Sony has already drawn some attention in 2014 by revealing the first 4K Handycam, but it also quietly snuck out a really good still camera as well. Meet the Alpha A5000, a mirrorless camera with a lot to love.
No Mirror, No Problem
Those familiar with Sony’s still cameras won’t be surprised to learn this largely sticks to what Sony’s offered previously in the market. Essentially the Alpha A5000 is halfway between a tiny fixed-lens compact and a full-featured DSLR. It’s got the usual compact form factor, at 4.3 by 2.5 by 1.4 inches, and it comes with the Sony E Mount. So you can still tuck this in a pocket, or throw it in a backpack, but you can also bring along a bunch of lenses.
Perhaps the most important aspect of any camera is the size of the sensor, and for a small camera, this does pretty well. The APS-C-sized, CMOS sensor has an effective 20.1 megapixels to it, for example, and actually has some fairly robust video features larded on top of it as well: It can shoot 1080p up to 60 frames a second, either in PAL or NTSC, and, of course, you can shoot in either JPG or RAW formats. Also helping matters is that Sony has included a decent kit lens with the package, with a 16-50mm focus range.
Small But Powerful
In short, Sony’s delivered a good “compromise” camera for photographers who want to swap out their point-and-shoot cameras for something a little more powerful, but don’t want to upgrade to a bulky DSLR. That said, though, power in a tiny package does not come cheap; Sony’s asking for $600 for the overall kit, although the body will likely also be available for a lower price if you’ve got some E-mounts already. It’ll hit the streets March 19th.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.