Sony Alpha A5000 – Compact DSLR Camera – Don Charisma’s New Toy

For a couple of weeks I’ve had a new camera, partially funded kindly by a donation to the blog from a benefactor – Thank you !

I chose the Sony Alpha A5000 due to being light weight, inexpensive, highly specified and a friend’s recommendation. So far, for the money, I’m super impressed and very little to be disappointed about.

Sony Alpha A5000 – Compact DSLR Camera

In my friend’s words (paraphrased) “Sony are one of the only camera manufacturers who’re spending in R&D and actually still actively involved in the innovation, rather than just selling the same old shit.”

Sensor size is a big thing in enthusiast, semi-pro and pro cameras. The price points are exponential for say my camera which is enthusiast/semi-pro, my deal for camera and lens was around £200/$300. A Sony Nex with a “full frame” sensor would have been £1000-£2000 / $1500-$3000 just for the camera body, no lens. Reason I mention this is that the Sony Alpha A5000 has a sensor about four times the size of the Nikon 1 J4 which I’d been looking at. Canon I didn’t rate for compact DSLR because their EOS-M is quite a few years old now, and they’ve been “precious” about releasing new versions in Europe/US.

Sony are also masters of low light conditions. My camera has given me some truly awesome night photos in only the two weeks I’ve had it. Super impressed with the quality of the colours, and it’s added a whole new dimension to my photography. Or at the very least saved me countless hours fiddling with white balance in Photoshop to restore the colours virtually ignored by my iPhone.

On the whole the camera takes pretty good shots without a tripod, surpasses all my previous experiences. My “method” for getting at least one usable shot is to take many shots, and discard the blurry ones. That will continue to apply I think with any camera.

I’ve now also 20 megapixels, which puts me in the running as a a semi-pro rather than an amateur. Apple did lose a sale from me on iPhone 6, they just simply haven’t improved their camera enough to warrant spending the money, my 4s works fine and has the same megapixel sensor. Perhaps the iPhone 7 will be worth the money, perhaps not.

My camera came with a lens which has a power “zoom” / “wide” function, so I can zoom in and out at will. It’s capable of a 83 degree field of view, which is lovely for sunsets and landscapes, and much higher than my previous 55 degree field of view on iPhone. The included lens – SELP1650 in addition to doing actually a fairly wide angle, it’s also capable of a fairly respectable telephoto for macro shots and semi-paparazzi shots.

I purchased some extras – screen guard for the screen, extra batteries, UV filter to protect the lens and external charger. The best deal of that lot was the extra TWO batteries and external charger kit from, around £15 / $23. I don’t have a lot of money, so mainly “compatible” extras, which generally seem to work fine.

The camera works fantastically with my monopod, the tilting screen is perfect and stops me looking like “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” every-time I tilt the camera upwards, which I do quite often ! … The photo above (not me!), shows one use for the tilting screen, another would be for selfies. Personally as I’ve said before I have no interest in an “eye-piece” viewfinder, that’s yester-century technology. What I want is to see what, roughly my photo will look like (the same as with my smartphone) prior to taking the shot. Not have several kilos of camera and lens attached to my face !!!

Oh, and the camera does interchangeable lenses (Sony E-mount) – so I could spend obscene amounts of money on an array of lenses, if I had any, money that is !

Sony have provided plenty of shooting modes to suit almost every occasion. I really like the automatic point and click modes. That way I can enjoy being where I am more, and less concerned about “doing photography”.

OK, so the proof is in the eating, out of the 2000 or so photos I’ve taken so far, here’s some of my favourites.


 “Canal Reflections”

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“Tree Of Awesomeness”

“On The Corner”

“South Crescent”

“Greenwich Envy”

“Isle Of Dogs Reflections”

“Bike Shed”

“America In London”

“Sunset Above Railway”

“Valentine Roses”

“Cocktail Car”

“Chinese New Year”

“Hedge Flowers”

“Guardian Of The Gate”

“Sunset Kids”

“Sunset Hoes”

“Sheet Iron Reflections”

Final Notes

Not really a review in the formal sense, more sharing what I like about my new camera and showing you guys what I’ve taken over the past couple of weeks.

