Sony was kind enough to send us an early sample camera from its latest Alpha range, the new A5000 (from that point on, all Sony cameras will be marked as “Alpha”. NEX no longer exists).
Like its predecessors, this APS-C interchangeable E-mount lens photo camera, can shoot video in different frame rates. (region dependant: 24 to 60 fps in NTSC countries, 25-50 fps in PAL territories).
As this is Sony’s most modestly priced Alpha camera, I was very curious to check “how well does it shoot video” and if there are any (significant) improvements when it comes to “video picture quality” with this new model. If you are in the rush and have no time to read on, the answer is no and yes….
There is no improvement regarding sharpness (soft image), codec (AVCHD) or aliasing/moire.
Yes, camera will not shut off during recording because of overheating (at least during my extended indoor shooting day it did not happen – but it’s winter after all)!
As this is an entry level model, Sony chose to leave out some of the features which are much needed for serious hobbyists and advanced users. Gone are the headphone/mic jacks, manual audio level controls and hot/cold shoe. Those are of course only significant if you are after serious creative work and better camera control (like we are).
Personally, any camera that does not come with an EVF or the possibility to attach one, is already a “no go” for me as I find it nearly impossible to work outdoor with LCD only. An attempt to attach Zacuto’s Z-finder was not successful either as the magnified image on the LCD is very pixelated.
As you can see on the photo below, I ended up building a “mini rig” that will help me work comfortably.
Please note that interview audio was recorded externally. All other ambient audio was recorded in camera.
All in all, let’s stay realistic with expectations as this camera is not targeted at advanced users. It will do JUST FINE as a “home video” camera and a fun compact travel companion to shoot video and stills with.
Camera settings used for this short video:
Creative style: Portrait (-3 -3 -3)
ISO: mostly 800
All was edited on Adobe Premiere Pro. 20% sharpness was added in post. Colour correction done with FilmConvert.
Sony 18-105mm f/4 lens
Sachtler ACE L
Cineroid Retina EVF
Sennheiser ew112 G3
Senal SMH-1000 Professional Headphones
Cineroid L2C-3K5K On-Camera LED Light
SIX pro rig
Wooden camera UVF mount V2 kit
Johnnie Behiri is a freelance documentary cameraman/editor/producer working mostly for the BBC and other respected broadcasters. He is also co-owner of cinema5d.com