Sony NEX-5R Review

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This is an in-depth review of the Sony NEX-5R mirrorless camera that came out on August 29, 2012, an update to the existing Sony NEX-5N that I reviewed last year. While I loved the image quality from the NEX-5N, its AF performance was a bit sluggish, certainly not anywhere close to the Nikon 1 series cameras. Sony revamped the NEX-5 series with the 5R, introducing its first hybrid AF system that uses both phase and contrast detect AF to acquire focus, added WiFi connectivity options and a couple of other layout/control tweaks, making the NEX-5R a compelling option for new and existing owners. In this Sony NEX-5R review, I will go over the features and capabilities of the camera and compare it to other mirrorless options, including the Nikon 1 J2, Olympus OM-D E-M5, Canon EOS M, Sony NEX-F3, NEX-6 and NEX-7 series cameras.

Sony NEX-5R

Sony currently offers four mirrorless cameras of different levels: NEX-F3 (entry level), NEX-5R (mid level), NEX-6 (advanced) and NEX-7 (professional). Aside from price, the difference between these camera models is features and exterior design. Both the NEX-F3 and the NEX-5R are available in different colors, while the higher-end NEX-6 and NEX-7 are only available in black. Unlike the NEX-6, which is a new camera segment for NEX series in 2012, the Sony NEX-5R is now in its third iteration. Once again, Sony pushed a number of great new changes and features to this line, making it even more attractive when compared to previous models. Let’s take a look at the camera specifications and see what has changed since the NEX-5N.

Sony NEX-5R Review (1)

NEX-5R + E 24mm F1.8 ZA @ 24mm, ISO 100, 1/80, f/5.6

1) Sony NEX-5R Specifications

Main Features:

  1. 16.1 MP Exmor™ APS HD CMOS image sensor
  2. Fast Hybrid AF (phase-detection AF/contrast-detection AF)
  3. 99 AF points (phase-detection AF), 25 AF points (contrast-detection AF)
  4. Full HD movie shooting 60p/24p
  5. Object Tracking AF via Touch LCD
  6. 11 Picture Effect modes
  7. Regular and 3D Panorama Modes
  8. HDR Capability
  9. Battery life for up to 330 shots
  10. Tiltable 3.0″ Touch LCD with 921K dots
  11. Optional XGA OLED viewfinder with 2.395K dots
  12. Intelligent Scene Recognition and Face Detection
  13. “SteadyShot” Image Stabilization Technology
  14. Electronic Front Curtain shutter
  15. Up to 10 fps continuous shooting at full 16.1 MP resolution
  16. Peaking AF display for precise manual focusing
  17. Wi-Fi Capability
  18. Dynamic Range Optimizer (DRO) technology
Sony NEX-5R Review (4)

NEX-5R + E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS @ 24mm, ISO 200, 1/2000, f/5.6

Detailed technical specifications for the Sony NEX-5R are available at

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