I started photography as my first serious hobby back in 2010. It was the time when DSLR cameras were the rage and everyone who had the big, black, bulky thing hanging on their necks made the impression of looking like a professional photographer. A couple of years later, the smaller and lighter Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera (MILC) burst into the scene to take a slice of the digital photography market. Over the years, MILC camera sales are growing and some consumers ditch their huge DSLR cameras in favor of a more compact camera with the same image quality. It’s the same reason I bought a 2nd-hand Sony NEX-5n camera, so I can travel with a camera without worrying too much about the weight and size.
I love my NEX-5n so much that I chose it over my DSLR camera as my photography weapon of choice when I was invited to be a blogger at a marathon event in Phuket, Thailand. Though I am aware of its limitations, I know how to work around them and I was able to get some good shots despite using only an 18-55mm kit lens.
These days, I rarely use my DSLR camera, I prefer my NEX-5n. But, it’s already an old system and feels obsolete as it lacks some of the essential features like WiFi or NFC connectivity for my smartphone. Wireless connectivity is important in the age of social media and there are times when the image quality of a smartphone camera is not enough and I want the superior image quality I can get from a camera with an APS-C sensor. I want to take photos from an MILC camera and access it immediately on my smartphone for editing and uploading. And this is why I did my research to find the ideal MILC camera with the features I need at an affordable price. And the best choice I found so far is the Sony A5000.
A look at the specs.
20.1MP CMOS sensor
Sensor size: 23.2 x 15.4 mm (APS-C)
BIONZ X image processor
ISO Range: 100 – 16000
Shutter speed range: 30 sec to 1/4000
25 AF points (Contras Detect)
Built-in flash, 4m at ISO 100
1/160 max Flash Sync Speed
3.5fps burst mode
460k-dot 3-inch tilting display
Full HD video recording @24fps
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
MPEG-4 or AVCHD video format
NP-FW50Li-Ion battery (420 shots CIPA)
110 x 63 x 36 mm
On paper, it doesn’t have significant size and weight difference from my NEX-5n, and some of the capabilities like high ISO range (16,000 max on the A5000 vs 25,600 max on the NEX-5n) and burst rate (3-4 fps A5000 vs 10 fps NEX-5n) are a step down. But, I rarely use those functions, I rarely go above ISO 6400 and 3 fps burst is enough for me because I’m not a sports shooter. The important feature that the A5000 have that I want is the Wifi and NFC connectivity. I want to take photos with the camera and use wireless tethering for uploading on the web. The improved autofocus, extra 3+ megapixels, and the 180-degree LCD screen tilt (for selfies because the NEX-5n can only go up 90 degrees) of the A5000 are good bonuses as well. Compact, excellent image quality, wireless connectivity, and good value for the money, those are the reasons why I think the A5000 is the ideal camera for travel and hobbyist photographers like me. That’s why I really want one.