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Nikon B600 vs Sony HX99

The Nikon Coolpix B600 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2019 and August 2018. Both the B600 and the HX99 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 18 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Nikon B600   Sony HX99
Nikon B600 Sony HX99
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-1440mm f/3.3-6.5 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 18 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/30p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 125-6400 ISO 80-3200 (80-6400)
No viewfinder, LCD framing Electronic viewfinder (638k dots)
3.0" LCD, 921k dots 3.0" LCD, 922k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting touchscreen
7.4 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
280 shots per battery charge370 shots per battery charge
122 x 82 x 99 mm, 500 g 102 x 58 x 36 mm, 242 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix B600 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.

Body comparison: Nikon B600 vs Sony HX99

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon B600 and the Sony HX99 is provided in the side-by-side display below. 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 B600 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the HX99 is only available in black.

Size Nikon B600 vs Sony HX99
Compare B600 versus HX99 top
Comparison B600 or HX99 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony HX99 is considerably smaller (41 percent) than the Nikon B600. Moreover, the HX99 is substantially lighter (52 percent) than the B600. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the B600 nor the HX99 are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the B600 gets 280 shots out of its EN-EL12 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 want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons 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)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon B600» 4.8 in 3.2 in 3.9 in 17.6 oz 280 n Jan 2019 349 i i Nikon B600
 
Sony HX99« 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 370 n Aug 2018 449 i i Sony HX99
 
Canon SX740« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 265 n Jul 2018 399 i i Canon SX740
 
Canon SX70« » 5.0 in 3.6 in 4.6 in 21.4 oz 325 n Sep 2018 549 i i Canon SX70
 
Canon SX730« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
 
Nikon A1000« » 4.5 in 2.8 in 1.6 in 11.6 oz 250 n Jan 2019 429 i i Nikon A1000
 
Nikon P1000« » 5.7 in 4.7 in 7.1 in 49.9 oz 250 n Jul 2018 999 i i Nikon P1000
 
Nikon W300« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.1 in 8.1 oz 280 Y May 2017 389 i i Nikon W300
 
Nikon P900« » 5.5 in 4.1 in 5.4 in 31.7 oz 360 n Mar 2015 599- i Nikon P900
 
Panasonic FZ100« » 4.9 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 19.0 oz 410 n Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic FZ100
 
Sony HX95« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 370 n Aug 2018 429 i i Sony HX95
 
Sony WX800« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.2 oz 370 n Oct 2018 399 i i Sony WX800
 
Sony HX400V« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.1 in 23.3 oz 300 n Feb 2014 499 i i Sony HX400V
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 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 B600 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 22 percent) than the HX99, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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: Nikon B600 vs Sony HX99

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 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 B600 and Sony HX99 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the HX99 offers a higher resolution of 18 megapixels, compared with 15.9 MP of the B600. This megapixels advantage translates into a 6 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the HX99 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.25μm versus 1.33μm for the B600). Moreover, it should be noted, that the B600 is a somewhat more recent model (by 4 months) than the HX99, 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 HX99 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the HX99 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.5 x 18.4 inch or 62.2 x 46.6 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.6 x 14.7 inch or 49.7 x 37.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.3 x 12.2 inch or 41.5 x 31.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon B600 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 B600 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 6400. 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.

B600 versus HX99 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. 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 B600» 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p----Nikon B600
 
Sony HX99« 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p----Sony HX99
 
Canon SX740« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p----Canon SX740
 
Canon SX70« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p----Canon SX70
 
Canon SX730« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Canon SX730
 
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 P900« » 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p----Nikon P900
 
Panasonic FZ100« » 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i----Panasonic FZ100
 
Sony HX95« » 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p----Sony HX95
 
Sony WX800« » 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p----Sony WX800
 
Sony HX400V« » 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p----Sony HX400V

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. 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 B600. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Nikon B600 vs Sony HX99

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range 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 B600 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 B600, the Sony HX99, 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 B600»- n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y Nikon B600
 
Sony HX99«638 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX99
 
Canon SX740« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y Canon SX740
 
Canon SX70« »2360 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Canon SX70
 
Canon SX730« »- n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y Canon SX730
 
Nikon A1000« »1166 n 3.0 1036 tilting Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y Nikon A1000
 
Nikon P1000« »2359 n 3.2 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y Nikon P1000
 
Nikon W300« »- n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y Nikon W300
 
Nikon P900« »921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y Nikon P900
 
Panasonic FZ100« »202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ100
 
Sony HX95« »638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX95
 
Sony WX800« »- n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony WX800
 
Sony HX400V« »210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX400V

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The HX99 has a touchscreen, while the B600 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The HX99 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the B600 does not have a selfie-screen.

