Updated (June 2011): Compare the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 vs Sony NEX C3

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 vs Sony Alpha NEX-3

Winner
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5

53

Sony Alpha NEX-3

40

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Lens
Barely any delay taking photos
Shutter lag
310 ms shutter lag
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
Usually standard
External flash
External flash
Better lighting
 

Reasons to buy the Sony Alpha NEX-3

Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
1000 ms startup delay
Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
3D
Takes 3D photos
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
External mic jack
External mic jack
Record higher quality audio with a microphone

Items often bought with the Panasonic DMC-LX5 or Sony NEX-3

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Sony Alpha NEX-3.

differences

Advantages of the Panasonic DMC-LX5

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Shutter lag
Much less shutter lag
310 ms vs 670 ms
Help
2.2x less delay when taking photos
Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Lens
vs None
Help
Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
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
Battery life
Slightly longer battery life
400 shots vs 330 shots
Help
More than 20% more shots per battery charge
Light sensitivity (boost)
Has boost ISO
12,800 ISO vs None
Help
Allows taking photos in darker situations, often at the cost of additional noise in the image
Longest exposure
Longer exposures
60s vs 30s
Help
2x longer exposures
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Learn more about
the Panasonic DMC-LX5

Advantages of the Sony NEX-3

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Overall image quality
Significantly better image quality
68.0 vs 41.0
Help
Around 70% better image quality
3D
Takes 3D photos
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Color depth
Better color depth
22.1 bits vs 19.6 bits
Help
Distinguishes 2.5 more bits of color
Screen resolution
Significantly higher resolution screen
920k dots vs 460k dots
Help
2x higher resolution screen
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
12 EV vs 10.8 EV
Help
2.4 f-stops more dynamic range
External mic jack
Has an external mic jack
Yes vs No
Help
Record high quality audio with an external microphone
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 2300 ms
Help
2.3x less delay when turning on
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
Interchangeable lenses
Has interchangeable lenses
Yes vs No
Help
Can take advantage of a variety of lenses
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
830 ISO vs 132 ISO
Help
The NEX-3 has excellent image quality: 2.7 f-stops higher ISO than the DMC-LX5
Sensor type
Has a CMOS-family sensor
CMOS vs CCD
Help
CMOS-family sensors often produce better quality images
True resolution
Higher true resolution
14 MP vs 10 MP
Help
Capture more than 40% more detail in your photos
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
12,800 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The NEX-3's maximum light sensitivity is 4 f-stops better
Size
Slightly smaller
117×62×33 mm vs 110×66×43 mm
Help
More than 20% smaller
Thickness
Thinner
1.3" vs 1.7"
Help
More than 20% thinner
Continuous shooting
Shoots slightly faster
7 fps vs 6 fps
Help
Around 20% faster continuous shooting
Lowest price
Slightly cheaper
$349.99 vs $588.95
Help
The best price we've seen is $239 cheaper (more than 40% less)
Sony Alpha NEX-3 Learn more about
the Sony NEX-3
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 53
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      Color
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        40 Sony Alpha NEX-3 Sony Alpha NEX-3
        Retailer
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            Color
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              similarities

              Compared to recent digital cameras

              Common Strengths
              Size Fairly small Help
              DMC-LX5110×66×43 mm
              NEX-3117×62×33 mm
              Supports RAW Supports RAW Help
              Better editing
              External flash Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Fastest shutter speed Fast max shutter speeds Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Common Weaknesses
              Viewfinder No viewfinders Help
              Can only preview photos on the screen
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
              DMC-LX5310 ms
              NEX-3670 ms
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Movie format Both shoot high resolution HD movies Help
              720p @ 30fps

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony Alpha A5000

              Sony Alpha A5000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $280 body only

              $440 - $448 with 16-50mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              External flash Doesn't support an external flash
              Sony Alpha A6000

              Sony Alpha A6000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $548 body only

              $648 - $698 with 16-50mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100

              Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100

              Pro digicam

              $448

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              External flash Doesn't support an external flash
              Nikon 1 J1

              Nikon 1 J1

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $264 with 10-30mm lens

              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              High-speed framerate Records high-speed movies
              External flash Doesn't support an external flash
              Lens availability Slightly fewer lenses available

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7

              Pro digicam

              $328

              3D Takes 3D photos
              Aperture Wider aperture
              Startup delay Much more startup delay
              Battery life Slightly shorter battery life
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3

              Pro digicam

              $322

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Size Slightly smaller
              Shutter lag Much more shutter lag
              Continuous shooting Shoots slower
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

              Boutique

              $669 - $798

              Movie format Higher resolution movies
              Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
              Built-in flash No built-in flash
              Size Slightly larger
              Placeholder

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50 (DMC-TZ70)

              Travel zoom

              $485

              Screen resolution Significantly higher resolution screen
              Zoom More zoom
              Aperture Much narrower aperture
              External flash No external flash support
              Leica D-LUX 5

              Leica D-LUX 5

              Pro digicam

              $1,100

              Size Slightly smaller
              Thickness Thinner
              Continuous shooting Shoots slower
              Lowest price More expensive

              Sony Alpha NEX-3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony Alpha NEX-3N

              Sony Alpha NEX-3N

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $420 with 16-50mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Screen resolution Significantly lower resolution screen
              External mic jack Lacks an external mic jack
              Sony Alpha NEX-5

              Sony Alpha NEX-5

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $360 body only

              $481 with 16-50mm lens

              Movie format Higher resolution movies
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              External mic jack Lacks an external mic jack
              Thickness Slightly thicker
              Sony NEX-F3

              Sony NEX-F3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $444 with 18-55mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              External mic jack Lacks an external mic jack
              Startup delay More startup delay
              Sony NEX C3

              Sony NEX C3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $212 body only

              $571 with 18-55mm lens

              Image stabilization Image stabilization
              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              External mic jack Lacks an external mic jack
              Startup delay Slightly more startup delay
              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
              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              External mic jack Lacks an external mic jack

              appearance

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Sony Alpha NEX-3
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Sony Alpha NEX-3
              Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Sony Alpha NEX-3

              discussion

              Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5
              Lumix DMC-LX5
              Panasonic

              Report a correction
              Sony Alpha NEX-3
              Alpha NEX-3
              Sony

              Report a correction

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