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Anyone used both the NEX 3c and 5n? Thinking about one or the other


TalkEmount Top Veteran
Aug 7, 2011
I had a NEX 3, but I sold it for lack of lenses, and I also really dislike the shutter sound (a personal quirk, I know). Finally, the IQ just wasn't so "wow"

But the new Sony sensor seems even better, with it's better micro lenses, so I thought I'd try NEX again. I really want a 7, but there's completely no way I can afford that. I'll have to wait until it 6-12 months, for it to drop beneath $1,000 at least.

But in the meantime, I'm thinking of trying either a 3c or a 5.

I've read the tech specs, but what are the real, practical differences between the two?

having owned an m43 camera with clip-on EVF, I decided I don't like them (hence the desire for the 7), so we can therefore discount that.

The 5 seems to have 100 ISO, faster burst rate (though a smaller buffer???) and 1080p60fps movies (not sure if I care about that, to be honest). Not sure I care about faster burst (10fps vs. 5.5), so that leaves 100 ISO, which is helpful. It also has that half electronic shutter option for quiter shutter release. I've been trying to find a video of that, but with no luck.

I was wondering if anyone here has handled both, and has anything else to input on them? Or, if you've witnessed both shutters, I'd love feedback on the sound differences, especially if you have a video of the 5n shutter going (in "quiet" mode).

The last thing to add is -- it seems the 3C can be had for under $400 (body only, used). Given this is not intended to be a long term camera, I'm wondering if maybe economically speaking, that might be the way to go. But I might actually want the 18-55, for when I get tired of MF, or for when my wife wants to use it...

C Wadsworth

TalkEmount Regular
Aug 31, 2011
I concur with bosker. I had every intention of upgrading my original NEX-3 to the 3C but after handling it in the store I went with the 5N. My biggest problem with the 3C was the size - they made it too damn small. Activating the jog wheel or the MF assist button now takes some thumb contorting, which I did not have to do on the 3.

And certainly the 5N shutter is worlds better. With the 3C you have two mechanical noises - 1. Shutter opening 2. Shutter closing - thus that signature NEX "chu, chunk" noise. On the 5N, you have an electronic 1st curtain shutter for most modes so you halve the duration of the noise. The volume also seems a bit more dampened.


TalkEmount Regular
Aug 16, 2011
It's Nex-C3 not Nex-3C which is an old model number meant for the Chinese market

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