Sony NEX-5T review

Mid-range NEX is replaced again

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  • Touchscreen
  • Wi-Fi/NFC
  • Large sensor
  • Small size


  • Non-standard hotshoe
  • Limited apps
  • Can't shoot filters in raw

Sony has taken to replacing its NEX cameras roughly once a year: sometimes with a big upgrade, sometimes with something relatively minor. This year's 5T replaces the 5R - and falls into the latter category.

It features the same 16.1-million pixel APS-C sensor and super-fast hybrid AF system as its predecessor. However, along with Wi-Fi connectivity, NFC has now been added.

Ratings in depth
Design 4

Features 4

Performance 4

Useability 4 5

Value 4

NFC has been a bit of a technology buzzword of late, with an increasing number of devices being equipped with it. Allowing for instant communication between devices without the hassle of having to enter in laborious Wi-Fi passwords, so far only Apple is conspicuous by its absence.

Last year's 5R was the first Sony CSC to feature Wi-Fi, with the big news coming in the shape of the downloadable apps that were available from Sony's PlayMemories store. Sony has upgraded some of the already existing apps and added new ones that can be downloaded to make this camera (and its predecessor) customisable as to how you want to use it.

The 921k dot resolution touchscreen on the back of the camera is a tiltable affair, moving through 180 degrees to face the front - handy for self-portraits. As before, there's no integrated flash, but unlike the NEX-3N, there is an accessories port on top of the camera for attaching one.

Last year's sensor and Bionz processor combination boasted an improvement in low-light performance, with the capability of shooting at ISO 100-25,600, something that's retained for the 5T.

Sony NEX 5T review

As standard, the NEX-5T comes equipped with a 16-50mm power zoom lens, which is much compact than the 18-55mm standard kit lens that used to be packaged with the NEX range. It seems Sony has listened to criticism that the standard lens made the camera seem a little unbalanced.


Much of the headline features of the 5T remain exactly the same as its predecessor. An integrated flash still doesn't make an appearance, but there remains an accessory port for an external flash. There is no standard hotshoe on the 5T though, so you will need to use Sony-specific accessories.

The 5T retains the improved sensitivity range of the 5N and 5R; that is, offering ISO 100-25,600. Sony says that it has worked hard over the past few development phases to improve the quality of images at the higher sensitivity values.

Fans of self-portraits, or of shooting from awkward angles, will be glad to see the return of the 180-degree tilting touchscreen. You can also tilt the screen down by 50 degrees - which is useful, but of course doesn't match the full articulating screens that offer complete flexibility.

Sitting in the middle of Sony's CSC range, it competes with the likes of the Olympus PEN E-PL5 and Panasonic G6, although, of those, only the latter also features Wi-Fi and NFC. Probably the closest camera is the Samsung NX300, which includes Wi-Fi and NFC and also has an APS-C sized sensor.

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera with Lens
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Wireless LANYes
Effective Camera Resolution16.1 Megapixel
Product Familyα NEX
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedMemory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Memory Stick XC-HG Duo, Secure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom3.1x, 3.1x (Lens 1) - 3.8x (Lens 2)
Digital ZoomNo
Brand NameSony
FeaturesContinuous Shooting Mode, Live View, Orientation Sensor, Face Detection
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsAVCHD, MPEG-4 AVC, H.264, MP4
Weight (Approximate)218 g
Image Sensor Size23.50 mm x 15.60 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4912 x 3264
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height58.8 mm
Width110.8 mm
Depth38.9 mm
Focal Length16 mm to 50 mm (Lens 1) - 55 mm to 210 mm (Lens 2)
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
External FlashOptional
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelNEX-5T
Product NameNEX-5T Body with Standard Zoom Lens & Telephoto Lens
Product Lineα NEX
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberNEX5TYB.CE
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Bigger sensor for better pictures.

The NEX-5T takes pictures with the speed and precision of a DSLR. A large 16.1 megapixel APS-C sensor delivers sharp shots and bright images even in low light. Capture the action with quick auto focus then connect to your smartphone or tablet through the built-in NFC and Wi-Fi.

Package Contents
  • α NEX-5T Mirrorless Camera
  • E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Lens
  • E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Lens
  • Battery
Limited Warranty1 Year