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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2013
First off, if you're looking for a bigger sensor in a very small body, the NEX line is a great option. I find the 5R (and its predecessor, the 5N) to be very comfortable in the hand, the screen is bright and clear, and I don't find the virtual mode dial to be any more complicated to use than a physical one. I found the Fn button to be very useful, although sometimes the dial on top of the camera isn't very intuitive. And I've always liked navigating camera menus via a touchscreen.

My NEX 5R pics look good overall, with good dynamic range, and the movies look great. But the main reason I thought an APS-C sensor camera would be better than the micro four thirds cameras I had been using didn't come to pass - my Panasonic G3 shot cleaner low light pics than the 5R. On the other hand, my NEX has truer colors and better saturation at similar settings.

I had a Sony 5N for a few days, then exchanged it for a 5R. For those asking which of the two cameras to get, I'd stick with the 5N if you can find one new. First, and most important to me, the 5R pics are just a little bit noisier than the 5N pics. Also I didn't find the hybrid focus to be very helpful, and while I've had other cameras I liked to use the touchscreen to not only focus but to shoot the pics, with this camera when I touch-shoot, the pics come out soft every time.

Yes, the menus are pretty counter-intuitive, and sometimes quite long. Sony NEX menus were the reason I waited so long to get into the NEX line. With most cameras, I can find what I want in the menus without referring to the manual; with the NEX cameras, I find myself referring to the manuals or even asking for help on dpreview.com from time to time.

One last thing that I found inconvenient is that I was able to work with the raw pics from the 5N in my existing raw programs, but not the 5R - its raw files wouldn't open in the program I use with my Canon and Panasonic cameras and with the 5N, so one must choose to buy a new raw program or use the supplied Sony software.

But the thing I really don't like about my 5R is that it's always focusing, so if you focus a shot, it will refocus it. It's great for video, as it's quite responsive, but it's annoying shooting pics as there's no focus lock button. And I wouldn't mind if there was a way to disable this feature, but there isn't - I wrote to Sony support and asked.

As you can see by now, I have mixed feelings about my 5R. The image quality is good, the videos are very nice, and it's the most comfortable camera I've ever held, not to mention the lightest removable lens camera I've owned. The touchscreen is useful and touch focus works pretty well. But the menus could be better, the hybrid autofocus can't always lock onto things I'm taking pics of and the camera constantly re-focusing can be downright annoying. Auto, scene modes and program work well, as do the useful more manual modes. And I'm surprised that sweep panorama can be more than just a novelty, and is easy to use. Would I buy this camera again? Honestly I'd have kept the 5N or perhaps even my Panny G3, but the 5R is still a good camera with a lot to like about it; it's just maybe not the camera for me.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2013
I bought this after much research and deliberation. I was looking to get my first ILC and didn't want the bulk of a DSLR. I decided to pull the trigger and buy it.

Pros
- Great image quality, even in low light.
- Focus speed was very good.
- Continuous shooting capability was amazing.

Cons
- Size with the kit lens was impressive, but still not pocketable. It would still be bulky in cargo shorts/pants or a jacket pocket. To make it better, you could buy a pancake lens for about $200. I have my iPhone with me at all times, so I wasn't necessarily planning on taking my ILC everywhere anyway.
- The flash didn't contact well. The camera wouldn't recognize that it was connected half the time. I tried tightening the screw as well as I could, but it's not the easiest to access for a good grip. One of the main uses for me is shooting my kids around the house in poor light and the option to use the flash was a must for me. The high ISO performance is very good, don't get me wrong, but the option was a must. I probably could have sent it back to Sony or exchanged it, but I didn't want the same thing to happen a year from now.
- Lens options and costs. There are very few lenses available compared to Canon or Nikon, and the cost of similar lenses is much higher. For instance, a 50mm f/1.8 prime is $110 for a Canon and approximately $275 for the Sony E mount.

Semi-Con
- The menu system was a little cumbersome, but I don't think it would be too bad after extended use.

