Nikon 1 V3 vs Sony HX99
The Nikon 1 V3 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in March 2014 and August 2018. The V3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the HX99 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an one-inch (V3) and a 1/2.3-inch (HX99) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 18.2 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 18 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon 1 V3 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon 1 V3 and the Sony HX99. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony HX99 is notably smaller (18 percent) than the Nikon 1 V3. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the V3 nor the HX99 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the HX99 has a lens built in, whereas the V3 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
Concerning battery life, the V3 gets 310 shots out of its EN-EL20a battery, while the HX99 can take 370 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The power pack in the HX99 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Nikon 1 V3||111 mm||65 mm||33 mm||381 g||310||n||Mar 2014||799||ebay.com|
|2.||Sony HX99||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||449||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon G7 X Mark II||106 mm||61 mm||42 mm||319 g||265||n||Feb 2016||699||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon G5 X||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon G9 X||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||209 g||220||n||Oct 2015||529||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699||ebay.com|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T10||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||381 g||350||n||May 2015||799||ebay.com|
|9.||Nikon D5500||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||470 g||820||n||Jan 2015||899||ebay.com|
|10.||Nikon 1 J5||98 mm||60 mm||32 mm||231 g||250||n||Apr 2015||399||ebay.com|
|11.||Nikon 1 J4||100 mm||60 mm||29 mm||232 g||300||n||Apr 2014||549||ebay.com|
|12.||Nikon 1 V2||109 mm||82 mm||46 mm||278 g||310||n||Oct 2012||799||ebay.com|
|13.||Nikon 1 V1||113 mm||76 mm||44 mm||383 g||350||n||Sep 2011||799||ebay.com|
|14.||Sony HX95||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||429||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony WX800||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||233 g||370||n||Oct 2018||399||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony HX90V||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||360||n||Apr 2015||429||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony HX400V||130 mm||93 mm||103 mm||660 g||300||n||Feb 2014||499||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The HX99 was launched at a lower price than the V3, despite having a lens built in. 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.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon 1 V3 features an one-inch sensor and the Sony HX99 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the HX99 is 76 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.7 and 5.6. The sensor in the V3 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the HX99 offers a 4:3 aspect.
With 18.2MP, the V3 offers a slightly higher resolution than the HX99 (18MP), but the V3 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 2.52μm versus 1.25μm for the HX99) due to its larger sensor. However, the HX99 is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 5 months) than the V3, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
The V3 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Nikon 1 V3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-6400.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|1.||Nikon 1 V3||1-inch||18.2||5232||3488||1080/60p||20.8||10.7||384||52|
|4.||Canon G7 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.8||11.9||260||62|
|5.||Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.4||12.3||471||62|
|6.||Canon G9 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
|7.||Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|10.||Nikon 1 J5||1-inch||20.7||5568||3712||4K/15p||21.1||12.0||479||65|
|11.||Nikon 1 J4||1-inch||18.2||5232||3488||1080/60p||20.8||10.7||426||53|
|12.||Nikon 1 V2||1-inch||14.2||4608||3072||1080/60p||20.2||10.8||403||50|
|13.||Nikon 1 V1||1-inch||10.0||3872||2592||1080/60i||21.3||11.0||346||54|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the HX99 provides a better video resolution than the V3. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the HX99 has an electronic viewfinder (638k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the V3 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the V3 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the DF-N1000. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon 1 V3 and Sony HX99 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Nikon 1 V3||optional||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||60.0/s||Y||n|
|2.||Sony HX99||638||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon SX730||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/3200s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon G7 X Mark II||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||8.0/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9/s||Y||Y|
|6.||Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T10||2360||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||n|
|9.||Nikon D5500||optical||n||3.2 / 1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|10.||Nikon 1 J5||none||n||3.0 / 1037||tilting||Y||1/4000s||60.0/s||Y||n|
|11.||Nikon 1 J4||none||n||3.0 / 1037||Fixed||Y||1/4000s||60.0/s||Y||n|
|12.||Nikon 1 V2||1440||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||15.0/s||Y||n|
|13.||Nikon 1 V1||1440||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||10.0/s||n||n|
