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