Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

I am running out of time to produce a video user review this week so I thought I’d better put something down as I am very impressed with the quality of the pictures coming out of the NX5.

I did not know what to expect with this camcorder but after Mondays shoot looking at the pictures side by side with the 350 I am still reeling from shock at the fantastic pictures this camcorder produces compared to the 350. In other words and I can’t quite believe I am writing this but there is little to choose between the two cameras.

Don’t get me wrong the 350 produces stunning pictures but so does the NX5…I am not sure if Sony have put a spell on this camcorder but apart from lower light situations this AVCHD codec is stunning.

I only remember one other camcorder having this effect on me and that was the Sony PMW-150 DVCAM many years ago and I still remember how good the pictures were from that camcorder.

Sony have done an amazing job on this camcorder …I can recommend it as a cracking second camera for EX-1, 1R, 3 and PMW-350.

So far I have used Transend SDHC class 6 cards and they work well in fact I would not have considered this camcorder if Sony had not given me the SDHC option.

I am still finding my feet with the NX5 but there are two small downsides to the camera so far…

1. The Shutter button…now the button itself is fine it’s the stupid rotary switch you have to fiddle with to get to the right shutter speed and as often as not you don’t choose the speed you want first go…a very poor switch in my opinion.

2. Over-cranking is not a patch on the EX-3…it’s the only non quality picture I have seen out of this camera I suppose Sony have to compromise somewhere but as over cranking is on the whole a gimmick I am not bothered with it’s lack of quality.

I will update this page as I further use the NX5 but so far I am blown away with it’s performance.

I present 2 video grabs from Mondays shoot one taken with the Sony PMW-350K (£15,000) the other with the HXR-NX5 (£3,900) can you tell which camera is which…leave a comment.

OK time up…it is a wee bit obvious but Pic 1 is the PMW-350K, the reason the shots don’t match is because they were captured at different times of the day and Pic 2 was filmed using a Sony LED video light. I am filming again this Monday I will set the cameras side by side, match WB and do the same exercise.

Update 26 Feb 2010… Having spent about 3 hours editing the footage from the 350 and NX5 it’s more obvious that the 350 has an edge over quality and that the NX5 footage has a slight background noise in the image that’s not present in the 350. I wipe my brow because I was a bit miffed early doors that I had just spent big time on a 350 when I could have bought 4 NX5’s for the same price…though as a second camera to the 350 it’s fantastic and two jobs I am filming this week need 2 cameras. I filmed an audio conference which needed the two cameras, one on the main speaker and the NX5 on a wide shot looking over the speakers shoulder and at one point I was filming the same man with both cameras tight/wide and they match perfectly.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

8 thoughts on “Sony HXR-NX5 “Shockingly Good”

  1. Hi!
    I totally share your opinion about the nx5. I did two weeks of testing so far. Picture quality is stunning. The navigation for the menus is crap though. You get a lot of camera for little money. I totally recommend the camera so far.

  2. I bet theres even less of a difference between the EX1/3 and the NX5 – the 2/3″ sensor (and lens) on the 350 should be making a significant difference – are you going to put some grabs up from your EX3 too please?

  3. Glad you like your NX5. We are NOT impressed with the two that we’ve just bought.Not a patch on the Z7’s and even poor in camparison to the Z1’s. Just cannot get anything like a sharp image out of them…comparing like for like with the Z7’s it’s like someone has put a mist filter on the front! Anyone else noticed this?

  4. How does this compare to Canon’s XL range? Is there a quick shutter speed and iris button/reel?

  5. Hi! Is there a difference between the NX5 reviewed here, and NX5U advertised in the U.S?

  6. Hi I love my NX5 and like everything else in life you have to work at your relationship with it to get the best out of it? For the money it the best al-round camera on the block.

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