Both the B600 and the HX99 have zoom lenses built in. The B600 has a 24-1440mm f/3.3-6.5 optic and the HX99 offers a 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Nikon and Sony provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Sony has less tele-photo reach at the long end. The B600 offers the faster maximum aperture.

The B600 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the HX99 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The B600 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the HX99 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Nikon B600 vs Sony HX99

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 B600 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99 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
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Nikon B600»-stereomono--micro2.0Y-YNikon B600
 
Sony HX99«-stereomono--micro2.0YYYSony HX99
 
Canon SX740« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX740
 
Canon SX70« »-stereomonoY-micro2.0Y-YCanon SX70
 
Canon SX730« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX730
 
Nikon A1000« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y-YNikon A1000
 
Nikon P1000« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-YNikon P1000
 
Nikon W300« »-stereomono--micro2.0Y-YNikon W300
 
Nikon P900« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Nikon P900
 
Panasonic FZ100« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Panasonic FZ100
 
Sony HX95« »-stereomono--micro2.0YYYSony HX95
 
Sony WX800« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony WX800
 
Sony HX400V« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX400V

Both the B600 and the HX99 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The B600 replaced the earlier Nikon B500, while the HX99 does not have a direct predecessor. 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: Nikon B600 vs Sony HX99

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon B600 or the Sony HX99 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon Coolpix B600:

  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/3.3 vs f/3.5).
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (22 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 4 months after the HX99).

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Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX99:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (18 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 6%.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 7.4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 122x82mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 258g or 52 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (370 versus 280) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in August 2018).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the HX99 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 6 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.

B600 06:12 HX99

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon B600 and the Sony HX99 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the B600 and the HX99 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews: Nikon B600 vs Sony HX99

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon B600»--3.5/5-3/5 Jan 2019 349 i i Nikon B600
 
Sony HX99«--4/5-4.5/5 Aug 2018 449 i i Sony HX99
 
Canon SX740« »+-4/5-4/5 Jul 2018 399 i i Canon SX740
 
Canon SX70« »--3.5/5-3.5/5 Sep 2018 549 i i Canon SX70
 
Canon SX730« »+-4/5-4/5 Apr 2017 399- i Canon SX730
 
Nikon A1000« »--3.5/5-3/5 Jan 2019 429 i i Nikon A1000
 
Nikon P1000« »+73/1003.5/54.5/53.5/5 Jul 2018 999 i i Nikon P1000
 
Nikon W300« »+-4/5-4/5 May 2017 389 i i Nikon W300
 
Nikon P900« »-77/1004/54.5/54/5 Mar 2015 599- i Nikon P900
 
Panasonic FZ100« »+-4.5/5-4.5/5 Jul 2010 499- i Panasonic FZ100
 
Sony HX95« »----- Aug 2018 429 i i Sony HX95
 
Sony WX800« »----- Oct 2018 399 i i Sony WX800
 
Sony HX400V« »+ +-4/5-4/5 Feb 2014 499 i i Sony HX400V
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Nikon B600:
Check Amazon price
Sony HX99:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu 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 B600 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 Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon B600 Sony HX99
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-1440mm f/3.3-6.5 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4
    Launch Date January 2019 August 2018
    Launch Price USD 349 USD 449
    Sensor Specs Nikon B600 Sony HX99
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    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 18 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 4896 x 3672 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 1.25 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 64.04 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 125-6400 ISO 80-3200 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 80-6400 ISO
    Screen Specs Nikon B600 Sony HX99
    Viewfinder Type No viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification ..x
    Viewfinder Resolution 638k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Nikon B600 Sony HX99
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 7.4 shutter flaps/s 10 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 UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Nikon B600 Sony HX99
    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 no NFC NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Nikon B600 Sony HX99
    Battery Type EN-EL12 power pack NP-BX1 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)280 shots per charge370 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 122 x 82 x 99 mm
    (4.8 x 3.2 x 3.9 in)
    102 x 58 x 36 mm
    (4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 500 g (17.6 oz) 242 g (8.5 oz)

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