Photographing San Diego with the Sony NEX-5R

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I’m excited to announce that I, along with 10 other talented bloggers with diverse niches and skills, have been selected as members of the Sony Club. What this means is that I will get to try out a series of Sony products that appeal to my lifestyle and my work, and share my experiences with you.

It’s a pretty fun gig and to kick it all off we were invited to San Diego to use some of the products given to us by Sony. We were given no instructions, but rather were encouraged to use them as we normally would in our every day life. Because I was traveling, the product that I used the most was the Sony NEX-5R, which came with a 18-55mm kit lens, though we got to borrow a variety of others during the trip (the kit also comes with a small detachable flash).

I started blogging using a Canon DSLR, which I received as a Christmas gift in 2007.  I’ve upgraded within the same brand once, meaning I have been pretty loyal, though I have also been considering other options for some time and have consulted various photography loving friends because I wanted something more. I approached the new device with some hesitation, but open-minded and willing to trust it with the images I wanted to capture in San Diego – a huge leap of faith, as I am sure most people who are obsessed with photography would understand. In the end, I was pleased with the images on the camera as well as on my phone and Instagram.

Oh, did I tell you about the WiFi feature? It’s pretty stellar. Granted, shooting with my iPhone, which is really all I’ve done for Instagram, is faster because with the camera I have to connect to the PlayMemories Mobile app (which I downloaded for free), so that I can wirelessly transfer the images to my phone. Then I have to click on the images I want so I can upload them to my social media platform. A few more steps, but then I also get higher quality images to share as well. For someone who loves to share images as I go, this feature is GOLD for me. These feature also eliminates my having to wait to get home to upload to my laptop to share – something I never do on Instagram because by then the thrill is gone.

The camera is also smaller, way lighter than the bulky DSLR I’ve been carrying around, and the controls provide several features and filters that I am still learning about and having fun with. You can stay in auto (or Super Auto, which is exactly what it sounds like), but why would you? The filters are fun to play with, eliminating the steps of having to photo shop them later for similar effects. The touch screen makes for a more user-friendly experience as well.

The battery life is short, almost shockingly so when coming from a DSLR, but unlike a DSLR, you are able to charge the battery through a USB port on the camera. This is the first time I am seeing the images on a larger scale from my computer and I have to say for 16.1 mega pixels, they are not bad at all. Really crisp and vibrant. An adapter will allow me to use the Canon lens I have already invested in, though I am looking to try some more Sony lens to see how they do as well.

Below are images from my San Diego trip, taken with the mirrorless Sony NEX 5R, highlighting some of the camera’s features. Images are as is from camera with select installed filters, no additional editing done.

A day at the races with the historic Del Mar Horse Racing.


girlgonetravel_SanDiegoA fisheye lens view.


A morning sailing the San Diego bay with Sail Jada Charters.

girlgonetravel_sandiegogirlgonetravel_sandiegogirlgonetravel_sandiegogirlgonetravel_sandiegoSony zoom lens view.

girlgonetravel_sandiegoAnother fisheye shot with Amanda Brookes ( Selfies are easier with the adjustable viewfinder. 



An afternoon at Seagrove Park




Dinner at Kitchen 1540

girlgonetravel_sandiegoIllustration feature in the camera.

girlgonetravel_sandiegoSpontaneous sunset shoot inspired by Dave Amirault ( feature.girlgonetravel_sandiegoClear low lighting shooting.

Afternoon at Balboa Park.


girlgonetravel_sandiegoPartial color feature in camera.girlgonetravel_sandiegogirlgonetravel_sandiego girlgonetravel_sandiegogirlgonetravel_sandiego

The 2013 Sony Club crew. Photo by passerby on Amanda Brooke’s camera.girlgonetravel_sandiegoJoining me: Dave Amirault, Amanda Broooks, Shivani Cotter, Diana Elizabeth, Ryan Gargiulo, Vivienne Gucwa, Susan McLean, Kristen Sarah, Frederick Van Johnson, and Crystal Reagan. Read more about the program and our blogs at All opinions expressed are my own.

girlgonetravel_sonyIt’s close to impossible to get this many people together and have them all like each other as much as we did…but it happened. There’s a lot of talent and knowledge in this one pic. My life is enriched because of so many people here. I am lucky to have been able to spend time, learn, laugh, and connect with all of them. Many thanks to the Sony peeps (many of them in this picture) for the opportunity.

