Sony NEX-5R Comparison Review
The Sony Alpha NEX-5R is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was revealed to the public in August 2012 and is equipped with an APS-C sensor. It offers a resolution of 16 megapixel.
Is the Sony NEX-5R a good camera? The NEX-5R has a Camera Elo of 1803. This rating puts the NEX-5R below average of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (APS cameras), the NEX-5R also ranks below average. – Well, the Sony NEX-5R is more than 7 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2012.
|Mirrorless system camera|
|Sony E mount lenses|
|16 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|3.0" LCD, 920k dots|
|10 shutter flaps per second|
|330 shots per battery charge|
|111 x 59 x 39 mm, 276 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Sony NEX-5R vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Sony NEX-5R alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|Sony NEX-5R||4.4 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.7 oz||330||n||Aug 2012||749||-||Sony NEX-5R|
|Ricoh GR« »||4.6 in||2.4 in||1.4 in||8.6 oz||290||n||Apr 2013||799||-||Ricoh GR|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||4.3 in||2.4 in||1.4 in||9.5 oz||480||n||Feb 2013||499||-||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sony NEX-5T« »||4.4 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||97.9 oz||330||n||Aug 2013||699||-||Sony NEX-5T|
|Sony NEX-6« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||12.2 oz||360||n||Sep 2012||999||-||Sony NEX-6|
|Sony NEX-F3« »||4.6 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||11.1 oz||470||n||May 2012||599||-||Sony NEX-F3|
|Sony RX100« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.5 oz||330||n||Jun 2012||649||-||Sony RX100|
|Sony NEX-5N« »||4.4 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.5 oz||460||n||Aug 2011||699||-||Sony NEX-5N|
|Sony NEX-C3« »||4.3 in||2.4 in||1.3 in||7.9 oz||400||n||Jun 2011||599||-||Sony NEX-C3|
|Sony NEX-3« »||4.6 in||2.4 in||1.3 in||10.5 oz||330||n||May 2010||599||-||Sony NEX-3|
|Sony NEX-5« »||4.4 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||10.1 oz||330||n||May 2010||699||-||Sony NEX-5|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Sony NEX-5R was launched in the US market at a price of $749. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
The Sony NEX-5R features an APS-C sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Sony NEX-5R among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Sony NEX-5R||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||23.7||13.1||910||78||Sony NEX-5R|
|Ricoh GR« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.5||972||78||Ricoh GR|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||22.8||12.5||1067||74||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sony NEX-5T« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60p||23.6||13.0||1015||78||Sony NEX-5T|
|Sony NEX-6« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||23.7||13.1||1018||78||Sony NEX-6|
|Sony NEX-F3« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||22.7||12.3||1114||73||Sony NEX-F3|
|Sony RX100« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.6||12.4||390||66||Sony RX100|
|Sony NEX-5N« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||23.6||12.7||1079||77||Sony NEX-5N|
|Sony NEX-C3« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||720/30p||22.7||12.2||1083||73||Sony NEX-C3|
|Sony NEX-3« »||APS-C||14.0||4592||3056||720/30p||22.1||12.0||830||68||Sony NEX-3|
|Sony NEX-5« »||APS-C||14.0||4592||3056||1080/60i||22.2||12.2||796||69||Sony NEX-5|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The NEX-5R indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the NEX-5R can use is 1080/60i.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Sony NEX-5R along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Sony NEX-5R||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0||n||n||Sony NEX-5R|
|Ricoh GR« »||-||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Ricoh GR|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||-||n||3.0||460||tilting||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sony NEX-5T« »||-||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0||n||n||Sony NEX-5T|
|Sony NEX-6« »||2359||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n||Sony NEX-6|
|Sony NEX-F3« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.5||Y||n||Sony NEX-F3|
|Sony RX100« »||-||n||3.0||1229||fixed||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100|
|Sony NEX-5N« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0||n||n||Sony NEX-5N|
|Sony NEX-C3« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.5||n||n||Sony NEX-C3|
|Sony NEX-3« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||1/4000s||7.0||n||n||Sony NEX-3|
|Sony NEX-5« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||1/4000s||7.0||n||n||Sony NEX-5|
It is worthwhile pointing out that the NEX-5R has a touchscreen. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, when trying to adjust the focus point.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Sony Alpha NEX-5R and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Sony NEX-5R||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Sony NEX-5R|
