Friday, March 30, 2012

Thought Of The Day: Sony NEX-5n or Samsung NX200

Someone asked me why I haven't included the Sony NEX-5n in with discussions about the Fuji X-Pro1, Sony NEX-7 and Samsung NX200.

After all, the NX200 is more like the NEX-5n than the NEX-7, isn't it?

I lump discussions of the X-Pro1, NEX-7 and NX200 together because their actual image quality are most alike. Yes, there are clear differences between the three cameras. The X-Pro1 is the sharpest and best at high ISO, but is the lowest in overall resolution and highest in cost. The NEX-7 has the highest resolution, but lowest sharpness and is the worst at high ISO. The NX200 falls in the middle, but has the best user interface and the lowest cost. All three of these cameras blow away other digital cameras with APS-C sized sensors and come very close to matching full-frame DSLRs.

The NX200 is a better camera than the NEX-5n because the NX200 creates better images. The NEX-5n has lower resolution, less fine details, and worse lenses (and fewer lenses, too). The user interface isn't as good, either.

The only area where the NEX-5n does better than the NX200 is controlling digital noise at high ISO. That is not a big deal unless you plan on using ISO 3200, 6400 or 12800 often. I very rarely feel the need to use ISOs that high.

The NEX-5n's swivel screen is nice, but the screen itself is not as good as the NX200's AMOLED screen. There is an attachment you can buy for the NEX-5n to give it a viewfinder, and the NX200 doesn't have that option. But the screen on the rear of the camera is more than adequate for composing images.

In the end it comes down to actual image quality, and the NEX-5n just doesn't compete well against the NX200 (or the X-Pro1 and NEX-7). That doesn't mean that the NEX-5n isn't a fine camera (because it is) or it can't be used to create great photographs (because it can). But it's image quality doesn't rival that of full-frame DSLRs while the other three cameras do.

The camera that's most similar to the NEX-5n in regards to image quality is the Pentax K-01. Those two cameras go head-to-head pretty well.

I'm almost finished with my NX200 review, so watch for that in the coming days.


  1. I agree with you on everything. I think the NEX-7 is a great camera feature-wise, but it simply just doesn't create sharp images.

    Whereas the NX200 can create really sharp images that rival some of the best DSLRs at ISO 100-400.

    The Fuji X-Pro-1 is just too expensive, and big sized.