Ed from theDigitalDigest is back with another excellent in depth review, this time, of the Sony NEX 5R.
The Sony NEX 5R is a 16.1MP, APS-C based mirrorless camera that replaces the celebrated NEX-5N, and in doing so, Sony take several steps to ensure that it should be referred to as a legitimate upgrade from the previous generation.
The NEX 5N was one of our favorite cameras of last year, and it’s still one of the best cameras that you can get within the price range. However, the NEX 5R does indeed represent an upgrade to the 5N, most notably because of it’s new Hybrid Autofocus and wi-fi capabilities. Ed mentions the lack of a capacitive touch screen several times throughout his video review above, but I suspect that Sony intentionally replaced the capacitive screen of the NEX 5N with a resistive screen on the 5R so that users would be less likely to inadvertently take pictures or change camera settings by accidentally brushing the screen. This would be especially true if someone were to use the optional Electronic Viewfinder.
If you’ve read an appreciable amount of material on this website, then you’ll know that I and most of the contributors to this site feel that Wi-Fi is one of the most important new features that is being incorporated into the new camera systems of today. Wi-Fi represents the future, and much the same way that wireless connectivity and app systems changed mobile telephony, I believe we’ll see a similar transformation occur with the realm of Photo-Videography. BUT… at this point, wi-fi on cameras is first generation technology and we have not even begun to see what new capabilities new wirelessly connected cameras will have.
So if that’s the case, is Wi-Fi a feature you should be excited about and is it a reason to choose one camera over another? Well… Yes and maybe.
Yes – Wi-Fi will create a revolution within the camera world and is definitely something you should be excited about, but as for using it as the sole criteria to choose one camera over another, I would say that it depends on the camera.
If I had to choose between the NEX 5N and the Samsung Galaxy Camera, I would easily choose the 5N. Even though the Samsung Galaxy Camera incorporates the most mature Wi-Fi system in any camera to date as it runs off the Android Jellybean OS, it doesn’t hold a candle to the NEX 5N as a camera. Yet if I had to choose between the NEX 5N and NEX 5R, then I would choose the NEX 5R despite it’s higher price. Even though Sony’s Wi-Fi and App system is in it’s infancy, it will get better as time goes by, and of these two cameras, the NEX 5R is the only one that has the potential of becoming a better camera than it is today.
I fully expect the Wi-Fi and App systems on cameras to develop quickly, so look for Wi-Fi enabled camera to become the norm in the next 12-24 months.