Check out all the images from the Sony Club members during our San Diego visit on Storify. Check out my Flickr all my Sony Club  Trip to San Diego photos. All images are property of and may not be used without consent of the publisher.


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Carol Cain

Carol is her happiest when on an adventure, either close to home or farther away. She's the mom to three fun boys and wife to a handsome Irish/Scot. She lives in New Jersey with her happy crew, but will always be a girl from Brooklyn. You can read her full profile here.

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16 Responses to Photographing San Diego with the Sony NEX-5R

  1. Nnenna says:

    POWERFUL Camera!!! I'd love to have one! 🙂

  2. I made the post, WAHOOOOOO 😉 Such an amazing time. I have been out all weekend continuing to play with the features!
    My recent post Meeting the world’s fastest racers: Accountablity Monday

  3. Susan says:

    Great shots, Carol! It was so great meeting you & I hope they bring the club back together again soon!
    My recent post Here I am

  4. Teresa Vincent says:

    GREAT article and AWESOME pictures! I follow your blog (and am a Travel Blogger/Photographer myself–@TTsTrippin) so I already know you take great pics! The quality with this camera is wonderful and I am going to have to do some more research on it (pricing, etc) to see if maybe it will be my Christmas/Birthday present this year. Since I turn 50 ON Christmas, I could certainly justify it! I currently use a canon powershot D10 and absolutely LOVE it. It is waterproof, drop/shatter proof, takes HD movies and great quality pics. Switching from movie to picture mode is SUPER easy and the fact that I don't have to worry if I drop it (which I have and actually it FLEW from my wrist and crashed landed during a bike accident with barely a scratch and working perfectly!). The waterproof feature is great even if not taking in water or underwater pics. I don't have to worry if it starts raining 🙂 I don't like carrying anything too big and heavy when I travel so it is also great because of its weight and size. Thanks for this post! I spend lots of time in San Diego (Son, daughter in law and Granddaughter live there–she is in the Navy) so I recognized the locations in the pics too. Bonus!

    • caincarol says:

      Thanks Teresa! The Sony also does video, though i have yet to play with that feature. I am looking at my pic quality from the Canon and comparing it with the Sony and I have to say I like the Sony more. The waterproof feature on your camera is so cool! Not one either of my cameras currently have. Thanks for reading and for your comment – lucky you get to visit San Diego often! And Happy (early) Birthday! I think you TOTALLY deserve the gift!

  5. Excellent post carol! I can’t wait to share my photos from my NEX-5R as well! It was such a pleasure meeting you. Hope to cross paths with you again soon.

    • caincarol says:

      Thanks Ryan! It was great to meet you as well, stay in touch and continue enjoying your adventures my friend : )

  6. Vivienne Gucwa says:

    Carol! Love this! I had such a blast with you and everyone else on our team. Looking forward to getting together again at some point!
    My recent post New York City Skyline and the Empire State Building

    Growing up…

    • caincarol says:

      Thanks Vivienne! I so loved spending time with you and hanging out. We must do again in the city. Just say when!

  7. You explained this camera so well, I love seeing your perspective of the same experience 🙂 I had so much fun and laughs with you! I look forward to seeing you again! xoxo!
    My recent post SONY San Diego – 11 Sony Club Bloggers

  8. Crystal says:

    It was so nice meeting you! So sad I didn't get to go sailing with you guys. It looks absolutely beautiful!

  9. Brittany says:

    I love the WiFi feature and have been checking out the Sony Cameras as right now I also have a Canon DSLR but also my old Sony Cybershot still works like a charm 🙂 Sounds like a great group of people and of course, I'm glad I heard about it. Totally applying for 2014!
    My recent post Happy Trails: The Land of Waterfalls in Brevard, NC

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