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Mixed feelings about NEX-5R
on May 12, 2013
I took the NEX-5R hiking with me yesterday and thought the shooting experience was a mixed bag. Here are my pros and cons:
-Excellent image quality. Color, detail, and ISO performance are all first rate for an APS-C camera. Noise becomes noticeable at ISO3200 but even at that sensitivity, the noise is of the fine grain variety so it still looks halfway decent. Color performance does degrade a little as you get to ISO1600 and beyond but this is pretty typical for this class of camera.
-Exposure is generally on the mark if skewing a little towards underexposure. Which I prefer to overexposure.
-Dual dials for adjusting both aperture and exposure.
-Autofocus performance is generally pretty good.
-Shot to shot times are good.
-Camera feels solid and well-made.
-The LCD sucks on this camera. It's extremely reflective in sunlight even with the settings adjusted accordingly. This is a big problem because, unless you buy the add-on viewfinder, it's all you have to compose a shot. By the time you got the add-on viewfinder, you could've paid the same amount for the NEX-6 which features one built-in.
-The touch screen is of the resistive type rather than capacitive. It's good in a way because it prevents you from accidentally firing off a shot but at the same time, it just isn't as responsive as a capacitive touch screen.
-Like other Sonys, I find the menu system needlessly complicated and feel it should be streamlined for access to commonly used shooting settings.
Judged by its images (especially if you put a decent lens on it), the NEX-5R is an excellent imaging machine right up there with the best of the APS-C cameras. Whomever says that Sony can't compete with Canon and Nikon on image quality hasn't used any of their cameras as of late. However, the usability factor in the NEX-5R still lags behind the other cameras which takes some of the enjoyment away from the overall shooting experience. Unless you absolutely need the touch screen, I suggest spending the extra money on the NEX-6. It has the same excellent imaging performance but is more comfortable to shoot with, has that great built-in OLED EVF, a physical dial for changing shooting modes, and a built-in flash.