Looking for a new mirrorless camera, are you? That segment is absolutely erupting, and your options have never been so plentiful. Sony, along with a host of other companies at IFA, introduced yet another new option: the NEX-5R. It's a member of the mirrorless Alpha series, boasting a familiar size and shape as well as a newly-developed 16.1 Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor. Sony contends that this sensor is the same size as those found in conventional DSLRs, but this unit actually packs something that most DSLRs do not. There's a new "Fast Hybrid AF" Autofocus technology, which combines phase-detection and contrast-detection methods to ensure speedy, accurate autofocus in any shooting situation. It is also Sony’s first interchangeable lens camera with integrated Wi-Fi capabilities for easy image sharing, saving and viewing, and introduces the new concept of downloadable Camera Apps for adding creative, fun features that can be personalized to fit a photographer’s needs.
You'll also get 1080p movie mode, plenty of manual control options and a pretty great price: the NEX-5R compact system camera will be available this October in silver, black and white for about $750 with an 18-55mm kit zoom lens as well as body-only for about $650.
Fast Hybrid AF
The intuitive new “Fast Hybrid AF” autofocus technology utilizes 99 phase-detection AF points arrayed on the image sensor to detect a subject’s distance and quickly lock focus on it, and then utilizes contrast-detection AF to confirm extremely fine, precise details. In Speed Priority Continuous shooting mode, the camera will switch automatically to phase detection tracking AF and can track fast-moving action accurately in each frame up to 10 frames per second.
Wi-Fi Sharing and New Camera Apps
The added connectivity of the NEX-5R camera allows photos and videos to be transferred wirelessly to a smartphone or tablet running Sony’s free PlayMemories Mobile app, available on both Android™ and Apple iOS platforms. Additionally, content can be directly uploaded from the camera to Facebook® using a Wi-Fi connection and the new “Direct Upload” application, part of Sony’s new PlayMemories Camera Apps platform.
This new concept of PlayMemories Camera Apps is the world’s first application download service in an interchangeable lens camera that allows consumers to install new functions on demand, tailoring their cameras to fit their personal shooting needs. The service can be accessed over Wi-Fi or when the camera is connected directly to a PC via USB.
Available apps at launch, outside of “Direct Upload” as mentioned earlier, will include “Picture Effect+”; “Bracket Pro”; “Multi Frame NR”; “Photo Retouch”; and “Smart Remote Control. A variety of other apps including “Time-Lapse” and “Cinematic Photo” are also planned for release.
Shooters can also utilize the family of PlayMemories applications to transfer content directly to a networked PC, streamlining the image back-up process and avoiding the need to connect cables or transfer memory cards between devices. Additionally, they can transfer photos to any DLNA® compatible TV either through a wireless access point or any TV supporting Wi-Fi.
Added Flexibility and Functionality
Aesthetically, the new NEX-5R features a new fully programmable control dial and function button, a versatile combination for photographers accustomed to the flexibility and direct control of a DSLR camera. It also has a switchable on-screen digital level gauge that helps keep horizons level with landscapes and architectural shots.
Additionally, the new α NEX-5R model features an intuitive touch-screen LCD with a Touch Shutter function for added convenience. The clear, bright touchscreen can also flip upwards 180 degrees for easy arm’s length self-portraits.
Full HD (1920x1080@60p) movie shooting is enhanced with a new Auto Slow Shutter feature, adding extra detail to low-light clips. The camera detects dim interiors and night scenes, automatically switching to a slower shutter speed to brighten footage.