Review: Sony Alpha NEX-5T Mirrorless Camera

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Today’s review is over the Sony Alpha NEX-5T Mirrorless Camera. This camera is the second camera in Sony’s NEX line. The Sony Alpha NEX-5T is one step up in quality and features from the NEX-3N but in general its hard to tell the difference between to the two cameras.

Sony Alpha NEX-5T Mirrorless Camera

This review is more of an introductory to the Sony Alpha NEX-5T since I was only able to test this camera for a short time, but I spent a lot of time researching the different NEX cameras. Image Source: Sony.Com

For more information, images of this camera, discount prices (maybe and if in stock), make sure to check out Sony’s product page on the Sony Alpha NEX-5T. But right now, Amazon has the best prices on this camera.

Please Note: This camera along with the rest of Sony Alpha NEX cameras have been discontinued. However, for many of the NEX cameras, there is a new camera that replaces them and is basically a newer more advanced version of the NEX camera. For the NEX-5T the Sony 5100 24MP (release date September 2, 2014!) will be the replacement.

Sony Alpha NEX-5T Mirrorless Camera

Just holding this camera in my hands tells me its easy to handle. The handgrip is a lot larger and more user friendly.  Shooting the camera, It felt “right” and I enjoyed using it. Just as the rest of the NEX cameras, its fast, easy to use, and takes great pictures. But with some flaws that I can’t live with…

For now, I will hold off on those issues and talk about the features and specs..

Sony Alpha NEX-5T Features and Specs

Sony Alpha NEX-5T


As with the Sony NEX-3N, the Sony Alpha NEX-5T has an impressive list of specs and the features aren’t to shabby! Below are the specs and features taken directly from the Amazon sales page for the  Sony Alpha NEX-5TImage Source:

16.1 MP APS-C size HD image sensor

You’ve never captured so much detail with a camera this size before. The NEX-5T features the same sensor format that Sony builds into the full-sized α DSLRs. With 13 times the area of the typical point-and-shoot image sensor, APS-C sensor size makes the difference between “snapshots” and “photographs,” delivering an exceptional combination of high resolution, high sensitivity and gorgeous, blurred backgrounds

Fast Hybrid AF

Sony’s advanced Fast Hybrid AF combines two technologies for outstanding performance: Phase detection auto focus for quick response that is ideal when tracking fast-moving subjects and contrast-detection auto focus for added precision. A perfect match that delivers optimal Auto Focus for fast, precise focusing in any scene, whether capturing stills or HD video.

Full HD Movies1 at 60p/60i/24p

The compact NEX-5T doesn’t just deliver incredible images; it is also features powerful video capture capabilities as well. Shoot HD Movies in your choice of super-smooth 60p, standard 60i or cinematic 24p, all at Full HD 1920×1080 resolution1. AVCHD codec delivers stunning picture quality. MP4 codec offers smaller files for easier upload to the web.

Instantly connect to smartphones and tablets

Easily share or transfer photos from your camera to an Android smartphone or Tablet with just one touch. No setup is required beyond downloading the free PlayMemories Mobile app to your device. Made possible by NFC technology, once connected, you can remotely control the camera’s shutter release from your mobile device and instantly receive the captured image via Wi-Fi.

PlayMemories Camera Apps

Take even more creative shots using PlayMemories Camera Apps. Create Time Lapse photos, Motion Shots or Cinematic Photos with downloaded apps and the push of a button. Other apps allow you to control your camera via smartphone or even post your photos directly to Facebook.

Flip-up 3.0 Touchscreen LCD

Sony Alpha NEX-5T

The NEX-5T is equipped with a tilt-able LCD screen that flips up 180-degrees without sacrificing the compactness for which the 5-series is renowned for. This makes taking great self-portraits incredibly easy since users can precisely compose shots, choosing to include people or objects in the frame for more satisfying results. This feature is also very useful for video blogging. Image Source:

Picture Effect mode

Ditch Photoshop and hours of editing. With 11 types of in-camera picture effects, you can create unique and exciting photos that really pop. Effects include: Soft Focus, Partial Color, Retro Photo, Miniature and more.

