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Nikon D3100 vs Sony A7 III

The Nikon D3100 and the Sony Alpha A7 III are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2010 and February 2018. The D3100 is a DSLR, while the A7 III is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on an APS-C (D3100) and a full frame (A7 III) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 14.2 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.

Headline Specifications
Nikon D3100
versus
Sony A7 III
Nikon D3100   Sony A7 III
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Nikon F mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
14.2 MP – APS-C sensor 24 MP – Full Frame sensor
1080/24p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-3,200 (100 - 12,800) ISO 100-51,200 (50 - 204,800)
Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)
3.0" LCD – 230k dots 3.0" LCD – 922k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting touchscreen
3 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
Lens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
not weather sealedWeathersealed body
550 shots per battery charge610 shots per battery charge
124 x 96 x 75 mm, 505 g 127 x 96 x 74 mm, 650 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D3100 and the Sony Alpha A7 III? 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 physical size and weight of the Nikon D3100 and the Sony A7 III are illustrated 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The D3100 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the A7 III is only available in black.

Size Nikon D3100 vs Sony A7 III
Compare D3100 versus A7 III top
Comparison D3100 or A7 III rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A7 III is somewhat larger (2 percent) than the Nikon D3100. Moreover, the A7 III is markedly heavier (29 percent) than the D3100. It is noteworthy in this context that the A7 III is splash and dust-proof, while the D3100 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Nikon Lens Catalog (D3100) and the Sony FE Lens Catalog (A7 III). Mirrorless cameras, such as the A7 III, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

Concerning battery life, the D3100 gets 550 shots out of its EN-EL14 battery, while the A7 III can take 610 images on a single charge of its NP-FZ100 power pack. The power pack in the A7 III can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon D3100 124 mm 96 mm 75 mm 505 g 550 n Aug 2010 599ebay.com
2.
 
Sony A7 III 127 mm 96 mm 74 mm 650 g 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 amazon.com
3.
 
Nikon Z6 134 mm 101 mm 67 mm 675 g 310 Y Aug 2018 1,999ebay.com
4.
 
Nikon D3200 125 mm 96 mm 77 mm 505 g 540 n Apr 2012 599ebay.com
5.
 
Nikon D5100 128 mm 97 mm 79 mm 560 g 660 n Apr 2011 749ebay.com
6.
 
Nikon D7000 132 mm 105 mm 77 mm 780 g 1050 Y Sep 2010 1,499ebay.com
7.
 
Nikon D3000 126 mm 97 mm 64 mm 536 g 500 n Jul 2009 599ebay.com
8.
 
Nikon D5000 127 mm 104 mm 80 mm 590 g 510 n Apr 2009 749ebay.com
9.
 
Nikon D60 126 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 500 n Jan 2008 629ebay.com
10.
 
Nikon D40X 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 520 n Mar 2007 729ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon D40 124 mm 94 mm 64 mm 522 g 470 n Nov 2006 499ebay.com
12.
 
Sony A7R IV 129 mm 96 mm 78 mm 665 g 670 Y Jul 2019 3,499 amazon.com
13.
 
Sony A7R III 127 mm 96 mm 74 mm 650 g 650 Y Oct 2017 3,199ebay.com
14.
 
Sony A9 127 mm 96 mm 63 mm 673 g 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499ebay.com
15.
 
Sony A7 II 127 mm 96 mm 60 mm 599 g 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999ebay.com
16.
 
Sony NEX-5N 111 mm 59 mm 38 mm 269 g 460 n Aug 2011 699ebay.com
17.
 
Sony NEX-C3 110 mm 60 mm 33 mm 225 g 400 n Jun 2011 599ebay.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 D3100 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 70 percent) than the A7 III, which puts it into a different market segment. 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 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 D3100 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony A7 III a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the A7 III is 138 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Nikon D3100 and Sony A7 III sensor measures

With 24MP, the A7 III offers a higher resolution than the D3100 (14.2MP), but the A7 III nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.94μm versus 5.01μm for the D3100) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the A7 III is a much more recent model (by 7 years and 6 months) than the D3100, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.

