Sony introduces the Sony A5000

“NEX” is no more. Sony just announced the A5000, which has a NEX form factor, a few nice improvements over the previous E mount models, and has caused in one mere day an impressive amount of whining in diverse web photo communities. As a fervent NEX user and advocate, I’ll give you my two cents on it.

SonyA5000A debate is raging as to whether it’s a NEX 3 successor, or NEX5 replacement. My opinion is : both. It actually merges those two models, and takes stuff from both. The squarish grip and 100 base ISO comes from the 5R. The straight bottom line, 460K, flips-only-up, LCD screen, built-in (genius) flash unit, electronic zoom lever, directly inherited from the “lowly” (and nevertheless super good) 3N.

So what improvements am I talking about ?? Namely, three. 1), it gets the awesome new 20MP sensor that was so far prisoner inside the infamous faux DLSR A3000. It’s a new and improved chip, that probably has the best IQ of the whole E mount line, A7 included (yes, you read that well). 2) as I said it gets a new base ISO of 100, and the new BIONZ X processor, hinting to better low light performance and increased AF speed. And 3) it also gets the brand new Alpha menus, launched with the A7/R. THAT alone in my view justifies the upgrade.

The whole package comes with the PZ 16-50, a lens I totally dislike for being horribly slow at all apertures, but that is nicely compact and extremely versatile, for 500€ or 600$. It’s a little overpriced for the bundle IMO, but street prices will drop immediately after release, as they often do. Big question. Am I getting one ? I very well might. Sure, I’m still waiting for the big upgrade, the next flasgship APS-C E mount, the true N7 successor. But liking to have two bodies alonside one another, I am very much considering this little guy as my back up camera. Availability is expected in late February. Stay tuned 😉



About marla2008

Shutterbug. Shallow DOF nut. Mother of Child. Student of the Horse.
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18 Responses to Sony introduces the Sony A5000

  1. Martin says:

    The death of the NEX menu is not really a huge loss – that’s the real “death of NEX”. It’s clear that this design is popular, and Sony will continue to sell it.

    American hands may prefer the A3000, according to many on dpreview, but I prefer the size of the NEX-7.

  2. padam says:

    The A3000 shaped body makes a lot of sense IF they put stabilization in it (there is definitely more real estate for that) but they are playing a game with some wildcards hidden in their packets for the later rounds of the game.
    Yes I feel the 6/7 hits the sweet spot in terms of size/ergonomics. The A7 EVF seemed superb but not in the best spot(not too bad either), so I wonder if they can actually use the same optics with the RF placement.
    I guess sooner or later (when they have sold enough “dated” cameras) they will come out with one that has All the features that they can actually put in and also with the more optimal lesser pixel sensor (probably the 16mp not the 20mp because of the hybrid af not existing in the latter – for now), like EVF And touchscreen (magnifying is just sometimes more consistent for me than peaking and it is slower to select without it) but “the best camera of tomorrow will not shoot a picture today”
    So maybe I should have bought the bloody EVF for the 5N a long long time ago *sigh*

    So the A5000 is nice but they should stop this differentiation at the marketing department, it should have got a better LCD at least if there is no other option to view and compose. But at least the picture will look much better when viewed on other devices 🙂 Even the 5N LCD is misleading for me and at times looks much worse than I expect it to (so I misjudge the exposure) but that is still better than the opposite 🙂

    Don’t know why I ranted so much (sorry for that) but Sony is confusing me – as well 🙂

    • marla2008 says:

      In practical use, I never had much (if any at all !) complains with the 3N’s LCD 460K unit. The 230K from the SLT A-37, and A3000, is infamous though !! I did like the A37 but ditched it within 24 hours because that screen was just totally useless, and maddeningly frustrating to boot. 460K has been the norm during a few years and I find it quite acceptable. Do I prefer the 900K ? Sure, on paper. Did I ever really notice a true difference with the 460 ? In *all* honesty, I can’t recall doing so…
      I personally prefer having an EVF, and yes the new one in the A7 is the *one* thing I do regret from this camera, it’s totally awesome. Could they fit it in the N7 successor ? They might, since they don’t have an FF sensor to fit in there as well, so there is more room than in the A7/R. I shoot Manual mode only (or 99.9% of the time anyway), so being able to accurately judge exposure is crucial to me (all the more so as I’m a strict jpeg shooter !). I never had any issue doing that with the 5N, 6, C3, 7, or even 3N. Weirdly enough the only that gave me trouble was the A7, because the exposure preview works differently, and you truly have to expose to the right light crazy to have a well exposed image. I remember shooting on a beach, with a glaring sun, and getting proper exposure and focus with a fast prime wide open and Manual exposure mode, in the Sunny Weather mode. Was not particularly easy, but I got fine shots, on that lowly 460K screen. So not a deal breaker at all for me 😉

  3. mjwc1 says:

    Neat summary, Claire.
    Does this little guy have an EVF option, or is it LCD only?

  4. marla2008 says:

    A used NEX6 is the most compelling NEX proposition at this point… until you actually handle a 7 😉

  5. bruce says:

    Without an EVF not for me. I like the sensor, at least I think I would. More to come?

  6. padam says:

    Why is this co cheap?

    I know what I would buy if I had to choose 🙂

    • marla2008 says:

      Because it’s being discontinued and about to be *finally* replaced ! It’s an amazing deal, and if didn’t save for the successor, I’d pick a second one up !!

  7. Alf says:

    You wrote “best IQ of the whole E mount line, A7 included” to get a reaction, didn’t you? Here’s the reaction:
    Not even close?

    • marla2008 says:

      Thanks Alf 🙂 No, no reaction fishing, this is my personal blog so I just speak my mind, having a tiny readership keeps things pretty peaceful, just how I like it 😉 I’m pretty amazed at the DXO ratings of this cam, is that from RAW files ? I think the rub with the A7 is a very poor jpeg engine.

      • Alf says:

        But that’s the magic, you don’t need RAW files with A7/R, just switch to Extra Fine JPEG. There’s a reason they’re 20MB files, and it’s not the resolution that changes. Sony’s JPEG engine before the A7 was worse than pretty much everyone else’s, it’s class leading now.

  8. marla2008 says:

    Except in real life it doesn’t work that way. How do I know ? I shot two different A7 units over the course of two weeks, trying hard to adapt to the body and give it a fair chance to deliver on par with the N7. The fact I didn’t like it doesn’t take anything from it, of from the enjoyment you can have with it, should you have one. I don’t see why the need to “defend” it, it’s just a camera, you know 😉

  9. marla2008 says:

    I’ve shot every brand on the market except Ricoh, and I was fine with the previous Sony jpeg engine. The new one, I’ll pass.

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