Mirrorless Camera Size Comparison: NEX5, NX10, E-P2, E-PL1, GF1, G2

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Amin Sabet, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    Thanks to B&H Photo, I have several mirrorless cameras on hand for comparison and thought it may be helpful to present some size comparisons. Feel free to embed these images on other sites, but please do not remove the watermark.

    If you're reading this on the blog main page with resized images, click here to view this post with all images at full size.

    We'll start with the standard zoom lenses:

    Above (left to right): Olympus mZD 14-42mm lens (kit zoom for Olympus Micro 4/3 cameras, shown collapsed), Sony NEX 18-55mm lens (kit zoom for Sony NEX cameras), Panasonic 14-45mm lens (kit zoom for Panasonic G1 and GF1), Panasonic 14-42mm lens (kit zoom for Panasonic G2 and G10), Samsung NX 18-55 (kit zoom for Samsung NX10)

    The same lenses en face:


    Now to take a look at three of the available "pancake lenses":

    Above (left to right): Sony NEX 16mm f/2.8, Samsung 30mm f/2, Panasonic 20mm f/1.7.

    Unfortunately, I didn't have the diminuitive Olympus 17mm f/2.8 on hand.

    Above (left to right): Panasonic GF1 with Lumix 20mm f/1.7, Samsung NX10 with Samsung 30mm f/2, Sony NEX5 with Sony 16mm f/2.8

    Above (left to right): Olympus E-P2 with Lumix 20mm f/1.7, Samsung NX10 with Samsun 30mm f/2, Panasonic G2 with Lumix 20mm f/1.7

    Above (left to right): Panasonic GF1 with Lumix 20mm f/1.7, Sony NEX5 with Sony 16mm f/2.8, Olympus E-PL1 with Panasonic 20mm f/1.7

    Above (left to right): Panasonic GF1 with Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, Sony NEX5 with Sony 16mm f/2.8, Olympus E-PL1 with Panasonic 20mm f/1.7

    Above (left to right): Olympus E-PL1 with Olympus mZD 14-42 (collapsed), Sony NEX5 with Sony 18-55, Panasonic GF1 with Panasonic 14-42 (Sorry, wrong kit lens pictured; should have been the 14-45, which is slightly smaller as shown in the first image in this post)

    Above (left to right): Samsung NX10 with Samsung 30mm f/2, Panasonic G2 with Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, Sony NEX5 with Sony 16mm f/2.8

    Above (left to right): Samsung NX10 with Samsung 18-55, Panasonic G2 with Panasonic 14-42, Olympus E-P2 with 14-42 (shown collapsed)

    Above (left to right): Panasonic GF1 with Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, Samsung NX10 with Samsung 30mm f/2, Panasonic G2 with Panasonic 20mm f/1.7

    Above (left to right): Panasonic GF1 with Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, Sony NEX5 with Sony 16mm f/2.8, Olympus E-PL1 with Panasonic 20mm f/1.7

    Here is the NEX5 compared with two fixed-lens, small sensor cameras:

    Above (left to right): Samsung EX1/TL500, Sony NEX5 with Sony 16mm f/2.8, Panasonic LX3

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    If you find these comparisons helpful, please click the following link to visit B&H for your next camera, lens, or accessory purchase: B&H Photo-Video. Your purchases made after clicking that link give B&H a reason to continue to provide gear for testing here at Serious Compacts.

    Direct links to check pricing and availability at B&H:

    • Like Like x 13
  2. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    I showed all lenses in storage position (shortest length, collapsed when applicable) with front caps on since this is what matters to me when carrying cameras. I regret that due to time constraints, I cannot take requests to show additional views, eg lens fully extended, view from the left, etc.
  3. Remko

    Remko SC Rookie

    Aug 8, 2010
    Interesting to see that the sensor size doesn't seem to influence the kit zoom lens size. Wasn't that one of the advantages of (micro) 4/3?

