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Sony A3000 vs A5000

The Sony Alpha A3000 and the Sony Alpha A5000 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2013 and January 2014. Both the A3000 and the A5000 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 19.8 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Sony A3000   Sony A5000
Sony A3000 Sony A5000
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Sony E mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
19.8 MP, APS-C Sensor 19.8 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60i Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-16000 ISO 100-16000
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD, 230k dots 3.0" LCD, 461k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.5 shutter flaps per second 3.5 shutter flaps per second
470 shots per battery charge420 shots per battery charge
128 x 91 x 85 mm, 411 g 110 x 63 x 36 mm, 269 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Alpha A3000 and the Sony Alpha A5000? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Sony A3000 vs A5000

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Sony A3000 and the Sony A5000. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The A5000 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, white), while the A3000 is only available in black.

Size Sony A3000 vs Sony A5000
Compare A3000 versus A5000 top
Comparison A3000 or A5000 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A5000 is considerably smaller (41 percent) than the Sony A3000. Moreover, the A5000 is substantially lighter (35 percent) than the A3000. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the A3000 nor the A5000 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.

The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Sony A3000» 5.0 in 3.6 in 3.3 in 14.5 oz 470 n Aug 2013 329- i Sony A3000
 
Sony A5000« 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 420 n Jan 2014 449- i Sony A5000
 
Canon M10« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.6 oz 255 n Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
 
Nikon D3300« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.2 oz 700 n Jan 2014 499- i Nikon D3300
 
Sony A6400« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 2.0 in 14.2 oz 410 n Jan 2019 899 i i Sony A6400
 
Sony RX100 IV« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony A5100« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 10.0 oz 400 n Aug 2014 549 i i Sony A5100
 
Sony A6000« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.1 oz 360 n Feb 2014 599- i Sony A6000
 
Sony A58« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 3.1 in 17.4 oz 690 n Feb 2013 599- i Sony A58
 
Sony NEX-3N« » 4.3 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 480 n Feb 2013 499- i Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony RX1R« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.0 oz 270 n Jun 2013 2,799- i Sony RX1R
 
Sony NEX-6« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 12.2 oz 360 n Sep 2012 999- i Sony NEX-6
 
Sony RX1« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.0 oz 270 n Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony RX1
 
Sony NEX-7« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 14.1 oz 430 n Aug 2011 1,349- i Sony NEX-7
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The A3000 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 27 percent) than the A5000, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Sony A3000 vs A5000

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Sony A3000 and Sony A5000 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 19.8 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the A3000 and the A5000 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the A5000 is a somewhat more recent model (by 4 months) than the A3000, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.

The Sony Alpha A3000 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 16000. The Sony Alpha A5000 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

A3000 versus A5000 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Sony A3000» APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878Sony A3000
 
Sony A5000« APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979Sony A5000
 
Canon M10« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365Canon M10
 
Nikon D3300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582Nikon D3300
 
Sony A6400« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p2413.6143183Sony A6400
 
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony A5100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780Sony A5100
 
Sony A6000« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782Sony A6000
 
Sony A58« » APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.312.575374Sony A58
 
Sony NEX-3N« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.5106774Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony RX1R« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791Sony RX1R
 
Sony NEX-6« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.713.1101878Sony NEX-6
 
Sony RX1« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.114.3253493Sony RX1
 
Sony NEX-7« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.113.4101681Sony NEX-7

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60i).

 

Feature comparison: Sony A3000 vs A5000

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A3000 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the A5000 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Sony A3000, the Sony A5000, and comparable cameras.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Sony A3000»202 n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n Sony A3000
 
Sony A5000«- n 3.0 461 tilting n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n Sony A5000
 
Canon M10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6 Y n Canon M10
 
Nikon D3300« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D3300
 
Sony A6400« »2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 Y n Sony A6400
 
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0 Y Y Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony A5100« »- n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Sony A5100
 
Sony A6000« »1440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n Sony A6000
 
