• 1 inch 116.2mm2
  • 10.1 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 3200
  • APS-C 366.6mm2
  • 24.3 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 25,600

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Differences

Nikon J1 advantages over Sony A5100

  • Fast startup
    ~1.40 vs 2.0 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Less shutter lag
    0.09 vs 0.23 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    57.9 fps vs 6.0 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Slow-motion videos
    Yes vs No
    Shoot slow-motion videos
  • Faster shutter
    1/16000 vs 1/4000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light

Sony A5100 advantages over Nikon J1

  • Lens selection
    Good vs Limited
    Better lens selection gives you more options
  • Focus peaking
    Peaker vs Non-peaker
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Larger sensor
    APS-C vs 1 inch
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • Less expensive
    $448 vs $699
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Touchscreen
    Touch vs No touch
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • In-camera panoramas
    Yes vs No
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Tiltable Screen
    Tiltable vs Fixed
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Wi-Fi vs None
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • NFC
    Yes vs No
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • Better color depth
    23.8 vs 21.5 bits
    Capture richer, more accurate colors
  • Higher effective ISO
    1,347 vs 372 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • More dynamic range
    12.7 vs 11.0 evs
    Retain detail in highlight and shadows
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 400 vs 230 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Higher max flash sync
    1/160 vs 1/60 sec
    Reduce the effect of ambient light in flash shots
  • Newer
    6 years vs 9 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • Shoots 24p video
    Yes vs No
    Gives your movies a big-screen feel
  • More dots on screen
    922k vs 460k dots
    Can mean greater resolution or a brighter screen
  • More pixels
    24.3 vs 10.1 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Wider angle kit lens
    24 mm vs 27 mm
    Capture more of the scene with the included lens
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    67 vs 12 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Higher extended ISO
    25600 vs 6400 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • On-sensor phase detect
    Both provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Neither provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Neither provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Neither provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • Top deck display
    Neither provide
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • External Mic Jack
    Neither provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Hot shoe
    Neither provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Dual card slots
    Neither provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video

User reviews

Buy From

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Nikon J1

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Sony A5100

Review Excerpt

  • Very small body, with solid feel; Fast AF; No-nonsense interface. Excellent video capture, Good picture quality.

  • Body could be smaller for sensor size; High ISO isn't as good as other compact system cameras; Battery life below average; Weak flash; Confusing controls.

  • Very small and comfortable form factor; Very good image quality for its class; New dual video record function; Quick autofocus and good dynamic range.

  • Lacks an EVF and external mode dial; No hot shoe; JPEG processing at higher ISOs not as good as some competing mid-level models.

The Competition

Compared to Nikon J2

Nikon J1
Nikon J2
  • $699
  • 1 inch
  • $550
  • 1 inch
  • Less expensive
  • More dots on screen
Sony A5100
Nikon J2
  • $348
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
  • $550
  • 1 inch
  • Faster JPEG shooting
  • Slow-motion videos

Compared to Nikon J3

Nikon J1
Nikon J3
  • $699
  • 1 inch
  • Bigger pixels
  • $617
  • 1 inch
  • Higher effective ISO
  • More dots on screen
Sony A5100
Nikon J3
  • $348
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
  • $617
  • 1 inch
  • Faster JPEG shooting
  • Slow-motion videos

Compared to Nikon S1

Nikon J1
Nikon S1
  • $699
  • 1 inch
  • Wider angle kit lens
  • $199
  • 1 inch
  • Less expensive
Sony A5100
Nikon S1
  • $348
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
  • $199
  • 1 inch
  • Less expensive
  • Faster JPEG shooting

Compared to Samsung NX1100

Nikon J1
Samsung NX1100
  • $699
  • 1 inch
  • On-sensor phase detect
  • Internal flash
  • $450
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
Sony A5100
Samsung NX1100
  • $348
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
  • $450
  • APS-C
  • Higher-res screen
  • Hot shoe

Compared to Sony A5000

Nikon J1
Sony A5000
  • $699
  • 1 inch
  • Fast startup
  • On-sensor phase detect
  • $298
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
Sony A5100
Sony A5000
  • $348
  • APS-C
  • Touchscreen
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $298
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
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