Overall Rating:


Sony Alpha 5000

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Price as Reviewed:


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...

Hands-on review

Sony Alpha 5000 at a glance:

  • 20.1-million-pixel, APS-C-sized CMOS sensor
  • Bionz X processor
  • ISO 100-16,000
  • NFC and Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Price £419 including 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens

Sony Alpha 5000 – Introduction

After Sony announced that it was to drop the NEX branding from its compact system cameras, it was only a matter of time before the existing NEX range was replaced. The new Sony Alpha 5000 replaces two cameras, the NEX-3N and NEX-5T, which was inevitable given that there are only slight differences between the two older models.

Sony Alpha 5000 – Key features

While the Sony NEX-3N and Sony NEX-5T used a 16-million-pixel sensor, the new Alpha 5000, like the Alpha 3000 released a few months ago, has a 20.1-million-pixel, APS-C-sized CMOS unit. The new sensor can capture images at a maximum sensitivity of ISO 16,000, which is the same as the NEX-3N but 1EV less than the maximum ISO 26,000 setting of the NEX-5T.

Aimed at the consumer market, the Sony Alpha 5000 lacks an accessory shoe, but instead features a built-in pop-up flash. The rear screen is a 3in, 460,800-dot display, again the same as the NEX-3N but lower than the 921,000-dot screen of the NEX-5T. However, the new screen can articulate through 180° so that it is front-facing for taking ‘selfies’.

Also, as you would expect from any camera released these days, the Alpha 5000 has both Near Field Communication (NFC) and Wi-Fi connectivity, to allow images to be quickly sent to a smartphone or tablet.

Sony Alpha 5000 – Build and handling

One of our early criticisms of the original Sony NEX range was that there was a lack of labels on the buttons on the rear of the cameras and that the menu system was somewhat awkward to use. The new Alpha 5000 has clearly labelled buttons on the rear and it was very straightforward to use.

Thankfully, the on-screen menus have also been improved. The large category labels remain on the initial screen when the menu button is pressed, but once one of these menu items is selected, the sub-menus all have the very familiar ‘Alpha look’ about them, as all Sony cameras now seem to be using.

Made of polycarbonate, the camera weighs just 210g (body only). However, it feels extremely well made.

Sony Alpha 5000 – Initial thoughts

With sales of CSCs falling, it makes sense for Sony to combine the NEX-3N and NEX-5T into one camera, and with a kit price of £419, the Alpha 5000 is very competitively priced.

We found that the 20.1-million-pixel sensor performed well in the Alpha 3000 and Alpha 58 SLTs, and we can expect the sensor to do just as well in the Sony Alpha 5000.

Look out for a full test of the Alpha 5000 in the next few months.

The Sony Alpha 5000 will be available from mid-February, price £419 including 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens.

  • External mic: Built-in stereo mic only
  • Video: 1920x1080 pixels (at 50fps, 25fps or 24fps), 640x480 pixels (at 25fps), AVCHD 2 with MPEG-4 AVC H.264 compression
  • White Balance: Auto, 6 presets, Kelvin, plus custom setting
  • Built-in Flash: Yes (GN 4m @ ISO 100)
  • Shutter Type: Electronically controlled focal-plane shutter
  • Memory Card: SD, SDHC, SDXC, Memory Stick PRO Duo
  • Viewfinder Type: None available
  • White Balance Bracket: Yes, 3 exposures
  • AF Points: 25-point, auto or manual selection
  • LCD: Articulated 3in LCD with 460,800 dots
  • Output Size: 5456 x 3632 pixels
  • Focal Length Mag: 1.5x
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/160sec
  • Sensor: 20.1-million-effective-pixel, APS-C-sized (23.2x15.4mm) CMOS sensor
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion NP-FM500H battery, up to 550 shots
  • Weight: 269g (with battery and card)
  • Exposure Modes: iAuto, Superior Auto, program, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, scene selection, sweep panorama, creative exposure selection
  • Drive Mode: 12fps in tele-zoom mode, 10fps in continuous advance priority AE, continuous 8fps high or 3fps low, single-shot, self-timer
  • Shutter Speeds: 30-1/4000sec in 1⁄3EV steps plus bulb
  • File Format: Raw, JPEG, raw+JPEG simultaneously
  • Compression: 2-stage JPEG
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • Exposure Comp: ±3EV in 1⁄3EV steps
  • RRP: £419 with 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens
  • Lens Mount: Sony E mount
  • ISO: 100-16,000
  • DoF Preview: No
  • Focusing Modes: Contrast detect (sensor), manual, single-shot AF, automatic AF, continuous AF, face detection, tracking, live view, multi-area
  • Dimensions: 109.6 x 62.8 x 35.7mm
  • Metering System: 1,200-zone evaluative metering, multi-segment, centreweighted and fixed centre spot
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed, Bravia Sync via HDMI cable
  • Tested as: Entry-level CSC

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