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Olympus E-PL2 vs Sony NEX-5

Portability
85
Imaging
48
Features
47
Overall
47
Olympus PEN E-PL2 front
 
Sony Alpha NEX-5 front
Portability
89
Imaging
54
Features
58
Overall
55

Olympus E-PL2 vs Sony NEX-5 Key Specs

Olympus E-PL2
(Full Review)
  • 12MP - Four Thirds Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Display
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • Micro Four Thirds Mount
  • 362g - 114 x 72 x 42mm
  • Launched February 2011
  • Replaced the Olympus E-PL1s
  • Renewed by Olympus E-PL3
Sony NEX-5
(Full Review)
  • 14MP - APS-C Sensor
  • 3" Tilting Screen
  • ISO 200 - 12800
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • Sony E Mount
  • 287g - 111 x 59 x 38mm
  • Revealed June 2010
  • Renewed by Sony NEX-5N
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Olympus E-PL2 vs Sony NEX-5 Overview

On this page, we will be comparing the Olympus E-PL2 vs Sony NEX-5, both Entry-Level Mirrorless digital cameras by competitors Olympus and Sony. The sensor resolution of the E-PL2 (12MP) and the NEX-5 (14MP) is pretty well matched but the E-PL2 (Four Thirds) and NEX-5 (APS-C) have totally different sensor sizes.

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The E-PL2 was introduced 9 months later than the NEX-5 so they are both of a similar age. Both the cameras have the same body design (Rangefinder-style mirrorless).

Before getting into a in-depth comparison, here is a concise summation of how the E-PL2 matches up versus the NEX-5 in regards to portability, imaging, features and an overall rating.

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Reasons to pick Olympus E-PL2 over the Sony NEX-5

 E-PL2 NEX-5 
RevealedFebruary 2011June 2010Fresher by 9 months

Reasons to pick Sony NEX-5 over the Olympus E-PL2

 NEX-5 E-PL2 
Screen typeTiltingFixed Tilting screen
Screen resolution920k460kCrisper screen (+460k dot)

Common features in the Olympus E-PL2 and Sony NEX-5

 E-PL2 NEX-5 
Manually focus Dial precise focus
Screen dimensions3"3"Equal screen dimensions
Selfie screen Neither provides selfie screen
Touch friendly screen Missing Touch friendly screen

Olympus E-PL2 vs Sony NEX-5 Physical Comparison

In case you're going to carry your camera often, you should factor its weight and proportions. The Olympus E-PL2 provides external dimensions of 114mm x 72mm x 42mm (4.5" x 2.8" x 1.7") with a weight of 362 grams (0.80 lbs) whilst the Sony NEX-5 has measurements of 111mm x 59mm x 38mm (4.4" x 2.3" x 1.5") and a weight of 287 grams (0.63 lbs).

Look at the Olympus E-PL2 vs Sony NEX-5 in our completely new Camera plus Lens Size Comparison Tool. Camera Size Comparison with Lenses

Remember, the weight of an ILC will change depending on the lens you are using at that time. Underneath is a front view physical size comparison of the E-PL2 and the NEX-5.

Olympus E-PL2 vs Sony NEX-5 size comparison

Using size and weight, the portability score of the E-PL2 and NEX-5 is 85 and 89 respectively.

Olympus E-PL2 vs Sony NEX-5 top view buttons comparison

Olympus E-PL2 vs Sony NEX-5 Sensor Comparison

Generally, it's tough to visualise the difference between sensor sizing merely by checking specs. The graphic underneath will help provide you a far better sense of the sensor dimensions in the E-PL2 and NEX-5.

As you can plainly see, each of the cameras provide different megapixels and different sensor sizing. The E-PL2 having a tinier sensor will make achieving bokeh trickier and the Sony NEX-5 will resolve extra detail using its extra 2 Megapixels. Higher resolution will also allow you to crop photographs more aggressively. The more modern E-PL2 is going to have an advantage when it comes to sensor technology.

Olympus E-PL2 vs Sony NEX-5 sensor size comparison

Olympus E-PL2 vs Sony NEX-5 Screen and ViewFinder

Olympus E-PL2 vs Sony NEX-5 Screen and Viewfinder comparison
Photography Glossary

Photography Type Scores

Portrait Comparison

Portrait photography with Olympus E-PL2
Portrait photography with Sony NEX-5
60
has manual focus
sensor size is nice (Four Thirds)
provides face detect focus
exports RAW files
low resolution (12 megapixels)
72
you can focus manually
good megapixels (14 megapixels)
nice sensor size (APS-C)
delivers RAW files
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Street Comparison

Olympus E-PL2 as a Street photography camera
Sony NEX-5 as a Street photography camera
73
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is nice (Four Thirds)
exports RAW files
no moving screen
76
screen tilts
nice sensor size (APS-C)
delivers RAW files
does not have image stabilization
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Sports Comparison

Olympus E-PL2 Sports photography details
Sony NEX-5 Sports photography details
45
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is nice (Four Thirds)
provides tracking focus
slow frames per second (3.0 frames per second)
low resolution (12 megapixels)
low battery power (280 per charge)
lack of phase detect auto focus
52
good megapixels (14 megapixels)
nice sensor size (APS-C)
does not have image stabilization
lacks phase detect AF
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Travel Comparison

Olympus E-PL2 as a Travel photography camera
Sony NEX-5 as a Travel photography camera
51
flash built-in
missing Time Lapse function
low battery power (280 CIPA)
low resolution (12MP)
doesn't have a selfie friendly display
59
good megapixels (14MP)
no Timelapse recording
display isn't selfie friendly
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Landscape Comparison

Olympus E-PL2 Landscape photography information
Sony NEX-5 Landscape photography information
61
has manual focus
interchangeable lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
screen size is good (3 inch)
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is nice (Four Thirds)
exports RAW files
low resolution (12MP)
low battery power (280 per charge)
missing Time Lapse function
68
you can focus manually
switch lenses (Sony E mount)
nice screen size (3 inch)
good megapixels (14 megapixels)
nice sensor size (APS-C)
delivers RAW files
does not have image stabilization
no Timelapse recording
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Vlogging Comparison

Vlogging with Olympus E-PL2
Vlogging with Sony NEX-5
29
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
provides face detect focus
doesn't have a selfie friendly display
video quality not great (1280 x 720 pxls)
missing mic socket
28
high quality video (1920 x 1080 pixels)
display isn't selfie friendly
does not have image stabilization
no microphone jack
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Olympus E-PL2 vs Sony NEX-5 Specifications

Detailed spec comparison table for Olympus E-PL2 and Sony NEX-5
 Olympus PEN E-PL2Sony Alpha NEX-5
General Information
Make Olympus Sony
Model Olympus PEN E-PL2 Sony Alpha NEX-5
Type Entry-Level Mirrorless Entry-Level Mirrorless
Launched 2011-02-11 2010-06-07
Body design Rangefinder-style mirrorless Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor Information
Processor Chip Truepic V Bionz
Sensor type CMOS CMOS
Sensor size Four Thirds APS-C
Sensor measurements 17.3 x 13mm 23.4 x 15.6mm
Sensor surface area 224.9mm² 365.0mm²
Sensor resolution 12 megapixel 14 megapixel
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio 4:3 3:2 and 16:9
Max resolution 4032 x 3024 4592 x 3056
Max native ISO 6400 12800
Minimum native ISO 100 200
RAW format
Autofocusing
Focus manually
Autofocus touch
Autofocus continuous
Single autofocus
Autofocus tracking
Autofocus selectice
Autofocus center weighted
Multi area autofocus
Live view autofocus
Face detect autofocus
Contract detect autofocus
Phase detect autofocus
Number of focus points 11 25
Lens
Lens mount Micro Four Thirds Sony E
Total lenses 107 121
Crop factor 2.1 1.5
Screen
Range of display Fixed Type Tilting
Display sizing 3" 3"
Resolution of display 460k dot 920k dot
Selfie friendly
Liveview
Touch display
Display tech HyperCrystal LCD AR(Anti-Reflective) coating -
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type Electronic (optional) None
Features
Minimum shutter speed 60s 30s
Fastest shutter speed 1/4000s 1/4000s
Continuous shutter speed 3.0fps 7.0fps
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manual exposure
Exposure compensation Yes Yes
Custom white balance
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash range 10.00 m 12.00 m
Flash settings Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Fill-in, Slow Sync, Manual (3 levels) Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, Rear Curtain, Fill-in
Hot shoe
Auto exposure bracketing
White balance bracketing
Fastest flash sync 1/160s 1/160s
Exposure
Multisegment
Average
Spot
Partial
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Supported video resolutions 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps) 1920 x 1080 (60 fps), 1440 x 1080 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Max video resolution 1280x720 1920x1080
Video file format Motion JPEG AVCHD
Microphone input
Headphone input
Connectivity
Wireless None None
Bluetooth
NFC
HDMI
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec) USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS None None
Physical
Environment seal
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
Weight 362g (0.80 pounds) 287g (0.63 pounds)
Physical dimensions 114 x 72 x 42mm (4.5" x 2.8" x 1.7") 111 x 59 x 38mm (4.4" x 2.3" x 1.5")
DXO scores
DXO Overall score 55 69
DXO Color Depth score 21.4 22.2
DXO Dynamic range score 10.2 12.2
DXO Low light score 573 796
Other
Battery life 280 images 330 images
Battery format Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery model BLS-5 NPFW50
Self timer Yes (2 or 12 sec) Yes (2 or 10 sec, 10sec (3 images))
Time lapse feature
Storage media SD/SDHC SD/ SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Pro Duo/ Pro-HG Duo
Storage slots Single Single
Pricing at release $0 $599