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

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Differences

Sony NEX-5N advantages over Olympus E-M5

  • Larger sensor
    APS-C vs 4/3
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 4.82 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
  • Higher effective ISO
    1,079 vs 826 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • Shoots 24p video
    Yes vs No
    Gives your movies a big-screen feel
  • Lighter weight
    465g vs 652g
    Lighter weight
  • More dots on screen
    922k vs 614k dots
    Can mean greater resolution or a brighter screen
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    10.0 fps vs 8.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)

Olympus E-M5 advantages over Sony NEX-5N

  • Lens selection
    Excellent vs Good
    Better lens selection gives you more options
  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Eye-level vs Rear display only
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • 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
    ~1.10 vs 1.9 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • More telephoto lens reach
    100 mm vs 83 mm
    Capture objects farther away with the kit lens
  • Higher max flash sync
    1/250 vs 1/160 sec
    Reduce the effect of ambient light in flash shots
  • Wider angle kit lens
    24 mm vs 27 mm
    Capture more of the scene with the included lens
  • Longer exposure
    60 vs 30 sec
    Long exposures for night shots
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    17 vs 7 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)

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
  • 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

  • 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.

  • Attractive body design; Well-built, weather-sealed body; Excellent image quality; Excellent image stabilization; Very fast autofocus.

  • Exposure compensation dial changes easily; Small buttons; No in-camera chromatic aberration correction; Bundled flash is weak; Video compression artifacts with rapidly-moving subjects.

The Competition

Compared to Olympus E-M1

Sony NEX-5N
Olympus E-M1
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $1049
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
Olympus E-M5
Olympus E-M1
  • $799
  • 4/3
  • Less expensive
  • Thinner
  • $1049
  • 4/3
  • Focus peaking
  • Fast startup

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
Olympus E-M5
Sony NEX-3
  • $799
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Panasonic G3

Sony NEX-5N
Panasonic G3
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $700
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Eye-level viewfinder
Olympus E-M5
Panasonic G3
  • $799
  • 4/3
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $700
  • 4/3
  • Internal flash
  • More viewfinder magnification

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
Olympus E-M5
Sony NEX-C3
  • $799
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • $559
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

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
Olympus E-M5
Sony NEX-5R
  • $799
  • 4/3
  • Lens selection
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • $348
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking
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