It arrived neatly packaged as is Sony's way. It has most of what you need to get shooting. There's no memory card or case, there's a neck strap when a wrist one would be more useful - see optech's wrist strap. The flashgun is the same as the 5N which is a bit fiddley to use and awkward to leave permanently attached - NEX 6 has a pop up.
There are no clicks in movies unlike early 5Ns had. Mind Sony offered to fix that if you contacted them. Still, nice to know they stopped it in the 5R. Still no standard external mic connector; you can buy Sony's own but that's not so good. You could use a Zoom H1 or other and sync later pity you can't record directly through it.
5N and 5R look identical at first sight but the right side buttons have been redone. The top button arrangement is different from the 5N. To make room for the new Control Dial, the on off switch is now with the shutter button, the Playback button is now on top whilst the Movie button stays basically where it was. Sony should make not just the LCD mobile but the whole back with its controls and make the top buttons tactile.
The LCD is slightly more mobile than the 5N (it can be moved vertically upright - handy for shooting yourself) but the LCD is a bit less touch-responsive even using the calibration function. In use, it's much like the 5N and its IQ is about the same.
Sony upgraded the sensor for the 5R to include phase detection (PDAF) to give depth information. It still uses contrast detection in addition. You can see the PDAF area in the middle of the LCD by setting the option in the 'setup' menu. The PDAF has no general observable effect to me - it's not obviously quicker. Since I use mainly old Canon and Pentax manual lenses, it's not much use to me. Video should benefit from PDAF too.
The battery is the same NPFW50. Charging is done incamera or externally (if you have a Sony or other external charger). I use the external charger from my 5N - it's quicker (Sony quotes 4hrs 40mins for supplied 5R charger) and does not tie the camera up when you might want to go on shooting. Connecting to a PC and USB charging would likely take even longer!
The 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 OSS lens is the same as the one supplied with the 5N etc. It's not a bad lens and looks nice but it's not a great lens either. Centre sharpness is fine. The Samung NX1000 which looks remarkably like the 5R uses a 20-50mm f3.5-5.6 lens which is a very good lens though not as well made. Give me optically very good and plastic rather than okay and metal! There are other Sony NEX lenses but they don't generally get very good reviews. There's a few from Sigma which are cheap and very good. Then, via a cheap adaptor, there's a sea of old cheap manual focus lenses some of which are fantastic.
The 5R uses an anti-dust system which vibrates the sensor at switch on. As with all changeable lens cameras dust can be an issue and you need to be aware of how to minimise dust on the sensor, eg prepare for lens change to reduce the time needed to do it, hold the camera facing down and line the dots quickly. If possible, I use a squeeze blower on the caps and base of lens and around the camera before changing. You can check for dust on the sensor by stopping down (say f16) and taking a shot of something light and plain.
The 5R will take up to 64GB SDXC card. I'm using a Sandisk 64GB Class 10 microSDXC card in an SDHC adapter - since I can use it in more devices. Movies eat memory and 64GB is quite cheap. SDXC cards require exFAT file format.
WiFi mode appears on the NEX cameras for the first time in the 5R. It is quite easy to set up - there's an LCD keyboard which works well. You'll need to have or create a Sony account to get at the applications. You can use your PC or PC tablet or smartphone or simply connect via your router. Not sure of the value of this yet since only Sony apps are allowed. Likely it'll grow if they can make money from it. There are a few apps there for free and some you pay for. Better to see reviews before you spend. The lack of battery power would limit the use of uploading lots of images via a network anyway.
There are various Scene Modes available with presets to aid simply clicking the shutter button and getting a shot. Things like portrait, landscape, macro etc. Many of these scene modes depend on the lens in use. The supplied 18-55 lens will not do all of the scene modes adequately.
Movie modes. Cameras have now really become stills and video cameras. The 5R like the 5N is well equipped for video with some high bit modes, high fps and very good output: 1080i and 1080p at 50i, 50p, 24p 25p. Has a max 28Mbps at 50p. The 18-55 lens will do continuous focus which is helped by the new PDAF sensor and the 5R adjusts exposure to suit. There are many inexpensive old manual focus lenses that make excellent video lenses.
Soft Keys are the three pressable buttons on the back right-side. These change function depending on mode of use. You can load the three of them with functions on the 5N. On the 5R you can only use one - the lower B button. The Fn button makes up for this since the 5N does not have it.
The Fn button sits on the right of the shutter and gives quick access to your most used functions. You can select which items appear on screen for you to choose quickly with say the Control Dial. Best not to repeat what you have on other buttons.
Drive modes seem about the same as the 5N with single, continuous, self-timers, bracket, speed priority, remote, etc.
