The Sony A5 could be Sony’s next full-frame Alpha camera, according to the latest rumors. And if the whispers are true, it could be one of the most exciting cameras of the year for hobbyist video and stills shooters.
What if you want to enjoy the benefits of full-frame without paying professional prices? That seems to be where the Sony A5 will be pitched, if the rumors are true.
Right now, Sony has some excellent APS-C mirrorless cameras like the Sony A6400, but the most affordable full-frame model remains the Sony A7 III. So there’s certainly a gap in Sony’s camera range for a Sony A5 (or Sony A6, as it may be called).
From the rumors so far, there’s also reasons to believe that the Sony A5 could be pitched towards video shooters and YouTubers, like the compact Sony ZV-1…
Sony A5 release date and price
It’s not clear when the Sony A5 will arrive, but Sony Alpha Rumors is confident that it will be announced “around mid-September”, according to its sources.
Sony did recently register a new camera model in Taiwan, a process that does often hint at a launch in the near future. That model has an NP-FZ100 battery and a single card slot, both of which hint at an entry-level full-frame camera.
It’s a little early for concrete pricing leaks – we don’t even know if this new model will be called the Sony A5 or Sony A6 yet – but a tentative rumor from Sony Alpha Rumors suggests it will be priced at “around $1,000”.
That would make it very affordable for a full-frame camera, and put it around the level of the Canon EOS RP, which is currently the best value full-frame camera you buy. Of course, there will be good reasons for this low pricing, if the rumors about its design and specs turn out to be true…
One of the most interesting rumors about the Sony A5 is that it’ll have a new design for a Sony full-frame camera, and could even be the start of a new line (hence the name).
Right now, Sony’s full-frame models are split between the professional sports-focused Sony A9 line and the Sony A7 range, which is aimed at both pros and hobbyists. The Sony A5 (or Sony A6), then, would be a new entry-level twist on the full-frame Alpha formula.
One of the wildest (and perhaps most tentative) rumors about the Sony A5 is that it won’t have an electronic viewfinder (EVF). This would be highly unusual for a full-frame camera – one of the few other examples is the Sigma FP (below) – but could be a way of keeping the A5’s price down to those rumored $1,000 levels.
These rumors should be treated with caution, as we heard similar speculation about the Nikon Z5 before it launched. That camera turned out to have a traditional, EVF-equipped design.
Still, despite the lack of leaked images so far, there are good reasons to suspect that the Sony A5 could lack an EVF. Sony recently took this approach with the Sony ZV-1 (below), a compact vlogging camera which stripped out the EVF from its RX100 line in order to make it a more affordable option for YouTubers.
There’s a chance Sony could be taking the same approach here, by making a video-focused full-frame camera with an articulating touchscreen to compensate for the lack of an EVF. But this is all just speculation at this point.
Otherwise, the rumors so far suggest the Sony A5’s design could have a lot in common with the Sony A6000-series, with a compact design that would give it Sigma FP-rivaling portability.
Specs and features
If the Sony A5 does turn out to be the camera that was registered in Taiwan recently, then we already have a few early clues about its possible specs.
That registration was for a camera with a Sony NP-FZ100 battery (the one that’s in most of Sony’s A7-series cameras, plus the Sony A6600). This is one of the main clues that it’s likely to be a full-frame camera.
The mysterious model was also listed as having a single card slot, which is a sign that it’s an entry-level offering, and will come with both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. It also has built-in mic and headphone jacks – two features that are very video-friendly – and USB-C connectivity.
Aside from that, all we have to go on so far is speculation from Sony Alpha Rumors, which lacks any more specifics. The site does, though, say that “trusted sources” have confirmed that the Sony A5 (or Sony A6) will be a “new full-frame E-mount camera” and an “entry-level model”.
One of the key questions, particularly if this camera is indeed video-focused, is whether or not it’ll have in-body image stabilization (IBIS). This can be very handy for smoothing out the inevitable jitter from handheld shooting, as well as being a bonus for stills photography.
If that rumored price tag of around $1,000 turns out to be correct, the Sony A5 almost certainly wouldn’t have IBIS. The Sony A6600, an APS-C camera that does have sensor-based stabilization, cost $1,400 / £1,450 / AU$2,399 when it launched. It’s possible that the camera could instead include Active electronic stabilization, that tracks motion in the frame as applies a slight crop on the image.
Right now, we’ll have to wait for official information or further leaks to get an idea about other specs like sensor resolution, ports, burst shooting and codecs, but we’ll update this page as soon as we do.