Updated (April 2012): Compare the Nikon D3200 vs Sony SLT-A37

Sony SLT A35 vs Nikon D3100

Winner
Sony SLT A35

61

Nikon D3100

54

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Sony SLT A35

Full HD
Movie format
1080p @ 30fps
Great color depth
Color depth
23.3 bits
Wide dynamic range
Dynamic range
12.7 EV
High resolution screen
Screen resolution
921k dots
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3100

Supports 24p
24p movies
For that film look
Badge
Autofocuses shooting video
Contrast detection
Size
Really small
Prosumer size (124×97×74 mm)
Sensor cleaning
Self cleaning sensor
Avoids dust in your photos

galleries

Explore our gallery of 49 sample photos taken by the Nikon D3100.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Sony SLT A35.

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D3100

Report a correction
Supports 24p
Supports 24p
Yes vs No
Help
Get that real film feel
Viewfinder
Has an optical viewfinder
Pentamirror vs Digital
Help
Optical viewfinders save battery life and are more detailed
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
919 ISO vs 763 ISO
Help
The D3100 has a slight edge (0.3 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Lens availability
Significantly more lenses available
205 lenses vs 123 lenses
Help
Around 70% more lenses available
Startup delay
Less startup delay
400 ms vs 900 ms
Help
2.2x less delay when turning on
Thickness
Much thinner
2.9" vs 3.3"
Help
More than 10% thinner
Battery life
Longer battery life
550 shots vs 420 shots
Help
More than 30% more shots per battery charge
Size
Smaller
124×97×74 mm vs 124×92×85 mm
Help
Around 10% smaller
Lowest price
Significantly cheaper
$274.95 vs $549.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $274 cheaper (around 50% less)
Nikon D3100 Learn more about
the Nikon D3100

Advantages of the Sony SLT A35

Report a correction
Screen resolution
Much higher resolution screen
921k dots vs 230k dots
Help
More than 4x higher resolution screen
3D
Takes 3D photos
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
12.7 EV vs 11.3 EV
Help
1.7 f-stops more dynamic range
Autofocus
Faster video autofocus
Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Shoot videos without worrying about focus
Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
vs None
Help
Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
Overall image quality
Better image quality
74.0 vs 67.0
Help
More than 10% better image quality
HDR
Has in-camera HDR
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Panorama
Can create panoramas in-camera
Yes vs No
Help
Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
External mic jack
Has an external mic jack
Yes vs No
Help
Record high quality audio with an external microphone
Continuous shooting
Shoots significantly faster
5.5 fps vs 3 fps
Help
More than 80% faster continuous shooting
Color depth
Better color depth
23.3 bits vs 22.5 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.8 more bits of color
Movie format
Higher frame rate movies
1080p @ 30fps vs 1080p @ 24fps
Help
Both shoot Full HD (1080p) video, but D3100 does so at a lower frame rate
Shutter lag
Less shutter lag
223 ms vs 279 ms
Help
More than 20% less delay when taking photos
True resolution
Higher true resolution
16 MP vs 14.2 MP
Help
Capture more than 10% more detail in your photos
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
12,800 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The SLT A35's maximum light sensitivity is 4 f-stops better
Cross type focus points
Slightly more cross-type focus points
3 vs 1
Help
Grab focus in difficult situations
Focus points
Slightly more focus points
15 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Light sensitivity (boost)
Better boost ISO
25,600 ISO vs 12,800 ISO
Help
The SLT A35's boost ISO is 2 f-stops better
Weight
Lighter
415 g vs 505 g
Help
Around 20% lighter
Sony SLT A35 Learn more about
the Sony SLT A35
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D3100 Nikon D3100 54
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save
        vs
        61 Sony SLT A35 Sony SLT A35
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Movie continuous focus Focus continuously recording movies Help
              Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
              Common Weaknesses
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              D310014.2 MP
              SLT A3516 MP
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              D31001
              SLT A353
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              D31003,200 ISO
              SLT A3512,800 ISO
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Movie format Full HD (1080p) video Help
              D31001080p @ 24fps
              SLT A351080p @ 30fps
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              D3100919 ISO
              SLT A35763 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $300 - $547 body only

              $379 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Canon Rebel T3

              Canon Rebel T3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $325 body only

