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

Overall rating:

Sony Alpha 5000

Metering:
Features:
AWB Colour:
LCD viewfinder:
Dynamic Range:
Build/Handling:
Autofocus:
Noise/resolution:

Product:

Sony Alpha 5000 review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£419.00
TAGS:

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.

Details

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
  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
Page 9 of 9 - Show Full List