Updated (June 2011): Compare the Nikon D3100 vs Sony SLT A35

Sony SLT-A33 vs Nikon D3100

Winner
Sony SLT-A33

57

Nikon D3100

53

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Sony SLT-A33

Full HD
Movie format
1080p @ 30fps
Wide dynamic range
Dynamic range
12.6 EV
High resolution screen
Screen resolution
921k dots
Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. Sensor shift
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3100

Supports 24p
24p movies
For that film look
Size
Really small
Prosumer size (124×97×74 mm)
Sensor cleaning
Self cleaning sensor
Avoids dust in your photos
Thickness
Thin
2.9"

Items often bought with the Sony SLT-A33 or Nikon D3100

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-A33.

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D3100

Report a correction
Low light performance
Significantly lower noise at high ISO
919 ISO vs 591 ISO
Help
The D3100 has a slight edge (0.6 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
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
Lens availability
Significantly more lenses available
230 lenses vs 126 lenses
Help
More than 80% more lenses available
Battery life
Significantly longer battery life
550 shots vs 270 shots
Help
More than 2x more shots per battery charge
Startup delay
Less startup delay
400 ms vs 800 ms
Help
2x less delay when turning on
Thickness
Much thinner
2.9" vs 3.3"
Help
More than 10% thinner
Size
Smaller
124×97×74 mm vs 124×92×85 mm
Help
Around 10% smaller
Nikon D3100 Learn more about
the Nikon D3100

Advantages of the Sony SLT-A33

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
12.6 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
Continuous shooting
Shoots much faster
7 fps vs 3 fps
Help
Around 2.5x faster continuous shooting
Image stabilization
Image stabilization
  1. 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
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
Overall image quality
Better image quality
70.0 vs 67.0
Help
Almost the same
Shutter lag
Less shutter lag
215 ms vs 279 ms
Help
More than 20% less delay when taking photos
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
Color depth
Better color depth
22.8 bits vs 22.5 bits
Help
Almost the same
Light sensitivity
Better maximum light sensitivity
12,800 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
Help
The SLT-A33'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-A33's boost ISO is 2 f-stops better
Sony SLT-A33 Learn more about
the Sony SLT-A33
vs

recommendations

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

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D3100 Nikon D3100 53
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save
        vs
        57 Sony SLT-A33 Sony SLT-A33
        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-A3314 MP
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              D31001
              SLT-A333
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              D31003,200 ISO
              SLT-A3312,800 ISO
              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-A331080p @ 30fps
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              D310067.0
              SLT-A3370.0
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              D3100919 ISO
              SLT-A33591 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $289 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 EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $319 body only

              $399 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Thickness Is thicker
              Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
              Nikon D3300

              Nikon D3300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $430 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is significantly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D5100

              Nikon D5100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $368 body only

              $640 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is slightly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has slightly better image quality
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon Kiss X5

              Canon Kiss X5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $1,299 body only

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Lowest price Is much more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Canon EOS Rebel T2i

              Canon Rebel T2i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $898 with 18-55mm, 75-300mm lenses

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Lowest price Is much more expensive
              Autofocus Lacks autofocus
              Canon Rebel T5i

              Canon Rebel T5i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $495 - $649 body only

              $581 - $649 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 D3100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon Rebel T3

              Canon Rebel T3

              Entry-level DSLR

              $339 body only

              $399 with 18-55mm lens

              Battery life Longer battery life
              Viewfinder size Larger viewfinder
              Movie format Lower resolution movies
              Supports 24p No 24p support
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $755 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-A33 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Sony SLT-A37

              Sony SLT-A37

              Entry-level DSLR

              $550 with 18-55mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
              Screen resolution Much lower resolution screen
              Screen size Much smaller screen
              Sony SLT A58

              Sony SLT A58

              Entry-level DSLR

              $498 with 18-55mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
              3D Doesn't take 3D photos
              Screen size Much smaller screen
              Sony SLT A35

              Sony SLT A35

              Entry-level DSLR

              $549 body only

              $500 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
              Overall image quality Better image quality
              Screen flips out Screen does not flip out
              Continuous shooting Shoots slower
              Sony SLT-A65

              Sony SLT A65

              Entry-level DSLR

              $593 with 18-55mm lens

              Supports 24p Supports 24p
              Movie format Lower frame rate movies
              Startup delay Much more startup delay
              Size Larger

              appearance

              Nikon D3100 Sony SLT-A33
              Nikon D3100 Sony SLT-A33
              Nikon D3100 Sony SLT-A33

              discussion

              Nikon D3100
              D3100
              Nikon

              Report a correction
              Sony SLT-A33
              SLT-A33
              Sony

              Report a correction

              Showing 25 comments

              thisguy (8:09 PM, February 03, 2013)
              today i used my a33 for a stop motion video, took 720 pics, and i still have 55% batter, why does it says there 270?
               
              Avatar for Siddarth Prakash Siddarth Prakash (5:30 AM, April 11, 2012)
              hey there! i am planning on getting my frist dslr camera... i wanna know which is better the canon 1100d or the nikon d3100 or the sony A33.... i understand that sony has a low range of lens in the offering... will that make any difference when compared to the range that nikon or canon has....
               
              Avatar for The Badger The Badger (4:23 AM, February 02, 2012)
              As a D3100 owner, I kind of feel embarrassed by snapsorts scores. Certainly I am rooting for my camera, but this is just too much.
               
              Melnikphotography (4:15 AM, January 01, 2012)
              Popularity? Popularity really effect fps, ISO range and image quality. I liked the site until I saw how popularity saved an inferior camera from being humiliated in a head to head contest.
               
