Sony NEX 5-R: A new Sony NEX-5N?

Thursday November 08 2012

Sensor Review
Introduction | Sony NEX 5-R sensor performance | Sony NEX 5-R versus competition | Conclusion
Sony NEX 5-R: A new Sony NEX-5N?

Announced at IFA 2012, Sony’s NEX-5R  is the third version of its very popular NEX-5 camera. This new model features a 16-megapixel APS-C EXMOR sensor composed of photosites that provide autofocusing by phase detection. Has Sony improved the image quality of its latest mid-range compact hybrid? Our tests reveal the answer.

Two years after the release of the first generation of NEX-5 hybrid cameras, Sony continues the saga of its interchangeable-lens compact consumer cameras. For this new opus, the manufacturer uses a compact camera design inherited directly from the NEX-5N.

This said, we see several ergonomical improvements, notably a new settings wheel that provides direct access to an array of customizable settings, and a high-quality, 921,000-point articulated screen that has more freedom of movement than its predecessor’s. The main new feature of the NEX-5R, however, is its WiFi module that allows users to instantly share photos and videos on social networks or to send files to smartphones, tablettes, and PCs. Users can also download applications from the Sony online store. On the other hand, the camera still does not come equipped with an integrated flash.

On a technical level, the NEX-5R’s 16Mpix CMOS sensor has evolved by integrating phase detectors that allow the camera’s autofocus to function like that of a DSLR, thus improving subject tracking. This feature will be especially popular with videographers.

Sony has thus opted to capitalize on the success of its 16Mpix EXMOR sensor by embedding it into a new “connected” consumer camera. This sensor, already used in other Sony cameras (e.g., the D5100 and D7000) and in the Pentax K-5, should produce good results.

Sony NEX 5-R sensor performance

Sony NEX 5-R versus competition