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Nikon D3300 vs Sony RX1R

The Nikon D3300 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2014 and June 2013. The D3300 is a DSLR, while the RX1R is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (D3300) and a full frame (RX1R) sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixels.

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

Headline Specifications
Nikon D3300
versus
Sony RX1R
Nikon D3300   Sony RX1R
Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
Nikon F mount lenses 35mm f/2.0
24 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, Full Frame Sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-12,800 (100 - 25,600) ISO 100-25,600 (50 - 102,400)
Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 921k dots 3.0 LCD, 1229k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
700 shots per battery charge270 shots per battery charge
124 x 98 x 76 mm, 430 g 113 x 65 x 70 mm, 482 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D3300 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R? 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

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon D3300 and the Sony RX1R 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 D3300 can be obtained in three different colors (black, grey, red), while the RX1R is only available in black.

Size Nikon D3300 vs Sony RX1R
Compare D3300 versus RX1R top
Comparison D3300 or RX1R rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony RX1R is considerably smaller (40 percent) than the Nikon D3300. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D3300 nor the RX1R are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the RX1R has a lens built in, whereas the D3300 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 D3300 and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the D3300 gets 700 shots out of its EN-EL14a battery, while the RX1R can take 270 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The power pack in the RX1R can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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 D3300 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 430 g 700 n Jan 2014 499i
2.
 
Sony RX1R 113 mm 65 mm 70 mm 482 g 270 n Jun 2013 2,799i
3.
 
Canon 200D 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549i
4.
 
Canon M3 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679i
5.
 
Leica X Typ 113 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295i
6.
 
Nikon D3500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 415 g 1550 n Aug 2018 429 i
7.
 
Nikon D5600 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 465 g 970 n Nov 2016 699 i
8.
 
Nikon D3400 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 445 g 1200 n Aug 2016 499i
9.
 
Nikon D5500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 470 g 820 n Jan 2015 899i
10.
 
Nikon D7200 136 mm 107 mm 76 mm 765 g 1110 Y Mar 2015 1,199i
11.
 
Nikon D5300 125 mm 98 mm 76 mm 480 g 600 n Oct 2013 799i
12.
 
Nikon D3200 125 mm 96 mm 77 mm 505 g 540 n Apr 2012 599i
13.
 
Sony RX1R II 113 mm 65 mm 72 mm 507 g 220 n Oct 2015 3,299 i
14.
 
Sony A6000 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599i
15.
 
Sony A3000 128 mm 91 mm 85 mm 411 g 470 n Aug 2013 329i
16.
 
Sony RX1 113 mm 65 mm 70 mm 482 g 270 n Sep 2012 2,799i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. 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 imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D3300 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony RX1R a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the RX1R is 133 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 D3300 and Sony RX1R sensor measures

Even though the RX1R has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the RX1R has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 5.97μm versus 3.91μm for the D3300), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the D3300 is a somewhat more recent model (by 6 months) than the RX1R, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size. 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 Nikon D3300 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-102400.

D3300 versus RX1R MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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. Of the two cameras under consideration, the RX1R has a markedly higher DXO score than the D3300 (overall score 9 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.7 bits higher color depth, 0.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.9 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 D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
2.
 
Sony RX1R Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791
3.
 
Canon 200D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
4.
 
Canon M3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
5.
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.612.8149178
6.
 
Nikon D3500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.4185183
7.
 
Nikon D5600 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684
8.
 
Nikon D3400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286
9.
 
Nikon D5500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884
10.
 
Nikon D7200 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.514.6133387
11.
 
Nikon D5300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.9133883
12.
 
Nikon D3200 APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/30p24.113.2113181
13.
 
Sony RX1R II Full Frame 42.2 7952 53041080/60p25.813.9320497
14.
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782
15.
 
Sony A3000 APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878
16.
 
Sony RX1 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.114.3253493
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

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, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D3300 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the RX1R relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the RX1R can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the FDA-EV1MK. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon D3300 and Sony RX1R along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Nikon D3300optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
2.
 
Sony RX1Roptional n3.0 / 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon 200Doptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon M3optional n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
5.
 
Leica X Typ 113optional n3.0 / 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
6.
 
Nikon D3500optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Nikon D5600optical n3.2 / 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
8.
 
