Sony Alpha NEX-5R First Impressions Review$749.99
Gear nerds like us will probably be most impressed by the improvements made to autofocus. In addition to the existing contrast detection AF, Sony has also added 99 phase-detection AF points, which is all but unheard of in the mirrorless market.
Honestly the autofocus doesn't seem quite as fast as most SLRs, we're sorry to report. We'll reserve final judgement for our focus test later on, but the first impression was a mild disappointment. It could've been the lighting conditions, we're not sure. But for now this category is a "wait and see."
Exposure & Metering
The NEX-5R will start shipping with the current 5N kit lens, an 18-55mm model with a maximum aperture of f/3.5 to f/5.5, and minimum aperture of f/22 to f/34. Shutter speed in Program Auto extends from 30 seconds to 1/4000th, and bulb mode is also available. Exposure compensation has a range of +/- 3 stops in 1/3-stop intervals.
Sensitivity specifications are not yet finalized, but it looks like the 5R will support the same range as the 5N: ISO 100 to 25,600. This is of course quite a bit better than the average mirrorless camera, so we certainly hope the pre-release specifications stick.
A first for Sony, the NEX-5R will support installable apps, which can be downloaded via WiFi from Sony's servers. This service will be known as "PlayMemories," and will be a closed platform, with apps developed by Sony. Some of the apps already in the works are called Picture Effect +, Bracket Pro, Multi Frame NR, Photo Retouch, Smart Remote, and Direct Upload (to Facebook, at first, with more destinations to come). Sony representatives confirmed the 5R will have enough internal memory to store all the listed apps at once.
We do wonder why these features aren't simply included in the camera to begin with, but hey, people love their apps.