6
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

First Look: Sony Alpha NEX-5R: When it's good, it's very, very good

About Video Transcript

First Look: Sony Alpha NEX-5R: When it's good, it's very, very good

2:30 /

It's a great camera choice for high-quality stills and a streamlined shooting design under $800, but the Sony Alpha NEX-5R falls short when it comes to sharing your shots online.

Generally, a better design version of the NEX-5N. The interchangeable lens Sony Alpha NEX-5R delivers similarly excellent photo quality and somewhat improved performance over that model. The look is about the same. The addition of the control dial and a function button make a big difference in usability and its streamline shooting for those of us who like direct access controls for everything. The menu system still gets a little annoying. And now it has the card submenu rolled into setup, which makes it quite tedious to find important options like card formatting and Wi-Fi set up. The Wi-Fi features are pretty basic. The most competitors offer the same. You can upload to Facebook or Sony's play memory service or you can transfer directly to your phone. There's also remote shutter app that lets you use your phone or tablet as a larger screen, but only can really do is snap the photo. Also is the ability to download and install proprietary apps, but the whole operation seems to offer more benefit to Sony than to camera owners. For instance, the free picture effects plus app duplicates the effect in the camera with the exception of adding watercolor and illustration. But of these are built in to the NEX-F3 so they took them out to put them into the app. The photo quality really is quite good with clean JPEGs as high as ISO 400, and for the most part, usable images as high as ISO 3200 depending upon the scene. Sony's image processing is so well done that I really couldn't get better noise reduction at any ISO level by processing the RAWS, though shooting RAW still helps for recovering highlights or shadow detail. Colors look relatively accurate. The Sony doesn't offer a neutral color option and the camera renders a nice tonal range. The video has some artifact notably aliasing in more ray, but the low light tonal quality looks better than average and there are lots of colored noise than usual as well. It's not the fastest camera in its class, but it's certainly fast enough. I find the interface feels a little bit sluggish though and the LCD is really hard to see in direct sunlight. It tilts, but you really need a flip out or AVF to compensate in bright situations. The design of the 5R feels especially suited to street photography and I like shooting with it. As long as you're considering it for reasons other than the app support or wireless capability, it comes highly recommended. I'm Lori Grunin and this is the Sony Alpha NEX-5R.

New releases

Better than Touch ID? Check out Vkansee's optical fingerprint scanner
1:13 March 3, 2015
Clean or dirty, wet or dry, this highly-tuned fingerprint scanner promises to dominate Apple's ho-hum tech.
Play video
Koenigsegg Regera
1:27 March 3, 2015
At the 2015 Geneva Auto Show, Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg rolled out the Regera which just might be the most powerful plug-in...
Play video
Nvidia Shield
2:59 March 3, 2015
The Nvidia Shield offers gamers an affordable, high-performance set-top box that combines the best of Android TV and Nvidia's own GRID...
Play video
Tomorrow Daily 138: Learning to cook with VR, a robotic bear caregiver and more
24:12 March 3, 2015
On today's show, we take a look at the world's first 3D-printed jet engines, discuss an app that helps you learn to cook via virtual...
Play video
Maker builds cool DIY drones inspired by 'Star Wars'
1:27 March 3, 2015
2015 might be the year of the drone, and to back up that claim here's a look at two "Star Wars"-themed drones created this year by...
Play video
Smart Home Buying Guide: Home Automation
1:57 March 3, 2015
Automation promises to make your life easier -- let us make it a little easier for you to get started.
Play video
Pebble Time rocks Steel design, BlackBerry struts old-school slider
2:57 March 3, 2015
The Kickstarter record-breaking smartwatch adds a new model for preorders, and BlackBerry returns to phone designs of the past. Also,...
Play video
How to catch a cyberthief
2:22 March 3, 2015
What does it take to catch cybercriminals who hack into computers to steal personal and financial information? CNET's Kara Tsuboi takes...
Play video