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Nikon B500 vs Sony A68

The Nikon Coolpix B500 and the Sony Alpha SLT-A68 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2016 and November 2015. The B500 is a fixed lens compact, while the A68 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (B500) and an APS-C (A68) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Nikon B500 versus Sony A68
Nikon B500 Sony A68
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
22.5-900mm f/3-6.5 Sony A mount lenses
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60i Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 80-6,400 ISO 100-25,600
No viewfinder, LCD framing Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)
3.0 LCD, 921k dots 2.7 LCD, 460k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
7.4 shutter flaps per second 8 shutter flaps per second
Lens-based stabilizationIn-body stabilization
600 shots per battery charge540 shots per battery charge
114 x 78 x 95 mm, 541 g 143 x 104 x 81 mm, 610 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix B500 and the Sony Alpha SLT-A68? 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.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon B500 and the Sony A68 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The B500 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the A68 is only available in black.

Size Nikon B500 vs Sony A68
Compare B500 versus A68 top
Comparison B500 or A68 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A68 is considerably larger (67 percent) than the Nikon B500. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the B500 nor the A68 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the B500 has a lens built in, whereas the A68 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon B500 4.5 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 19.1 oz 600 n Jan 2016 299i
 
Sony A68 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.2 in 21.5 oz 540 n Nov 2015 699i
 
Nikon B600 4.8 in 3.2 in 3.9 in 17.6 oz 280 n Jan 2019 349 i
 
Nikon A1000 4.5 in 2.8 in 1.6 in 11.6 oz 250 n Jan 2019 429 i
 
Nikon P1000 5.7 in 4.7 in 7.1 in 49.9 oz 250 n Jul 2018 999 i
 
Nikon W300 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.1 in 8.1 oz 280 Y May 2017 389 i
 
Nikon B700 4.9 in 3.3 in 4.2 in 19.9 oz 350 n Feb 2016 499 i
 
Nikon P900 5.5 in 4.1 in 5.4 in 31.7 oz 360 n Mar 2015 599i
 
Nikon L840 4.4 in 3.1 in 3.8 in 19.0 oz 590 n Feb 2015 299i
 
Panasonic FZ80 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.7 in 21.7 oz 330 n Jan 2017 399 i
 
Panasonic ZS100 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 11.0 oz 300 n Jan 2016 699i
 
Sony HX80 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 390 n Mar 2016 349 i
 
Sony A77 II 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.2 in 22.8 oz 480 Y May 2014 1,199 i
 
Sony A6000 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.1 oz 360 n Feb 2014 599i
 
Sony A58 5.1 in 3.7 in 3.1 in 17.4 oz 690 n Feb 2013 599i
 
Sony H200 4.8 in 3.3 in 3.4 in 18.7 oz 240 n Jan 2013 249 i
 
Sony A77 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.2 in 25.8 oz 470 Y Aug 2011 1,399i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The B500 was launched at a lower price than the A68, 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.

Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon B500 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Sony A68 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the A68 is 1211 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.5. The sensor in the B500 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the A68 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Nikon B500 and Sony A68 sensor measures

With 24MP, the A68 offers a higher resolution than the B500 (15.9MP), but the A68 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 1.33μm for the B500) due to its larger sensor. It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the B500 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Sony A68 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the A68 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon B500 are 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon Coolpix B500 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha SLT-A68 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

B500 versus A68 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Nikon B500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Sony A68 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.113.570179
 
Nikon B600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Nikon A1000 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Nikon P1000 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Nikon W300 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Nikon B700 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Nikon P900 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
 
Nikon L840 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Panasonic FZ80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........
 
Panasonic ZS100 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.555970
 
Sony HX80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........
 
Sony A77 II APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
 
Sony A58 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.312.575374
 
Sony H200 1/2.3 15.2 5184 2930720/30p........
 
Sony A77 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.280178

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60i).

