Flying the Sony Alpha Nex-5n

So, I was trying to choose a camera for my octocopter. We flew a Canon 550D on it last week and that looked pretty good. Then someone suggested the Sony Nex-5N. I was worried about potential jello effect issues but fortunately my local camera shop let me take my octocopter in and attach their demo model. I fired up the motors and saw no jello effect at all.

There are a couple of negative issues about the Nex-5N but they are far outweighed by the positives.

Remember, I am looking at this from the point of view of using it whilst airborne so there are a few things that don’t really matter to me. Auto-focus is pretty much irrelevant as I tend to manually focus the camera before taking off. I have a very simple mechanism that is is basically a servo positioned to press the shutter button that I can run from my transmitter.

Looking to the negative side first. The only real negative is the lack of an internal intervalometer. A simple three or five second repeat exposure makes my life so much easier as I can then just fly and let the camera take shots on its own. Unfortunately the Nex-5N doesn’t have one, so manual shutter is the only real option.

The positives, however, are very positive indeed. Being able to film in 1080p at 50fps is brilliant. Ths stills quality is marvellous (I’ll post some at some point soon) and the continuous shooting mode is brilliant. The ability to tilt the screen downwards means that I can do without my downlink in some shoots as I can see the screen from below.

The biggest positive is the weight. The Nex-5n with 18-55 lens comes in at 476g, whereas the Canon 550D is more than that before you put the lens on! I’ll post some footage soon.



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