The turn of the century marked huge advancements in the photography world. In 1999 the first DSLR camera was sold, and a storm of hobbyists and professionals flocked to the new technology.
Many found that the weight and the bulk of a DSLR were too much for constant, everyday use and began searching for something better. By 2004 the first mirrorless camera was developed by Epson. Shortly after, other more prominent companies began the development of the smaller, lighter and easier to use mirrorless cameras.
The Sony Alpha A500 is an entry-level, budget-friendly mirrorless camera that offers the inexperienced and experienced photographers alike a chance to take stunning, real-life photos in any lighting or setting.
What is the Sony Alpha a5000 ILCE-5000L 20.1 MP Mirrorless Digital Camera - Black - 16-50mm Lens and How Does it Work?
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The Sony Alpha is a mirrorless camera, also known as a Compact System Cameras (CSCs) because unlike a DSLR, they don’t rely on mirrors to refract light to the viewfinder. In fact, most mirrorless cameras don’t even have viewfinders. If they do, it is electronic and not physical.
Most mirrorless cameras, including the Alpha A5000, use an LCD screen. Some screens are touch, others tilt and twist, and some do both, while even others do neither. The Sony Alpha though uses a large 3-inch tilting screen that can be flipped up for shots including the photographer.
The Sony A5000 is a compact mirrorless camera that uses sensors for autofocus, shutter speed and image and video capture.
The camera view is presented on the LCD screen, and the camera is without a viewfinder. Because the camera is mirrorless, Sony was able to make the unit even more compact and near weightless. Depending on the lens used, the camera is suitable for all day use and carry without worry of fatigue.
Just like any other digital camera, the A5000 more resembles and point and shoot instead of a professional DSLR with giant lenses and bulky equipment. Though, not to be outdone, the Alpha A5000 has the ability to expand to many different features and equipment, lenses and microphones.
What Makes The Sony Alpha A5000 Unique?
Sony has continuously gone out of their way to improve each model of their camera line up, and the A5000 is no exception.
Aside from making one of the most compact and lightweight designs available, the A5000 uses a lithium-ion battery that can be recharged quickly to get you back to taking video and photos. The battery is capable of snapping over 1000 photos or an hour of video before needing a recharge. While this doesn’t compare to the larger DSLR camera batteries, it is still impressive in the compact mirrorless world.
The A500 also has wireless capabilities that allow the camera to connect to various apps and websites for expanded image enhancement and fine-tuning. You can download the PlayMemories Mobile app to add features to your image capture that aren’t available anywhere else.
Some features of the mobile apps are free, such as image retouching, skin smoothing, red-eye reduction and others. Some features, such as time-lapse and video contortions are paid features. Depending on your needs and experiences, these apps can make or break your photograph.
While you can find the A5000 as a body only, it will generally come with a single zoom lens that ranges from 15 to 50mm. Of course, being a Sony product, there are many other lenses and additions for you to choose from.
Boom mics, standard mics, flash and focus lenses are all available. In total, the A5000 can adapt to use over 90 different flashes, lenses and microphones.
Just because the camera is considered an entry-level camera, don’t let that fool you. The ultra-compact design makes the Alpha A5000 a versatile tool in any photographers handbag. Quick shots, instant movies, and spontaneous shots in otherwise awkward positions or angles can be achieved with the Alpha A500.
The video recording is done in full 1080p HD, and images adjust to shutter speeds and ISO sensitivity ranging from 100 to 16000. You will also have the ability to use built-in filters and adjustments, such as the toy filter.
The lenses utilize the Bionz X processor that has advancements to allow for near faultless focus. The processors work almost instantly and without fail in normal and bright lighting. Though, in lower light settings it can take a while to find the focal point. It will, eventually, though and the result is a perfectly focused image every time.
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As the style suggests, the entry-level camera can be picked up for a relatively low price. With Sony continuing the line to include the A5100 and the A6000 series, the price continues to drop. Currently, you can find the A5000 for less than $350.
There are other costs, of course, depending on your usage and needs. If you want components such as different lenses, microphones or flashes, you can purchase those as needed and add to your collection over time.
There are well over 100 different applications for the Alpha A5000. These include:
- Battery packs
- AC Adapters
- Lens covers and protectors
- Tripods and monopods
- Remote controls
Depending on your budget and needs, you can find yourself spending over $100 per purchase or as little as $20 for various accessories. It all boils down to how much you will be using the camera, what types of video or images you will be capturing and what your budget for your profession or hobby is.
As with most other Sony cameras, the Alpha A5000 was well received. The entry-level pricing caught the attention of beginners and hobbyists, while the features and expansion opportunities made even professional photographers take pause.
