• APS-C 369.7mm2
  • 16.1 megapixels
  •  
  • APS-C 332.3mm2
  • 18.0 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 12,800

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Differences

Sony NEX-5N advantages over Canon EOS M

  • Lens selection
    Good vs Limited
    Better lens selection gives you more options
  • Larger sensor
    APS-C vs APS-C
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • In-camera panoramas
    Yes vs No
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Tiltable Screen
    Tiltable vs Fixed
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • Fast startup
    ~1.90 vs 2.7 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Higher effective ISO
    1,079 vs 827 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • More dynamic range
    12.7 vs 11.2 evs
    Retain detail in highlight and shadows
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 430 vs 230 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Less shutter lag
    0.23 vs 0.74 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    10.0 fps vs 4.2 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)

Canon EOS M advantages over Sony NEX-5N

  • Less expensive
    $600 vs $700 (MSRP)
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Touchscreen
    Touch vs No touch
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Yes vs No
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • External Mic Jack
    Jack vs No jack
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    13 vs 7 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use an external screen to monitor or review video
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Focus peaking
    Neither provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Neither provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Neither provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Neither provide
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Neither provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • Internal flash
    Neither provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Top deck display
    Neither provide
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • Dual card slots
    Neither provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

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Review Excerpt

  • Fast autofocus and prefocused shutter lag; Quieter shutter sound; Captures 10 frames per second; Supports AVCHD 2.0.

  • Limited first-party lens selection; Slow and confusing on-screen user interface; top-mounted, proprietary accessories are quite pricey.

  • Excellent image quality similar to Rebel T4i, T5i and SL1 DSLRs, with 18-megapixel APS-C-type sensor delivering considerable resolution for a mirrorless camera; Solid build and sleek design; Bright, high-resolution 3-inch LCD touchscreen monitor; Full 1080p HD video recording that's virtually silent with an STM lens.

  • Barely acceptable autofocus speed still lags far behind most mirrorless cameras despite firmware update fix; Limited physical controls and buttons, including no Program, Priority, or Manual on Mode dial; Lacks built-in flash or electronic viewfinder option; Only two compact EF-M mount lenses currently available.

The Competition

Compared to Sony NEX-3

Sony NEX-5N
Sony NEX-3
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Higher effective ISO
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup
Canon EOS M
Sony NEX-3
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Touchscreen
  • On-sensor phase detect
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Larger sensor

Compared to Sony NEX-C3

Sony NEX-5N
Sony NEX-C3
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Shoots 24p video
  • Shoots 1080p video
  • $559
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup
Canon EOS M
Sony NEX-C3
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Touchscreen
  • On-sensor phase detect
  • $559
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • In-camera panoramas

Compared to Samsung NX1000

Sony NEX-5N
Samsung NX1000
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • In-camera panoramas
  • $399
  • APS-C
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • More pixels
Canon EOS M
Samsung NX1000
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Touchscreen
  • On-sensor phase detect
  • $399
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Fast startup

Compared to Sony NEX-F3

Sony NEX-5N
Sony NEX-F3
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Shoots 60p video
  • Faster JPEG shooting
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Internal flash
Canon EOS M
Sony NEX-F3
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Touchscreen
  • On-sensor phase detect
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Larger sensor

Compared to Sony NEX-5R

Sony NEX-5N
Sony NEX-5R
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Higher effective ISO
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $348
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Touchscreen
Canon EOS M
Sony NEX-5R
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • External Mic Jack
  • $348
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
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