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Nikon D850 vs Sony A5000

The Nikon D850 and the Sony Alpha A5000 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in July 2017 and January 2014. The D850 is a DSLR, while the A5000 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a full frame (D850) and an APS-C (A5000) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 45.4 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 19.8 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Nikon D850   Sony A5000
Nikon D850 Sony A5000
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Nikon F mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
45.4 MP, Full Frame Sensor 19.8 MP, APS-C Sensor
4K/30p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 64-25600 (32-102400) ISO 100-16000
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.2" LCD, 2359k dots 3.0" LCD, 461k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
9 shutter flaps per second 3.5 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
1840 shots per battery charge420 shots per battery charge
146 x 124 x 79 mm, 1005 g 110 x 63 x 36 mm, 269 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D850 and the Sony Alpha A5000? 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 D850 vs Sony A5000

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon D850 and the Sony A5000 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The A5000 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, white), while the D850 is only available in black.

Size Nikon D850 vs Sony A5000
Compare D850 versus A5000 top
Comparison D850 or A5000 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A5000 is considerably smaller (62 percent) than the Nikon D850. Moreover, the A5000 is substantially lighter (73 percent) than the D850. It is worth mentioning in this context that the D850 is splash and dust resistant, while the A5000 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 (D850) and the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog (A5000). Mirrorless cameras, such as the A5000, 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 D850 gets 1840 shots out of its EN-EL15a battery, while the A5000 can take 420 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The power pack in the A5000 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. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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 D850» 5.7 in 4.9 in 3.1 in 35.5 oz 1840 Y Jul 2017 3,299 i i Nikon D850
 
Sony A5000« 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 420 n Jan 2014 449- i Sony A5000
 
Canon 5DS« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
 
Canon M10« » 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.6 oz 255 n Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
 
Nikon D5« » 6.3 in 6.3 in 3.6 in 49.9 oz 3780 Y Jan 2016 6,499 i i Nikon D5
 
Nikon D810« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 34.6 oz 1200 Y Jun 2014 3,299- i Nikon D810
 
Nikon D3300« » 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.2 oz 700 n Jan 2014 499- i Nikon D3300
 
Nikon Df« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.6 in 26.8 oz 1400 Y Nov 2013 2,749 i i Nikon Df
 
Nikon D610« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Oct 2013 1,999 i i Nikon D610
 
Nikon D600« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i Nikon D600
 
Nikon D800« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 35.3 oz 900 Y Feb 2012 2,999- i Nikon D800
 
Nikon D800E« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 35.3 oz 900 Y Feb 2012 3,299- i Nikon D800E
 
Sony A99 II« » 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 29.9 oz 490 Y Sep 2016 3,199 i i Sony A99 II
 
Sony RX100 IV« » 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 280 n Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony A5100« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 10.0 oz 400 n Aug 2014 549 i i Sony A5100
 
Sony NEX-3N« » 4.3 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 480 n Feb 2013 499- i Sony NEX-3N
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The A5000 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 86 percent) than the D850, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Nikon D850 vs Sony A5000

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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 D850 features a full frame sensor and the Sony A5000 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the A5000 is 58 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Nikon D850 and Sony A5000 sensor measures

With 45.4MP, the D850 offers a higher resolution than the A5000 (19.8MP), but the D850 nevertheless has marginally larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.35μm versus 4.25μm for the A5000) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the D850 is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 6 months) than the A5000, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the D850 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon D850 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D850 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 41.3 x 27.5 inch or 104.9 x 69.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 33 x 22 inch or 83.9 x 55.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 27.5 x 18.3 inch or 69.9 x 46.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Sony A5000 are 27.3 x 18.2 inch or 69.3 x 46.1 cm for good quality, 21.8 x 14.5 inch or 55.4 x 36.9 cm for very good quality, and 18.2 x 12.1 inch or 46.2 x 30.8 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon D850 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 64 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 32-102400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A5000 are ISO 100 to ISO 16000 (no boost).

D850 versus A5000 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. Of the two cameras under review, the D850 provides substantially higher image quality than the A5000, with an overall score that is 21 points higher. This advantage is based on 2.6 bits higher color depth, 1.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.3 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.

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 D850» Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/30p26.414.82660100Nikon D850
 
Sony A5000« APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979Sony A5000
 
Canon 5DS« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/30p24.712.4238187Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/30p24.612.4230886Canon 5DS R
 
Canon M10« » APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.211.475365Canon M10
 
Nikon D5« » Full Frame 20.7 5588 37124K/30p25.112.3234388Nikon D5
 
Nikon D810« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.714.8285397Nikon D810
 
Nikon D3300« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582Nikon D3300
 
Nikon Df« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280-24.613.1327989Nikon Df
 
Nikon D610« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.4292594Nikon D610
 
Nikon D600« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.2298094Nikon D600
 
Nikon D800« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.314.4285395Nikon D800
 
Nikon D800E« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.614.3297996Nikon D800E
 
Sony A99 II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p25.413.4231792Sony A99 II
 
Sony RX100 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony A5100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780Sony A5100
 
Sony NEX-3N« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.5106774Sony NEX-3N

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the D850 provides a higher video resolution than the A5000. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60i.

