We’re into the third generation of NEX now, with Sony’s successor to the NEX-5N, the NEX-5R, bringing a number of improvements on the earlier model. First, there’s the new Fast Hybrid AF system (also used in the new NEX-6): 99 phase-detection AF points at the focal plane complement the 25-area contrast AF system for better AF performance in a wide range of shooting situations. Where the NEX-5N could shoot at 10 fps with focus locked, the NEX-5R can do it with continuous autofocusing.
The new NEX-5R has built-in Wi-Fi 802.11 capability (lacking in its predecessor). Both cameras have 3-inch touch-screen monitors, but the new camera’s monitor also provides touch-shutter capability, and tilts up to 180° for easy self-portraits. Both cameras have 16.1-megapixel Sony Exmor HD APS-C image sensors.
Video capabilities include AVCHD full HD 1080 video at 60p and 24p, as well as MP4 1080, 720 and 480 at 30p, all with continuous AF and stereo sound via a built-in microphone or an optional external mic.
The NEX-5R also adds Clear Image Zoom and Auto Portrait Framing. Thanks to Sony’s By Pixel Super Resolution Technology, the camera provides up to a 2X digital zoom in 0.1X increments with nearly the optical quality of an optical zoom, effectively doubling the focal length of the 18-55mm Optical SteadyShot kit zoom (or any other lens). Using face-detection technology and the compositional rule of thirds, Auto Portrait Framing crops an image to a pleasing portrait, framing and processing the new image to the original shooting resolution, again thanks to By Pixel Super Resolution Technology.
STANDOUT FEATURE: Hybrid AF and Wi-Fi connectivity come to NEX.
1. Besides the original NEX “three-buttons-and-a-dial” controls, the NEX-5R adds another dial atop the camera to enhance operation.
2. The accessory shoe accepts an optional OLED eye-level viewfinder for eye-level shooting or the supplied external flash unit.
3. The single memory card slot accepts SD/SDHC/SDXC cards and Sony Memory Stick PRO/PRO-HG Duo media.