Aug 27 AT 9:37 AM Nick Gray 18 Comments

Sony announces NEX 5T, the perfect companion camera for your Android phone

sony-nex-5t

The Samsung Galaxy Camera and the leaked Sony “lens camera” accessories may get our hearts beating a bit faster, but the newly announced Sony NEX 5T is the companion camera accessory that I’m truly excited about. The Sony NEX brand has gotten rave reviews by the general public and the press, so you can imagine why the new Sony NEX 5T with NFC and WiFi may excite me. The camera’s specs include a 1.2-inch thick body, 16.1MP Exmor sensor and a 180 degree tilting TFT LCD panel. Like previous Sony NEX cameras, the 5T is compatible Sony’s full line of E-Mount lenses.

But NEX 5T’s true magic lies in its one-touch image and video sharing and remote control capabilities enabled through Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile. PlayMemories can be installed on any Android 4.x devices. If your phone does not have NFC, images can still be shared over WiFi. Once the images are on your mobile phone, you can upload them to your social networks or share them on Instagram (though that may be considered “cheating”).

NEX-5T_front_wSELP1650_BK NEX-5T_hand_NFC NEX-5T_hand_NFC_tablet NEX-5T_rear_BK NEX-5T_SELP1650_BK_hand NEX-5T_wSELP1650_BK_kiseki sony-nex-5t

The Sony NEX 5T will sell for $700 when paired with its 16-50mm kit lens or $550 for just the camera body.

While Samsung, Nikon and a few others are playing around with cameras running Android, I personally think Sony’s approach is a more sensible solution. All consumers really want is the ability to share their pictures as easily as possible. If one-touch image and video sharing with NFC and WiFi does the trick, do we really need a camera running a full mobile OS?

Show Press Release

Sony Introduces Ultra-Portable NEX-5T Compact System Camera with Wi-Fi®, NFC and Fast Hybrid AF

SAN DIEGO, August 27, 2013 — The versatile new Sony α NEX-5T compact system camera combines a stylish, ultra-compact design and the creative capabilities of interchangeable lenses with large-sensor image quality, speedy Auto Focus (AF) and the convenience of NFC (Near Field Communication) one-touch for easier Wi-Fi connectivity.

Inside the new camera is a large, high-resolution 16.1 effective megapixel Exmorâ„¢ APS HD CMOS sensor – identical in size to the sensors found in traditional DSLR cameras.  The large sensor takes in more light during image capture, allowing for richly detailed DSLR-quality still images and full HD videos.

The new NEX-5T camera will come in a kit with the sharp, compact SELP1650 motorized zoom lens, which measures only about 1.2 inches thick when fully retracted.  The lens contains built-in Optical SteadyShotâ„¢ image stabilization for clearer handheld images and has a smooth power zoom dial that is particularly useful during video shooting.

“This new camera carries on the NEX-5 series’ strong tradition of compactness and high performance,” said Mike Kahn, director of the interchangeable lens camera business group at Sony.  “Available in a convenient, travel-friendly package with the compact SELP1650 power zoom kit lens, it’s the ideal choice for step-up point-and-shoot users, smartphone photographers who want higher quality images and even photo enthusiasts who are looking for a more portable alternative to replace their DSLR.”

NFC and Wi-Fi Convenience

The new α NEX-5T camera is the first Sony interchangeable lens camera to feature NFC, giving the extra convenience of one-touch wireless connectivity with compatible Android smartphones and tablets1.  A connection is activated automatically as soon as the mobile device touches the camera, allowing for immediate image and video2 sharing between devices.  Content is then safely stored on the connected device and can be shared via social media and other common applications.

For devices without NFC one-touch capabilities, users can wirelessly transfer images and videos between compatible devices through use of Wi-Fiâ„¢ and Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile application, available for both the iOS and Android platforms.

Additionally, a “Smart Remote Control” feature on the NEX-5T utilizes Wi-Fi to send a live image preview to a wirelessly connected camera or tablet, allowing it to act as a remote viewfinder, adjust common photographic settings and release the shutter button.  It’s a unique, fun feature that can be used for framing and shooting group portraits that include the photographer, and can be activated using either NFC one-touch or Wi-Fi connectivity.