Nikon D3400optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
9.
 
Nikon D5500optical n3.2 / 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
10.
 
Nikon D7200optical Y3.2 / 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
11.
 
Nikon D5300optical n3.2 / 1037 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
12.
 
Nikon D3200optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
13.
 
Sony RX1R II2360 n3.0 / 1229 tilting n 1/4000s 5.0 n n
14.
 
Sony A60001440 n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
15.
 
Sony A3000202 n3.0 / 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
16.
 
Sony RX1optional n3.0 / 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n

The D3300 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the RX1R uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The D3300 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the RX1R 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 D3300 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R 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 D3300Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
2.
 
Sony RX1RYstereo / monoY-mini2.0---
3.
 
Canon 200DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon M3Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
6.
 
Nikon D3500Ymono / mono--mini2.0--Y
7.
 
Nikon D5600Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
8.
 
Nikon D3400Ymono / mono--mini2.0--Y
9.
 
Nikon D5500Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
10.
 
Nikon D7200Ystereo / monoYYmini2.0YY-
11.
 
Nikon D5300Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
12.
 
Nikon D3200Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
13.
 
Sony RX1R IIYstereo / monoY-micro2.0YY-
14.
 
Sony A6000Ystereo / mono--micro2.0YY-
15.
 
Sony A3000Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
16.
 
Sony RX1Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0---

Both the D3300 and the RX1R have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The RX1R was replaced by the Sony RX1R II, while the D3300 was followed by the Nikon D3400. 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 D3300 and the Sony RX1R? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon D3300:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (700 versus 270) on a single battery charge.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 6 months after the RX1R).

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Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R:

  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (9 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.8 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.9 stops ISO advantage).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 921k dots).
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the D3300 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (113x65mm vs 124x98mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in June 2013).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the RX1R emerges as the winner of the match-up (8 : 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 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.

D3300 05:08 RX1R

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D3300 and the Sony RX1R place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Prime Lens Compact Camera listings 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 D3300 and the RX1R in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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 D33003/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499i
2.
 
Sony RX1R5/5......4/54.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799i
3.
 
Canon 200D4/5+ +4/578/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549i
4.
 
Canon M34/5o..75/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679i
5.
 
Leica X Typ 1133.5/5......3.5/54/5 Sep 2014 2,295i
6.
 
Nikon D3500....4/575/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2018 429 i
7.
 
Nikon D56004/5..4/579/1004.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 i
8.
 
Nikon D34004/5+4/576/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499i
9.
 
Nikon D55005/5+..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899i
10.
 
Nikon D72004/5+ +..84/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2015 1,199i
11.
 
Nikon D53004/5+ +..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799i
12.
 
Nikon D32005/5+ +..73/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 599i
13.
 
Sony RX1R II5/5....82/100..4.5/5 Oct 2015 3,299 i
14.
 
Sony A60005/5+4.5/580/1004.5/55/5 Feb 2014 599i
15.
 
Sony A30003/5+....4/54/5 Aug 2013 329i
16.
 
Sony RX15/5....79/1004/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Nikon D3300:
Check Ebay offers
Sony RX1R:
Check Ebay offers

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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Nikon D3300 vs Sony RX1R

    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 D3300 Sony RX1R
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses 35mm f/2.0
    Launch Date January 2014 June 2013
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 2,799
    Sensor Specs Nikon D3300 Sony RX1R
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor Full Frame Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.6 mm 35.8 x 23.9 mm
    Sensor Area 366.6 mm2 855.62 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.2 mm 43 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.0x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.91 μm 5.97 μm
    Pixel Density 6.55 MP/cm2 2.80 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 12,800 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 25,600 ISO 50 - 102,400 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED 4 BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 82 91
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 24.3 25.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.8 13.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1385 2537
    Screen Specs Nikon D3300 Sony RX1R
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.57x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 1229k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D3300 Sony RX1R
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I no
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D3300 Sony RX1R
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Nikon D3300 Sony RX1R
    Battery Type EN-EL14a NP-BX1
    Battery Life (CIPA)700 shots per charge270 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 124 x 98 x 76 mm
    (4.9 x 3.9 x 3.0 in)
    113 x 65 x 70 mm
    (4.4 x 2.6 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 430 g (15.2 oz) 482 g (17.0 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

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