Updated (August 2012): Compare the Nikon D800 vs Sony SLT-A99

Nikon D800 vs Sony SLT-A99

Winner
Nikon D800

89

Sony SLT-A99

79

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Nikon D800

Low noise at high ISO
Low light performance
2,853 ISO
Great image quality
Overall image quality
95.0
Large screen
Screen size
3.2"
High true resolution
True resolution
36.2 MP
 

Reasons to buy the Sony SLT-A99

Screen resolution
High resolution screen
1,229k dots
Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
Light sensitivity
High ISO
25,600 ISO
Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies

Items often bought with the Nikon D800 or Sony SLT-A99

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D800.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Sony SLT-A99.

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D800

Report a correction
Low light performance
Significantly lower noise at high ISO
2,853 ISO vs 1,555 ISO
Help
The D800 has a slight edge (0.9 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Viewfinder
Has an optical viewfinder
Pentaprism vs Digital
Help
Optical viewfinders save battery life and are more detailed
Screen size
Significantly larger screen
3.2" vs 3"
Help
Around 10% larger screen
Overall image quality
Better image quality
95.0 vs 89.0
Help
Around 10% better image quality
Focus points
Significantly more focus points
51 vs 19
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
True resolution
Significantly higher true resolution
36.2 MP vs 24 MP
Help
Capture more than 50% more detail in your photos
Startup delay
Less startup delay
200 ms vs 700 ms
Help
3.5x less delay when turning on
Lens availability
More lenses available
171 lenses vs 126 lenses
Help
Around 40% more lenses available
Battery life
Longer battery life
900 shots vs 500 shots
Help
80% more shots per battery charge
Built-in focus motor
Has a built-in focus motor
Yes vs No
Help
Autofocuses with all autofocus lenses
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
14.4 EV vs 14 EV
Help
Almost the same
Color depth
Better color depth
25.3 bits vs 25 bits
Help
Almost the same
Cross type focus points
Slightly more cross-type focus points
15 vs 11
Help
Grab focus in difficult situations
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
Yes vs No
Help
A built-in flash is useful for taking indoor shots where there is little light
Nikon D800 Learn more about
the Nikon D800

Advantages of the Sony SLT-A99

Report a correction
Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
vs None
Help
Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
Screen resolution
Significantly higher resolution screen
1,229k dots vs 921k dots
Help
More than 30% higher resolution screen
Panorama
Can create panoramas in-camera
Yes vs No
Help
Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
Autofocus
Faster video autofocus
Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Shoot videos without worrying about focus
Screen flips out
Has a flip-out screen
Yes vs No
Help
Flip-out screens can be helpful when composing tricky shots or taking movies
GPS
Has a GPS
Yes vs No
Help
Automatically geotags your photos when traveling
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
25,600 ISO vs 6,400 ISO
Help
The SLT-A99's maximum light sensitivity is 4 f-stops better
Shutter lag
Significantly less shutter lag
127 ms vs 209 ms
Help
Around 40% less delay when taking photos
Continuous shooting
Shoots faster
6 fps vs 4 fps
Help
50% faster continuous shooting
Size
Smaller
147×111×78 mm vs 146×123×82 mm
Help
More than 10% smaller
Viewfinder size
Slightly larger viewfinder
0.71x vs 0.70x
Help
Almost the same
Weight
Lighter
812 g vs 1,000 g
Help
Around 20% lighter
Thickness
Thinner
3.1" vs 3.2"
Help
Almost the same
Lowest price
Slightly cheaper
$1,998.00 vs $2,285.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $287 cheaper (more than 10% less)
Sony SLT-A99 Learn more about
the Sony SLT-A99
vs

recommendations

Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent pro DSLRs, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D800 Nikon D800 89
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save
        vs
        79 Sony SLT-A99 Sony SLT-A99
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Overall image quality Good image quality Help
              D80095.0
              SLT-A9989.0
              Color depth Good color depth Help
              D80025.3 bits
              SLT-A9925 bits
              Dynamic range Good dynamic range Help
              D80014.4 EV
              SLT-A9914 EV
              Viewfinder size Above average viewfinder size Help
              D8000.70x
              SLT-A990.71x
              Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
              Shoot in extreme weather
              Movie continuous focus Focus continuously recording movies Help
              Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
              Storage slots Multiple storage slots Help
              2
              Viewfinder coverage Above average viewfinder coverage Help
              100%
              Fastest shutter speed Fast max shutter speeds Help
              1/8000 of a second
              Common Weaknesses
              Weight Heavy Help
              D8001,000 g
              SLT-A99812 g
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons

              Compared to recent pro DSLRs

              Common Strengths

              Snapsort is not aware of any interesting strengths shared by these two products.

