Sony NEX-5R

Sony Alpha NEX-5R front

Sony NEX-5R overview

Sony NEX-5R is Sony's Entry-Level Mirrorless camera originally introduced on August of 2012. The camera features a 16MP, CMOS APS-C size sensor with a peak resolution of 4912 x 3264.

Sony released this camera to upgrade the older Sony NEX-5N (Read Full Comparison) and subsequently launched the updated Sony NEX-5T (Read Full Comparison) to upgrade this model.

The NEX-5R is scored #41 out of 117 in Entry-Level Mirrorless cameras and all around #251 out of 1465 for cameras in our list. You can try our Smart camera finder to find camera rankings based on your custom criteria.

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Here is a diagram of various criteria used in the scoring system.

Sony NEX-5R family

The Sony NEX-5R is part of a family of digital cameras. You can read the full list underneath.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Sony-Alpha-NEX-5T front thumbnailSony NEX-5T
NEX-5R vs NEX-5T
16MPAPS-C10.0 fps2013
Sony-Alpha-NEX-6 front thumbnailSony NEX-6
NEX-5R vs NEX-6
16MPAPS-C10.0 fps2013
Photography Glossary
Sony-Alpha-NEX-3N front thumbnailSony NEX-3N
NEX-5R vs NEX-3N
16MPAPS-C4.0 fps2013
Sony-Alpha-NEX-5R front thumbnailSony NEX-5R16MPAPS-C10.0 fps2012
Sony-Alpha-NEX-F3 front thumbnailSony NEX-F3
NEX-5R vs NEX-F3
16MPAPS-C6.0 fps2012
Sony-Alpha-NEX-7 front thumbnailSony NEX-7
NEX-5R vs NEX-7
24MPAPS-C10.0 fps2011
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Sony-Alpha-NEX-5N front thumbnailSony NEX-5N
NEX-5R vs NEX-5N
16MPAPS-C10.0 fps2011
Sony-Alpha-NEX-C3 front thumbnailSony NEX-C3
NEX-5R vs NEX-C3
16MPAPS-C6.0 fps2011
Sony-Alpha-NEX-5 front thumbnailSony NEX-5
NEX-5R vs NEX-5
14MPAPS-C7.0 fps2010
Sony-Alpha-NEX-3 front thumbnailSony NEX-3
NEX-5R vs NEX-3
14MPAPS-C7.0 fps2010

Sony NEX-5R Pros and Cons

Here is a checklist of positives and negatives of the Sony NEX-5R based on features which are usually seen as useful in a camera.

comes with HDMI support
comes with tracking autofocus
decent sensor size (APS-C)
exports RAW files
features focus via touch
good ISO range (25,600)
good min ISO (100)
high quality video (1920 x 1080 resolution)
high resolution screen (920 thousand dot)
interchangeable lenses (Sony E mount)
MP count good (16MP)
screen size is good (3 inches)
screen tilts
supports phase detect autofocus
touchscreen enabled
you can focus manually
display isn't selfie friendly
does not have image stabilization
missing external mic jack
missing headphone jack
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Sony NEX-5R Sensor specs

The Sony NEX-5R houses the Bionz processor. The sensor spec on the Sony NEX-5R is 23.4mm x 15.6mm (APS-C). The 365 mm² sensor has the capability to resolve 4912 x 3264 pixels with aspect ratios of 3:2 and 16:9.

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The CMOS sensor boasts 16MP and includes a native ISO range of 100 to 25600. RAW photos are supported so you have more room to maneuver in post.

The image underneath illustrates the NEX-5R's sensor size compared to other common sizes. The NEX-5R sensor comes with a crop factor of 1.5 and is pointed out in green.

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To get an idea of various aspect ratios, you should refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Sony NEX-5R dimensions

Sony NEX-5R weighs about 0.61 lbs (276 grams / 9.74 oz) and features exterior dimensions of 111mm x 59mm x 39mm (4.4" x 2.3" x 1.5"). The weight of general Entry-Level Mirrorless camera is 329 grams and the Sony NEX-5R is lighter than other competitors.

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Here is a image of the Sony NEX-5R with a softdrink so you're able to have a feel for its size.

