• APS-C 372.9mm2
  • 12.3 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 3200
  • APS-C 369.7mm2
  • 12.3 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 12,800

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Differences

Nikon D90 advantages over Sony DSLR-A500

  • Lens selection
    Excellent vs Good
    Better lens selection gives you more options
  • Fast startup
    ~0.30 vs 0.5 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Higher effective ISO
    977 vs 772 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • More telephoto lens reach
    158 mm vs 83 mm
    Capture objects farther away with the kit lens
  • Top deck display
    Yes vs No
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • Shoots 24p video
    Yes vs No
    Gives your movies a big-screen feel
  • More dots on screen
    922k vs 230k dots
    Can mean greater resolution or a brighter screen
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.63x vs 0.53x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    Unlimited vs 5 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)

Sony DSLR-A500 advantages over Nikon D90

  • Less expensive
    $850 vs $1300 (MSRP)
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Yes vs No
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Tiltable Screen
    Tiltable vs Fixed
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • Higher extended ISO
    12800 vs 6400 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Focus peaking
    Neither provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Neither provide
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Neither provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • 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

The Competition

Compared to Canon 50D

Nikon D90
Canon 50D
  • $1300
  • APS-C
  • Higher effective ISO
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $1000
  • APS-C
  • More telephoto lens reach
  • More cross-type AF points
Sony DSLR-A500
Canon 50D
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $1000
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup

Compared to Sony DSLR-A380

Nikon D90
Sony DSLR-A380
  • $1300
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $849
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Sony DSLR-A500
Sony DSLR-A380
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Higher effective ISO
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $849
  • APS-C
  • More pixels
  • Bigger JPEG buffer

Compared to Nikon D300S

Nikon D90
Nikon D300S
  • $1300
  • APS-C
  • Higher effective ISO
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
  • $1477
  • APS-C
  • External Mic Jack
  • More cross-type AF points
Sony DSLR-A500
Nikon D300S
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Tiltable Screen
  • $1477
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup

Compared to Sony DSLR-A550

Nikon D90
Sony DSLR-A550
  • $1300
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Sony DSLR-A500
Sony DSLR-A550
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • More dots on screen
  • More pixels

Compared to Sony DSLR-A560

Nikon D90
Sony DSLR-A560
  • $1300
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $750
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Sony DSLR-A500
Sony DSLR-A560
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Less shutter lag
  • $750
  • APS-C
  • In-camera panoramas
  • More cross-type AF points
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