The resolution advantage of the Sony A7 III implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the A7 III 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 D3100 are 23 x 15.4 inches or 58.5 x 39 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 12.3 inches or 46.8 x 31.2 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 10.2 inches or 39 x 26 cm for excellent quality prints.

The A7 III has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Nikon D3100 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A7 III are ISO 100 to ISO 51200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-204800.

In terms of underlying technology, the D3100 is build around a CMOS sensor, while the A7 III uses a BSI-CMOS imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

D3100 versus A7 III MP

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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the A7 III offers substantially better image quality than the D3100 (overall score 29 points higher). The advantage is based on 2.5 bits higher color depth, 3.4 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Nikon D3100 APS-C 14.2 4608 30721080/24p22.511.391967
2.
 
Sony A7 III Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096
3.
 
Nikon Z6 Full Frame 24.3 6048 40244K/30p25.314.3329995
4.
 
Nikon D3200 APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/30p24.113.2113181
5.
 
Nikon D5100 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.513.6118380
6.
 
Nikon D7000 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/24p23.513.9116780
7.
 
Nikon D3000 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.156362
8.
 
Nikon D5000 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872
9.
 
Nikon D60 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.511.456265
10.
 
Nikon D40X APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.411.451663
11.
 
Nikon D40 APS-C 6.0 3008 2000none21.011.056156
12.
 
Sony A7R IV Full Frame 60.2 9504 63364K/30p26.014.8334499
13.
 
Sony A7R III Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.014.73523100
14.
 
Sony A9 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792
15.
 
Sony A7 II Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990
16.
 
Sony NEX-5N APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.612.7107977
17.
 
Sony NEX-C3 APS-C 16.0 4912 3264720/30p22.712.2108373

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the A7 III provides a better video resolution than the D3100. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/24p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A7 III has an electronic viewfinder (2359k dots), while the D3100 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinder in the A7 III offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the D3100 (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the A7 III has a higher magnification (0.78x vs 0.53x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon D3100 and Sony A7 III in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Nikon D3100optical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
2.
 
Sony A7 III2359 n3.0 / 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n Y
3.
 
Nikon Z63690 Y3.2 / 2100 tilting Y 1/8000s 12.0/s n Y
4.
 
Nikon D3200optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
5.
 
Nikon D5100optical n3.0 / 921 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
6.
 
Nikon D7000optical Y3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0/s Y n
7.
 
Nikon D3000optical n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
8.
 
Nikon D5000optical n2.7 / 230 full-flex n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
9.
 
Nikon D60optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
10.
 
Nikon D40Xoptical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0/s Y n
11.
 
Nikon D40optical n2.5 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5/s Y n
12.
 
Sony A7R IV5760 n3.0 / 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n Y
13.
 
Sony A7R III3686 n3.0 / 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n Y
14.
 
Sony A93686 n3.0 / 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 20.0/s n Y
15.
 
Sony A7 II2400 n3.0 / 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0/s n Y
16.
 
Sony NEX-5Noptional n3.0 / 920 tilting Y 1/4000s 10.0/s n n
17.
 
Sony NEX-C3optional n3.0 / 920 tilting n 1/4000s 5.5/s n n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The D3100 has one, while the A7 III does not. While the built-in flash of the D3100 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

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 A7 III 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 Sony A7 III has 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.

The D3100 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A7 III uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The A7 III features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the D3100 only has one slot. The A7 III supports UHS-II cards on its first slot and UHS-I on its second one, while the D3100 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD 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 D3100 and Sony Alpha A7 III and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Nikon D3100Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
2.
 
Sony A7 IIIYstereo / monoYYmicro3.1YYY
3.
 
Nikon Z6Ystereo / monoYYmicro3.1Y-Y
4.
 
Nikon D3200Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
5.
 
Nikon D5100Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
6.
 
Nikon D7000Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Nikon D3000Y- / ----2.0---
8.
 
Nikon D5000Ymono / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Nikon D60Y- / ----2.0---
10.
 
Nikon D40XY- / ----2.0---
11.
 
Nikon D40Y- / ----2.0---
12.
 
Sony A7R IVYstereo / monoYYmicro3.1YYY
13.
 
Sony A7R IIIYstereo / monoYYmicro3.1YYY
14.
 
