Updated (August, 2012): Compare the Nikon 1 J2 vs Sony NEX-5N

Sony Alpha NEX-5

Winner
Sony Alpha NEX-5

67

vs

Nikon 1 J1

49

Nikon 1 J1

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Sony Alpha NEX-5

Screen resolution
High resolution screen
920k dots
Dynamic range
Wide dynamic range
12.2 EV
Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
1000 ms startup delay
Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon 1 J1

High-speed framerate
High speed movies
1,200 fps
Continuous shooting
Rapid fire
60 fps
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
Badge
Phase detection video autofocus
fast and accurate
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Nikon J1

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Shutter lag Much less shutter lag 94 ms vs 670 ms
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7.1x less delay when taking photos
Continuous shooting Shoots much faster 60 fps vs 7 fps
Help
More than 8.5x faster continuous shooting
High-speed framerate Records high-speed movies 1,200 fps vs None
Help
Capture events too fast for the naked eye and play them back in super-slow motion
Autofocus Faster autofocus Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Catch candid moments easily
Focus points Significantly more focus points 135 vs 25
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Set focus accurately within the frame
Fastest shutter speed Much faster max shutter speed 1/16000s vs 1/4000s
Help
4x faster max shutter speed
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
Size Slightly smaller 106x61x29 mm vs 111x59x38 mm
Help
More than 20% smaller
Thickness Thinner 1.2" vs 1.5"
Help
More than 20% thinner
Lowest price Cheaper $244.00 vs $498.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $254 cheaper (2x less)
Nikon 1 J1 Learn more about
the Nikon J1

Advantages of the Sony NEX-5

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Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen 920k dots vs 460k dots
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2x higher resolution screen
Dynamic range More dynamic range 12.2 EV vs 11 EV
Help
1.2 f-stops more dynamic range
Overall image quality Better image quality 69.0 vs 56.0
Help
More than 20% better image quality
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
3D Takes 3D photos Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Screen flips out Has a flip-out screen Yes vs No
Help
Flip-out screens can be helpful when composing tricky shots or taking movies
Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO 796 ISO vs 372 ISO
Help
The NEX-5 has excellent image quality 1.1 f-stops higher ISO than the J1
Color depth Better color depth 22.2 bits vs 21.5 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.7 more bits of color
Sensor size Significantly larger sensor APS-C 23.4x15.6mm vs Nikon CX 13.2x8.8mm
Help
More than 3x larger sensor
Battery life Significantly longer battery life 330 shots vs 230 shots
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More than 40% more shots per battery charge
True resolution Higher true resolution 14 MP vs 10 MP
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Capture around 40% more detail in your photos
Lens availability More lenses available 21 lenses vs 8 lenses
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More than 2.5x more lenses available
Sensor cleaning Has a self cleaning sensor Yes vs No
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Removes dust from the sensor automatically, avoiding spots in photos
Startup delay Less startup delay 1000 ms vs 1400 ms
Help
Around 30% less delay when turning on
External flash Supports an external flash Yes vs No
Help
An external flash often produces better looking flash images
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
Sony Alpha NEX-5 Learn more about
the Sony NEX-5
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon 1 J1 Nikon 1 J1 49
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        67 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony Alpha NEX-5
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          Style
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              similarities

              Compared to recent mirrorless cameras

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              Size Fairly small Help
              J1:106x61x29 mm
              NEX-5:111x59x38 mm
              Longest exposure Short max exposure time Help
              30 seconds
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              J1:10 MP
              NEX-5:14 MP
              External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
              Limited to the in-camera mic
              Viewfinder No viewfinders Help
              Can only preview photos on the screen
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony NEX-5N

              Sony NEX-5N

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $598 body only

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $400 with 16-50mm lens

              External mic jack Has an external mic jack
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Autofocus Users slower contrast detection autofocus
              Canon EOS M

              Canon EOS M

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $350 body only

              $315 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Autofocus Users slower contrast detection autofocus
              Sony Alpha NEX-3N

              Sony Alpha NEX-3N

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $400 with 16-50mm lens

              Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
              Battery life Has a significantly longer battery life
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $285 body only

              $427 with 18-55mm lens

              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $319 body only

              $389 - $506 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Samsung NX1000

              Samsung NX1000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $316 with 20-50mm lens

              True resolution Takes significantly higher resolution photos
              Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker

              Nikon 1 J1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon 1 J3

              Nikon 1 J3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $339 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Overall image quality Worse image quality
              Nikon 1 V1

              Nikon 1 V1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $410 body only

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Autofocus Slower autofocus
              Size Larger
              Nikon 1 S1

              Nikon 1 S1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $199 - $300 with 11-2mm lens

              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Weight Lighter
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Nikon 1 J2

              Nikon 1 J2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $690 with 10-30mm, 30-110mm lenses

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Overall image quality Slightly worse image quality
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Nikon 1 J4

              Nikon 1 J4

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $497 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Autofocus Slower video autofocus
              Color depth Worse color depth

              Sony Alpha NEX-5 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony Alpha A5000

              Sony Alpha A5000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $448 - $450 with 16-50mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Screen resolution Significantly lower resolution screen
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Sony Alpha NEX-6

              Sony Alpha NEX-6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $430 body only

              $749 - $890 with 16-50mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Startup delay Significantly more startup delay
              Sony NEX-7

              Sony NEX-7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $1,074 body only

              $1,080 with 18-55mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Startup delay Slightly more startup delay
              Lowest price More expensive
              Sony NEX-5T

              Sony NEX-5T

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $348 body only

              $498 - $630 with 16-50mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos

              appearance

              Nikon 1 J1 Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Nikon 1 J1 Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Nikon 1 J1 Sony Alpha NEX-5

              discussion

              Nikon 1 J1
              1 J1
              Nikon

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              Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Alpha NEX-5
              Sony

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              Showing 3 comments

              Avatar for Antonio Pires Antonio Pires (11:03 AM, December 23, 2011)
              Dave, the Sony NEX-5 is better for lightpaintings using its longer exposures (until 30s), and the Nikon 1 just go until 1/3 sec. (0.33 seg.).

               
              Avatar for Antonio Pires Antonio Pires (11:03 AM, December 23, 2011)
              Dave, the Sony NEX-5 is better for lightpaintings using its longer exposures (until 30s), and the Nikon 1 just go until 1/3 sec. (0.33 seg.).
               
              Dave (9:17 PM, November 24, 2011)
              Hi, maybe it's a very noob question, but can you do lightpainting or timelapses (tuese type of things) with the nex5 or j1? Thanks.