Wednesday, August 29, 2012

SONY NEX-5R Announced and Previewed

Sony NEX-5R- Announced and Previewed
August 2012, Carl Garrard

Sony NEX-5R Preview: Today Sony has launched its next generation 5 series NEX (pronounced en-eee-ex) mirrorless interchangeable camera. This new NEX-5R camera features a new tilt up screen, a 16mp dual autofocus system sensor with phase detection pixels built direct into its structure supplemented with contrast detect auto focus, a customizable control dial and function buttons, a touch screen LCD w/touch auto focus, digital level guage, wireless file transfer, upgraded battery life, 10fps shooting speed, full HD video, and a raft of Sony standard features like DRO, Multi-shot NR, Sweep Panorama, and many many others. Body only price? $650.00. BEST SONY NEX PRICES

I was able to briefly handle the new NEX-5R and I have to say, this indeed is the most impressive NEX-5 series camera to date. The interface has changed a bit (still very much the same though which is disappointing) but the real surprise was the raft of new features above that make for a very mature product. This is going to give some serious trouble to competitors. Also, this is the second NEX camera only that I've considered purchasing for myself (I ended up passing on the NEX-7).

Looks like Sony is on a roll of late, first impressing me with with the A57 Alpha SLT, and now the NEX-5R. The model I handled was pre-production (how many times do you hear that on camera announcements?) so I can't share images, but I have to say this camera is indeed very responsive and will live up to its hype. Sony's NEX team are getting their act together in a big way. Sony NEX/Lens Combo Deal Prices
Customizable buttons and dials, and a port for an EVF is available

The autofocus is excellent (I was told the production version may be even faster), and near bridges the speed gap of DSLR territory. I didn't get a chance to do much subject tracking but the moving objects I did try the camera seemed to keep up very quickly (moving my feet back and forth while focused on a stationary object, for example). I used one of the first three lenses that are supported by the FAST AF feature of the 5R, the 24mm Zeiss f/1.8. Only that lens and the 18-55/55-210mm lenses are supported initially but this will indeed change as new firmware upgrades come to allow other lenses to be used.

The flip up LCD is great, I love doing selfers especially now that I am a father and not too many others around me think of grabbing a camera to get shots of myself and my daughter (they just don't have that photographers mentality). It's a quick and easy way to get a quick shot.

There's a lot of influence going into the NEX-5R from the NEX-7's design success, which I think is a smart design move. Also, the upcoming NEX-6 will be even more like that camera, with the specs more like the NEX-5R (with some improvements and surprises as well); as of which I've found out by way of rumors so keep a shaker of salt handy next to you.

The NEX-5R comes in silver and black, just like the Oakland Raiders (if you watch NFL) and all previous NEX-5 iterations but also a white version will be available too. New accessory cases are available too, and the camera comes with the standard faire included in the box. Seems like a pretty good all in one compact solution for a pretty good price if you ask me (better IQ and features and versatility for the same price as the RX-100). Sony RX100

DPR and Imaging-Resource will undoubtedly have more extensive previews for you available, so please also check those sites if you haven't done that first. More may come on a review if I'm given more time with the NEX-5R, so keep in touch. Full press release from Sony is below for those that like to read them.
Sony NEX/Lens Combo Deal Prices

It's going to be a hot Photokina season to go along with a hotter than average summer. A lot more to come folks, and I mean a lot.

-Carl Garrard

Sony NEX/Lens Combo Deal Prices


New Sony NEX-5R Camera Delivers Professional Imaging Power and Wi-Fi® Convenience in Lightweight, Stylish Package
New Compact System Camera Introduces Fast Hybrid AF and Downloadable PlayMemories Camera Apps™

