Updated (August, 2011): Compare the Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 vs Sony NEX-5N

Sony Alpha DSLR-A580

Winner
Sony Alpha DSLR-A580

52

vs

Sony Alpha NEX-5

43

Sony Alpha NEX-5

Runner-up
     

Reasons to buy the Sony Alpha DSLR-A580

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift
Almost no delay when powering up
Startup delay
800 ms startup delay
External mic jack
External mic jack
Record higher quality audio with a microphone
Great battery life
Battery life
1050 shots
 

Reasons to buy the Sony Alpha NEX-5

Size
Really small
Compact 111x59x38 mm
Thickness
Thin
1.5"
HDR
In-camera HDR
Combines multiple exposures
Panorama
In-camera panoramas
Stitches together multiple photos into a panorama
 

differences

Advantages of the Sony DSLR-A580

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Shutter lag
Much less shutter lag
295 ms vs 670 ms
Help
2.3x less delay when taking photos
Autofocus
Faster autofocus
Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Catch candid moments easily
Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift vs None
Help
Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
Battery life
Much longer battery life
1050 shots vs 330 shots
Help
More than 3x more shots per battery charge
Overall image quality
Better image quality
80.0 vs 69.0
Help
Around 20% better image quality
External mic jack
Has an external mic jack
Yes vs No
Help
Record high quality audio with an external microphone
Lens availability
Significantly more lenses available
123 lenses vs 21 lenses
Help
Around 6x more lenses available
Storage slots
Has more storage slots
2 vs 1
Help
More slots allows storing more images without switching memory cards
Color depth
Better color depth
23.8 bits vs 22.2 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1.6 more bits of color
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
13.3 EV vs 12.2 EV
Help
1.1 f-stops more dynamic range
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
Viewfinder
Has a viewfinder
Pentamirror vs None
Help
A viewfinder can help save battery life by keeping the screen turned off
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
1,121 ISO vs 796 ISO
Help
The DSLR-A580 has a slight edge (0.5 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
True resolution
Higher true resolution
16 MP vs 14 MP
Help
Capture more than 10% more detail in your photos
Startup delay
Slightly less startup delay
800 ms vs 1000 ms
Help
20% less delay when turning on
Light sensitivity (boost)
Has boost ISO
25,600 ISO vs None
Help
Allows taking photos in darker situations, often at the cost of additional noise in the image
Cross type focus points
Slightly more cross-type focus points
3 vs 0
Help
Grab focus in difficult situations
Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Learn more about
the Sony DSLR-A580

Advantages of the Sony NEX-5

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Size
Much smaller
111x59x38 mm vs 137x104x84 mm
Help
4.8x smaller
Thickness
Significantly thinner
1.5" vs 3.3"
Help
2.2x thinner
Weight
Significantly lighter
287 g vs 599 g
Help
2.1x lighter
Focus points
Slightly more focus points
25 vs 15
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Sony Alpha NEX-5 Learn more about
the Sony NEX-5
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 52
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        43 Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony Alpha NEX-5
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              similarities

              Compared to recent digital cameras

              Common Strengths
              3D Both can take 3D photos, many cameras like these don't Help
              View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
              Screen flips out Flip-out screens Help
              Great for movies
              Screen resolution High resolution screens Help
              DSLR-A580:921k dots
              NEX-5:920k dots
              Interchangeable lenses Both support interchangeable lenses, which is uncommon in cameras similar to these Help
              Many lenses to choose from
              HDR In-camera HDR Help
              Combines multiple exposures
              Panorama In-camera panoramas Help
              Stitches together multiple photos into a panorama
              Supports RAW Supports RAW Help
              Better editing
              Sensor cleaning Self cleaning sensors Help
              Avoids dust in your photos
              External flash Each supports an external flash Help
              Better lighting
              Sensor type Better sensor types Help
              Better in low light
              Common Weaknesses
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              DSLR-A580:3
              NEX-5:0
              Supports 24p No support for 24p Help
              Missing that film look
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $309 - $527 body only

              $389 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes significantly higher resolution photos
              Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $349 - $360 body only

              $409 - $479 with 18-55mm lens

              Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
              Lens availability Slightly more lenses available
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is significantly heavier
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 - $550 body only

              $550 - $620 with 18-55mm lens

              Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
              Lens availability Slightly more lenses available
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is significantly heavier
              Sony Alpha A6000

              Sony Alpha A6000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $548 body only

              $675 - $698 with 16-50mm lens

              True resolution Takes significantly higher resolution photos
              Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $240 - $280 body only

              $385 - $410 with 18-55mm lens

              Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
              Startup delay Has slightly less startup delay
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $397 body only

              $429 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              True resolution Significantly higher true resolution
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Image stabilization No image stabilization
              Sony SLT A58

              Sony SLT A58

              Entry-level DSLR

              $448 with 18-55mm lens

              Viewfinder coverage Much better viewfinder coverage
              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Screen resolution Significantly lower resolution screen
              Sony SLT-A77

              Sony SLT A77

              Pro DSLR

              $600 with 16-50mm lens

              Weather sealed Weather sealed
              Viewfinder coverage Much better viewfinder coverage
              Startup delay Much more startup delay
              Battery life Significantly shorter battery life
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $480 - $547 body only

              $499 - $647 with 18-55mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              True resolution Significantly higher true resolution
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Image stabilization No image stabilization

              Sony Alpha NEX-5 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony NEX-5N

              Sony NEX-5N

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $200 body only

              $803 with 16-50mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Startup delay Significantly more startup delay
              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Sony Alpha NEX-3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $400 body only

              $320 - $420 with 16-50mm lens

              External mic jack Has an external mic jack
              Thickness Slightly thinner
              Movie format Lower resolution movies
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Sony Alpha A5000

              Sony Alpha A5000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $440 - $448 with 16-50mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Screen resolution Significantly lower resolution screen
              Sony Alpha NEX-6

              Sony Alpha NEX-6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $590 body only

              $1,915 with 16-50mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Startup delay Significantly more startup delay
              Sony NEX-7

              Sony NEX-7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $850 body only

              $629 - $747 with 18-55mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Startup delay Slightly more startup delay
              Weight Heavier

              appearance

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Sony Alpha NEX-5

              discussion

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A580
              Alpha DSLR-A580
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              Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Alpha NEX-5
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