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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 14 December 2012
Bit strange that the camera has been out for around a month and there has been next to no customer reviews.

I have previously been an amateur Canon DSLR user for years and will always have a soft spot for Canon but what I wanted was something smaller to take away on my travels yet not compromise on photo quality. Canon has a rival to the NEX (Canon EOS M Compact System Camera - Black (18MP, Includes Speedlite 90EX and EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM) 3.0 inch Touchscreen) but it is overpriced and has focusing issues. This Sony NEX 5R however ticks both these boxes. In fact, the NEX-5R is an excellent all-round compact system camera. Physically it is very similar to the previous model - Sony NEX5NKB Compact System Camera Zoom Kit - Black (16.1 MP, SEL 18-55mm Lens) (which Amazon no longer stock), the new 180° tilting LCD screen, faster hybrid auto-focusing, wifi connectivity and downloadable apps are the new features.

I think the best features of the NEX 5R are:
- Lightweight yet solidly built
- Picture quality comparable to other DSLRs
- Very good low light images
- Intuitive menus

To balance the review the shortfalls of the NEX 5R are:
- Small selection of Sony lenses available
- Wifi implementation is functional but not very slick and is obviously the first iteration which will (you hope) improve in future models
- Resistive touch screen (i.e. it relies on pressure) which is less responsive than capacitive touch screens
- They charge for some of the Apps
- Silver lens on a black body - not to my liking
- No EVF (if you want this then you need to either get Sony FDA-EV1S Electronic Viewfinder for NEX or consider the next model up Sony NEX6 Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with 16-50mm Zoom Lens - Black (16.1MP, 20x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD Screen
- Battery charged in camera using USB cable

For me I don't think these shortfalls are anything major and at the end of the day it produces photos just as good as my Canon DSLR but in a small package so I definitely recommend this.
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44 comments| 42 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Had my eye on a Sony NEX-5 for a while, and was recently in the position to get one, the NEX-5 is now the outgoing model, replaced by the more capable and more functional NEX-5R. So glad I did. I have been over the moon with the results from the camera. It takes superb pictures, even in low light without too much graining and is the perfect size without losing the DSLR performance or the APS-C sensor. It achieves 10FPS in burst shooting mode, managing to maintain focus perfectly. This is really impressive for a camera of this size.

The camera comes with a flash in the kit. It's not built into the camera, it's got a screw in hotshoe, I leave it attached most of the time, as it flips down so as not to take up too much additional space.

One of the must-have features for me is an auto-mode that just takes care of things, I can then had it to the less techy missus and she had no problems taking great pics too. It always gets the focus bang on. Manual modes are obviously well catered for too, and there are auto-scenes and the usual selection of scenes to choose from.

Did some challenging night photography of the northern lights in Iceland and the camera worked well. Used a 30 second exposure and a cheap Joby GP2B Gorillapod Hybrid Tripod and the shots came out great (used my smartphone as a remote control to avoid moving the camera when pressing the shutter). Seeing other nighttime photographers with tonnes of equipment and bulky bags, made me feel like they were missing a trick compared to a modern compact mirrorless like this camera.

What I do like are the add-on apps. They can be downloaded directly onto the camera, or via a PC with the camera connected to USB. There are a few that are free, currently:

"Direct Upload" - Upload from the camera to Flickr,Facebook and Play Memories.
"Picture Effect+" - Live camera effects, play with removing all colouts except selected colours, retro pictures etc.
"Photo Retouch" - Framing, retouch etc.
"Smart Remote Control" - use your smartphone to control the camera, (definitely Android, possibly iOS)

I bought a couple of additional apps for a few pounds each:

"Bracket Pro" - Takes multiple pictures with different settings. You can always ensure you get the right picture (worth every penny this one)
"Time Lapse", the the camera on a tripod to take really effective timelapse pictures. Pricey £7.99, but good.

