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

61

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

39

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Sony Alpha NEX-5

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

Reasons to buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

Touch screen
Touch screen
Less buttons
Shutter lag
Barely any delay taking photos
312 ms shutter lag
Lens availability
Slightly more lenses available
108 lenses
Longest exposure
Long exposures
60 seconds

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Sony Alpha NEX-5.

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
108 lenses vs 62 lenses
Help
More than 70% 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
Slightly cheaper
$159.99 vs $349.99
Help
The best price we've seen is $190 cheaper (2.2x 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
3.9 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
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
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
Startup delay
Significantly less startup delay
1000 ms vs 1900 ms
Help
Around 50% less delay when turning on
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
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
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 39
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save
        vs
        61 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-GF3108×67×33 mm
              NEX-5111×59×38 mm
              Sensor cleaning Self cleaning sensors Help
              Avoids dust in your photos
              Weight Light weight Help
              DMC-GF3264 g
              NEX-5287 g
              Thickness Thin Help
              DMC-GF31.3"
              NEX-51.5"
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              DMC-GF3$159.99
              NEX-5$349.99
              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-GF323
              NEX-525
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              DMC-GF312 MP
              NEX-514 MP
              Viewfinder No viewfinders Help
              Can only preview photos on the screen
              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 NEX-5N

              Sony NEX-5N

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $605 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

              $274 body only

              $440 - $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
              Sony Alpha NEX-3N

              Sony Alpha NEX-3N

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $418 body only

              $420 with 16-50mm lens

              Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
              Battery life Has a slightly longer battery life
              Startup delay Has significantly more startup delay
              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
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $217 body only

              $630 with 14-45mm lens

              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Movie continuous focus Doesn't focus continuously while recording movies
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $263 body only

              $484 with 18-55mm, 55-200mm lenses

              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is significantly heavier
              Nikon 1 J1

              Nikon 1 J1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $225 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

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $328 body only

              $400 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Shutter lag Significantly less shutter lag
              Size Slightly larger
              Thickness Slightly thicker
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $177 body only

              $265 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-GX1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $250 body only

              $494 with 14-42mm lens

              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Size Slightly larger
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

              Olympus PEN E-PL3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $576 body only

              $219 with 14-42mm lens

              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera
              Touch screen No touch screen
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $373 body only

              $440 - $449 with 12-32mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Color depth Better color depth
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Battery life Shorter battery life

              Sony Alpha NEX-5 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $400 body only

              $345 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-5R

              Sony NEX-5R

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $347 body only

              $898 with 16mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Sony NEX-7

              Sony NEX-7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $595 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 NEX-F3

              Sony NEX-F3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $450 with 18-55mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Continuous shooting Shoots slower
              Sony NEX-5T

              Sony NEX-5T

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $349 body only

              $640 with 16-50mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos

              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.