Sony continues to consolidate its cameras under the Alpha branding with the launch of the new lightweight Sony A5000. Given an entry-level price, it is ostensibly a replacement for the NEX-3N, but it is effectively a rebrand and refresh, adding Wi-Fi functionality and an improved image processor. As it size and shape suggests, the A5000 is among Sony's most compact and portable system cameras, making it a potential option if you're looking to upgrade from a compact or even a smartphone.
READ MORE: Camera Reviews
It adds detail reproduction software, diffraction reduction technology, area-specific noise reduction and has an image-processing speed three times as fast as that in the NEX-5.
The intelligent 1,200-zone Evaluative Multi-segment metering system has found its way into the A5000 from Sony’s most advanced SLT camera, the Alpha 77. Centre-weighted and spot metering modes are also included.
Autofocus modes available on the A5000 include multi-area, centre, selective single-point, tracking AF, face detection and continuous. As you would expect, raw and JPEG image capture is possible, while full-HD video recording is possible.
The A5000 has the same 3in, 460k-dot LCD screen – that can be flipped 180 degrees to face forward – which featured on the NEX-3N.
The camera features the new addition of NFC and Wi-Fi connectivity, which brings it into line with much of the competition. This functionality allows for the camera to be controlled via a smartphone or tablet through Sony’s PlayMemories App.
A range of modes, tips and apps – such as free-to-download Photo Retouch and the paid-for Time-lapse application – are on hand to help enthusiasts, and less-experienced photographers, get the most out of the camera.
Compatibility with Sony’s E-Mount lenses will please enthusiasts who have existing lenses that they’d like to use, as well as entry-level or photographers new to Sony who want to invest in a system with an existing range of lenses.
Finally, the sensor in the A5000 is the same 20.1-megapixel APS-C sensor found in last year’s DSLR-styled A3000. It is only equipped with contrast AF, which limits its speed somewhat – but the 25 available AF-points are well placed enough to achieve accurate focus in most cases.