Updated (September, 2012): Compare the Olympus PEN E-PL5 vs Sony NEX-5N

Sony Alpha NEX-5

Winner
Sony Alpha NEX-5

61

vs

Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

42

Olympus PEN E-PL3

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
Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
HDR
In-camera HDR
Combines multiple exposures
 

Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-PL3

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift
3D
Takes 3D photos
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
Shutter lag
Barely any delay taking photos
241 ms shutter lag
Lens availability
Slightly more lenses available
40 lenses
 
Differences | Recommendations | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Olympus E-PL3

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Shutter lag Much less shutter lag 241 ms vs 670 ms
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2.8x less delay when taking photos
Image stabilization Image stabilization Sensor shift vs None
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Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
Lens availability Significantly more lenses available 40 lenses vs 21 lenses
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More than 90% more lenses available
Longest exposure Much longer exposures 60s vs 30s
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2x longer exposures
Focus points Slightly more focus points 35 vs 25
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Set focus accurately within the frame
Light sensitivity (boost) Has boost ISO 12,800 ISO vs None
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Allows taking photos in darker situations, often at the cost of additional noise in the image
Lowest price Slightly cheaper $278.00 vs $435.86
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The best price we've seen is $158 cheaper (around 40% less)
Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Learn more about
the Olympus E-PL3

Advantages of the Sony NEX-5

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Dynamic range More dynamic range 12.2 EV vs 10.3 EV
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1.9 f-stops more dynamic range
Overall image quality Significantly better image quality 69.0 vs 52.0
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More than 30% better image quality
Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen 920k dots vs 460k dots
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2x higher resolution screen
HDR Has in-camera HDR Yes vs No
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Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Color depth Better color depth 22.2 bits vs 20.9 bits
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Distinguishes 1.3 more bits of color
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
Startup delay Significantly less startup delay 1000 ms vs 2100 ms
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2.1x less delay when turning on
Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO 796 ISO vs 499 ISO
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The NEX-5 has a slight edge (0.7 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Sensor size Larger sensor APS-C 23.4x15.6mm vs Four thirds 17.3x13.0mm
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More than 60% larger sensor
True resolution Higher true resolution 14 MP vs 12.2 MP
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Capture around 20% more detail in your photos
Battery life Longer battery life 330 shots vs 300 shots
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10% more shots per battery charge
Continuous shooting Shoots slightly faster 7 fps vs 5.5 fps
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Around 30% faster continuous shooting
Weight Slightly lighter 287 g vs 313 g
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Around 10% lighter
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 Lite E-PL3 Olympus PEN E-PL3 42
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        vs

        61 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony Alpha NEX-5
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              similarities

              Compared to recent mirrorless cameras

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              3D Both can take 3D photos, many cameras like these don't Help
              View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
              Size Fairly small Help
              E-PL3:109x63x37 mm
              NEX-5:111x59x38 mm
              Sensor cleaning Self cleaning sensors Help
              Avoids dust in your photos
              External flash Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              E-PL3:$278.00
              NEX-5:$435.86
              Built-in flash No built-in flash Help
              Professional
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              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
              E-PL3:12.2 MP
              NEX-5:14 MP
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              E-PL3:35
              NEX-5:25
              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
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony NEX-5N

              Sony NEX-5N

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $598 - $689 body only

              $635 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Startup delay Has significantly more startup delay
              Sony Alpha A5000

              Sony Alpha A5000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $398 - $410 with 16-50mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Color depth Has slightly more color depth
              External flash Doesn't support an external flash
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $500 body only

              $420 - $430 with 16-50mm lens

              External mic jack Has an external mic jack
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Movie format Records lower quality movies
              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $438 with 14-42mm lens

              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Startup delay Has slightly less startup delay
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Canon EOS M

              Canon EOS M

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $236 body only

              $315 - $970 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Panorama Lacks a built in panoramas
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Sony Alpha NEX-3N

              Sony Alpha NEX-3N

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $320 body only

              $300 - $420 with 16-50mm lens

              Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
              Battery life Has a significantly longer battery life
              External flash Doesn't support an external flash
              Startup delay Has significantly more startup delay
              Nikon 1 J1

              Nikon 1 J1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $189 - $699 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

              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $649 body only

              Screen type Has an OLED screen
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Continuous shooting Shoots slightly slower
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $437 with 14-42mm lens

              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Lowest price Slightly more expensive
              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              Startup delay Less startup delay
              Battery life Longer battery life
              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $1,260 with 14-42mm lens

              Startup delay Less startup delay
              Color depth Better color depth
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Movie format Lower resolution movies

              Sony Alpha NEX-5 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony NEX-7

              Sony NEX-7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $1,199 body only

              $999 - $1,136 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

              $399 - $574 body only

              $739 - $759 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

              $348 body only

              $499 with 18-55mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Sony Alpha A6000

              Sony Alpha A6000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $548 body only

              $698 - $700 with 16-50mm lens

              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Size Larger

              appearance

              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 Sony Alpha NEX-5

              discussion

              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3
              PEN E-PL3
              Olympus

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              Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Alpha NEX-5
              Sony

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