Updated (August, 2011): Compare the Sony NEX C3 vs Sony NEX-5N

Sony Alpha NEX-5

Winner
Sony Alpha NEX-5

61

vs

Sony Alpha NEX-3

58

Sony Alpha NEX-3

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Sony Alpha NEX-5

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

Reasons to buy the Sony Alpha NEX-3

Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
1000 ms startup delay
3D
Takes 3D photos
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
External mic jack
External mic jack
Record higher quality audio with a microphone
 
Differences | Recommendations | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Sony NEX-3

Report a correction
External mic jack Has an external mic jack Yes vs No
Help
Record high quality audio with an external microphone
Thickness Thinner 1.3" vs 1.5"
Help
More than 10% thinner
Lowest price Slightly cheaper $368.00 vs $435.86
Help
The best price we've seen is $68 cheaper (around 20% less)
Sony Alpha NEX-3 Learn more about
the Sony NEX-3

Advantages of the Sony NEX-5

Report a correction
Movie format Higher resolution movies 1080p @ 30fps vs 720p @ 30fps
Help
Shoots higher resolution Full HD (1080p) video
Dynamic range More dynamic range 12.2 EV vs 12 EV
Help
0.2 f-stops more dynamic range
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
Sony Alpha NEX-3 Sony Alpha NEX-3 58
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 Common Weaknesses
              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
              Size Fairly small Help
              NEX-3:117x62x33 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
              Lowest price Inexpensive Help
              NEX-3:$368.00
              NEX-5:$435.86
              Built-in flash No built-in flash Help
              Professional
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Longest exposure Short max exposure time Help
              30 seconds
              Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
              670 ms shutter lag
              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
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              25
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              14 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
              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

              $598 - $689 body only

              $635 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Touch screen Has a touch screen
              Startup delay Has significantly more startup delay
              Sony Alpha A5000

              Sony Alpha A5000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $398 - $410 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 NEX-3N

              Sony Alpha NEX-3N

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $320 body only

              $300 - $420 with 16-50mm lens

              Supports 24p Records movies in 24p
              Shutter lag Has much less shutter lag
              External flash Doesn't support an external flash
              Startup delay Has significantly more startup delay
              Sony NEX-7

              Sony NEX-7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $1,199 body only

              $999 - $1,136 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Sony Alpha NEX-6

              Sony Alpha NEX-6

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $399 - $574 body only

              $739 - $759 with 16-50mm lens

              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Viewfinder Has a viewfinder
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is slightly larger
              Sony NEX C3

              Sony NEX C3

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $316 body only

              $571 with 18-55mm lens

              Image stabilization Has image stabilization
              Shutter lag Has much less shutter lag
              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
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is slightly larger

              Sony Alpha NEX-3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              No significant competitors found that are specific to the Sony Alpha NEX-3.

              Sony Alpha NEX-5 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony NEX-5R

              Sony NEX-5R

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $348 body only

              $499 with 18-55mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Touch screen Has a touch screen

              appearance

              Sony Alpha NEX-3 Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Sony Alpha NEX-3 Sony Alpha NEX-5
              Sony Alpha NEX-3 Sony Alpha NEX-5

              discussion

              Sony Alpha NEX-3
              Alpha NEX-3
              Sony

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

              Report a correction

              Showing 7 comments

              gabbar (5:43 PM, December 20, 2011)
              tell me SNAPSORT
               
              gabbar (5:38 PM, December 20, 2011)
              is there any difference in images of nex 3 and nex5,
              or any other difference except 720p and 1080p movies
              and is there bulb exposure in each
               
              Super Franky (6:16 AM, June 30, 2011)
              Actually it only does 1080i so I prefer 720p... but it does do video at 60fps so big plus there... image quality is 120% same... its seriously just 1080x60i video and different weight and shape...
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (1:30 PM, April 25, 2011)
              The Sony NEX-5 can record video at 1080p and has slightly better image quality, for about the same price. I would suggest you look at the NEX-5.
               
              Pialibopanna (1:11 PM, April 24, 2011)
              Hi Snapsort,
              I have decided to buy my frst camera. I cant make up my mind between the Sony alpha 3, Sony alpha 5 and Sony alpha 33. Which one do you think would be a better buy? And why?
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (4:25 PM, April 05, 2011)
              Hi Valentina, yes, If the NEX-3 is significantly cheaper then I think it would be bargain!
               
              Valentina (1:50 AM, April 04, 2011)
              Hi Snapsort,
              if i well understood, the two NEXs finally differ just in video resolution (and remote control plus for NEX-5 vs. NEX-3). In your opinion, the technical difference justify the economic one? Or do you consider NEX-3 to get a bargain?