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Difference Between the Sony NEX-5 and the Sony NEX-3

Sony NEX-5 vs the Sony NEX-3

The NEX series of cameras from Sony is the long-awaited reply to the Micro Four Thirds mirrorless systems put forth by Panasonic and Olympus. To put these cameras in a certain bracket, they fall somewhere between a typical point-and-shoot and a DSLR; sharing compactness and simplicity with the former while borrowing advanced capabilities from the latter. The main difference between the NEX-3 and the NEX-5 is market segmentation as the more expensive NEX-5 provides a handful of advantages to complement its higher value.

The first thing you would notice between the NEX-3 and the NEX-5 is the body construction. The NEX-5 body is made out of a magnesium alloy; giving it a very solid and sturdy feel. In comparison, the NEX-3 body is made out of a plastic polymer. It doesn’t give you the same elegant impression as the NEX-5, but it still does its job pretty well. Another distinguishing characteristic is the grip right beside the lens. The grip of the NEX-5 is narrower and more pronounced compared to that of the NEX-3. It’s just a matter of preference, but some may find the NEX-5 to be easier to hold than the NEX-3.

A major difference between the two cameras is the quality of the video that they can shoot. The NEX-5 is capable of shooting AVCHD format video while the NEX-3 is only capable of MP4 format. AVCHD is a more comprehensive format for encoding high-definition video while MP4 is basically just a video/audio compression codec. The NEX-5 is capable of shooting at higher 1080 (1080i and 1080p) resolutions while the NEX-3 can only shoot at 720p. The NEX-5 can also shoot at 720p if the user prefers it.

Lastly, the NEX-5 has a slight advantage when it comes to controls. One option that the NEX-5 has that the NEX-3 doesn’t is a remote controller. With a remote controller, you can shoot the camera without being close to it. You can be looking at a bigger display or even be in the picture while you shoot the photo.


1.The NEX-3 is a cheaper version of the NEX-5.
2.The NEX-5 has a magnesium alloy body while the NEX-3 has a plastic polymer body.
3.The NEX-3 has a wider and flatter grip than the NEX-5.
4.The NEX-5 is capable of shooting in AVCHD while the NEX-3 is only capable of shooting in MP4.
5.The NEX-5 can be controlled remotely while the NEX-3 can’t.

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