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Sony NEX-5T review: Minor update to popular mirrorless model



The NEX-5T is Sony’s upper entry-level APS-C mirrorless model featuring a 16-Mpix CMOS sensor and is the successor to the similarly specified NEX-5R launched a year ago. That model was a substantial upgrade over its predecessor, the NEX-5N, and incorporated an adapted 16-Mpix sensor with on-chip phase-detection pixels for a hybrid AF system.

The NEX-5T then is a minor upgrade in that respect featuring a similar 16-Mpix sensor, top-plate control dial and the app-functionality of the previous iteration but adds the convenience of NFC (Near Field Communication) technology to the existing WiFi capability.

Other features of note include 10-fps continuous shooting, 180-degree tilting touch-sensitive rear 3-inch LCD, and 1080i/p video with 60 and 24fps frame rates using the AVCHD format. The camera is available now at $548 body only, or for $698, complete with the 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 OSS zoom.

With an overall DxOMark Sensor score of 78 points, the Sony NEX-5T performs very well indeed, nudging ahead of the NEX-5N and some older MF models such as the Leaf Aptus 75s and Phase One P45 and coming just behind rivals such as the Pentax K-01 and K-30 models with 79 points. Color Depth, Dynamic Range and Low light scores are all excellent for an APS-C size CMOS sensor.

Put side-by-side with its predecessor using a similar sensor, the NEX-5T achieves the same overall DxOMark score and identical scores for each of the metrics.  While it looks like there’s an improvement in low-light capabilities the scale is logarithmic, so it’s negligible in real world terms the same. Unsurprisingly then, the scores suggest that the same sensor unit is used in both models. While it’s slightly disappointing that Sony didn’t enhance the sensor performance in someway, it’s still a good result given the sensor gained on-chip PDAF capabilities over the earlier NEX-5N while at the same time improving the quality of output.

While not demanding the same attention as the new full-frame NEX models from Sony, the NEX-5T is still a good performer. It’s human nature to feel disappointed that Sony didn’t improve the sensor between this and the NEX-5R but the few improvements in features over that model are welcome nonetheless.

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