The new Sony NEX? The Alpha 5000 Arrives!

The new Sony NEX? The Alpha 5000 Arrives!


With CES here many manufacturers are announcing new cameras, lenses and gadgets this week, so this is always fun. Last year was the Fuji X100s, this year is the Fuji X100s black ๐Ÿ™‚

While I did NOT make it to CES this year due to the fact that I was just in a car accident and my car is in the shop for the next 30-45 days (I am fine as the airbags did their job well and yes, I would have driven as Vegas is a 4 hour drive for me). Even so, I do not feel like I lost out too much as the new cameras at CES are usually “in-betweens”. The big announcements are usually just that..BIG announcements (as with the Olympus E-M1 and Sony A7) so I did not expect HUGE news from CES in regards to camera releases.

Nope, not many “super exciting” things being released IMO besides the new Fuji 56 1.2 lens, the black X100s, Panasonic Nocticron F/1.2 lens and now the new Sony A5000 which is being touted as the worlds smallest interchangeable lens camera WITH WiFi capability ๐Ÿ™‚ The new Alpha A 5000 looks very looks just like a NEX body but it is now called an Alpha A instead of a NEX. It is an E-Mount so will use all of the current and past E mount lenses. So if you want a basic “NEX” like upgrade, the A5000 will do the trick, and at a great price. I expect it to be very NEX like with the Alpha and A7 menus.

With a 16-50 Kit Zoom the A5000 comes in at under $600. You can pre-order at B&H Photo or Amazon.ย 


20.1 Mp Exmor APS HD CMOS Sensor and BIONZ X Image Processor

The 20.1 Mp APS-C-sized Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image processor work together to produce high-resolution, well-detailed imagery with minimal noise and notable low-light quality and sensitivity to ISO 16000. The processor also contributes to providing a wealth of speed throughout the camera system, including a fast 25-point contrast-detection AF system, top continuous shooting rate of 3.5 fps, and full HD 1080i/p video recording in multiple frame rates.

Full HD Video Recording

Full HD 1080i/p video recording is supported at both 60 and 24 fps frame rates to produce high-resolution movies with a smooth, cinematic look. Videos are recorded using the high-quality AVCHD codec and a built-in stereo microphone records sound in the Dolby Digital AC-3 format. Additionally, 1440 x 1080p, 1280 x 720p, and 640 x 480p formats are also supported in the Internet-friendly MP4 format.

Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity

Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity enables the A5000 to instantly share imagery to mobile devices for direct sharing online to social networking, via email, and to cloud storage sites. NFC (Near Field Communication) is also supported, which allows for one-touch connection between the camera and compatible mobile devices; no complex set-up is required.

Tilting LCD Monitor

For live view monitoring, image playback and review, and menu navigation, a 3.0″ 460.8k-dot touchscreen LCD monitor is integrated into the camera body and features a 180ยฐ tilting design to promote easier use from low angles as well as in front of the camera.

Sony 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Retractable Zoom Lens

The included 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Retractable Zoom Lens provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 24-75mm, covering wide-angle to portrait-length perspectives to suit working in a wide variety of situations. It features Optical SteadyShot image stabilization to help minimize the appearance of camera shake by up to four shutter speed steps to greatly benefit working in low-light conditions and with greater zoom magnifications. One extra-low dispersion element and four aspherical elements are integrated into the optical construction to help reduce chromatic aberrations as well as increase clarity, sharpness, and contrast and the Power Zoom electronically-driven zoom mechanism brings greater efficiency to controlling the zoom position of the lens.

Other Camera Features

A built-in pop-up flash is available to provide additional illumination when working in dim lighting.

Auto Object Framing is an intelligent shooting mode that can automatically analyze the scene and subjects within it and determine an aesthetically-pleasing composition. The subsequent imagery will be cropped according to subject matter, resulting in a well-balanced composition that utilizes Face Detection and Tracking Focus to ensure high image quality and sharpness.

Picture Effect modes allow you to apply creative settings and emphasize certain facets of individual images for a richer, more aesthetic picture quality. Posterization (Color/B&W), Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color (R/G/B/Y), High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera, Soft High-Key, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-Tone Monochrome, Miniature, Watercolor, and Illustration modes are available.

