Sony Alpha NEX-5 vs Nikon D300

Winner
Sony Alpha NEX-5

42

Nikon D300

38

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Sony Alpha NEX-5

Really small
Size
Compact (111×59×38 mm)
Flip-out screen
Screen flips out
Great for movies
In-camera HDR
HDR
Combines multiple exposures
In-camera panoramas
Panorama
Stitches together multiple photos into a panorama
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D300

Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Shoot in extreme weather
Viewfinder coverage
Great viewfinder coverage
100%
Shutter lag
Barely any delay taking photos
227 ms shutter lag
Lens availability
Slightly more lenses available
230 lenses

Items often bought with the Sony NEX-5 or Nikon D300

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D300.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Sony Alpha NEX-5.

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D300

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Shutter lag
Much less shutter lag
227 ms vs 670 ms
Help
3x less delay when taking photos
Built-in focus motor
Has a built-in focus motor
Yes vs No
Help
Autofocuses with all autofocus lenses
Autofocus
Faster autofocus
Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Catch candid moments easily
Lens availability
Much more lenses available
230 lenses vs 62 lenses
Help
More than 3.5x more lenses available
Weather sealed
Weather sealed
Yes vs No
Help
Sealed to shoot in the rain
Battery life
Much longer battery life
1000 shots vs 330 shots
Help
More than 3x more shots per battery charge
Startup delay
Less startup delay
300 ms vs 1000 ms
Help
3.3x less delay when turning on
Cross type focus points
More cross-type focus points
15 vs 0
Help
Almost the same
Viewfinder
Has a viewfinder
Pentaprism vs None
Help
A viewfinder can help save battery life by keeping the screen turned off
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
Focus points
More focus points
51 vs 25
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Fastest shutter speed
Faster max shutter speed
1/8000s vs 1/4000s
Help
2x faster max shutter speed
Light sensitivity (boost)
Has boost ISO
6,400 ISO vs None
Help
Allows taking photos in darker situations, often at the cost of additional noise in the image
Nikon D300 Learn more about
the Nikon D300

Advantages of the Sony NEX-5

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Size
Much smaller
111×59×38 mm vs 147×114×74 mm
Help
5x smaller
3D
Takes 3D photos
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Movie format
Shoots movies
1080p @ 30fps vs None
Help
Shoots Full HD (1080p) video as well as still pictures
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
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
Weight
Much lighter
287 g vs 925 g
Help
3.2x lighter
Thickness
Thinner
1.5" vs 2.9"
Help
Around 50% thinner
Overall image quality
Slightly better image quality
69.0 vs 67.0
Help
Almost the same
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
12,800 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The NEX-5's maximum light sensitivity is 4 f-stops better
True resolution
Slightly higher true resolution
14 MP vs 12.2 MP
Help
Capture more than 10% more detail in your photos
Lowest price
Cheaper
$359.99 vs $1,500.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $1,140 cheaper (4.2x less)
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
12.2 EV vs 12 EV
Help
Almost the same
Low light performance
Slightly lower noise at high ISO
796 ISO vs 679 ISO
Help
The NEX-5 has a slight edge (0.2 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Continuous shooting
Shoots slightly faster
7 fps vs 6 fps
Help
Around 20% faster continuous shooting
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
Nikon D300 Nikon D300 38
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      Color
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        42 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony Alpha NEX-5
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              similarities

              Compared to recent digital cameras

              Common Strengths
              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
              Fastest shutter speed Fast max shutter speeds Help
              D3001/8000s
              NEX-51/4000s
              Common Weaknesses
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $289 body only

              $349 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              True resolution Takes significantly higher resolution photos
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $263 body only

              $358 with 18-55mm lens

              Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
              Autofocus Focuses automatically while shootting video
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon Kiss X5

              Canon Kiss X5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $1,299 body only

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive

              Nikon D300 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D7000

              Nikon D7000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $479 body only

              $720 with 18-55mm lens

              Autofocus Video autofocus
              Movie format Shoots movies
              Cross type focus points Slightly fewer cross-type focus points
              Focus points Slightly fewer focus points
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $755 with 18-105mm lens

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Weather sealed No weather sealing
              Viewfinder coverage Much less viewfinder coverage
              Nikon D7200

              Nikon D7200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $979 - $1,197 body only

              $1,235 - $1,497 with 18-140mm lens

              Autofocus Video autofocus
              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Startup delay Slightly more startup delay
              Nikon D300S

              Nikon D300S

              Pro DSLR

              $1,278 body only

              $2,550 with 18-200mm lens

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Storage slots Has more storage slots
              Battery life Slightly shorter battery life
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $430 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Autofocus Video autofocus
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Built-in focus motor Doesn't have a built-in focus motor
              Viewfinder coverage Much less viewfinder coverage

              Sony Alpha NEX-5 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony NEX-5N

              Sony NEX-5N

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $605 body only

              $803 with 16-50mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Startup delay Significantly more startup delay
              Lowest price Slightly more expensive
              Sony Alpha A5000

              Sony Alpha A5000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $280 body only

              $440 - $448 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

              $400 body only

              $350 with 16mm lens

              External mic jack Has an external mic jack
              Thickness Slightly thinner
              Movie format Lower resolution movies
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Sony NEX-7

              Sony NEX-7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $761 body only

              $660 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 NEX-6

              Sony Alpha NEX-6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $549 body only

              $879 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

              Nikon D300 Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Nikon D300 Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Nikon D300 Sony Alpha NEX-5

              discussion

              Nikon D300
              D300
              Nikon

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              Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Alpha NEX-5
              Sony

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