Sony Alpha A5000 review: Compact camera produces sharp-looking pics

sony a5000 blk glamour
At a Glance
  • Sony Alpha a5000

    Macworld Rating

Sony’s smallest and lightest interchangeable lens camera to date, the Alpha A5000 is worth flagging amongst rivals for featuring a physically large APS-C sensor that is well-endowed with 20 million pixels. That at least suggests image quality practically on a par with a DSLR camera.

sony a5000 silver front

Sony bundles the A5000 with an ultra-compact 16 to 50mm lens that’s operated by a switch rather than a twist of the wrist. The lens retracts into its housing when not in use to allow for a slim possible profile with attached lens in transit.

Keeping the tech bang up to date, Sony supplies the A5000 with Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity, plus a 3-inch backplate LCD that, in lieu of any means of fitting a viewfinder, flips up to face anyone looking into the camera lens.

Since this is the budget model in Sony’s line up, the A5000 does not have touch-screen operation, even though the button and control layout has been pared back to the bare minimum. It feels like a touchscreen might have been a possibility if the A5000 wasn’t positioned as the baby of the range.

sony a5000 white back

A zoom lever encircles the shutter release button, while a second zoom control is provided on the lens barrel itself for left-handed convenience. It takes about three seconds for the camera to power up and extend the lens to its maximum—not lightning fast but may be fine for what is a consumer model.

The A5000 might be small but it doesn’t feel compromised; everything is within reach and the body feels solid in the hands, despite its narrowish depth. Room has even been found to include a pop-up flash, hidden within the top plate.

A larger-than-average sensor for a compact, plus a high-quality kit lens, translats into sharply-defined, well-saturated, colorful results straight from the camera. Like the rest of the Sony Alpha range, rather than the usual 4:3 image aspect ratio of most digital compacts we’re here given the choice of 3:2 or 16:9, the latter at a reduced 17 megapixel resolution as it crops the image.

sony a5000 blk top

Bottom line

The A5000 provides one of the easiest and most accessible routes to achieving more professional-looking shots for anyone upgrading from a smartphone.

This story, "Sony Alpha A5000 review: Compact camera produces sharp-looking pics" was originally published by Macworld U.K..

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At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    Pros

    • Sharply detailed shots
    • Tilting LCD screen
    • Built-in flash

    Cons

    • No viewfinder
    • No hotshoe
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