• APS-C 369.7mm2
  • 14.2 megapixels
  •  
  • 4/3 224.9mm2
  • 16.1 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 25,600

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Differences

Sony NEX-5 advantages over Olympus E-PL5

  • Larger sensor
    APS-C vs 4/3
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 5.16 vs 3.75 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • In-camera panoramas
    Yes vs No
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • More dots on screen
    922k vs 461k dots
    Can mean greater resolution or a brighter screen
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    38 vs 15 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)

Olympus E-PL5 advantages over Sony NEX-5

  • Lens selection
    Excellent vs Good
    Better lens selection gives you more options
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Yes vs No
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Touchscreen
    Touch vs No touch
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • Fast startup
    ~0.70 vs 1.0 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Higher effective ISO
    889 vs 796 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • Higher max flash sync
    1/250 vs 1/160 sec
    Reduce the effect of ambient light in flash shots
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • Less shutter lag
    0.22 vs 0.44 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • Longer exposure
    60 vs 30 sec
    Long exposures for night shots
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    8.1 fps vs 2.7 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

  • Tiltable Screen
    Both provide
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use HDMI output 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

Buy From

Review Excerpt

  • Excellent image quality with good color and dynamic range; Great high ISO performance for its class; Extremely speedy performer, with fast and accurate autofocus on stationary subjects; Lightweight, compact and ergonomic design; Touchscreen LCD that tilts all the way forward for taking self portraits; Tons of advanced functions and customizable options.

  • Confusing and frustrating menu system takes hours to master; AF isn't optimal for taking fast-motion action shots; LCD viewfinding suffers under direct sunlight; Mediocre HD video quality; No built-in flash (but a small external flash is included).

The Competition

Compared to Sony NEX-3

Sony NEX-5
Sony NEX-3
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
Olympus E-PL5
Sony NEX-3
  • $329
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Samsung NX100

Sony NEX-5
Samsung NX100
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • In-camera panoramas
  • $799
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Longer stills battery life
Olympus E-PL5
Samsung NX100
  • $329
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $799
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Sony NEX-C3

Sony NEX-5
Sony NEX-C3
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
  • $559
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Higher effective ISO
Olympus E-PL5
Sony NEX-C3
  • $329
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $559
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Panasonic GX1

Sony NEX-5
Panasonic GX1
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $388
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
Olympus E-PL5
Panasonic GX1
  • $329
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $388
  • 4/3
  • Focus peaking
  • Internal flash

Compared to Panasonic GF6

Sony NEX-5
Panasonic GF6
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $400
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Touchscreen
Olympus E-PL5
Panasonic GF6
  • $329
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $400
  • 4/3
  • In-camera panoramas
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
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