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Sony Ups Mirrorless Game With a5000, Kills NEX Moniker

Seeing how well DSLR and mirrorless camera enthusiasts get along, Sony has apparently decided to erase the verbal distinction between the two by sliding its latest mirrorless model into the Alpha line.

The a5000, announced Tuesday at CES, is being touted at the lightest (8 ounces) WiFi-equipped interchangeable lens camera. More noteworthy, perhaps, for students of the camera market may be the apparent death of the NEX name, which used to distinguish Sony’s mirrorless offerings from the Alpha DSLR line.

Specs on the a5000 are fairly predictable – 20.1-megapixel APS-C sensor, low-light performance up to ISO 16,000, 1080p video at 60, 30 and 24 fps — but it’s the extras that show this is a model squarely aimed at the “trading up from a smartphone” end of the market.

Those extra include an LCD screen the flips up 180° for easier selfie framing and a “Photo Creativity” mode that replaces standard photography terms with settings such as “Background Defocus.” Built-in WiFi allows one-touch uploading and remote control via Xperia and NFC-equipped Android devices. The camera also supports Sony’s growing line of downloadable PlayMemories apps, ranging from Instagramish effects to a sophisticated lens calibration and correction tool.

There’s also this statement from Neal Manowitz, director of the Alpha division at Sony: “Packing DSLR imaging power into an incredibly small and light package, our new α5000 is the ultimate ‘everyday shooter’ that will appeal to a wide range of customers.”

The a5000 will ship in March and is priced at a very reasonable $ 600 packaged with a 16-50mm lens (pre-order here). A new black version of the E-Mount 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 lens will also arrive around the same time for $ 350 (pre-order here).

(via Sony)

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