  4. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    Sony chose an even shorter registration distance than Micro 4/3. This may have been a smart move, even if it makes it hard to deliver high image quality at the edges/corners of the frame, since sensor technology improvements will mitigate those issues over time, while the lens mount specifications are here to stay.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Björn Utpott

    Björn Utpott SC Rookie

    Jul 17, 2010
    Seeing them together like this, the NEX-5 really stands out. Sony accomplished an impressive feat of engineering in accommodating both an APS-C sensor and an articulated screen is such a compact and attractive design. While this miniaturization does compromise edge quality wide open, at least with the current lenses, this phenomenon seems to be confined to the extreme edges. So I might consider shooting in 16:9 if I need to shoot wide open, which has the added advantage of the preview filling the 16:9 LCD screen. The NEX-5 provides some very stiff competition for Panasonic. I'm looking forward to seeing their answer in the next few weeks.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Herman

    Herman The Image Stimulator

    Jul 11, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Real Name:
    Great article, thanks Amin. I like size of NEX. This is "hot" news, SC is on 43rumors !
    • Like Like x 1
  7. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    Once you get one, please post a comparison of the Oly 14-150 with the upcoming NEX superzoom!
    • Like Like x 1
  8. JoepLX3

    JoepLX3 SC Regular

    Jul 11, 2010
    Very helpful overview pictures for many of us - thanks
    - I thought the Lumix lens caps on the Olympus camera's were funny...
    - It also looks like the Sony cannot "stand" straight with "thick" lens attached

    (I know it are Panasonic lenses, but still)
  9. madmaxmedia

    madmaxmedia SC Veteran

    Nov 10, 2010
    Los Angeles
    It shouldn't actually impact image quality with any given lens design though, since a Sony E lens could just have a slightly longer barrel than the equivalent lens on another mount, right? Of course in the real world, you have different companies making totally different lenses. But I think having the shorter registration distance can only help by giving more options. Now if a company tries to use the shortest barrel length possible and sacrifice IQ a bit, the balance of IQ/size is up to them. Or maybe some company is able to make short Sony E pancake without sacrificing IQ, with more expensive elements.

    • Like Like x 1
  10. Vidar

    Vidar SC Veteran

    Oct 25, 2010
    Bergen, Norway
    Real Name:
    Interesting Amin, good work!

    (Damn, that NEX sure is one ugly camera).
    • Like Like x 1
  11. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    You know, I agree that the Nex is "one ugly camera" but it must have inner beauty, Vidar, because we have have a bunch of folks pretty smitten with it.
  12. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    Real Name:
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Eye of the beholder and all that. In use, its one serious babe!

    • Like Like x 2
  13. madmaxmedia

    madmaxmedia SC Veteran

    Nov 10, 2010
    Los Angeles
    To me the NEX is not so much ugly, as it was designed with a totally different aesthetic. I love the E-P1, it was designed with vintage camera styling in mind. When I first picked up a NEX, it looked not so much like a high-end camera (which it very much is), and more like a high-end consumer electronics product. Kind of like high end camcorders, which have a similar aesthetic.

    So it was never ugly to me, just not my personal preference. At the end of the day though, the practicalities of the NEX won me over- big sensor, compact size, tilt screen, nice handgrip, etc. And the interface is just as usable to me now with the current firmware.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Why last generation cameras?

    Nice post but it would be great if you included the current GF2, E-PL2, LX5 and XZ-1 rather than the last generation GF1 (much larger than the GF2), E-PL1 (simply not an attractive design) and LX3.
  15. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    My mistake!

    Apologies, just checked the date of the original post and didn't realize it was 8 months back. I assumed it was current having used a link in an article in 4/3's Rumors.
  16. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    What about Samsung?

    You didn't include the Samsung NX100. It would have been interesting, as it is very small in size, even smaller than the NEX (with the lens on).
  17. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
  18. wolfie

    wolfie SC Veteran

    Sep 19, 2010
    APS sensor -> lens will always be bigger...

    Yes, but ... the Samsung has the smallest zoom range as well.

    The image also shows how just beacuse you can make an APS body smaller you are actually going to exagerrate/exacerbate the lens to body imbalance, especially with a zoom, in comparison to M43. Simply physics.
  19. pictor

    pictor SC All-Pro

    Jul 14, 2010
    The NEX may be ugly, but has a great sensor. The E-PL1, which is my main camera at the moment, is ugly, too, but does not have such a great sensor. To be honest, I am happy with the image quality of my E-PL1 at base ISO and I can live with ISO 400 quite well, but I would love better ISO 800 or even ISO 1600. I don't shoot at night, but when I use a telephoto lens and need short shutter speeds, I miss better image quality at high ISO. Maybe the GH2 would be fine, but since it is virtually impossible to get spare batteries, this is no option.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Lili

    Lili SC Hall of Famer

    Oct 17, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    Real Name:
    Interesting post. I hadn't realized how small was the NX10 esp for APS-C with in-built EVF.