Sony Alpha NEX-5R First Impressions Review$749.99
Lens Mount & Sensor
The NEX-5R will of course use the Sony E-mount, which is larger in circumference than the actual height of the camera. The sensor is a brand new design, even though specifications appear to be the same as the 5N (16.1 megapixels, ISO 25,600). Only the 99 phase detection points set this chip apart.
The new LCD panel offers the exact same performance of the previous iteration (3 inches, nearly a million dots, and touch sensitivity), but this time the panel itself is capable of more flexible tilt. The display flips up a complete 180 degrees, causing it to face the front of the camera directly, which is desirable for self-portraits. The screen also tilts down 50 degrees for overhead shots.
Viewing angle and brightness were acceptable, however we only tested the camera indoors. For the first time, the 5R will also support touch shutter, which is of course the only touch screen functionality we can tolerate without complaint.
The camera has no built in flash bulb, however the same 2nd-generation Smart Accessory Terminal found on the 5N resides underneath a plastic door on top of the 5R. Unfortunately it seems like the 5R will not ship with the HVL-F7S flash module, so you may need to make an investment if flash is part of your shooting style.
Jacks, Ports & Plugs
Other than the Smart Accessory port, two terminals are found underneath a stopper on the left panel. There's a microUSB port here, for PC connectivity as well as battery charging, as well as a miniHDMI port.
Battery life will be improved over the 5N, out to 430 consecutive shots. That's plenty, and we're happy with the change.
We don't have confirmed specifications just yet, but the NEX-5R will most likely be dual compatible with both SD cards and high-end Memory Sticks.
WiFi has been trending since the beginning of this year, but it was Samsung that first starting throwing WiFi into cameras that aren't...well, awful. Sony seems to be adopting the same strategy, but at least they have more of a purpose in mind. The NEX-5R will be compatible 802.11b and g signals, in order to support its new installable apps feature.