Updated (August, 2010): Compare the Nikon D3100 vs Sony Alpha DSLR-A300

Nikon D3000

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Nikon D3000

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Reasons to buy the Nikon D3000

Screen size
Large screen
3.0"
Sensor size
Large sensor
APS-C 23.6x15.8mm
Badge
Phase detection autofocus
fast and accurate
Size
Really small
Prosumer size 126x97x64 mm
 

Reasons to buy the Sony Alpha DSLR-A300

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift
Live view
Has live view
Preview your photos
Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
Sensor size
Large sensor
APS-C 23.6x15.8mm
 
Differences | Recommendations | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D3000

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Autofocus Faster autofocus Phase detection vs Contrast detection
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Catch candid moments easily
Screen size Significantly larger screen 3.0" vs 2.7"
Help
More than 10% larger screen
Lens availability Significantly more lenses available 205 lenses vs 123 lenses
Help
Around 70% more lenses available
Size Much smaller 126x97x64 mm vs 131x99x75 mm
Help
Around 20% smaller
Viewfinder size Larger viewfinder 0.52x vs 0.49x
Help
Around 20% larger viewfinder
Thickness Much thinner 2.5" vs 3"
Help
More than 10% thinner
Low light performance Slightly lower noise at high ISO 563 ISO vs 538 ISO
Help
The D3000 has a slight edge (0.1 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Lowest price Significantly cheaper $367.39 vs $649.95
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The best price we've seen is $283 cheaper (more than 40% less)
Weight Significantly lighter 485 g vs 632 g
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More than 20% lighter
Light sensitivity (boost) Has boost ISO 3,200 ISO vs None
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Allows taking photos in darker situations, often at the cost of additional noise in the image
Nikon D3000 Learn more about
the Nikon D3000

Advantages of the Sony DSLR-A300

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Live view Has live view Yes vs No
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Preview your photos on the camera's screen before taking them
Image stabilization Image stabilization Sensor shift vs None
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Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
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
Dynamic range More dynamic range 11.4 EV vs 11.1 EV
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0.3 f-stops more dynamic range
Overall image quality Slightly better image quality 64.0 vs 62.0
Help
Almost the same
Color depth Better color depth 22.5 bits vs 22.3 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.2 more bits of color
Sony Alpha DSLR-A300 Learn more about
the Sony DSLR-A300
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recommendations

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

Nikon D3000 Nikon D3000 34
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        34 Sony Alpha DSLR-A300 Sony Alpha DSLR-A300
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              similarities

              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              Sensor size Large sensors Help
              APS-C 23.6x15.8mm
              Movie format Do not shoot movies Help
              No movies
              Sensor type Lower-end sensor types Help
              CCD
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Light sensitivity (boost) One has boost ISO Help
              D3000:3,200 ISO
              DSLR-A300:None
              Autofocus No video autofocus Help
              Manual focus only
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              10 MP
              Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
              95%
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              3 fps
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              230k dots
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              D3000:1,600 ISO
              DSLR-A300:3,200 ISO
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              D3000:0.52x
              DSLR-A300:0.49x
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              D3000:11.1 EV
              DSLR-A300:11.4 EV
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              D3000:563 ISO
              DSLR-A300:538 ISO
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              D3000:62.0
              DSLR-A300:64.0

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3100

              Nikon D3100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $275 - $387 body only

              $401 - $427 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is significantly less noisy at high ISO
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is slightly larger
              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $319 - $567 body only

              $389 - $477 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is much less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has much better image quality
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is significantly larger
              Canon Rebel T3

              Canon Rebel T3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $389 - $418 body only

              $399 - $539 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Movie format Records lower quality movies
              Thickness Is thicker
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS

              Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS

              Entry-level DSLR

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Startup delay Has slightly less startup delay
              Sensor size Has a much smaller sensor
              Screen size Has a significantly smaller screen
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $439 - $547 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is much less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has much better image quality
              Thickness Is thicker
              Size Is significantly larger
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 - $550 body only

              $549 - $575 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi

              Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi

              Entry-level DSLR

              $1,000 body only

              $1,600 with 17-85mm lens

              Shutter lag Has slightly less shutter lag
              Sensor type Has a CMOS-family sensor
              Lowest price Is much more expensive
              Weight Is slightly heavier

              Nikon D3000 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D5000

              Nikon D5000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $761 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO
              Screen size Significantly smaller screen
              Size Much larger
              Nikon D80

              Nikon D80

              Entry-level DSLR

              $975 body only

              $595 with 18-55mm lens

              Viewfinder size Significantly larger viewfinder
              Built-in focus motor Has a built-in focus motor
              Screen size Much smaller screen
              Size Much larger
              Nikon D60

              Nikon D60

              Entry-level DSLR

              $999 with 18-55mm lens

              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Screen size Much smaller screen
              Focus points Fewer focus points

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A300 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony SLT A58

              Sony SLT A58

              Entry-level DSLR

              $448 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Autofocus Video autofocus
              Viewfinder Has a digital viewfinder
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              Sony Alpha DSLR-A100

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A100

              Entry-level DSLR

              Viewfinder size Larger viewfinder
              Size Smaller
              Live view No live view
              Screen size Significantly smaller screen
              Sony Alpha DSLR-A350

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A350

              Entry-level DSLR

              $950 with 75-300mm lens

              True resolution Higher true resolution
              Low light performance Slightly lower noise at high ISO
              Continuous shooting Shoots slower
              Lowest price Significantly more expensive
              Sony Alpha ILC-3000

              Sony Alpha ILC-3000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Low light performance Much lower noise at high ISO
              Viewfinder Has a digital viewfinder
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out

              appearance

              Nikon D3000 Sony Alpha DSLR-A300
              Nikon D3000 Sony Alpha DSLR-A300
              Nikon D3000 Sony Alpha DSLR-A300

              discussion

              Nikon D3000
              D3000
              Nikon

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              Sony Alpha DSLR-A300
              Alpha DSLR-A300
              Sony

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