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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. 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
1300D versus NEX-3 top view
1300D and NEX-3 rear side

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

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. 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 most 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 Sensor
Class
Resolution
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon 1300D (⇒ rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p - - - -
Sony NEX-3 (⇒ lft) APS-C 14.0 4592 3056 720/30p 22.1 12.0 830 68
Canon 2000D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/30p .. .. .. ..
Canon 4000D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p .. .. .. ..
Canon G9 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 1080/60p 21.9 12.5 522 65
Canon 200D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p 23.6 13.4 1041 79
Canon 77D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p 23.6 13.3 971 78
Canon G9 X (⇒ lft | rgt) 1-inch 20.0 5472 3648 1080/60p 21.5 12.3 495 63
Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 22.2 11.4 753 65
Canon 1200D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.9 11.3 724 63
Canon 100D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.8 11.3 843 63
Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.7 11.2 681 61
Sony NEX-3N (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4912 3264 1080/60i 22.8 12.5 1067 74
Sony NEX-F3 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4912 3264 1080/60i 22.7 12.3 1114 73
Sony NEX-5N (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4912 3264 1080/60i 23.6 12.7 1079 77
Sony NEX-C3 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 16.0 4912 3264 720/30p 22.7 12.2 1083 73
Sony NEX-5 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 14.0 4592 3056 1080/60i 22.2 12.2 796 69

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. 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 Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon 1300D (⇒ rgt) optical no 3.0 920 fixed no 4000 3.0 9.2 no
Sony NEX-3 (⇒ lft) no no 3.0 920 tilting no 4000 7.0 no no
Canon 2000D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 920 fixed no 4000 3.0 9.2 no
Canon 4000D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 2.7 230 fixed no 4000 3.0 9.2 no
Canon G9 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 fixed YES 2000 8.2 6 YES
Canon 200D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 9.8 no
Canon 77D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 6.0 12 no
Canon G9 X (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 fixed YES 2000 6.0 6 YES
Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 4.6 5 no
Canon 1200D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 460 fixed no 4000 3.0 9.2 no
Canon 100D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 fixed YES 4000 4.9 9.4 no
Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 13 no
Sony NEX-3N (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 460 tilting no 4000 4.0 4 no
Sony NEX-F3 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 920 tilting no 4000 5.5 6 no
Sony NEX-5N (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 920 tilting YES 4000 10.0 no no
Sony NEX-C3 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 920 tilting no 4000 5.5 no no
Sony NEX-5 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 920 tilting no 4000 7.0 no no

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 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 1300D comes out slightly ahead of the NEX-3 (7 : 6 points). 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 07:06 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 cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Canon 1300D (⇒ rgt) reviewed 73/100 4/5 3.5/5 4/5 2016 449discont. check
Sony NEX-3 (⇒ lft) - 70/100 Silver 4.5/5 5/5 4/5 2010 599discont. check
Canon 2000D (⇒ lft | rgt) reviewed .. 3.5/5 .. 3.5/5 2018 449 latest check
Canon 4000D (⇒ lft | rgt) reviewed .. .. .. .. 2018 399 latest check
Canon G9 X Mark II (⇒ lft | rgt) .. 75/100 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2017 529 latest check
Canon 200D (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 78/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2017 549 latest check
Canon 77D (⇒ lft | rgt) .. 82/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4/5 2017 899 latest check
Canon G9 X (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec - 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 2015 529discont. check
Canon M10 (⇒ lft | rgt) - - - reviewed 4/5 2015 499discont. check
Canon 1200D (⇒ lft | rgt) 4/5 - 4/5 4/5 4.5/5 2014 449discont. check
Canon 100D (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 78/100 Gold 4/5 4/5 4/5 2013 549discont. check
Canon 700D (⇒ lft | rgt) - 76/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2013 649discont. check
Sony NEX-3N (⇒ lft | rgt) - - 4.5/5 4/5 4.5/5 2013 499discont. check
Sony NEX-F3 (⇒ lft | rgt) - 74/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2012 599discont. check
Sony NEX-5N (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 79/100 Gold 4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2011 699discont. check
Sony NEX-C3 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 74/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4/5 2011 599discont. check
Sony NEX-5 (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 71/100 Silver 4.5/5 4/5 4/5 2010 699discont. check

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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