Sony NEX-5T Review

Review posted 11/19/2013

Quick Take
  • APS-C sized image sensor great for image quality
  • CMOS image sensor helps with low light results
  • Fast autofocus eliminates shutter lag
  • Minimal shot to shot delays, even when using the flash
  • Up to 10 frames per second in continuous shot mode
  • Smaller and lighter camera versus other interchangeable lens models
  • Offers both built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity
  • Touch screen LCD is bright and sharp
  • Easy-to-use camera, thanks in part to touch screen
  • Having tiltable LCD is nice for using this camera with a tripod
  • Right-hand grip is a great size
  • Menu structure is poorly organized
  • Playback mode button is oddly placed
  • Movie recording button is too small and too tight to the camera body
  • Method of connecting the flash is odd
  • If flash isn't locked in place, it's easy to bump it loose
  • Start-up is a little slow versus similar cameras
  • Design doesn't quite have the charm of retro ILC cameras, such as Olympus PEN family
  • Lens really dominates the camera's look
  • Not enough advancements from its predecessor, the NEX-5R
Bottom Line
If you're someone who purchased last year's Sony NEX-5R ILC model, you aren't going to want to upgrade the recently released NEX-5T, as the two cameras very similar. The NEX-5T introduces NEC wireless capabilities to this family of ILC models, but otherwise the 5R and 5T are basically the same camera. That doesn't mean the Sony NEX-5T isn't a great camera. It offers very good image quality, an articulated LCD, built-in Wi-Fi and fast response times, all of which you'll find in one of the smaller mirrorless ILC cameras on the market. The introductory price on the NEX-5T is a bit lower than the NEX-5R's introductory price from last year, which is a nice advantage for those who may have closely considered the NEX-5R last year but ultimately chose to pass. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
In the late summer of 2013, Sony announced the "ultra-portable" αlpha NEX-5T compact camera system. The NEX-5T is Sony's first interchangeable lens camera capable of NFC (Near Field Communication) one touch wireless connectivity with compatible Android smartphones and tablets. After initial setup, this automatic connection allows instant video and still image sharing between your NEX-5T and mobile device.

If you don't have an NFC-capable Android device, no worries. The NEX-5T's built-in Wi-Fi can connect you to any iOS or Android device running one of Sony's free PlayMemories Mobile apps. Other PlayMemories apps include: Direct Upload, which allows you to send photos directly to Facebook or Flickr (more social networks on the way); Motion-shot, which combines several stills into one creative photo; and Time-Lapse, which stitches together several still photos captured over an extended period of time. Also, the NEX-5T includes a Smart Remote Control feature, which allows you to preview live images from your mobile device, adjust settings, and release the shutter button.

The NEX-5T also boasts a DSLR-sized 16.1 MP Exmor APS HD CMOS image sensor, a 3.0-inch tilting touch screen LCD display, and Fast Hybrid AF (autofocus) technology. Fast Hybrid AF uses a 99 phase detection AF that, when combined with Speed Priority Mode, allows the NEX-5T to capture up to 10 still frames per second.

Mike Kahn, director of the interchangeable lens camera business group at Sony said, "This new camera carries on the NEX-5 series' strong tradition of compactness and high performance. Available in a convenient, travel-friendly package with the compact SELP1650 power zoom kit lens, it's the ideal choice for step-up point-and-shoot users, smartphone photographers who want higher quality images and even photo enthusiasts who are looking for a more portable alternative to replace their DSLR."

Sony α NEX-5T Features
  • 16.1 megapixel Exmor APS-C HD CMOS image sensor
  • Kit version includes SELP1650 16-55mm zoom lens
  • 3.0-inch tilting touch screen LCD display
    • Only 1.2 inches deep when full retracted
    • Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization
  • Fast Hybrid AF
  • Speed Priority Mode capable of up to 10 frames per second
  • Full Programmable Control Dial
    • Fn (function) Button
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity
    • Near Field Communication (NFC) One Touch for Android smartphones and tablets
    • PlayMemories Mobile Apps for iOS and Android devices, including:
      • Direct Upload (to Facebook and Flickr)
      • Motion-Shot
      • Time-Lapse
    • Smart Remote Control feature

Available in silver, black, or white, the Sony NEX-5T will set you back about $700 in kit form (includes the 16-50mm SELP1650 lens), or $550 for body-only. Click our Buy button to see the most current online pricing.

What's in the box?:
  • NEX-5T body
  • 16-50mm lens (if purchased as a kit)
  • Flash and Flash Case
  • Rechargeable Battery
  • AC Adaptor
  • Shoulder Strap
  • Body Cap
  • Micro USB Cable
  • Software CD-ROM

Additional Product Views

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.