Sony NEX-5T hands-on: NFC comes to the NEX
Jumping in at the middle of the NEX pack is the new Sony NEX-5T. New it may be, but there isn't a huge change compared to the previous NEX-5R - the 5T's only differentiating factor is the addition of NFC (near field communication) technology to simplify wireless sharing with compatible devices. Yup, that's it.
The design is familiar: it's identical to the 5R, which gives a decent build and compact scale. There's a range of physical controls for those who want to get a little more creative without having to dive into the menus through the touchscreen system all the time - an issue that plagued the earliest NEX models. With that in mind there's the Fn button on the top along with the thumb dial, which is all part of what helps sit this model above the NEX-3N.
The 5T we saw was a pre-production sample complete with almost suspicious painted-out model name across the top shoulder. The only real change compared to the 5R is the addition of the NFC logo on the 5T's handgrip. Sometimes it's the little things.
In the hands the Sony NEX-5T oozes great quality - and, as before, we're impressed with the slim build. The display on the rear tilts vertically all the way through 180-degrees for those inevitable selfies, which is achieved without adding bulk to this dainty camera.
If we've one criticism, it's that there's not much finger space between the end of the grip and the barrel of the attached lens, but it's something you can quickly overcome. Unless you've got really chunky fingers.
READ: Sony NEX-5R review
Our review of the NEX-5R was sprinkled with positives. We liked the image quality - something that the NEX series' use of an APS-C size sensor has been praised for since launch. The 5T ought to deliver the very same goods.
But it's not just the resulting quality, it's the familiar controls too. We also like the thumbwheel control on top, which may even mean those moving away from a DSLR system will feel a little more at home.
One thing we criticised previsouly was the Wi-Fi and the PlayMemories app service. The addition of NFC should mean that making a connection between the NEX-5T and a smart device is much simplified - ideal if you have something like the Sony Xperia Z. You'll be able to pair with a single tap, take control of your camera, or transfer the images to share with the wider world.
Sony is pushing NFC hard across its range of products, from smartphones and tablets through to headphones and speakers. But as this is the only major change in the NEX-5T - and one of the elements we couldn't reliably test - there's little else to say about this updated model.
Sony also tells us that the options available in the form of PlayMemories camera apps are ever-expanding, including an updated version of the Smart Remote Control complete even more options such as focus controls.
The Sony NEX-5T will be available from mid-September and will cost £600. We'd expect it to perform exactly as well as the Sony NEX-5R, so if NFC doesn't get you hyped up then we'd recommend considering the early model - in particular given that it can be easily sourced for around £479 or less. Since when was NFC worthy of £120?