The Sony NEX-5N is now available for pre-order and looks to be a very tempting follow up to the less then perfect NEX-5. The two key features that make me salivate are 1080p at 60fps and the mirror less form factor . This thing is thin, it makes a slice of toast look fat, and all that thinness means you can fit just about any type of lens on this guy. 1080p at 60fps means you can get those slow motion shots without having to upscale your 720p footage and the low light performance still looks usable at 3200 ISO. You also have full manual control of your settings in video mode and auto focus in video mode with supported lenses. To top all of this off, early reports suggest that this camera doesn’t suffer from jello cam in high motion.  All of this at a starting price of $599 seems to be a very good deal.

But as always there are downsides. First, no manual audio controls, which is a shame for such a lovely little camera. This problem could easily be fixed with a small software update. Canon refuses to update the 7d and Sony hasn’t learned anything from it. It’s very frustrating and unnecessary.  I’ll admit I’m probably the only person complaining about this but the other problem is that there is no 1080p at 29.97. Sure Sony has included a 24p mode and if you want, you can record 1440 x 1080 at 29.97, but why not just include full 1080p at 29.97 in the line up?

I know James Cameron and I are alone on this one, but I don’t really like the choppy look of 24p. Many people love it and it’s a great selling point for a lot of filmmakers, but to me faster frame rates look better. If I want that motion blur look, I’m usually happier with 29.97 at 1/50 shutter speeds. It gives me just a hint without going overboard. I’m sure I’d be just as happy shooting at 1080p 60fps, but I would still like to have that option available in case I need it.

I think if Sony manages to fix the glaring audio issue by the time the NEX 5n is released, you’ll have a camera that will easily take over the sub $1000 portion of the market. Although I’m sure many of us who have already developed and adopted dual system sound work flows wont have a huge problem with this issue. Just add a Zoom H1 and you’re gold.

The Sony NEX-5n is $599 for the body pre-order on B&H and $699 pre-order on amazon.

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