Updated (January, 2012): Compare the Canon PowerShot G1X vs Sony NEX-5N

Canon PowerShot G12 vs Sony Alpha NEX-5

Winner
Canon PowerShot G12

52

Sony Alpha NEX-5

43

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Canon PowerShot G12

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Lens
24p movies
Supports 24p
For that film look
Barely any delay taking photos
Shutter lag
380 ms shutter lag
Great macro
Macro focus
1 cm
 

Reasons to buy the Sony Alpha NEX-5

Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
1000 ms startup delay
Color depth
Great color depth
22.2 bits
Dynamic range
Wide dynamic range
12.2 EV
Panorama
In-camera panoramas
Stitches together multiple photos into a panorama

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Canon PowerShot G12. Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Sony Alpha NEX-5.

differences

Advantages of the Canon G12

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Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Lens vs None
Help
Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
Shutter lag
Much less shutter lag
380 ms vs 670 ms
Help
More than 40% less delay when taking photos
Supports 24p
Supports 24p
Yes vs No
Help
Get that real film feel
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
Tunnel vs None
Help
A viewfinder can help save battery life by keeping the screen turned off
Canon PowerShot G12 Learn more about
the Canon G12

Advantages of the Sony NEX-5

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Overall image quality
Significantly better image quality
69.0 vs 47.0
Help
Around 50% better image quality
3D
Takes 3D photos
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Screen resolution
Significantly higher resolution screen
920k dots vs 461k dots
Help
Around 2x higher resolution screen
Startup delay
Much less startup delay
1000 ms vs 2700 ms
Help
2.7x less delay when turning on
Color depth
Better color depth
22.2 bits vs 20.4 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1.8 more bits of color
Movie format
Higher resolution movies
1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 24fps
Help
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video at a higher frame rate
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
12.2 EV vs 11.2 EV
Help
1 f-stop more dynamic range
Panorama
Can create panoramas in-camera
Yes vs No
Help
Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
Screen size
Larger screen
3.0" vs 2.8"
Help
Around 10% larger screen
Interchangeable lenses
Has interchangeable lenses
Yes vs No
Help
Can take advantage of a variety of lenses
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
796 ISO vs 161 ISO
Help
The NEX-5 has excellent image quality 2.3 f-stops higher ISO than the G12
Size
Smaller
111x59x38 mm vs 112x76x48 mm
Help
Around 40% smaller
True resolution
Higher true resolution
14 MP vs 10 MP
Help
Capture more than 40% more detail in your photos
Sensor type
Has a CMOS-family sensor
CMOS vs CCD
Help
CMOS-family sensors often produce better quality images
Continuous shooting
Shoots faster
7 fps vs 2 fps
Help
3.5x faster continuous shooting
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
12,800 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The NEX-5's maximum light sensitivity is 2 f-stops better
Weight
Lighter
287 g vs 401 g
Help
Around 30% lighter
Thickness
Thinner
1.5" vs 1.9"
Help
More than 20% thinner
Lowest price
Cheaper
$349.99 vs $967.65
Help
The best price we've seen is $618 cheaper (2.8x less)
Longest exposure
Longer exposures
30s vs 15s
Help
2x longer exposures
Sony Alpha NEX-5 Learn more about
the Sony NEX-5
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Canon PowerShot G12 Canon PowerShot G12 52
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save
        vs
        43 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony Alpha NEX-5
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent digital cameras

              Common Strengths
              Screen flips out Flip-out screens Help
              Great for movies
              HDR In-camera HDR Help
              Combines multiple exposures
              Supports RAW Supports RAW Help
              Better editing
              External flash Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Common Weaknesses
              Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
              G12380 ms
              NEX-5670 ms
              Light sensitivity (boost) No boost ISO Help
              Lacks boost light sensitivity
              External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
              Limited to the in-camera mic
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS M

              Canon EOS M

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $242 body only

              $315 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Screen flips out Doesn't have a screen which flips out
              Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100

              Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100

              Pro digicam

              $370 - $448

              Aperture Has a significantly wider aperture
              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              External flash Doesn't support an external flash
              Macro focus Significantly worse macro focusing
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $240 body only

              $408 with 18-55mm lens

              Startup delay Has slightly less startup delay
              Shutter lag Has slightly less shutter lag
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $629 body only

              $549 - $629 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              External mic jack Has an external mic jack
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is significantly heavier

              Canon PowerShot G12 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon PowerShot G16

              Canon PowerShot G16

              Pro digicam

              $399

              Aperture Significantly wider aperture
              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Supports 24p No 24p support
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              Canon PowerShot G11

              Canon PowerShot G11

              Pro digicam

              $624

              Battery life Much longer battery life
              Startup delay Slightly less startup delay
              Supports 24p No 24p support
              HDR Lacks in-camera HDR
              Canon PowerShot G15

              Canon PowerShot G15

              Pro digicam

              $771

              Aperture Significantly wider aperture
              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Canon PowerShot G1X

              Canon PowerShot G1X

              Boutique

              $399

              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Macro focus Much worse macro capability
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Canon PowerShot G10

              Canon PowerShot G10

              Pro digicam

              $797

              Battery life Much longer battery life
              Screen size Larger screen
              Supports 24p No 24p support
              Overall image quality Worse image quality

              Sony Alpha NEX-5 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony NEX-5N

              Sony NEX-5N

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $689 body only

              $803 with 16-50mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Lowest price Slightly more expensive
              Sony NEX-7

              Sony NEX-7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $580 body only

              $498 - $589 with 18-55mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Startup delay Slightly more startup delay
              Weight Slightly heavier
              Sony Alpha A5000

              Sony Alpha A5000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $291 body only

              $330 - $398 with 16-50mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Screen resolution Significantly lower resolution screen
              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $192 body only

              $320 with 18-55mm lens

              External mic jack Has an external mic jack
              Thickness Slightly thinner
              Movie format Lower resolution movies
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Sony Alpha NEX-6

              Sony Alpha NEX-6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $659 body only

              $887 with 16-50mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Startup delay Significantly more startup delay

              appearance

              Canon PowerShot G12 Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Canon PowerShot G12 Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Canon PowerShot G12 Sony Alpha NEX-5

              discussion

              Canon PowerShot G12
              PowerShot G12
              Canon

              Report a correction
              Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Alpha NEX-5
              Sony

              Report a correction

              Showing 3 comments

              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (4:53 PM, July 08, 2012)
              Hi Corrado, thanks for the feedback!

              I think some of the confusion is coming from the "Reasons to consider" section.  These are not necessarily differences, just good things about the camera.  Yes both cameras have flip out screens and HDR, so these are not listed as advantages to either camera in the differences section.  Yes there are image stabilized lenses available for the NEX, like all DSLRs. 

              You're right it is odd that the G12 gets recommended over the NEX, its because our scoring system gives a lot of points to the G12 for having a built in lens, which is unfair against the NEX, we're going to improve this soon hopefully.
               
              Avatar for Corrado Casoni Corrado Casoni (1:21 PM, July 08, 2012)
              You say that G12 is better because of:
              * Image stabilization on lens. NEX also have lens image stabilization.
              * Flip out screen. NEX also have it.
              * In-camera-hdr. NEX also have it.
              "Great Macro" and "Excellent viewfinder" seem much more important than:
              Image quality: 69 vs 47
              Movies at 1080p vs 720p
              Double LCD res
              Large sensor
              Better resolution, dynamic range, ISO sensitivity, lower noise, 7fps vs 2fps, CMOS vs CCD...
              ...but same price !

              No comment: unbelivable!
               
              Avatar for bruce56 bruce56 (6:13 PM, January 26, 2012)
              the Sony NEX cameras have image stabilization in the lens