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

Almost no delay when powering up
Startup delay
1000 ms startup delay
In-camera HDR
Combines multiple exposures
In-camera panoramas
Stitches together multiple photos into a panorama
Takes 3D photos
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions

Reasons to buy the Olympus PEN E-P2

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
Lens availability
Slightly more 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 NEX-5N

Sony NEX 5N

Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

$887 with 16-50mm lens

Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
Startup delay Much more startup delay
Sony Alpha A5000

Sony Alpha A5000

Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

$287 body only

$448 with 16-50mm lens

Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
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
Low light performance Slightly lower noise at high ISO
Movie format Lower resolution movies

Olympus PEN E-P2 Competitors

Olympus PEN E-PL2

Olympus PEN E-PL2

Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

$442 with 14-42mm lens

Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
Color depth Worse color depth
Olympus PEN E-PL1

Olympus PEN E-PL1

Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

$245 body only

$245 with 14-42mm lens

Shutter lag Significantly less shutter lag
Startup delay Slightly less startup delay
Screen size Much smaller screen
Olympus PEN E-P1

Olympus PEN E-P1

Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

$743 body only

$335 with 14-42mm lens

Shutter lag Much more shutter lag


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.