Sony NEX-5R review

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NEX-6 (my review here) is around $ 400 more expensive than NEX-5R. You could save that money for something else like a nice 50mm f/1.8 OSS, 35mm f/1.8 OSS lens or $ 400 worth of gasoline for a road trip to some nice places to take pictures of… Image quality is completely identical between these two cameras (identical sensor, processor and menu system) so the main reasons to spend extra cash for NEX-6 are integrated EVF, integrated pop-up flash, universal flash hot-shoe, bigger grip (easier to hold), better body materials (higher quality plastic and rubberized grip) and external mode dial. Electronic Viewfinder can be attached to NEX-5R but this will set you back further $ 240.

Basically, if you prefer framing your shots using LCD, don’t intend to use strong external flash units and don’t change shooting mode every 37 seconds, save the money and buy the NEX-5R.

NEX-5R vs. RX100

At the moment I’m writing this, these cameras cost the same on Amazon (down to a penny). It’s quite easy to decide between them in my onion. Sony DSC-RX100 is a better choice if you value small size above everything else and have no intention to invest in lenses other than the one you got with the camera. RX100 has the best image quality amongst ultra-compact cameras and I doubt anyone could be very disappointed.

Still, sensor size matters and image quality coming out of NEX-5R’s APS-C sensor is clearly better than RX100. You will notice it in higher dynamic range and in lower noise (even at base ISO 100). NEX-5R is also easier to handle (bigger grip) and the ability to change lenses can turn it to a serious piece of gear.

So choose: smallest carry-it-in-the-back-jeans-pocket camera available (RX100) or image quality and interchangeable lens solution (NEX-5R). Some markets (like Germany) offer NEX-5R in combination with collapsible 16-50 lens which narrows the size gap… in that case, I’d choose NEX-5R without much thought.


  • Sensor and image quality
  • Build quality
  • 180° tilt LCD
  • Small body size
  • Two control dials


  • Menu system
  • Playback divided into still, MP4 and AVCHD files
  • No external shooting mode dial
  • No external battery charger included


RAW, ISO 100, 1/125, F/8

RAW, ISO 100, 1/80, F/8

RAW, ISO 100, 1/100, F/8

RAW, ISO 100, 1/320, F/8

RAW, ISO 6400, 1/60, F/2.8

RAW, ISO 3200, 1/125, F/2.8

RAW, ISO 1250, 1/60, F/4, (did some heavy shadow lifting on the grass)

RAW, ISO 100, 1/500, F/8

RAW, ISO 100, 1/200, F/8

RAW, ISO 100, 1/500, F/8

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  1. Pingback: A new review of Sony NEX-5R - Blog for micro four third and competing cameras

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