• APS-C 369.7mm2
  • 14.2 megapixels
  •  
  • 4/3 224.9mm2
  • 12.1 megapixels
  • ISO 160 - 6400

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Differences

Sony NEX-3 advantages over Panasonic GF5

  • Larger sensor
    APS-C vs 4/3
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 5.16 vs 4.33 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • 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
    ~1.00 vs 1.4 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Higher effective ISO
    830 vs 618 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • Hot shoe
    Hot shoe vs None
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • More pixels
    14.2 vs 12.1 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Bulb shutter
    Bulb vs No bulb
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    38 vs 5 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)

Panasonic GF5 advantages over Sony NEX-3

  • Lens selection
    Excellent vs Good
    Better lens selection gives you more options
  • Touchscreen
    Touch vs No touch
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • Internal flash
    Internal flash vs None
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Lighter weight
    364g vs 511g
    Lighter weight
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • Less shutter lag
    0.18 vs 0.44 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • Longer exposure
    60 vs 30 sec
    Long exposures for night shots
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    4.0 fps vs 2.7 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video

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
  • 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
  • External Mic Jack
    Neither provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • 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

User reviews

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Buy the Panasonic GF5

Review Excerpt

  • Small body pairs nicely with compact, retractable Power Zoom lens. Extremely fast autofocus. Worthwhile improvements in image quality. Touchscreen overlays can now be hidden.

  • LCD panel is prone to fingerprint smudges. Weak flash, and no hot shoe. Modest burst performance, and very limited buffer for raw shooting. Noise levels and dynamic range still lag competition.

The Competition

Compared to Sony NEX-5

Sony NEX-3
Sony NEX-5
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • $700
  • APS-C
Panasonic GF5
Sony NEX-5
  • $360
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Touchscreen
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Sony NEX-C3

Sony NEX-3
Sony NEX-C3
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
  • $559
  • APS-C
  • Higher effective ISO
  • Longer stills battery life
Panasonic GF5
Sony NEX-C3
  • $360
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Touchscreen
  • $559
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • In-camera panoramas

Compared to Olympus E-PM1

Sony NEX-3
Olympus E-PM1
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $500
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Less expensive
Panasonic GF5
Olympus E-PM1
  • $360
  • 4/3
  • Touchscreen
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $500
  • 4/3
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Hot shoe

Compared to Sony NEX-5N

Sony NEX-3
Sony NEX-5N
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Higher effective ISO
  • Longer stills battery life
Panasonic GF5
Sony NEX-5N
  • $360
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Touchscreen
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • In-camera panoramas

Compared to Panasonic GF3X

Sony NEX-3
Panasonic GF3X
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Larger sensor
  • $750
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Touchscreen
Panasonic GF5
Panasonic GF3X
  • $360
  • 4/3
  • Higher effective ISO
  • More dynamic range
  • $750
  • 4/3
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