Updated (May 2010): Compare the Olympus PEN E-P2 vs Sony Alpha NEX-5

Sony Alpha NEX-5 vs Olympus PEN E-P2

Sony Alpha NEX-5


Olympus PEN E-P2



Reasons to buy the Sony Alpha NEX-5

High resolution screen
Screen resolution
920k dots
Almost no delay when powering up
Startup delay
1000 ms startup delay
Flip-out screen
Screen flips out
Great for movies

Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-P2

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
Lens availability
Many lenses available
108 lenses
Longest exposure
Long exposures
60 seconds


Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Olympus PEN E-P2.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Sony Alpha NEX-5.


Sony Alpha NEX-5 Competitors

Sony Alpha NEX-3

Sony Alpha NEX-3

Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

$398 body only

$400 with 18-55mm lens

External mic jack Has an external mic jack
Thickness Slightly thinner
Movie format Lower resolution movies
Sony NEX F3

Sony NEX F3

Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

$230 body only

$470 with 18-55mm lens

Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
Supports 24p Supports 24p
Continuous shooting Shoots slower
Sony NEX-5N

Sony NEX 5N

Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
Supports 24p Supports 24p
Lowest price Slightly more expensive

Olympus PEN E-P2 Competitors

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

$460 with 14-42mm lens

Startup delay Much less startup delay
Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
Image stabilization No image stabilization
Olympus PEN E-PL6

Olympus PEN E-PL6

Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

$289 body only

$370 with 14-42mm lens

Screen flips out Has a flip-out screen
Touch screen Has a touch screen
Thickness Slightly thicker
Samsung HZ30W

Samsung HZ30W

Travel zoom

Image stabilization Better image stabilization
Built-in flash Built-in flash
Interchangeable lenses Built-in lens only


Sony Alpha NEX-5
Alpha NEX-5

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Olympus PEN E-P2

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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.