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Sony Alpha a5000 vs Nikon D3300 Review

If you’re ready to buy a new camera, it’s time to decide between DSLR and mirrrorless. While DSLR cameras handle low light conditions better and have a wide range of lenses and accessories, mirrorless cameras are catching up to them. Mirrorless have the advantage when recording video and are a lot less bulky to carry around. Let’s look at two cameras, one from each category, to help you decide which is best for you.

Sony Alpha a5000 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 16-50mm OSS Lens (Black)

Sony Alpha a5000

Sony Alpha a5000

The Sony Alpha a5000 is the perfect example of a mirrorless camera that shoots great quality video. You can record full HD (1920×1080) video at either 60i or 24p frames-per-second. This is comparable to Blu-Ray’s clarity.

The camera has a built-in converter that allows you to compress high-resolution video into mp4 format for upload to video sites like YouTube. There are also seventeen video effects you can use for recording or for photography. Preview them on the LCD screen before taking the shot.

In fact, the large LCD screen is essential to using the a5000. There is no viewfinder like on traditional cameras. To frame the shot, you’ll need to look at the screen. But the screen flips up 180 degrees so it’s easy to get the angle you need for a preview.

The 20.1-megapixel sensor uses CMOS technology to take clear pictures without graininess even in low light. This APS-C sensor takes six shots in rapid succession, then compiles them into one image with the least amount of blur. For continuous shooting of still images, the a5000 can take 4fps (frames-per-second).

Besides the 17 video effects, there are also seven settings like “vivid,” “sunset,” or “black & white” that you can apply to the photo you want to take. The a5000 has even more features to aid you in taking perfect pictures. Face Detection and Tracking Focus help you stay with the target. Auto Object Framing detects the scene and crops it to look like a professionally-framed shot.

Once you’re ready to share the photos you’ve taken, the a5000 has NFC technology. Turn it on, enable the option for NFC in your phone, and tap the phone against the camera to share photos. The PlayMemories app allows you to share immediately after taking a picture, or allows you to control the camera with your phone or tablet.

More features of the Sony a5000 mirrorless digital camera:

  • Comes with lithium-ion rechargeable battery, USB cable and charger, and shoulder strap
  • Camera weighs just over half a pound
  • Lens is 16-50mm
  • Rechargeable battery lasts for about 420 photos
  • Sony offers a 1-year warranty


Nikon D3300 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with Auto Focus-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II Zoom Lens (Black)

Nikon D3300

Nikon D3300

The Nikon D3300 DSLR camera would be an excellent value for someone who wants to get started with DLSR photography. For example, it allows you to control shooting in A, S, and P modes. This means that you can adjust the shutter speed manually between ISO 100 up to 12800. The built-in Guide Mode is a tutorial to teach you how to use various options on the camera, like taking a panorama shot.

If you want to shoot HD video, the D3300 can record at 60, 50, 30, 25, and 24fps (frames per second) in MPEG-4, H.264, and MOV formats. If the object you’re filming is in motion, this camera has eleven autofocus points for 3D tracking. It can shoot still images at up to 5 frames per second.

The D3300 uses a CMOS sensor similar to the Sony a5000, but offers a higher resolution of 24.2-megapixels. The stock lens is 18-55mm, so it’s heavier and larger than the power zoom lens on the Sony. You can swap it for a different lens you own, like a 55-200mm.

Like the Sony, this Nikon also has an LCD screen for previewing a shot, but you can also use the viewfinder. But there are no options for easy sharing after you take a video or image. There is no W-Fi or NFC connection available on this camera. You’ll need to use the USB cable or take out the SD card to transfer pictures, or buy the wireless adapter (sold separately).

More features of the Nikon D3300 DLSR camera:

  • Comes with strap, lithium-ion battery, charger, USB cable, lens cap, eyepiece cap, eyepiece, and ViewNX 2
  • Camera weighs just under 1 pound
  • Nikon offers a 1-year warranty



If you want a point-and-shoot camera with great video and image quality and easy social sharing, the Sony a5000 is made for you.

If you prefer to take more control over the way you take photos, or get started with DSLR photography, consider getting the Nikon D3300.

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