The Photo Creativity feature provides quick access to Picture Effects as well as dedicated controls for adjusting Background Defocus, Brightness, Color, and Vividness. Additionally, these effects can be combined for nearly limitless adjustment options

Superior Auto mode is an intelligent automated setting that can quickly identify the current shooting environment and adjust crucial camera settings to deliver optimized results. This mode also utilizes Auto HDR and Hand-held Twilight modes, which employ image compositing techniques to better handle difficult lighting conditions.

Anti-Motion Blur automatically corrects for subject movement in order to deliver clean, sharp imagery in low-light conditions. This is accomplished by recording six sequential frames and compositing portions of each image to ensure overall sharpness.

Hand-held Twilight Mode automatically composites details from six sequentially-recorded images in order to attain higher overall image sharpness when working in low-light conditions.

Face Detection/Smile Shutter can detect and base focus, white balance, and exposure settings on recognized faces. This technology also enables the shutter to be released, based on three sensitivity levels, when a smile is detected in the frame.

Creative Style settings provide control over how the camera processes images based on six different predetermined styles: Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, and B&W. Within these settings, contrast, saturation, and sharpness can also be adjusted depending on personal preference.

The Sony E-mount affords compatibility with an extensive number of lenses and lens adapters.

Convenient USB charging allows you to charge the included lithium-ion battery in-camera via USB connection from either an AC outlet or PC source.

The Stamina battery power allows up to approximately 420 shots to be taken on a single charge. The InfoLITHIUM batteries also enable you to see the remaining percentage of battery power left.

PlayMemories Home software is pre-installed on the camera for automatic downloading to a PC when connected to offer support for viewing, organizing, editing, retouching, printing, and sharing imagery.


  1. Hi,
    I am looking into buying a new Sony camera, and as mentioned above the Series/models are a bit confusing. Basically I can buy a second hand NEX-7 for the same price as new A5000 from store (both with standard lens). The A5000`s Wifi and charging through cable/USB would definitely be valued. But i wonder if there would be a significant difference in quality in the pictures between the two models, to make up for the difference in price and specs? In order words, advice on which would be the best buy is appreciated?
    Looking forward to hearing from you

  2. Hi. I’m a beginner who’s thinking to upgrade from a compact camera to a mirrorless camera. Do you think it’s worth it to purchase a sony alpha 5000? Or any other suggestions??

    • Absolutely not. This camera is not even released to market in the US yet, and upon release this thing will be a whooping $500 bucks. Basically a same camera, which is called the NEX 3N can be had for under $300, and quite occasionally with added accessories bundle as well. It would be a total waste to get this camera for $500. Since you did mention that you are a beginner, if you are wanting some more features such as wifi/touchscreen and whatnot, a $500 can get you a 5R, or 5T if you shop around, which is a camera step above this new model.

  3. Checking Sony’s official UK site for information about the A5000, the size is qualified, in small print, and relates to ILC cameras with an APS-C sensor, built-in flash, and wi-fi/NFC connectivity.

    It’s this all-important qualification that supports Sony’s claim to be the smallest to house an APS-C sensor.

    In absolute terms, the GM-1 may be smaller, but it also has the smaller M4/3 sensor.

    It’s the marketing boys playing with words, again.

    • I’ll follow that up with the addition of the new fast 16-50mm zoom lens. I hadn’t heard you mention either of those products yet so was wondering if perhaps you weren’t impressed. Both seem like they are pretty big announcements in the mirrorless world.

  4. Oh crap they didn’t hear about the Lumix GM1 !

    Lumix GM1 has less weight and it’s smaller in every way, height, depth and wide if Sony had the time to compare, and and it got also Wifi…

  5. Not a bad choice for a camera to keep in the car or for someone upgrading from a point ‘n shoot. Certainly the latter is the target audience for this camera. The question: now that you can buy a Sony NEX-3N with kit lens for $349 from Walmart or B&H, does the average buyer think there is enough “value” to shell out almost twice as much for the a5000?

