Nikon B500 vs Sony H400
The Nikon Coolpix B500 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H400 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2016 and February 2014. Both the B500 and the H400 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.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix B500 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H400? 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 B500 and the Sony H400. 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The B500 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the H400 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony H400 is notably larger (39 percent) than the Nikon B500. Moreover, the H400 is markedly heavier (16 percent) than the B500. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the B500 nor the H400 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, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Nikon B500||114 mm||78 mm||95 mm||541 g||600||n||Jan 2016||299|
|2.||Sony H400||130 mm||95 mm||122 mm||628 g||300||n||Feb 2014||319|
|3.||Fujifilm X100F||127 mm||75 mm||52 mm||469 g||390||n||Jan 2017||1,299|
|4.||Fujifilm X70||113 mm||64 mm||44 mm||340 g||330||n||Jan 2016||799|
|5.||Leica Q Typ 116||130 mm||80 mm||93 mm||640 g||300||n||Jun 2015||4,249|
|6.||Nikon B600||122 mm||82 mm||99 mm||500 g||280||n||Jan 2019||349|
|7.||Nikon D5600||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||465 g||970||n||Nov 2016||699|
|8.||Nikon B700||125 mm||85 mm||107 mm||565 g||350||n||Feb 2016||499|
|9.||Nikon P900||140 mm||103 mm||137 mm||899 g||360||n||Mar 2015||599|
|10.||Nikon L840||113 mm||78 mm||96 mm||538 g||590||n||Feb 2015||299|
|11.||Panasonic FZ82||130 mm||94 mm||119 mm||616 g||330||n||Jan 2017||399|
|12.||Sony HX80||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||390||n||Mar 2016||349|
|13.||Sony RX100 IV||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999|
|14.||Sony HX400V||130 mm||93 mm||103 mm||660 g||300||n||Feb 2014||499|
|15.||Sony H300||128 mm||89 mm||92 mm||590 g||350||n||Feb 2014||219|
|16.||Sony H200||123 mm||83 mm||87 mm||530 g||240||n||Jan 2013||249|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or 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 B500 was somewhat cheaper (by 6 percent) than the H400 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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 sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras 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.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the H400 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 H400 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 H400, 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 H400 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the H400 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.8 x 19.3 inches or 65.4 x 49.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.6 x 15.5 inches or 52.3 x 39.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.2 x 12.9 inches or 43.6 x 32.7 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 Cyber-shot DSC-H400 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).
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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
| DXO |
|5.||Leica Q Typ 116||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.7||2221||85|
|13.||Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
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 H400. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60i, while the Sony is limited to 720/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the H400 has an electronic viewfinder (210k 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon B500, the Sony H400, and comparable cameras.
|5.||Leica Q Typ 116||3680||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||10.0||n||Y|
|13.||Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||Y||Y|
Both the B500 and the H400 have zoom lenses built in. The B500 has a 22.5-900mm f/3.0-6.5 optic and the H400 offers a 24.5-1550mm 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 than the Sony, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. The B500 offers the faster maximum aperture.
The B500 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the H400 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.
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-H400 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|5.||Leica Q Typ 116||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|13.||Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
The H400 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the B500 has been discontinued (but 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.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon B500 and the Sony H400? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor 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 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7.4 vs 0.7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/3.0 vs f/3.4).
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- More compact: Is smaller (114x78mm vs 130x95mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 87g or 14 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (600 versus 300) 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 H400).
Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H400:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (19.9 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 12%.
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2014).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the B500 is the clear winner of the match-up (13 : 4 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 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon B500 and the Sony H400 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 specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the B500 and the H400 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 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], 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 B500||..||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2016||299|
|2.||Sony H400||..||o||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2014||319|
|3.||Fujifilm X100F||5/5||+||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||1,299|
|4.||Fujifilm X70||4.5/5||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2016||799|
|5.||Leica Q Typ 116||5/5||..||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||4,249|
|6.||Nikon B600||..||+||..||3.5/5||3/5||Jan 2019||349|
|7.||Nikon D5600||4/5||..||79/100||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2016||699|
|8.||Nikon B700||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2016||499|
|9.||Nikon P900||..||..||77/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2015||599|
|10.||Nikon L840||..||+ +||..||3.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||299|
|11.||Panasonic FZ82||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||399|
|12.||Sony HX80||..||..||..||..||..||Mar 2016||349|
|13.||Sony RX100 IV||4.5/5||+ +||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999|
|14.||Sony HX400V||4/5||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2014||499|
|15.||Sony H300||..||+||..||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2014||219|
|16.||Sony H200||..||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jan 2013||249|
|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.
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 use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Nikon B500 vs Sony H400
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 B500||Sony H400|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||22.5-900mm f/3.0-6.5||24.5-1550mm f/3.4-6.5|
|Launch Date||January 2016||February 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 299||USD 319|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon B500||Sony H400|
|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|
|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 - 6,400 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Nikon B500||Sony H400|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||210k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon B500||Sony H400|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||7.4 shutter flaps/s||0.7 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-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 H400|
|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 H400|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||600 shots per charge||300 shots per charge|
114 x 78 x 95 mm
(4.5 x 3.1 x 3.7 in)
130 x 95 x 122 mm
(5.1 x 3.7 x 4.8 in)
|Camera Weight||541 g (19.1 oz)||628 g (22.2 oz)|
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