Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!
In this review, we are going to make a detailed comparison of two cameras that fall into different categories. While the first model we are looking at, Nikon D3100 belongs to a Entry-Level DSLR category, the other model, Nikon D3100 is a Pro Mirrorless camera. Both models feature different types of sensors. Thus, Nikon D3100 comes with CMOS sensor that has a resolution of 14.0 MP resolution, while our second compared model Sony Alpha A7 III features a 24.0 MP BSI-CMOS sensor.
Both cameras we are going to look at in our overview fall into two different categories - DSLR and MirrorLess. Keeping in mind all the distinctive features of each category, it will be hard to make a detailed comparison of these two models. However, we will do our best to make this review as unbiased and detailed as possible.
To get started, let’s take a look at some of the key features of Nikon D3100 and Sony Alpha A7 III and, after this, we can go on to our detailed comparison of these models.
Nikon D3100 Key Features:
Sony Alpha A7 III Key Features:
|Built-In Flash||Yes vs No||All the lenses are stabilized|
|Flash Range||12 vs No||12 better flash range|
|Weight||505 g vs 650 g||145 g lighter|
|NFC||Yes vs No||Easy wireless connectivity with compatible devices|
|Bluetooth||Yes vs No||Connect your camera to other devices via Bluetooth|
|Timelapse Recording||No vs No||Creative shooting|
|Storage Slots||2 vs 1||Extra storage slot|
|Sensor Resolution||24.0 MP vs 14.0 MP||41.7% more pixels|
|Sensor Area||852.04 mm2 vs 355.74 mm2||58.2% larger pixel area|
|Image Stabilization||Yes vs No||All lenses are stabilized|
|Continuous Shooting||10 fps vs 3 fps||7 fps faster|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/8000 vs 1/4000||Faster shutter speed|
|Number Of Focus Points||693 vs 11||682 more focus points|
|Screen Resolution||922k dots vs 230k dots||75.1% higher resolution screen|
|Touch Screen||Yes vs No||Easy control of camera functions|
|Battery Life||610 shots vs 550 shots||60 more frames with a single charge|
|Environmental Sealing||Yes vs No||Shoot at tough conditions|
|Max Video Resolution||3840 x 2160 vs 1920 x 1080||Higher Resolution Video|
|Microphone Port||Yes vs No||High quality audio recording option|
|Headphone Port||Yes vs No||Has headphone port|
|Dxo Color Depth||25 vs 22.5||Better color depth|
|Dxo Dynamic Range||14.7 vs 11.3||Better dynamic range|
|Dxo Low Light Iso||3730 vs 919||Better High ISO performance|
|Viewfinder Magnification||0.78 vs 0.53||0.25 better magnification|
|Screen Size||3″ | 3″||Large display|
|Viewfinder||Optical (pentamirror) | Electronic||Better framing and control|
|Raw Support||Yes | Yes||Better image quality|
|AutoFocus Face Detection||Yes | Yes||Very handy for portraits|
|Flash Sync Port||Yes | Yes||Port for Flash Sync|
|Battery Life||550 shots | 610 shots||Big number of frames with a single charge|
|Screen Resolution||230k dots | 922k dots||Small screen resolution|
|Timelapse Recording||No | Yes||No timelapse recording|
Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Nikon D3100 and Sony Alpha A7 III from the front view.
Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.
After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.
Speaking of weight, Nikon D3100 is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 145g less than the Sony Alpha A7 III. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.
Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.
Are Nikon D3100 and Sony Alpha A7 III any different in terms of sensor type?
In fact, that's exactly what makes these two models really different. Thus, it is a good point to consider if your are choosing between these two cameras. Nikon D3100 features a 14.0 MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor . Sony Alpha A7 III, in its turn, comes with a 24.0 MP Full frame sized BSI-CMOS sensor and Bionz X processor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.
Take a look below to find the comparison of Nikon D3100 and Sony Alpha A7 III by the size of their sensors.
One more distinctive feature of compared models is the sensor size. Sony Alpha A7 III is equipped with a sensor that is 0.4x larger than the one featured in Nikon D3100. Compared to the cameras with smaller sensor area, the ones with larger sensors ensure more control on the blurry background and depth of field if you shoot in the same aperture and focal length. Thus, the first model has a significant advantage here.
If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.
This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Nikon D3100 and Sony Alpha A7 III in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.
|Photography Type||Nikon D3100||Sony Alpha A7 III|
Disadvantages:No Significant Disadvantages
Disadvantages:No Significant Disadvantages
Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Nikon D3100 or Sony Alpha A7 III, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.
What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Nikon D3100 and Sony Alpha A7 III here is what we can say in conclusion:
According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Sony Alpha A7 III deserves a higher Total Score than the Nikon D3100. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.
For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:
|Nikon D3100||Sony Alpha A7 III|
|Model||D3100||Alpha A7 III|
|Announced||Dec 21, 2010||Feb 27, 2018|
|Body Type||Compact SLR||SLR-style mirrorless|
|Sensor Size||APS-C||Full frame|
|Sensor Dimensions||23.1 x 15.4 mm||35.8 x 23.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||355.74 mm2||852.04 mm2|
|Sensor Resolution||14.0 MP||24.0 MP|
|Max Image Resolution||4608 x 3072||6000 x 4000|
|Max Native ISO||3,200||51,200|
|Max Boosted ISO||12,800||204,800|
|Min Native ISO||100||100|
|Lens Mount||Nikon F||Sony E|
|Number of Lenses||287||83|
|Focal Length Multiplier||1.5x||1x|
|Macro Focus Range|
|AF Multi Area|
|AF Live View|
|AF Face Detection|
|AF Contrast Detection|
|AF Phase Detection|
|Number of Focus Points||11||693|
|Number of Cross Focus Points||1||n/a|
|Screen Type||Fixed Type||Tilting|
|Screen Resolution||230k dots||922k dots|
|ViewFinder Resolution||0k dots||2,359k dots|
|Min Shutter Speed||30 s||30 s|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/4000 s||1/8000 s|
|Continuous Shooting||3.0 fps||10.0 fps|
|Manual Exposure Mode|
|Custom White Balance|
|Flash Modes||Auto, Red-Eye, Slow, Red-Eye Slow, Rear curtain||no built-in flash|
|DxO Sensor Scores|
|DxO Sensor Score||67||96|
|DxO Color Depth||22.5||25.0|
|DxO Dynamic Range||11.3||14.7|
|DxO Low Light ISO||919||3730|
|Video Resolutions||1920 x 1080 (24 fps), 1280 x 720 (30, 25, 24 fps), 640 x 424 (24 fps)||3840 x 2160 (30p, 24p) 1920 x 1080 (120p, 60p, 60i, 24p), 1440 x 1080 (30p), 640 x 480 (30p)|
|Max Video Resolution||1920 x 1080||3840 x 2160|
|Video Formats||MPEG-4||MPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S, H.264|
|USB||USB 2.0||USB 1|
|Weight||505 g||650 g|
|Physical Dimensions||124 x 96 x 75 mm||127 x 96 x 74 mm|
|Battery Life||550 shots||610 shots|
|Battery Type||Battery Pack||Battery Pack|
|Storage Type||SD/SDHC/SDXC||SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo|