• APS-C 372.9mm2
  • 12.3 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 3200
  • APS-C 365.0mm2
  • 16.2 megapixels
  •  

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Differences

Nikon D90 advantages over Sony NEX-C3

  • Lens selection
    Excellent vs Good
    Better lens selection gives you more options
  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Eye-level vs Rear display only
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 5.50 vs 4.76 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Fast startup
    ~0.30 vs 1.2 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 850 vs 400 shots
    Capture more photos
  • More telephoto lens reach
    158 mm vs 83 mm
    Capture objects farther away with the kit lens
  • Internal flash
    Internal flash vs None
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Top deck display
    Yes vs No
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • Shoots 24p video
    Yes vs No
    Gives your movies a big-screen feel
  • Less shutter lag
    0.21 vs 0.43 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    Unlimited vs 10 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)

Sony NEX-C3 advantages over Nikon D90

  • Less expensive
    $600 vs $1300 (MSRP)
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • In-camera panoramas
    Yes vs No
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Tiltable Screen
    Tiltable vs Fixed
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • Higher effective ISO
    1,083 vs 977 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • Thinner
    33 mm vs 77 mm
    Thinner
  • Lighter weight
    497g vs 1133g
    Lighter weight
  • More pixels
    16.2 vs 12.3 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    5.5 fps vs 4.5 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Higher extended ISO
    12800 vs 6400 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • 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
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Neither provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • 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

  • Very small body, refined build. Large sensor for good light gathering. Various low-light shooting modes to improve results. HD video mode with real-time autofocus.

  • Menu-driven interface is sometimes confusing, making quickly finding what you want difficult. Camera may be too small for some.

The Competition

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 NEX-C3
Sony DSLR-A550
  • $559
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-camera panoramas
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Sony DSLR-A500

Nikon D90
Sony DSLR-A500
  • $1300
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Sony NEX-C3
Sony DSLR-A500
  • $559
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-camera panoramas
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Pentax K-5

Nikon D90
Pentax K-5
  • $1300
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • More telephoto lens reach
  • $772
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Higher effective ISO
Sony NEX-C3
Pentax K-5
  • $559
  • APS-C
  • In-camera panoramas
  • Tiltable Screen
  • $772
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Eye-level viewfinder

Compared to Sony NEX-5N

Nikon D90
Sony NEX-5N
  • $1300
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • In-camera panoramas
Sony NEX-C3
Sony NEX-5N
  • $559
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Shoots 24p video
  • Shoots 1080p video

Compared to Sony NEX-5R

Nikon D90
Sony NEX-5R
  • $1300
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Less expensive
Sony NEX-C3
Sony NEX-5R
  • $559
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Touchscreen
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