Panasonic G5 or Sony NEX 5N… Which One Should I Get?

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MC Contributor Will Crockett ( answers a reader question posed by Ajay from the U.K., who’s looking to get his first mirrorless camera system and has it narrowed down to 2 excellent choices… The Panasonic G5 and the Sony NEX 5N.

Will Writes: A reader over in the UK, Ajay, sent in an email to ask about which camera to buy as his first mirrorless. He wanted to know my take on choosing the Sony NEX5N or the Lumix G5, or another one he was not aware of. Both are terrific cameras, but different. Depending on what you plan to shoot with it, the choice may be clear as presented in this reply…

Editor’s Note: As a guy who’s coming from a video first perspective, I have to say that I agree with about 97% of what Will says in this video.

Both great cameras…  Check.

Better (and more) Lenses with micro 4/3…  Check.

The Sony is better for video…  Well…  Maybe.

Hear me out – As a video shooter, one of the first cameras I looked at was the NEX 5N, because as Will states, those Sony chips are AWESOME and they DO pop out some stunning quality video (slight edge over the Panny in that regard), BUT…  Unfortunately, those great sensors packed into those little bodies have been plagued with overheating issues in video mode.  Translation – you’re shooting video without a care in the world when all of a sudden, you start getting sensor overheating warnings, and before you know it, the camera shuts completely down until the sensor cools.  This can typically happen anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes, depending on the ambient temperature conditions.

For most people this won’t be an issue, because most people will shoot short 2 to 5 minute clips at a time and if that’s you, then the Sony is a great option.  But if you’re planning on using the camera as a camcorder to capture Christmas Mornings, Birthday Parties, Wedding Ceremonies or other events that require more than say, 10 minutes of continuous shooting, then definitely go for the Panasonic G5.

Also know that the Sony has an artificial 29 minute continuous video recording limit (if you get that far before it overheats).  In other words, you can only shoot 29 minutes and change of continuous video before you have to stop and then restart your recording session.  Since Ajay (the person who asked the original question)  lives in the U.K., this won’t make a difference, because Panasonic Cameras have the same artificial limit within the Euro Zone.  But for those of you who live outside of the EU, you can shoot with the G5 until – A.  the memory card is filled, or B.  Your battery dies…  so again, if you want to shoot stuff that’s longer than 29 minutes, advantage – Panasonic G5.

Conclusion:  I’m 100% with Will on this one.  It’s worth it to spend the extra money and get the G5, which should be a better all around system over time. — SG

Check out the Panasonic G5 and the Sony NEX 5N below:


Mike Cho says:

Good point!! My NEX5N does that too. Now I have a G5 for video .

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