Fast Hybrid AF

In line with last year’s NEX-5R model, the new NEX-5T camera also features Fast Hybrid AF auto focus technology, which combines phase-detection and contrast-detection methods to ensure speedy, accurate autofocus in any shooting situation.  The intuitive focusing system uses 99 phase-detection AF points arrayed on the image sensor to detect a subject’s distance and quickly lock focus. Then, contrast-detection AF confirms extremely fine, precise details.
In Speed Priority mode, the camera will switch automatically to phase detection tracking AF to track fast-moving action accurately in each frame up to 10 frames per second3.

Expanding PlayMemoriesâ„¢ Camera Apps Platform

The growing range of downloadable PlayMemories Camera Apps4 add more fun and exciting features to the NEX-5T camera.  Shooters can pick from a range of free and nominal cost apps to broaden creative options and experiment with new photography effects.

There are 15 apps currently available, including “Direct Upload,” which allows photos to be uploaded directly to Facebookâ„¢ and now Flickr as well, with support for additional services scheduled for the future.   Other fun applications include “Motion-shot,” which can combine several different shots from an action-series into one creative photo, “Time-Lapse,” which takes several photos over a series of time and stitches them together to create time-lapse photography, and several other creative and teaching tools.

Design and Control

The new NEX-5T camera features a fully programmable control dial and Fn (function) button – a versatile combination for photographers accustomed to the flexibility and direct control of a DSLR camera.  The camera’s intuitive touch-screen LCD can flip downwards for high-angle shots over crowds, or upwards up to 180 degrees for easy arm’s length self-portraits.  It also has a touch-shutter function for added convenience.

New Sony α Accessories

A range of optional accessories offers stylish protection for the camera. Designed in a range of colors to fit the NEX-5T and NEX-5R cameras including black, pink, orange and green, the LCJ-EBA case is a thin, light body jacket that allows full use of the new camera’s NFC function.

The new LCS-EMJ is a soft carrying case with an expandable structure that accommodates any E-mount camera and lens ranging from pancake prime lenses to longer telezoom models.

For convenient power supply, the new versatile BC-QM1 battery charger doubles as a handy power source for smartphones and cameras.  This compact battery charger is ideal for travel with a retracting plug and universal voltage AC10-240V (50/60Hz).

Pricing and Availability

The NEX-5T compact system camera will be offered in silver, black and white for about $700 in a kit with a compact, versatile 16-50mm motorized zoom lens (model SELP1650) or as a body-only for about $550.   It will be available for purchase in early September.

The new camera is compatible with Sony’s ever-growing assortment of E-mount interchangeable lenses.  In total, 16 different lenses are now available including several premium models from Carl Zeiss â„¢ and Gâ„¢ Lenses.

The new LCS-EBA body jacket, LCS-EMJ carrying case and BC-QM1 battery charger will be available this September for about $25, $40 and $60, respectively.

The new camera and all compatible accessories will be available at Sony retail stores (www.store.sony.com) and other authorized dealers nationwide.

Please visit www.blog.sony.com for a full video preview of the new NEX-5T compact system camera and follow #SonyNEX on twitter for the latest α NEX camera news.

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started HTCsource.com (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • halo0

    $700? Lol. Buy an EyeFi card for 30 bucks and go to town. I have one in my DSLR (8GB for around $50) and it works great to get images from my “real” camera onto my phone if I so desire.

    • SGB101

      I have to agree, that price can get you a nice entry/mid level DSLR. And a wifi sd if you really must have one. It’s hardly hard work to pull out/put in the pc, and much easier to manage on a pc screen.

      Price fail, like much of these phone add ons.

      • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

        The NEX actually produces photo rivals many entry/mid level DSLRs.

        • SGB101

          So why not just buy one of them for cheaper then?

          If you have to carry something extra, it may as well be a proven product.

          I don’t have a downer on Sony, I actually have a sony bridge camera, that this will kick it’s arse (much more expensive tho).

          If your into photography enough you would spend that type of cash on a fully fledge camera that shoots RAW pics. This may shoot RAW for all I know, but a standalone device is a better prospect than this.

          The Sammy zoom on contract makes more sense, at least someone that can’t afford $700 but love photos can get that. But this you would get a DSLR if you had any sense.

          • Artificial Bacon

            The Sony NEX line essentially have DSLR-level sensors in compact lens bodies and yes, they can shoot in RAW and have proven to be a pretty reliable line of cameras.

