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

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.

  • Features AF illuminator
    flash +/- compensation
  • Guide Number (m / ISO 100) 4
  • Weight 7.41 oz
  • Red Eye Reduction Yes
  • Digital camera type Interchangeable Lens camera
  • Sensor Resolution 20.1 Megapixel
  • Optical Zoom 3 x
  • Lens Aperture f/3.5-5.6
  • Focus Adjustment automatic
    manual
  • Min Focus Distance 9.8 in
  • Digital Zoom 4 x
  • Optical Sensor Size 15.6 x 23.5mm
  • Optical Sensor Type Exmor APS HD CMOS
  • Image Stabilizer optical (Steady Shot)
  • Sensor Resolution 20.1 pixels