• APS-C 369.7mm2
  • 12.3 megapixels
  • ISO 200 - 12,800
  • 1/2.3 inch 28.1mm2
  • 16.0 megapixels
  • 25.00mm - 600.00mm (35mm eq.)

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Differences

Sony DSLR-A500 advantages over Olympus SZ-31MR

  • 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
    ~ 5.55 vs 1.34 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Tiltable Screen
    Tiltable vs Fixed
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • RAW file ability
    Yes vs No
    Gives you more flexibility to develop your photos later
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 1000 vs 200 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Manual focus
    Yes vs No
    AF is for the weak. Real photographers focus manually.
  • Hot shoe
    Hot shoe vs None
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Longer exposure
    30 vs 4 sec
    Long exposures for night shots
  • Bulb shutter
    Bulb vs No bulb
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures
  • Faster shutter
    1/4000 vs 1/1700 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light
  • Higher extended ISO
    12800 vs 6400 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Olympus SZ-31MR advantages over Sony DSLR-A500

  • Less expensive
    $400 vs $850 (MSRP)
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Thinner
    39 mm vs 84 mm
    Thinner
  • More dots on screen
    920k vs 230k dots
    Can mean greater resolution or a brighter screen
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • More pixels
    16.0 vs 12.3 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    7.0 fps vs 4.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Slow-motion videos
    Yes vs No
    Shoot slow-motion videos

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Rear display
    Both provide
    Review photos on the back of the camera
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Both provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video

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
  • 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

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Review Excerpt

The Competition

Compared to Sony DSLR-A380

Sony DSLR-A500
Sony DSLR-A380
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Higher effective ISO
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $849
  • APS-C
  • More pixels
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
Olympus SZ-31MR
Sony DSLR-A380
  • $400
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Less expensive
  • Thinner
  • $849
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder

Compared to Sony DSLR-A550

Sony DSLR-A500
Sony DSLR-A550
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • More dots on screen
  • More pixels
Olympus SZ-31MR
Sony DSLR-A550
  • $400
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Less expensive
  • Thinner
  • $859
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder

Compared to Sony DSLR-A560

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
Olympus SZ-31MR
Sony DSLR-A560
  • $400
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Less expensive
  • Thinner
  • $750
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder

Compared to Olympus SZ-30MR

Sony DSLR-A500
Olympus SZ-30MR
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • $400
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Less expensive
  • Thinner
Olympus SZ-31MR
Olympus SZ-30MR
  • $400
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • More dots on screen
  • Shoots 60p video
  • $400
  • 1/2.3 inch

Compared to Olympus SH-50

Sony DSLR-A500
Olympus SH-50
  • $850
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • $279
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Less expensive
  • Touchscreen
Olympus SZ-31MR
Olympus SH-50
  • $400
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • More dots on screen
  • Shoots 60p video
  • $279
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Less expensive
  • Touchscreen
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