The New Sony NEX-5R
Sony has just announced the newest camera in its line of mirrorless cameras: the NEX-5R. Following suit of its predecessors, this camera is a compact, interchangeable-lens camera with a large APS-C-sized sensor. This combination provides a bit of both worlds; the portability of a compact point and shoot with the control and image quality reminiscent of a DSLR. The NEX-5R’s 16.1-megapixel sensor has the same resolution and size as many full-sized DSLRs, but is housed in a body about half the size. Furthermore, this camera employs a unique autofocus system that combines both phase detection and contrast detection focusing systems for both quick and highly accurate focusing as well as improved focus tracking. Wi-Fi capabilities have also been integrated into the design, allowing you to instantly share your images and HD video directly from the camera.
DSLR Functionality in a Compact Body
The APS-C-sized Exmor HD sensor in the NEX-5R is the same size sensor used in many of Sony’s DSLR cameras and features a significantly larger area than other compact camera sensors. Its 16.1-megapixel resolution provides high-quality imagery with great detail and overall sensitivity. A larger sensor also lends itself to greater control over focus, including the ability to blur backgrounds and utilize selective focus techniques. This camera also utilizes Sony’s interchangeable E-mount lenses for more flexibility and options when shooting.
The sensor also affords the ability to record high-definition video in a variety of frame rates and codecs. All HD recording is done in 1920 x 1080 resolution, at 60p, 60i or 24p frame rates. The AVCHD codec is used for excellent quality; however, the MP4 codec can also be used to record at 1440 x 1080 for more Internet-friendly videos. You can watch your movies on an HDTV straight from the camera using the HDMI-out port.
The NEX-5R is the first E-mount camera to integrate the Fast Hybrid AF system, which utilizes two separate focusing systems in order to produce fast and accurate focus. Phase-detection autofocus excels at acquiring focus quickly and can handle tracking subjects as they move. Contrast-detection autofocus is used for critical focus and utilizes the edges of subjects to determine focus. When combined, the Fast Hybrid AF gives precise focusing while still offering the ability to easily track subjects and attain focus in as little as 0.3 second. This system is also able to provide continuous autofocusing while recording HD video.
On the manual focus end, critical focusing is possible by using the Peaking AF display feature. This feature highlights the edges of subjects once they are in focus and displays either a white, yellow or red line around them. When working with peaking, focusing becomes a more objective experience since there is visual confirmation that your subjects are sharp. There is also a Manual Focus Assist feature that magnifies the image, allowing you to home in on precise focus more easily. When this feature is activated, the image becomes magnified when the focus ring is touched, and will revert to normal viewing after the lens remains untouched for about a second.
Another first for Alpha cameras, the NEX-5R has full Wi-Fi capabilities and allows users to transfer images or video from the camera directly to smart phones or tablets. This function is based on the PlayMemories Mobile app (available for Android or iOS) which, in addition to facilitating the transferring of image from camera to device, also functions as cloud storage. Once your images have been uploaded to PlayMemories Online, you have instant access to your photos and videos on a number of different wireless devices including other smart phones or tablets and computers. You are also able to upload your imagery to social networks or other sites, as well as email, directly from your smart device too. The PlayMemories apps also enable you to download and install new camera functions as needed. It is the world’s first service that allows you to download and install the specific features and functions on your own.
Camera Features and Functions
A wide variety of creative effects and tools has been integrated into the camera to allow for optimizing your exposure, improving low-light performance and helping to provide the overall best imagery possible. A six-image layering process records six individual exposures consecutively and essentially builds up a sufficient exposure. This process lessens the overall noise in imagery since you can work with lower ISO settings and make shorter exposures. Another benefit to working with this process is the ability to photograph in darker settings without the need of a tripod; Handheld Twilight mode applies these settings in order to shorten the overall exposure duration for handheld exposures. Image layering is also used with the built-in Auto HDR function, which blends different exposures into a single frame in order to gain a wider exposure range capable of handling dark shadows and bright highlights. This mode is ideal for working in backlit situations or other high contrast instances.
