Due out in the UK in mid-October, the NEX-5R features a maximum equivalent ISO sensitivity of 25,600 and a top burst rate of 10 frames per second.
New camera functions can be downloaded onto the E-mount model via the built-in Wi-Fi, using free-to-use PlayMemories Camera Apps.
This feature is designed to allow images to be transferred to a smartphone or tablet computer running the apps, and to download new camera functions ‘on demand'.
Among the first available camera apps will be ‘Bracket Pro' and ‘Photo Retouch'. Others planned by Sony include ‘Time-Lapse' and ‘Cinematic Photo'.
Wi-Fi can also be used to back up photos by transferring them from the camera, wirelessly, to a PC.
Billed as ‘the perfect second camera for photo enthusiasts', the NEX-5R includes Fast Hybrid AF - combining phase and contrast detection, using 99 and 25 focus point respectively.
The phase detection system allows the camera to deliver ‘DSLR-like focusing responses' when using the Speed Priority Continuous mode, according to Sony.
The camera's 921,000-dot resolution 3in LCD screen tilts upwards by around 180º and downwards 50º.
A-mount lenses can be attached using an optional adapter.
Incorporating a ‘fully-featured control dial', function button, plus a touch-shutter option, the NEX-5R is expected to cost around £670 in a kit that includes an 18-55mm lens.
Firepower also includes Full HD video (1,920x1,080p), Bionz image processor and Sony's SteadyShot Inside image stabilisation.
The NEX-5R will come supplied with an external flash (Guide Number 7).
The newcomer measures 110.8x58.8x38.9mm (excluding protrusions) and weighs 276g (including battery and Memory Stick Pro Duo card).
AP understands that there will not be a body-only option at launch.
The NEX-5R was announced at the IFA electronics trade show in Berlin, Germany this afternoon.