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I have to concede that I am so far, very impressed with the Sony NEX 5 camera.

The body is made from a metal alloy and the lens have a solid, aluminium construction. While these are not sealed bodies, it is a solid, reassuring camera body. It is a camera you would feel comfortable carrying with you when traveling.

The size of the camera body is a bit hard to believe. In fact the diameter of the lens mount is actually slightly larger than the height of the camera body. It isn't though really suitable to keep in a pocket, unless you have large pockets and the 16mm lens [:)].

Here's a quick size comparison with the venerable Sony Mavica.

For the beginner photographer, the camera sports an 'Intelligent Auto" function. This basically makes all the decisions for you.

If you're familiar with consumer digital cameras, there is also the option to select scene-modes. These come in the standard landscape or portrait or macro etc styles.

For the experienced photographer, it allows you far more complete controls. It has the standard aperture-priority, shutter-priority, manual-exposure (so you can set both aperture and shutter speeds) plus Program. These modes also let you customise the camera a little. The assignable soft key (button) I've set to use to adjust the ISO.

What is also wonderful, is that the camera allows full manual focus of the lens. In short, you can ditch the whole letting the camera focus for you and take over yourself. To assist the manual focus, the camera will give you a 7x magnified view of the scene. You can adjust this to 14x. This makes the whole manual focus experience very very easy.

I think this whole range of shooting options from fully automatic through to complete manual control, gives this camera a great deal of appeal.

The other appeal is simply the images. This is where the APS-C sensor comes in. The colour fidelity, the control of noise in the image and the detail, is very impressive for a camera of this size. This camera can produce images that are very high quality.