Sony's NEX-5, Samsung's NX10 and Panasonic's Lumix G2 tested and compared.
Consumer electronics giants are changing the way we photograph. Panasonic, Samsung, and now Sony are packing a slew of new features, from touchscreen focus control to 3D panorama shooting, into small cameras that have large sensors and trim lenses you can swap out. Indeed, among the traditional camera makers, only Olympus with its Micro Four Thirds Pen line has participated so far in the rise of interchangeable lens compact (ILC) cameras.
And the newcomers have opened up a new area of competition: sensor size. Sony, with its recently-released NEX-3 and NEX-5, and Samsung, with its NX10, use bigger APS-C-format sensors to compete with the pioneering Micro Four Thirds system.
We pitted three of the newest ILCs—ony’s Alpha NEX-5 ($700, street, with 18–55mm f/3.5–5.6 lens; $650 with 16mm f/2.8 lens), Samsung’s NX10 ($700, street, with 18–55mm f/3.5–5.6 lens), and Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-G2 ($800, with 14–42mm f/3.5–5.6 lens)—against each other in the Popular Photography Test Lab and out in the field. To determine the best of the bunch, we evaluated them based on image quality, ease of use, control and capability, and total system flexibility. What we found may surprise you.