Sony A9Ystereo / monoYYmicro2.0YYY
15.
 
Sony A7 IIYstereo / monoYYmicro2.0YY-
16.
 
Sony NEX-5NYstereo / mono--mini2.0---
17.
 
Sony NEX-C3Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---

It is notable that the A7 III offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the D3100 does not provide wifi capability.

The A7 III is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the D3100 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on ebay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D3100 was succeeded by the Nikon D3200. 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 the Nikon D3100 better than the Sony A7 III or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D3100:

  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 145g or 22 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (70 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2010).

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Advantages of the Sony Alpha A7 III:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 14.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 30%.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (29 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2.5 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (3.4 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/24p).
  • 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 framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.78x vs 0.53x).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 230k dots).
  • 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.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (610 versus 550) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.1 vs 2.0).
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • 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 and UHS-I) SDXC cards.
  • More modern: Reflects 7 years and 6 months of technical progress since the D3100 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A7 III is the clear winner of the contest (31 : 5 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 wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

D3100 05:31 A7 III

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D3100 and the Sony A7 III place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D3100 or the A7 III. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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.

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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon D31005/5+ +..72/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2010 599ebay.com
2.
 
Sony A7 III..+ +4.5/589/1005/55/5 Feb 2018 1,999 amazon.com
3.
 
Nikon Z65/5..5/589/1004.5/55/5 Aug 2018 1,999ebay.com
4.
 
Nikon D32005/5+ +..73/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 599ebay.com
5.
 
Nikon D51005/5+ +..76/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2011 749ebay.com
6.
 
Nikon D70004/5....80/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2010 1,499ebay.com
7.
 
Nikon D3000..+..72/1004/54.5/5 Jul 2009 599ebay.com
8.
 
Nikon D5000..+ +..75/1004/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749ebay.com
9.
 
Nikon D60..80/100..+ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 629ebay.com
10.
 
Nikon D40X..79/100..+ +4/54/5 Mar 2007 729ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon D40..81/100..+ +o4.5/5 Nov 2006 499ebay.com
12.
 
Sony A7R IV5/5+4.5/591/1004.5/55/5 Jul 2019 3,499 amazon.com
13.
 
Sony A7R III..+ +4/590/1004.5/55/5 Oct 2017 3,199ebay.com
14.
 
Sony A95/5+ +4.8/589/1005/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499ebay.com
15.
 
Sony A7 II5/5+4/582/1004.5/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999ebay.com
16.
 
Sony NEX-5N3/5+ +..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Aug 2011 699ebay.com
17.
 
Sony NEX-C33/5+ +..74/1004.5/54/5 Jun 2011 599ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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.

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Check D3100 offers at
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Check A7 III price at
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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.

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    Specifications: Nikon D3100 vs Sony A7 III

    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 D3100 Sony A7 III
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2010 February 2018
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 1,999
    Sensor Specs Nikon D3100 Sony A7 III
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.1 x 15.4 mm 35.6 x 23.8 mm
    Sensor Area 355.74 mm2 847.28 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 27.8 mm 42.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 14.2 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3072 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.01 μm 5.94 μm
    Pixel Density 3.98 MP/cm2 2.83 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/24p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 51,200 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO 50 - 204,800 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED 2 BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 67 96
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.5 25.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.3 14.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 919 3730
    Screen Specs Nikon D3100 Sony A7 III
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.53x 0.78x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2359k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D3100 Sony A7 III
    Focus System Phase-detect AF On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations200 000 actuations
    Electronic Shutterno E-ShutterYES
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Image StabilizationLens stabilization onlyIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    UHS card support no Single UHS-II
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D3100 Sony A7 III
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 3.1
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Headphone Socket no Headphone port Headphone port
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Nikon D3100 Sony A7 III
    Environmental Sealingnot weather sealedWeathersealed body
    Battery Type EN-EL14 NP-FZ100
    Battery Life (CIPA)550 shots per charge610 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 124 x 96 x 75 mm
    (4.9 x 3.8 x 3.0 in)
    127 x 96 x 74 mm
    (5.0 x 3.8 x 2.9 in)
    Camera Weight 505 g (17.8 oz) 650 g (22.9 oz)
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