 

Feature comparison: Nikon D850 vs Sony A5000

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D850 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the A5000 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon D850 and Sony A5000 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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 D850»optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 n n Nikon D850
 
Sony A5000«- n 3.0 461 tilting n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n Sony A5000
 
Canon 5DS« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Canon 5DS R
 
Canon M10« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.6 Y n Canon M10
 
Nikon D5« »optical Y 3.2 2359 fixed Y 1/8000s 14.0 n n Nikon D5
 
Nikon D810« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D810
 
Nikon D3300« »optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D3300
 
Nikon Df« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 n n Nikon Df
 
Nikon D610« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Nikon D610
 
Nikon D600« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.5 Y n Nikon D600
 
Nikon D800« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 Y n Nikon D800
 
Nikon D800E« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 Y n Nikon D800E
 
Sony A99 II« »2400 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 1/8000s 12.0 n Y Sony A99 II
 
Sony RX100 IV« »2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0 Y Y Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony A5100« »- n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Sony A5100
 
Sony NEX-3N« »- n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Sony NEX-3N

One feature that is present on the D850, but is missing on the A5000 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The A5000 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 D850 does not have a selfie-screen.

The Nikon D850 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 D850 writes its imaging data to SDHC or XQD cards, while the A5000 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The D850 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the A5000 only has one slot. The D850 supports UHS-II cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 312 MB/s), while the A5000 can use UHS-I cards (up to 104 MB/s).

 

Connectivity comparison: Nikon D850 vs Sony A5000

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 D850 and Sony Alpha A5000 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 D850»YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYYNikon D850
 
Sony A5000«-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony A5000
 
Canon 5DS« »YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« »YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS R
 
Canon M10« »-stereomono--mini2.0YY-Canon M10
 
Nikon D5« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0---Nikon D5
 
Nikon D810« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--Nikon D810
 
Nikon D3300« »YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D3300
 
Nikon Df« »Y----mini2.0---Nikon Df
 
Nikon D610« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D610
 
Nikon D600« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Nikon D600
 
Nikon D800« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Nikon D800
 
Nikon D800E« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Nikon D800E
 
Sony A99 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYYSony A99 II
 
Sony RX100 IV« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony A5100« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony A5100
 
Sony NEX-3N« »-stereomono--micro2.0---Sony NEX-3N

It is notable that the D850 has a hotshoe, while the A5000 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon D850 (unlike the A5000) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

The D850 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the A5000 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the A5000 was succeeded by the Sony A5100. 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 D850 vs Sony A5000

So what is the bottom line? Is the Nikon D850 better than the Sony A5000 or vice versa? 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 D850:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (45.4 vs 19.8MP) with a 51% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (21 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (2.6 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.8 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.3 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60i).
  • 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.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2359k vs 461k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (9 vs 3.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1840 versus 420) on a single battery charge.
  • Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • 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 a more advanced SD data transfer standard (UHS-II vs UHS-I).
  • More modern: Reflects 3 years and 6 months of technical progress since the A5000 launch.

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Advantages of the Sony Alpha A5000:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • More compact: Is smaller (110x63mm vs 146x124mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 736g or 73 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (86 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in January 2014).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D850 is the clear winner of the match-up (26 : 8 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.

D850 26:08 A5000

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D850 and the Sony A5000 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D850 or the A5000 perform in practice. 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: Nikon D850 vs Sony A5000

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon D850»+ +89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jul 2017 3,299 i i Nikon D850
 
Sony A5000«+-4.5/5o4.5/5 Jan 2014 449- i Sony A5000
 
Canon 5DS« »+83/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« »+83/1005/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
 
Canon M10« »---o4/5 Oct 2015 499- i Canon M10
 
Nikon D5« »-89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 6,499 i i Nikon D5
 
Nikon D810« »-86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 3,299- i Nikon D810
 
Nikon D3300« »+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499- i Nikon D3300
 
Nikon Df« »-81/1004/54/54/5 Nov 2013 2,749 i i Nikon Df
 
Nikon D610« »+ +87/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,999 i i Nikon D610
 
Nikon D600« »+ +87/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i Nikon D600
 
Nikon D800« »+ +82/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2012 2,999- i Nikon D800
 
Nikon D800E« »-84/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2012 3,299- i Nikon D800E
 
Sony A99 II« »-85/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 3,199 i i Sony A99 II
 
Sony RX100 IV« »+ +85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
 
Sony A5100« »+-4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i i Sony A5100
 
Sony NEX-3N« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2013 499- i Sony NEX-3N
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Nikon D850:
Check Amazon price
Sony A5000:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Nikon D850 vs Sony A5000

    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 D850 Sony A5000
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date July 2017 January 2014
    Launch Price USD 3299 USD 449
    Sensor Specs Nikon D850 Sony A5000
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.9 x 23.9 mm 23.2 x 15.4 mm
    Sensor Area 858.01 mm2 357.28 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.1 mm 27.8 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 45.4 Megapixels 19.8 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 8256 x 5504 pixels 5456 x 3632 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.35 μm 4.25 μm
    Pixel Density 5.30 MP/cm2 5.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 64-25600 ISO 100-16000 ISO
    ISO Boost 32-102400 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor EXPEED 5 BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 100 79
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 26.4 23.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 14.8 13.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 2660 1089
    Screen Specs Nikon D850 Sony A5000
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder No viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.75x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.2 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 2359k dots 461k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D850 Sony A5000
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/8000/s 1/4000/s
    Continuous Shooting 9 shutter flaps/s 3.5 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC or XQD cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-II UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D850 Sony A5000
    External Flash Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 3.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Headphone Socket Headphone port no Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in no Bluetooth
    Body Specs Nikon D850 Sony A5000
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
    Battery Type EN-EL15a power pack NP-FW50 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)1840 shots per charge420 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 146 x 124 x 79 mm
    (5.7 x 4.9 x 3.1 in)
    110 x 63 x 36 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
    Camera Weight 1005 g (35.5 oz) 269 g (9.5 oz)

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