              $399 with 18-55mm lens

              Battery life Has a slightly longer battery life
              Thickness Is thicker
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $368 body only

              $479 - $640 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is significantly heavier
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $479 body only

              $566 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $677 body only

              $430 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is significantly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS Rebel T2i

              Canon Rebel T2i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $700 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Nikon D3000

              Nikon D3000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $629 with 18-55mm lens

              Size Is slightly smaller
              Thickness Is thinner
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Sensor type Has a CCD-family sensor

              Nikon D3100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $389 body only

              $360 - $400 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Higher resolution screen
              True resolution Higher true resolution
              Low light performance More noise at high ISO
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $694 body only

              $999 with 55-300mm lens

              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Movie format Lower resolution movies
              Autofocus Lacks video autofocus

              Sony SLT A35 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony SLT A58

              Sony SLT A58

              Entry-level DSLR

              $330 body only

              $430 - $448 with 18-55mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Continuous shooting Shoots significantly faster
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Screen size Much smaller screen
              Sony SLT-A37

              Sony SLT-A37

              Entry-level DSLR

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Screen flips out Has a flip-out screen
              Screen resolution Much lower resolution screen
              Screen size Much smaller screen
              Sony SLT-A55

              Sony SLT-A55

              Entry-level DSLR

              Continuous shooting Shoots much faster
              Screen flips out Has a flip-out screen
              Color depth Worse color depth
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              Sony SLT-A33

              Sony SLT-A33

              Entry-level DSLR

              Screen flips out Has a flip-out screen
              Continuous shooting Shoots faster
              Low light performance More noise at high ISO
              Overall image quality Worse image quality
              Sony Alpha A5000

              Sony Alpha A5000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              $289 body only

              $400 - $498 with 16-50mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
              Viewfinder No viewfinder
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos

              appearance

              Nikon D3100 Sony SLT A35
              Nikon D3100 Sony SLT A35
              Nikon D3100 Sony SLT A35

              discussion

              Nikon D3100
              D3100
              Nikon

              Report a correction
              Sony SLT A35
              SLT A35
              Sony

              Report a correction

              Showing 11 comments

              mimi (8:03 AM, October 04, 2012)
              i suggest you go for the sony a35. it's MUCH better than nikon d3100.
               
              mimi (8:02 AM, October 04, 2012)
              very true
               
              Wise_entity (7:49 PM, January 28, 2012)
              non sense comparison a typical Nikon fanatic site.
               
              Avatar for Omega Omega (7:59 PM, December 08, 2011)
              the A35 has shortest shutter lag .05 seconds! You can control shutter speed, aperture, iso in manual mode! and EV compensation , metering , auto exposure lock in programmed mode! a35 is a no brainer 
               
              Avatar for Omega Omega (7:59 PM, December 08, 2011)
              the A35 has shortest shutter lag .05 seconds! You can control shutter speed, aperture, iso in manual mode! and EV compensation , metering , auto exposure lock in programmed mode! a35 is a no brainer 
               
              RachW (5:35 PM, December 07, 2011)
              Have you got the Sony yet? I am leaning towards that one out of it and the D3100 but people say Nikon is a more trusted brand - what do you think?
               
              luvmyboys (5:27 PM, December 04, 2011)
              Playing with both cameras and doing TONS of research I am going with the Sony. 
               
              RachelW (2:51 PM, November 27, 2011)
              Interesting - am torn between these two for my christmas present, the A35 seems to come off better here but can anyone else personally recommend either one? Would like to be able to change the shutter speed to get some blurred "movement" shots but mainly for the photo to be taken as soon as I press the button :)
               
              Blue__monday (11:13 PM, November 26, 2011)
              Both great cameras, but the Sony a35 win :)
               
              AndrewG (7:40 PM, November 22, 2011)
              Scoring doesn't seem right here; in all the important aspects for a camera, i.e. features allowing you to take good pictures, the Sony wins; how then is the Nikon a better camera? No one looks at a photo and says wow, so that was taken by a Nikon/Sony, they look at it and say wow that's a good photo!  
               
              prashans (9:17 PM, November 08, 2011)
              I am confuse between these 2 DSLR cameras there are more functons in SONY SLT A35  then D3100 and D3100 i think its more famous. My concern is the image quality and the stablility  in long run ... can anyone suggest which one should i go for  ?