Sony Alpha NEX-5R dimensions scale

The top view underneath will highlight the button layout on the NEX-5R.

Sony Alpha NEX-5R topview buttons dials

Sony NEX-5R Lens details

The NEX-5R works with the Sony E mount and has 170 lenses available in the market. Here is a small number of the lenses we have in our database that will work with the NEX-5R.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
ZEISS-Loxia-21mm-F2.8-Sony-E-NEX lensZEISS Loxia 21mm F2.821mmf/2.8 394g
Samyang-35mm-F1.4-AS-UMC-Sony-E-NEX lensSamyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC35mmf/1.4 660g
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Samyang-AF-75mm-F1.8-FE--Rokinon-AF-75mm-F1.8-FE-Sony-FE lensSamyang AF 75mm F1.8 FE75mmf/1.8230g
Tokina-Firin-20mm-F2-FE-MF-Sony-E lensTokina Firin 20mm F2 FE MF20mmf/2490g
Sony-E-35mm-F1.8-OSS lensSony E 35mm F1.8 OSS35mmf/1.8 155g
7artisans-35mm-F1.2-Sony-E lens7artisans 35mm F1.235mmf/1.2150g
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Sony-FE-50mm-F2.8-Macro lensSony FE 50mm F2.8 Macro50mmf/2.8236g
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Sony NEX-5R Connectivity

The NEX-5R has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Cameras which have NFC and Bluetooth compatibility are able to be controlled wirelessly by smartphones. You are able to copy pictures and in some cases change camera settings with no need to connect straight with the camera.

A few apps also enable a Liveview and press the shutter if you aren't close to the camera. If the camera comes with a HDMI out, it can easily be hooked up to an external screen. A good number of cameras enable you to charge the battery with the USB socket.

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Sony NEX-5R Video details

The highest video quality on the Sony NEX-5R is 1920 x 1080 and it can save in AVCHD format. 1080p quality can provide a good balance for quality versus file size but FULL HD will not leave you with much room to crop. The body doesn't include a mic and headphone socket so you have zero control over your audio. It is probably a better idea to look into a different model in case you want better audio in your video clips.

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Sony NEX-5R Weather Sealing

Sony NEX-5R doesn't have weather proofing so wet conditions can easily ruin the camera.

Sony NEX-5R Display and Viewfinder

The Sony NEX-5R features a 3 inch tilting display screen with a resolution of 920 thousand dots.

Additionally the display screen is touch friendly so you can easily set focus points as well as adjust settings with your fingers.

Sony Alpha NEX-5R screen and viewfinder Photography Glossary

The ViewFinder specifications regarding Sony NEX-5R are the following:

  • ViewFinder Electronic (optional)

Viewfinders are quite handy for sunny outdoor conditions which will make the camera display washed out and very difficult to view.

Sony NEX-5R Shutter details

Sony NEX-5R continuous shooting rate is 10.0 frames per second. The maximum shutter speed is 1/4000 seconds.

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Sony NEX-5R Flash and Hot shoe details

Sony NEX-5R has got external flash ability but is without built-in flash. The max flash sync is 1/160 seconds.

Sony NEX-5R Autofocusing details

Sony NEX-5R has got both Phase Detect AF along with Contrast Detect AF. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot more faster & precise than Contrast Detect autofocusing.

The Sensor features 99 focus points to choose from. Sony NEX-5R has touch to focus. You can easily use your fingers to adjust focus. It also features Tracking AF for objects on the move. Sony NEX-5R features manual focus when required for low light scenarios or you want more accurate focus control.

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Sony NEX-5R Battery life

The battery power (NPFW50) on the Sony NEX-5R is designed to last for 330 shots according to the CIPA standards making it on par with its competitors. The typical Entry-Level Mirrorless camera battery life is 343. Fujifilm X-S20 offers the highest (750) battery life for this class of cameras.

Below is a collection of Entry-Level Mirrorless cameras that have the highest battery life:

Sony NEX-5R for various types of photography

The following illustration gives a summation of the Sony NEX-5R for various types of photography. To see more, scroll to the specific paragraph underneath.