    • I have an NEX-3n w/ a kit lens I bought from Frys Black Friday sale for $299. Although I’m getting the A7 too, I wouldn’t feel the a5000 is worth the upgrade due to it’s higher price range. If it were an NEX-6 or NEX-7 upgrade then YES, I’d gladly buy it (if I wasn’t getting the A7 that is).

  6. Sony has now officially “jumped the shark”.

    When I saw Sony get serious about still photography a few years ago I wondered what road they would take. It is clear that they are rudderless and wish to take ALL roads and do ANYTHING to make a sale. But as in the RX-1, occasionally a blind squirrel does find an acorn.

    This is insane. They are wasting R&D

    • I’m not so sure that pure R&D will be wasted. We know that features in top end models filter down to more lowly models, and who is to say where the R&D that Sony put into the A7/A7r will end up?

      I wouldn’t be surprised to learn if the R&D departments of the other majors were now running around like headless chickens in the race to catch up.

      Perhaps the marketing department is to blame, not R&D?

      • of course! R&D only r&d’s what Marketing and Accounting allow it to

        But somehow I don’ think Nikon/Canon/Leica are too worried

        Got two words for you… QX-10 (ouch!!!!!)

        • Hi, allegretto. Like it.

          Funnily enough I did handle its bigger sibling, the QX100. Just out of curiosity, you understand, not that I had any intent on buying. Why would someone want this when the complete camera equivalent is only ยฃ200 or so more and is more user friendly? I can’t imagine the big names wanting to jump on this bandwagon.

          But I do think we should recognise that Sony does seem to be the only camera manufacturer IMHO capable of thinking outside of the box, not just merely tinkering around the edges of a well worn formula.

  7. Steve – I hope your recovery is quick!

    It’s strange Sony is touting the A5000 as the smallest ILC with Wifi. It seems that crown would go to the Panasonic GM1.

  8. Hi Steve
    Thank you a lot for your great reviews.
    But BTW … 30-45 day for a car repair ? ๐Ÿ™
    Must be single manยดs garage job ๐Ÿ™‚
    Keep going.

  9. Well I think Sony is a mess…but what I am thankful for is that you Steve …are not…glad you are OK or at least reasonably OK. I was in an accident just before Halloween…and got my car back ten days before Christmas . Yep , 45 day repair . I was only traveling about 25 mph….and the other driver was pulling out of a parking lot…I have a CR-V…she had a Honda Pilot…even at that low speed…it hurt…Take care and all the best in 2014

  10. can someone explain the technical reason for anyone (sony) to produce a tele (eg 135 f2) autofocus for nex?

    Sony shows off a body every 10 minutes, but the optics if you forget. I do not understand this policy. I would look for something more than the olympus om 100mm, but there is nothing without adapters. it is useless to small bodies then if we mount adapters to mount targets the size of a canon 1ds.

  11. So it has the sensor of the A3000? Plus the screen of the NEX3?

    So the successor of the NEX3 is going to be called A5000? Does this mean the new NEX5 is going to be called A7000? (And the new NEX7 will be A9000?)

    Sony has messed up their naming conventions so badly that I can’t figure out if they are upgrading the NEX3 or downgrading the NEX5.

    • Exactly my thoughts, too.

      Except for the Nex 7, which they’ve left alone, for now, unless one is very knowledgeable about the Nex range, it is impossible to work out the hierarchy and where each model fits. So, as you say, Low Budget Dave, is one upgrading or downgrading?

      I’m not a Sony basher, I still have the excellent R1, the 5N which gives me all I want from APS-C, and now I’m on a learning curve with the A7, but the number of Nex bodies is bordering on the ridiculous.

      • hmm, in case of Fuiji everybody is happy when they release a X100s upgrade with mainly some firmware updates installed to fix old problems. This one is competing against entry level M43 cameras and customers compare technical specifications.
        So 20 MP and WIFI+NFC sounds better (and is better) than the old 16MP without WIFI. Nobody has to upgrade his old NEX 3 though, it’s a camera to get new customers, you can’t wait for 2-3 years like in a pro body.

    • I understand what you say Joe, but we all as the customers of these manufacturers have a choice. If so many people didn’t bite every single time a newer than new camera was launched they’d soon stop releasing them so damn quick.

      i.e.: Teach em’ a lesson and keep your cash firmly in pocket!

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