On 1 January I bought a NEX5 while travelling through Heathrow airport. This was no impulse buy; I had read every review I could find and had handled the camera in store. Having finally decided I wanted one, it was just a matter of waiting for the price to start falling. On New Years Day it was waiting for me at a price I could not ignore. Having had the camera for a few days now I'd like to share my first impressions. The NEX5 looks, feels and sounds superb. Aesthetically, almost everything about this camera appeals to me. The build quality is excellent. Everything, including doors and buttons feel right - not too tight, not too loose. Like my LX3 the camera feels heavier than you would expect giving it a nice solid feel. The minimalist design with only a handful of buttons and controls is pleasing on the eye - on my eye at least. by ...olli..., on Flickr If anything the lens is even more pleasing than the camera. The focusing and zoom rings are beautifully integrated into the overall design and work very effectively - tight enough to avoid being accidentally moved but very smooth in action when pressure is applied. I have all the electronic beeps and squeaks turned off and the lens focuses silently but I do like the efficient clunk of the shutter when I take a shot. Almost everything, I said. One minor annoyance is the location of the attachment hook for the shoulder strap on the right hand side of the camera.It sits about one third of the way down the side of the camera, just where my top finger naturally falls when I grip the camera. I was conscious of this for the first day or two but gradually I adjusted my grip. The other problem with this location is that when shooting vertically the strap naturally falls across the rear screen. I now use my thumb to keep it out of the way. Initially, when I first picked up the camera with the 18-55 lens it felt very front heavy - because it is. The camera needs to be held like a DSLR, not a compact, that is, with the left hand under the lens and body. This took me a little while to get used to since the camera body is so small that the fingers of my two hands were bumping up against each other. Now my hands have found their own space and it is no longer a problem. However, I can see how this could be more difficult for someone with large hands or long fingers. Many of the reviews I read reflected the reviewers' frustration with the interface, specifically with the need to access multiple menus and options to change commonly used settings. The use of a virtual dial on the screen for selection of options seems to have upset some people but I like it. Sony responded quickly by updating the camera's firmware to allow customisation of two of the buttons on the back of the camera. The lower button can be assigned one function and the central button can be assigned a further three. Taken together with the existing functions assigned to the four way controller I find that this is more than enough for my shooting needs. Certainly, the interface is very different from what I am used to on my A200 and my LX3 but I don't foresee any great difficulty in adjusting. I updated to the new firmware as soon as the battery was charged. I had no problems with the process though I'm aware that some people have encountered difficulties. There are many settings available that I have not used and may well never use so I cannot comment on iAuto, scene modes, smile detection, DRO and much else besides. I can say that the autofocusing appears to be accurate, is silent and is fast enough for me. The metering, which some reviewers noted had a tendency to overexpose, does indeed do so, though not consistently. On some images highlights are clearly overexposed, others are just a little brighter than I would expect, while others seems to be very accurately exposed. For the time being I have set the exposure compensation to -0.3 but expect in time to be able to anticipate the kind of scenes that will lead to overexposure and compensate when necessary. While I haven't used the camera much at slower shutter speeds yet the lens based OSS seems to be at least as effective as the sensor based SS in my A200. I also took a couple of shots of a church interior at 6400 ISO and having looked at them in Lightroom, both RAW and JPEG, would have no concerns about using this setting when necessary. A crop from a shot taken at 6400 ISO. In Lightroom, Luminance and Colour NR were both set to 25 with sharpening at 25 and all other settings at default. Click through to my flickr page to see the 100% crop. 110501-00133 by ...olli..., on Flickr Finally, I also tried out the sweep panorama function. I didn't anticipate ever making much use of this but now I think I might. It is a little tricky to get right at first. The speed at which you sweep is important - too fast or too slow and the camera will stop shooting. Moreover, the optimal speed for sweeping is also affected by the focal length. It's just a matter of practice though. A panorama of Tbilisi taken today using the sweep panorama mode. Click through to my flickr page to see bigger sizes including the original (8000 pixels wide). 110501-00112 by ...olli..., on Flickr I will close by noting two excellent features one of which the camera has and one which is lacking. When selecting the focusing method the camera offers the option of Direct Manual Focus. What this means is that the camera autofocuses on the subject but manual fine tuning of the focus is also available. Turning the focus ring in this mode brings up the MF Assist screen which enlarges a portion of the image for more accurate focusing. In effect you can choose autofocus or manual focus without having to push any buttons or go into any menus. I can see this being useful for macro work, close ups and shots with the lens wide open. My only real complaint has to do with the flash capabilities of the camera - or the lack of them. I don't mind the absence of a traditional hot shoe or the slightly fiddly removable flash, but what does bother me is that the NEX cameras will not work with the Sony Alpha flash system. I cannot trigger my F42 flash with the NEX flash unit. This is one thing that Sony should fix (if it is fixable by firmware update). Either the NEX flash unit should be usable as a wireless trigger for external units retaining full TTL functionality or Sony should produce a separate wireless trigger that can work with the smart accessory terminal. In conclusion, I'm impressed with this camera. I won't be getting rid of either my LX3 or my A200 but I suspect that I will be taking most of my photographs with the NEX from now on. If you have any questions about the NEX5 or its functions feel free to ask - I'll try to answer or try to find the answer.