Sony NEX-5R Review

by Reads (824)
  • Editor's Rating

    Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

      • Image/Video Quality
      • 9
      • Features
      • 8
      • Design / Ease of Use
      • 9
      • Performance
      • 8
      • Expandability
      • 8
      • Total Score:
      • 8.40
      • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10
  • Pros

    • Great image quality up to 6400
    • Fast focusing
    • Compact size makes for great ergonomics
    • Useful dials for quick settings access
    • Decent battery life
    • Wi-Fi great with iPad
  • Cons

    • Touchscreen can be unresponsive
    • Old hot shoe
    • Weird placement of the playback button
    • Could have done better with at least an older EVF built in
    • Wi-Fi not so great with Android devices

Quick Take

The Sony NEX-5R offers a winning feature set in a compact, interchangeable lens body -- 16 MP, hybrid AF and Wi-Fi connectivity.

The Sony NEX-5R is the successor to the NEX-5N, which turned lots of heads and drew the attention of many to the NEX camera system. The camera was small enough and shot video footage that was satisfactory for the BBC to use for a web series. In fact, the BBC stated that the NEX-5N was actually a pleasure to work with. Consumers and reviewers all agreed and thought that its high ISO performance and revamped autofocusing was quite brilliant.

\"SonySony recently built on the successful model with the release of the 5R–unfortunately though most of the spotlight seems to have been stolen by the NEX-6 instead. With its more affordable price than the NEX-7 (the current flagship of the system), excellent sensor, direct dial controls, and built in electronic viewfinder, how can you turn the 5R down?

Sony\’s NEX-5R is overall quite a minor update to the old NEX-5N–but the changes that are there really count. The Wi-Fi transmission feature is really quite cool for photographers, journalists or enthusiasts that need to shoot and share on the spot. The new sensor renders not only spectacular color but also excellent high iso results. On top of this, Sony decided to add in more ergonomic exposure controls.

On the downside though, our unit\’s touchscreen wasn\’t the most responsive and the camera retains the old Sony NEX hot shoe vs the newer multi-interface shoe. On other units we tested though, the screen was snappy and responsive.

Sony\’s autofocusing performance still isn\’t able to touch that of Micro Four Thirds cameras, and at this point we\’re not exactly sure why.

For the best imaging results, we found that users should stick to prime lenses. Not only are they consistently sharper but they can also offer you the bokehlicious images that everyone wants.

So who is this for? Just about anyone, really, according to the experts at DigitalCameraReview. The predecessor was used by the BBC–so why not? Indeed, it has excellent video capabilities. But it can also capture spectacular images with the right lenses. Many people can use this camera and grow with it due to the ergonomic controls for exposure added in. In the end though, enthusiasts and those looking for more power from an interchangeable lens camera should look closely at the 5R.


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