoom; there’s a little rocker type switch on the left hand side which allows you to zoom in and out like a regular point and shoot, some will love it, some will hate it.

It has a similar hinged screen to the 5N, however slight improvements have been made to allow it to flip backwards so you can get the perfect self portrait, bear in mind however, if the flash is attached, the screen can’t be flipped all the way up. A little nice touch is when the screen is flipped for self portraits, a 3 second timer is automatically activated.

The screen tilts upwards and downwards to allow easy high angle or low angle shots.

Upward tilt
Downward tilt

It’s also touch sensitive, but I do believe it isn’t of the capacitive type and isn’t too sensitive which severely reduces its effectiveness. I was hoping a phone style interface with gestures but alas, it wasn’t meant to be, it does help access some features, but I have a feeling it won’t be used for proper shooting.

Now, the lenses, as mentioned the new 16-50mm which shipped with the camera does retract when powered off, below are some comparisons of size, note that the 16-50mm ‘waves in and out’ from wide to tele, i.e. longest when wide and zoomed all the way in and shortest when in the middle, also note the 55-210 is ridiculously large when mounted onto this camera.

16-50mm retracted
16-50mm extended
55-210 at 55mm
55-210 at 210mm

Unlike the NEX 6 though, the 5R doesn’t have a standard hotshoe, this small proprietary connector serves multiple purposes but has the problem of only serving one at a time, that means you can use the flash and not the optional microphones or viewfinder at once, personally won’t be a big deal, but an integrated flash like the 6 would have been that little bit better, especially for travel.

The integrated WiFi combined with the PlayMemories apps does make for a nice touch, but I do feel it’s still in its infancy. This combination allows for new applications to be downloaded and installed and at this time, there’s currently a Time Lapse ($10), Pro Bracketing app ($5), Cinematic Photo app ($5), Multi frame noise reduction ($5) as well as a few free ones; Direct upload, Photo retouch, Picture Effect+ and Smart remote control.

I personally don’t think the paid apps offer much and should actually be standard features, maybe for the exception of ‘Cinematic photo’ which allows you to create a hybrid stills/video leaving some areas still and others moving. The Smart remote control app is very basic and allows for a live view image to displayed on your smart phone and the ability to trigger it remotely, in this situation, the camera acts as a hot spot.

This has been a brief intro opening and I’ll try to report back with my feedback after it’s used for a few outings, so far it is pretty impressive and it does feel like a solid camera. The autofocus is pretty quick, still not as quick as D600 or D700, but definitely plenty fast for a holiday situation. For the price I paid (and definitely if I get rid of the 55-210 lens) I don’t think anything could have matched it, just need to get myself a Nikon F mount to Sony E mount adapter and I’m set.

Unboxing the new Nikon D600

With Nikon’s announcement of the D600, I pondered if it was worth switching one of my D700’s to this new camera, few questions went through my mind, is this actually an upgrade? Should I be spending the grand or so for this swap? After a short period of deliberation, I decided to jump the gun and get it and now I have on me, a lovely Australian stock D600. I’ll save my thoughts and comparison for later, but in the mean time, here’s the unboxing process of Nikon’s latest FX (full frame) DSLR.

First the box, standard Nikon design but fairly compact, doesn’t feel as big as the D700 box.

Opening the lid, you’re greeted with the paper work, very standard, nothing to get excited about.

Included here is the warranty card, quick start guide, user’s manual, software CD and a  myPicturetown pamphlet. Removing this and opening the divider flap brings us closer to the closer to the camera itself, it’s neatly laid in bubble wrap and plastic inside a cardboard compartment.

Next to the camera is the accessories box.

Unwrapping it all, you’re led to the following goodies, (obviously) the D600 camera itself, EN-EL15 battery (same as the D7000, D800/e and Nikon 1 V1), charger, localised power cable, neck strap and eye piece cover.

Here it is on the box

On the left side are the covers for the various ports and jacks, on the D600, we have a 3.5mm headphone port (for audio monitoring) as well as a 3.5mm microphone port, these are used in conjunction with video recording. In the middle is a mini-HDMI port (which also allows a clean uncompressed 1080p output) and a mini-USB. Down the botton is a port for an external GPS receiver (for geotagging your photos)

You’ll also notice on the left side is the flash pop-up button (which is a digital button not a physical trigger which opens the flash), bracketing button as well as the D7000 styled AF switch and button.

Shot of the rear; you can see the square viewfinder, rear dial, playback, delete and auto-exposure lock buttons (no AF-ON button here sadly) as well as the diopter adjustment on the top. Along the left, Nikon’s changed the layout slightly and this falls in line with the D800 (minus the OK) with the Menu, touch-up, lock/help, zoom in, zoom out buttons. Few things to note here, from the D800 and D600, Nikon has flipped the zoom in and out buttons around. Similar to the D7000, these also control White Balance, ISO and Quality.

Along the right hand side is the directional joy pad with an OK button in the middle along with the focus point lock switch surrounding it, underneath is a D800 styled live view switch with the Live View button in the middle. Under that is the info button (which I’m not sure if anyone uses). Also around here is the little speaker, memory card write indicator and infrared receiver (for a remote shutter).

Not much to say about the right hand side, the memory card door sits here and underneath are dual SD card slots which can be used in various configuations. You can duplicate to both, use it as overflow (writes to the second card when the first is full) or put RAWs on one card and JPGs on the other.

The front has the standard red Nikon flair on the grip, a function button, DOF preview button and a light for auto focus assist in low-light. The top of the camera has a secondary LCD screen which details key info like focus mode selected, number of shots remaining, shutter speeds and aperture and a whole host of other icons.

The left has two dials (similar to the D7000), one for shooting modes and the other for your standard PASM modes. They’ve included a little click button to move the PASM wheel which makes it a little bit trickier to change modes while the camera is up on yoru face. The right hand side has Nikon’s dual action power/illumination switch, a soft shutter button within and surrounded by a dedicated video record button (like the D800) and the metering mode and exposure compensation buttons.