Nikon B700 vs Sony A9 II
The Nikon Coolpix B700 and the Sony Alpha A9 II are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2016 and October 2019. The B700 is a fixed lens compact, while the A9 II is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (B700) and a full frame (A9 II) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 20.2 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.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix B700 and the Sony Alpha A9 II? 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 B700 and the Sony A9 II. 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 B700 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the A9 II 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 A9 II is notably larger (17 percent) than the Nikon B700. It is noteworthy in this context that the A9 II is splash and dust-proof, while the B700 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the B700 has a lens built in, whereas the A9 II is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the A9 II and their specifications in the Sony FE Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the B700 gets 350 shots out of its EN-EL23 battery, while the A9 II can take 690 images on a single charge of its NP-FZ100 power pack. The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, 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. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Nikon B700||125 mm||85 mm||107 mm||565 g||350||n||Feb 2016||499|
|2.||Sony A9 II||129 mm||96 mm||76 mm||678 g||690||Y||Oct 2019||4,499|
|3.||Canon SX70||127 mm||91 mm||117 mm||608 g||325||n||Sep 2018||549|
|4.||Kodak AZ901||139 mm||104 mm||119 mm||777 g||400||n||Jan 2016||499|
|5.||Nikon B500||114 mm||78 mm||95 mm||541 g||600||n||Jan 2016||299|
|6.||Nikon P900||140 mm||103 mm||137 mm||899 g||360||n||Mar 2015||599|
|7.||Nikon L840||113 mm||78 mm||96 mm||538 g||590||n||Feb 2015||299|
|8.||Panasonic ZS70||112 mm||67 mm||41 mm||322 g||380||n||Apr 2017||449|
|9.||Panasonic FZ80||130 mm||94 mm||119 mm||616 g||330||n||Jan 2017||399|
|10.||Sony A7 III||127 mm||96 mm||74 mm||650 g||610||Y||Feb 2018||1,999|
|11.||Sony A9||127 mm||96 mm||63 mm||673 g||650||Y||Apr 2017||4,499|
|12.||Sony HX350||130 mm||93 mm||103 mm||652 g||300||n||Dec 2016||449|
|13.||Sony A7S II||127 mm||96 mm||60 mm||627 g||370||Y||Sep 2015||2,999|
|14.||Sony HX90V||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||360||n||Apr 2015||429|
|15.||Sony A7 II||127 mm||96 mm||60 mm||599 g||350||Y||Nov 2014||1,999|
|16.||Sony HX400V||130 mm||93 mm||103 mm||660 g||300||n||Feb 2014||499|
|17.||Sony A99||147 mm||111 mm||78 mm||812 g||500||Y||Sep 2012||2,799|
|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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The B700 was launched at a lower price than the A9 II, despite having a lens built in. 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.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the 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 B700 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Sony A9 II a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the A9 II is 2925 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.0. The sensor in the B700 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the A9 II offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 24MP, the A9 II offers a higher resolution than the B700 (20.2MP), but the A9 II nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.94μm versus 1.18μm for the B700) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the A9 II is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 7 months) than the B700, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the B700 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Sony A9 II implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the A9 II 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 B700 are 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm for good quality, 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm for very good quality, and 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The A9 II has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Nikon Coolpix B700 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A9 II are ISO 100 to ISO 51200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-204800.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
| DXO |
|2.||Sony A9 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.0||3434||93|
|10.||Sony A7 III||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||14.7||3730||96|
|11.||Sony A9||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||24.9||13.3||3517||92|
|13.||Sony A7S II||Full Frame||12.0||4240||2832||4K/30p||23.6||13.3||2993||85|
|15.||Sony A7 II||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.9||13.6||2449||90|
|17.||Sony A99||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.0||14.0||1555||89|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (4K/30p).
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the A9 II offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the B700 (3686k vs 921k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon B700 and Sony A9 II in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|2.||Sony A9 II||3686||n||3.0||1440||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|10.||Sony A7 III||2359||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||Y|
|13.||Sony A7S II||2400||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||Y|
|15.||Sony A7 II||2400||n||3.0||1230||tilting||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||Y|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The B700 has one, while the A9 II does not. While the built-in flash of the B700 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.The B700 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the A9 II does not have a selfie-screen.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the A9 II is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Nikon B700 and the Sony A9 II both have an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the B700 and the A9 II write their files to SDXC cards. The A9 II features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the B700 only has one slot. The A9 II supports UHS-II cards (on both slots), while the B700 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 B700 and Sony Alpha A9 II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|2.||Sony A9 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
|10.||Sony A7 III||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||Y||Y|
|13.||Sony A7S II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|15.||Sony A7 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the A9 II has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The B700 does not feature such a mic input.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Sony A9 II (unlike the B700) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the B700 and the A9 II are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The B700 replaced the earlier Nikon P610, while the A9 II followed on from the Sony A9. 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 is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon B700 and the Sony A9 II? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Nikon Coolpix B700:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the A9 II requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (125x85mm vs 129x96mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the A9 II).
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2016).
Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha A9 II:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 20.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 11%.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (3686k vs 921k dots).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1440k vs 921k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (690 versus 350) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.1 vs 2.0).
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- Faster buffer clearing: Supports Ultra High Speed (UHS-II) SDXC cards on both slots.
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 7 months of technical progress since the B700 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the A9 II is the clear winner of the contest (24 : 9 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon B700 and the Sony A9 II place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the B700 or the A9 II perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear 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 B700||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2016||499|
|2.||Sony A9 II||..||..||90/100||5/5||5/5||Oct 2019||4,499|
|3.||Canon SX70||..||+ +||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Sep 2018||549|
|4.||Kodak AZ901||..||..||..||3.5/5||3/5||Jan 2016||499|
|5.||Nikon B500||..||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2016||299|
|6.||Nikon P900||..||..||77/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2015||599|
|7.||Nikon L840||..||+ +||..||3.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||299|
|8.||Panasonic ZS70||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||449|
|9.||Panasonic FZ80||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||399|
|10.||Sony A7 III||..||+ +||89/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2018||1,999|
|11.||Sony A9||5/5||+ +||89/100||5/5||5/5||Apr 2017||4,499|
|12.||Sony HX350||..||..||..||..||4/5||Dec 2016||449|
|13.||Sony A7S II||5/5||+||..||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2015||2,999|
|14.||Sony HX90V||4/5||+ +||..||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2015||429|
|15.||Sony A7 II||5/5||+||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||Nov 2014||1,999|
|16.||Sony HX400V||4/5||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2014||499|
|17.||Sony A99||5/5||..||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,799|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes 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 B700 vs Sony A9 II
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 B700||Sony A9 II|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||24-1440mm f/3.3-6.5||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2016||October 2019|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 4,499|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon B700||Sony A9 II|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||35.6 x 23.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||847.28 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||42.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20.2 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3888 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.18 μm||5.94 μm|
|Pixel Density||71.80 MP/cm2||2.83 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||50 - 204,800 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||93|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||25.0|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||14.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||3434|
|Screen Specs||Nikon B700||Sony A9 II|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||921k dots||3686k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||1440k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon B700||Sony A9 II|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/32000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||Intervalometer built-in|
|Image Stabilization||Lens-based stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||no||Dual UHS-II|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon B700||Sony A9 II|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 3.1|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Headphone Socket||no Headphone port||Headphone port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Nikon B700||Sony A9 II|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||350 shots per charge||690 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
125 x 85 x 107 mm
(4.9 x 3.3 x 4.2 in)
129 x 96 x 76 mm
(5.1 x 3.8 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||565 g (19.9 oz)||678 g (23.9 oz)|
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