• APS-C 332.3mm2
  • 18.0 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • APS-C 369.7mm2
  • 16.1 megapixels
  •  

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Differences

Canon T3i advantages over Sony NEX-5N

  • Lens selection
    Excellent vs Good
    Better lens selection gives you more options
  • Less expensive
    $600 vs $700 (MSRP)
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Tilt-swivel vs tilt-only
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Eye-level vs Rear display only
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • More telephoto lens reach
    216 mm vs 83 mm
    Capture objects farther away with the kit lens
  • Internal flash
    Internal flash vs None
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • External Mic Jack
    Jack vs No jack
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video

Sony NEX-5N advantages over Canon T3i

  • 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
  • Higher effective ISO
    1,079 vs 793 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • More dynamic range
    12.7 vs 11.5 evs
    Retain detail in highlight and shadows
  • Thinner
    38 mm vs 79 mm
    Thinner
  • Lighter weight
    465g vs 1031g
    Lighter weight
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    10.0 fps vs 3.6 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Higher extended ISO
    25600 vs 12800 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

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
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Neither provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • 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
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • 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

  • Excellent image quality; Good grip; Full HD video recording; Swiveling LCD; Very fast autofocus; HDMI output.

  • Slow frame rate for sports shooting; Tendency to overexpose in bright sunlight; Live View AF is slow; No microfocus adjustment.

  • 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.

The Competition

Compared to Nikon D7000

Canon T3i
Nikon D7000
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Fast startup
Sony NEX-5N
Nikon D7000
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-camera panoramas
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Eye-level viewfinder

Compared to Pentax K-5

Canon T3i
Pentax K-5
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • More telephoto lens reach
  • $749
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Sony NEX-5N
Pentax K-5
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • In-camera panoramas
  • Tiltable Screen
  • $749
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Eye-level viewfinder

Compared to Sony NEX-C3

Canon T3i
Sony NEX-C3
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $559
  • APS-C
  • In-camera panoramas
  • Higher effective ISO
Sony NEX-5N
Sony NEX-C3
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Shoots 24p video
  • Shoots 1080p video
  • $559
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup

Compared to Canon T4i

Canon T3i
Canon T4i
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • $593
  • APS-C
  • Touchscreen
  • Fast startup
Sony NEX-5N
Canon T4i
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • In-camera panoramas
  • $593
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Lens selection

Compared to Sony NEX-5R

Canon T3i
Sony NEX-5R
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $348
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
Sony NEX-5N
Sony NEX-5R
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Higher effective ISO
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $348
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Touchscreen
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