Hi, I’m Amy Davies from Future Publishing’s Photography Testing Team and I’m here to look at the Sony A5000.
The a5000 sits at the entry-level end of Sony’s compact system camera line-up. Unlike the a3000, it has the same flat body type as what used to be called Sony NEX cameras – Sony has now dropped that branding altogether for its CSCs.
Featuring an APS-C format, 20.3 million-pixel sensor, other specifications include the latest Bionz X processing engine and built in Wi-Fi. This camera uses the E mount, as opposed to the A mount found on Sony DSLTs.
As the camera is so light, it’s easy to use one handed, with the chunky textured grip helping it to feel very secure in the hand. Also, most of the buttons are grouped on the right hand side of the camera, making them easy to reach with the thumb.
On top of the camera, around the shutter release is a switch for turning the camera on and off. There is also a zoom lever which can be used when a power zoom lens is mounted on the camera, such as this 16-50mm kit lens. You can also use this switch on the lens itself if you’d prefer.
This LCD screen here is not a touchscreen, nor is it fully articulating, but it does tilt up, which makes it useful for shooting from above, or for self portraits, but for shooting from other angles such as below, it’s less useful – although you could turn the camera upside down.
As with most other Sony cameras, many of the buttons on the back of the a5000 can be customised to the settings you use most often, which is useful.
This dial also doubles up as a four way navigational pad, and each of the directional keys can be customised, as can the button in the centre of the pad.
There’s also this button here, which has a question mark on it, which can be set to any one of 40 functions, including ISO, focus area and Picture Style.
There is no dial anywhere on the camera to switch between different shooting modes, such as aperture priority or fully automatic, but it can be changed in one of two ways. Either navigate to Shoot Mode in the menu – via the menu button – or set one of the custom buttons to quickly access Shoot Mode.
This scrolling dial here is used for altering aperture or shutter speed, depending on the mode you’re shooting in. When shooting in manual mode, you’ll need to press the down directional key to switch between the two parameters. If you’re using fully or semi-automatic modes, this down key accesses exposure compensation.
As we’ve sadly found with other Sony cameras, setting the autofocus point is a little annoying as there is no dedicated button. However you can set one of the customisable buttons to change the Focus Area mode, after which you’ll be able to move around the screen to the point you require.
If you want to change the point again later, you’ll need to go to Focus Area once more and scroll around again. It’s a long winded process that would have been much quicker with either a dedicated button, or a touchscreen.
On a positive note, Sony has decided to simplify its menu systems right across its camera range, so the awkward NEX menu of old is now gone, to be replaced with the more logical, Alpha DSLT style menu. It doesn’t take long to get used to this menu at all, and pretty much everything is where you’d expect it to be.
Sony cameras generally produce excellent images, and we have been very impressed with the performance of the camera, with it capable of producing highly detailed images with bright, punchy colours.
Autofocusing speeds are also pretty quick, especially in good light, while it is also adequate in lower light. We’ve also found that things like multi-purpose metering and automatic white balance are also good too.