Sony has done something quite interesting. Back when they first committed the SLTs, they started introducing DSLRs left and right and creating markets. With the fusion of the Alpha and NEX line to just be the Alpha line, it seems like they may be doing the same thing again. They have a number of DSLRs already, and we can’t really tell where their new A5000 belongs. It can be said that it is above the A3000, but not quite there with the NEX 5T or the 3N. In fact, we’re still scratching our heads on this one.
Despite us scratching our heads, the camera still seems like quite the contender.
- 20.1 effective megapixels
- 5456 x 3632 maximum resolution
- 25 point contrast-detection autofocus
- 1200-zone evaluative metering Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor
- ISO range 100-16000
- Image modes: RAW, RAW & JPEG, JPEG Fine, JPEG Standard
- AVCHD 1920 x 1080 30fps and MP4 1440 x 1080 30fps video recording
- 1/4000 to 30 sec shutter speed range
- 7.5cm/3in 460,800 dot LCD display
- Media formats: Memory Stick XC-HG Duo and SDXC memory card
- Built-in stereo microphone
- Built-in, monaural speaker
- Rechargeable NP-FW50 battery pack for 420 shots
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 109.6 x 62.8 x 35.7mm (4 3/8 x 2 1/2 x 1 7/16 in)
- Weight: 7.4oz/210g camera body only
As with nearly any Sony camera, the front is pretty much devoid of controls. There is a lens release and that is pretty much all. However, the camera has a much nicer texture style that lets you grip onto it better during warm days where you’ll suffer a case of sweaty palms–you butterfingers.
Like many of the other NEX cameras, there are barely any buttons on the top. There is a shutter release, on/off switch, pop-up flash button, and video record button. You’ll also find the pop-up flash and stereo microphones here.
The screen of the A5000 also tilts upward–which has always been an awesome experience with the NEX lineup for folks that love to shoot from the hip. The pop-up flash also serves as a bounce flash if you pull it back a tad.
And once again, the back is similar to other NEX cameras with the toggle wheel also function as a four way controller, a playback button, two buttons, and the screen. You’ll need to pay close attention to the LCD screen in order to figure out what the type configurable buttons do.
Like any other NEX styled camera, the A5000 feels fairly decent. It isn’t the beastly yet elegant feel that the A7 and A7r give you, but it still is quite nice. My NEX 6 is my new main camera, and I have very little to complain about.
Ease of Use
These types of cameras were originally designed for folks to set in auto and forget about all the rest. And indeed, they took off quite well. There are very few buttons to the operation.
Like Sony’s other cameras it has Wifi built in. In addition to this, it also has NFC.
The A5000’s autofocus seems just as speedy as the 5T and 3N’s and so we also believe that most users will be quite pleased. Granted, we handled a pre-production model.
This is what seems really new. We didn’t get to put a card in the camera but there is over 20MP on the sensor. This means that the image quality can either be totally stellar (especially knowing Sony) or a total disappointment (which is still pretty damned good all across the board.) With the crowd that this camera is targeted at, we’re positive that they won’t complain a single bit.
We have yet to fully test a production unit as we played with a pre-production version of the camera. We believe that the functionality will be mostly the same as others, but where it will really count is in the image.
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