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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.

Headline Specifications
Nikon B500 VS Sony H400
Nikon B500 Sony H400
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
22.5-900mm f/3-6.5 24.5-1550mm 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 Electronic viewfinder (210k dots)
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 0.7 shutter flaps per second
600 shots per battery charge300 shots per battery charge
114 x 78 x 95 mm, 541 g 130 x 95 x 122 mm, 628 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-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.

Body comparison

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.

Size Nikon B500 vs Sony H400
Compare B500 versus H400 top
Comparison B500 or H400 rear

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, 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» 114 mm 78 mm 95 mm 541 g 600 n Jan 2016 299iNikon B500
 
Sony H400« 130 mm 95 mm 122 mm 628 g 300 n Feb 2014 319 iSony H400
 
Fujifilm X100F« » 127 mm 75 mm 52 mm 469 g 390 n Jan 2017 1,299iFujifilm X100F
 
Fujifilm X70« » 113 mm 64 mm 44 mm 340 g 330 n Jan 2016 799iFujifilm X70
 
Leica Q Typ 116« » 130 mm 80 mm 93 mm 640 g 300 n Jun 2015 4,249iLeica Q Typ 116
 
Nikon B600« » 122 mm 82 mm 99 mm 500 g 280 n Jan 2019 349 iNikon B600
 
Nikon D5600« » 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 465 g 970 n Nov 2016 699 iNikon D5600
 
Nikon B700« » 125 mm 85 mm 107 mm 565 g 350 n Feb 2016 499 iNikon B700
 
Nikon P900« » 140 mm 103 mm 137 mm 899 g 360 n Mar 2015 599iNikon P900
 
Nikon L840« » 113 mm 78 mm 96 mm 538 g 590 n Feb 2015 299iNikon L840
 
Panasonic FZ82« » 130 mm 94 mm 119 mm 616 g 330 n Jan 2017 399 iPanasonic FZ82
 
Sony HX80« » 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 390 n Mar 2016 349 iSony HX80
 
Sony RX100 IV« » 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 n Jun 2015 999iSony RX100 IV
 
Sony HX400V« » 130 mm 93 mm 103 mm 660 g 300 n Feb 2014 499 iSony HX400V
 
Sony H300« » 128 mm 89 mm 92 mm 590 g 350 n Feb 2014 219 iSony H300
 
Sony H200« » 123 mm 83 mm 87 mm 530 g 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 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.

 

Sensor comparison

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.

Nikon B500 and Sony H400 sensor measures

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 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-H400 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

B500 versus H400 MP

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.

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 H400 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........Sony H400
 
Fujifilm X100F APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........Fujifilm X100F
 
Fujifilm X70 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........Fujifilm X70
 
Leica Q Typ 116 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185Leica Q Typ 116
 
Nikon B600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........Nikon B600
 
Nikon D5600 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684Nikon D5600
 
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 FZ82 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........Panasonic FZ82
 
Sony HX80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........Sony HX80
 
Sony RX100 IV 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony HX400V 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........Sony HX400V
 
Sony H300 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........Sony H300
 
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 H400. 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 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.

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 H400210 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/2000s 0.7 Y Y Sony H400
 
Fujifilm X100F2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 8.0 Y n Fujifilm X100F
 
Fujifilm X70optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y n Fujifilm X70
 
Leica Q Typ 1163680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 n Y Leica Q Typ 116
 
Nikon B600none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y Nikon B600
 
Nikon D5600optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D5600
 
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 FZ821166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ82
 
Sony HX80638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX80
 
Sony RX100 IV2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0 Y Y Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony HX400V210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX400V
 
Sony H300none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y Sony H300
 
Sony H200none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y Sony H200

Both the B500 and the H400 have zoom lenses built in. The B500 has a 22.5-900mm f/3-6.5 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.

 

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-H400 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 H400-monomono--micro2.0Y--Sony H400
 
Fujifilm X100FYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X100F
 
Fujifilm X70YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X70
 
Leica Q Typ 116Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Leica Q Typ 116
 
Nikon B600-stereomono--micro2.0Y-YNikon B600
 
Nikon D5600YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYNikon D5600
 
Nikon B700-stereomono--micro2.0YYYNikon B700
 
Nikon P900-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Nikon P900
 
Nikon L840-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Nikon L840
 
Panasonic FZ82Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic FZ82
 
Sony HX80-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX80
 
Sony RX100 IV-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony HX400VYstereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX400V
 
Sony H300-monomono--micro2.0Y--Sony H300
 
Sony H200-monomono--none2.0---Sony H200

The H400 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 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.

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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 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).

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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.

B500 13:04 H400

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.

Expert reviews

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 (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 H400o..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2014 319 iSony H400
 
Fujifilm X100F+83/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 1,299iFujifilm X100F
 
Fujifilm X70..76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 799iFujifilm X70
 
Leica Q Typ 116..80/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249iLeica Q Typ 116
 
Nikon B600+..3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2019 349 iNikon B600
 
Nikon D5600..79/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 iNikon D5600
 
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 FZ82+ +..4.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 399 iPanasonic FZ82
 
Sony HX80.......... Mar 2016 349 iSony HX80
 
Sony RX100 IV+ +85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999iSony RX100 IV
 
Sony HX400V+ +..4/5..4/5 Feb 2014 499 iSony HX400V
 
Sony H300+..4.5/5..4/5 Feb 2014 219 iSony H300
 
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 H400:
Check Amazon price

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.

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    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon B500 Sony H400
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 22.5-900mm f/3-6.5 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 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 H400
    Viewfinder Type No viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification ..x
    Viewfinder Resolution 210k dots
    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 H400
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 7.4 shutter flaps/s 0.7 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 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 Type 4xAA NP-BX1
    Battery Life (CIPA)600 shots per charge300 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 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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