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Nikon B500 vs Sony H300

The Nikon Coolpix B500 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2016 and February 2014. Both the B500 and the H300 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 19.9 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Nikon B500 VS Sony H300
Nikon B500 Sony H300
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
22.5-900mm f/3-6.5 25-875mm f/3.4-6.5
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 19.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/60i Video 720/30p Video
ISO 80-6400 ISO 80-3200
No viewfinder, LCD framing No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0" LCD, 921k dots 3.0" LCD, 460k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
7.4 shutter flaps per second 0.8 shutter flaps per second
600 shots per battery charge350 shots per battery charge
114 x 78 x 95 mm, 541 g 128 x 89 x 92 mm, 590 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix B500 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300? 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

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon B500 and the Sony H300. 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.

The B500 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the H300 is only available in black.

Size Nikon B500 vs Sony H300
Compare B500 versus H300 top
Comparison B500 or H300 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony H300 is notably larger (28 percent) than the Nikon B500. Moreover, the H300 is markedly heavier (9 percent) than the B500. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the B500 nor the H300 are weather-sealed.

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, 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.

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)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon B500» 4.5 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 19.1 oz 600 n Jan 2016 299iNikon B500
 
Sony H300« 5.0 in 3.5 in 3.6 in 20.8 oz 350 n Feb 2014 219 iSony H300
 
Canon SX610« » 4.1 in 2.4 in 1.1 in 6.7 oz 270 n Jan 2015 249iCanon SX610
 
Nikon B600« » 4.8 in 3.2 in 3.9 in 17.6 oz 280 n Jan 2019 349 iNikon B600
 
Nikon A1000« » 4.5 in 2.8 in 1.6 in 11.6 oz 250 n Jan 2019 429 iNikon A1000
 
Nikon P1000« » 5.7 in 4.7 in 7.1 in 49.9 oz 250 n Jul 2018 999 iNikon P1000
 
Nikon W300« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.1 in 8.1 oz 280 Y May 2017 389 iNikon W300
 
Nikon B700« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 4.2 in 19.9 oz 350 n Feb 2016 499 iNikon B700
 
Nikon P900« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 5.4 in 31.7 oz 360 n Mar 2015 599iNikon P900
 
Nikon L840« » 4.4 in 3.1 in 3.8 in 19.0 oz 590 n Feb 2015 299iNikon L840
 
Panasonic FZ80« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.7 in 21.7 oz 330 n Jan 2017 399 iPanasonic FZ80
 
Sony HX80« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 390 n Mar 2016 349 iSony HX80
 
Sony HX90V« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 360 n Apr 2015 429 iSony HX90V
 
Sony HX400V« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.1 in 23.3 oz 300 n Feb 2014 499 iSony HX400V
 
Sony H400« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.8 in 22.2 oz 300 n Feb 2014 319 iSony H400
 
Sony H200« » 4.8 in 3.3 in 3.4 in 18.7 oz 240 n Jan 2013 249 iSony H200
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 H300 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 27 percent) than the B500, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/2.3-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Nikon B500 and Sony H300 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the H300 offers a higher resolution of 19.9 megapixels, compared with 15.9 MP of the B500. This megapixels advantage translates into a 12 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the H300 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.19μm versus 1.33μm for the B500). Moreover, it should be noted, that the B500 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 11 months) than the H300, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual 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 resolution advantage of the Sony H300 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the H300 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.8 x 19.3 inch or 65.4 x 49.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.6 x 15.5 inch or 52.3 x 39.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.2 x 12.9 inch or 43.6 x 32.7 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon B500 are 23 x 17.3 inch or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inch or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inch 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 Cyber-shot DSC-H300 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

B500 versus H300 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Nikon B500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........Nikon B500
 
Sony H300 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........Sony H300
 
Canon SX610 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p........Canon SX610
 
Nikon B600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........Nikon B600
 
Nikon A1000 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........Nikon A1000
 
Nikon P1000 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........Nikon P1000
 
Nikon W300 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........Nikon W300
 
Nikon B700 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........Nikon B700
 
Nikon P900 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........Nikon P900
 
Nikon L840 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........Nikon L840
 
Panasonic FZ80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........Panasonic FZ80
 
Sony HX80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........Sony HX80
 
Sony HX90V 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........Sony HX90V
 
Sony HX400V 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........Sony HX400V
 
Sony H400 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........Sony H400
 
Sony H200 1/2.3 15.2 5184 2930720/30p........Sony H200

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, but the B500 provides a higher video resolution than the H300. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60i, while the Sony is limited to 720/30p.

