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

Sony SLT-A33

Winner
Sony SLT-A33

56

vs

Nikon D3100

54

Nikon D3100

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
Sensor shift
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3100

Movie format
Full HD
1080p @ 24fps
Live view
Has live view
Preview your photos
Supports 24p
24p movies
For that film look
Movie continuous focus
Movie continuous focus
Makes it easy to get in-focus movies
 

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D3100

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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
205 lenses vs 123 lenses
Help
Around 70% 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
Lowest price
Much cheaper
$272.49 vs $1,027.15
Help
The best price we've seen is $755 cheaper (3.8x less)
Thickness
Much thinner
2.9" vs 3.3"
Help
More than 10% thinner
Size
Smaller
124x96x73 mm vs 124x92x85 mm
Help
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
Help
More than 4x higher resolution screen
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
12.6 EV vs 11.3 EV
Help
1.3 f-stops more dynamic range
3D
Takes 3D photos
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple photos into a 3D image
Continuous shooting
Shoots much faster
7 fps vs 3 fps
Help
Around 2.5x faster continuous shooting
HDR
Has in-camera HDR
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Image stabilization
Image stabilization
Sensor shift vs None
Help
Helps eliminate blur caused by small camera movements
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
External mic jack
Has an external mic jack
Yes vs No
Help
Record high quality audio with an external microphone
Overall image quality
Better image quality
70.0 vs 67.0
Help
Almost the same
Movie format
Lower frame rate movies
1080p @ 30fps vs 1080p @ 24fps
Help
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
Help
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
Help
The SLT-A33's maximum light sensitivity is 2 f-stops better
Color depth
Better color depth
22.8 bits vs 22.5 bits
Help
Distinguishes 0.3 more bits of color
Light sensitivity (boost)
Better boost ISO
25,600 ISO vs 12,800 ISO
Help
The SLT-A33'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-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 54
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    Style
      Color
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        vs

        56 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
              Weight Light weight Help
              D3100:505 g
              SLT-A33:500 g
              Common Weaknesses
              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
              Overall image quality Low image quality Help
              D3100:67.0
              SLT-A33:70.0
              Low light performance Above average noise at high ISO Help
              D3100:919 ISO
              SLT-A33:591 ISO

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D3200

              Nikon D3200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $310 - $527 body only

              $389 - $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

              $389 - $418 body only

              $399 - $520 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

              $378 - $469 body only

              $429 - $499 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 Rebel T3i

              Canon Rebel T3i

              Entry-level DSLR

              $499 - $550 body only

              $549 - $630 with 18-55mm lens

              True resolution Takes slightly higher resolution photos
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D5200

              Nikon D5200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $497 - $697 body only

              $597 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is significantly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Lowest price Is slightly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D5300

              Nikon D5300

              Entry-level DSLR

              $697 body only

              $599 - $797 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Is significantly less noisy at high ISO
              Overall image quality Has significantly better image quality
              Lowest price Is significantly more expensive
              Thickness Is thicker
              Nikon D7100

              Nikon D7100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $897 - $1,097 body only

              $1,197 with 18-140mm lens

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

              Nikon D3100 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Canon EOS Rebel T5

              Entry-level DSLR

              $440 - $450 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

              $439 - $497 with 18-55mm lens

              Low light performance Significantly lower noise at high ISO
              Movie format Higher frame rate movies
              Size Larger
              Lowest price More expensive
              Nikon D90

              Nikon D90

              Entry-level DSLR

              $750 body only

              $900 with 18-55mm 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

              $530 body only

              Low light performance Lower noise at high ISO
              Continuous shooting Shoots much faster
              Dynamic range Less dynamic range
              Startup delay Slightly more startup delay
              Sony SLT A35

              Sony SLT A35

              Entry-level DSLR

              $1,110 body only

              $679 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-A37

              Sony SLT-A37

              Entry-level DSLR

              $440 - $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

              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.