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

Sony Alpha NEX-5

Winner
Sony Alpha NEX-5

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Reasons to buy the Sony Alpha NEX-5

Screen resolution
High resolution screen
920k dots
Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
1000 ms startup delay
3D
Takes 3D photos
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
External flash
External flash
Better lighting
 

Reasons to buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

Touch screen
Touch screen
Less buttons
Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
1000 ms startup delay
3D
Takes 3D photos
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
Lens availability
Slightly more lenses available
40 lenses
 
Differences | Recommendations | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Panasonic DMC-GF2

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Shutter lag Much less shutter lag 337 ms vs 670 ms
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Around 50% less delay when taking photos
Touch screen Has a touch screen Yes vs No
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Fewer buttons to worry about and direct interaction with camera menus
Lens availability Significantly more lenses available 40 lenses vs 21 lenses
Help
More than 90% more lenses available
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
Longest exposure Much longer exposures 60s vs 30s
Help
2x longer exposures
Thickness Thinner 1.3" vs 1.5"
Help
More than 10% thinner
Lowest price Cheaper $249.95 vs $435.86
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The best price we've seen is $186 cheaper (more than 40% less)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Learn more about
the Panasonic DMC-GF2

Advantages of the Sony NEX-5

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Dynamic range More dynamic range 12.2 EV vs 10.3 EV
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1.9 f-stops more dynamic range
Overall image quality Significantly better image quality 69.0 vs 54.0
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Around 30% better image quality
Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen 920k dots vs 460k dots
Help
2x higher resolution screen
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
Color depth Better color depth 22.2 bits vs 21.2 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1 more bits of color
Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO 796 ISO vs 506 ISO
Help
The NEX-5 has a slight edge (0.7 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Sensor size Larger sensor APS-C 23.4x15.6mm vs Four thirds 17.3x13.0mm
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More than 60% larger sensor
True resolution Higher true resolution 14 MP vs 12 MP
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Capture around 20% more detail in your photos
Battery life Longer battery life 330 shots vs 300 shots
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10% more shots per battery charge
Continuous shooting Shoots faster 7 fps vs 3.2 fps
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More than 2x faster continuous shooting
Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity 12,800 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
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The NEX-5's maximum light sensitivity is 1 f-stop better
Weight Slightly lighter 287 g vs 310 g
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Around 10% lighter
Sony Alpha NEX-5 Learn more about
the Sony NEX-5
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recommendations

Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent mirrorless cameras, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 41
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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 Common Weaknesses
              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-GF2:113x68x33 mm
              NEX-5:111x59x38 mm
              Sensor cleaning Self cleaning sensors Help
              Avoids dust in your photos
              External flash Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Light sensitivity (boost) No boost ISO Help
              Lacks boost light sensitivity
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              0
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              DMC-GF2:23
              NEX-5:25
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              DMC-GF2:12 MP
              NEX-5:14 MP
              Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
              DMC-GF2:337 ms
              NEX-5:670 ms
              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
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              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

              $698 - $700 with 16-50mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 - $774 body only

              $549 - $575 with 18-55mm lens

              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is much heavier
              Canon EOS M

              Canon EOS M

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $236 body only

              $315 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
              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Olympus PEN E-PL5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $438 with 14-42mm lens

              Image stabilization Has image stabilization
              Startup delay Has slightly less startup delay
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

              Olympus PEN E-PL3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $419 body only

              $276 with 14-42mm lens

              Image stabilization Has image stabilization
              Shutter lag Has slightly less shutter lag
              Startup delay Has significantly more startup delay

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $150 body only

              $300 with 14-42mm lens

              Battery life Slightly longer battery life
              Shutter lag Slightly less shutter lag
              Startup delay Significantly more startup delay
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $398 body only

              $570 with 14-42mm lens

              HDR Has in-camera HDR
              Low light performance Slightly lower noise at high ISO
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $584 body only

              $614 with 14-45mm lens

              Battery life Significantly longer battery life
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Touch screen No touch screen
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $348 body only

              $290 with 14-42mm lens

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Shutter lag Significantly less shutter lag
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Overall image quality Worse image quality
              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Olympus PEN E-PL1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $550 with 14-42mm lens

              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              Color depth Better color depth
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos

              Sony Alpha NEX-5 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony NEX-5N

              Sony NEX-5N

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $495 - $689 body only

              $635 with 18-55mm lens

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

              Sony Alpha A5000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $398 - $410 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-6

              Sony Alpha NEX-6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $574 body only

              $749 - $759 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
              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $490 body only

              $320 - $430 with 16-50mm 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

              $1,199 body only

              $781 with 18-200mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Startup delay Slightly more startup delay
              Lowest price More expensive

              appearance

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 Sony Alpha NEX-5

              discussion

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2
              Lumix DMC-GF2
              Panasonic

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              Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Alpha NEX-5
              Sony

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