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- Sony Alpha NEX-5R
- While this inexpensive mirrorless is marketed as entry-level, performance and image quality are anything but.
Sony Alpha NEX-5R Digital Camera Review$749.99
Low Light Performance
As long as we obeyed minimum focus distance, we had no trouble getting the 5R to lock focus in low light, though the process was often noticeably slower. Phase detection, one of this camera's most exciting new features, is sometimes (not always) considered less effective in low light, but this is not the case for the NEX-5R. The autofocus system did not tend to miss or return false locks.
You've got two options for how the NEX-5R handles noise, either leave noise reduction on the default "Auto" setting, or step it down to "Low" and force the camera to use less destructive smoothing at the expensive of more severe noise. According to our lab tests, these two settings are actually pretty similar. More on how we test noise.
The 5R sensitivity range is wide, extending from ISO 100 to 25,600 all in full resolution. Frustratingly, the camera will not automatically use sensitivities above 3200, so you'll need to be proactive about your ISO level in low light.
Video: Low Light Sensitivity
The NEX-5R requires only 12 lux of ambient illumination to gather 50 IRE of image data, an impressive figure for any camera. The NEX series is known for low light performance, so we have to imagine this number would've been better if the kit lens could open wider than F3.5.