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Sony NEX-5T packs NFC into compact body for £600

Sony's NEX-5T packs a 16.1-megapixel sensor, a 3-inch tiltable LCD and Wi-Fi and NFC to pair with your smart phone.

Andrew Lanxon
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
Andrew Lanxon
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With the NEX-5T, Sony has a new addition to its ever-popular line of interchangeable lens cameras. It takes the key specs of the existing NEX-5R camera but adds in NFC for quickly connecting to your smart phone. It's available from mid September for £600 including a lens.

The NEX-5T replaces the existing NEX-5R, although at first glance you might struggle to see what's new. Its 16.1-megapixel APS-C sized image sensor remains the same, as does the 3-inch tiltable LCD panel, the BIONZ image processor, the body size, weight and the Wi-Fi connectivity.

The new addition to the camera is NFC, which allows you to pair your camera to your smart phone simply by tapping them together. When connected, you can use your phone as a live-view screen and as a shutter, letting you get into the frame with your friends without having to set a self timer.

It'll work with any phone that has built in NFC, not just Sony's own phones. If you're an iPhone or other non-NFC enabled phone owner then you can still grab the PlayMemories Mobile app and connect the camera manually, but it'll take you a little while longer.

You can also change settings and activate creative modes from your phone, or use built-in apps on the NEX itself. It's not an Android-enabled smart snapper like the Samsung Galaxy Camera, but Sony has a few apps that bring features like time-lapse or action sequence photography.

At a hands on event, Sony also showed off a new entry level addition to its Alpha range of DSLRs. Aimed at photography newbies, the a3000 packs a 20.1-megapixel sensor, a host of creative shooting modes and a compact, lightweight body. It'll also be available in mid September with a price of around £370, making it a safe choice if you want to move your photography on from your phone snaps, but don't want to break the bank.

While the NEX-5T is an attractive camera, when you can snap up the NEX-5R for £400 with a lens, the addition of NFC doesn't really seem like enough to justify the extra expense. I'll leave the final verdict on the camera for the full review though.

What do you think to the camera? Is NFC technology enough to make you splash some more cash or would you want improved sensors and other bells and whistles to justify the money? Pop your thoughts in the comments below or over on our Facebook page

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The NEX-5T is the same size and weight as its predecessor.
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The button layout is basically identical too.
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It's available in black too, if you don't like the white shade.
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The 3-inch LCD screen can be tilted up to help with those awkward low-down shots.
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Or flip it over to take those vain self-portraits.
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Oops, it's lost its lens!
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Ah, there it is!
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It's easily small enough to sit on my hand.

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