Sony Alpha NEX-5R Digital Camera Review$749.99
Effects, Filters, and Scene modes
A variety of scene modes are included in-camera, and these are mainly old favorites like Sunset, Macro, Landscape, Portrait, and all the rest. But for a real treat, you'll want to check out the 5R's in-camera effects, which include the very convincing Illustration and Watercolor modes, as well as other popular choices like Miniature and Toy Camera. Sadly, these features have been relocated to one of the 5R's pre-installed apps called "Picture Effect+." From what we can tell, the "+" is referring to the extra steps necessary to open up the app, wait a second or two for it to load, and then use the effects, since the functionality seems otherwise identical to previous iterations.
"PlayMemories" Camera Apps
The appearance of Sony's insulting "PlayMemories" feature on the NEX-5R is the extension of an older company brand that's been used on equally useless initiatives, such as a video and photo sharing application on Playstation 3. In its current form, the feature cannibalizes existing in-camera features, and relocates them into a separate, slower section of the interface. In theory this will let the 5R grow and improve as appealing new apps are released. In reality, at least for now, the only advantage is Sony's alone, it gets to charge $4.99 for features like Multi-shot Noise Reduction, which used to be in-camera for free.
If you've seen the new TV spot for the NEX-5R, the one with Taylor Swift, then you know that Sony's tagline for this product is "DSLR quality. Wi-Fi convenience." This camera certainly produces shots of DSLR quality, but make no mistake, Wi-Fi is not convenient. Not for a camera anyway.
Of course there's nothing wrong with Taylor Swift, she seems nice, but could somebody please Tell Me Why the industry keeps pursuing such irrelevant tech?
Wi-Fi offers few advantages over simply transferring your files with a memory card, unless you absolutely need to get your photos onto Facebook within the next five minutes. If that's the case, may we suggest a reorganization of your priorities.