Updated (August, 2011): Compare the Olympus PEN E-P3 vs Sony NEX-5N

Sony Alpha NEX-5

Winner
Sony Alpha NEX-5

67

vs

Olympus PEN E-P2

44

Olympus PEN E-P2

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-P2

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift
Longest exposure
Long exposures
60 seconds
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Olympus PEN E-P2

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Image stabilization Image stabilization Sensor shift vs None
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Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
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
Help
2x longer exposures
Thickness Slightly thinner 1.4" vs 1.5"
Help
Around 10% thinner
Olympus PEN E-P2 Learn more about
the Olympus PEN E-P2

Advantages of the Sony NEX-5

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Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen 920k dots vs 230k dots
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4x higher resolution screen
Dynamic range More dynamic range 12.2 EV vs 10.4 EV
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1.8 f-stops more dynamic range
Movie format Higher resolution movies 1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 30fps
Help
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video
Overall image quality Better image quality 69.0 vs 56.0
Help
More than 20% better image quality
Shutter lag Much less shutter lag 670 ms vs 956 ms
Help
Around 30% less delay when taking photos
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
Startup delay Significantly less startup delay 1000 ms vs 2300 ms
Help
2.3x less delay when turning on
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
Help
Distinguishes 0.7 more bits of color
Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO 796 ISO vs 505 ISO
Help
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 18.0x13.5mm
Help
More than 50% larger sensor
True resolution Higher true resolution 14 MP vs 12.2 MP
Help
Capture around 20% more detail in your photos
Battery life Longer battery life 330 shots vs 300 shots
Help
10% more shots per battery charge
Continuous shooting Shoots faster 7 fps vs 3 fps
Help
Around 2.5x faster continuous shooting
Lowest price Cheaper $676.00 vs $1,349.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $673 cheaper (around 50% less)
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
Size Slightly smaller 111x59x38 mm vs 121x70x36 mm
Help
Around 20% smaller
Weight Lighter 287 g vs 355 g
Help
Around 20% 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 E-P2 Olympus PEN E-P2 44
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      Color
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        vs

        67 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony Alpha NEX-5
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          Style
            Color
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              similarities

              Compared to recent mirrorless cameras

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              External flash Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Built-in flash No built-in flash Help
              Professional
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
              PEN E-P2:956 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
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              PEN E-P2:12.2 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 NEX-5N

              Sony NEX-5N

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $890 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Startup delay Has significantly more startup delay
              Sony Alpha NEX-6

              Sony Alpha NEX-6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $399 - $529 body only

              $500 - $779 with 16-50mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Thickness Is thicker
              Startup delay Has significantly more startup delay
              Canon EOS M

              Canon EOS M

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $322 body only

              $311 with 22mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Lens availability Slightly fewer lenses available
              Nikon 1 J1

              Nikon 1 J1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $250 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
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $699 with 20mm lens

              Shutter lag Has much less shutter lag
              Battery life Has a slightly longer battery life
              Startup delay Has slightly more startup delay

              Olympus PEN E-P2 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Olympus PEN E-P3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $575 - $856 with 14-42mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Screen type Has an OLED screen
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Overall image quality Worse image quality
              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Olympus PEN E-PL2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Battery life Slightly shorter battery life
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Olympus PEN E-PM2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Olympus PEN E-PM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $306 with 14-42mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Movie format Higher resolution movies
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Overall image quality Worse image quality
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $576 with 14-42mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Movie format Higher resolution movies
              Image stabilization No image stabilization
              Color depth Worse color depth

              Sony Alpha NEX-5 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $400 with 16-50mm lens

              External mic jack Has an external mic jack
              Lowest price Cheaper
              Movie format Lower resolution movies
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Sony Alpha A5000

              Sony Alpha A5000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $448 - $600 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

              $950 body only

              $1,200 with 18-55mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Startup delay Slightly more startup delay
              Weight Heavier
              Sony NEX-5T

              Sony NEX-5T

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $348 body only

              $499 - $630 with 16-50mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Sony Alpha NEX-3N

              Sony Alpha NEX-3N

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $350 body only

              $400 with 16-50mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Screen resolution Significantly lower resolution screen
              Startup delay Significantly more startup delay

              appearance

              Olympus PEN E-P2 Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Olympus PEN E-P2 Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Olympus PEN E-P2 Sony Alpha NEX-5

              discussion

              Olympus PEN E-P2
              PEN E-P2
              Olympus

              Report a correction
              Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Alpha NEX-5
              Sony

              Report a correction

              Showing 6 comments

              Nick Mazur (3:12 PM, August 04, 2011)
              Lower noise at high iso means exactly that. Higher maximum iso means exactly what it says too. However, just because a camera has higher maximum iso doesn't mean that it's usable. Lower noise at high iso and higher maximum iso do not mean the same thing.
              A larger sensor also gives the benefit of shorter depth of field, so if you were looking to do portraiture with either camera the nex-5 would give a more out if focused background easier (though a faster lens with a long focal length would be needed. The 16mm lens won't give you much bokeh).
               
              Trixuo (5:44 AM, July 02, 2011)
              Many reviews say that the user interface for the NEX-5 is really annoying. Is it really annoying? I would like to upgrade from my point-and-shoot camera to the NEX-5. How is the user interface of NEX-5 compared with the regular point-and-shoot camera? 

              P.S: I never use any DSLR camera.
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (2:07 AM, May 26, 2011)
              Hi Der Auerhahn, yes, a few of the differences shown are a bit redundant, however, we don't use the redundant differences in our scoring, so they are there to help people understand the differences between the cameras.

              Thanks for pointing out those aspects of the PEN that we missed!
               
              Der Auerhahn (2:12 PM, May 23, 2011)
              This "test" is pretty stupid as several aspects are accounted for several times:
              - Lower noise at high ISO + Higher maximum ISO
              - Larger sensor, which is actually no advantage in itself, but simply enables higher ISO (already accounted for twice) and higher dynamic range (accounted for separately) again.

              Several important aspects in favour of PEN are also missing:
              1. Lenses and body are reasonably balanced, whereas NEX uses a tiny body with huge lenses.
              2. NEX misses controlls and can only be used via menu. 
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (2:35 PM, March 13, 2011)
              The NEX doesn't have built in image stabilization (as far as I'm aware). Some of the lenses available for the Sony do have image stabilization, but many do not. The advantage of the Olympus is that you get image stabilization with every lens.
               
              Nil (6:25 AM, March 13, 2011)
              This is silly. Sony uses optical stabilisation. It is unfair to say NEX doesn't have any image stabilisation.