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First Impressions: Sony NEX 5T

by Chris Gampat on 08/27/2013

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony NEX 5T first impressions (3 of 12)ISO 32001-160 sec at f - 2.8

The Sony NEX 5 series has undergone lots of changes and revamps. It was originally their highest end NEX camera model and then it became the middle child. The BBC used the 5n for the filming of a couple of video podcasts and the 5R that followed afterward essentially became a bastard child in some ways due to the NEX 6 stealing its thunder. Now the latest iteration, the NEX 5T is making a debut. It brings with it some cool features such as WiFi transmission, 10fps shooting abilities and more.

We spent some time with the NEX 5T during our initial briefing on the camera. And overall, we applaud the improvements but feel luke warm about it.

Tech Specs

- 16.1 MP APS-C sized sensor

- Fast Hybrid AF

- 180 degree tilting LCD screen

- Wifi built in

- NFC transmission

- Touchscreen LCD

- 10fps shooting

- Comes with the 16-50mm power zoom lens

- ISO 100 to 25,600

- Available in Black, White and Silver for $699 when it launches in early September

Ergonomics

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony NEX 5T first impressions (2 of 12)ISO 32001-120 sec at f - 2.8

Sony’s NEX 5T is targeted at the same user that the previous two iterations of the NEX 5 series of cameras have been aimed at: the user that wants a tad more control over their image quality. And with that said, there aren’t very many controls on the camera. On the top of the NEX 5T is the playback button, old NEX hot shoe, shutter release, Fn button, video record button, and an exposure dial.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony NEX 5T first impressions (6 of 12)ISO 32001-80 sec at f - 3.2

Like the previous versions of the 5 series, the camera’s LCD screen can tilt up and down. The user will be able to tilt the screen totally upward to take a selfie.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony NEX 5T first impressions (5 of 12)ISO 32001-80 sec at f - 3.2

On the back of the camera you’ll find two soft keys that are meant to control different things based on which menu or screen you’re in. Then there is a dial with four way control to let the user change their ISO, display, exposure, and drive.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony NEX 5T first impressions (4 of 12)ISO 32001-170 sec at f - 2.8

And on the side of the camera, the user will find an HDMI cable and a USB port. As you can also see, the older 18-55mm lens is super large, and almost outdoes the entire size of the camera.

Build Quality

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony NEX 5T first impressions (11 of 12)ISO 2001-110 sec at f - 2.8

Despite the fact that this camera is being targeted at a user that isn’t the highest end, it felt quite hefty both with and without a lens. Sony told us that it is actually lighter than the older 5 series cameras, but we found it to be heavier. In fact, it felt even more hefty than my NEX 6.

Ease of Use

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony NEX 5T first impressions (1 of 12)ISO 32001-100 sec at f - 2.8

For most users going after a camera like this, the NEX 5T will be incredibly simple to use until they start to explore the deep, dark unknown that is Sony’s menu system. But when they want to send pictures to the web, they’ll find convenience in the NFC technology built in. The new Sony App will be able to control exposures.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony NEX 5T first impressions (12 of 12)ISO 2001-110 sec at f - 2.8

If the user wants to add even more functionality to the camera, they can download apps from the PlayMemories store and add even more value to the camera.

Autofocus

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sony NEX 5T first impressions (10 of 12)ISO 2001-105 sec at f - 2.8

Credit is totally due where it is deserved, and Sony’s autofocus is still snappy as ever with the NEX 5T. It is significantly faster than the A3000–its half-breed little brother that was also announced today.

Image Quality

We weren’t able to put a card into the camera because we held a pre-production model. But Sony’s 16.1MP APS-C sensors have never disappointed us at all in the past.

First Impressions

The NEX 5T is a minor upgrade from the 5R with incorporation of WiFi, NFC connectivity, and a curiously heftier weight. But the camera has all the things that we love about the NEX line–such as the small but pleasant ergonomics, fast autofocusing, stellar image quality (from what we’ve seen) and beautiful LCD screen.

We’re sure that this camera won’t be the talk of the town amongst reviewers, but it surely will sell well when it drops in early September.

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