SONY A5000 SENSOR
A5000 uses a new 20 megapixel CMOS sensor (APS-C size as before). This sensor was used in A58 and got good reviews. As for A5000 image quality, it is hard for me to give a definitive conclusion since there is no software support for A5000 RAW files as of yet. As soon as Photoshop is able to read them I will update the review, but for now you will have to live with JPEG samples (available at the end of the review).
Maximum continuous shooting is possible at 4 frames per second which is a function that got degraded during years (first NEX-3 had 7fps, C3 and F3 had 6fps and 3N and A5000 only 4fps).
For an unknown reason, Sony chose to use one of the most irritating features in the world on this camera. I am talking about a fake shutter sound which is played back through the speaker at the bottom of the camera. Most camera manufacturers are trying to produce quieter cameras (almost every brand has a variation of silent shutter now) but Sony used fake shutter sound together with the real mechanical sound that is produced by shutter mechanism. There is no option to turn off this “feature” and I went many times through the entire menu system.
This alone would be a deal breaker for me if I was in the market for a camera like this.
SONY A5000 MEMORY AND BATTERY
A5000 uses the same battery model (NP-FW50) which is used in all NEX models ever made. It is strong enough for around 300 shots but the 16-50 lens might get this number even lower. Memory card is now moved to the left with micro HDMI and micro USB connectors. USB is also used for charging the battery inside the camera and you get the AC adaptor in the box.
Sadly, if you want to use the camera and charge another battery at the same time, you will have to buy external battery charger.
There is nothing new regarding AF system in this camera. It still uses contrast AF which is fast in good light buts gets much slower in lower light. AF assist lamp is built in. You also get peaking function which is great for manual focus and for users with old manual focus lenses.
I do not want to sound negative since I always try to find good things in each camera I review, but I cannot help to admit A5000 made me yawn from the moment it was announced to the moment I returned it to Sony office. This camera is currently in its fifth iteration in three and a half year time (first NEX-3 was announced in May 2010.) and it is clear that every new model got only minor changes in features and image quality performance. Some of the features even got downgraded with time like LCD screen quality, lack of external battery charger, shooting speed and the latest fake shutter sound. But still, some of the features are updated like more EV bracketing range, simpler menu system and WiFi + NFC connectivity. A5000 is able to shoot really great images and if a compact camera or a mobile phone was all that you used before, A5000 will be a major upgrade in image quality department, but still I cannot see a clear reason why this particular A5000 should be better than any of previous NEX-3 iterations. For me, NEX-F3 was the best one yet. For you, get the one you like most and which has the smallest price tag. They all work fine.
SONY A5000 PRO
- Sensor and image quality
- Grip shape
- Small and light
- Built-in flash
- Extended bracketing range (up to +-3EV)
- Menu system
- Full HD video with stereo sound
SONY A5000 CONS
- Fake shutter sound
- 3 second “selfie” timer
- LCD screen image quality
- No down-tilt on LCD
- No external battery charger
SONY A5000 PHOTO EXAMPLES
All SOOC JPEG’s:
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