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

51

Nikon 1 J1

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Sony Alpha NEX-5

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
Panorama
In-camera panoramas
Stitches together multiple photos into a panorama
 

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
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Catch candid moments easily
Focus points Many 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
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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
Lowest price Cheaper $198.99 vs $498.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $299 cheaper (2.5x less)
Thickness Thinner 1.2" vs 1.5"
Help
More than 20% thinner
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
3D Takes 3D photos Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO 796 ISO vs 372 ISO
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The NEX-5 has excellent image quality 1.1 f-stops higher ISO than the J1
HDR Has in-camera HDR Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
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
Color depth Better color depth 22.2 bits vs 21.5 bits
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Distinguishes 0.7 more bits of color
Battery life Significantly longer battery life 330 shots vs 230 shots
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More than 40% more shots per battery charge
Sensor size Larger sensor APS-C 23.4x15.6mm vs Nikon CX 13.2x8.8mm
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More than 3x larger sensor
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
Startup delay Less startup delay 1000 ms vs 1400 ms
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Around 30% less delay when turning on
Sensor cleaning Has a self cleaning sensor Yes vs No
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Removes dust from the sensor automatically, avoiding spots in photos
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
External flash Supports an external flash Yes vs No
Help
An external flash often produces better looking flash images
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 51
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        67 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony Alpha NEX-5
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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
              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

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Light sensitivity Slightly higher maximum light sensitivity
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $330 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

              $304 body only

              $308 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

              $350 body only

              $450 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
              Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100

              Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100

              Pro digicam

              $479 - $498

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Image stabilization Has image stabilization
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $480 - $774 body only

              $200 - $617 with 18-55mm lens

              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $390 - $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 1 J1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon 1 J3

              Nikon 1 J3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $360 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 S1

              Nikon 1 S1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $250 - $450 with 11-2mm lens

              Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Lowest price Slightly more expensive
              Nikon 1 V1

              Nikon 1 V1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $634 body only

              $776 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Autofocus Slower autofocus
              Size Larger
              Nikon 1 J2

              Nikon 1 J2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $352 with 10-30mm lens

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

              Nikon 1 J4

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $597 with 10-30mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly 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 NEX-6

              Sony Alpha NEX-6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $480 - $748 body only

              $500 - $779 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 Alpha A5000

              Sony Alpha A5000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $498 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 NEX-7

              Sony NEX-7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $1,100 with 18-55mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Lowest price Significantly more expensive

              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

              Report a correction

              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.