Auto Object Framing

Give your photos a professional look with Auto Object Framing. Auto Object Framing automatically recognizes a scene and subjects in your photos and crops a photo accordingly allowing you to have your original photo and a second cropped photo. Thus, creating ordinary photos into stunning compositions.

Sweep Panorama Technology

Create stunning vertical or horizontal landscape photos with just the touch of a button. It’s easy – simply press the shutter, sweep vertically or horizontally and the camera does the rest, continuously shooting images and stitching them together into one panoramic image.

Photo Creativity Touch interface

The Photo Creativity touch interface enables you to easily enjoy the creative expression of SLR-quality digital imaging without the complicated settings. Changes can be easily made using the control dial with results seen in real time on the LCD. Settings include; Background Defocus, Brightness, Color, Vividness and most Picture Effects.

Multi-interface terminal

Multi-interface Smart Accessory terminal greatly expands the connectivity options such as external flash units.

Up to ISO 25600 sensitivity with advanced noise reduction

Take gorgeous low light photos using the new Exmor sensor that features the same adaptive noise reduction technology found in Sony’s high end, full frame SLT-A99V DSLR. The NEX-5T offers a wide range of sensitivity from ISO 100 to ISO 25600.

Auto HDR mode

With Auto HDR its now easy to capture more dynamic range in your compositions than a single exposure can. The NEX-5T combines the best highlight detail from one shot, the best mid-tones from a second and the best shadow detail from a third to combine for one incredible shot (up to 6 EV stop range).

Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO)

Improves results with backlit subjects and recovers details hidden in shadows. Settings include Auto and Level with a choice of five operating levels and Off.

Clear Image Zoom

Utilizing Sony’s exclusive By Pixel Super Resolution Technology, Clear Image Zoom increases the effective focal length of your lens up to 2x by digitally magnifying the center of your image with nearly imperceptible degradation. It virtually doubles the effective focal length of whatever lens you’re using providing greater shooting flexibility.

Stamina battery power for up to 330 shots

Take up to 330 shots on a single charge with Sony lithium ion Stamina battery power. Sony’s Info LITHIUM battery system enables you to see the percent of power remaining, so you can keep shooting in confidence.

Accepts Sony E-mount lenses

Compatible with Sony’s wide selection of E-mount series of smaller, lighter lenses designed specifically for α NEX compact interchangeable lens cameras. Open up a world of endless creative options.

Face Detection/ Registration technology

The camera can automatically detect and register up to eight individual faces and adjust focus, exposure, white balance and flash to help deliver crisp, properly lit images of family and friends. It can also prioritize children and adults.

Six Creative Style settings

Control how the camera processes your images with six finishing styles: Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset and B&W. You can even fine-tune contrast, saturation, and sharpness to your personal taste.

Convenient USB charging

Easily recharge the camera via USB charging. Simply connect the bundled USB cable and recharge the battery without removing it from the camera, either via AC outlet or PC connection.

Final Thoughts

After playing with this camera, I do see a small benefit over the Sony NEX-3N but without the built in flash (have to purchase a flash at a $150) and still no viewfinder (at least you can purchase one for over $240!), you start to loose those minor benefits in the camera.

If you do not need a flash and you are happy with the view screen, then its worth purchasing. The flash does come in handy and it you need one of you plan to use an external slave flash at some point.

For me, those to things were a deal breaker. I needed a flash and didn’t want to purchase a flash. That gets me closer in price of the NEX-6. Or just purchasing the viewfinder at a later date will get you into the NEX-6 price point. So if you need those things, save your money and purchase a Sony NEX-6!

About James

James spends most of his free time using social media and loves to teach others about design, web development, CSS, SEO, and social media. He is addicted to Wordpress, social media, and technology. You can reach him on his personal website, Evolutionary Designs Blog, Do not forget to follow him on Twitter @element321

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