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Sony NEX-5R Review

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Category: Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera
Product: Sony NEX-5R
Price: £435.00
Rating: 4.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 5

Sony NEX-5R Review - The Sony NEX-5R has a 16.1 megapixel sensor, Wi-Fi and tiltable LCD screen. Daniel Bell reviews.

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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification
Sony Nex 5r 10

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.

Sony Nex 5r 12

Sony NEX-5R Features

The Sony NEX-5R has a 16.1 megapixel APS-C sensor and is designed to capture more light for low light shooting. It has built-in Wi-Fi to allow it to connect to devices such as smartphones or tablets. There is also a BIONZ processor which produces clear, detailed, low noise images and can shoot right up to ISO 25600. When shooting in low light a high-speed burst of six frames creates a single low-noise image to minimise blur.

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.

Sony Nex 5r 9

Key Features

  • 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
Sony Nex 5r 13

Sony NEX-5R Handling

The Sony NEX-5R has a metal body and a good rubberised hand grip, as well as a rubber square on the back for your right-hand thumb. The top accessory port allows the connection of the included pop-up flash, as well as the optional OVF (Optical viewfinder), EVF (Electronic viewfinder) and microphone.

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.

Sony Nex 5r Screenshot 3 Sony Nex 5r Screenshot 4 Sony Nex 5r Screenshot 1

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.

Sony Nex 5r 7

Sony NEX-5R Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Sony NEX-5R Sample Photos

Portrait | 1/160 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 250

Portrait | 1/160 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 250
High-Res

Landscape | 1/80 sec | f/11.0 | 18.0 mm | ISO 100

Landscape | 1/80 sec | f/11.0 | 18.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res | RAW

Fast Shutter Speed | 1/4000 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 1000

Fast Shutter Speed | 1/4000 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 1000
High-Res | RAW

Pet Portrait | 1/200 sec | f/6.3 | 45.0 mm | ISO 100

Pet Portrait | 1/200 sec | f/6.3 | 45.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res | RAW

Stadium At Night | 1/160 sec | f/4.5 | 24.0 mm | ISO 3200

Stadium At Night | 1/160 sec | f/4.5 | 24.0 mm | ISO 3200
High-Res

Low Light | 0.6 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100

Low Light | 0.6 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Miniature | 1/200 sec | f/8.0 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100

Miniature | 1/200 sec | f/8.0 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Trees | 1/80 sec | f/6.3 | 18.0 mm | ISO 100

Trees | 1/80 sec | f/6.3 | 18.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res


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

18mm | 1/160 sec | f/9.0 | 18.0 mm | ISO 100

18mm | 1/160 sec | f/9.0 | 18.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res | RAW

35mm | 1/160 sec | f/9.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 100

35mm | 1/160 sec | f/9.0 | 35.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res | RAW

55mm | 1/250 sec | f/9.0 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100

55mm | 1/250 sec | f/9.0 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res | RAW

Macro | 1/160 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 1000

Macro | 1/160 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 1000
High-Res | RAW


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

ISO100 | 1/13 sec | f/5.0 | 49.0 mm

ISO100 | 1/13 sec | f/5.0 | 49.0 mm
High-Res | RAW

ISO200 | 1/25 sec | f/5.0 | 49.0 mm

ISO200 | 1/25 sec | f/5.0 | 49.0 mm
High-Res | RAW

ISO400 | 1/50 sec | f/5.0 | 49.0 mm

ISO400 | 1/50 sec | f/5.0 | 49.0 mm
High-Res | RAW

ISO800 | 1/80 sec | f/5.6 | 49.0 mm

ISO800 | 1/80 sec | f/5.6 | 49.0 mm
High-Res | RAW

ISO1600 | 1/125 sec | f/6.3 | 49.0 mm

ISO1600 | 1/125 sec | f/6.3 | 49.0 mm
High-Res | RAW

ISO3200 | 1/160 sec | f/8.0 | 49.0 mm

ISO3200 | 1/160 sec | f/8.0 | 49.0 mm
High-Res | RAW

ISO6400 | 1/250 sec | f/9.0 | 49.0 mm

ISO6400 | 1/250 sec | f/9.0 | 49.0 mm
High-Res | RAW

ISO12800 | 1/500 sec | f/9.0 | 49.0 mm

ISO12800 | 1/500 sec | f/9.0 | 49.0 mm
High-Res | RAW

ISO25600 | 1/1000 sec | f/9.0 | 49.0 mm

ISO25600 | 1/1000 sec | f/9.0 | 49.0 mm
High-Res | RAW


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

AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/20 sec | f/4.0 | 24.0 mm | ISO 100

AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/20 sec | f/4.0 | 24.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res | RAW

Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/20 sec | f/4.0 | 24.0 mm | ISO 100

Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/20 sec | f/4.0 | 24.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res | RAW

AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/4 sec | f/4.0 | 24.0 mm | ISO 100

AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/4 sec | f/4.0 | 24.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res | RAW

Fluorescent +1 preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/4 sec | f/4.0 | 24.0 mm | ISO 100

Fluorescent +1 preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/4 sec | f/4.0 | 24.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res | RAW

Fluorescent 0 - fluorescent lighting | 1/4 sec | f/4.0 | 24.0 mm | ISO 100

Fluorescent 0 - fluorescent lighting | 1/4 sec | f/4.0 | 24.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res | RAW

Fluorescent -1 preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/4 sec | f/4.0 | 24.0 mm | ISO 100

Fluorescent -1 preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/4 sec | f/4.0 | 24.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res | RAW

Fluorescent -2 preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/4 sec | f/4.0 | 24.0 mm | ISO 100

Fluorescent -2 preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/4 sec | f/4.0 | 24.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res | RAW


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 | 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

Creative Style - Standard | 1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100

Creative Style - Standard | 1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res | RAW

Creative Style - Black And White | 1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100

Creative Style - Black And White | 1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res | RAW

Creative Style - Landscape | 1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100

Creative Style - Landscape | 1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res | RAW

Creative Style - Portrait | 1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100

Creative Style - Portrait | 1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res | RAW

Creative Style - Sunset | 1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100

Creative Style - Sunset | 1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res | RAW

Creative Style - Vivid | 1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100

Creative Style - Vivid | 1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res | RAW

Picture Effect - HDR Painting | 1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100

Picture Effect - HDR Painting | 1/8 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res

Picture Effect - High Contrast Monochrome | 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
High-Res

Picture Effect - Partial Colour Blue | 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
High-Res

Picture Effect - Partial Colour Green | 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
High-Res

Picture Effect - Partial Colour Red | 1/10 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
High-Res

Picture Effect - Partial Colour Yellow | 1/8 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
High-Res

Picture Effect - Pop Colour | 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
High-Res

Picture Effect - Posterization Black And White | 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
High-Res

Picture Effect - Posterization Colour | 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
High-Res

Picture Effect - Retro | 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
High-Res

Picture Effect - Rich Tone Monochrome | 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
High-Res

Picture Effect - Soft Focus | 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
High-Res

Picture Effect - Soft High Key | 0.6 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
High-Res

Picture Effect - Toy Camera | 1/20 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100

Picture Effect - Toy Camera | 1/20 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 100
High-Res


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 Money

The 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.

Sony NEX-5R Verdict

The Sony NEX-5R is the update to the 5N, with the most exciting upgrade being the built-in Wi-Fi which allows you to share and edit images via apps, as well as utilising your smartphone or tablet as a remote release as well.

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.

 
  The Sony NEX-5R is a worthy update to the 5N, with the addition of Wi-Fi and excellent image quality.

Sony NEX-5R Pros

Excellent image quality
10 fps continuous shooting
Has built-in Wi-Fi
Tiltable screen
Can download apps for editing and sharing pictures
Customisable function button
Good battery life

Sony NEX-5R Cons

A number of the lenses are quite large
Non-standard flash mount
Alpha lens adapter can make the camera quite bulky

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

Sony NEX-5R Specifications

ManufacturerSony
Image Sensor
CCD pixels 16.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W) 4912
Pixels (H) 3264
Sensor Type CMOS
Sensor Size APS-C
Sensor Size (width) 23.5mm
Sensor Size (height) 15.6mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor 3in
Screen resolution 921,600
Touch Screen Yes
Focusing
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Spot
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest 1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest 30sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • AB
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity 100 - 25600
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Shade
Exposure Comp +/-3
Viewfinder
Viewfinder Resolution No Data
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting 10fps
Video
Movie mode Yes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
  • 1440x1080
Video FPS 25p, 50p
Stereo Sound Yes
Optical Zoom with Video Yes
Other Features
Image Stabilisation No
Interface
HDMI Yes
USB USB 2
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • Memory Stick
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery Type NP-FW50
CIPA Rating 410
Box Contents
Box Contents Camera, Shoulder strap, Battery Charger, Infolithium Battery (NP-FW50), USB Cable, CD-ROM, Flash, Standard Zoom Lens (18-55mm OSS)
Dimensions
Weight 210g
Width 110.8mm
Height 58.8mm
Depth 38.2mm

View Full Product Details



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