Updated (August, 2012): Compare the Canon Rebel T4i vs Sony NEX-5R

Canon Rebel T3i vs Sony NEX-5N

Winner
Canon Rebel T3i

76

Sony NEX-5N

50

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Canon Rebel T3i

Flip-out screen
Screen flips out
Great for movies
 

Reasons to buy the Sony NEX-5N

Size
Really small
Compact 111x59x38 mm
Touch screen
Touch screen
Less buttons
Continuous shooting
Rapid fire
10 fps
Dynamic range
Wide dynamic range
12.7 EV

galleries

Explore our gallery of 23 sample photos taken by the Canon Rebel T3i. Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Sony NEX-5N.

differences

Advantages of the Canon T3i

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Autofocus
Faster autofocus
Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Catch candid moments easily
Lens availability
Much more lenses available
197 lenses vs 21 lenses
Help
Around 9.5x more lenses available
External mic jack
Has an external mic jack
Yes vs No
Help
Record high quality audio with an external microphone
Screen resolution
Higher resolution screen
1,040k dots vs 920k dots
Help
More than 10% higher resolution screen
Startup delay
Less startup delay
1500 ms vs 1900 ms
Help
More than 20% less delay when turning on
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
Yes vs No
Help
A built-in flash is useful for taking indoor shots where there is little light
Viewfinder
Has a viewfinder
Pentamirror vs None
Help
A viewfinder can help save battery life by keeping the screen turned off
True resolution
Slightly higher true resolution
17.9 MP vs 16 MP
Help
Capture more than 10% more detail in your photos
Canon Rebel T3i Learn more about
the Canon T3i

Advantages of the Sony NEX-5N

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Autofocus
Video autofocus
Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses shooting video
3D
Takes 3D photos
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Size
Significantly smaller
111x59x38 mm vs 133x99x79 mm
Help
4.2x smaller
Overall image quality
Better image quality
77.0 vs 65.0
Help
Around 20% better image quality
Touch screen
Has a touch screen
Yes vs No
Help
Fewer buttons to worry about and direct interaction with camera menus
Panorama
Can create panoramas in-camera
Yes vs No
Help
Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
HDR
Has in-camera HDR
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
12.7 EV vs 11.5 EV
Help
1.2 f-stops more dynamic range
Continuous shooting
Shoots faster
10 fps vs 3.7 fps
Help
More than 2.5x faster continuous shooting
Thickness
Significantly thinner
1.5" vs 3.1"
Help
2.1x thinner
Weight
Significantly lighter
269 g vs 570 g
Help
2.1x lighter
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
25,600 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
Help
The NEX-5N's maximum light sensitivity is 2 f-stops better
Color depth
Better color depth
23.6 bits vs 22.1 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1.5 more bits of color
Shutter lag
Less shutter lag
235 ms vs 283 ms
Help
Around 20% less delay when taking photos
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
1,079 ISO vs 793 ISO
Help
The NEX-5N has a slight edge (0.4 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Focus points
More focus points
25 vs 9
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Sony NEX-5N Learn more about
the Sony NEX-5N
vs

recommendations

Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent digital cameras, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Canon Rebel T3i Canon Rebel T3i 76
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save
        vs
        50 Sony NEX-5N Sony NEX-5N
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent digital cameras

              Common Strengths
              Supports 24p 24p support Help
              For that film look
              Screen flips out Flip-out screens Help
              Great for movies
              Screen resolution High resolution screens Help
              T3i1,040k dots
              NEX-5N920k dots
              Interchangeable lenses Both support interchangeable lenses, which is uncommon in cameras similar to these Help
              Many lenses to choose from
              Supports RAW Supports RAW Help
              Better editing
              External flash Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Sensor cleaning Self cleaning sensors Help
              Avoids dust in your photos
              Common Weaknesses
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon Rebel T5i

              Canon Rebel T5i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $649 - $650 body only

              $649 - $650 with 18-55mm lens

              Startup delay Has slightly less startup delay
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is significantly heavier
              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 body only

              $399 - $400 with 18-55mm lens

              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $279 - $547 body only

              $447 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Startup delay Has significantly less startup delay
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Canon EOS 60D

              Canon EOS 60D

              Pro DSLR

              $579 - $673 body only

              $899 - $1,199 with 18-135mm lens

              Startup delay Has significantly less startup delay
              Viewfinder coverage Slightly better viewfinder coverage
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is much heavier
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $354 body only

              $600 with 18-55mm, 55-200mm lenses

              Startup delay Has significantly less startup delay
              Battery life Has a slightly longer battery life
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is significantly heavier

              Canon Rebel T3i Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $497 - $547 body only

              $499 - $550 with 18-55mm lens

              Autofocus Video autofocus
              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Screen resolution Lower resolution screen
              Shutter lag Slightly more shutter lag
              Canon Rebel SL1

              Canon Rebel SL1

              Entry-level DSLR

              $399 - $549 body only

              $499 - $500 with 18-55mm lens

              Autofocus Video autofocus
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $627 body only

              $400 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Autofocus Video autofocus
              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              Screen resolution Lower resolution screen

              Sony NEX-5N Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony NEX-5R

              Sony NEX-5R

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $347 body only

              $898 with 16mm lens

              Focus points Significantly more focus points
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              Low light performance Slightly more noise at high ISO
              Sony NEX-5T

              Sony NEX-5T

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $349 body only

              $640 with 16-50mm lens

              Focus points Significantly more focus points
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              Sony Alpha A6000

              Sony Alpha A6000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $548 body only

              $698 with 16-50mm lens

              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              Focus points Many more focus points
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Touch screen No touch screen
              Sony Alpha NEX-5

              Sony Alpha NEX-5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $360 body only

              $350 with 16-50mm lens

              Startup delay Less startup delay
              Lowest price Slightly cheaper
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Touch screen No touch screen
              Sony Alpha NEX-3N

              Sony Alpha NEX-3N

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $300 body only

              $420 with 16-50mm lens

              Built-in flash Built-in flash
              Thickness Slightly thinner
              Screen resolution Significantly lower resolution screen
              Touch screen No touch screen

              appearance

              Canon Rebel T3i Sony NEX-5N
              Canon Rebel T3i Sony NEX-5N
              Canon Rebel T3i Sony NEX-5N

              discussion

              Canon Rebel T3i
              Rebel T3i
              Canon

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              Sony NEX-5N
              NEX-5N
              Sony

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              Showing 3 comments

              Confused (7:58 PM, December 10, 2013)
              Not only did the NEX lose despite having more than twice as many advantages over the Rebel. In the "Reasons to buy" they gave Rebel the "autofocus while shooting video" when that was the NEX's advantage...
               
              Picasso (2:28 AM, September 11, 2012)
              What kind of ridiculous logic makes T3i the winner when NEX 5 seems to have several more advantages. Am I missing something here?
               
              pinapple (10:15 AM, February 03, 2012)
              How on earth is the canon the winner when the NEX beats it in almost every aspect...