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March 21st 2014 7:56 am

How would you change's Sony's NEX-5R?

Most camera geeks agree that Sony needed to make up for the NEX-F3, and that it did so with style by producing the NEX-5R. When we placed this in the hands of our in-house camera guru, he was “thrilled.” In fact, he described it as one of the best compact ILCs of 2012-2013, and that people should keep it in their mind the next time it came time to buy a camera. The question that needs to be asked, however, is did our man Honig get it right? If you’re a shutterbug who put one of these through its paces, then share with us your impressions and feelings.

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13 replies

Dust seals, to protect sensor from dust entering through the zoom lens. Dirty sensor has been a big problem on mine even though I hardly ever unmount or change the lens. Dust is getting in somehow while the lens is mounted. This is a weakness of mirrorless cameras in general but it could be minimized by a well sealed camera body and lenses.
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I'm afraid I have to register my usual Sony NEX gripes: the slightly bizarre context-sensitive menu system, and the seeming unwillingness, in the UK at least, to distribute lenses to retailers. I can't recall ever seeing any of the newer NEX lenses in the flesh.
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The distributing of lenses to retailers in the Netherlands is broad. Most of the large and also the smaller retailers have a wide range of E-mount NEX lenses available. It's weird that that's not the case in the UK.
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It is, at least in part, down to the relative shortage of places to buy camera gear in the UK. I live in Birmingham; we have a Jessops (maybe three NEX lenses in stock?), a Calumet (didn't see any NEX lenses) and a Currys (two NEX lenses). All of these retailers stock more Fuji lenses, and Jessops and Currys stock more Olympus and even Samsung lenses than NEXes. UK bricks and mortar retail is very ill, but most distributors are trying to make the best of it. Just not Sony, it seems.
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I've had mine for about a year. I really enjoy using it, but there are several things I would like to change:

More affordable lenses--so far I've only used the kit lens, all the others are very expensive, I would like a more compact lens and a lens capable of at least 200mm. The kit lens is very versatile, but I bought the camera to be compact and light and being able to attach a more compact lens would fit the camera and be able to still take most of the portrait shots that I like to take anyway.

A better/faster way to attach the flash, it's not easy to quickly attach and I feel that if I leave it on it will either bend, break or randomly fall off.

Intuitive wifi--The wifi sucks. It's a waste of time to use. You have to sign in to your Sony account every time and the virtual keyboard is horrible. Also, actually connecting to a wifi network is hit or miss and I feel the novelty was wasted on trying to pack too much crap into the wifi feature instead of allowing it to do basic things, like wireless upload to your laptop/ps3/etc. I use playmemories on my PS3, so if this worked I would definitely use it.

This is my first non-compact camera so I don't know much about battery life, filters, image stabilization and focus, but I love the Superior Autofocus on this camera! I feel that I get fantastic images and don't need to stress about learning to manually focus or whatever the pros do. I also like how the Autofocus can do macro shots so easily! The movable lcd is very cool and I probably use it too much. I really enjoy using this camera, but sadly the above reasons are why I don't use it more. If I had a more compact lens I would definitely take this with me more, but the massive lens gets in the way and no one wants to drop/break the "fancy" camera that I really didn't have to bring to the baseball game, the family event or just the park with the dog.
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Overall the camera is very compact and produce pretty good pictures. Still, after 1 year I don't use it as much as I expected in the first place.
Deal breaker are both the interface which is messy with related options in different menus and the tendency to collect all possible kind of dust on sensor.
I bought it along with an adapter for my Canon lenses but there is so much dust coming in each time I change lens that I simply stopped and stick with the 16-50mm which is not a champion when it comes to portrait and short depth of field.
As mentioned already, the wi-fi is pretty useless in its current implementation, being way to complicated to use. Apart from using my mobile as a remote once in a while, I never use it.
To sum up:
- A better interface
- A simpler access to Wi-fi
- A way to stop the dust getting in.
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1. Overheating when recording long videos (like talent shows, board meetings, etc.) is a serious problem.

2. I've also had trouble with dust getting onto the sensor despite being extremely careful when switching lenses.

3. I would love to have a bigger screen and one that is still usable outside on a sunny day.

But the more I use it and dig deeper into all of its settings and features, the more I love this camera.
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Three words: phase detect autofocus and I am in! That's my biggest gripe with my current nex, and after seeing the a6000 demo, that's the only thing that would compel me to upgrade! But I prefer the touchscreen and bulk of 5r/5000!
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I've had my NEX-5 just short of 4 weeks. Here in the Netherlands, they sell the basic model with a 16-50mm E3,5-5,6 lens. I've been enjoying it so much. Although there is no physical knob for changing your program, I've hardly had any notice of that. Once you get a hang of the menu, it's easy to use, quick and well organized.

I've just bought a 50mm 1,8 lens and now it looks like the ISS, while on the other hand it's kind of sexy. That could be a drawback, that the body itself is so small, that lenses over 30 mm almost double the size of the camera. I don't mind, but keep that in mind when you want to buy one.

I don't have experiences with other ILC's, but compared to the other on the market, I thought this would be the best one, and I have no regrets ever since.
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I have mine almost a year already and I like it but not love it.. One thing that really bugged me was how easy is to scratch the display, it took me exactly 2 weeks. And now I am looking forward for the new a6000 with the fastest focusing and viewfinder!
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Honestly what I would change about the NEX system in general is their lens ecosystem. All the glass that is within reasonable enthusiast pricing is very slow (ie: no 2.8f stop zooms, no sub 2.0f primes) and doesn't compete with either Fuji or the m43s offerings in performance. The Sony glass that DOES perform well costs SIGNIFICANTLY more than the offerings by Fuji and m43 systems. It is the one reason why I chose m43 instead of Sony.
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- fix super slow response touch screen
- fix super slow application ui/ux- fix overheat issue www.dpreview.com­/forums­/thread­/3229363
- more len kit option e.g. 18-200, current 16-50 motor is "too loud" when record video btw
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I started out getting into photography with an NEX-5R back in 11-2012. It was an excellent camera to start out with, but eventually I found myself running into its limitations by the middle of 2013 and upgraded to an NEX-6. The key factor that led to the switch was the proprietary hot shoe on the NEX-5R, as I was interested in getting into off camera lighting at the time. I tried some third party adapters with mixed success, but they never worked seamlessly.

Just recently I dumped my NEX-6 for micro 4/3rds because of the second problem I have with Sony's cameras, the limited/expensive lens ecosystem (and with the introduction of yet another mount for the A7s it doesn't look like it's going to improve any time soon).

All that said, I prefer added portability over the EVF of the NEX-6, and I'm sorely missing PDAF on micro 4/3rds (and not willing to drop $1300 on an EM-1 for that feature alone). So if Sony would beef up support for their lenses and add a standard hot shoe to the NEX-5 series, I'd jump back on it in a heartbeat.
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