Aug 18, 2015

Review: Sony Alpha 5000

I am a photo enthusiast who currently owns a Canon 700d along with 2 other canon Point and shoot cameras (Canon g12 & Canon ixus 1000). I am nothing near a good photographer but I have been trying to learn and has gotten some progress with my canon 700d. However for my 5 weeks Europe trotting trip, I've come to the conclusion that lugging a dslr around is not only extra bulky but also extra dangerous since i will mostly be staying in dormitory hostels.

Here is my simple /non - technical  review of the Sony alpha 5000 after lugging it around for 5 weeks. I am writing based on my experience as a simple user who wants nice photos easily and not as a hardcore photographer .

Model: Sony Alpha A5000 (White coloured)
Kit Lens: 16mm - 50mm
Free gift: Sony 8gb SD card (15mb/s)
Price: SGD$364 (*Price fluctuates) + SGD18 (shipping)
Bought from: Qoo10

*Edit: I recently dropped my camera lens down & the lens is now wonky. I contacted the Qoo10 seller multiple times but didn't get a respond. While dropping and spoiling the lens is not covered under the warranty, I just thought I should let you guys know about my less than desirable experience with the seller - after all, someone else might have a problem with the camera that is covered under the warranty. Granted though the camera is incredibly cheap and if you are careful with it, there isn't too much to fear. Just thought I should follow up on this entry.


Check out my unboxing video below too.


  • 1. Lightweight. Compared to a dslr, this thing is extremely compact and lightweight. At the time of its release, it is also the lightest camera with interchangeable lens.
  • 2. Easy to use. It's basically a point and shoot with a very smart Artificial Intelligence program that automatically tunes and edit the colours in your photos.
  • 3. Kit lens is 16mm - 50mm which is a good range. Wide angle is really useful for travel photography where you mainly take landscapes and architectural pictures.
  • 4. Seperate movie recording button. Makes it easy for you to jump from photo to video easily.
  • 5. The Superior Auto mode gives very sharp and vibrant photographs. It sometimes automatically detects that the subject is in backlight and does a special "HDR 3 exposure combine into 1" photo to give you the best result.
  • 6. It is cheap. The new sony a6000 has just launched and the price of the a5000 has plummeted to less than sgd500. If you buy it online from South Korea like I did, you can even get it for less than sgd400 inclusive of shipping!
  • 7. Can be charged with the common charging cable. The sony a5000 does not come with a seperate battery charger and instead requires you to charge through the camera (you plug the wire into the camera). The best thing about this set up is you can forgo the original sony charging adaptor and just use the charging cable and adaptor for your smartphone as Sony A5000 uses the very common Micro USB port.
  • 8. Performs very well in Low Light situations. The post processing done to compensate for the poor amount of light is impressive.


Salzwelten Salt Mine in Hallstatt. Light show with the salt crystals.

Prague Square in Czech Republic.


  • 1. The user interface is confusing and troublesome to navigate. Jumping modes requires you to press the middle button and then either rotate the dial or press up and down to move around. Because it's software base, it can be hard to move fast with precision.
  • 2. Jumping between Auto & Manual Focus is ridiculously troublesome. I initially thought it wasn't possible to focus manually but turns out it is possible, albeit very troublesome. You have to go into the settings to change the focusing from ‘Auto Focus’ to ‘ Manual Focus’. Then you focus by turning the rim around the lens. I find this highly ineffective and troublesome. More often than not, it delays the picture by a few minutes. Not to mention the trouble of resetting it back to auto focus afterwards.
  • 3. Annoying fake shutter sound. Since it is a mirrorless machine, there should be no shutter closing sound but there is and you can't turn it off. Not sure if it's a privacy protection scheme installed in the software or what but it’s annoying.
  • 4. The countdown timer flickers the same throughout. This is a negligible con really and only slightly important to people like me who likes taking floating selfies. Because the light does not indicate when the camera will snap, it becomes a guessing game.
  • 5. Kit lens cap is prone to dropping. Like a dslr,  the lens cap is an extra body by itself. Which can be troublesome to take off everytime you whip the camera out to snap a moment.
  • 6. The articulating screen is only 180 degree in 1 angle. This really inhibits the range of use. Like if I lift the camera above my head , i wouldn't be able to see what I'm doing.
  • 7. The lack of a seperate charging adaptor means the camera cannot be used when a battery is charging.
  • 8. The System tends to lag some times. It is also prone to delays and hiccups that stops the camera from starting or shows a black screen. The only solution is to turn it off and then patiently turn it on again. The delays are rarely more than 5 seconds…which is still too long to snap a fleeting moment haha. Sometimes preview is lagged too when you want to quickly preview your photo after snapping.

Train down from JungfrauJoch. Highest peak in Europe


Italian Alps; the Dolomites. Hiking down Cinque Dita.


Overall,  despite the cons above, I am still pleasantly surprised with how well this little camera functions. It is lightweight and takes excellent landscape and architectural photographs with little effort. The inbuilt image processor creates very appealing HDR images which reduces the need to photoshop/edit afterwards; mighty useful for travel photography where you have hundreds of photos to go through.

The snowy peaks of the swiss Alps, seen from JungfrauJoch. Highest peak in Europe

Train down from JungfrauJoch. Highest peak in Europe

Lavenders in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland.

Rain droplets caught on spider webs in Switzerland .


Hallstatt, Austria.

For someone like me who just wants a travel camera, the sony a5000 is perfect. If you wait patiently at qoo10, you might find amazing promotions for this. I bought my extra battery from another seller for just $25.

None of the photographs here have been post processed, they are straight from the camera with only resizing and watermarking done.

Hope you found this simple review useful! Please leave me a comment and tell me what you think about this camera !