Sony NEX-5N vs WX800
The Sony Alpha NEX-5N and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX800 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2011 and October 2018. The NEX-5N is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the WX800 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (NEX-5N) and a 1/2.3-inch (WX800) sensor. The NEX-5N has a resolution of 16 megapixels, whereas the WX800 provides 18 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Sony NEX-5N||Sony WX800|
|Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Sony E mount lenses||24-720mm f/3.5-6.4|
|16 MP, APS-C Sensor||18 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor|
|1080/60i Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO 100-25600||ISO 80-3200 (80-6400)|
|Viewfinder optional||No viewfinder, LCD framing|
|3.0" LCD, 920k dots||3.0" LCD, 922k dots|
|Tilting touchscreen||Tilting touchscreen|
|10 shutter flaps per second||10 shutter flaps per second|
|460 shots per battery charge||370 shots per battery charge|
|111 x 59 x 38 mm, 269 g||102 x 58 x 36 mm, 233 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Alpha NEX-5N and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX800? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Sony NEX-5N and the Sony WX800. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. 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 WX800 is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, white).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony WX800 is notably smaller (10 percent) than the Sony NEX-5N. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the NEX-5N nor the WX800 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the WX800 has a lens built in, whereas the NEX-5N is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the NEX-5N and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the NEX-5N gets 460 shots out of its NP-FW50 battery, while the WX800 can take 370 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The power pack in the WX800 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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»||111 mm||59 mm||38 mm||269 g||460||n||Aug 2011||699||Sony NEX-5N|
|Sony WX800«||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||233 g||370||n||Oct 2018||399||Sony WX800|
|Canon G9 X Mark II« »||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||206 g||235||n||Jan 2017||529||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon M« »||109 mm||66 mm||32 mm||298 g||230||n||Jul 2012||599||Canon M|
|Sony HX99« »||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||449||Sony HX99|
|Sony HX95« »||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||429||Sony HX95|
|Sony HX80« »||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||390||n||Mar 2016||349||Sony HX80|
|Sony HX90V« »||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||360||n||Apr 2015||429||Sony HX90V|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||110 mm||62 mm||35 mm||269 g||480||n||Feb 2013||499||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sony NEX-5T« »||111 mm||59 mm||39 mm||2776 g||330||n||Aug 2013||699||Sony NEX-5T|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||111 mm||59 mm||39 mm||276 g||330||n||Aug 2012||749||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-6« »||120 mm||67 mm||43 mm||345 g||360||n||Sep 2012||999||Sony NEX-6|
|Sony NEX-F3« »||117 mm||67 mm||42 mm||314 g||470||n||May 2012||599||Sony NEX-F3|
|Sony RX100« »||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||240 g||330||n||Jun 2012||649||Sony RX100|
|Sony NEX-C3« »||110 mm||60 mm||33 mm||225 g||400||n||Jun 2011||599||Sony NEX-C3|
|Sony NEX-3« »||117 mm||62 mm||33 mm||297 g||330||n||May 2010||599||Sony NEX-3|
|Sony NEX-5« »||111 mm||59 mm||38 mm||287 g||330||n||May 2010||699||Sony NEX-5|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
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 WX800 was launched at a lower price than the NEX-5N, despite having a lens built in. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. 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.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony NEX-5N features an APS-C sensor and the Sony WX800 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the WX800 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 5.6. The sensor in the NEX-5N has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the WX800 offers a 4:3 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the WX800 offers a higher resolution of 18 megapixels, compared with 16 MP of the NEX-5N. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.25μm versus 4.78μm for the NEX-5N). However, it should be noted that the WX800 is much more recent (by 7 years and 1 month) than the NEX-5N, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the WX800 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The Sony Alpha NEX-5N has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX800 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-6400.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Sony NEX-5N||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||23.6||12.7||1079||77||Sony NEX-5N|
|Sony WX800||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Sony WX800|
|Canon G9 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.9||12.5||522||65||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon M||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.2||827||65||Canon M|
|Sony HX99||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Sony HX99|
|Sony HX95||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Sony HX95|
|Sony HX80||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Sony HX80|
|Sony HX90V||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Sony HX90V|
|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 have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the WX800 provides a better video resolution than the NEX-5N. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the NEX-5N is limited to 1080/60i.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The NEX-5N and the WX800 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. 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 WX800 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Sony NEX-5N||optional||n||3.0||920||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0||n||n||Sony NEX-5N|
