Updated (August, 2011): Compare the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 vs Sony NEX-5N

Sony Alpha NEX-5

Winner
Sony Alpha NEX-5

67

vs

Olympus PEN E-PL2

45

Olympus PEN E-PL2

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Sony Alpha NEX-5

Screen resolution
High resolution screen
920k dots
Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
1000 ms startup delay
3D
Takes 3D photos
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
 

Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-PL2

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift
Lens availability
Slightly more lenses available
40 lenses
Longest exposure
Long exposures
60 seconds
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
External flash not needed
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Olympus PEN E-PL2

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Image stabilization Image stabilization Sensor shift vs None
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Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
Shutter lag Much less shutter lag 434 ms vs 670 ms
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Around 40% less delay when taking photos
Lens availability More lenses available 40 lenses vs 21 lenses
Help
More than 90% more lenses available
Longest exposure Much longer exposures 60s vs 30s
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2x longer exposures
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
Olympus PEN E-PL2 Learn more about
the Olympus PEN E-PL2

Advantages of the Sony NEX-5

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Dynamic range More dynamic range 12.2 EV vs 10.2 EV
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2 f-stops more dynamic range
Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen 920k dots vs 460k dots
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2x higher resolution screen
Overall image quality Better image quality 69.0 vs 55.0
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Around 30% better image quality
HDR Has in-camera HDR Yes vs No
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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
Movie format Higher resolution movies 1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 30fps
Help
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video
Color depth Better color depth 22.2 bits vs 21.4 bits
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Distinguishes 0.8 more bits of color
Low light performance Slightly lower noise at high ISO 796 ISO vs 573 ISO
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The NEX-5 has a slight edge (0.5 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Sensor size Larger sensor APS-C 23.4x15.6mm vs Four thirds 17.3x13.0mm
Help
More than 60% larger sensor
Battery life Longer battery life 330 shots vs 280 shots
Help
Around 20% more shots per battery charge
Startup delay Less startup delay 1000 ms vs 1300 ms
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More than 20% less delay when turning on
True resolution Higher true resolution 14 MP vs 12.2 MP
Help
Capture around 20% more detail in your photos
Continuous shooting Shoots faster 7 fps vs 3 fps
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Around 2.5x faster continuous shooting
Size Smaller 111x59x38 mm vs 115x72x42 mm
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Around 30% smaller
Focus points Slightly more focus points 25 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Weight Lighter 287 g vs 362 g
Help
More than 20% lighter
Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity 12,800 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
Help
The NEX-5's maximum light sensitivity is 1 f-stop better
Thickness Thinner 1.5" vs 1.7"
Help
Around 10% thinner
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
Olympus PEN E-PL2 Olympus PEN E-PL2 45

vs

67 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony Alpha NEX-5
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save

        similarities

        Compared to recent mirrorless cameras

        Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
        Sensor cleaning Self cleaning sensors Help
        Avoids dust in your photos
        External flash Each supports an external flash Help
        Better lighting
        Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
        1/4000 of a second
        Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
        PEN E-PL2:434 ms
        NEX-5:670 ms
        Light sensitivity (boost) No boost ISO Help
        Lacks boost light sensitivity
        Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
        Missing that film look
        Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
        0
        Touch screen No touchscreens Help
        More buttons
        Focus points Few focus points Help
        PEN E-PL2:11
        NEX-5:25
        True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
        PEN E-PL2:12.2 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

        dxomark

        DXOMark

        competitors

        Shared Competitors

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Sony Alpha NEX-3

        Sony Alpha NEX-3

        Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

        $420 with 16-50mm lens

        External mic jack Has an external mic jack
        Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
        Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

        Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

        Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

        $899 with 14-42mm lens

        Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
        Touch screen Has a touch screen
        Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
        Thickness Is thicker
        Sony NEX C3

        Sony NEX C3

        Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

        $766 - $921 with 18-55mm lens

        Battery life Has a slightly longer battery life
        Weight Is slightly lighter
        Nikon D3100