The Sony Alpha A5000 was/is the best choice for me right now, I’m very happy with the photos I’ve taken thus far, and continually finding new features which make me like this camera more. Thanks Sony for being (probably) better than Nikon or Canon.

For the future, I’d really like a wider angle lens (around 100 degree field of view). So either the £600 pro version or the cheaper lens and converter version for around £250. What I really want out of it, is to be able to capture a whole vista in one go, sunset, sunrise or landscapes doesn’t matter. Whilst I love fiddling with multi-part panoramas in software, it’s very time consuming, a commodity I have less of than I’d like.

Oh and a waterproof housing would be nice, then I could take some underwater photos. Sharks and corals always make for good photos !

I’ll keep saving my pennies between now and then, and “in shalah” (if god wills it) I’ll get what I need. Also quite happy to accept any kind of sponsorship offering – if anyone from Sony is reading, or indeed anyone else who’d like to sponsor us … Anything is possible with Charisma 😀


Don Charisma


Resources & Sources

Photos of the Camera – Creative Commons CC3 – Thanks to Sony –

All other photos and graphic design Copyright 2015, all rights reserved. Photos were taken in London, UK and Thailand, South-East Asia.

Comments are invited

Comments are often welcomed, provided you can string a legible, relevant and polite sentence together. In other cases probably best shared with your therapist, or kept to yourself.

52 thoughts on “Sony Alpha A5000 – Compact DSLR Camera – Don Charisma’s New Toy

      1. I don’t use LR yet because I can’t afford it. I still play in PS (although someone terribly sweet gifted me with a more updated version of PS than what I was originally using).

      2. I checked the price recently didn’t find it terribly expensive, around £100 to buy outright … or creative cloud they charge monthly … I have some thousands of photo now, and Lightroom has organising capabilities as well as 99% of the editing capabilities I was using in Photoshop … plus edits are non-destructive, Lightroom remembers the changes one did … currently looking into Smugmug in conjunction with Lightroom for publishing …

        Next challenge for me is portrait, but I figure you have to be comfortable with the camera before you start snapping people’s photos !

    1. You’re welcome … and do check out the Sony website when you’re ready to buy, it’s very informative and helped me decide which camera to buy.

      Portability is a must these days, especially since we’re so clever at miniaturising everything !

      1. Do my best! I enjoy finding the angles, the challenge of working out what will look nice … helps me see things I’d ordinarily miss when I’m out and about too 😀 …

        Currently working on how to get the photos from Lightroom to the blog. Lightroom itself is a challenge but it’s really powerful for organising and non-destructive editing … and once mastered it’s a big time saver … it’ll come, patience whilst spinning the plates is a virtue …

      2. Can you run them through a third party? Maybe slide them over to photobucket or some such then copy paste to here?

      3. Looked at a couple of things like that, “buffer” was promising but cost $$$ for sizeable endeavours … I do publish a lot of photos and have many that remain unpublished ! … I have the general idea and free tools in mind, it’s putting it all together that’ll take a little time and effort … I keep taking photos, sorting, organising etc … they’ll get published when I’ve figured it out !

  1. Don, Thanks for the review and the photos. I love the canal and sheet iron reflections and the sunsets. I’m always looking for interesting shots. I’m also looking for a small camera to carry on a daily basis. Something better than my phone and not as bulky as my Nikon.

    1. YW shawn … same, always looking for intersting shots … the Sony gear is definitely worth considering, they have an extensive range and respectable list of features, progressive and innovative …

      1. LOL … you’re on form today … if a hoe is a garden tool then confused about why you’d be “offended” … as for Tena Lady, well I figure that’s more you’re department than mine, I have the wrong plumbing for girl’s underwear … as for “pissing myself” I think that’s an analogy or euphemism … just sayin’ …

      2. Ha! I never said I was offended. I said it was offensive. It’s a small but significant difference. I know you have lost followers because reasons, so I was just being a friendly neighbourhood follower and pointing out your misogynistic faux pas.