Overall, I ended up returning the NEX-5R after 4 days (taking ~400 photos) and buying a Canon Rebel T3. I have my iPhone with me at all times, so I wasn't necessarily planning on taking my ILC everywhere anyway (so the DSLR size wasn't as big of an issue, or at least I hope not). With the price difference between this and the Canon T3 I could get an additional lens and camera bag and still come out ahead. It was a better option for me as I am just getting into the ILC market and didn't want to spend a ton of money. I still give this camera four stars, as my cons are more based on my individual use case (and the fact that the flash issue probably could have been fixed). The image quality and camera performance was outstanding for the four days I used it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2015
I absolutely love this camera. I do wish I would have gone with the 24mp version but this thing still takes fantastic pictures. The built in filters are really cool and easy to use, even for a complete newbie to photography. The wifi is pretty quirky and sony could have made it a lot easier to use. The only other gripe I have is that when the flash is installed you can't flip the screen around to the "selfie mode", otherwise I'm absolutely hooked on this camera.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2015
I got this to replace my camera that I dipped in the ocean. its the exact same camera. I can't say enough good things about this camera. It has the capability to take some amazing pictures. I am NOT a professional but I love to play around with photography. It is also super simple to share photos. I have learned the best way to get some of the cool in this for this camera is to buy used off Amazon! Cut the price in half!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2014
This camera takes wonderful photo's and is compact and easy for on the go. Small enough it is not cumbersome for vacation use.

Unfortunately Sony customer service is pretty inconvenient. I purchased this camera in April 2013, it mysteriously stopped working in February 2014. I took it to the Sony store, they are not equipped to handle camera's. They referred us to the technical support line. I had to mail the camera in, at which point I was told that the camera had physical damage and could be repaired for $800. My problem with the product is that the camera had never been dropped, any damage done I would deem as normal wear and tear. I feel the longevity and durability of the camera should have been better in this price point.

The Panorama feature on this camera was GREAT! Until is completely stopped functioning after four months of use. The photo's were too dark to discern anything.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2014
Really nice pictures (my other camera is a Nikon D300S !), better movie than the SLR and quite easy to use. No so compact though... doesn't fit in your pocket...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2014
I've been using the 5R for one year and I really can't complain about the quality of the pictures. I took the camera to one of my friend's wedding and people were asking about the pictures the week after since the pictures had more details than the regulars camera. I have taken it to several places and it is a low profile camera. People normally don't think about the amazing results that you can get from this camera. It behaves fine on low lights and when you master the camera, definitely you will get great results.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2014
The reason why I bought this camera was to use it to film some high school basketball games. The quality is fantastic and I can easily power it on and press record in time to get all the good shots. The only problem though is that if you are planning on recording videos anywhere near the 10 minute mark (even sometimes near the 7 or 8 minute mark) the camera will begin to overheat and will become a pain to try to use until you give it a break. I completely understand why this happens but it can be a drag.

Literally, every other aspect of the camera works great. I have been using the camera at least twice a week since the beginning of November now, and besides the overheating, the format, quality, audio, and everything else works great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2014
Great camera to use with kids because it can take several images together. I don't even find the size that heavy to use throw in my purse.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2014
I'm one of those upgraders that went from a 5N to 5R. I really didn't need to but the price differential of how much I was able to seel the 5N for and buy the 5R was small enough so I went with it (I was just looking for any justification really :). The user experience and the quality of the photos are very similar so I won't go into too much detail since I already wrote a long review about the 5N. One of the reason I got 5N was that I got tired of the bulk of my Canon DSLR. NEX is such a better experience for me, though I wish the lenses were smaller/lighter.

On the 5R:
- The new physical control wheel is nice and convenient.
- Noticeably higher battery drain than 5N (and this is with wifi off).
- Photo quality is similar to 5N
- Overall user experience is similar to 5N.

I think it's time Sony kill the proprietary NEX port and move to something more standard for the next iteration, as it's done on NEX6. I have all the accessories - EVF (which I use a lot), flash (I use from time to time), and mic attachment (I've never used). What's annoying is that if I wan't to use the flash to do some bounce photos indoors, I have to take off the EVF.

The screen articulates better than 5N and now you can do a complete 180 flip and see the screen for self-pics. It's a great feature and I've really used it. However, the other design decision (oversight) I don't get is, if you have an accessory plugged into the NEX port, you can't do a full 180-flip. So let's say I had the EVF on (which most of the time is), to take a self shot, I have to take the EVF off... and if you know how these NEX ports work, it's pretty annoying b/c it's not a simple click-and-snap motion. You have to unscrew the dang thing on/off. With the bigger flash unit, I understand, but with the EVF, the screen almost flips completely 180... almost but not quite and for the screen image to flip itself vertically, the screen has to be completely 180. Perhaps a downwards 180 flip might have been better but then the tripod users will complain :)

I still like using NEX over a DSLR, though these days, I'm eyeing a good m43 deal... the smaller lens (generally) of m43 format is really hard to ignore.
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