Updated (March, 2012): Compare the Nikon D3200 vs Sony Alpha DSLR-A390

Nikon D3100 vs Sony Alpha DSLR-A390

Winner
Nikon D3100

54

Sony Alpha DSLR-A390

41

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3100

Full HD
Movie format
1080p @ 24fps
Large screen
Screen size
3.0"
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
Autofocuses shooting video
Badge
Contrast detection
 

Reasons to buy the Sony Alpha DSLR-A390

Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift
Screen flips out
Flip-out screen
Great for movies
Shutter lag
Barely any delay taking photos
198 ms shutter lag
Storage slots
More storage slots
2

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D3100. Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Sony Alpha DSLR-A390.

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D3100

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Movie format
Shoots movies
1080p @ 24fps vs None
Help
Shoots Full HD (1080p) video as well as still pictures
Low light performance
Significantly lower noise at high ISO
919 ISO vs 607 ISO
Help
The D3100 has a slight edge (0.6 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Screen size
Much larger screen
3.0" vs 2.7"
Help
More than 10% larger screen
Autofocus
Video autofocus
Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses shooting video
Lens availability
Significantly more lenses available
205 lenses vs 123 lenses
Help
Around 70% more lenses available
Sensor type
Has a CMOS-family sensor
CMOS vs CCD
Help
CMOS-family sensors often produce better quality images
Size
Significantly smaller
124x96x73 mm vs 128x97x86 mm
Help
Around 20% smaller
Viewfinder size
Larger viewfinder
0.51x vs 0.48x
Help
More than 10% larger viewfinder
Thickness
Much thinner
2.9" vs 3.4"
Help
More than 10% thinner
Lowest price
Much cheaper
$226.86 vs $755.39
Help
The best price we've seen is $529 cheaper (3.3x less)
Light sensitivity (boost)
Has boost ISO
12,800 ISO vs None
Help
Allows taking photos in darker situations, often at the cost of additional noise in the image
Overall image quality
Slightly better image quality
67.0 vs 66.0
Help
Almost the same
Continuous shooting
Shoots faster
3 fps vs 2.5 fps
Help
20% faster continuous shooting
Battery life
Slightly longer battery life
550 shots vs 500 shots
Help
10% more shots per battery charge
Focus points
Slightly more focus points
11 vs 9
Help
Set focus accurately within the frame
Weight
Lighter
505 g vs 549 g
Help
Around 10% lighter
Nikon D3100 Learn more about
the Nikon D3100

Advantages of the Sony DSLR-A390

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Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift vs None
Help
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
Shutter lag
Significantly less shutter lag
198 ms vs 279 ms
Help
Around 30% less delay when taking photos
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
11.5 EV vs 11.3 EV
Help
0.2 f-stops more dynamic range
Storage slots
Has more storage slots
2 vs 1
Help
More slots allows storing more images without switching memory cards
Sony Alpha DSLR-A390 Learn more about
the Sony DSLR-A390
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
        41 Sony Alpha DSLR-A390 Sony Alpha DSLR-A390
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent entry-level DSLRs

              Common Strengths

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

              Common Weaknesses
              Fastest shutter speed Slow max shutter speed Help
              1/4000 of a second
              Light sensitivity (boost) One has boost ISO Help
              D310012,800 ISO
              DSLR-A390None
              HDR Neither has in-camera HDR Help
              You could do HDR manually
              Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
              95%
              Continuous shooting Slow continuous shooting Help
              D31003 fps
              DSLR-A3902.5 fps
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              230k dots
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              D310014.2 MP
              DSLR-A39014 MP
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              1
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              3,200 ISO
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              D31000.51x
              DSLR-A3900.48x
              Focus points Few focus points Help
              D310011
              DSLR-A3909
              Dynamic range Poor dynamic range Help
              D310011.3 EV
              DSLR-A39011.5 EV
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Movie format One shoots movies Help
              D31001080p @ 24fps
              DSLR-A390None
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              D310067.0
              DSLR-A39066.0
              Color depth Poor color depth Help
              22.5 bits
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              D3100919 ISO
              DSLR-A390607 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $279 - $557 body only

              $349 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Thickness Is thicker
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Canon Rebel T3

              Canon Rebel T3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $339 body only

              $349 - $429 with 18-55mm lens

              Battery life Has a slightly longer battery life
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $354 body only

              $630 with 18-55mm, 55-200mm lenses

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 - $539 body only

              $566 - $599 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a much higher resolution screen
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D3000

              Nikon D3000

              Entry-level DSLR

              $639 with 18-55mm lens

              Size Is slightly smaller
              Thickness Is thinner
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Shutter lag Has slightly more shutter lag
              Canon Rebel T5i

              Canon Rebel T5i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $649 - $650 body only

              $620 - $700 with 18-55mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a much higher resolution screen
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Lowest price Is significantly 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
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Viewfinder Has a lower quality type of viewfinder

              Nikon D3100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 body only

              $399 - $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 D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $420 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO
              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Lowest price More expensive
              Size Slightly larger
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $719 body only

              $920 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 Alpha DSLR-A390 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A350

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A350

              Entry-level DSLR

              $950 with 75-300mm lens

              Battery life Longer battery life
              Thickness Much thinner
              Autofocus Slower autofocus
              Storage slots Has fewer storage slots
              Sony SLT-A55

              Sony SLT-A55

              Entry-level DSLR

              $1,789 with 18-55mm lens

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Viewfinder size Much larger viewfinder
              Viewfinder Has a digital viewfinder
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              Sony SLT-A33

              Sony SLT-A33

              Entry-level DSLR

              Movie format Shoots movies
              Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen
              Viewfinder Has a digital viewfinder
              Battery life Shorter battery life
              Sony Alpha DSLR-A380

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A380

              Entry-level DSLR

              $820 body only

              Dynamic range More dynamic range
              Thickness Much thinner
              Autofocus Slower autofocus
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out

              appearance

              Nikon D3100 Sony Alpha DSLR-A390
              Nikon D3100 Sony Alpha DSLR-A390
              Nikon D3100 Sony Alpha DSLR-A390

              discussion

              Nikon D3100
              D3100
              Nikon

              Report a correction
              Sony Alpha DSLR-A390
              Alpha DSLR-A390
              Sony

              Report a correction

              Showing 2 comments

              Saifulizuanmd (9:32 AM, December 21, 2011)
              and a390 doesnt have battery grip
               
              7mgoulding7 (6:50 PM, August 20, 2011)
              The 390 has a flipout screen. It says it does not in the common weakness.