The Alpha NEX-5R Mirrorless Digital Camera from Sony is Sony's latest compact interchangeable lens "mirrorless" camera. If you're considering an upgrade to a DSLR, but not sure you want to carry around such a big camera (or the big expense) or you're presently shooting with a DSLR and want comparable image quality in a more compact form, consider the Sony NEX-5R. For starters, the 16MP APS-C-size sensor, fast Hybrid Autofocus, burst shooting up to 10 frames per second and on-camera operational dials offer you a few of the quality and design elements of a DSLR. Of course, you also have the capability to use a variety of lenses, the hallmark of DSLR photography. However, the NEX-5R brings with it advantages that DSLR's cannot offer, starting with its compact body which is about half the size of a DSLR. Add to that built-in Wi-Fi and a tilt-able LCD screen with touch screen operation (including shutter release!) and you begin to realize that the NEX-5R is a special camera that can offer you the best of both worlds.
The 16.1MP APS-C-size Exmor HD
The NEX-5R is Sony's first E-mount camera with Fast Hybrid AF, utilizing two focusing technologies to provide extremely fast and accurate auto-focusing. Phase detection AF splits incoming images into two and compares them for light intensity in order to focus, it is a fast system, able to focus in 0.3 seconds and especially useful when tracking moving subjects. Contrast AF uses the image sensor to measure the contrast differences amongst the pixels, pixels that are "in focus" having higher contrast. It is considered a very accurate focusing system and combined with Phase detection AF, provides the 'Hybrid' system that gives the NEX-5R such a noteworthy DSLR-like auto-focusing capability.
The Hybrid auto-focusing is also utilized when shooting Full HD Video with the NEX-5R and provides continuous auto-focus when shooting video, something very few cameras do. Continuous AF gives your home movies that extra watchable touch that will command attention when you screen them on your HDTV via the provided HDMI output. Able to shoot at 60 frames per second or the more cinematic 24 frames per second, the NEX-5R also shoots with higher quality AVCHD codec and upload-friendly MP4 codec.
Wi-Fi is another first for NEX-5R. It is the first Sony Alpha camera to offer direct Wi-Fi connectivity to smartphones and tablets. With the PlayMemories Camera App installed to your Android, iPhone or tablet you can transfer any image from your NEX-5R straight to your smartphone and from there to the world of waiting friends. This is a great way to share high quality images but also serves as a way to save and back-up images without removing the memory card. PlayMemories Apps also provide you with an easy way to add functions and updates to your camera.
Physically, the NEX-5R is an ultra-compact camera with the Sony E-mount which will allow you to use all the lenses in the E-mount line. It also has added a control dial next to the shutter button which greatly improves operational speed and a large tilt-able 3.0" LCD screen. Able to flip up 180º, this LCD makes shooting self-portraits super-easy but also offers a way to shoot street photography and family snapshots in a discreet way that will provide you with emotional, un-posed moments to treasure. The LCD is also touch functional, including touch shutter release. Combining the control dial and touch screen with Sony's ultra-intuitive interface means that you get to the settings you want in a hurry and therefore get the shot you want instead of being caught fumbling through a menu while the action passes you by.
Heightened control and stellar image quality put the NEX-5R into a rarified class of camera, but its auto, assistive and creative functions make it accessible to any level of photographer. Auto HDR is a great function which makes it easy to capture difficult high-contrast shots by combining the best highlight and shadow aspects of two frames into one perfectly balanced photo. 6-image layering similarly captures six images in a split second and combines the best aspects of six to create one great image. This is great when shooting in low light or other instances where camera shake can affect image sharpness. Auto Portrait Framing will recognize when you shoot a portrait and create a second image from your photo with an ideally cropped frame. Both the original and newly framed image are saved together. Face Detection and Smile Shutter technology make for perfect portraits and group shots and Enhanced Tracking Focus keeps moving subjects in focus while you concentrate on the best composition. Amazingly, Tracking Focus and Face Detection can work together, if for example, your subject turns away from the camera (think, every kid!). The NEX-5R will switch automatically from Face Detection to Focus Tracking and back again when your subject stops and looks again toward the camera.
Other aspects that make the NEX-5R a great camera are its Creative and Fine-tune settings, Sweep Panorama mode, an optional multi-interface terminal, anti-dust technology and convenient USB charging. Whether you're looking to step-up from a point-and-shoot or are already familiar with DSLR's and want a more compact, but still high-quality camera, the Sony Alpha NEX-5R is the ideal camera to enter into the world of compact interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras.
- 16.1MP APS-C size HD Image Sensor
- The same sensor format that Sony builds into the full-sized Alpha DSLRs. With 13 times the area of the typical point-and-shoot image sensor, APS-C sensor size makes the difference between snapshots and photographs, delivering an exceptional combination of high resolution, high sensitivity and gorgeous, blurred backgrounds.
- Fast Hybrid AF
- Sony's advanced Fast Hybrid AF combines two technologies for outstanding performance: Phase detection auto focus for quick response that is ideal when tracking fast-moving subjects and contrast-detection auto focus for added precision. A perfect match that delivers optimal Auto Focus for fast, sharp focusing in any scene.
- Full HD Movies at 60p/60i/24p
- Capture HD Movies in your choice of super-smooth 60p, standard 60i or cinematic 24p, all at Full HD 1920x1080 resolution. AVCHD codec delivers stunning picture quality and MP4 codec offers smaller files for easier upload to the web.