The Sweep Panorama shooting mode allows you to press the shutter button and have the cameras shoot continuously then stitch them all together. You can do this horizontally or vertically by selecting it before shooting. The result can be quite good.
The 5R has many shooting modes some of which are basically automatic and aimed at beginners: Superior Auto which is an enhanced version of Intelligent Auto. There's the usual Aperture and Shutter priority modes.
There's a whole host of other functions and settings. As ever go to Sony's site and download the manual to have a look at what's on offer. You can do that for most cameras you might be interested in.
For anyone new to photography: don't be put off by the seeming complexity and the jargon of these cameras. Like driving a car, you don't need to know the technological complexities of the engine management or electronics to use it. The 5R can be used by a novice with a bit of willingness to learn a bit and what's more is that it will grow with you as you develop your knowledge and skills. Everyone starts at the beginning.
The Sony 5R is a nicely styled camera with the power of a full DSLR waiting to be unleashed. The only limitation is yourself. Not a great range of lenses but they're coming and there's access via a host of adapters to a huge catalogue of older excellent manual lenses (Sony's peak function is hugely helpful for determining focus). There are also adapters to allow Sony's alpha DSLR lenses. The 5R IQ is about the same as the 5N which was excellent anyway. Basically it is an updated 5N.
on 4 May 2013
Really pleased with the first photos taken with this camera, crisp and great colours. My eyesight is failing so can no longer use a viewfinder, but with the moveable screen I can manage to see it even in sunlight. I am very pleased and have bought the larger zoom lens too. Changing them is simple. The whole set is reasonably light to carry around.
on 6 January 2013
Nice quality, many settings for shooting in the dark, art-settings, and so on.
A minor comment would be that the flash is not built in, but it keeps you from using it, which is not that bad.
on 7 February 2013
I've had this camera just over a week now. It was bought to plug the gap in quality and usage between my Canon 400D and my Sony Cybershot DSC-W380. I wanted something that I could take on holiday with me, would fit comfortably in a handbag and would give excellent quality photos. I took a while to choose this particular model over the Samsung NX1000 and a few others out there.
When the camera arrived I was really surprised at how small it was, absolutely perfect for travelling, and it gives great quality images. I was able to easily connect it up to my wireless network, which was a surprise in itself, and I tried uploading to Facebook direct from the camera, which was very successful. Some reviewers have mentioned that the touchscreen alpha-numeric input was difficult to use, but I didn't find this at all. All very intuitive and easy to use. I also downloaded some of the free apps which gave me access to special effects like monochrome, which was also extremely welcome and useful.
Camera in box comes with battery, cables, software, strap and flash. The tiny flash fits neatly into a plastic holster which fits on the camera strap.
Am very much looking forward to testing this out in Venice in a couple of months.
on 20 June 2014
Love the size, the quality of the photographs, but most of all the fact that I can take photographs without a flash in doors, such as at a get together with friends at night, and the pictures come out neat, not grainy, great colours. Have used it now for 18 months and because of the size it can go with me every where. Strongly recommend it or the newer model which a friend of mine has just bought.
on 31 May 2013
After a long period away from "serious" cameras, using super zoom point and shoot compacts, I was getting increasingly disappointed with the photos. Yes they were in focus and well exposed, just bland in a way. Not wanting the bulk of an slr again, I started looking at compact system cameras and after much research opted for the NEX5R.
The first shock is I guess the comparison to a super zoom. Gone is the massive range of focal lengths,the 55mm end of the kit lens is really a very low level telephoto. To get the same versatility, you will need another lens. The Sony does look like a camera attached to a lens rather than the other way around. Also it's taking some time to get used to the complexity of using a proper camera, more than once I've been disappointed by shots only to find i hadn't reset changes to focus modes, exposure etc from the previous time using the camera.
However, even the first few pictures showed this was a good choice. The increase in image quality is plain to see, much more punchy and distinctive. The ability to use depth of field (or rather the lack of it) as a tool again is great.
Key plus features for me.
+ low light capability including the layering modes is quite remarkable
+ liking the wifi features, including reviewing the day's shots on my iPad, wifi upload to the pc
+ tilting screen is versatile
+ excellent video, there really is no need for a seperate video camera any more.
Things that could be better
- the ability to limit iso maximum in auto modes. Quality is beginning to wander a bit as 3200, my Lumix point and shoot even had this feature
- mixed results so far on moving objects. Sometimes out of focus & having no viewfinder meant I just had to vaguely point the thing at an aircraft display recently, the sunlight being too bright to track the fast moving Mustang on screen
All in all a great purchase although given the choice again, I might spend the extra to get an NEX6 with its viewfinder?