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Sony NEX-5T review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £540
inc VAT

An small update to its excellent predecessor, but still a Best Buy


23.5×15.6mm 16.0-megapixel sensor, 3.0x zoom (27-82.5mm equivalent), 462g

The Sony NEX-5T replaces the award-winning Sony NEX-5R – one of our top recommendations throughout 2013, thanks to its svelte magnesium alloy body and stunning photo and video quality. The outgoing 5R has had some strong competition to contend with, but no other CSC at this price has beaten it for photo quality. The NEX-5T is simply a minor update, simply taking the excellent camera and adding NFC for easier Wi-Fi connections.

The Sony NEX-5T is otherwise identical. There’s the same Function button and command dial for quicker access to photographic settings. Pressing the button reveals six customisable functions, which can be picked from a list of 15. With ISO speed, drive mode and exposure compensation available separately via the navigation pad, there’s little reason to visit the main menu in normal use.

Sony NEX-5T
The controls on the 5T are excellent

The centre button brings up a virtual mode dial on the screen, which is adjusted by spinning the wheel on the back of the camera. It’s not quite as effective as a dedicated physical mode dial but it’s a big improvement on the 5N.

Sony NEX-5T

The 3in wide-aspect screen tilts up and down as before, but now it can tilt upwards by 180 degrees for self-portraits. Doing so automatically enables a three-second self-timer, so you have plenty of time to steady your arm and gurn before the shutter goes. Various other CSCs have articulated screens, but none are as petite as this one.

Sony NEX-5T
The articulated screen is great for self portraits

It’s an extremely handsome camera, and surprisingly comfortable to hold and use considering its diminutive design. Our only lingering concern is the detachable flash unit, which isn’t as tidy as an integrated flash and is likely to be left at home as a result.

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Basic Specifications

CCD effective megapixels16.0 megapixels
CCD size23.5×15.6mm
Viewfinderoptional electronic
Viewfinder magnification, coverageN/A
LCD screen size3.0in
LCD screen resolution921,600 pixels
Articulated screenYes
Live viewYes
Optical zoom3.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent27-82.5mm
Image stabilisationoptical, in kit lens
Maximum image resolution4,912×3,264
File formatsJPEG, RAW; AVCHD, MPEG-4


Memory slotSDXC and Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo
Mermory suppliednone
Battery typeLi-ion
Battery Life (tested)330 shots
ConnectivityUSB, mini HDMI, Wi-Fi, NFC
Body materialmagnesium alloy
Lens mountSony E mount
Focal length multiplier1.5x
Kit lens model nameSony SEL-1855
AccessoriesUSB cable

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB

Camera Controls

Exposure modesprogram, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed30 to 1/4,000 seconds
Aperture rangef/3.5-22 (wide), f/5.6-32 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution)100 to 25600
Exposure compensation+/-3 EV
White balanceauto, 9 presets with fine tuning, manual, Kelvin
Additional image controlscontrast, saturation, sharpness, noise reduction, dynamic range optimisation, soft skin effect, lens compensation (peripheral shading, chromatic aberration, distortion), AF micro adjust
Manual focusYes
Closest macro focus25cm
Auto-focus modesmulti, centre, flexible spot, face detect, tracking
Metering modesmulti, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flashauto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, rear curtain, red-eye reduction
Drive modessingle, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, HDR, panorama