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...
Sony Alpha 5000 review – Autofocus
Image: With its weathered surface, this van shows how well the Alpha 5000 can capture detail. Some sharpening seems to have been applied to the JPEG, but it is not too heavily processed and I would be happy to print this image straight from the camera
The Alpha 5000’s sensor is only equipped with contrast-detection AF, but in fair light it is very responsive. The 25 AF points available on the Alpha 5000 are well placed enough to achieve accurate and correct focus the majority of the time.
Autofocus modes available on the Alpha 5000 include multi-area, centre, selective single-point, tracking AF, face detection and continuous, all of which function to varying degrees of success. Face detection is the most reliable mode for portraits and group photos, recognising and locking onto faces with very little delay, even in low light.
Contrast-detect AF is not quite as adept at dealing with fast-moving subjects when shooting with the Alpha 5000 in continuous AF mode.
When attempting to focus on subjects in motion, the camera struggled to keep up and, as a result, I consistently failed to capture any shots in focus.
In low light, the AF doesn’t hunt. Instead, it either homes in slowly or fails to focus entirely. This isn’t helped by the position of the AF-assist beam, which is placed so close to the Alpha 5000’s grip that it is easy to obscure it accidentally.
Multi-area AF mode was the most useful and reliable method of achieving focus in the majority of the shooting situations I found myself in while using the camera.