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.
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.
What camera should I buy? your options explained
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.
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