- Wi-Fi Sharing
- Wi-Fi capability - a first for Alpha-series - lets users transfer photos directly to smartphones and tablets with the PlayMemories Mobile app. Wi-Fi capability allows for sharing, viewing and saving photos for expanded photo-shooting enjoyment. Photos can be easily transferred to smartphones and tablets, viewed on large screen TVs or saved to PC's.
- PlayMemories Camera Apps
- Supports PlayMemories Camera Apps, the world's first application download service that lets users install new camera functions as needed.
- 180-degree Tilt-able 3.0" Touch LCD
- The NEX-5R is equipped with a tilt-able LCD screen that flips up 180º without sacrificing the compactness for which the 5-series is renowned. This makes taking great self-portraits incredibly easy since users can precisely compose shots, choosing to include people or objects in the frame for more satisfying results.
- Control Dial and Touch Screen
- Control dial, Fn (function) button and touch screen (including touch shutter function) greatly facilitate operation and getting the shot that much easier.
- Picture Effect Mode
- There are 7 types (11 variations) of picture effects to choose from: Posterization (Color), Posterization (B/W), Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color(R), Partial Color(G), Partial Color(B), Partial Color(Y), High-key, High Contrast Monochrome, Toy Camera. Each is unique and each give you a new and exciting way to make your images and videos pop.
- 6-image Layering
- The camera leverages the large, APS-C image sensor and captures six images in a fraction of a second. The camera then combines the data from the 6 different images up to ISO 25600 to create a single image. This method is used to control blur in Anti-Motion Blur mode or to get cleaner, sharper nighttime pictures in Hand-held Twilight mode.
- Accepts Sony E-mount Lenses
- Compatible with Sony's wide selection of E-mount series of smaller, lighter lenses designed specifically for Alpha NEX compact interchangeable lens cameras. The great thing about mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras is the creative options offered by a full line of lenses that continue to grow but will remain compatible.
- Photo Creativity Touch Interface
- The Photo Creativity touch interface enables you to easily enjoy the creative expression of SLR-quality digital imaging without the complicated settings. Changes can be easily made using the control dial with results seen in real time on the LCD. Settings include: Background Defocus, Brightness, Color, Vividness and most Picture Effects.
- Auto Portrait Framing
- Simply photograph a person and Auto Portrait Framing will save an additional, optimally framed image in portrait or landscape orientation. Combining Face Detection and By Pixel Super Resolution technologies with rule of thirds, Auto Portrait Framing provides beautifully composed and appealingly balanced full resolution portraits.
- Clear Image Zoom
- Utilizing Sony's exclusive By Pixel Super Resolution Technology, Clear Image Zoom increases the effective focal length of your lens up to 2x by digitally magnifying the center of your image with nearly imperceptible degradation. It virtually doubles the effective focal length of whatever lens you're using providing greater shooting flexibility.
- Convenient USB charging
- Easily recharge the camera via USB charging. Simply connect the bundled USB cable and recharge the battery without removing it from the camera, either via AC outlet or PC connection.
- Auto HDR
- High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography captures more scene contrast than a single exposure can handle by combining the best highlight detail from one shot and the best shadow detail from another for one incredible shot. Handles severe backlighting and other high-contrast scenes. Captures in a split second.
- Sweep Panorama Technology
- Capture expansive landscapes automatically. Press the shutter, sweep vertically or horizontally. The camera does the rest, continuously shooting images and stitching them together. Up to 23 MP image size and up to 202 degrees maximum sweep angle at 18mm focal length.
- Exposure Settings
- The NEX-5R offers complete exposure control for the advanced shooter and automatic settings for those who prefer to let the camera decide. Exposure settings include: iAUTO, Superior Auto, Programmed AE (P), Aperture Priority (A), Shutter Speed Priority (S), Manual (M), Sweep Panorama and Scene Selection.
- Fast Auto Focus
- Some cameras in this class are slow to focus. That can make you miss the shot on fast-moving subjects like sports and unpredictable subjects like pets and babies. Sony's fast Contrast Auto Focus system typically takes as little as 0.3 seconds and also offers continuous Auto Focus when shooting movies.
- Manual Focus
- Manual Focus Assist greatly magnifies the viewfinder image when you touch the focus ring, making it easy to get razor-sharp images. And Peaking AF display makes precise manual focusing much easier by highlighting the edges that are in focus in your choice of three colors (white, red, or yellow). This is especially helpful during macro or portrait photography where your focal plane can make or break your shot. Works with E-mount lenses only.
- Enhanced Tracking Focus
- Tracking Focus continuously tracks a user-designated subject and is now more effective at tracking people. If the subject turns away from the camera, face-detection tracking automatically switches to subject tracking and continues tracking.
- Face Detection Technology
- The camera can automatically detect up to eight individual faces and adjust focus, exposure, white balance and flash to help deliver crisp, properly lit images of family and friends. Can prioritize children or adults.
- Smile Shutter Technology
- Captures a smile the moment it happens. Simply select the Smile Shutter mode and the camera takes the picture automatically. You can prioritize children or adults and adjust the smile sensitivity.
- Six Creative Style Settings
- Control how the camera processes your images with six finishing styles: Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset and B&W. You can even fine-tune contrast, saturation, and sharpness to your personal taste.
- PhotoTV HD Compatibility
- Optimizes compatible BRAVIA televisions for gorgeous display of digital pictures with required HDMI cable.
- Dual Format Media Card Slot
- For cost-effective, convenient storage and sharing of your images, the camera accepts Memory Stick PRO Duo/Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo and SD/SDHC media (Class 4 or higher recommended),
- Anti-Dust Technology
- Dust on the image sensor leads to blemishes in the picture. To protect the sensor, Sony incorporates an advanced ultrasonic system, which effectively shakes dust off the sensor surface.