Updated (August 2011): Compare the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 vs Sony NEX-5N

Sony Alpha NEX-5 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

Winner
Sony Alpha NEX-5

61

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

49

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Sony Alpha NEX-5

Almost no delay when powering up
Startup delay
1000 ms startup delay
Takes 3D photos
3D
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
 

Reasons to buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

Viewfinder
Great viewfinder
Digital
Touch screen
Touch screen
Fewer buttons
Shutter lag
Barely any delay taking photos
293 ms shutter lag
Lens availability
Slightly more lenses available
108 lenses

Items often bought with the Sony NEX-5 or Panasonic DMC-G3

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Sony Alpha NEX-5.

differences

Advantages of the Panasonic DMC-G3

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Shutter lag
Much less shutter lag
293 ms vs 670 ms
Help
2.3x less delay when taking photos
Viewfinder
Has a viewfinder
Digital vs None
Help
A viewfinder can help save battery life by keeping the screen turned off
Touch screen
Has a touch screen
Yes vs No
Help
Fewer buttons to worry about and direct interaction with camera menus
Lens availability
More lenses available
108 lenses vs 62 lenses
Help
More than 70% more lenses available
True resolution
Slightly higher true resolution
15.8 MP vs 14 MP
Help
Capture more than 10% more detail in your photos
Longest exposure
Much longer exposures
60s vs 30s
Help
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
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 Learn more about
the Panasonic DMC-G3

Advantages of the Sony NEX-5

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Screen resolution
Significantly higher resolution screen
920k dots vs 460k dots
Help
2x higher resolution screen
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
12.2 EV vs 10.6 EV
Help
2.9 f-stops more dynamic range
Color depth
Better color depth
22.2 bits vs 21 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1.2 more bits of color
Overall image quality
Better image quality
69.0 vs 56.0
Help
More than 20% better image quality
HDR
Has in-camera HDR
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Panorama
Can create panoramas in-camera
Yes vs No
Help
Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
Startup delay
Less startup delay
1000 ms vs 1400 ms
Help
Around 30% less delay when turning on
Low light performance
Slightly lower noise at high ISO
796 ISO vs 667 ISO
Help
The NEX-5 has a slight edge (0.3 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Size
Smaller
111×59×38 mm vs 115×84×47 mm
Help
Around 50% smaller
Battery life
Longer battery life
330 shots vs 270 shots
Help
More than 20% more shots per battery charge
Continuous shooting
Shoots slightly faster
7 fps vs 4 fps
Help
Around 80% faster continuous shooting
Thickness
Thinner
1.5" vs 1.9"
Help
Around 20% thinner
Weight
Slightly lighter
287 g vs 336 g
Help
More than 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
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 49
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        61 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony Alpha NEX-5
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              similarities

              Compared to recent mirrorless cameras

              Common Strengths
              3D Both can take 3D photos, many cameras like these don't Help
              View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
              Screen flips out Flip-out screens Help
              Great for movies
              Sensor cleaning Self cleaning sensors Help
              Avoids dust in your photos
              External flash Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Common Weaknesses
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              0
              External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
              Limited to the in-camera mic
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              DMC-G323
              NEX-525
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              DMC-G315.8 MP
              NEX-514 MP
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Autofocus Slower contrast detection autofocus Help
              slower focusing
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony Alpha A6000

              Sony Alpha A6000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $548 body only

              $648 - $698 with 16-50mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $289 body only

              $349 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Viewfinder Has higher quality type of viewfinder
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is significantly heavier
              Canon Kiss X5

              Canon Kiss X5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $1,299 body only

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Viewfinder Has higher quality type of viewfinder
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $109 body only

              $300 with 14-42mm lens

              External flash Doesn't support an external flash
              Screen flips out Doesn't have a screen which flips out
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $177 body only

              $265 with 14mm lens

              Screen flips out Doesn't have a screen which flips out

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $798 - $800 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              External mic jack Has an external mic jack
              Size Significantly larger
              Thickness Significantly thicker
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $545 body only

              $368 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              Size Larger
              Thickness Significantly thicker
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              External mic jack Has an external mic jack
              Startup delay Less startup delay
              Shutter lag Significantly more shutter lag
              Movie format Lower resolution movies
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $540 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Size Larger
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $598 - $752 body only

              $860 with 45-150mm lens

              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              Size Significantly larger
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor

              Sony Alpha NEX-5 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony NEX-5N

              Sony NEX-5N

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $605 body only

              $803 with 16-50mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Startup delay Significantly more startup delay
              Sony Alpha A5000

              Sony Alpha A5000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $280 body only

              $440 - $448 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 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
              Thickness Thinner
              Movie format Lower resolution movies
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Sony NEX-7

              Sony NEX-7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $762 body only

              $660 with 18-55mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Weight Heavier
              Sony Alpha NEX-6

              Sony Alpha NEX-6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $549 body only

              $879 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

              appearance

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 Sony Alpha NEX-5

              discussion

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3
              Lumix DMC-G3
              Panasonic

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

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