              Pruthvidesai7 (3:46 PM, October 08, 2011)
              I have used both DSLR's I seriously prefer Sony-A33 Its faster and better.
               
              hand (9:56 AM, May 28, 2011)
              Just a suggestion on this. Maybe the user should be able to change the weight of a factor depending on what was important to them so they can find the right camera for them :)
               
              Avatar for wolfdoctor wolfdoctor (1:42 PM, May 14, 2011)
              Popularity really shouldn't affect the scoring.  This is a prime example, where the a33 had 5 yellow highlighted advantages over the d3100, while the d3100's only advantage was popularity.  The a33 should have won hands-down. 
               
              Avatar for norcalrouleur norcalrouleur (7:37 AM, May 05, 2011)
              Thanks for the site. Today I returned a previously bought D3100 and purchased the A33. The video was the kicker. No external mic combined with poor audio didn't live up to the D3100 billing. As a newbie to the DSLR market, I highly recommend removing the popularity aspect as this has no bearing on performance. The A33 offers so much more for the price yet gets a bum rap because of a lack of popularity...doesn't make sense!
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (1:45 PM, April 25, 2011)
              We are working on it.
               
              Jakeymarmot (4:07 PM, April 24, 2011)
              I think you should hurry up and change it :)
               
              Jakeymarmot (5:27 PM, April 18, 2011)
              I used to trust Snapsort, but now I see that all scores are corrupt because of this popularity issue. It is insane that your score calculator multiplies the score by 100, as it means no scores can be trusted and they are all practically based on how popular the camera is! I think the weight of popularity needs to be drastically cut as something that is genuinely important is losing out. Without popularity, the Sony would beat most Canons and Nikons hands down.
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (7:59 PM, April 06, 2011)
              Hi Dz1! Alex Black here.

              I just pointed you to that discussion because you asked "Snapsort needs to explain why...", that thread has some relevant information to that question.

              You're welcome to say that nothing is going to change. We do plan to change things though, I apologize for not changing it fast enough for your liking!
               
              Dz1 (7:49 PM, April 06, 2011)
              The last reply on that thread is 5 months old and from what the snapsort employee Alex Black was saying in that thread, nothing is going to change and nothing has changed since as far as i can see.

              So what's the point in wasting my time there when you've already made up your minds ? The score is skewed massively and unfairly towards the big two camera makers Canon and Nikon and that will continue if what Alex Black is saying is correct.

              I have no idea why you haven't been sued over this by the less popular camera makers. I'm no expert, but it seems to me like they've got a possible case of defamation against snapsort.
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (2:49 PM, April 06, 2011)
              Hi Dz1, feel free to join in our discussion about popularity at our support community. We do have plans to lessen or eliminate popularity in the future, so stay tuned.
               
              Dz1 (2:46 PM, April 06, 2011)
              It's even worse than you all think. Snapsort penalises the Sony by 27 points because of popularity. It's bonkers and makes no sense.

              If you take popularity totally out of the equation, the D3100 scores 47% and the A33 scores 67% making the A33 the clear winner by some margin.

              Snapsort needs to explain why they do this because it looks to me like the results are being skewed to support the big two camera manufacturers Canon and Nikon. So they need to explain why they give such a huge amount of points to popularity.
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (2:04 AM, April 01, 2011)
              Hi Dana, to get good macro shots you need a good macro lens, I don't think the kit lens that comes with either of these cameras is particularly good at macro shots.

              You should check out our sister site, http://lenshero.com, and explore the Nikon D3100 macro lenses as well as the Sony SLT-A33 macro lenses!
               
              Dana (1:40 AM, April 01, 2011)
              Hi, I've been looking at both these cameras for a long time and I really can't decide which one I like better. I'm really into macro shots so which camera do you suggest for quality macro photos?
               
              Mcaro (2:14 AM, March 29, 2011)
              Thanks I didnt know about the existance of such programs. You have been really helpful
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (2:00 PM, March 28, 2011)
              ISO is a measurement of how sensitive the camera sensor is to light, here is a great article on ISO.
              The Sony SLT-A33 is your best bet if you will be doing a lot of video recording, it has auto focus during recording, a mic jack, a flip out screen and there are many programs that can easily convert 30fps into 24fps.
              I hope that helps.
               
              Mcaro (4:17 AM, March 27, 2011)
              Hi, I am kinda new in this things, I have never bought a slr camera, so, I was wondering which one (of the two above) would you buy?, I am pretty interested in video recording, but you know in one side we have 24p but no microphone jack and in the other we have 30p but a microphone jack. By the way, I don't understand what ISO means here.
               
              KNA (3:08 PM, March 23, 2011)
              I agree...when you look at the scores based on PERFORMANCE, my take-away is the Sony wins. I have never been one to put to much stock in popularity.
               
              Jakeymarmot (4:12 PM, March 14, 2011)
              Oh, I see. So here the Sony looses 10 points on the recommendation just because of popularity? Slightly unfair I think as popularity shouldn't really matter when choosing a camera. Nikons and Cannons are going to get recommended even if, say a Sony is actually a better camera.
              Sorry to have a go, I actually really like this site and it has really helped me narrow my choices down!
               
              Avatar for Snapsort Snapsort (2:39 PM, March 13, 2011)
              Hi Jake, when Snapsort makes its recommendation calculates a score for each camera based on what we think are important features. If you click explain score you can see how it works.
               
              Jakeymarmot (0:17 PM, March 13, 2011)
              Hi, I was just wondering which one you think I should buy.
              The list of reasons to choose the Sony is twice as long as the Nikon's, yet in the scores you recommend the Nikon?
              Makes no sense!
              Thanks
               
              jopojo (5:07 PM, February 25, 2011)
              I feel the same as you Lovepreetbajwa but can't get anyone in this thread to respond and help me out.