Blog Sony Alpha NEX-5R: A Comprehensive Review with Pros and Cons

Looking for a camera that's perfect for capturing stunning photos and videos? The Sony Alpha NEX-5R may be exactly what you need. In this post, you'll discover everything you need to know about this mirrorless camera, including its features, specifications, and advantages and disadvantages.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Sony Alpha NEX-5R article cover photo

Key Features

Aug 29 2012


16 megapixels


Sensor TypeAPS-C

Other similar cameras

Overview of the Alpha NEX-5R

The Sony Alpha NEX-5R is a popular and well-regarded mirrorless camera that boasts a wide range of features and capabilities. With its compact size, advanced technology, and great image quality, it's an ideal choice for anyone who's passionate about photography and videography. In this post, we'll explore the Sony Alpha NEX-5R in-depth, highlighting its pros and cons, to help you make an informed purchasing decision. Whether you're a seasoned professional or a casual hobbyist, this camera is definitely worth considering.

Sony Alpha NEX-5R Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Sony Alpha NEX-5R camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


High-resolution sensor
Interchangeable lenses
Fast autofocus system
Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC
User-friendly interface
Good low-light performance
Compact size and lightweight
Articulating touchscreen display
Full HD video recording
Creative shooting modes


No built-in viewfinder
Limited battery life
Can be pricey when purchasing additional lenses
Limited selection of lenses compared to DSLR systems
No optical image stabilization
Average shutter lag and burst rate
Limited external controls for advanced users
Requires adapter for non-native lenses
No weather sealingNote: As an AI language model, I've not personally used this camera. The above-stated pros and cons are based on research.

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Sony Alpha NEX-5R

Weather sealed
Dimensions111 x 59 x 39mm

Weather Sealing

The Sony Alpha NEX-5R is not sealed against water and dust, so it's important to be careful when using it in such conditions. If you often shoot in environments with water or dust, it's recommended to check out another camera with weather sealing.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderElectronic (optional)
Screen TypeTilting
Screen Resolution920k dots
Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a tilting 3.00" screen, with a display resolution of 920k dots. This makes the Sony Alpha NEX-5R not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. The camera also features a touch screen, which adds to its ease of use.


Alpha NEX-5R includes a electronic (optional) viewfinder with no electronic viewfinder of resolution with a coverage of n/a and a magnification of n/a. This feature enhances the camera's suitability for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Sony Alpha NEX-5R has a 16MP sized CMOS sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 16 pixels. Sony Alpha NEX-5R has a native ISO range of 100 - 25600 which can be boosted to null - null. It can also save files in RAW format which gives you a wider room for post processing.

Key Features

Aug 29 2012


100 - 25600

ISO Range

Extended ISOnull - null
Max resolution4912 x 3264 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


78 / 102

Color Depth

23.7 / 26.5

Dynamic Range

13.1 / 14.8

Low Light ISO

910 / 4505

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Sony Alpha NEX-5R camera has above average color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also above average, allowing it to retain low amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is poor, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the Alpha NEX-5R is average

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: APS-C



Connectivity, storage, battery

StorageSD/ SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo
Battery Life330 shots
Battery ModelNPFW50
Wireless Connectivity


The Sony Alpha NEX-5R supports SD/ SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo with 1 slots for storage. This may suffice for everyday use. However, for professional applications such as wedding photography, it is not recommended as a memory card malfunction could lead to the loss of all footage.


The Sony Alpha NEX-5R uses the NPFW50 model of battery pack. This is rated for 330 shots shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Sony Alpha NEX-5R does not have a built-in flash, but it does offer a flash shoe that allows you to attach external flashes. This provides more versatility in your lighting choices.


The Sony Alpha NEX-5R boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/4000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Sony Alpha NEX-5R includes two autofocus (AF) systems: contrast detection and phase detection, with 99 number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

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What is the sensor size of the Sony Alpha NEX-5R?

The Sony Alpha NEX-5R features a CMOS sensor

Is the Sony Alpha NEX-5R weather sealed?

No the Alpha NEX-5R does not have weather sealing.

When was the Sony Alpha NEX-5R announced?

The Sony Alpha NEX-5R was announced on Aug 29 2012

Does the Sony Alpha NEX-5R have in-body image stabilization?

No the Alpha NEX-5R does not have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Sony Alpha NEX-5R?

The Alpha NEX-5R has a native ISO range of 100-25600, which can be expanded to ISO null-null for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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