We've been looking forward to seeing where Sony will take the NEX range since the NEX-7 spent an all-too-brief time in our testing labs, snagging itself an Editors' Choice award. The NEX-5R isn't exactly the successor to the NEX-7, but is instead a look into what technologies the company will put in its models going forward.
The brief is, quite simply, connectivity. Wi-Fi is now a mainstay on a number of compact cameras, with the 5R being no exception. Using the PlayMemories app (available on Android and iOS), you can use your mobile device as a remote shutter to take images without needing to be with the camera. It's a useful feature, but due to bandwidth restrictions, the image that appears on the mobile device's screen, such as a tablet, is low resolution, and there's some latency that's noticeable.
The flip-up screen pivots up 180 degrees, useful for things like self-portraits. Or taking photos of yourself ... taking photos of a camera.
On top of being an articulating screen, it's also touch controlled, including such features as touch shutter and focus when taking photos. Sony is also claiming incredibly quick autofocus, thanks to the 99-point phase detection system. In our quick hands on with the camera at this year's IFA trade show, it certainly feels nimble and responsive to focus, especially in low-light situations.
The NEX-5R will be available in Australia from November for AU$799 as body only.