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, Sony Alpha A7 belongs to a Pro Mirrorless category, the other model, Sony Alpha A7 is a Semi-Pro DSLR camera. Sony Alpha A7 is equipped with a 24.0 MP CMOS sensor, while Nikon D500 comes with a 21.0 MP CMOS sensor.
Both cameras we are going to look at in our overview fall into two different categories - MirrorLess and DSLR. 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 Sony Alpha A7 and Nikon D500 and, after this, we can go on to our detailed comparison of these models.
Sony Alpha A7 Key Features:
Nikon D500 Key Features:
|Sensor Resolution||24.0 MP vs 21.0 MP||12.5% more pixels|
|Sensor Area||855.62 mm2 vs 368.95 mm2||56.9% larger pixel area|
|Weight||474 g vs 860 g||386 g lighter|
|Dxo Color Depth||24.8 vs 24||Better color depth|
|Dxo Dynamic Range||14.2 vs 14||Better dynamic range|
|Dxo Low Light Iso||2248 vs 1324||Better High ISO performance|
|Viewfinder Magnification||0.71 vs 0.66||0.05 better magnification|
|Bluetooth||Yes vs No||Connect your camera to other devices via Bluetooth|
|Storage Slots||2 vs 1||Extra storage slot|
|Continuous Shooting||10 fps vs 5 fps||5 fps faster|
|Number Of Focus Points||153 vs 117||36 more focus points|
|Number Of Cross Focus Points||99 vs 25||74 more cross focus points|
|Screen Size||3.2″ vs 3″||0.2" larger screen|
|Screen Resolution||2,359k dots vs 1,230k dots||47.9% higher resolution screen|
|Touch Screen||Yes vs No||Easy control of camera functions|
|Battery Life||1240 shots vs 340 shots||900 more frames with a single charge|
|Max Video Resolution||3840 x 2160 vs 1920 x 1080||Higher Resolution Video|
|Screen Size||3″ | 3.2″||Large display|
|Screen Resolution||1,230k dots | 2,359k dots||High resolution screen|
|Screen Type||Tilting | Tilting||Help viewing and changing settings easily|
|Viewfinder||Electronic | Optical (pentaprism)||Better framing and control|
|Raw Support||Yes | Yes||Better image quality|
|AutoFocus Face Detection||Yes | Yes||Very handy for portraits|
|Microphone Port||Yes | Yes||High quality audio recording option|
|Headphone Port||Yes | Yes||Better video control|
|Bracketing||Yes | Yes||Useful for tough lighting conditions and HDR|
|Flash Sync Port||Yes | Yes||Port for Flash Sync|
|Environmental Sealing||Yes | Yes||Shoot at tough conditions|
|Built-In Flash||No | No||No built-in flash|
|Image Stabilization||No | No||No image stabilization|
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 Sony Alpha A7 and Nikon D500 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, Sony Alpha A7 is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 386g less than the Nikon D500. 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 Sony Alpha A7 and Nikon D500 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. Sony Alpha A7 features a 24.0 MP Full frame sized CMOS sensor and boasts of a Bionz X processor . Nikon D500, in its turn, comes with a 21.0 MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.
Take a look below to find the comparison of Sony Alpha A7 and Nikon D500 by the size of their sensors.
One more distinctive feature of compared models is the sensor size. Sony Alpha A7 has a sensor area 0.4x bigger compared to Nikon D500. What does it mean? This basically means that if you these cameras them with the same aperture and focal length, the first model will give you more control in terms of the blurry background and depth of field.
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 Sony Alpha A7 and Nikon D500 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||Sony Alpha A7||Nikon D500|
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, Sony Alpha A7 or Nikon D500, 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 Sony Alpha A7 and Nikon D500 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 deserves a higher Total Score than the Nikon D500. 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:
|Sony Alpha A7||Nikon D500|
|Announced||Jan 22, 2014||Jan 05, 2016|
|Body Type||SLR-style mirrorless||Mid-size SLR|
|Sensor Size||Full frame||APS-C|
|Sensor Dimensions||35.8 x 23.9 mm||23.5 x 15.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||855.62 mm2||368.95 mm2|
|Sensor Resolution||24.0 MP||21.0 MP|
|Max Image Resolution||6000 x 4000||5568 x 3712|
|Max Native ISO||25,600||51,200|
|Max Boosted ISO||n/a||1,640,000|
|Min Native ISO||100||100|
|Lens Mount||Sony E||Nikon F|
|Number of Lenses||83||287|
|Focal Length Multiplier||1x||1.5x|
|Macro Focus Range|
|AF Multi Area|
|AF Live View|
|AF Face Detection|
|AF Contrast Detection|
|AF Phase Detection|
|Number of Focus Points||117||153|
|Number of Cross Focus Points||25||99|
|Screen Resolution||1,230k dots||2,359k dots|
|ViewFinder Resolution||2,359k dots||0k dots|
|Min Shutter Speed||30 s||30 s|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/8000 s||1/8000 s|
|Continuous Shooting||5.0 fps||10.0 fps|
|Manual Exposure Mode|
|Custom White Balance|
|Flash Modes||no built-in flash||Auto, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear curtain|
|DxO Sensor Scores|
|DxO Sensor Score||90||83|
|DxO Color Depth||24.8||24.0|
|DxO Dynamic Range||14.2||14.0|
|DxO Low Light ISO||2248||1324|
|Video Resolutions||1920 x 1080 (60p, 60i, 24p), 1440 x 1080 (30p), 640 x 480 (30p)||4K (UHD) 30p/25p/24p, 1080/60p/50p/30p/25p/24p, 720/60p/50p|
|Max Video Resolution||1920 x 1080||3840 x 2160|
|Video Formats||MPEG-4, AVCHD||MPEG-4, H.264|
|USB||USB 2.0||USB 3.0|
|Weight||474 g||860 g|
|Physical Dimensions||127 x 94 x 48 mm||147 x 115 x 81 mm|
|Battery Life||340 shots||1240 shots|
|Battery Type||Battery Pack||Battery Pack|
|Storage Type||SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo||XQD/SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II compliant)|