Updated (August, 2011): Compare the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 vs Sony NEX-5N

Sony Alpha NEX-5 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

Winner
Sony Alpha NEX-5

62

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

37

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Sony Alpha NEX-5

High resolution screen
Screen resolution
920k dots
Wide dynamic range
Dynamic range
12.2 EV
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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

Touch screen
Touch screen
Less buttons
Lens availability
Slightly more lenses available
40 lenses
Longest exposure
Long exposures
60 seconds
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
External flash not needed

differences

Advantages of the Panasonic DMC-GF3

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Shutter lag
Much less shutter lag
312 ms vs 670 ms
Help
2.1x less delay when taking photos
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
40 lenses vs 21 lenses
Help
More than 90% more lenses available
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
Thickness
Thinner
1.3" vs 1.5"
Help
More than 10% thinner
Lowest price
Cheaper
$125.00 vs $398.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $273 cheaper (3.2x less)
Weight
Slightly lighter
264 g vs 287 g
Help
Around 10% lighter
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 Learn more about
the Panasonic DMC-GF3

Advantages of the Sony NEX-5

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Dynamic range
More dynamic range
12.2 EV vs 10.1 EV
Help
2.1 f-stops more dynamic range
Overall image quality
Significantly better image quality
69.0 vs 50.0
Help
Around 40% better image quality
Screen resolution
Significantly higher resolution screen
920k dots vs 460k dots
Help
2x higher resolution screen
Color depth
Better color depth
22.2 bits vs 20.6 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1.6 more bits of color
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
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
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
796 ISO vs 459 ISO
Help
The NEX-5 has a slight edge (0.8 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Startup delay
Significantly less startup delay
1000 ms vs 1900 ms
Help
Around 50% less delay when turning on
External flash
Supports an external flash
Yes vs No
Help
An external flash often produces better looking flash images
True resolution
Higher true resolution
14 MP vs 12 MP
Help
Capture around 20% more detail in your photos
Continuous shooting
Shoots slightly faster
7 fps vs 3.8 fps
Help
More than 80% faster continuous shooting
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
12,800 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
Help
The NEX-5's maximum light sensitivity is 1 f-stop better
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-GF3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 37
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    Style
      Color
        You save
        vs
        62 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony Alpha NEX-5
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              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
              Size Fairly small Help
              DMC-GF3:107x67x32 mm
              NEX-5:111x59x38 mm
              Sensor cleaning Self cleaning sensors Help
              Avoids dust in your photos
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              DMC-GF3:$125.00
              NEX-5:$398.00
              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
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              DMC-GF3:12 MP
              NEX-5:14 MP
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              DMC-GF3:23
              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
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur
              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

              $449 body only

              $803 with 16-50mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Color depth Has slightly more color depth
              Startup delay Has significantly more startup delay
              Sony Alpha A5000

              Sony Alpha A5000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $435 - $448 with 16-50mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Color depth Has slightly more color depth
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Nikon 1 J1

              Nikon 1 J1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $180 with 10-30mm lens

              High-speed framerate Records high-speed movies
              Continuous shooting Shoots faster continuously
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Sony NEX C3

              Sony NEX C3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $212 body only

              $571 with 18-55mm lens

              Image stabilization Has image stabilization
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Movie format Records lower quality movies
              Canon EOS M

              Canon EOS M

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $235 body only

              $300 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100

              Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100

              Pro digicam

              $498 - $798

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Image stabilization Has image stabilization
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Interchangeable lenses Has a built-in lens
              Samsung NX1000

              Samsung NX1000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $370 body only

              $250 with 20-50mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Startup delay Has slightly more startup delay

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $197 body only

              $300 with 14mm lens

              Startup delay Significantly less startup delay
              Color depth Better color depth
              Shutter lag Slightly more shutter lag
              Battery life Slightly shorter battery life
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $328 body only

              $290 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Shutter lag Significantly less shutter lag
              Thickness Thicker
              Size Slightly larger
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $350 body only

              $614 with 14-45mm lens

              Color depth Better color depth
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Touch screen No touch screen
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $320 body only

              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Screen flips out Has a flip-out screen
              Size Larger
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $547 - $550 body only

              $674 - $798 with 14-42mm lens

              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Size Larger

              Sony Alpha NEX-5 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $400 body only

              $368 with 18-55mm 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

              $850 body only

              $598 - $699 with 18-55mm lens

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

              Sony NEX-5R

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $300 body only

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Sony Alpha NEX-6

              Sony Alpha NEX-6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $627 body only

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Startup delay Significantly more startup delay
              Sony Alpha NEX-3N

              Sony Alpha NEX-3N

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $300 body only

              $420 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

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 Sony Alpha NEX-5

              discussion

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3
              Lumix DMC-GF3
              Panasonic

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

              Report a correction

              Showing 4 comments

              Dgq1 (11:20 AM, December 04, 2011)
              ho la nex-5 da quasi 1 anno, eccezionale nelle immagini, ottima nei video hd tranne che per la durata delle riprese (si scalda rapidamente e si blocca)! Spero duri più di 3 anni senza guastarsi..!
               
              Guest (2:31 PM, November 12, 2011)
              GF3's better !!!!
               
              Jjg_loves_shane (0:14 PM, November 06, 2011)
              gf3 is better!!!!
               
              Burg0222 (9:08 PM, July 30, 2011)
              Panasonic has a more solid feel...picture quality about the same.