              Common Weaknesses
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              D80015
              SLT-A9911
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              D8004 fps
              SLT-A996 fps

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D750

              Nikon D750

              Pro DSLR

              $1,585 - $1,997 body only

              $2,125 - $2,697 with 24-120mm lens

              Battery life Has a slightly longer battery life
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Nikon D810

              Nikon D810

              Pro DSLR

              $2,419 - $2,997 body only

              $3,696 - $3,697 with 24-120mm lens

              Battery life Has a slightly longer battery life
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is slightly larger
              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Pro DSLR

              $2,240 - $2,499 body only

              $2,800 - $3,099 with 24-105mm lens

              Cross type focus points Has significantly more cross-type focus points
              Light sensitivity (boost) Slightly higher boost light sensitivity
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Startup delay Has slightly more startup delay
              Nikon D610

              Nikon D610

              Pro DSLR

              $1,174 - $1,497 body only

              $1,649 - $1,997 with 24-85mm lens

              Lowest price Is slightly less expensive
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D7200

              Nikon D7200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $979 - $1,197 body only

              $1,235 - $1,497 with 18-140mm lens

              Lens availability Significantly more lenses available
              Light sensitivity (boost) Slightly higher boost light sensitivity
              Movie continuous focus Doesn't focus continuously while recording movies
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Canon EOS 6D

              Canon EOS 6D

              Pro DSLR

              $1,269 - $1,399 body only

              $1,799 with 24-105mm lens

              Light sensitivity (boost) Slightly higher boost light sensitivity
              Lowest price Is slightly less expensive
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Storage slots Has fewer storage slots
              Sony A7

              Sony A7

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $1,198 - $1,698 body only

              $1,498 with 28-70mm lens

              Focus points Has much more focus points
              Cross type focus points Has slightly more cross-type focus points
              Storage slots Has fewer storage slots
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag

              Nikon D800 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              No significant competitors found that are specific to the Nikon D800.

              Sony SLT-A99 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony SLT A77 II

              Sony SLT A77 II

              Pro DSLR

              $885 - $998 body only

              $1,598 with 16-50mm lens

              Continuous shooting Shoots much faster
              Focus points Many more focus points
              Low light performance More noise at high ISO
              Overall image quality Worse image quality
              Sony SLT-A77

              Sony SLT A77

              Pro DSLR

              $1,099 body only

              $1,499 with 18-135mm lens

              3D Takes 3D photos
              Continuous shooting Shoots much faster
              Startup delay Much more startup delay
              Low light performance More noise at high ISO

              appearance

              Nikon D800 Sony SLT-A99
              Nikon D800 Sony SLT-A99
              Nikon D800 Sony SLT-A99

              discussion

              Nikon D800
              D800
              Nikon

              Report a correction
              Sony SLT-A99
              SLT-A99
              Sony

              Report a correction

              Showing 3 comments

              G Zundel (3:14 PM, July 28, 2014)
              I would like to respond, I have been shooting full manual mode with 2 Sony a99's for some time, they are everything the good reviews claim. I just got a Nikon d800 and I think I woke up in a foreign country. I think the D810 is significantly more capable, but so far incredibly difficult especially in regard to the so called live view - with Sony you see exactly what the image will look like as you make adjustments, and with Nikon you have no idea what is happening till after you take the shot and review the image. I switched to Nikon on the advice of a photographer who thought I needed to step up my game, right now I have abandoned my plan to sell off my Sony's until I learn this new "language" and maybe never.
              You can't go wrong with the Sony A99 and Ziess lenses, it is an easy to learn system and gives you incredible images.
               
              Avatar for Peter D. Marsay Peter D. Marsay (8:59 PM, March 18, 2014)
              Why Ronny? I'm considering buying one, leaning towards the D800 currently. Thanks
               
              Ronny (6:26 PM, January 02, 2014)
              not agree wth the comparison... i feel A99 better then d800... as i work on both cams...