 

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The B500 and the H300 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon B500 and Sony H300 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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
Camera
Model
 
Nikon B500none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y Nikon B500
 
Sony H300none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y Sony H300
 
Canon SX610none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y Canon SX610
 
Nikon B600none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y Nikon B600
 
Nikon A10001166 n 3.0 1036 tilting Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y Nikon A1000
 
Nikon P10002359 n 3.2 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y Nikon P1000
 
Nikon W300none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y Nikon W300
 
Nikon B700921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y Y Nikon B700
 
Nikon P900921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y Nikon P900
 
Nikon L840none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y Nikon L840
 
Panasonic FZ801166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ80
 
Sony HX80638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX80
 
Sony HX90V638 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX90V
 
Sony HX400V210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX400V
 
Sony H400210 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/2000s 0.7 Y Y Sony H400
 
Sony H200none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y Sony H200

Both the B500 and the H300 have zoom lenses built in. The B500 has a 22.5-900mm f/3-6.5 optic and the H300 offers a 25-875mm f/3.4-6.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Nikon provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Sony. The B500 offers the faster maximum aperture.

The B500 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the H300 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo 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 Cyber-shot DSC-H300 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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
Camera
Model
 
Nikon B500-stereomono--micro2.0YYYNikon B500
 
Sony H300-monomono--micro2.0Y--Sony H300
 
Canon SX610-nonenone--micro2.0YY-Canon SX610
 
Nikon B600-stereomono--micro2.0Y-YNikon B600
 
Nikon A1000-stereomono--micro2.0Y-YNikon A1000
 
Nikon P1000YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-YNikon P1000
 
Nikon W300-stereomono--micro2.0Y-YNikon W300
 
Nikon B700-stereomono--micro2.0YYYNikon B700
 
Nikon P900-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Nikon P900
 
Nikon L840-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Nikon L840
 
Panasonic FZ80Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic FZ80
 
Sony HX80-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX80
 
Sony HX90V-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX90V
 
Sony HX400VYstereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX400V
 
Sony H400-monomono--micro2.0Y--Sony H400
 
Sony H200-monomono--none2.0---Sony H200

The H300 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the B500 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the B500 was succeeded by the Nikon B600. 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 is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon B500 or the Sony H300 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Advantages of the Nikon Coolpix B500:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60i vs 720/30p).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 460k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/1500s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7.4 vs 0.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/3 vs f/3.4).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More compact: Is smaller (114x78mm vs 128x89mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (600 versus 350) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 11 months after the H300).

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Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (19.9 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 12%.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (27 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2014).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the B500 is the clear winner of the match-up (13 : 3 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

B500 13:03 H300

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon B500 and the Sony H300 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera listing 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the B500 or the H300. 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.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon B500+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2016 299iNikon B500
 
Sony H300+..4.5/5..4/5 Feb 2014 219 iSony H300
 
Canon SX610....4/5..4/5 Jan 2015 249iCanon SX610
 
Nikon B600+..3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2019 349 iNikon B600
 
Nikon A1000+ +..3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2019 429 iNikon A1000
 
Nikon P1000+73/1003.5/54.5/53.5/5 Jul 2018 999 iNikon P1000
 
Nikon W300+..4/5..4/5 May 2017 389 iNikon W300
 
Nikon B700+..4/5..4/5 Feb 2016 499 iNikon B700
 
Nikon P900..77/1004/54.5/54/5 Mar 2015 599iNikon P900
 
Nikon L840+ +..3.5/5..4/5 Feb 2015 299iNikon L840
 
Panasonic FZ80+ +..4.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 399 iPanasonic FZ80
 
Sony HX80.......... Mar 2016 349 iSony HX80
 
Sony HX90V+ +..4/5..4.5/5 Apr 2015 429 iSony HX90V
 
Sony HX400V+ +..4/5..4/5 Feb 2014 499 iSony HX400V
 
Sony H400o..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2014 319 iSony H400
 
Sony H200....3.5/5..3.5/5 Jan 2013 249 iSony H200
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Nikon B500:
Check Ebay offers
Sony H300:
Check Amazon price

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. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Nikon B500 vs Sony H300

    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 H300
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 22.5-900mm f/3-6.5 25-875mm f/3.4-6.5
    Launch Date January 2016 February 2014
    Launch Price USD 299 USD 219
    Sensor Specs Nikon B500 Sony H300
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 19.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 5152 x 3864 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 1.19 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 70.91 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 80-6400 ISO 80-3200 ISO
    Screen Specs Nikon B500 Sony H300
    Viewfinder Type No viewfinder No viewfinder
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon B500 Sony H300
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 7.4 shutter flaps/s 0.8 shutter flaps/s
    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 no
    Connectivity Specs Nikon B500 Sony H300
    External Flash no Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in no Bluetooth
    Body Specs Nikon B500 Sony H300
    Battery Type 4xAA 4xAA
    Battery Life (CIPA)600 shots per charge350 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 114 x 78 x 95 mm
    (4.5 x 3.1 x 3.7 in)
    128 x 89 x 92 mm
    (5.0 x 3.5 x 3.6 in)
    Camera Weight 541 g (19.1 oz) 590 g (20.8 oz)

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