The NEX branding may have gone, but what else is new about Sony’s 20.1-million-pixel Alpha 5000 – its latest APS-C-format CSC on the market? Read the Sony Alpha 5000 review...

Product Overview

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Sony Alpha 5000

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Sony Alpha 5000 review

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£419.00

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Sony Alpha 5000 at a glance:

Sony Alpha 5000 review – Introduction

As Sony looks to consolidate its cameras under the Alpha branding, the Sony Alpha 5000 arrives to replace the NEX-3N, adding Wi-Fi functionality, an improved image processor, and benefiting from its lightweight construction and portable size. With the inclusion of the new Bionz X processor, also featured in the high-end Sony Alpha 7/7R and Cyber-shot DSC-RX10, the Sony Alpha 5000 is vying for the attention of enthusiasts looking to upgrade from a digital compact to an entry-level DSLR or compact system camera.

Sony Alpha 5000 review – Features

The Sony Alpha 5000 has the same 20.1-million-pixel, APS-C-sized (23.2×15.4mm) sensor we saw in last year’s DSLR-styled Alpha 3000, although the Alpha 5000 also has Near Field Communication (NFC) and Wi-Fi connectivity so users can connect and control the camera using the Sony PlayMemories app via a smartphone or tablet.

The Sony Alpha 5000’s compatibility with Sony’s E-mount lenses will appeal to enthusiasts with existing optics they would like to use on a highly portable camera, as well as to entry-level photographers or those new to Sony who want to invest in a system. The Alpha 5000 has the same 3in, 460,800-dot LCD screen as featured on the NEX-3N, and as such it can be flipped 180° to face forwards. Weighing only 269g, including battery and memory card, the Alpha 5000 is a good everyday camera, that fits into a jacket pocket even with the 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens mounted.

As expected, raw+JPEG image capture is included, while full HD video recording can be activated using the dedicated record button that is situated on the rear of the camera below the shutter. The Bionz X processor brings with it detail-reproduction software, diffraction-reduction technology, area-specific noise reduction and 3x faster image processing than the previous Bionz processor in the NEX-5.

Sony has also included a number of modes, tips and apps, such as free download Photo Retouch and the paid-for time-lapse application, to help inexperienced photographers and enthusiasts alike get the most out of the camera.

  1. 1. Sony Alpha 5000 at a glance:
  2. 2. Sony Alpha 5000 review - Build and handling
  3. 3. Sony Alpha 5000 review - Metering
  4. 4. Sony Alpha 5000 review - Dynamic range and white balance and colour
  5. 5. Sony Alpha 5000 review - Autofocus
  6. 6. Sony Alpha 5000 review - Noise, resolution and sensitivity
  7. 7. Sony Alpha 5000 review - Live view, LCD and video
  8. 8. Sony Alpha 5000 review - Our verdict
  9. 9. Hands-on review
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  • entoman

    Price drop since launch of a5100 brought a5000 cost down to GBP290 – a real bargain for a 20 megapixel camera with great image quality. At 400 ISO it’s sharper, more detailed, and has less noise than a Canon 70D (courtesy Imaging Resource comparometer).

    Mine arrived today and I’ve only had time for a few test shots, but autofocus is very rapid for stationary subjects, exposure is spot-on, and flash coverage at focal lengths between 30-50mm is very even at close distances, so ideal for macro, scenery, candids etc. Not so good for fast moving subjects – better to get an a6000 if you shoot sports/action.

    Only criticisms so far is that it’s quite easy to accidentally change settings by inadvertently touching the control wheel – hence self-timer accidentally came on once or twice. Also it takes 4 hours to charge the battery, and there is no charger supplied – you have to charge in-camera via USB, although chargers are cheap on Amazon and ebay. Supplied instruction manual is very basic – you have to work out how to do everything yourself, and not everything is self explanatory.

    I wouldn’t use this as my main camera (I usually shoot on full frame Canon 6D), but it’s ideal for use in situations when a DSLR is too heavy or conspicuous. It won’t fit into a trouser pocket but it fits inside a bum-bag, holster or coat pocket easily.

    Build quality and cosmetic finish are quite good – it looks and feels like a GBP 500 camera. Pop up flash looks a little bit fragile but that is true of most compacts. Hinge on tilting screen looks strong.

    Bottom line: if you can afford it, get an a5100 or a6000 which have more sophisticated autofocus and other features, but if you are on a budget you wont regret getting an a5000 as a travel camera or backup.