Sony NEX-5R: Sony's Touchscreen Mirrorless Monster Gets Improved Autofocus and Wi-Fi ConnectivityS

Sony has been releasing new, tweaked versions of its NEX cameras every year to impressive results. Today we got our first look at its latest, the Sony NEX-5R—the follow-up to last year's NEX-5N, which is one beast of a mirrorless camera. The new shooter introduces a new "Fast Hybrid" autofocus system, WI-Fi connectivity and a new programmable dial and multi-function button.

The new sensor-based 99-point autofocus system uses both contract and phase detection and contrast detection to zero in on a subject in a snap. Phase AF quickly zeros in on a subject and then contrast AF makes a fine adjustment.

The camera follows the slews of other new shooters out there with Wi-Fi connectivity. You'll be able to transfer photos directly to your smartphone or tablet using Sony's PlayMemories Mobile app available for both iOS and Android. You'll also be able to push your photos to your DLNA connected TV or your computer. Sony is also introducing PlayMemories Camera Apps, which are new functions that you'll be able to download and install onto your camera. From the sound of names like "Picture Effect+" "Bracket Pro" the apps will fall somewhere between your favorite smartphone camera app and the gimmicky functions that come pre-installed on all cameras these days.

The new programmable inputs add to the camera's flexibility—that makes the cameras more like the button-packed DSLRs that mirrorless cameras aim to replace.

Otherwise, the specs of the NEX-5R are identical to those of last year's NEX-5N: a 16-megapixel, APS-C sensor, and HD video recording at up to 1920 x 1080 at 60 fps. And of course, a lovely touchscreen that makes navigating menues and changing settings a piece of cake. The NEX-5R will be available in October for $750 with an 18-55mm kit zoom lens. The body alone will cost $650. [Sony and Sony]