Sony's fifth entry-level ILC less than $600 debuts at CES

/ Updated: 7 January 2014 1:00 am GMT

LAS VEGAS -- Piling on the interchangeable-lens models at the low end, Sony adds to its ILCE line of cameras with the Alpha ILCE-5000 (A5000). That gives the compay 5 models with kit prices between $350 and $600. And if it's not confusing enough, the older, similarly priced NEX-5T has notably better specifications almost all around.

The A5000 basically looks like the traditional (formerly) NEX design combined with the innards of the A3000, and with a better LCD and EVF, the big grip of the 5T, plus Wi-Fi and NFC. The biggest problem I foresee is that the A3000 has pretty poor autofocus performance -- Sony has accomplished much technically over the past few years, but its 25-area contrast is not one of its brighter spots -- and the A5000 uses the same AF system. Image quality should be good, though.

Sony's current offerings less than $600:

  Sony Alpha ILCE-3000
(A3000)
Sony Alpha ILCE-5000 (A5000) Sony Alpha NEX-3N Sony Alpha NEX-5T Sony Alpha SLT-A58
Sensor effective resolution 20.1MP Exmor HD CMOS 20.1MP Exmor HD CMOS 16.1MP Exmor HD CMOS 16.1mp Exmor HD CMOS 20.1MP Exmor HD CMOS
23.5 x 15.6mm 23.2 x 15.4mm 23.5 x 15.6mm 23.5 x 15.6mm 23.2 x 15.4mm
Focal - length multiplier 1.5x 1.5x 1.5x 1.5x 1.5x
Sensitivity range ISO 100 - ISO 16000 ISO 100 - ISO 16000 ISO 200 - ISO 16000 ISO 100 - ISO 25600 ISO 100 - ISO 16000
Burst shooting 2.5fps
5 raw + JPEG/ 13 JPEG
(3.5fps with fixed exposure)
2.5fps
n/a
2.5fps
5 raw/9 JPEG
n/a
3fps
11 raw/15 JPEG
(10fps with fixed exposure)
5fps
6 raw/7 JPEG
Viewfinder (mag/ effective mag) EVF
0.5 inch/ 201,600 dots
100% coverage
0.70x/0.59x
None None Optional OLED EVF
0.5 inch/ 480,000 dots
100% coverage
0.88x/0.59x
Autofocus 25-area contrast AF 25-area contrast AF 25-area contrast AF 99-point phase detection, 25-area contrast AF 15-pt phase-detection
3 cross-type
AF sensitivity 0 - 20 EV 0 - 20 EV 0 - 20 EV 0 - 20 EV -1 to 18 EV
Shutter speed 1/4,000 to 30 seconds; bulb; 1/160 x-sync 30-1/4,000 sec.; bulb; 1/160 sec x-sync 30-1/4,000 sec.; bulb; 1/160 sec x-sync 30-1/4,000 sec.; bulb; 1/160 sec x-sync 1/4,000 to 30 seconds; bulb; 1/160 x-sync
Metering 1,200 zone 1,200 zone 1,200 zone 1,200 zone 1,200 zone
Metering sensitivity 0 - 20 EV 0 - 20 EV 0 - 20 EV 0 - 20 EV n/a
Best video AVCHD
1080/60i @ 24, 17Mbps, 1080/24p @ 24, 17Mbps; H.264 MPEG-4 1440 x 1080/30p @ 12Mbps
AVCHD
1080/60i/30p @ 24, 17Mbps, 1080/24p @ 24, 17Mbps
AVCHD
1080/60i @ 24, 17Mbps, 1080/24p @ 24, 17Mbps
AVCHD 1080/60p @ 28, 24Mbps, 1080/ 24p @ 24, 17Mbps AVCHD 1080/60i/ 50i/25p/24p @ 24Mbps
Audio Stereo Stereo Stereo; mic input Stereo, mic input Stereo; mic input
Manual aperture and shutter in video n/a n/a Yes n/a n/a
IS Optical Optical Optical Optical Sensor shift
LCD size 3-inch fixed
230,400 dots
3-inch fixed
460,800 dots
3-inch tilting
460,800 dots
3-inch tilting touch screen
921,600 dots
2.7-inch tilting
460,800 dots
Memory slots 1 x SDXC 1 x SDXC 1 x SDXC 1 x SDXC 1 x SDXC
Wireless flash No No No No Yes
Wireless connection No Wi-Fi, NFC Wi-Fi Wi-Fi, NFC No
Battery life (CIPA rating) 480 shots 420 shots 480 shots 430 shots 690 shots
Size (WHD, inches) 4.0 x 2.3 x 1.5 4.5 x 2.5 x 1.5 4.3 x 2.4 x 1.4 4.4 x 2.4 x 1.6 5.1 x 3.8 x 3.1
Body operating weight (ounces) 14.2 9.5 (est.) 7.4 (est.) 9.7 (without flash) 17.4 (est.)
Mfr. price n/a n/a n/a $449.99 (body only) n/a
$349.99 (with 18-55mm lens) $599.99 (with 16-50mm PZ lens) $399.99 (with 16-50mm PZ lens) $599.99 (with 16-50mm PZ lens) $499.99 (with 18-55mm lens)
n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Release date September 2013 March 2014 April 2013 September 2013 April 2013

At this price, the camera competes with dSLR models like the Nikon D3200 . The superior performance of the phase-detection autofocus and the faster startup of dSLRs makes them much more appropriate for typical kids-and-pets photography.

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Where to Buy

Sony Alpha ILCE-A5000 (with 16-50mm PZ lens, Black)

Part Number: ILCE-5000L/B
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Regional specs shown for US. UK specs are unavailable.

  • Digital camera type Interchangeable Lens camera
  • Optical Zoom 3 x
  • Optical Sensor Type Exmor APS HD CMOS
  • Sensor Resolution 20.1 Megapixel
  • Image Stabilizer optical (Steady Shot)
  • Optical Sensor Size 15.6 x 23.5mm