Sony has announced the NEX-5N digital camera with a line of NEX interchangeable lens cameras. Housed in a rugged, light magnesium alloy body, with an touch-screen interface, the camera is just 23.3mm at its slimmest point.

Response is accelerated even further by a release time lag of 20 milliseconds, the fastest of any interchangeable lens digital camera, according to David Oyagi, marketing manager in Digital Imaging at Sony Canada ( Combined with an improved autofocus (AF) algorithm and more efficient image processing, this results in an AF that is two times faster than the current NEX-5 model, he says.

The camera’s Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor with 16.1 effective megapixel resolution is complemented by a specially-optimized version of the BIONZ image processing engine. Maximum sensitivity is also boosted to ISO 25600.

The NEX-5N camera shoots AVCHD Progressive (version 2.0) Full HD movies with stereo sound at 60p — the same resolution and frame rate as Blu-ray Disc media. Faster readout from the sensor doubles the maximum frame rate to 60 fps. Additionally, continuous auto-focus while recording video has been improved and object Tracking Focus has been added. Photographers can also fully control exposure with Program, Aperture/Shutter Priority and all-Manual modes (P/A/S/M)

The NEX-5N ultra-compact interchangeable lens digital camera will be available this September in black and silver with an 18-55mm kit zoom lens (model SEL1855) for about US$800.