We’ve got a new player in town. The town of mirrorless, interchangeable-lens digital compacts that is. Think: compact cameras w/swappable lenses. At half the size and weight of Sony’s smallest DSLR (?230), the just-announced Sony Alpha NEX-5 ($600-$700) is Sony’s digital+glass volley into the red-hot interchangeable-lens market.
The magnesium bodied Alpha NEX-5 (there’s also a slightly heavier, less spec’d Alpha NEX-3) is refreshingly free of cumbersome settings with a focus on what shooters want: 14.2 megapixels, APS-C size Sony Exmor sensor, ISO 200-12,800(!), 3″ 900k pixel display, Sony Bionic Bionz processor, 1080i video capture, additional twist button control, HDMI output, USB 2.0, SD/SDHC/SDXC and Memory Stick Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo, Sweep Panorama, Auto-HDR, Live View, Tiltable LCD, and hot-shoe. Yes, a hot-shoe for accessories like an optional flash or stereo microphone. Available lenses are: 16mm (24mm) ƒ2.8 pancake, 18-55mm ƒ3.5-5.6 stabilized zoom, and 18-200mm ƒ3.5-6.3 stabilized zoom, and Sony A-mount lenses with an adaptor (manual focus).
Product promo video embedded after the jump.