Sony NEX-5T review

Mid-range NEX is replaced again

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The Sony NEX-5R was definite upgrade from the 5N, but the 5T only really brings NFC to the party - which is a valuable addition if you've got a compatible device, but certainly doesn't make it worth the upgrade if you've already invested in a 5R.

That said, if you're looking for a new compact system camera, the 5T is definitely worthy of your consideration, offering a lot in its diminutive package, including excellent connectivity, a tilting touchscreen, large (comparatively) APS-C sensor and the potential that comes with the PlayMemories store.

Unfortunately, that's one of the biggest let-downs of the camera: the store could be so much better. As it is, there's just a sprinkling of apps, most of which are expensive downloads. The free apps aren't particularly revolutionary, with one of them doing something the camera can already do. We hope Sony develops the app store a bit further in future to give this particular function real appeal.

Aside from that, the NEX-5T produces excellent images with vibrant colours and fantastic detail. It's also priced very competitively when compared to the Panasonic G6, despite its relative newness and larger sensor size.

We liked

There's plenty to like about the 5T including its small size and tilting touchscreen. The inclusion of Wi-Fi is fast becoming a must-have feature of a camera, but here it is implemented particularly well, making it easy to transfer images across or to take control of the camera remotely. The Smart Remote function on this camera allows you to take greater control of settings, including aperture and shutter speed when compared to some of the mobile remote controls out there.

We disliked

With the promise of apps, Sony has the chance to really deliver here, but unfortunately it doesn't. The 5T has to compete with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy NX, with its full Android operating system offering an incredible array of photographic apps. Sony seems to be stagnating with its PlayMemories store by only offering very basic or expensive apps for download. Hopefully the company can pick up the pace here and introduce some interesting new downloads.

Final verdict

Sony has once again delivered an excellent camera for it's NEX range. Sitting in the middle of the line-up, this would be a great choice for a wide range of photographers, including both beginners and those looking for something a little more advanced.

The touchscreen and customisable buttons and dial make it swift and easy to use, while the addition of NFC means connecting the camera is an absolute doddle if you have a compatible device. If you don't, hooking up via Wi-Fi is still pretty easy, but this is ostensibly the same camera as the NEX-5R, which you may be able to find for slightly cheaper than the 5T.

This camera is worth a look if you're in the market for an affordable compact system camera. Sony has a decent range of lenses available now, and this number is growing. The larger sensor may appeal to some over the comparable cameras from Olympus and Panasonic, while we live in hope that the PlayMemories store will become more useful in time.

First reviewed 4th October 2013

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