Updated (March, 2012): Compare the Nikon D3200 vs Sony SLT A35

Nikon D3100

Tie
Nikon D3100

54

vs

Sony SLT-A33

52

Sony SLT-A33

Tie
     
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3100

Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 24fps
Supports 24p
24p movies
For that film look
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
 

Reasons to buy the Sony SLT-A33

Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 30fps
Dynamic range
Wide dynamic range
12.6 EV
Screen resolution
High resolution screen
921k dots
Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift
 
Differences | Recommendations | Cast your vote | Similarities | Competitors | Appearance | Discussion

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D3100

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Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO 919 ISO vs 591 ISO
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The D3100 has a slight edge (0.6 f-stops) in low noise, high ISO performance
Supports 24p Supports 24p Yes vs No
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Get that real film feel
Viewfinder Has an optical viewfinder Pentamirror vs Digital
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Optical viewfinders save battery life and are more detailed
Lens availability Significantly more lenses available 205 lenses vs 123 lenses
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Around 70% more lenses available
Battery life Significantly longer battery life 550 shots vs 270 shots
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More than 2x more shots per battery charge
Startup delay Less startup delay 400 ms vs 800 ms
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2x less delay when turning on
Thickness Much thinner 2.9" vs 3.3"
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More than 10% thinner
Size Smaller 124x96x73 mm vs 124x92x85 mm
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Around 10% smaller
Nikon D3100 Learn more about
the Nikon D3100

Advantages of the Sony SLT-A33

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Screen resolution Much higher resolution screen 921k dots vs 230k dots
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More than 4x higher resolution screen
Dynamic range More dynamic range 12.6 EV vs 11.3 EV
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1.3 f-stops more dynamic range
Image stabilization Image stabilization Sensor shift vs None
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Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
3D Takes 3D photos Yes vs No
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Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
HDR Has in-camera HDR Yes vs No
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Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
External mic jack Has an external mic jack Yes vs No
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Record high quality audio with an external microphone
Autofocus Faster video autofocus Phase detection vs Contrast detection
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Shoot videos without worrying about focus
Panorama Can create panoramas in-camera Yes vs No
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Stitches together multiple photos for a wide perspective
Continuous shooting Shoots significantly faster 7 fps vs 3 fps
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Around 2.5x faster continuous shooting
Screen flips out Has a flip-out screen Yes vs No
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Flip-out screens can be helpful when composing tricky shots or taking movies
Overall image quality Better image quality 70.0 vs 67.0
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Almost the same
Movie format Lower frame rate movies 1080p @ 30fps vs 1080p @ 24fps
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Both shoot Full HD (1080p) video, but D3100 does so at a lower frame rate
Shutter lag Less shutter lag 215 ms vs 279 ms
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More than 20% less delay when taking photos
Sensor size Larger sensor APS-C 23.5x15.6mm vs APS-C 23.1x15.4mm
Help
Almost the same
Light sensitivity Better maximum light sensitivity 12,800 ISO vs 3,200 ISO
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The SLT-A33's maximum light sensitivity is 2 f-stops better
Color depth Better color depth 22.8 bits vs 22.5 bits
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Distinguishes 0.3 more bits of color
Light sensitivity (boost) Better boost ISO 25,600 ISO vs 12,800 ISO
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The SLT-A33's boost ISO is 1 f-stop better
Cross type focus points More cross-type focus points 3 vs 1
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Grab focus in difficult situations
Focus points More focus points 15 vs 11
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Set focus accurately within the frame
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

Nikon D3100 Nikon D3100 54
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        52 Sony SLT-A33 Sony SLT-A33

        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
        Weight Light weight Help
        D3100:505 g
        SLT-A33:500 g
        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-A33:14 MP
        Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
        D3100:1
        SLT-A33:3
        Weather sealed Neither is weather sealed Help
        Need to shelter it from weather
        Movie format Full HD (1080p) video Help
        D3100:1080p @ 24fps
        SLT-A33:1080p @ 30fps
        Overall image quality Low image quality Help
        D3100:67.0
        SLT-A33:70.0

        dxomark

        DXOMark

        competitors

        Shared Competitors

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Nikon D3200

        Nikon D3200

        Entry-level DSLR

        $319 body only

        $389 - $506 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

        $225 - $389 body only

        $399 - $550 with 18-55mm lens

        Battery life Has a slightly longer battery life
        Thickness Is thicker
        Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
        Canon EOS Rebel T5

        Canon EOS Rebel T5

        Entry-level DSLR

        $681 - $700 body only

        $499 - $822 with 18-55mm lens

        True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
        Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
        Thickness Is thicker
        Nikon D5100

        Nikon D5100

        Entry-level DSLR

        $378 - $415 body only

        $495 - $564 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 - $648 body only

        $200 - $579 with 18-55mm lens

        True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
        Thickness Is thicker
        Weight Is slightly heavier
        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 slightly better image quality
        Sensor cleaning Lacks a self cleaning sensor
        Movie continuous focus Doesn't focus continuously while recording movies
        Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS

        Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS

        Entry-level DSLR

        $900 with 18-55mm lens

        Shutter lag Has slightly less shutter lag
        Size Is slightly smaller
        Lowest price Is much more expensive
        Light sensitivity (boost) Lacks boost light sensitivity

        Nikon D3100 Competitors

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Nikon D3300

        Nikon D3300

        Entry-level DSLR

        $547 with 18-55mm lens

        Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO
        Overall image quality Significantly better image quality
        Startup delay Much more startup delay
        Lowest price More expensive
        Nikon D90

        Nikon D90

        Entry-level DSLR

        $929 body only

        $848 - $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-A33 Competitors

        Advantages

        Disadvantages

        Sony SLT-A55

        Sony SLT-A55

        Entry-level DSLR

        $1,073 body only

        $1,060 with 18-55mm lens

        Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
        GPS Has a GPS
        Dynamic range Less dynamic range
        Startup delay Slightly more startup delay
        Sony SLT-A37

        Sony SLT-A37

        Entry-level DSLR

        $430 - $479 with 18-55mm lens

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

        Sony SLT A58

        Entry-level DSLR

        $448 with 18-55mm lens

        Supports 24p Supports 24p
        Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
        Screen size Significantly smaller screen
        Screen resolution Significantly lower resolution screen
        Sony SLT A35

        Sony SLT A35

        Entry-level DSLR

        $589 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

        appearance

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

        discussion

        Nikon D3100
        D3100
        Nikon

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        Sony SLT-A33
        SLT-A33
        Sony

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        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.