NEX Disappears — A5000 Appears

(news & commentary)


The NEX to Alpha-only transition is fully underway now, as Sony officially launched the NEX-3N successor, the A5000 (also known as the ILCE-5000). This marks the fifth generation of the small (formerly NEX) mirrorless camera. 

New to the update is a 20.1mp sensor, WiFi with NFC one-touch connection, support for Sony's PlayMemory applications, and the use of the newest BIONZ processor, which adjusts sharpening and other controls to ISO and detail. In virtually other aspect, the A5000 is recognizable as a NEX-3N update, right down to size and weight and other critical specifications. So most of the upgrade is internal (sensor, processor, communications) and naming. 

I'm not convinced at the new Sony naming and marketing. Sony started from a confused position ("it's both an Alpha and a NEX") and has moved to a position that can be as confusing to those who aren't paying close attention ("everything is an Alpha, there is no NEX"). I'm hoping that Sony will finish this transition fast and that the naming of Alpha models will be clear. That said, we now have a DSLR-like A3000 and a not-at-all-DSLR-like A5000. Something still seems very wrong with this new naming approach.

The A5000 seems like a pretty healthy update to the NEX-3 models, and with the 16-50mm kit lens at US$600 should prove to be a solid product for those looking for something highly competent in image quality, yet remarkably small.

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