Sony announces Alpha 5000 with 20.1MP sensor, 180-degree display, WiFi for $600 with lens (hands-on)

Sony's NEX branding is officially no more. The Alpha 5000 is the company's first entry-level camera to drop the familiar moniker, falling instead under the higher-end Alpha lineup. Everything else about this CES model fits the mold, however. There's a 180-degree tilting LCD that flips forward for self-portraits, built-in WiFi (with NFC) for instantly sharing pictures and videos on the web, Camera Apps for tweaking shots and uploading directly through a wireless hotspot and Sony's latest 16-50mm power-zoom kit lens for smoother zooming during video capture. On the imaging front, there's a 20.1-megapixel sensor, a 16,000 top ISO and 1080p shooting at 60i, 30p and 24p. There's also a built-in flash -- an appropriate feature for Sony's target demographic of beginner photographers stepping up from a less-capable point-and-shoot.

Despite the new name, the Alpha 5000 feels very much like an NEX. There's a more pronounced grip (think NEX-5T, not 3N), and the same tweaked (and improved) multi-page settings interface that we first met with the Alpha 7 and 7R back in October. Like its recent Sony counterparts, the 5000 charges via its micro-USB port, and it sports an HDMI output (this time, with 4K image support), for photographers looking to share their captures on a TV. Of course, with WiFi built in, you can also transfer shots to a smartphone or tablet, back up your media on a connected computer or boot content to a compatible television via DLNA. You can take a closer look at the Alpha 5000 in the gallery below. Expect it in stores this March in black, white and silver for $600, including the 16-50mm power-zoom lens.