            I have the NEX-5RK and by the sound of it, the only difference is the 5T has NFC technology built in to it and costs about $100 more. Hell, at that price you might as well step it up to the NEX-6 for $100 more but that NFC is kinda tempting. Haha..

    • mattcoz

      Well, nobody is going to ditch their existing DSLR or mirrorless camera to get this, but it’s a great option for those who don’t already have one. It’s a $50 premium over the previous 5R model and the only real difference is the NFC, so is that really worth it is the real question.

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  • Nate B.

    It seems somewhat out of the way. Unless you like to take photos for a living I don’t see the point. It seems to be a professional camera but happens to be able to share with your phone. It’s not specifically designed for android phones or any other phones platform. So spending $700 on this for that feature alone would be tough. Unless you hav money to blow. Might as well just take the long route and upload your camera photos to your PC and transfer them to your device when you have time. Not everyone uploads images right then and there at the moment. It’s the point of having them. Great camera for sure but I can see any camera having these features. It only stood out because you can apparently share it with your phone. Your images will look great though. Instagram will compress the hell out of those images and make them look granny though. That’s beside the point though. I would like this as a normal camera. The sharing NFC feature would just be a plus. It would be on the bottom of my list as to why I bought it basing it off features. Anymore pixels it would have been well over if not $1000.

  • Droid Sam

    I can see the appeal here for those who already carry around a camera. I’ve used the NEX cameras on occasion and have really enjoyed them. I usually lug around my DSLR when we go on vacations or to events (parties, concerts, family day out), but sharing images is always the issue. You get home, unwind and don’t get your your pictures until a few days or a week later.

    I wouldn’t use the tap to share feature for all my pics, but it would be awesome way to get two or three pics shared instantly so I don’t feel as guilty when I’m uploading all my July vacation pictures at the end of August.

  • StolnHeartDealr

    This is silly, I agree with other posts that if image sharing with your mobile phone is what you want then get an eye-fi card. Had this been live image streaming and control to your android 4.x phone then that would be a completely different story.

    I would be very excited to see any company release a wi-fi/bluetooth streaming/control capable sensor in a battery powered lens mountable case. Buy the sensor you want, use your existing lenses from your D-SLR series of choice (or mirrorless variant) and leave the rest to your camera.

    • StolnHeartDealr

      errrr… leave the rest to your phone.

      • Samtty

        But why would you want to mount a lens to your phone? It would be cumbersome and the idea that Sony is proposing doesn’t give you interchangeable lenses.

        Scenario 1 (phone plus camera lens attachment): you must carry your phone at all times, you must carry your detachable lens at all times, you must carry a bug to hold your lens at all times. You must mount and unmount your lens between pictures because you can’t stick your phone back into your pocket with a 3-inch lens.

        Scenario 2 (phone plus separate camera): you can take pictures without your phone, you must carry your camera at all times, you must carry a bug to hold your camera at all times. See something you want to capture, take camera from bag, snap picture, place camera back in bag. Want to share picture? tap camera to phone, done.

        OK, so the scenarios are not as different as I first imagined them to be, but I;d hate to have to assemble my camera every time I want to take a picture. Hopefully Sony will push this feature down the line and get it on its CyberShot lineup later this year. I love the concept, but can’t justify paying $700 for a camera.

        • someone

          It has an APSC sensor in it. It will decimate all smart phones and all cheap cameras in low light performance and noise/image quality.

          If you’re fine with blurry pictures when the lighting is not optimal, then don’t buy this or similar cameras.

    • mattcoz

      “Had this been live image streaming and control to your android 4.x phone then that would be a completely different story.”

      It has that feature too.

  • someone

    For those who think that the NFC+WiFi can be matched by an eyefi card need to actually use it.

    The Galaxy Camera and the Sony Rx100m2 have this feature as well.

    It makes things stupidly easy to use.

    Want to transfer the image between the camera and your phone? Look at the picture, then touch devices. All configuration is done for you, and the transfer is literally hands off. Zero buttons to press.

    Want to engage the remote viewfinder? Touch the devices in shooting mode and bam, taken right into the the remote viewfinder application.

    Zero messing with menus.

  • jenni1

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    • SGB101

      Living the dream!

  • donger

    Great for photographers.