Updated (March, 2012): Compare the Nikon D3200 vs Sony Alpha DSLR-A580

Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 vs Nikon D3100

Winner
Sony Alpha DSLR-A580

75

Nikon D3100

54

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Sony Alpha DSLR-A580

Low noise at high ISO
Low light performance
1,121 ISO
Great image quality
Overall image quality
80.0
Full HD
Movie format
1080p @ 30fps
Great color depth
Color depth
23.8 bits
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3100

Supports 24p
24p movies
For that film look
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
Badge
Autofocuses shooting video
Contrast detection
Size
Really small
Prosumer size 124x96x73 mm

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-A580.

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D3100

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Supports 24p
Supports 24p
Yes vs No
Help
Get that real film feel
Lens availability
Significantly more lenses available
205 lenses vs 123 lenses
Help
Around 70% more lenses available
Size
Much smaller
124x96x73 mm vs 137x104x84 mm
Help
Around 30% smaller
Startup delay
Less startup delay
400 ms vs 800 ms
Help
2x less delay when turning on
Lowest price
Much cheaper
$221.86 vs $932.47
Help
The best price we've seen is $711 cheaper (4.2x less)
Thickness
Much thinner
2.9" vs 3.3"
Help
More than 10% thinner
Shutter lag
Slightly less shutter lag
279 ms vs 295 ms
Help
Around 10% less delay when taking photos
Weight
Lighter
505 g vs 599 g
Help
Around 20% lighter
Nikon D3100 Learn more about
the Nikon D3100

Advantages of the Sony DSLR-A580

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Screen resolution
Much higher resolution screen
921k dots vs 230k dots
Help
More than 4x higher resolution screen
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
13.3 EV vs 11.3 EV
Help
2 f-stops more dynamic range
Overall image quality
Significantly better image quality
80.0 vs 67.0
Help
Around 20% better image quality
3D
Takes 3D photos
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
1,121 ISO vs 919 ISO
Help
The DSLR-A580 has a slight edge (0.3 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Continuous shooting
Shoots much faster
7 fps vs 3 fps
Help
Around 2.5x faster continuous shooting
Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift vs None
Help
Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
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
Color depth
Better color depth
23.8 bits vs 22.5 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1.3 more bits of color
Battery life
Much longer battery life
1050 shots vs 550 shots
Help
More than 90% more shots per battery charge
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
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
Storage slots
Has more storage slots
2 vs 1
Help
More slots allows storing more images without switching memory cards
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 DSLR-A580's boost ISO is 1 f-stop better
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
12,800 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The DSLR-A580's maximum light sensitivity is 2 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
Viewfinder size
Slightly larger viewfinder
0.52x vs 0.51x
Help
Almost the same
Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Learn more about
the Sony DSLR-A580
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
        75 Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Sony Alpha DSLR-A580
        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
              Viewfinder coverage Below average viewfinder coverage Help
              95%
              True resolution Capture low resolution images Help
              D310014.2 MP
              DSLR-A58016 MP
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              D31001
              DSLR-A5803
              Shutter lag Significant shutter lag Help
              D3100279 ms
              DSLR-A580295 ms
              Viewfinder size Below average viewfinder size Help
              D31000.51x
              DSLR-A5800.52x
              Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
              Need to shelter it from weather
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              D31003,200 ISO
              DSLR-A58012,800 ISO
              Movie format Full HD (1080p) video Help
              D31001080p @ 24fps
              DSLR-A5801080p @ 30fps

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $279 - $557 body only

              $349 - $447 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes much higher resolution photos
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $354 body only

              $429 with 18-55mm lens

              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $420 - $497 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 Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $612 with 75-300mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $722 body only

              $945 with 55-300mm lens

              Viewfinder size Much larger viewfinder
              Viewfinder Has higher quality type of viewfinder
              Lowest price Is much 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 much more expensive
              Autofocus Lacks autofocus
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $497 - $547 body only

              $499 - $599 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Movie format Records higher quality movies
              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker

              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
              Canon Rebel T3

              Canon Rebel T3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $339 body only

              $429 with 18-55mm lens

              Battery life Longer battery life
              Viewfinder size Larger viewfinder
              Movie format Lower resolution movies
              Screen size Much smaller screen

              Sony Alpha DSLR-A580 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony SLT A58

              Sony SLT A58

              Entry-level DSLR

              $445 - $448 with 18-55mm lens

              Viewfinder size Much larger viewfinder
              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Low light performance Significantly more noise at high ISO
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Sony SLT-A77

              Sony SLT A77

              Pro DSLR

              $1,238 with 16-50mm lens

              Viewfinder size Much larger viewfinder
              Movie format Lower frame rate movies
              Low light performance Significantly more noise at high ISO
              Startup delay Much more startup delay
              Canon EOS 70D

              Canon EOS 70D

              Pro DSLR

              $999 body only

              $1,215 - $1,349 with 18-135mm lens

              Shutter lag Much less shutter lag
              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Overall image quality Significantly worse image quality
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Sony SLT A57

              Sony SLT A57

              Entry-level DSLR

              $608 with 18-55mm lens

              Viewfinder size Much larger viewfinder
              Movie format Lower frame rate movies
              Low light performance Significantly more noise at high ISO
              Viewfinder Has a digital viewfinder

              appearance

              Nikon D3100 Sony Alpha DSLR-A580
              Nikon D3100 Sony Alpha DSLR-A580
              Nikon D3100 Sony Alpha DSLR-A580

              discussion

              Nikon D3100
              D3100
              Nikon

              Report a correction
              Sony Alpha DSLR-A580
              Alpha DSLR-A580
              Sony

              Report a correction

              Showing 1 comments

              Avatar for ifrit_17 ifrit_17 (3:24 PM, August 10, 2011)
              i bought a nikon L100, to be honest at first sigh i was dissappointed, cause this camera Lacks of manual settings which is the most important thing for photography, but with time i learn how to manage this camera and then i found it wasn´t that bad, anyways i know why the quality of this camera (nikon L100) lacks its cause the sensor size is really Small. but is a good camera for particular usage but not for those who want to learn about photography.