For portraiture, Auto Portrait Framing automatically enhances and recomposes images of people into an optimally structured image. Utilizing Sony’s By Pixel Super Resolution Technology, when an image of a person is taken, Face Detection will help to recognize where in the frame the subject is and crop the image according to the Rule of Thirds. A new image will be saved with these enhancements in addition to the original composition and exposure. Also making use of By Pixel Super Resolution Technology, Clear Image Zoom can effectively increase the zoom range up to 2x with little to no image degradation. This mode works by magnifying the center of the image and using a complex interpolation formula to analyze individual pixels and categorize patterns in order to process and optimize images accordingly.
More creative applications can benefit from the Picture Effect mode, which contains seven types and 11 variations of different effects you can apply directly to your imagery. Choices include Toy Camera, Retro Photo and Posterization modes. There are also six Creative Style settings to choose from, including Landscape, Vivid and Portrait, which alter the camera settings to best suit the situation you are photographing. Each of these settings can also be fine-tuned in regard to contrast, sharpness and saturation.
Sweep Panorama Technology enables you to make extended, panoramic images directly in-camera without the need to stitch together images in post production. When working in this mode you simply pan your camera across the scene and the camera will automatically blend together the images into a seamless, panoramic image. Images up to 23 megapixels in resolution with a maximum sweep angle of 202° are possible, in either vertical or horizontal orientation.
Design and Interface
The NEX-5R is a highly compact camera, but still contains an immense number of functions and physical features. The 3.0” LCD is 180° tiltable for viewing at a variety of angles, including facing forward for use when taking self-portraits. Its 921,600-dot resolution provides detailed viewing and the brightness can be controlled manually for use in different lighting situations. Additionally, the LCD is a touch screen that provides you with a variety of options for adjusting your camera or exposure settings. Changes are applied through an intuitive interface that involves swiping, tapping and other familiar movements in order to modify settings such as Background Defocus, Brightness, Color and Vividness.
The Sony E-mount is compatible with a wide array of different lenses, including the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens. This lens provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 27-82.5mm and features quiet internal focusing for smooth autofocus with minimal noise. It also has Optical SteadyShot image stabilization for reducing camera shake when working at the long end of the zoom or in low-light conditions.
The Sony NEX-5R showcases a distinct innovation compared to past NEX cameras through the integration of Wi-Fi capabilities along with a unique autofocus system, large image sensor and overall intuitive interface design. The number of creative and practical options and ability to navigate and utilize a large 3.0” articulating touch screen LCD add to the overall efficiency of this camera. The NEX-5R serves to function as an appealing option to a full-size DSLR with the benefit of being substantially more compact—without sacrificing on quality.
|Camera Type||Compact Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera|
|Lens Compatibility||Sony E-mount lenses|
|Image Sensor||Exmor APS HD CMOS (23.5 x 15.6mm)|
|Anti-Dust Technology||Charge protection coating on optical filter and ultrasonic vibration mechanism|
|Focal Length Conversion (Crop) Factor||1.5x|
|Color Filter System||RGB primary color filter|
|Color Space||sRGB, Adobe RGB|
|Still Image Mode||JPEG (Standard, Fine), RAW, RAW+JPEG|
|Still Image Size||16:9
L: 4912 x 2760 (14MP)
M: 3568 x 2000 (7.1MP)
S: 2448 x 1376 (3.4MP)