|14.||Sony HX95||638||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony WX800||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|16.||Sony HX90V||638||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony HX400V||210||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the V3 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Nikon 1 V3 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The V3 writes its imaging data to micro SDXC cards, while the HX99 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon 1 V3 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Nikon 1 V3||-||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|2.||Sony HX99||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon SX730||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon G7 X Mark II||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Canon G5 X||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Canon G9 X||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Canon G7 X||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T10||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|9.||Nikon D5500||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Nikon 1 J5||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Nikon 1 J4||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|12.||Nikon 1 V2||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Nikon 1 V1||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Sony HX95||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony WX800||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Sony HX90V||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Sony HX400V||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the V3 has a microphone port, which is missing on the HX99. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
Both the V3 and the HX99 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on ebay. Neither of the two has a direct successor, so they represent the end of the respective camera lines from Nikon and Sony. Further information on the features and operation of the V3 and HX99 can be found, respectively, in the Nikon 1 V3 Manual (free pdf) or the online Sony HX99 Manual.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Nikon 1 V3 better than the Sony HX99 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Nikon 1 V3:
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 922k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (60 vs 10 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in March 2014).
Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99:
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the V3 necessitates an extra lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 111x65mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the V3).
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (370 versus 310) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 5 months of technical progress since the V3 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the match-up finishes in a tie (13 points each). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon 1 V3 and the Sony HX99 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the V3 or the HX99 perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Nikon 1 V3||3/5||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||Mar 2014||799||ebay.com|
|2.||Sony HX99||..||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||449||ebay.com|
|3.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399||ebay.com|
|4.||Canon G7 X Mark II||4.5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||699||ebay.com|
|5.||Canon G5 X||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799||ebay.com|
|6.||Canon G9 X||3.5/5||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529||ebay.com|
|7.||Canon G7 X||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699||ebay.com|
|8.||Fujifilm X-T10||4.5/5||+ +||..||80/100||5/5||5/5||May 2015||799||ebay.com|
|9.||Nikon D5500||5/5||+||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899||ebay.com|
|10.||Nikon 1 J5||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2015||399||ebay.com|
|11.||Nikon 1 J4||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Apr 2014||549||ebay.com|
|12.||Nikon 1 V2||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Oct 2012||799||ebay.com|
|13.||Nikon 1 V1||..||+||..||69/100||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2011||799||ebay.com|
|14.||Sony HX95||..||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 2018||429||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony WX800||..||..||..||..||..||..||Oct 2018||399||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony HX90V||4/5||+ +||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2015||429||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony HX400V||4/5||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2014||499||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
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
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Specifications: Nikon 1 V3 vs Sony HX99
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Nikon 1 V3||Sony HX99|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Nikon 1 mount lenses||24-720mm f/3.5-6.4|
|Launch Date||March 2014||August 2018|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 449|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon 1 V3||Sony HX99|
|Sensor Format||1" Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||13.2 x 8.8 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||116.16 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||15.9 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||18.2 Megapixels||18 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5232 x 3488 pixels||4896 x 3672 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.52 μm||1.25 μm|
|Pixel Density||15.71 MP/cm2||64.04 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||160 - 12,800 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||80 - 6,400 ISO|
|Image Processor||EXPEED 4||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||52||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||20.8||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.7||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||384||..|
|Screen Specs||Nikon 1 V3||Sony HX99|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||638k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1037k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon 1 V3||Sony HX99|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||60 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||mSDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon 1 V3||Sony HX99|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Nikon 1 V3||Sony HX99|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||310 shots per charge||370 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
111 x 65 x 33 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.3 in)
102 x 58 x 36 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||381 g (13.4 oz)||242 g (8.5 oz)|
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