Updated (February, 2013): Compare the Nikon D3200 vs Sony SLT A58

Sony SLT A57

Winner
Sony SLT A57

65

vs

Nikon D3100

54

Nikon D3100

Runner-up
     
 

Reasons to buy the Sony SLT A57

Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 60fps
Dynamic range
Wide dynamic range
13 EV
Screen resolution
High resolution screen
921k dots
Viewfinder size
Large viewfinder
0.72x
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3100

Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 24fps
Startup delay
Almost no delay when powering up
400 ms startup delay
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
Size
Really small
Prosumer size 124x96x73 mm
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D3100

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Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO 919 ISO vs 785 ISO
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The D3100 has a slight edge (0.2 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Viewfinder Has an optical viewfinder Pentamirror vs Digital
Help
Optical viewfinders save battery life and are more detailed
Lens availability Significantly more lenses available 205 lenses vs 123 lenses
Help
Around 70% more lenses available
Size Significantly smaller 124x96x73 mm vs 132x98x81 mm
Help
Around 20% smaller
Lowest price Much cheaper $249.00 vs $860.92
Help
The best price we've seen is $612 cheaper (3.5x less)
Thickness Significantly thinner 2.9" vs 3.2"
Help
Around 10% thinner
Weight Lighter 505 g vs 618 g
Help
Around 20% lighter
Nikon D3100 Learn more about
the Nikon D3100

Advantages of the Sony SLT A57

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Movie format Lower frame rate movies 1080p @ 60fps vs 1080p @ 24fps
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Both shoot Full HD (1080p) video, but D3100 does so at a lower frame rate
Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen 921k dots vs 230k dots
Help
More than 4x higher resolution screen
Dynamic range More dynamic range 13 EV vs 11.3 EV
Help
1.7 f-stops more dynamic range
Continuous shooting Shoots much faster 12 fps vs 3 fps
Help
4x faster continuous shooting
Viewfinder size Much larger viewfinder 0.72x vs 0.51x
Help
Around 2x larger viewfinder
Overall image quality Better image quality 75.0 vs 67.0
Help
More than 10% better image quality
Image stabilization Image stabilization Sensor shift vs None
Help
Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
3D Takes 3D photos Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
HDR Has in-camera HDR Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
External mic jack Has an external mic jack Yes vs No
Help
Record high quality audio with an external microphone
Autofocus Faster video autofocus Phase detection vs Contrast detection
Help
Shoot videos without worrying about focus
Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera Yes vs No
Help
Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
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
Color depth Better color depth 23.4 bits vs 22.5 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.9 more bits of color
Viewfinder coverage Significantly better viewfinder coverage 100% vs 95%
Help
Around 10% better viewfinder coverage
Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity 16,000 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The SLT A57's maximum light sensitivity is 2.3 f-stops better
Sensor size Larger sensor APS-C 23.5x15.6mm vs APS-C 23.1x15.4mm
Help
Almost the same
True resolution Higher true resolution 16 MP vs 14.2 MP
Help
Capture more than 10% more detail in your photos
Light sensitivity (boost) Better boost ISO 25,600 ISO vs 12,800 ISO
Help
The SLT A57's boost ISO is 1 f-stop better
Cross type focus points More cross-type focus points 3 vs 1
Help
Grab focus in difficult situations
Focus points More focus points 15 vs 11
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Sony SLT A57 Learn more about
the Sony SLT A57
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
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        65 Sony SLT A57 Sony SLT A57
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              similarities

              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths Common Weaknesses
              Movie continuous focus Focus continuously recording movies Help
              Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              D3100:14.2 MP
              SLT A57:16 MP
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              D3100:1
              SLT A57:3
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $329 - $567 body only

              $477 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
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $352 - $449 body only

              $500 - $797 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
              Size Is slightly larger
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 - $774 body only

              $200 - $729 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Thickness Is thicker
              Weight Is slightly heavier
              Sony SLT A58

              Sony SLT A58

              Entry-level DSLR

              $448 - $469 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Battery life Has a slightly longer battery life
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $597 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 significantly more expensive
              Startup delay Has much more startup delay
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $597 body only

              $500 - $697 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
              Sony Alpha ILC-3000

              Sony Alpha ILC-3000

              Mirrorless interchangeable-lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Movie continuous focus Doesn't focus continuously while recording movies

              Nikon D3100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon Rebel T3

              Canon Rebel T3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $290 - $370 body only

              $399 - $499 with 18-55mm lens

              Battery life Longer battery life
              Viewfinder size Larger viewfinder
              Movie format Lower resolution movies
              Screen size Significantly smaller screen
              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $599 - $681 body only

              $499 - $823 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

              $689 - $929 body only

              $940 with 18-105mm lens

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

              Sony SLT A57 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony SLT-A65

              Sony SLT A65

              Entry-level DSLR

              $798 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Much higher true resolution
              GPS Has a GPS
              Low light performance Slightly more noise at high ISO
              Continuous shooting Shoots slower
              Sony SLT-A55

              Sony SLT-A55

              Entry-level DSLR

              $699 body only

              $799 with 18-55mm lens

              GPS Has a GPS
              Low light performance Slightly lower noise at high ISO
              Movie format Higher frame rate movies
              Supports 24p No 24p support
              Sony SLT-A77

              Sony SLT A77

              Pro DSLR

              $1,398 with 16-50mm lens

              True resolution Much higher true resolution
              Weather sealed Weather sealed
              Size Significantly larger
              Lowest price More expensive

              appearance

              Nikon D3100 Sony SLT A57
              Nikon D3100 Sony SLT A57
              Nikon D3100

              discussion

              Nikon D3100
              D3100
              Nikon

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              Sony SLT A57
              SLT A57
              Sony

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