        Nikon D3100

        Entry-level DSLR

        $273 body only

        $427 - $489 with 18-55mm lens

        Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
        Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
        Thickness Is thicker
        Weight Is significantly heavier
        Nikon 1 J1

        Nikon 1 J1

        Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

        $199 with 10-30mm lens

        High-speed framerate Records high-speed movies
        Continuous shooting Shoots faster continuously
        External flash Doesn't support an external flash
        Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
        Samsung NX300

        Samsung NX300

        Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

        $485 - $749 with 18-55mm lens

        Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
        Screen size Has a slightly larger screen
        Canon Rebel T3

        Canon Rebel T3

        Entry-level DSLR

        $225 - $389 body only

        $399 - $550 with 18-55mm lens

        Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
        Startup delay Has slightly less startup delay
        Thickness Is thicker
        Weight Is significantly heavier

        Olympus PEN E-PL2 Competitors

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Olympus PEN E-PL1

        Olympus PEN E-PL1

        Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

        $550 with 14-42mm lens

        Color depth Better color depth
        Battery life Slightly longer battery life
        Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
        Panorama Lacks in-camera panoramic stitching
        Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

        Olympus PEN E-PL3

        Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

        $285 with 14-42mm lens

        3D Takes 3D photos
        Movie format Higher resolution movies
        Startup delay More startup delay
        Color depth Worse color depth
        Olympus PEN E-P2

        Olympus PEN E-P2

        Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

        $1,099 with 14-42mm lens

        Battery life Slightly longer battery life
        Dynamic range More dynamic range
        Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
        Panorama Lacks in-camera panoramic stitching
        Olympus PEN E-PM1

        Olympus PEN E-PM1

        Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

        $975 with 14-150mm lens

        3D Takes 3D photos
        Movie format Higher resolution movies
        Startup delay More startup delay
        Color depth Worse color depth
        Olympus PEN E-PM2

        Olympus PEN E-PM2

        Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

        Dynamic range More dynamic range
        Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
        Built-in flash No built-in flash

        Sony Alpha NEX-5 Competitors

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Sony NEX-5N

        Sony NEX-5N

        Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

        $598 body only

        Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
        Supports 24p Supports 24p
        Startup delay Significantly more startup delay
        Lowest price Slightly more expensive
        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 NEX-7

        Sony NEX-7

        Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

        $1,052 body only

        $1,235 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 Alpha NEX-6

        Sony Alpha NEX-6

        Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

        $450 body only

        $699 - $749 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-5R

        Sony NEX-5R

        Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

        $1,026 - $1,073 with 16-50mm lens

        Supports 24p Supports 24p
        Touch screen Has a touch screen
        Lowest price More expensive

        appearance

        Olympus PEN E-PL2 Sony Alpha NEX-5
        Olympus PEN E-PL2 Sony Alpha NEX-5
        Olympus PEN E-PL2 Sony Alpha NEX-5

        discussion

        Olympus PEN E-PL2
        PEN E-PL2
        Olympus

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        Sony Alpha NEX-5
        Alpha NEX-5
        Sony

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        Showing 4 comments

        Avatar for xsokev xsokev (3:28 PM, August 15, 2011)
        I thought the comparison was good but the overall score  doesn't seem fair. The NEX-5 is a great camera as far as image quality but the E-PL2 is great as well. One thing I dislike about the NEX-5 is the accessibility of shooting modes and adjusting certain settings. As a photographer, I like to have quick access to certain settings and with the NEX-5 there are too many buttons to press. Ease of use and accessibility should somehow be factored in to the score.
         
        Douglas (11:39 AM, March 01, 2011)
        I thought this was quite a useful comparison, although I'd like to see personal choice or what we spotted section of anything that you noted that isn't always mentioned in the specs.
         
        Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (3:34 PM, February 28, 2011)
        Do you have any suggestions as to how we could improve them Will?
         
        Will (8:59 AM, February 28, 2011)
        These comparisons are worthless.