Sony Alpha NEX-5R Brief Review

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REVIEW SUMMARY

Specifications

  • 16.1 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 1080/60p HD video with stereo sound
  • 3-inch 180 degree tilt touchscreen LCD with 920,000 dots
  • Image stabilization
  • Wireless functionality through Sony PlayMemories and additional downloadable apps for additional features
  • Sony E-Mount
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Release Date: 2012-10-05
  • Final Grade: 81 B

B
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Sony Alpha NEX-5R
Sony's 2012 mid-range mirrorless
By Hillary Grigonis, Last updated on: 6/19/2014

The NEX-5R is the logical next step in the NEX-5 line, following on the heels of the highly successful 5N with a few choice upgrades. The sensor stays the same resolution, 16 megapixels, but gains a 99-point on-sensor phase detection array that quickly judges subject distance, followed by contrast detection autofocus for precision focusing. Reviews note very speedy autofocus in a variety of light levels. The other headliner on the new camera is the addition of wireless, which works with Sony's PlayMemories App to control the camera via your phone or tablet or upload pictures to your phone. You can also upload pictures straight from the 5R to online services like Facebook and even install new apps for increased camera functionality. Smaller upgrades include a new 180 degree tilt touchscreen LCD like the one on the F3, a control wheel and another function button. Image quality is reportedly stellar, too, so yet another winner for Sony's NEX lineup.

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Sony Reviews

Sony has been at the forefront of the market for consumer electronics for the past 30 years by offering innovative imaging products in response to changes in the market. Sony has made cameras that are ideal for casual users, hobbyists, and professional photographers through their dedication to implementing the most current technology with a sleek and minimal style, resulting in an end result of the highest quality.

Sony was the first to put a full-frame sensor inside of a mirrorless camera, the A7 and A7R, and a little later, the A7S. While the first-of-its-kind cameras aren't without flaws, Sony executed their ideas fairly well and made some pretty solid cameras to start the new line.

Speaking of first-of-its kind, Sony also designed a “camera-without-a-camera,” the QX10 and QX100. These cameras have a sensor and lens, but no operating system—instead, consumers use their smartphone via wi-fi or NFC to operate the camera. While the cameras certainly have flaws (mainly in the slow response due to operating through wi-fi), we still have to applaud Sony for the way they've responded to the rise in smartphone photography (plus the cameras have actually sold remarkably well).

Sony has also been highly successful with the RX compact camera line that began with the RX100, a compact camera with a 1” sensor, excellent image quality and full manual modes. The camera has since seen some solid updates, and remains a good option. Sony also added the RX10, a camera with a 1” sensor but instead of focusing on compact size, adds a much bigger zoom.

While their focus is on more advanced models, it’s usually a pretty safe bet to pick up a Sony compact, even a budget priced one, and still get a lot of bang for your buck. We're also big fans of Sony's designs, making their cameras easy to use and adjust, like the HX400 that has an automatic sensor on the electronic viewfinder as well as a control ring around the lens.

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