The NEX-5N records to 6-109% IRE, but the LCD screen only shows up to 100% IRE. So, even if you don't see any detail in your highlights, there may be information there: look at the histogram, and use that to set your exposure.
If, instead of doing that, you use your LCD to set your exposure, you'll be wasting approximately one stop of dynamic range.
After shooting a clip with information in that 100-109% IRE area, two things can happen when you load the footage to your PC:
* If you play back or edit the files in a program that has proper color space management options, your footage will probably look fine right out of the card
* If your player or editor doesn't have proper color space management options (like Premiere), or if they are not correctly applied by default, then you may see the same kind of false clipping that you saw on the camera's LCD. But a simple levels adjustment will bring that detail back to life: adjust the black input to 16 and the white output to 234, and you'll get truly black shadows and more detail on your highlights.
And of course, shoot my Flaat settings to get a relatively flat image that has nice colors and lots of DR, and is relatively easy to grade:
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