Sony NEX 5T, The First Mirrorless Camera With NFC

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Good morning folks, and welcome to the latest episode of [_____] is the new [_____]. Today we’re taking a look at Sony’s brand new NEX–5T mirrorless camera, which proves that [Wi-Fi] is the new [large sensor]. Or that [NFC] is the new [Wi-Fi]. Or something.

The NEX–5T is a replacement for the old NEX 5R, and adds NFC to the connection puzzle. The camera itself is little changed, which is a good thing as the mirrorless body is already pretty sweet.

But these days a standalone camera is a camera which will end up gathering dust at the back of a closet somewhere (you should really close those closets BTW – it keeps the dust and dirt out real well). The 5T (the “T” presumably signifying “tablet”) will quickly connect to your tablet via Wi-Fi, using NFC to make the initial contact.

Right now the lack of NFC in iOS devices is starting to look a bad. And if Apple is going to add an NFC chip for anything it’ll be to talk to cameras – after all, Passbook is taking care of everything else just fine.

Then again, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Apple just did its own thing. I have a feeling that it’ll skip NFC in favor of Bluetooth 4 and Wi-Fi combined. After all, that’s how AirDrop works in iOS7, finding a device via BT and then making the actual transfer over Wi-Fi. If Apple opens AirDrop up like it did AirPlay then maybe we’ll see it being built into cameras.

This will have the added advantage of allowing BT remote control of the camera by iPhone.

Anyhow, specualtion aside, the NEX 5T looks pretty sweet, and will sell for $550 body-only, or $700 with some kit lens that should be avoided in favor of a fast prime.

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  • CharilaosMulder

    I believe Apple is waiting until all low end products (like pocket cameras) are vanished from market because of the iPhone (and those other phones) in order to not have to implement NFC. Can’t think of stunning examples, but let’s just say Apple never made a scanner app to import text from real notepads because of the notes app.

    That said, I don’t see NFC coming anytime soon in iOS products. Apple has improved the iPhone a lot in the past 3 years, they could’ve easily added NFC 3 years ago. It costs almost nothing these days. But they didn’t, and if you look at the way Airdrop is implemented in iOS7, it’s not going to happen. Since bluetooth is already widely adopted technology for low power communication without having to be in ridiculously close range (and without as many security issues), its the way Apple believes devices should be connected (even if wifi is used for file transfer, just like Airdrop works).

  • ovrlrd

    Sorry but this post is factually wrong, the first NFC mirrorless is the Panasonic GX7 which was announced at the beginning of this month. Still the NEX 5T looks interesting.

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Charlie Sorrel Charlie Sorrel is the Reviews Editor here on Cult of Mac. Follow Charlie  on Twitter at @mistercharlie.

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