• APS-C 355.7mm2
  • 14.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 3200
  • 1/2.3 inch 28.1mm2
  • 18.2 megapixels
  • 25.00mm - 500.00mm (35mm eq.)

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Differences

Nikon D3100 advantages over Sony HX30V

  • Larger sensor
    APS-C vs 1/2.3 inch
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Eye-level vs Rear display only
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 5.01 vs 1.26 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • RAW file ability
    Yes vs No
    Gives you more flexibility to develop your photos later
  • Fast startup
    ~0.40 vs 1.5 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 550 vs 320 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Shoots 24p video
    Yes vs No
    Gives your movies a big-screen feel
  • Hot shoe
    Hot shoe vs None
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Bulb shutter
    Bulb vs No bulb
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    100 vs 10 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Faster shutter
    1/4000 vs 1/1600 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light

Sony HX30V advantages over Nikon D3100

  • Less expensive
    $420 vs $700 (MSRP)
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Yes vs No
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • In-camera panoramas
    Yes vs No
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Wi-Fi vs None
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • Built-in GPS
    GPS vs None
    Geotag your photos
  • Thinner
    34 mm vs 74 mm
    Thinner
  • More dots on screen
    922k vs 230k dots
    Can mean greater resolution or a brighter screen
  • Less shutter lag
    0.11 vs 0.28 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • More pixels
    18.2 vs 14.2 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    10.0 fps vs 2.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Rear display
    Both provide
    Review photos on the back of the camera
  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Manual focus
    Both provide
    AF is for the weak. Real photographers focus manually.
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video

Common Weaknesses

  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Focus peaking
    Neither provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • Tiltable Screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Neither provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Integrated ND filter
    Neither provide
    Shoot in daylight with a large aperture or slow shutter
  • External Mic Jack
    Neither provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Dual card slots
    Neither provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

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Review Excerpt

  • Solid build; Fast autofocus; Excellent zoom range and functionality; Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS; Useful creative effects modes.

  • Image quality not as good as predecessor; No electronic viewfinder; Confusing menu system and user manual.

The Competition

Compared to Sony A33

Nikon D3100
Sony A33
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $540
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • In-camera panoramas
Sony HX30V
Sony A33
  • $477
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Less expensive
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • $540
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder

Compared to Pentax K-r

Nikon D3100
Pentax K-r
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Fast startup
Sony HX30V
Pentax K-r
  • $477
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Less expensive
  • In-camera panoramas
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder

Compared to Nikon D5100

Nikon D3100
Nikon D5100
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Higher effective ISO
Sony HX30V
Nikon D5100
  • $477
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • In-camera panoramas
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Tilt-swivel screen

Compared to Sony HX10V

Nikon D3100
Sony HX10V
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • $375
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Sony HX30V
Sony HX10V
  • $477
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • In-camera panoramas
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • $375
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Less expensive

Compared to Sony HX20V

Nikon D3100
Sony HX20V
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • $326
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Sony HX30V
Sony HX20V
  • $477
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • In-camera panoramas
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • $326
  • 1/2.3 inch
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