|Sony WX800||none||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony WX800|
|Canon G9 X Mark II||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||8.2||Y||Y||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon M||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||4.3||n||n||Canon M|
|Sony HX99||638||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony HX99|
|Sony HX95||638||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony HX95|
|Sony HX80||638||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony HX80|
|Sony HX90V||638||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony HX90V|
|Sony NEX-3N||optional||n||3.0||460||tilting||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sony NEX-5T||optional||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0||n||n||Sony NEX-5T|
|Sony NEX-5R||optional||n||3.0||920||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0||n||n||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-6||2359||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n||Sony NEX-6|
|Sony NEX-F3||optional||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.5||Y||n||Sony NEX-F3|
|Sony RX100||none||n||3.0||1229||fixed||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100|
|Sony NEX-C3||optional||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.5||n||n||Sony NEX-C3|
|Sony NEX-3||optional||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||1/4000s||7.0||n||n||Sony NEX-3|
|Sony NEX-5||optional||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||1/4000s||7.0||n||n||Sony NEX-5|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The WX800 has one, while the NEX-5N does not. While the built-in flash of the WX800 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the NEX-5N and the WX800 write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.
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 Cyber-shot DSC-WX800 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 WX800||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony WX800|
|Canon G9 X Mark II||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon G9 X Mark II|
|Canon M||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon M|
|Sony HX99||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony HX99|
|Sony HX95||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony HX95|
|Sony HX80||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony HX80|
|Sony HX90V||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony HX90V|
|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 NEX-5N has a hotshoe, while the WX800 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
The WX800 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the NEX-5N has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the NEX-5N was succeeded by the Sony NEX-5R. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Sony website.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Sony NEX-5N better than the Sony WX800 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha NEX-5N:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (460 versus 370) on a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2011).
Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX800:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60i).
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the NEX-5N necessitates an extra lens.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the NEX-5N).
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- 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.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 7 years and 1 month of technical progress since the NEX-5N launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the NEX-5N comes out slightly ahead of the WX800 (11 : 10 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony NEX-5N and the Sony WX800 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
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 WX800 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.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1D Mark II N vs Sony WX800
- Canon G7 X Mark II vs Sony NEX-5N
- Canon M50 vs Sony WX800
- Canon T100 vs Sony NEX-5N
- Leica S3 vs Sony WX800
- Nikon D1H vs Sony WX800
- Nikon D3X vs Sony WX800
- Nikon D5100 vs Sony NEX-5N
- Olympus E-M1X vs Sony NEX-5N
- Olympus PEN-F vs Sony NEX-5N
- Panasonic LX10 vs Sony NEX-5N
- Sony A6500 vs Sony WX800
Specifications: Sony NEX-5N vs Sony WX800
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Sony NEX-5N||Sony WX800|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Sony E mount lenses||24-720mm f/3.5-6.4|
|Launch Date||August 2011||October 2018|
|Launch Price||USD 699||USD 399|
|Sensor Specs||Sony NEX-5N||Sony WX800|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.4 x 15.6 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||365.04 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.1 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16 Megapixels||18 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4912 x 3264 pixels||4896 x 3672 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.78 μm||1.25 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.39 MP/cm2||64.04 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-25600 ISO||80-3200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||80-6400 ISO|
|Image Processor||BIONZ||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||77||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.6||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.7||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1079||..|
|Screen Specs||Sony NEX-5N||Sony WX800|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||No viewfinder|
|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|
|Shooting Specs||Sony NEX-5N||Sony WX800|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||10 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||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Sony NEX-5N||Sony WX800|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|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 WX800|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||460 shots per charge||370 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)
102 x 58 x 36 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||269 g (9.5 oz)||233 g (8.2 oz)|
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