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Canon 1300D versus Sony NEX-3

The Canon EOS 1300D (called Canon T6 in some regions) and the Sony Alpha NEX-3 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in March 2016 and May 2010. The 1300D is a DSLR, while the NEX-3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 17.9 megapixel, whereas the Sony provides 14 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Canon 1300D vs Sony NEX-3

The physical size and weight of the Canon 1300D and the Sony NEX-3 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the 1300D – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon 1300D vs Sony NEX-3
Compare 1300D versus NEX-3 top
Compare 1300D and NEX-3 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony NEX-3 is considerably smaller (44 percent) than the Canon 1300D. Moreover, the NEX-3 is substantially lighter (39 percent) than the 1300D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 1300D nor the NEX-3 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Both cameras have similarly sized sensors, but DSLRs have a larger flange-to-focal plane distance than mirrorless cameras, which imposes contraints on the optical engineering process and generally leads to bigger and heavier lenses. You can find an overview of optics for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (1300D) and the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog (NEX-3). Mirrorless cameras, such as the NEX-3, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

Concerning battery life, the 1300D gets 500 shots out of its LP-E10 battery, while the NEX-3 can take 330 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon 1300D» 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 17.1 oz 500 n Mar 2016 449- i Canon 1300D
Sony NEX-3« 4.6 in 2.4 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 330 n May 2010 599- i Sony NEX-3
Canon 2000D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.1 in 16.8 oz 500 n Feb 2018 449 i i Canon 2000D
Canon 4000D« » 5.1 in 4.0 in 3.0 in 15.4 oz 500 n Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.3 oz 235 n Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon 200D« » 4.8 in 3.7 in 2.8 in 16.0 oz 650 n Jun 2017 549 i i Canon 200D
Canon 77D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 19.0 oz 600 n Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
Canon G9 X« » 3.9 in 2.3 in 1.2 in 7.4 oz 220 n Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
Canon M10« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.6 oz 255 n Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
Canon 1200D« » 5.1 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 16.9 oz 500 n Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
Canon 100D« » 4.6 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 14.4 oz 380 n Mar 2013 549- i Canon 100D
Canon 700D« » 5.2 in 3.9 in 3.1 in 20.5 oz 440 n Mar 2013 649- i Canon 700D
Sony NEX-3N« » 4.3 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 480 n Feb 2013 499- i Sony NEX-3N
Sony NEX-F3« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 11.1 oz 470 n May 2012 599- i Sony NEX-F3
Sony NEX-5N« » 4.4 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.5 oz 460 n Aug 2011 699- i Sony NEX-5N
Sony NEX-C3« » 4.3 in 2.4 in 1.3 in 7.9 oz 400 n Jun 2011 599- i Sony NEX-C3
Sony NEX-5« » 4.4 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 10.1 oz 330 n May 2010 699- i Sony NEX-5

The camera’s price is obviously a critical decision-making factor. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The 1300D was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 25 percent) than the NEX-3, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 1300D vs Sony NEX-3

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the NEX-3 is 10 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (1300D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 1300D and Sony NEX-3 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Canon 1300D offers a higher resolution of 17.9 megapixel, compared with 14 MP of the Sony NEX-3. This megapixel advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.31μm versus 5.11μm for the NEX-3). However, it should be noted that the 1300D is much more recent (by 5 years and 10 months) than the NEX-3, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.

1300D versus NEX-3 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Canon 1300D» APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p----Canon 1300D
Sony NEX-3« APS-C 14.0 4592 3056720/30p22.112.083068Sony NEX-3
Canon 2000D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.611.9100971Canon 2000D
Canon 4000D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.469563Canon 4000D
Canon G9 X Mark II« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.912.552265Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon 200D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179Canon 200D
Canon 77D« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178Canon 77D
Canon G9 X« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p21.512.349563Canon G9 X
Canon M10« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365Canon M10
Canon 1200D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.911.372463Canon 1200D
Canon 100D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.811.384363Canon 100D
Canon 700D« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.268161Canon 700D
Sony NEX-3N« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.5106774Sony NEX-3N
Sony NEX-F3« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.712.3111473Sony NEX-F3
Sony NEX-5N« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.612.7107977Sony NEX-5N
Sony NEX-C3« » APS-C 16.0 4912 3264720/30p22.712.2108373Sony NEX-C3
Sony NEX-5« » APS-C 14.0 4592 30561080/60i22.212.279669Sony NEX-5

