Featuring a sleek and stylish design, the rectangular body of the NEX-5 offers a firm grip shaped like a block. Our review model comes with a 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 OSS zoom kit lens and it feels rather heavy after the lens is fitted to the camera.
You need a frim grip to handle the front-weight of the lens especially when fiddling with the camera’s key settings such as the shutter and aperture on a small wheel located at the rear of the Sony Alpha NEX-5.
Having said that, the placement of the buttons is rather pleasing as some of the key controls are well-placed and come with a metallic touch.
Overall, the Sony Alpha NEX-5 is probably one of the sexiest and stylish cameras on the market.
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The Front
The front of the camera features an autofocus assist lamp, the lens mount and of course, the Sony Alpha logo.
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The Top
At the top of the camera, you will see the stereo input microphones, the flash mount, the picture/movie playback button, the power switch, a dedicated movie recording button and lastly, the shutter button. The camera’s speakers are also located here too.
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The Rear
The back panel is where the key controls are located and also the 3-inch tilting LCD panel. There is no viewfinder and to the right side of the screen, you will have two functionality buttons - the top is the “Menu” while the metallic button below is a “on-screen shooting tips” button. 
The D-Pad styled rotating wheel allows you to set various parameters of the camera such as exposure compensation, shooting drive mode (single, continuous and continuous with speed priority), flash settings (if a flash is mounted), and the timer. At the center of the wheel is the confirmation button.
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The Bottom
At the base, we have the screw thread for mounting a tripod, the compartment for putting the battery and storage card.
The Alpha NEX-5 supports SD/SDHC/SDXC and Sony’s Memory Stick. 
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The Sides
On both sides of the camera, we have the mounted hooks for you to attach the shoulder strap. On the left side in particular, we have the HDMI output and a USB port.
One thing we like about the camera is that the LCD is always facing up when you put on the neck strap.