|Ricoh GR« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Ricoh GR|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sony NEX-5T« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony NEX-5T|
|Sony NEX-6« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Sony NEX-6|
|Sony NEX-F3« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-F3|
|Sony RX100« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Sony RX100|
|Sony NEX-5N« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-5N|
|Sony NEX-C3« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-C3|
|Sony NEX-3« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-3|
|Sony NEX-5« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-5|
It is notable that the NEX-5R offers wifi support. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the NEX-5R. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Sony NEX-5R||-||-||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Aug 2012||749||-||Sony NEX-5R|
|Ricoh GR« »||-||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||799||-||Ricoh GR|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||-||-||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||499||-||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sony NEX-5T« »||-||-||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Aug 2013||699||-||Sony NEX-5T|
|Sony NEX-6« »||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||999||-||Sony NEX-6|
|Sony NEX-F3« »||-||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2012||599||-||Sony NEX-F3|
|Sony RX100« »||+ +||78/100||4/5||5/5||5/5||Jun 2012||649||-||Sony RX100|
|Sony NEX-5N« »||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||699||-||Sony NEX-5N|
|Sony NEX-C3« »||+ +||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2011||599||-||Sony NEX-C3|
|Sony NEX-3« »||-||70/100||4.5/5||5/5||4/5||May 2010||599||-||Sony NEX-3|
|Sony NEX-5« »||+ +||71/100||4.5/5||4/5||4/5||May 2010||699||-||Sony NEX-5|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Sony NEX-5R FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the NEX-5R.
What type of imaging sensor is used in the NEX-5R?
The camera has a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor at its core.
Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?
Sony equipped the NEX-5R with the BIONZ image processor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the NEX-5R?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600.
Can the camera be equipped with an optional viewfinder?
Yes, Sony provides the FDA-EV1S as an accessory (here on amazon) that can be mounted on the hotshoe.
Does the camera have a selfie-friendly screen?
Yes, the LCD-screen of the NEX-5R is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.
What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Sony Alpha NEX-5R?
Sony does not publish a shutter rating for the NEX-5R. Yet, shutters in comparable cameras from other manufacturers are said to be good for at least 100 000 actuations. It should be noted, though, that this number represents a Mean Time before Failure. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust an expected shutter life of 100 000 shots over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.
How do I find the shutter count on my Sony NEX-5R?
Sony embeds the number of shutter actuations in image metadata. You can check the number of shots that your NEX-5R has taken up to now by uploading a recent image to the online shutter count app.
Does the Sony NEX-5R feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?
The NEX-5R's flash sync speed is 1/160 sec.
Which battery does the NEX-5R use?
The camera gets its power from the NP-FW50 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.
Camera to camera comparisons
In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 750D vs Sony NEX-5R
- Canon 77D vs Sony NEX-5R
- Fujifilm X70 vs Sony NEX-5R
- Kodak S-1 vs Sony NEX-5R
- Leica V-LUX Typ 114 vs Sony NEX-5R
- Nikon 1 J5 vs Sony NEX-5R
- Nikon Z6 vs Sony NEX-5R
- Olympus E-1 vs Sony NEX-5R
- Panasonic GH3 vs Sony NEX-5R
- Panasonic GX8 vs Sony NEX-5R
- Panasonic L1 vs Sony NEX-5R
- Sony NEX-5R vs Sony NEX-F3
|Camera Model||Sony NEX-5R|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 749|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.4 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||365.04 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.1 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4912 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.78 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.39 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||100-25600 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||78|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.7|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||13.1|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||910|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen|
|Autofocus System||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||No Peaking Feature|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in|
|Battery Type||NP-FW50 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||330 shots per charge|
111 x 59 x 39 mm
(4.4 x 2.3 x 1.5 in)
|Camera Weight||276 g (9.7 oz)|
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