From Sony NEX-5N to Oly E-P3

Started Oct 23, 2011 | Discussions thread
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From Sony NEX-5N to Oly E-P3
Oct 23, 2011

Hello, everyone.

I bought a Sony NEX-5N almost two weeks ago. I loved many things about the camera, but it just didn't feel right. Yesterday, I returned the NEX-5N and bought an Olympus E-P3. I'm writing this post to help out anyone else considering both cameras.

The Sony's biggest advantage, of course, is its superior sensor. With that sensor, the NEX-5N is capable of producing richer, more detailed photos. Based on my experience, however, Olympus builds a better camera.

The E-P3 is more expensive, but its build quality is in a completely different league. Everything feels nicer -- the controls, the lenses, the camera itself. My NEX-5N also clicked loudly, and I was unhappy about having to repair a brand-new camera. The problem left me wondering what else Sony had overlooked.

For me, the E-P3 is much easier to use. Even after customizing the Sony's buttons, I found myself constantly hunting for basic controls. For me, the E-P3's interface is far more intuitive. The E-P3's biggest advantage, however, is surely its incredible autofocus. It's lightning fast and, for me, more than enough to compensate for the NEX-5N's better sensor. Nevertheless, I'll miss the Sony's peaking control system for manual focus. It's innovative and really works.

I was also drawn to the E-P3 for its superior lenses, image stabilization, and color rendering. When you account for those, the NEX-5N's IQ advantage gets smaller and smaller. With the E-P3's better interface and autofocus, I'll also miss far fewer shots. The E-P3 is hard to beat for street photography.

I'm interested to see what Sony does next. The fantastic sensor wasn't enough for me, but it will be for many others.

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