Sony nixes NEX, announces Alpha A5000 mirrorless


posted Monday, January 6, 2014 at 8:00 PM EST


The change is, it would seem, now official. Sony's NEX camera brand appears to be no more, folded into the company's overall Alpha ecosystem. The rumor mill had predicted as much after the debut of the full-frame, FE-mount Alpha A7 and A7R compact system cameras, neither of which sported NEX branding, but the 20.1 megapixel Sony A5000 is the first compact, crop sensor-shod, E-mount camera to forego the moniker. (Technically, the A3000 is also a crop-sensor, E-mount model without a mirror, but it features SLR / SLT-like styling, which made the lack of a NEX badge more understandable.) Sony tells us that the A5000 sits above the existing NEX-3N and Alpha A3000 in its model line, and beneath the NEX-5T and Alpha A58.

Conceptually, the Sony A5000 is quite similar to the NEX-3N, although it features styling more reminiscent of the NEX-5T, including a generous hand grip. Like the 3N, the A5000 has a built-in popup flash, lacks a hot shoe, and features a 180-degree tilting LCD monitor. It also has a very similar control layout, including a rocker control for power zoom lenses, although there is one new control -- a rear-panel delete button. And its internals are also similar, with 3N-like frame rates, sensitivity range, and contrast detect-only autofocus. (But there is a new BIONZ X processor, to account for the higher resolution.)

The Sony A5000 will be available in black, silver, and white-bodied versions.

But unlike the NEX-3N -- and in common with the NEX-5T -- the A5000 features Wi-Fi wireless networking connectivity and Near Field Communications setup. And it also sits between the two cameras in terms of battery life.

The Sony A5000 ships with a Sony E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS lens, a stabilized, power zoom optic which covers everything from a 24mm-equivalent wide angle to a 75mm-equivalent telephoto. Available from March 2014 in white, black, and silver-bodied versions, the Sony A5000 kit is priced at US$600.

Interested in Sony's first APS-C, Alpha-without-the-NEX mirrorless camera? Learn more in our Sony A5000 preview!