L: 4912 x 3264 (16MP)
M: 3568 x 2368 (8.4MP)
S: 2448 x 1624 (4MP)
Horizontal Wide: 12,416 x 1856 (23MP)
Vertical: 5536 x 2160 (12MP)
Horizontal Std: 8192 x 1856 (15MP)
Vertical Std: 3872 x 2160 (8.4MP)
|Still Image File Format||JPEG (DCF Ver. 2.0, Exif Ver. 2.3, MPF Baseline compliant), RAW (Sony ARW 2.3 format)|
|Video Format||AVCHD Ver. 2.0 (Progressive), AVCHD, MP4|
PS: 1920 x 1080/60p at 28Mbps
FX: 1920 x 1080/60i at 24Mbps
FH: 1920 x 1080/60i at 17Mbps
FX: 1920 x 1080/24p at 24Mbps
FH: 1920 x 1080/24p at 17Mbps
HD: 1440 x 1080/30fps at 12Mbps
VGA: 640 x 480/30fps at 3Mbps
|Audio Format||Dolby Digital (AC-3) / MPEG-4 AAC-LC, 2ch|
|Microphone/Speaker||Built-in stereo microphone / Built-in monaural speaker|
|Digital Zoom||Approx. 4x|
|Smart Zoom Technology||M: Approx. 1.4x
S: Approx. 2x
|LCD Type||3.0" / 7.6cm TFT touch screen, 921,600-dot|
|LCD Angle Adjustment||Up 180°, Down 50°|
|LCD Brightness Control||Manual (5 steps, +/- 2), Sunny Weather mode|
|Peaking Settings||Yes (Level: High, Mid, Low, Off / Color: White, Red, Yellow)|
|Focus System||Fast Hybrid AF (phase and contrast-detection AF) with Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor|
|Focus Points||99 points (phase-detection AF), 25 points (contrast-detection AF)|
|AF Modes||AF-S (single-shot AF), AF-C (continuous AF)|
|Focus Area||Multi-Point, Center-weighted, Flexible Spot|
|Focus Sensitivity||0-20 EV (at ISO 100 with f/2.8 lens)|
|Manual Focus Assist||Yes; 4.8x, 9.6x|
|AF Illuminator||Built-in LED type with 1-9.8' / 0.3-3m range|
|Picture Effects||Posterization (Color, B&W), Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color (R,G,B,Y), High Contrast Mono, Toy Camera, Soft Highkey, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-tone Mono, Miniature|
|Creative Style Modes||Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Landscape, Sunset, B&W (+/- 3 contrast steps), Saturation (+/- 3 steps), Sharpness (+/- 3 steps)|
|Exposure Bracketing||3 frames with 1/3, 2/3, 1, 2, and 3 EV increments|
|Exposure Compensation||Still: +/- 3 EV in 1/3 steps
Movie: +/- 2 EV in 1/3 steps
|Exposure Settings||iAUTO, Superior Auto, Programmed AE (P), Aperture priority (A), Shutter-speed priority (S), Manual (M), Sweep Panorama, Scene Selection|
|ISO Sensitivity||Still: Auto (ISO 100-3200), Selectable (ISO 100-25600)
Movie: Auto (ISO 100-3200), Selectable (ISO 100-6400)
|Exposure Metering System||1200-zone evaluative metering|
|Exposure Metering Modes||Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot|
|Exposure Metering Sensitivity||0-20 EV (at ISO 100 with f/2.8 lens)|
|Noise Reduction||Long Exposure NR, High ISO NR|
|Scene Modes||Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports Action, Sunset, Night Portrait, Night View, Handheld Twilight, Anti-Motion Blur|
|White Balance Modes||Auto WB, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash, C.Tem (2500 to 9900K), C.Filter (G7 to M7,A7 to B7), Custom|
|Drive Modes||Single-shot, Continuous Shooting, Speed Priority Continuous Shooting, Self-timer, Bracketing, Remote Commander|
|Self-Timer||2 or 10 sec. (single, continuous 3 or 5 frames)|
|Shutter Speeds||Still: 30-1/4000 sec.
Movie: 1/4-1/4000 (in 1/3 steps) up to 1/60 in AUTO (1/30 in Auto slow shutter)
|Shutter Type||Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal plane type|
|Flash Compensation||+/- 2 EV in 1/3 steps|
|Flash Coverage||Up to 16mm focal lengths|
|Flash Metering System||Pre-flash TTL|
|Flash Modes||Autoflash, Fill-flash, Rear sync., Slow sync., Flash Off|
|Guide Number||23' / 7m (ISO 100)|
|Recycling Time||Approx. 4 sec.|
|HD Output||HDMI mini (Type C), BRAVIA Sync, Photo TV HD|
|Media Type||Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, SD, SDHC, SDXC|
|Power Supply||InfoLITHIUM NP-FW50 rechargeable lithium-ion battery (7.2V)|
|Battery Life||Approx. 330 images|
|Power Consumption||Approx. 2.7W|
|Operating System Compatibility||Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1, Mac OS X v10.3-10.8|
|Dimensions||4.4 x 2.4 x 1.6" / 110.8 x 58.8 x 38.9mm|
|Weight||9.7 oz / 276 g|