Sony NEX-5R Portrait photography information

The Sony NEX-5R gets a points tally of 74 which is above average, and means the camera is a very decent fit for portrait photos. Shooting portrait photos leans greatly towards sensor resolution, RAW support in addition to the capability to use external flash.

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you can focus manually
good resolution (16 megapixels)
nice sensor size (APS-C)
supports RAW formats

Sony NEX-5R Street photography info

Coming in at a superb score of 80, the Sony NEX-5R is a fantastic fit for street photography. A very good street photography camera features a fine balance of image quality and portability.

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screen tilts
sensor size is nice (APS-C)
exports RAW files
features focus via touch
good high ISO (25,600)
lack of image stabilization

Sony NEX-5R Sports photography advice

A above average sports photography points total of 68 indicates the Sony NEX-5R is a fine choice for shooting sports. A camera needs fantastic focusing plus fast shutter speeds for sports photography.

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decent megapixels (16MP)
sensor size is good (APS-C)
supports tracking focus
comes with phase detect auto focus
no image stabilization

Sony NEX-5R Travel photography advice

Portability is extremely crucial when buying a travel camera. On the whole, the Sony NEX-5R gets a above average 73 as a travel camera which is a fine option to buy for your vacations.

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offers touch to focus
good megapixels (16MP)
display isn't selfie friendly

Landscape photography with Sony NEX-5R

For those who are planning to purchase a digital camera for landscape photos, the biggest factor will no doubt be image quality. The Sony NEX-5R and it's nice score of 75 as a landscape camera is a fine choice within the current marketplace.

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focusing manually
swap lenses (Sony E mount)
nice screen size (3")
decent megapixels (16MP)
sensor size is good (APS-C)
great ISO range (25,600)
exports RAW files
lack of image stabilization

Sony NEX-5R Vlogging details

A vlogging camera ought to posses a articulating display, mic input and preferably image stabilization. Considering everything, the Sony NEX-5R is not really very good for vlogging as it delivers a terrible score of 31.

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touch screen
video resolution high (1920 x 1080 pixels)
doesn't posses selfie friendly display
does not have image stabilization
missing external mic support

Sony NEX-5R Alternatives

If you are trying to find alternatives to the NEX-5R, below is a selection of the highest placed cameras that fall within the family of Entry-Level Mirrorless.

The graph underneath offers you a bird's eye view of the NEX-5R compared to it's highest rated competitors shown previously.

Following are several cameras you may look at as alternatives. To read a comprehensive comparison, click the "compare" link.

Photography Glossary


General Information
Sony Alpha NEX-5R
Entry-Level Mirrorless
Body design
Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Sensor dimensions
23.4 x 15.6mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
16 megapixels
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
3:2 and 16:9
Highest resolution
4912 x 3264
RAW files
Highest native ISO
Min native ISO
Focus manually
AF touch
AF continuous
AF single
AF tracking
AF selectice
Center weighted AF
Multi area AF
Live view AF
Face detect focusing
Contract detect focusing
Phase detect focusing
Number of focus points
Lens mounting type
Sony E
Amount of lenses
Focal length multiplier
Range of display
Display sizing
3 inches
Display resolution
920 thousand dot
Selfie friendly
Touch capability
Display technology
Tilt Up 180� Down 50� TFT LCD
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
Electronic (optional)
DXO scores
DXO All around score
DXO Color Depth score
DXO Dynamic range score
DXO Low light score
Lowest shutter speed
30 seconds
Highest shutter speed
1/4000 seconds
Continuous shooting speed
10.0 frames per sec
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual exposure
Exposure compensation
Change WB
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash range
no built-in flash
Flash settings
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, Rear Curtain, Fill-in
Hot shoe
AE bracketing
WB bracketing
Highest flash sync
1/160 seconds
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (60 fps), 1440 x 1080 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Highest video resolution
Video data format
Mic input
Headphone input
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental seal
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
276 gr (0.61 pounds)
111 x 59 x 39mm (4.4" x 2.3" x 1.5")
Battery life
330 photographs
Type of battery
Battery Pack
Battery model
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec, 10sec (3 images))
Time lapse shooting
With downloadable app
Type of storage
SD/ SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo
Storage slots
Retail cost