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the 1300D provides a higher video resolution than the NEX-3. It can shoot video footage at 1080/30p, while the Sony is limited to 720/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 1300D vs Sony NEX-3

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 1300D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the NEX-3 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the NEX-3 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the FDA-SV1. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 1300D, the Sony NEX-3, and comparable cameras. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon 1300D»optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 1300D
Sony NEX-3«- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 7.0 n n Sony NEX-3
Canon 2000D« »optical n 3.0 920 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 2000D
Canon 4000D« »optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 4000D
Canon G9 X Mark II« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 8.2 Y Y Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon 200D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 200D
Canon 77D« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.0 Y n Canon 77D
Canon G9 X« »- n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 2000 6.0 Y Y Canon G9 X
Canon M10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 4.6 Y n Canon M10
Canon 1200D« »optical n 3.0 460 fixed n 4000 3.0 Y n Canon 1200D
Canon 100D« »optical n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 4.9 Y n Canon 100D
Canon 700D« »optical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 5.0 Y n Canon 700D
Sony NEX-3N« »- n 3.0 460 tilting n 4000 4.0 Y n Sony NEX-3N
Sony NEX-F3« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 5.5 Y n Sony NEX-F3
Sony NEX-5N« »- n 3.0 920 tilting Y 4000 10.0 n n Sony NEX-5N
Sony NEX-C3« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 5.5 n n Sony NEX-C3
Sony NEX-5« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 7.0 n n Sony NEX-5

Both the 1300D and the NEX-3 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The NEX-3 was replaced by the Sony NEX-3N, while the 1300D was followed by the Canon 2000D.

Review summary: Canon 1300D vs Sony NEX-3

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Canon 1300D or the Sony NEX-3 – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 1300D:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (17.9 vs 14MP) with a 13% higher linear resolution.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/30p vs 720/30p).
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (500 versus 330) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (25 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years and 10 months of technical progress since the NEX-3 launch.

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Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha NEX-3:

  • More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x62mm vs 129x101mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 188g or 39 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in May 2010).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (7 points each). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.

1300D 07:07 NEX-3

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the 1300D and the NEX-3 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon 1300D»rev73/1004/53.5/54/5 Mar 2016 449- i Canon 1300D
Sony NEX-3«-70/1004.5/55/54/5 May 2010 599- i Sony NEX-3
Canon 2000D« »rev-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 449 i i Canon 2000D
Canon 4000D« »rev-3.5/5-3.5/5 Feb 2018 399 i i Canon 4000D
Canon G9 X Mark II« »-75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
Canon 200D« »HiRec78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549 i i Canon 200D
Canon 77D« »-82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i i Canon 77D
Canon G9 X« »HiRec-4.5/54/54.5/5 Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
Canon M10« »---rev4/5 Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
Canon 1200D« »Rec-4/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 449- i Canon 1200D
Canon 100D« »Rec78/1004/54/54/5 Mar 2013 549- i Canon 100D
Canon 700D« »-76/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2013 649- i Canon 700D
Sony NEX-3N« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2013 499- i Sony NEX-3N
Sony NEX-F3« »-74/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 May 2012 599- i Sony NEX-F3
Sony NEX-5N« »HiRec79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 699- i Sony NEX-5N
Sony NEX-C3« »HiRec74/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Jun 2011 599- i Sony NEX-C3
Sony NEX-5« »HiRec71/1004.5/54/54/5 May 2010 699- i Sony NEX-5

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, kindly get in touch, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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