Digital Cameras

Sony NEX-5R: Review

Sony NEX-5R is an interchangeable lens system camera with a new 16-mega pixel sensor and a complete wireless connectivity, able to record photos and video quality.

The interchangeable lens system camera Sony NEX-5R, the third in its series, pointing to a user definitely more ambitious than that for which it is thought the little sister entry-level NEX-3. While the latter is dedicated to those who want something more than a typical compact, the new Sony NEX-5R improves the previous 5N with features and performance, while keeping a safe distance from the top of the range NEX-7, make it more attractive for advanced amateurs.

Coming to the point, we speak of a function key and a control dial fully customizable. These, at first glance, may appear as a simple extension of the possibilities offered by the management 5N, but devoting more attention to the richness and flexibility of the controls, Sony has been shown to hold great attention the needs of users, even if not completely as we wished.

The Sony NEX-5R is not just that, of course. We find a new 16.1 mega pixel CMOS sensor in APS-C auto focus and a hybrid that adds the phase detection system in contrast. Sony thus follows the path already taken by the leaders of the world of photography – Nikon and Canon – and Fuji, enhancing the capabilities of the AF system to speed on the whole, but better performance in continuous focusing and shooting video clips.

Another major upgrade of the Sony NEX-5R on the previous generation is the addition of DLNA technology and a range of built-in apps for sharing images and videos on social networks and Sony PlayMemories on the site, or allow the use of a smartphone as Sony viewfinder, and for remote shooting.

Sony NEX-5R: Design

Aesthetically, the Sony NEX-5R is almost indistinguishable from the previous NEX-5N, apart from some changes to the physical controls on the top side. At the first taken in hand, are confirmed sensations of solidity of the structure, quality, choice of materials and assembly, and ergonomics of the handle: the body is made of magnesium, with comfortable grip covered in a soft rubber grip by the excellent, and an excellent weight balance despite the thin and elongated shape. Only those who have large hands and / or long fingers may suffer from the limited height of the camera body.


Once mounted optics used for our test (a valuable F1.8ZA Sonnar T 24 mm and 18-55 mm wide angle zoom F3.5-5.6 OSS kit), you really realize how much the Sony NEX-5R both handy: the camera stops appear as any compact, but while not more pockets, reaches in each case an excellent combination of performance and portability.

The arrangement of controls, little or nothing changes with respect to the NEX-5N, apart from the already mentioned control dial and programmable Fn button on the upper side. The most obvious consequence of these new controls is the change in the placement of the buttons dedicated to the recording and playback of video clips of our shoot (photo and video).

Another change you will notice is the hinge on a first-use touch screen back, which can be rotated 180°, the orientation of images that will fit as a result, a useful function for self-portraits. Obviously, with the screen in this position, we cannot use the supplied flash (external terminal connected to the system), unable to get out. Also, unlike entry level NEX-F3, with tilting screen on the Sony NEX-5R can also tilt down 40 degrees, setting useful in situations where a shoot with the camera held high above his head.

Sony NEX-5R: Functions

Worth going back on new customizable buttons. The Fn key allows quick access to the six predefined shooting parameters: selection AF / MF, AF mode, AF area, white balance, exposure metering and effects on the image. These are the default selections, but we can assign the six who prefer a substantial list of which there are as many as 16 (we also image quality, ISO, Auto HDR mode, flash, etc.).!

More intriguing possibilities offered by the top of the dial Sony NEX-5R, whose function depends on the shooting mode you’re in: it can be used to navigate through the menu options, between images in playback mode, or adjust the exposure after you press the button of the same compensation.


Thus, the management of the camera becomes immediate and intuitive after a rapid learning phase, with the upper ring nut used in combination with the rear, even though the control cannot be said really comprehensive. The upper ring takes over one of the rear: the first has more configuration options – you are against two – with the latter under-utilized.

The road taken by Sony follows that taken by other manufacturers (Samsung Galaxy Room and NX20 and Nikon S800c): Wi-Fi connectivity for sharing on social networks or on smartphones and tablets. On the Sony NEX-5R part from the app PlayMemories which, if installed on your iOS or Android mobile device, allows before transferring photo / video and display them on the screen of the device and then share them.

Sony went even further with the application PlayMemories Camera App, which expands the possibilities of the NEX-5R: Picture Effect to apply a range of digital effects Direct Upload to upload files directly PlayMemories Online or on Facebook via Wi-Fi; Bracket Pro to manage shutter speed, aperture, points of focus and flash usage; Multi-Frame NR for combining several shots so as to reduce the noise in low-light conditions; Photo Retouch with a set of tools for  editing, but above all Smart Remote controls to set the parameters of shooting and then take from their smartphone or tablet.


The Sony NEX-5R is a significant upgrade of the NEX-5N for both usability both for customization. The Wi-Fi connectivity and app Sony makes this camera attractive for those who want to stay connected and share their footage with simplicity and immediacy.

Furthermore, the new Fn button and switch on the top side familiarize you with the controls of this ambitious integrated advanced interchangeable lens system camera with a mid-range. At the same time, the hybrid auto focus makes it the even more precise and immediate focuses, improving the possibilities of the Sony NEX-5R in the video and in the shots of moving subjects.

In terms of pure image quality, the Sony NEX-5R confirms the performance of the model which is the heir, with SLR-like performance to the same level equipped with APS-C format sensor. Considering the price of the kit, all this makes the Sony NEX-5R a very attractive option for those coming from a compact camera and want a concrete step forward in performance and versatility, or those who simply want a second body more compact and lightweight combined its traditional SLR, with a set of dedicated optics (who has a system can recover their Sony Alpha A-mount lenses with dedicated adapter ring).

Where to Buy Sony NEX-5R

Sony NEX-5RK/B 16.1 MP Mirrorless Digital Camera with 18-55mm Lenses (Black)
100 Reviews
Sony NEX-5RK/B 16.1 MP Mirrorless Digital Camera with 18-55mm Lenses (Black)
  • DSLR-quality in about half the size and weight
  • 16 MP APS-C sensor with fast up to 10 fps shooting speed
  • Fast Hybrid AF includes phase-detection for DSLR-like focus
  • Full HD movie shooting at 60p/24p with full exposure control
  • Wi-Fi sharing and downloadable camera apps
Value of Money

PROS : Great images and videos, Effective management of noise, Integrated Wi-Fi, APS-C sensor, Quick access to social networks, Auto focus performance.

CONS : Missing the viewfinder, Limited customization commands.

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