Sony Delivers Cheap Mirrorless Camera with the A3000 and Incremental Upgrade with the NEX-5T

Sony A3000 with 18-55mm lens

Sony has announced two new NEX cameras. Yes, despite the name, the A3000 is not using the Minolta Alpha mount, but the NEX E-mount. The most notable part however, is its price: It comes in at US$400 with the 18-55 kit lens. Coupled with the SLR-like styling that apparently is preferred in the USA, Sony really wants to make a big push there.

While the price is really good, and in a way fulfills the potentially lower price point that mirrorless cameras can bring, Sony did cut a lot of corners. There are very few buttons on this thing, relying on the rather awkward soft-key approach other NEX cameras use, lacks a proper command dial, and has a terrible LCD and EVF, which also lacks a sensor to enable automatic switching between the two. The LCD has a QVGA resolution, which is something you last saw in a 2007 DSLR. Remember those? They were so coarse it was impossible to check sharpness on them. The EVF is a similar low resolution and tiny affair.

The A3000 does have some good internals though. like the 20 megapixel APS-sized sensor, which can do 1080p videos at 25 or 30 FPS, depending on your region. Will it break the Canon and Nikon DSLR stranglehold in the USA? We will see when it arrives in early September for the stated US$400.

The other camera is a very very minor refresh. The NEX-5T adds NFC… and that seems to be all. Oh, and it is going to be a little cheaper too, at US$700 with the terrible 16-50mm lens in early September. Pardon us for our lack of excitement.

(Image credits: Sony press images)

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