• APS-C 369.7mm2
  • 14.2 megapixels
  •  
  • APS-C 366.6mm2
  • 24.3 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 25,600

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Differences

Sony NEX-3 advantages over Sony A5100

  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 5.16 vs 3.92 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Fast startup
    ~1.00 vs 2.0 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Hot shoe
    Hot shoe vs None
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities

Sony A5100 advantages over Sony NEX-3

  • Focus peaking
    Peaker vs Non-peaker
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Touchscreen
    Touch vs No touch
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Wi-Fi vs None
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • Higher effective ISO
    1,347 vs 830 iso
    Take photos in low light with less noise
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Yes vs No
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 400 vs 330 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Internal flash
    Internal flash vs None
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Newer
    4 years vs 8 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • Shoots 24p video
    Yes vs No
    Gives your movies a big-screen feel
  • Shoots 1080p video
    Yes vs No
    You'll want this if you shoot video
  • Less shutter lag
    0.23 vs 0.44 sec
    Focus and take a photo quickly (wide angle)
  • More pixels
    24.3 vs 14.2 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • Wider angle kit lens
    24 mm vs 27 mm
    Capture more of the scene with the included lens
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    6.0 fps vs 2.7 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    67 vs 38 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Higher extended ISO
    25600 vs 12800 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • In-camera panoramas
    Both provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Tiltable Screen
    Both provide
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • 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

  • 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
  • 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

User reviews

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Buy the Sony A5100

Review Excerpt

  • 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 Sony NEX-5

Sony NEX-3
Sony NEX-5
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • $700
  • APS-C
Sony A5100
Sony NEX-5
  • $348
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Touchscreen
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • Fast startup

Compared to Sony NEX-C3

Sony NEX-3
Sony NEX-C3
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
  • $559
  • APS-C
  • Higher effective ISO
  • Longer stills battery life
Sony A5100
Sony NEX-C3
  • $348
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Touchscreen
  • $559
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • Fast startup

Compared to Sony NEX-5N

Sony NEX-3
Sony NEX-5N
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Higher effective ISO
  • Longer stills battery life
Sony A5100
Sony NEX-5N
  • $348
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Touchscreen
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • Hot shoe

Compared to Samsung NX1100

Sony NEX-3
Samsung NX1100
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Bigger pixels
  • $450
  • APS-C
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Newer
Sony A5100
Samsung NX1100
  • $348
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
  • $450
  • APS-C
  • Higher-res screen
  • Hot shoe

Compared to Sony A5000

Sony NEX-3
Sony A5000
  • $600
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • Fast startup
  • $479
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
Sony A5100
Sony A5000
  • $348
  • APS-C
  • Touchscreen
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $479
  • APS-C
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