Updated (November 2011): Compare the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 vs Sony NEX-5N

Sony Alpha NEX-5 vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

Winner
Sony Alpha NEX-5

61

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

36

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-GF1

Lens availability
Slightly more lenses available
108 lenses
Longest exposure
Long exposures
60 seconds
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
External flash not needed

galleries

Explore our gallery of 15 sample photos taken by the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Sony Alpha NEX-5.

differences

Advantages of the Panasonic DMC-GF1

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Shutter lag
Much less shutter lag
409 ms vs 670 ms
Help
Around 40% less delay when taking photos
Lens availability
More lenses available
108 lenses vs 62 lenses
Help
More than 70% more lenses available
Battery life
Longer battery life
400 shots vs 330 shots
Help
More than 20% more shots per battery charge
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
Slightly thinner
1.4" vs 1.5"
Help
Almost the same
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Learn more about
the Panasonic DMC-GF1

Advantages of the Sony NEX-5

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Dynamic range
More dynamic range
12.2 EV vs 10.3 EV
Help
3.5 f-stops more dynamic range
Screen resolution
Significantly higher resolution screen
920k dots vs 460k dots
Help
2x higher resolution screen
Overall image quality
Significantly better image quality
69.0 vs 54.0
Help
Around 30% better image quality
3D
Takes 3D photos
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
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
Color depth
Better color depth
22.2 bits vs 21.2 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1 more bits of color
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
Movie format
Higher resolution movies
1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 30fps
Help
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
796 ISO vs 513 ISO
Help
The NEX-5 has a slight edge (0.6 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Startup delay
Less startup delay
1000 ms vs 1400 ms
Help
Around 30% less delay when turning on
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 fps
Help
Around 2.5x faster continuous shooting
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
12,800 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The NEX-5's maximum light sensitivity is 4 f-stops better
Size
Slightly smaller
111×59×38 mm vs 119×71×36 mm
Help
Around 20% smaller
Weight
Slightly lighter
287 g vs 330 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-GF1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 36
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    Style
      Color
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        vs
        61 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony Alpha NEX-5
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          Style
            Color
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              similarities

              Compared to recent mirrorless cameras

              Common Strengths
              Sensor cleaning Self cleaning sensors Help
              Avoids dust in your photos
              External flash Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              DMC-GF1$217.32
              NEX-5$349.99
              Thickness Thin Help
              DMC-GF11.4"
              NEX-51.5"
              Common Weaknesses
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Light sensitivity (boost) No boost ISO Help
              Lacks boost light sensitivity
              Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
              DMC-GF1409 ms
              NEX-5670 ms
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              0
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              External mic jack Neither has an external mic jack Help
              Limited to the in-camera mic
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              DMC-GF123
              NEX-525
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              DMC-GF112 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 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
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Sony Alpha A5000

              Sony Alpha A5000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $284 body only

              $440 - $448 with 16-50mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Color depth Has slightly more color depth
              External flash Doesn't support an external flash
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Sony Alpha A6000

              Sony Alpha A6000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $548 body only

              $698 with 16-50mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Thickness Is thicker
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $160 body only

              $280 with 14-42mm lens

              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Shutter lag Has slightly less shutter lag
              External flash Doesn't support an external flash
              Startup delay Has significantly more startup delay
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $274 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
              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $260 with 14-42mm lens

              Image stabilization Has image stabilization
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $250 body only

              $494 with 14-42mm lens

              3D Takes 3D photos
              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $533 body only

              $627 - $648 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $177 body only

              $265 with 14mm lens

              3D Takes 3D photos
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              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
              3D Takes 3D photos
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              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 Much less shutter lag
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Overall image quality Worse image quality

              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 NEX-7

              Sony NEX-7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $595 body only

              $650 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-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 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-GF1 Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Sony Alpha NEX-5

              discussion

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1
              Lumix DMC-GF1
              Panasonic

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

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