Most of the reviews and reports have had nothing but great things to say and accolades for the camera. There was some concern with the available resolution native to the A5000, and Sony addressed this issue by releasing the 24 megapixels A5100.
Though, for most needs and users, the 20.1 megapixel A5000 is plenty good enough for everyday use.
A lot of the reviews stated that the camera was used for normal settings such as landscape photography and low movement events like weddings and gatherings. The image quality of the pictures was well received and reviewed, and the only negative remarks were given by those that admitted they didn’t properly know how to use a mirrorless camera.
The downside to the A5000, aside from a lower megapixel processor, was the lack of an electronic viewfinder. Though viewfinders are rare on mirrorless cameras, the desire for them is still there.
To address this issue, Sony uses a tilting LCD screen, but it isn’t touch compatible. Higher-end models do have touch screens which allow for fewer dials and knobs to get in the way of shooting sessions.
The other most common frowned upon feature was the lack of third party lens adaption. Because the A5000 is a proprietary Sony camera and not a Four Thirds adaptive lens mount, the lens choices are limited to those manufactured specifically for the A5000 camera.
While the choices for lenses is still well over 30 different lenses, it doesn’t compare with the Four Thirds mount options that are currently well into the 100s.
Overall, though, the Sony Alpha A5000 has rave reviews, five-star comments and recommended purchase reports.
How It Compares
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Comparing the Sony A5000 to other mirrorless cameras will give you mixed results. There are plenty of other options that will have higher variable focal points, larger resolutions and more features such as electronic viewfinders and touch LCD screens.
However, in comparable price ranges, the A5000 is hard to beat. If you are trying to stick to a certain budget, the A5000 is not only affordable but has everything you need right out of the box to start taking professional style photographs.
Staying in the price range of the A5000, for comparable cameras, you will find that you end up with a body-only camera and will need to spend more money to purchase a compatible lens. The A5000 ships with a 14-50mm lens that is suitable for most situations and image capture opportunities.
As with any professional digital camera that is not a point and shoot, you will end up making separate purchases to expand the abilities of the camera. This holds true with near every DLSR or mirrorless camera on the market.
If you want to increase your budget and stick with a trusted name and quality camera, you can look for the A5100 or the A6000, both of which will cost more than the A5000 but have higher resolutions and abilities that make the extra cost worth it.
That being said, for the price, what you get out of the box is good enough to turn your hobby into a profession, and you can easily begin churning out expert images of videos without much knowledge of the process. Sony makes using the A5000 intuitive and simple for every stage of the learning curve of professional photography.
What We Think
Making a decision to buy a specific digital camera can be daunting and tedious. There are more choices and options than you can shake a stick at. However, once you decide to narrow down your selection to the lighter, more compact mirrorless cameras over the bulkier DSLR models, your choices dwindle significantly.
Among those will be the Sony brand cameras. Known for their reliability, durability, and ease of use, it is no secret that Sony is a name to reckon with. While you won’t get the benefits and features of the higher-end models from Canon, Olympus or even Fujifilm, the Sony cameras hold their own in their respective weight class.
The A5000 is designed as an entry-level camera and is priced accordingly. For those on a budget, looking for a second camera to expand their collection, or those looking for a reliable camera that doesn’t have a lot of fuss, the A5000 is an excellent choice.
Moving from taking videos and photographs on your mobile phone to a mirrorless camera is made simple with the A5000. It is very intuitive and easy to use without having to learn about every single setting or option. You can open the box, charge the battery and snap a picture or record a video.
As you want to learn more or get more involved in the process, the A5000 is there to assist you. With its wide range of add-ons and capabilities, every new thing you learn about can be used and tested with the Alpha A5000.
Unlike some of the more expensive cameras that expect you to know everything about them before you ever push the shutter button, the A5000 is one camera that you won’t regret purchasing and will enjoy using right from the start.
The Sony Alpha A5000 is regarded as a top-tier entry-level mirrorless camera. It offers an easy to use system, comes with a well-rounded lens and has a flip LCD screen to take selfies and group photos.
Being able to see what the camera sees on the large LCD screen is a plus. While it isn’t touch capable, the dials and menu buttons are intuitive and easy to use. Because it has a low price, beginners will find the transition easier to take and not have to worry about buyer’s remorse the day after.
Purchasing the A5000 can expand your already established portfolio, or start a new hobby or career with confidence and near-effortless abandon. There aren’t very many other entry-level mirrorless cameras on the market that can expand and grow like the A5000. It is one purchase the photo enthusiast will enjoy from the very first day.