        Tena Lady isn’t exactly ‘girl’s underwear’. Firstly its marketed towards mature women, not girls. Secondly its a stick on pad that would work perfectly well in Y front’s and jockeys. Baggy boxers and jock straps might be slightly more difficult…

        I concede to your point about analogies, not so sure about euphemisms.

      3. You’re very civil in your hostility, endearingly so actually. I don’t make faux pas’, nor have I ever done anything misogynistic, nor am I a misogynist – the thought I find abhorrent because the female of the species are so lovely, wonderful and (obviously) the very cornerstone of virtue.

        I’ve also never lost a follower for any “reason”. In fact I’ve never seen my follower count go down. Stranger things have been known, so never say never. Perhaps one day I’ll bore of being popular, shocker I know !

        My pubococcygeus muscle is in good working order, thank you, so currently I have no need for incontinence devices, pads, panties, nappies etc, nor do I have any interest in them. Which leads me to question your interest in them, perhaps you’re more intimate with lady tena than you’re letting on? In any case, I’m with the Scots, I think a man’s family allowance should hang free as god intended, so no idea where I’d stick the darn thing ! Actually, could think of a few places, but we’re being polite to each other, right ?

        As an author (or at least a wannabe) presumably you already know the difference between an analogy and a euphemism … for humble creative writers such as myself, often we have to look such these things up – however often we’re too busy being actually creative rather than talking about it, though, I guess 😛

        As for conceding points, would imply a competition, which I’m not taking part in – so you win my dear, game, set and match. Congratulations 😀

      4. That’s not what I meant. What I was trying to say (and apparently failing) is that I accept that you make a good point aka argument.(No I don’t think we are arguing). I wasn’t trying to play verbal tennis.

      5. Saying something is “offensive” to some-who, then going on to imply a person is incontinent and a misogynist, I find little that’s not argumentative. You didn’t fail to say what you wanted to say, I understood perfectly, just that I didn’t agree with you.

        MY art is my art. Art is expression and creativity. Great art isn’t interested in conformity, great art is interested in newness, in doing something different, pushing the limits etc. Art can be written, spoken, drawn, painted, sculpted, drawn, painted and so on, the medium doesn’t matter. Musicians sometimes produce “art” and so do computer programmers, sometimes. SOME authors and writers do too, sometimes.

        So there isn’t such a thing as a “faux pas” or “offensive” for an artist’s work. Only art. Only creation.

        Of course some people may like less or more the artist’s end result, but that is not the primary concern of the artist in producing the work. The primary concern of the artist is creating something that they enjoy, maybe find funny, enables them to express and create. Sometimes it is confronting or controversial, that may be it’s point, or not.

        The converse, and what isn’t art, or creative, is to be so overly concerned with making a “faux pas'” that all one does is produce “intelligent spam”, the elevator music of the world. A pale reflection of art born of censorship and caring what people think. Within that we all do it to a certain extent, so I’m not pointing a finger at anyone, merely stating a fact as I see it. No one’s “perfect”, and there’s a debate on “original” thought and creation, anyway.

        Steve Job’s requote in some ways set out to say the artist’s paradigm :

        “Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

        It’s fair to say that Steve Jobs did change the world, and some might argue “an artist”.

  2. How about Canon 5D Mark II? Because my friend is saving money to buy it for her clay animation. Because she needs to capture full frame so that her animation is viewable at the cinema resolution.

    1. Probably a great camera for her purpose …

      However for me it was about portability mostly, anything weighing more than a few 100 grammes isn’t any use, because I can’t be bothered to carry it … or put another way someone once said to me – “the best camera is the one you have with you” … if it’s light and compact, then I’m more likely to get the shots, which is what having a camera is all about for me.

      Add that to the £2500 / $4000 price tag for a 5D Mk II without lenses, and I’m out definately !


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