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Sony NEX-5N and NEX-C3 - Same Sensor or Different?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Amin Sabet, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Aug 6, 2011
    Apparently Sony is claiming that the 16MP sensors in the new NEX-5N and NEX-C3 cameras are two distinct sensors. Of note, the NEX-5N has an ISO range of 100 - 25,600 and Auto ISO up to 3200, while the NEX-C3 has an ISO range of 200 - 12,800 and Auto ISO up to 1600.

    I set out to test this issue further by processing some of the Imaging-Resource RAW files using Raw Photo Processor (Mac only, latest beta version) and found that the NEX-C3 and NEX-5N files are very similar but not the same. They are nearly identical at most ISO values but differ a bit at the highest ISOs. Here are some representative 100% crops at ISO 6,400 and 12,800:

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    As you can see, there is a tiny bit more noise in the NEX-C3 files at very high ISO values. There may be a tiny bit more detail there as well, and I wonder if the only difference is some subtle on-chip smoothing in the NEX-5N files. Regardless, the differences seen here are too minor to be of any practical consequence to me.
  2. Ross

    Ross TalkEmount Regular

    Aug 22, 2011
    At ISO 12800, NEX-5N is much cleaner or less noise.
  3. Sean Fangda Wang

    Sean Fangda Wang New to TalkEmount

    Sep 19, 2011
    so 5n's only major strength over C3 is its shutter release lag?
  4. Armanius

    Armanius TalkEmount Regular

    Aug 8, 2011
    Houston Texas USA
    Decided to test a 5n. Arrives tomorrow and hoping that the IQ is as good as the IR sample shots indicate.
  5. C Wadsworth

    C Wadsworth TalkEmount Regular

    Aug 31, 2011
    and shutter sound/duration, and ability to use the new EVF, and the improved grip/handling, and improved video resolution.
  6. macjim

    macjim TalkEmount Regular

    Aug 10, 2011
    I'd guess it's the same sensor but to differentiate the cheaper c3 from the dearer 5n, Sony restricted what the c3's sensor could do. It would be nice for the user, but nuts for Sony, to have made each camera have the same resolving power as there would be little to persuade buyers to go for the 5n if that was the case, remember both cameras are using the same lenses too. You'll find all camera manufacturers do the same to encourage buyers to go for the better cameras. that's how they make the money! ;-)

    Cheers, Macjim.
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