Sony A58« »1440 n 2.7 460 tilting n 1/4000s 5.0 Y Y Sony A58
 
Sony NEX-3N« »- n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony RX1R« »- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Sony RX1R
 
Sony NEX-6« »2359 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y n Sony NEX-6
 
Sony RX1« »- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Sony RX1
 
Sony NEX-7« »2359 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y n Sony NEX-7
The A5000 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the A3000 does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the A3000 and the A5000 write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The A5000 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the A3000 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Sony A3000 vs A5000

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Sony Alpha A3000 and Sony Alpha A5000 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Sony A3000»Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony A3000
 
Sony A5000«-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony A5000
 
Canon M10« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon M10
 
Nikon D3300« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D3300
 
Sony A6400« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YYYSony A6400
 
Sony RX100 IV« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony A5100« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony A5100
 
Sony A6000« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony A6000
 
Sony A58« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony A58
 
Sony NEX-3N« »-stereomono--micro2.0---Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony RX1R« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony RX1R
 
Sony NEX-6« »Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Sony NEX-6
 
Sony RX1« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony RX1
 
Sony NEX-7« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony NEX-7

It is notable that the A3000 has a hotshoe, while the A5000 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Both the A3000 and the A5000 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The A5000 was replaced by the Sony A5100, while the A3000 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Sony website.


Review summary: Sony A3000 vs A5000

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Sony A3000 or the Sony A5000 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha A3000:

  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (470 versus 420) on a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (27 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2013).


Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A5000:

  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (461k vs 230k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3.5 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (110x63mm vs 128x91mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 142g or 35 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (4 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A5000 is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 5 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

A3000 05:10 A5000

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony A3000 and the Sony A5000 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the A3000 or the A5000 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews: Sony A3000 vs A5000

This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Sony A3000»+-4/54.5/54/5 Aug 2013 329- i Sony A3000
 
Sony A5000«+-4.5/5o4.5/5 Jan 2014 449- i Sony A5000
 
Canon M10« »---o4/5 Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
 
Nikon D3300« »+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499- i Nikon D3300
 
Sony A6400« »+85/1004.5/5-4/5 Jan 2019 899 i i Sony A6400
 
Sony RX100 IV« »+ +85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony A5100« »+-4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i i Sony A5100
 
Sony A6000« »+80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599- i Sony A6000
 
Sony A58« »--4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2013 599- i Sony A58
 
Sony NEX-3N« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2013 499- i Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony RX1R« »--4/5o4.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799- i Sony RX1R
 
Sony NEX-6« »+ +78/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2012 999- i Sony NEX-6
 
Sony RX1« »-79/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony RX1
 
Sony NEX-7« »+ +81/1004.5/55/55/5 Aug 2011 1,349- i Sony NEX-7
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Sony A3000:
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Sony A5000:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Sony A3000 vs Sony A5000

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Sony A3000 Sony A5000
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Sony E mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2013 January 2014
    Launch Price USD 329 USD 449
    Sensor Specs Sony A3000 Sony A5000
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.2 x 15.4 mm 23.2 x 15.4 mm
    Sensor Area 357.28 mm2 357.28 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 27.8 mm 27.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 19.8 Megapixels 19.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5456 x 3632 pixels 5456 x 3632 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.25 μm 4.25 μm
    Pixel Density 5.55 MP/cm2 5.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100-16000 ISO 100-16000 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 78 79
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.7 23.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.8 13.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1068 1089
    Screen Specs Sony A3000 Sony A5000
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder No viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.47x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 461k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Sony A3000 Sony A5000
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000/s 1/4000/s
    Continuous Shooting 2.5 shutter flaps/s 3.5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium MS or SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Sony A3000 Sony A5000
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Body Specs Sony A3000 Sony A5000
    Battery Type NP-FW50 power pack NP-FW50 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)470 shots per charge420 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 128 x 91 x 85 mm
    (5.0 x 3.6 x 3.3 in)
    110 x 63 x 36 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 411 g (14.5 oz) 269 g (9.5 oz)

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