Sony Announces the $650 NEX-5R Mirrorless Camera

In what was seemingly lost in the commotion related to another big camera announcement, the C100 (from a small company called Canon), Sony is replacing its NEX-5N mirrorless camera with a brand new model and another confusing name, the NEX-5R. The new camera is mostly unchanged from the NEX-5N, except for a few notable additions, including better autofocus and built-in WiFi capabilities. The only question is what, if anything, has been done for video quality?

The launch video from Sony plus another few videos showing off the camera:

Obviously everything seems to be focused on the photo features, and that's because the video features are mostly unchanged from the last version. The LCD is far more versatile, and the new external buttons can make shooting easier. Video bitrate looks to be the same from the previous version, but the camera still features 1080p 60fps, something we still don't have on any Canon camera at 1080 regardless of price. While it looks like already stellar low-light performance has been improved slightly, it will be interesting to see if Sony has improved the overheating issues from the NEX-5N. If they have, this will be one of the more interesting options to use as an incognito A or B cam with interchangeable lenses.

The NEX-5R is going to run $650 for the body only and $750 for an included 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 E-mount lens, and should be shipping in October. What this also means is that the NEX-5N is $600 and $500 for the body and lens package respectively. So if you're looking for an inexpensive mirrorless camera, Sony has lots of options. You can see more information at the Sony site and also pre-order the camera using the links below.

What do you guys think? If Sony has improved the overheating, is the NEX-5R something you would buy? Would you guys choose this over the new Canon EOS-M?


[via The Verge]

Your Comment


Very nice looking camera, and I love my 5N. But I'm more interested in seeing the upcoming NEX-6.

September 1, 2012 at 11:30AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


This post (like none of the others, notably) nails it in terms of what filmmakers could get out this for a B-camera compatible with the NEX system and lenses (when they also have an NEX-FS100, etc.). I hope that the early reviews properly test overheating, according to your challenge.

Of course, we'll still always bump up against that dumb international tariff issue, limiting continuous shooting to 29.5 minutes...

September 1, 2012 at 11:33AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Not really relevant, since my 5N will stop recording after 5 minutes due to overheating...

September 2, 2012 at 1:16AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Anyone care to weigh in on image quality on these vs T2i/T3i? I use both of the later with Magic Lantern and it doesn't seem like these small mirrorless bodies could offer anywhere near the level of control, but I am interested in relative image quality(and 1080/60) for the price.

September 1, 2012 at 1:24PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


I bought a 5N two months ago, and sold my T2i a few weeks later. Very nice improvement in terms of image quality. I do miss some of the ML features (zebras, waveform, custom cropmarks), but the image is sharper and a lot cleaner (moire is still there, but won't appear nearly as often), whereas dynamic range and colors are similarly good.

My thoughts about the 5N, and an IQ comparison with the T2i, D800 and GH2:

September 2, 2012 at 1:21AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


@Samuel H - Thanks! That is great information. As a side note, I have used the Flaat profiles a bunch and really dig them. Seriously valuable contribution.

September 3, 2012 at 7:49PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Glad you like them :)

September 4, 2012 at 12:14AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


I like how the EOS M is just a flat rectangle shape and can fit in the pocket easily (body only). The Sony ones have that battery grip bulge that is nice for handling, but its an odd shape and not pocket/small space friendly.

September 1, 2012 at 4:47PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

john jeffreys

All things being equal, I'd always prefer to have a grip as I rarely, if ever, put any of my cameras in my pocket. A small shoulder bag like a Lowepro means never having to worry about inadvertently scratching the LCD or body with something left in my pocket, and I have room for my LCDVF, lenses, ND filters, etc.

I haven't seen the video quality of the EOS-M, but I do prefer the codec of the NEX-5N or R, and of course, 1080p60 is something that the EOS-M is not capable of.

September 2, 2012 at 11:02AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Remember guys that when in 1080/60p mode the aliasing is effectively doubled on the 5n. Also in 25p mode the rolling shutter is quite horrible.

September 3, 2012 at 6:51AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

mikko löppönen

I haven't noticed increased aliasing. Lots more codec issues, for sure (those 28 Mbit are not enough for 1080p60 if your subject has lots of motion, or you're panning and it has lots of detail, etc), but nothing regarding aliasing or moire. Haven't ran tests looking for such effects either, though.

September 4, 2012 at 12:16AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM