Sony NEX-5N vs A6000
The Sony Alpha NEX-5N and the Sony Alpha A6000 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2011 and February 2014. Both the NEX-5N and the A6000 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The NEX-5N has a resolution of 16 megapixels, whereas the A6000 provides 24 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Sony NEX-5N||Sony A6000|
|Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Sony E mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|16 MP, APS-C Sensor||24 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/60i Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-25600||ISO 100-25600 (100-51200)|
|Viewfinder optional||Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 920k dots||3.0" LCD, 922k dots|
|Tilting touchscreen||Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|10 shutter flaps per second||11 shutter flaps per second|
|460 shots per battery charge||360 shots per battery charge|
|111 x 59 x 38 mm, 269 g||120 x 67 x 45 mm, 344 g|
Body comparison: Sony NEX-5N vs A6000
The physical size and weight of the Sony NEX-5N and the Sony A6000 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The NEX-5N can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the A6000 is available in three color-versions (black, silver, white).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A6000 is notably larger (23 percent) than the Sony NEX-5N. Moreover, the A6000 is markedly heavier (28 percent) than the NEX-5N. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the NEX-5N nor the A6000 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.
The power pack in the A6000 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Sony NEX-5N»||4.4 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.5 oz||460||n||Aug 2011||699||-||Sony NEX-5N|
|Sony A6000«||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.8 in||12.1 oz||360||n||Feb 2014||599||-||Sony A6000|
|Canon M« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||10.5 oz||230||n||Jul 2012||599||-||Canon M|
|Sony A6300« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.9 in||14.3 oz||400||Y||Feb 2016||999||-||Sony A6300|
|Sony A5000« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||9.5 oz||420||n||Jan 2014||449||-||Sony A5000|
|Sony A5100« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||10.0 oz||400||n||Aug 2014||549||Sony A5100|
|Sony A3000« »||5.0 in||3.6 in||3.3 in||14.5 oz||470||n||Aug 2013||329||-||Sony A3000|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||4.3 in||2.4 in||1.4 in||9.5 oz||480||n||Feb 2013||499||-||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sony NEX-5T« »||4.4 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||97.9 oz||330||n||Aug 2013||699||-||Sony NEX-5T|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||4.4 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.7 oz||330||n||Aug 2012||749||-||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-6« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||12.2 oz||360||n||Sep 2012||999||-||Sony NEX-6|
|Sony NEX-F3« »||4.6 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||11.1 oz||470||n||May 2012||599||-||Sony NEX-F3|
|Sony RX100« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.5 oz||330||n||Jun 2012||649||-||Sony RX100|
|Sony NEX-C3« »||4.3 in||2.4 in||1.3 in||7.9 oz||400||n||Jun 2011||599||-||Sony NEX-C3|
|Sony NEX-3« »||4.6 in||2.4 in||1.3 in||10.5 oz||330||n||May 2010||599||-||Sony NEX-3|
|Sony NEX-5« »||4.4 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||10.1 oz||330||n||May 2010||699||-||Sony NEX-5|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The A6000 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 14 percent) than the NEX-5N, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison: Sony NEX-5N vs A6000
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the A6000 is 1 percent bigger. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 24MP, the A6000 offers a higher resolution than the NEX-5N (16MP), but the A6000 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 4.78μm for the NEX-5N). Yet, the A6000 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 5 months) than the NEX-5N, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The A6000 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during video recording.
The Sony Alpha NEX-5N has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600 The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A6000 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200..
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the A6000 has a markedly higher DXO score than the NEX-5N (overall score 5 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.5 bits higher color depth, 0.4 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.3 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Sony NEX-5N»||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||23.6||12.7||1079||77||Sony NEX-5N|
|Sony A6000«||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||13.1||1347||82||Sony A6000|
|Canon M« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.2||827||65||Canon M|
|Sony A6300« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.4||13.7||1437||85||Sony A6300|
|Sony A5000« »||APS-C||19.8||5456||3632||1080/60i||23.8||13.0||1089||79||Sony A5000|
|Sony A5100« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.8||12.7||1347||80||Sony A5100|
|Sony A3000« »||APS-C||19.8||5456||3632||1080/60i||23.7||12.8||1068||78||Sony A3000|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||22.8||12.5||1067||74||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sony NEX-5T« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60p||23.6||13.0||1015||78||Sony NEX-5T|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||23.7||13.1||910||78||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-6« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||23.7||13.1||1018||78||Sony NEX-6|
|Sony NEX-F3« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||22.7||12.3||1114||73||Sony NEX-F3|
|Sony RX100« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.6||12.4||390||66||Sony RX100|
|Sony NEX-C3« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||720/30p||22.7||12.2||1083||73||Sony NEX-C3|
|Sony NEX-3« »||APS-C||14.0||4592||3056||720/30p||22.1||12.0||830||68||Sony NEX-3|
|Sony NEX-5« »||APS-C||14.0||4592||3056||1080/60i||22.2||12.2||796||69||Sony NEX-5|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the A6000 provides a faster frame rate than the NEX-5N. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the NEX-5N is limited to 1080/60i.
Feature comparison: Sony NEX-5N vs A6000
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the A6000 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the NEX-5N relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the NEX-5N can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the FDA-EV1S. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony NEX-5N and Sony A6000 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Sony NEX-5N»||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||Y||4000||10.0||n||n||Sony NEX-5N|
|Sony A6000«||1440||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||4000||11.0||Y||n||Sony A6000|
|Canon M« »||-||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||4000||4.3||n||n||Canon M|
|Sony A6300« »||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||4000||11.0||Y||n||Sony A6300|
|Sony A5000« »||-||n||3.0||461||tilting||n||4000||3.5||Y||n||Sony A5000|
|Sony A5100« »||-||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||4000||6.0||Y||n||Sony A5100|
|Sony A3000« »||202||n||3.0||230||fixed||n||4000||2.5||Y||n||Sony A3000|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||-||n||3.0||460||tilting||n||4000||4.0||Y||n||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sony NEX-5T« »||-||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||4000||10.0||n||n||Sony NEX-5T|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||Y||4000||10.0||n||n||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-6« »||2359||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||4000||10.0||Y||n||Sony NEX-6|
|Sony NEX-F3« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||4000||5.5||Y||n||Sony NEX-F3|
|Sony RX100« »||-||n||3.0||1229||fixed||n||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100|
|Sony NEX-C3« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||4000||5.5||n||n||Sony NEX-C3|
|Sony NEX-3« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||4000||7.0||n||n||Sony NEX-3|
|Sony NEX-5« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||4000||7.0||n||n||Sony NEX-5|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The NEX-5N has a touchscreen, while the A6000 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The NEX-5N has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the A6000 does not have a selfie-screen.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the NEX-5N and the A6000 write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The A6000 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while NEX-5N cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
Connectivity comparison: Sony NEX-5N vs A6000
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Sony Alpha NEX-5N and Sony Alpha A6000 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Sony NEX-5N»||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-5N|
|Sony A6000«||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A6000|
|Canon M« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon M|
|Sony A6300« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A6300|
|Sony A5000« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A5000|
|Sony A5100« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A5100|
|Sony A3000« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony A3000|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sony NEX-5T« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony NEX-5T|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-6« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Sony NEX-6|
|Sony NEX-F3« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-F3|
|Sony RX100« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Sony RX100|
|Sony NEX-C3« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-C3|
|Sony NEX-3« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-3|
|Sony NEX-5« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-5|
It is notable that the A6000 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the NEX-5N does not offer wifi capability.
Both the NEX-5N and the A6000 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The NEX-5N was replaced by the Sony NEX-5R, while the A6000 was followed by the Sony A6300.
Review summary: Sony NEX-5N vs A6000
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Sony NEX-5N better than the Sony A6000 or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Sony Alpha NEX-5N:
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- More compact: Is smaller (111x59mm vs 120x67mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 75g or 22 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (460 versus 360) on a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2011).
Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A6000:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 16MP), which boosts linear resolution by 22%.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (5 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
- Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (14 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 5 months of technical progress since the NEX-5N launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A6000 is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 6 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the NEX-5N or the A6000 perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
Expert reviews: Sony NEX-5N vs A6000
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Sony NEX-5N»||++||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||699||-||Sony NEX-5N|
|Sony A6000«||+||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599||-||Sony A6000|
|Canon M« »||+||-||4/5||3.5/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599||-||Canon M|
|Sony A6300« »||+||85/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2016||999||-||Sony A6300|
|Sony A5000« »||+||-||4.5/5||o||4.5/5||Jan 2014||449||-||Sony A5000|
|Sony A5100« »||+||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549||Sony A5100|
|Sony A3000« »||+||-||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2013||329||-||Sony A3000|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||-||-||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||499||-||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sony NEX-5T« »||-||-||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Aug 2013||699||-||Sony NEX-5T|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||-||-||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Aug 2012||749||-||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-6« »||++||78/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||999||-||Sony NEX-6|
|Sony NEX-F3« »||-||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2012||599||-||Sony NEX-F3|
|Sony RX100« »||++||78/100||4/5||5/5||5/5||Jun 2012||649||-||Sony RX100|
|Sony NEX-C3« »||++||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2011||599||-||Sony NEX-C3|
|Sony NEX-3« »||-||70/100||4.5/5||5/5||4/5||May 2010||599||-||Sony NEX-3|
|Sony NEX-5« »||++||71/100||4.5/5||4/5||4/5||May 2010||699||-||Sony NEX-5|
|Notes: ++) highly recommended; +) recommended; o) reviewed; -) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 100D vs Canon 1D X Mark II
- Canon 50D vs Panasonic FZ2500
- Canon G3 X vs Kodak S-1
- Canon M3 vs Fujifilm X-T10
- Canon T7i vs Sony HX400V
- Leica CL vs Fujifilm X-A2
- Nikon A1000 vs Nikon D5300
- Nikon D3300 vs Panasonic GX9
- Nikon D7000 vs Olympus E-M5
- Nikon D7200 vs Panasonic TS7
- Olympus E-M1 II vs Leica T
- Panasonic GX800 vs Olympus E-PL5
Specifications: Sony NEX-5N vs Sony A6000
|Camera Model||Sony NEX-5N||Sony A6000|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Sony E mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2011||February 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 699||USD 599|
|Sensor Specs||Sony NEX-5N||Sony A6000|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.4 x 15.6 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||365.04 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.1 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4912 x 3264 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.78 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.39 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-25600 ISO||100-25600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100-51200 ISO|
|Image Processor||BIONZ||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||77||82|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.6||24.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.7||13.1|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1079||1347|
|Screen Specs||Sony NEX-5N||Sony A6000|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||920k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Sony NEX-5N||Sony A6000|
|Autofocus System||Contrast-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||11 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||MS or SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Sony NEX-5N||Sony A6000|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Sony NEX-5N||Sony A6000|
|Battery Type||NP-FW50 power pack||NP-FW50 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||460 shots per charge||360 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
111 x 59 x 38 mm
(4.4 x 2.3 x 1.5 in)
120 x 67 x 45 mm
(4.7 x 2.6 x 1.8 in)
|Camera Weight||269 g (9.5 oz)||344 g (12.1 oz)|
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