Sony NEX-F3 vs NEX-5T
The Sony Alpha NEX-F3 and the Sony Alpha NEX-5T are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in May 2012 and August 2013. Both the NEX-F3 and the NEX-5T are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 16 megapixels. 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-F3||Sony NEX-5T|
|Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Sony E mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|16 MP, APS-C Sensor||16 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/60i Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-16000||ISO 100-25600|
|Viewfinder optional||Viewfinder optional|
|3.0" LCD, 920k dots||3.0" LCD, 922k dots|
|Tilting screen (no touchscreen)||Tilting touchscreen|
|5.5 shutter flaps per second||10 shutter flaps per second|
|470 shots per battery charge||330 shots per battery charge|
|117 x 67 x 42 mm, 314 g||111 x 59 x 39 mm, 2776 g|
Body comparison: Sony NEX-F3 vs NEX-5T
The physical size and weight of the Sony NEX-F3 and the Sony NEX-5T 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-F3 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, white), while the NEX-5T is available in two color-versions (black, silver).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony NEX-5T is notably smaller (16 percent) than the Sony NEX-F3. However, the NEX-5T is substantially heavier (784 percent) than the NEX-F3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the NEX-F3 nor the NEX-5T 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 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-F3»||4.6 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||11.1 oz||470||n||May 2012||599||-||Sony NEX-F3|
|Sony NEX-5T«||4.4 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||97.9 oz||330||n||Aug 2013||699||-||Sony NEX-5T|
|Sony A5100« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||10.0 oz||400||n||Aug 2014||549||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.8 in||12.1 oz||360||n||Feb 2014||599||-||Sony A6000|
|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-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-5N« »||4.4 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.5 oz||460||n||Aug 2011||699||-||Sony NEX-5N|
|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 NEX-F3 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 14 percent) than the NEX-5T, 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-F3 vs NEX-5T
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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 16 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the NEX-F3 and the NEX-5T have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the NEX-5T is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 3 months) than the NEX-F3, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time.
The Sony Alpha NEX-F3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 16000 The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha NEX-5T are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the NEX-5T has a markedly higher DXO score than the NEX-F3 (overall score 5 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.9 bits higher color depth, 0.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.1 stops of reduced low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Sony NEX-F3»||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||22.7||12.3||1114||73||Sony NEX-F3|
|Sony NEX-5T«||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60p||23.6||13.0||1015||78||Sony NEX-5T|
|Sony A5100« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.8||12.7||1347||80||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||13.1||1347||82||Sony A6000|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||22.8||12.5||1067||74||Sony NEX-3N|
|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-5N« »||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||23.6||12.7||1079||77||Sony NEX-5N|
|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 NEX-5T provides a faster frame rate than the NEX-F3. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the NEX-F3 is limited to 1080/60i.
Feature comparison: Sony NEX-F3 vs NEX-5T
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The NEX-F3 and the NEX-5T 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. However, optional viewfinders – the FDA-EV1S for the NEX-F3 and the FDA-EV1S for the NEX-5T – are available as accessories. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Sony NEX-F3, the Sony NEX-5T, and comparable cameras.
|Sony NEX-F3»||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.5||Y||n||Sony NEX-F3|
|Sony NEX-5T«||-||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0||n||n||Sony NEX-5T|
|Sony A5100« »||-||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000« »||1440||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n||Sony A6000|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||-||n||3.0||460||tilting||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||-||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-5N« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0||n||n||Sony NEX-5N|
|Sony NEX-C3« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.5||n||n||Sony NEX-C3|
|Sony NEX-3« »||-||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||1/4000s||7.0||n||n||Sony NEX-3|
|Sony NEX-5« »||-||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 NEX-F3 has one, while the NEX-5T does not. While the built-in flash of the NEX-F3 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-F3 and the NEX-5T write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.
Connectivity comparison: Sony NEX-F3 vs NEX-5T
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-F3 and Sony Alpha NEX-5T and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Sony NEX-F3»||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-F3|
|Sony NEX-5T«||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony NEX-5T|
|Sony A5100« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A6000|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-3N|
|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-5N« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-5N|
|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-5T offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the NEX-F3 does not offer wifi capability.
Both the NEX-F3 and the NEX-5T have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The NEX-5T was replaced by the Sony A5100, while the NEX-F3 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras, as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Sony website.
Review summary: Sony NEX-F3 vs NEX-5T
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Sony NEX-F3 or the Sony NEX-5T – has the upper hand? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha NEX-F3:
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 2462g or 89 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (470 versus 330) on a single battery charge.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (14 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in May 2012).
Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha NEX-5T:
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (5 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.7 EV of extra DR).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (111x59mm vs 117x67mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- 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 modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 3 months) more recently.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the NEX-5T is the clear winner of the contest (9 : 5 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.
Do the specifications of the Sony NEX-F3 and the Sony NEX-5T place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing.In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the NEX-F3 or the NEX-5T. 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-F3 vs NEX-5T
This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Sony NEX-F3»||-||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2012||599||-||Sony NEX-F3|
|Sony NEX-5T«||-||-||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Aug 2013||699||-||Sony NEX-5T|
|Sony A5100« »||+||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549||Sony A5100|
|Sony A6000« »||+||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599||-||Sony A6000|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||-||-||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||499||-||Sony NEX-3N|
|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-5N« »||++||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||699||-||Sony NEX-5N|
|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.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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 make your choice using the following search menu. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
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Specifications: Sony NEX-F3 vs Sony NEX-5T
|Camera Model||Sony NEX-F3||Sony NEX-5T|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Sony E mount lenses||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||May 2012||August 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 599||USD 699|
|Sensor Specs||Sony NEX-F3||Sony NEX-5T|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.4 x 15.6 mm||23.4 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||365.04 mm2||365.04 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.1 mm||28.1 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16 Megapixels||16 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4912 x 3264 pixels||4912 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.78 μm||4.78 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.39 MP/cm2||4.39 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-16000 ISO||100-25600 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||73||78|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.7||23.6|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.3||13.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1114||1015|
|Screen Specs||Sony NEX-F3||Sony NEX-5T|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Viewfinder optional|
|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||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Sony NEX-F3||Sony NEX-5T|
|Autofocus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||No Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000/s||1/4000/s|
|Continuous Shooting||5.5 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board 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-F3||Sony NEX-5T|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Sony NEX-F3||Sony NEX-5T|
|Battery Type||NP-FW50 power pack||NP-FW50 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||470 shots per charge||330 shots per charge|
117 x 67 x 42 mm
(4.6 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
111 x 59 x 39 mm
(4.4 x 2.3 x 1.5 in)
|Camera Weight||314 g (11.1 oz)||2776 g (97.9 oz)|
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