Sony's smallest interchangeable lens camera yet (at it's introduction in January 2014), the a5000 features a large APS-C size sensor in a body that weighs less than eight ounces. Sony is claiming the small shooter has features, including autofocus, that are closer to the performance of a DSLR. We haven't been able to test out that claim yet, but we were impressed by the Sony NEX-3N last year, a budget mirrorless camera that also uses the APS-C sensor found in entry-level DSLRs. The burst shooting isn't the best at just 4 fps at the maximum, but the a5000 seems to pack quite a bit of power in a small package. Plus the a5000 doesn't seem to suffer from the minimal point-and-shoot battery life with 420 shots per charge. Without a viewfinder though, consumers that don't need something super tiny should look at entry-level DSLRs like the new Nikon D3300 before making a decision.
Sony has been at the forefront of the market for consumer electronics for the past 30 years by offering innovative imaging products in response to changes in the market. Sony has made cameras that are ideal for casual users, hobbyists, and professional photographers through their dedication to implementing the most current technology with a sleek and minimal style, resulting in an end result of the highest quality.
Sony was the first to put a full-frame sensor inside of a mirrorless camera, the A7 and A7R, and a little later, the A7S. While the first-of-its-kind cameras aren't without flaws, Sony executed their ideas fairly well and made some pretty solid cameras to start the new line.
Speaking of first-of-its kind, Sony also designed a “camera-without-a-camera,” the QX10 and QX100. These cameras have a sensor and lens, but no operating system—instead, consumers use their smartphone via wi-fi or NFC to operate the camera. While the cameras certainly have flaws (mainly in the slow response due to operating through wi-fi), we still have to applaud Sony for the way they've responded to the rise in smartphone photography (plus the cameras have actually sold remarkably well).
Sony has also been highly successful with the RX compact camera line that began with the RX100, a compact camera with a 1” sensor, excellent image quality and full manual modes. The camera has since seen some solid updates, and remains a good option. Sony also added the RX10, a camera with a 1” sensor but instead of focusing on compact size, adds a much bigger zoom.
While their focus is on more advanced models, it’s usually a pretty safe bet to pick up a Sony compact, even a budget priced one, and still get a lot of bang for your buck. We're also big fans of Sony's designs, making their cameras easy to use and adjust, like the HX400 that has an automatic sensor on the electronic viewfinder as well as a control ring around the lens.
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