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Sony NEX 5R: First Look

Sony NEX 5R: First Look

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Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Compact Camera is First Sony Alpha With Wi-Fi

By Fred Singer

August 29, 2012

Sony today announced the Sony Alpha-NEX 5R, Sony's first interchangeable-lens camera to offer Wi-Fi file transfer capability.

 

Sony NEX-5R

 

The Sony NEX 5R, which will be available from Adorama in October and can be pre-ordered now, is not only the first Wi-Fi capable Sony interchangeable-lens camera, but Sony says it's also the fastest autofocusing camera in the lineup. The NEX 5R is built on a 16.1MP APS-C sensorm, and can be customized via Sony's PlayMemories Camera Apps, a new, proprietary Sony application download service.

 

Sony NEX 5R: Key features at a glance

  • 16.1MP APS-C sensor
  • Hybrid AF system claimed to be fastest
  • 1080p 60p/60i/24p HD video, AVCHD codec
  • Wi-Fi Sharing
  • PlayMemories Camera Apps
  • 108-degree tiltable 3-inch touch LCD monitor
  • Control dial
  • 7 Picture Effect modes with 11 variations
  • 6-image layering up to ISO 25,600
  • Accepts Sony E-Mount Lenses
  • Touch interface simplifies photographic commands
  • Auto Portrait Framing
  • Multi-Interface accessory 2 terminal
  • Auto HDR
  • Sweep Panorama
  • Peaking AF display
  • Manual focuus assist
  • Enhanced tracking focus
  • Face Detection
  • Smille Shutter
  • Dynamic range optimizer
  • Dual format card slot for SD & Memory Stick
  • Anti-dust technology

 

Sony NEX-5R

 

Let's take a first look at the Sony NEX-5R based on information provided by Sony.

WiFi and Apps

The big news here is not just Wi-Fi, but that you can download Sony-specific apps from PlayMemories, a new proprietary service, that essentially allows you to customize the camera. A list of specific apps that will be offered has not been shared, but we expect there will be a selection by the time the NEX-5R is on shelves in mid-October.

Speed Improvements

The second big news is that the NEX-5R is expected to be a faster camera than its predecessors. Sony is claiming the NEX-5R is the fastest camera in its class with 0.3 second AF capture, thanks to a hybrid autofocus technology combining 99 Phase Detectionfocus points, which is best for fast-moving subjects and 25 Contrast Detection points, for more precision work. Layered on top of this is autofocus tracking and a burst rate of up to 10fps in full resolution.

Exposure and ISO

The NEX-5R's ISO range is 100-3200, with exposure determined via a 1200-zone evaluative metering system. ISO can be boosted to ISO 25,600 via a 6-image layering feature. Using image layering, the camera captures 6 images in quick succession and combines them to minimize digital noise. 6-image layering is also used to reduce camera blur.

Scene and Effect Modes

The camera offers plenty of creative shooting options. It has 11 scene modes (portrait, landscape, macro, sports, action, sunset, night portrait, night view, handheld twilight, and anti motion blur), and 11 picture effects (Color, B/W, Posterization, Pop Color, Retro Photo, Partial Color, High Contrast Mono, Toy Camera, Soft High-Key, Soft Focus, HDR Painting, Rich-Tone Mono, Miniature).

While the above list might impress more advanced users, could intimidate beginners; for them, a touch interface simplifies image control. Photo Creativity Touch lets users use touch-screen control to adjust Background Defocus, Brightness, Color, Vividness, and most of the above-mentioned picture effects. Another beginner-friendly feature is Auto Portrait Framing, which uses face detection and applies the rule of thirds to create an additional frame that follows the rules of composition, even if the user doesn't follow them when shooting a portrait.

The NEX-5R offers an Auto HDR setting which combines two exposures—one of them the recommended exposure, the other one exposed for the shadows; the two images are shot in rapid sequence and combined to show greater detail in high-contrast scenes. The camera also has Sweep Panorama: press the shutter release and sweep the camera vertically or horizontally, and the camera will capture and stitch together a panorama covering up to 202 degrees, the equivalent of an 18mm lens's angle of view.

 

Sony NEX-5R

 

Availability

The Sony NEX-5R will be available from Adorama in October for $649.99 body only  or $749.99 in a kit with an 18-55mm lens in Black, Silver, or White.

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