Sony NEX-5 vs. Sony NEX-5N

What's the Difference?

The Sony NEX-5 and Sony NEX-5N are both mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that offer high-quality image capture. However, there are a few key differences between the two models. The NEX-5N features a higher resolution sensor at 16.1 megapixels compared to the NEX-5's 14.2 megapixels, resulting in sharper and more detailed images. Additionally, the NEX-5N offers improved low-light performance with an expanded ISO range of up to 25600, allowing for better image quality in challenging lighting conditions. The NEX-5N also introduces a touchscreen interface, making it more user-friendly and intuitive to navigate through menus and settings. Overall, while both cameras are capable options, the NEX-5N offers some notable upgrades in terms of image quality and usability.


AttributeSony NEX-5Sony NEX-5N
Resolution14.2 MP16.1 MP
ISO Range200-12800100-25600
Video RecordingFull HD 1080pFull HD 1080p
Autofocus Points2599
Continuous Shooting7 fps10 fps
LCD Screen3.0" Tilting3.0" Tilting
Weight287 g269 g

Further Detail


Sony has been a prominent player in the digital camera market, consistently delivering innovative and high-quality products. The Sony NEX series has gained significant popularity among photography enthusiasts due to its compact size, interchangeable lenses, and advanced features. In this article, we will compare two models from this series, the Sony NEX-5 and Sony NEX-5N, highlighting their attributes and helping you make an informed decision.

Design and Build

Both the Sony NEX-5 and NEX-5N feature a sleek and stylish design, with a compact and lightweight body that makes them highly portable. The NEX-5N, however, takes a step further with its improved ergonomics, offering a more comfortable grip and better handling. The buttons and controls on the NEX-5N are also more refined, providing a smoother user experience.

When it comes to build quality, both cameras are well-constructed and durable. The NEX-5N, however, incorporates a magnesium alloy frame, making it slightly more robust than the NEX-5. This enhanced build quality ensures that the camera can withstand the rigors of daily use and occasional bumps or drops.

Image Quality

The Sony NEX-5 and NEX-5N are equipped with a 16.1-megapixel APS-C sensor, delivering excellent image quality with rich details and vibrant colors. Both cameras perform exceptionally well in various lighting conditions, thanks to their wide ISO range and advanced noise reduction technology.

Where the NEX-5N shines is in its improved low-light performance. The camera's enhanced sensor technology allows for better noise reduction at higher ISO settings, resulting in cleaner and more usable images in challenging lighting situations. This improvement makes the NEX-5N a preferred choice for photographers who frequently shoot in low-light environments.

Both cameras also offer Full HD video recording capabilities, allowing users to capture high-quality videos with smooth motion and excellent clarity. The NEX-5N, however, introduces continuous autofocus during video recording, ensuring that your subjects remain sharp and in focus throughout the footage.

Autofocus System

The autofocus system is a crucial aspect of any camera, as it directly affects the speed and accuracy of capturing images. The Sony NEX-5 features a contrast-detection autofocus system, which is fast and reliable in most situations. However, the NEX-5N takes autofocus performance to the next level with its hybrid autofocus system.

The NEX-5N combines both contrast-detection and phase-detection autofocus, resulting in significantly improved autofocus speed and accuracy. This hybrid system allows for faster subject tracking and better performance when capturing moving subjects. Whether you are shooting stills or recording videos, the NEX-5N's autofocus system ensures that you never miss a moment.

Display and User Interface

Both the Sony NEX-5 and NEX-5N feature a tiltable LCD screen, allowing for easy framing of shots from various angles. The NEX-5N, however, boasts a higher-resolution screen, providing a crisper and more detailed display. This enhanced screen quality is particularly beneficial when reviewing images or navigating through the camera's menu system.

In terms of the user interface, the NEX-5N introduces a touch-sensitive screen, offering a more intuitive and user-friendly experience. The touch functionality allows for quick access to various settings and menu options, making it easier to navigate through the camera's features. While the NEX-5's interface is still highly functional, the touch screen on the NEX-5N adds an extra layer of convenience.

Connectivity and Features

Both the Sony NEX-5 and NEX-5N come with built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, allowing for seamless wireless transfer of images and videos to compatible devices. This feature is incredibly useful for instant sharing on social media or transferring files to a computer without the need for cables.

When it comes to additional features, the NEX-5N offers a few notable upgrades. It introduces an improved burst shooting mode, allowing for faster continuous shooting at up to 10 frames per second. The NEX-5N also includes an electronic first curtain shutter, reducing the risk of camera shake and resulting in sharper images, especially at slower shutter speeds.

Furthermore, the NEX-5N incorporates an expanded ISO range, reaching up to ISO 25600, which is two stops higher than the NEX-5. This extended range provides greater flexibility in challenging lighting conditions, allowing for better exposure control and reduced noise.


Both the Sony NEX-5 and NEX-5N are excellent cameras that offer impressive image quality, advanced features, and a compact form factor. The NEX-5N, however, takes a step further with its improved design, enhanced low-light performance, hybrid autofocus system, touch-sensitive screen, and additional features.

If you prioritize these upgrades and are willing to invest a bit more, the Sony NEX-5N would be the ideal choice for you. On the other hand, if you are on a tighter budget or prefer a simpler interface, the Sony NEX-5 still delivers outstanding performance and image quality.

Ultimately, the decision between the Sony NEX-5 and NEX-5N depends on your specific needs, preferences, and budget. Whichever model you choose, you can be confident in Sony's commitment to delivering exceptional cameras that cater to the needs of both amateur and professional photographers.

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