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The Sony NEX-5R is an update to the Sony NEX-5N, with Wi-Fi and new PlayMemories applications available for download. The Sony NEX-5R is available for around £440 with 18-55mm kit lens and is the 3rd generation of the NEX-5, the most popular model in the NEX range.
Photos can be uploaded directly to Facebook from the camera with other apps available as well, including one which allows you to use your smartphone as a remote control. There are plenty of apps to download on the PlayMemories Camera Apps website.
The NEX-5R has Hybrid Auto Focus technology to capture high-speed action. It can also shoot at up to 10 fps. To help take creative pictures there are a number of picture modes such as poster effect, miniature and selective colour. You can also retouch portraits to remove blemishes and wrinkles.
Videos are recorded in full HD and zooms in and out without losing focus. The NEX-5R can be attached via HDMI to a HD TV for video playback.
- 16.1 megapixel APS-C sensor
- Sony E lens mount
- Hybrid Auto Focus technology
- 3 inch wide 921,600 dot tiltable touch screen
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- Full 1080p HD video recording
- ISO 100-25600
- Panorama mode
- 10 fps continuous shooting
- HDR mode
Also on the top of the camera is an Fn (function) button which gives access to focus, metering mode, white-balance etc. but can be customised to a number of different options. There is also a dial which allows you to change settings such as aperture and shutter speed, depending on which mode you're using. There is rear scroll wheel which makes it easy to cycle through the menus. The menu system is fairly well laid out but some options do have a rather long list.
The touch screen is 3 inch wide and is tiltable at up to 180 degrees, ideal for shooting with the camera low down or taking perfectly framed self-portraits. You can also use the screen to focus the camera and take a shot. The screen has a good resolution and is easy to view in all light.
When you've set it to connect to your Wi-Fi network you can access the applications where you can use any that are already installed, or download more. Some are free, there are also some which you have to pay for, such as Bracket Pro & Time-Lapse.
Battery life is rated at 410 shots according to CIPA test results, we were able to take 675 shots before the battery went flat. We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.
|Shutter Response||<0.05 secs|
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response||0.3 secs|
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response||0.5 secs|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||1.7 secs|
|Shot to Shot without Flash||0.78 secs|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||1.2 secs|
|Continuous Shooting||3.2 fps|
|Continuous Shooting - Speed Priority||10 fps|
|Continuous Shooting - Flash||1.5 fps|
Whether shooting in JPEG or RAW the speed is the same and to get the fastest continuous shooting you need to make sure you are in speed-priority mode.
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Sony NEX-5R Sample Photos
Portrait | 1/160 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 250
Stadium At Night | 1/160 sec | f/4.5 | 24.0 mm | ISO 3200
Low Light | 0.6 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
Miniature | 1/200 sec | f/8.0 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
Trees | 1/80 sec | f/6.3 | 18.0 mm | ISO 100
Sample Photos - Images are well exposed and have excellent colour reproduction. The auto modes make it extremely easy to capture superb pictures. Landscapes have fantastic greens and blues and you can capture moving objects with shutter speeds as fast as 1/4000 sec. Images are decent in low light, even when shooting hand held, rather than with a tripod. Portraits have pleasant skin tones and are free from red-eye when using the flash.
Sony NEX-5R Lens test images
Lens Performance - Images are packed with detail at both ends of the 18-55mm kit lens, with purple fringing non-existent in contrasting areas. The camera has a good dynamic range, but it can be extended using HDR mode which combines three shots automatically. It's difficult to get close to your subject using the kit lens, but a well detailed macro is possible by zooming in.
Sony NEX-5R ISO test images
ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at ISO 100 and remains so at ISO 200, 400 and 800. There is a slight loss in image quality at ISO 1600 with images becoming a little soft at ISO 3200. ISO 6400 sees a significant loss in image quality with some fine white dots appearing, which increase in numbers at ISO 12800. At ISO 25600 images are very noisy, with patches of the images looking blurred.
Sony NEX-5R White-balance test images
White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent lights, both the auto white balance (AWB) and incandescent presets take excellent images. The AWB also does well under the fluorescent lights, with colour casts appearing when using the fluorescent presets.
Panorama | 1/250 sec | f/11.0 | 18.0 mm | ISO 100
Panorama mode - When in panorama mode the camera automatically stitches images together, with standard and wide options available, you can move the camera left / right or up / down. They are stitched together excellently, have plenty of detail and look impressive, even when viewed at full size.
Sony NEX-5R Digital filters
Picture Effect - HDR Painting | 1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
Picture Effect - High Contrast Monochrome | 1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
Picture Effect - Partial Colour Blue | 1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
Picture Effect - Partial Colour Green | 1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
Picture Effect - Partial Colour Red | 1/10 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
Picture Effect - Partial Colour Yellow | 1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
Picture Effect - Pop Colour | 1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
Picture Effect - Posterization Black And White | 1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
Picture Effect - Posterization Colour | 1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
Picture Effect - Retro | 1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
Picture Effect - Rich Tone Monochrome | 1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
Picture Effect - Soft Focus | 1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
Picture Effect - Soft High Key | 0.6 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
Picture Effect - Toy Camera | 1/20 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
Digital Filters - The NEX-5R is an ideal camera for producing creative pictures, with a range of creative styles and picture effects available, with many examples above.
Video - Below is a video shot in full 1080p HD. You can use the zoom during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube Page. It is hard to zoom consistently with the kit lens, if you're going to frequently use the zoom while recording the 16-50mm power zoom lens would be a worthy investment.
Value For MoneyThe Sony NEX-5R can be purchased with an 18-55mm kit lens for around £440.00. Other cameras to consider at this price range are the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 at £349.99, Pentax Q at £249.00, Olympus PEN Mini E-PM2 at £479.99 and Nikon 1 J2 at £349.99. For more choice, read our Top 10 Best Mirrorless Compact System Cameras article.
You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.
Picture quality is excellent and you can shoot full sized images at an impressive 10 fps. It has an excellent battery life, rated at 410 shots and the tiltable screen makes it easy to shoot at varying angles. We've been impressed with other versions in the NEX-5 range, and again we are happy to highly recommend this update.
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|The Sony NEX-5R is a worthy update to the 5N, with the addition of Wi-Fi and excellent image quality.|
Sony NEX-5R ProsExcellent image quality
10 fps continuous shooting
Has built-in Wi-Fi
Can download apps for editing and sharing pictures
Customisable function button
Good battery life
Sony NEX-5R ConsA number of the lenses are quite large
Non-standard flash mount
Alpha lens adapter can make the camera quite bulky
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Sony NEX-5R Specifications
|CCD pixels||16.1Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Size (width)||23.5mm|
|Sensor Size (height)||15.6mm|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/4000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||30sec|
|ISO sensitivity||100 - 25600|
|Viewfinder Resolution||No Data|
|Video FPS||25p, 50p|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Box Contents||Camera, Shoulder strap, Battery Charger, Infolithium Battery (NP-FW50), USB Cable, CD-ROM, Flash, Standard Zoom Lens (18-55mm OSS)|