So I'm on the Sony program.
Wanting to try more video stuff and looking for a smaller travel option, I decided an EVIL camera was the way to go, and the short-list was:
Despite shooting Nikon, I ruled out the Nikon 1 based on sensor size alone. I had a good play with an EP3 and while the focus was pretty good, the rest of the camera didn't excite me. I just couldn't see myself owning one. I liked MFT for the lens selection but the small sensors and poor high ISO was a drawback. The NEX-7 is hard to get a hold of, not as good for high ISO. I also didn't really want the high resolution, but I did like the EVF, flash, hotshoe and controls. So it came down to GH2 or NEX5. The GH2 is getting a bit long in the tooth, but it does video very well, especially with the hack. But in the end, a NEX-5N came up for a smoking price and that sealed the deal. The next GH2 iteration might be much better, but the MFT guys need to start working on their outdated sensors.
So 5N impressions. Firstly, I checked for the "clicking sound" issue. It is audible with strong up and down shaking, but I could it get it to happen with left-right panning, or horizontal to vertical tilting. So it's a non issue for me.
Straight up, the menus are long and disorganised, and the disabling of options based on current mode is annoying. But once I got my custom buttons configured, most of the settings are easy to get to. There is still a lot of menu diving occasionally though. The touch screen is excellent though. Focus pulling during video with 1 finger press is amazing.
Image quality wise, I have very impressed with the sensor detail, colour, DR and ISO. It smokes my D300. The 18-55 kit lens is the best built kit lens I have ever used. It is a fine and effective lens, which continues to impress me. The 16mm pancake seems to do the job, but needs to be stopped down.
Video quality, I was a bit annoyed that the PAL version doesn't do 24p easily and requires a special technique to trick the camera into getting 1/48s shutter speed. But the 1080/50p footage looks very smooth and lush. Also quite annoyed that the PAL version doesn't do 60p. Stupid Sony and region locking. Hopefully a hack will follow at some point.
I can't go past another killer feature: focus peaking. This does a better job that I can MF on a D700 viewfinder. My eyesight must be bad, but this is a very handy feature. Also handy is the manual focus point zoom, anywhere in the frame using the touch screen. This is a massive time saver for off center composition. Who wants to zoom in then cursor around to get to their subject?
So overall, after 3 days, I am pretty impressed, but I had to accept the trade-offs with buying into the Sony system: namely limited lenses, proprietary connections (flash and microphone!). The lenses will come, and I will be likely getting a NIK-NEX adaptor as well. I want to spend more time in post processing and printing the images to see how well they hold up to pulling, and printing. Video, I am a total n00b so I hope to learn something of this side of photography and I think I can do that with this camera.