It is like a digital SLR camera but tiny. You'we got the same big 24x16mm sensor that catches a lot of light and can create photos with a short depth-of-field. And you'we got the interchangeable lenses. But you don't have the bulk.
My first SLR was a Nikon F90 (N90 for those of you who haven't gone metric yet) and I'we bought a fair amount of lenses and stuff over the years. I was about to upgrade my Nikon DSLR - an aging D70s - when I realized most of my stuff was outdated. I have always felt locked in by my original choice and now I had a great opportunity to switch.
After some research I came to the conclusion that a mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses made sens. And since I wanted the biggest sensor size possible, the brand new Sony NEX-5N looked like the best option.
It does everything a big, black DSLR does - except draw attention. But it does fit in the pocket of your jacket. It's great.
But I do kind of miss the "attention" part.
Hi, I had mostly given up photography, but still had all the gear stored away. Since i was a minolta guy (i.e. not a pro)I ended up buying Sony alpha 350 1½ years ago for the reasong of being able to use old lenses. Sony alphas have the image stabilizer in the body, so this makes sense.
It hasn't revitalised my photography entirely but I am rather happy with it. Your NEX seems quite handy and now that you mentioned it, I am not sure a good camera really has to be bulky and make noises flapping it's mirror.