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A68 has an electronic viewfinder (1440k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the B500 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon B500 and Sony A68 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Nikon B500none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Sony A681440 Y 2.7 460 tilting n 1/4000s 8.0 Y Y
 
Nikon B600none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Nikon A10001166 n 3.0 1036 tilting Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon P10002359 n 3.2 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon W300none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon B700921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y Y
 
Nikon P900921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon L840none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Panasonic FZ801166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic ZS1001166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX80638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony A77 II2359 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 1/8000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Sony A60001440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
 
Sony A581440 n 2.7 460 tilting n 1/4000s 5.0 Y Y
 
Sony H200none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y
 
Sony A772359 Y 3.0 921 full-flex n 1/8000s 12.0 Y Y

One feature that is present on the A68, but is missing on the B500 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The B500 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A68 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The A68 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the B500 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

Connectivity comparison

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 Coolpix B500 and Sony Alpha SLT-A68 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Nikon B500-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Sony A68YstereomonoY-micro2.0---
 
Nikon B600-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon A1000-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon P1000YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon W300-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon B700-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Nikon P900-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Nikon L840-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Panasonic FZ80Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic ZS100-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Sony HX80-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A77 IIYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Sony A6000Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A58YstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Sony H200-monomono---2.0---
 
Sony A77YstereomonoY-mini2.0---

It is notable that the B500 offers wifi support, while the A68 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the B500 and the A68 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The B500 was replaced by the Nikon B600, while the A68 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Sony websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Nikon B500 better than the Sony A68 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Advantages of the Nikon Coolpix B500:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 460k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the A68 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (114x78mm vs 143x104mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the A68).
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (600 versus 540) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • 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.

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Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha SLT-A68:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 25%.
  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • 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 sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the A68 comes out slightly ahead of the B500 (12 : 11 points). 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

B500 11:12 A68

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon B500 and the Sony A68 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the B500 or the A68. 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.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon B500+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2016 299i
 
Sony A68....4/5..4/5 Nov 2015 699i
 
Nikon B600+..3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2019 349 i
 
Nikon A1000+ +..3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2019 429 i
 
Nikon P1000+73/1003.5/54.5/53.5/5 Jul 2018 999 i
 
Nikon W300+..4/5..4/5 May 2017 389 i
 
Nikon B700+..4/5..4/5 Feb 2016 499 i
 
Nikon P900..77/1004/54.5/54/5 Mar 2015 599i
 
Nikon L840+ +..3.5/5..4/5 Feb 2015 299i
 
Panasonic FZ80+ +..4.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 399 i
 
Panasonic ZS100+ +82/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 699i
 
Sony HX80.......... Mar 2016 349 i
 
Sony A77 II..80/1004.5/54/55/5 May 2014 1,199 i
 
Sony A6000+80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599i
 
Sony A58....4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2013 599i
 
Sony H200....3.5/5..3.5/5 Jan 2013 249 i
 
Sony A7791/10081/100..4.5/55/5 Aug 2011 1,399i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Nikon B500:
Check Ebay offers
Sony A68:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Nikon B500 vs Sony A68

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon B500 Sony A68
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 22.5-900mm f/3-6.5 Sony A mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2016 November 2015
    Launch Price USD 299 USD 699
    Sensor Specs Nikon B500 Sony A68
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 366.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 28.2 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 3.91 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 6.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 79
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 24.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 13.5
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 701
    Screen Specs Nikon B500 Sony A68
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.57x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1440k dots
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.7inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon B500 Sony A68
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 7.4 shutter flaps/s 8 shutter flaps/s
    Image StabilizationLens-based stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Nikon B500 Sony A68
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in no Bluetooth
    Body Specs Nikon B500 Sony A68
    Battery Type 4xAA NP-FM500H
    Battery Life (CIPA)600 shots per charge540 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 114 x 78 x 95 mm
    (4.5 x 3.1 x 3.7 in)
    143 x 104 x 81 mm
    (5.6 x 4.1 x 3.2 in)
    Camera Weight 541 g (19.1 oz) 610 g (21.5 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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