I also liked how it uses SEN credit, so my credit I had from Playstation Network could also be used here (it's one payment network now), it also means you can pick up a SEN Card, meaning you don't have to miss out on the apps if you don't like putting your card details online.

I know many people dislike cameras without viewfinders, I had no problem, the screen was clear in daylight and had a daylight mode that mad it even better. There is an electronic viewfinder as an optional accessory, but I don't feel I need it.

I wanted a camera that I can take travelling without feeling bogged down by heavy camera equipment, and this fits the bill perfectly. I'm still discovering tricks all the time. Even without the apps and wifi, this is a fantastic camera with awesome build quality and formfactor, but with the Wifi and apps, it's even better. There are more expensive NEX cameras (and a cheaper one), but this gets the balance perfect for me.

One small design gripe. With the flash fitted, the screen doesn't flip up enough to invert the image. Not really a big deal thou.

As a side note:

If you are not on Firmware 1.02 and lens firmware 2, make sure you do a firmware update on the camera and lens, as this camera now has Fast Hybrid AF functionality, which does the burst 10FPS shooting with full auto-focus. Visit the Sony UK site for details.
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Colour Name: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
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.
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Colour Name: Black|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am just getting into photography, been using compact cameras and phone cameras for ages, then got myself a Nikon COOLPIX L310 Compact Digital Camera - Black (14.1MP, 21x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD to experiment with. This is a fully automated high zoom camera that takes good photos, but you really have no control over the settings.

This Sony NEX5RKB allows you to use full auto mode, or a manual mode. At the moment I am keeping the settings on auto mode, and the pictures are very impressive. The colour balance seems natural, the lighting seems great and the quality blows the Nikon away. To zoom, instead of pressing a button, just twist the lens, which is a more natural way of doing things. The body of the camera is about the same size of a standard compact camera, then there is the lens attached. A nice big button to press to take the picture and a reassuring click.

As the camera does not come with any memory so you will need to get a memory card. I got the 16GB which is good for 2,500 shots at the high resolution. There is a hood that fits at the end of the lens to stop glare, a lens cover that is not on any lead so could easily be lost and a separate flash that you screw into the camera when needed.

If you are taking a self portrait, the rear LCD screen flips up so you can compose your shot. The LCD is a touch screen, so you can actually touch the icon on the screen to turn things off and on, rather than go into menu settings. Pressing the DISP button will change the information that is displayed, there are several screens, all with different information, such as 1 screen showing the tilt of the camera, 1 the aperture settings, 1 minimal display etc. There is a small button at the back and it takes you to a icon menu, where a simple touch will change the image size (3:2 or 16:9), quality, video settings (AVCHD or MP4), another one with all the setting for the camera etc.

There are 2 slight drawbacks that I see:
1. The flash is silly. You have a little case that the flash is stored in and you screw it into the camera when you need it. It is awkward to carry and time consuming to fit and remove. An inbuilt one would have been better, but probably not as good.
2. The lens. It is only a wide angle 18mm to 55mm, a very low telephoto lens. This is mainly used for macro work or close up work/scenery/portraits. I never use digital zoom so cannot comment on that. You will need to purchase a better zoom such as Sony High Zoom 55-210mm E-Mount Lens which will give you the extra zoom you need.

To carry the extra lens, you will also need a camera bag and a case for the camera. Switching lenses is easy, just depress the small button at the bottom of the lens and turn the lens counter clockwise. Very simple to remove and replace.

I am very impressed with the camera as a whole, but be prepared that for a full setup, you will need to spend some more money getting the complete kit. This is a great starter and when I am more confident, will switch off the auto mode and use it in manual mode.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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on 2 January 2013
i bought this for my son for xmas as a step up from a point and shoot digital camera. He finds it very easy to use and the picture quality in all light levels is excellent. The only problem is that you have to charge the supplied battery via the camera resulting in the purchase of a second battery and charger.
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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.
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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?
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