Sony has just registered a new camera in Taiwan – and sources are reporting that it could be called the Sony A5 or Sony A6. While Sony has some fantastic high-end full frame cameras, such as the Sony A7S III (opens in new tab) and Sony A7R IV (opens in new tab), and some great APS-C cameras, such as the Sony A6400 (opens in new tab), there's been an affordable full-frame camera-shaped hole in Sony's line-up that's been missing for a while.
This is where the Sony A5 (or Sony A6, as it could be called) is rumored to sit, likely competing with cameras such as the Canon EOS RP (opens in new tab) and the newly announced Nikon Z5 (opens in new tab).
• Read more: Best Sony camera (opens in new tab)
So what exactly could this Sony A5/ A6 camera look like? And what sort of specs should we be expecting? We break down the latest rumors below.
• More details on burst mode and video specs under 'Specs & features'
• Fresh rumors on the potential design of the Sony A5/ A6 under 'Design'
Sony A5/ A6 specs & features
Rumor website Mirrorless Rumors has collated (opens in new tab) some of the more reputable rumors that they've heard regarding the Sony A5/ A6. The upcoming camera is rumored to be an entry-level full frame E-mount camera, which is something that Sony are currently sorely lacking in their full frame line-up.
One of the most interesting rumors is that the Sony A5/ A6 will be something completely different from Sony's current line-up – so we won't just be seeing anther iteration of either the A7 or the A9 series.
Mirrorless Rumors has also shared rumors from less well-known sources as well, so be careful to take these with a pinch of salt. Apparently the Sony A5/ A6 won't have an EVF (Electronic Viewfinder). This would mean that users would have to frame all of their images solely using the screen on the back of the camera, which might put some consumers off. Whether users will be able to buy an extra attachable viewfinder, like the Canon EOS M6 Mark II (opens in new tab), is yet to be seen.
Another rumor has suggested that the Sony A5/ A6 will be very compact, looking more like an A6xxx, rather than an A7 or A9.
NEW: Fresh rumors have given more details on the specs of the Sony A5/ A6. Apparently this upcoming full frame mirrorless camera will have a burst mode of up to 5fps, which isn't particularly fast for a mirrorless camera (the Sony A6000 (opens in new tab) can hit up to 11fps).
However, there's also some interesting news regarding the video capabilities of the A5/ A6. Apparently it'll be able to record 4K 24p 10bit 100mbps and 4K 30p 10bit 100mbps. There's even talk (opens in new tab) that it'll be able to shoot 4K 50/60p as well, although apparently it's "really cripped" with "no audio, cropped and works only in s&q mode".
Sony A5/ A6 design
With the registration of the Sony A5/ A6 in Taiwan, we've now got some official details on what this upcoming camera will definitely have. The battery will be the NP-FZ100, which is the same battery that's used on the Sony A7R MK IV (opens in new tab), Sony A9 (opens in new tab) and more of Sony's mirrorless range. Meanwhile, the Sony A5/ A6 will also include a Type-C USB input and a single SD card slot.
A single card slot definitely points to this being a camera for entry-level use, as professionals are unlikely to use any camera that doesn't have dual card slots. In addition, opting to use SD cards over the more powerful, but much more expensive, CFExpress cards also shows that the Sony A5/ A6 will lean towards entry-level users.
The camera registration also shows that the Sony A5/ A6 will have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which is pretty standard for cameras these days. In addition, the camera will have both a mic inport and a headphone jack, which could potentially point towards this camera being aimed at video enthusiasts/ vloggers. Seeing as Sony already has a lot of fans for its video capabilities, we're not surprised to see them try to capture this part of the market as well.
NEW: New rumors have surfaced regarding the Sony A5/ A6. According to (opens in new tab) Mirrorless Rumors, apparently this upcoming entry-level full frame mirrorless camera will have a new body design similar to the A5xxx and A6xxx lines. The body will be constructed from a mixture of metal and plastic, which should help to keep the camera lightweight.
However, the grip will apparently still be "pretty large to accommodate the battery". Considering this full frame camera looks set to tempt vloggers, a long-lasting battery will be of particular importance, so it's gratifying to hear that the Sony A5/ A6 won't be hindered by a less powerful battery in order to keep the profile of the body smaller.
On the flip side, presumably to help slim down the body of the Sony A5/ A6, there will be a pop-up EVF (electronic viewfinder) with 770,000 pixels (2.3m points) with 0.6x magnification. In addition, the Sony A5/ A6 will also feature a touch screen like the Sony A7S III (opens in new tab).
While any information on the release date or pricing of the Sony A5/ A6 is merely speculation at the moment, there have been a few details leaked. Apparently, there could be announcement for the Sony A5/ A6 around mid-September. However, it's very possible that COVID 19 may have disrupted this timelines, so we might be seeing this camera appear later in the year – or possibly even 2021.
In terms of pricing, an unconfirmed rumor has suggested that it could sit at the $1,000 mark. This would make it far cheaper than any of the other current models in Sony's full frame line-up (however, some of the older models, such as the Sony A7 (opens in new tab), are similarly priced). It would also make it less expensive than the Sony A6600 (opens in new tab), which is Sony's top-of-the-range APS-C mirrorless camera.