SAN DIEGO, August 29, 2012 – Combining a stylish, lightweight design and the freedom of interchangeable lenses with large-sensor image quality, speedy AF and the introduction of Wi-Fi capability, the new Sony α NEX-5R compact system camera offers all the benefits of DSLR-style imaging in a more convenient, portable package with added connectivity.    
The NEX-5R camera features a newly-developed 16.1 effective megapixel Exmor® APS HD CMOS sensor - identical in size to sensors found in traditional DSLR cameras - combined with a powerful BIONZ® processor to assure richly detailed still images and crisp Full HD videos in all types of lighting conditions. 
In a first for Sony’s line of interchangeable lens cameras, the new NEX-5R model features “Fast Hybrid AF” autofocus technology, combining phase-detection and contrast-detection methods to ensure speedy, accurate autofocus in any shooting situation.  It is also Sony’s first interchangeable lens camera with integrated Wi-Fi capabilities for easy image sharing, saving and viewing, and introduces the new concept of downloadable Camera Apps for adding creative, fun features that can be personalized to fit a photographer’s needs.
“With the NEX-5R camera, Sony brings the core strength of our consumer electronics business into play to fully support our digital imaging business.  This unique combination of technology and style results in a compelling new product that strikes the ultimate balance between size and performance.” said Mike Kahn, director of the alpha interchangeable lens camera business group at Sony Electronics. “With a host of exciting, innovative new features and the same outstanding image and HD video quality that our E-mount line has become known for, the NEX-5R is an ideal choice for step-up point-and-shoot users or more serious photo enthusiasts who don’t want to compromise on image quality and connectivity while traveling light.”
Fast Hybrid AF
The intuitive new “Fast Hybrid AF” autofocus technology utilizes 99 phase-detection AF points arrayed on the image sensor to detect a subject’s distance and quickly lock focus on it, and then utilizes contrast-detection AF to confirm extremely fine, precise details. In Speed Priority Continuous shooting mode, the camera will switch automatically to phase detection tracking AF and can track fast-moving action accurately in each frame up to 10 frames per second.
Wi-Fi Sharing and New Camera Apps
The added connectivity of the NEX-5R camera allows photos and videos to be transferred wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet running Sony’s free PlayMemories Mobile app, available on both Android™ and Apple iOS platforms. Additionally, content can be directly uploaded from the camera to Facebook® using a Wi-Fi connection and the new “Direct Upload” application, part of Sony’s new PlayMemories Camera Apps platform.   
This new concept of PlayMemories Camera Apps is the world’s first application download service in an interchangeable lens camera that allows consumers to install new functions on demand, tailoring their cameras to fit their personal shooting needs.  The service can be accessed over Wi-Fi or when the camera is connected directly to a PC via USB.
 Available apps at launch, outside of “Direct Upload” as mentioned earlier, will include “Picture Effect+”; “Bracket Pro”; “Multi Frame NR”; “Photo Retouch”; and “Smart Remote Control.  A variety of other apps including “Time-Lapse” and “Cinematic Photo” are also planned for release. 
Shooters can also utilize the family of PlayMemories applications to transfer content directly to a networked PC, streamlining the image back-up process and avoiding the need to connect cables or transfer memory cards between devices. Additionally, they can transfer photos to any DLNA® compatible TV either through a wireless access point or any TV supporting Wi-Fi.
Added Flexibility and Functionality
Aesthetically, the new NEX-5R features a new fully programmable control dial and function button, a versatile combination for photographers accustomed to the flexibility and direct control of a DSLR camera.  It also has a switchable on-screen digital level gauge that helps keep horizons level with landscapes and architectural shots.
Additionally, the new α NEX-5R model features an intuitive touch-screen LCD with a Touch Shutter function for added convenience.  The clear, bright touchscreen can also flip upwards 180 degrees for easy arm’s length self-portraits.
Full HD (1920x1080@60p) movie shooting is enhanced with a new Auto Slow Shutter feature, adding extra detail to low-light clips. The camera detects dim interiors and night scenes, automatically switching to a slower shutter speed to brighten footage. 
New Sony α Accessories
On the α accessories front, the stylish new LCS-SL20/B soft carrying case will be compatible with the new Sony NEX-5R model as well as other E-mount camera bodies.  It features four internal dividers for easy storage of camera bodies and lenses, as well as a dedicated space for a tablet.  The new LCS-SL10/B soft carrying case offers two internal dividers and multiple storage pockets in a compact size.
Also designed for Sony’s E-mount line is the new LCS-EME/BL, a modern, innovative sling bag.  With space to accommodate an NEX and two additional lenses, the LCS-EME/BI is a perfect accessory for active photographers.   Additionally, a new Screen Protect Semi-Hard sheet (model PCK-LM13) will be available that will help protect both the camera and lens of the new NEX-5R camera.

Pricing and Availability
The NEX-5R compact system camera will be available this October in silver, black and white for about $750 with an 18-55mm kit zoom lens as well as body-only for about $650.   
The new camera and all compatible accessories will be available at Sony retail stores ( and other authorized dealers nationwide.
Please visit  for a full video preview of the new NEX-5R compact system camera and follow #SonyNEX on twitter for the latest α NEX camera news.


  1. As there's still no integrated viewfinder and flash (and I didn't expect it to have) I'll have to wait for the next NEX-7. But damn, this App idea looks great - making TimeLapse sequences in-camera while playing Angry Birds? Hell yeah.

  2. "on a role"? "standard fair" ?

    you speaka dee ingleesh?

  3. LOL, thanks for catching the typo's fixed. Glad I have a free editor out there looking after me, normally they get paid da big buckz!


  4. A comment re Poki's wish for an integrated viewfinder.... I have a NEX-5N with the detachable viewfinder - same viewfinder as the NEX-7 (not cheap, though - but as a total package, the camera + viewfinder is exc value). Yesterday I wanted a very portable camera so I removed the viewfinder, put on the pancake wide angle lens and carried it in my jeans pocket. Not the most versatile lens but good on this occasion - and 5N photos can be seriously cropped if need be. As they say, the camera you have with you is the best one and the 5N, and now the 5R can be with you a lot of the time. This viewfinder set-up is also good for low angles as it can be turned 90 degrees for looking down onto it vertically. Exciting for creativity.