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Nikon L840 vs Sony H300

The Nikon Coolpix L840 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2015 and February 2014. Both the L840 and the H300 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 19.9 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Nikon L840 versus Sony H300
Nikon L840 Sony H300
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
22.5-855mm f/3.0-6.5 25-875mm f/3.4-6.5
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 19.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/60i Video 720/30p Video
ISO 100-6,400 ISO 80-3,200
No viewfinder, LCD framing No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 921k dots 3.0 LCD, 460k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
7.4 shutter flaps per second 0.8 shutter flaps per second
590 shots per battery charge350 shots per battery charge
113 x 78 x 96 mm, 538 g 128 x 89 x 92 mm, 590 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix L840 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon L840 and the Sony H300. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The L840 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the H300 is only available in black.

Size Nikon L840 vs Sony H300
Compare L840 versus H300 top
Comparison L840 or H300 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony H300 is notably larger (29 percent) than the Nikon L840. Moreover, the H300 is markedly heavier (10 percent) than the L840. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the L840 nor the H300 are weather-sealed.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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.

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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
 
Nikon L840 113 mm 78 mm 96 mm 538 g 590 n Feb 2015 299i
 
Sony H300 128 mm 89 mm 92 mm 590 g 350 n Feb 2014 219 i
 
Canon SX530 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 442 g 210 n Jan 2015 429i
 
Canon SX520 120 mm 82 mm 92 mm 441 g 210 n Jul 2014 399i
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
 
Leica Q Typ 116 130 mm 80 mm 93 mm 640 g 300 n Jun 2015 4,249i
 
Leica X Typ 113 133 mm 73 mm 78 mm 486 g 350 n Sep 2014 2,295i
 
Nikon B600 122 mm 82 mm 99 mm 500 g 280 n Jan 2019 349 i
 
Nikon B700 125 mm 85 mm 107 mm 565 g 350 n Feb 2016 499 i
 
Nikon B500 114 mm 78 mm 95 mm 541 g 600 n Jan 2016 299i
 
Nikon P900 140 mm 103 mm 137 mm 899 g 360 n Mar 2015 599i
 
Sony HX80 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 390 n Mar 2016 349 i
 
Sony RX100 IV 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 n Jun 2015 999i
 
Sony HX400V 130 mm 93 mm 103 mm 660 g 300 n Feb 2014 499 i
 
Sony H400 130 mm 95 mm 122 mm 628 g 300 n Feb 2014 319 i
 
Sony H200 123 mm 83 mm 87 mm 530 g 240 n Jan 2013 249 i
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. The H300 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 27 percent) than the L840, 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.

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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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/2.3-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Nikon L840 and Sony H300 sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the H300 offers a higher resolution of 19.9 megapixels, compared with 15.9 MP of the L840. This megapixels advantage translates into a 12 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the H300 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.19μm versus 1.33μm for the L840). Moreover, it should be noted, that the L840 is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the H300, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of individual pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Sony H300 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the H300 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.8 x 19.3 inches or 65.4 x 49.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.6 x 15.5 inches or 52.3 x 39.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.2 x 12.9 inches or 43.6 x 32.7 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon L840 are 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon Coolpix L840 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

L840 versus H300 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. 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
 
Nikon L840 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Sony H300 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
 
Canon SX530 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Canon SX520 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
 
Leica Q Typ 116 Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.7222185
 
Leica X Typ 113 APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p........
 
Nikon B600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Nikon B700 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Nikon B500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Nikon P900 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
 
Sony HX80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........
 
Sony RX100 IV 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
 
Sony HX400V 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Sony H400 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
 
Sony H200 1/2.3 15.2 5184 2930720/30p........

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the L840 provides a higher video resolution than the H300. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60i, while the Sony is limited to 720/30p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The L840 and the H300 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon L840, the Sony H300, and comparable cameras.

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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
 
Nikon L840none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Sony H300none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y
 
Canon SX530none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
 
Canon SX520none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
 
Leica Q Typ 1163680 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 n Y
 
Leica X Typ 113optional n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/2000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon B600none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Nikon B700921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y Y
 
Nikon B500none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Nikon P900921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX80638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony RX100 IV2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX400V210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony H400210 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/2000s 0.7 Y Y
 
Sony H200none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y

Both the L840 and the H300 have zoom lenses built in. The L840 has a 22.5-855mm f/3.0-6.5 optic and the H300 offers a 25-875mm f/3.4-6.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Nikon provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the Sony, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. The L840 offers the faster maximum aperture.

The L840 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the H300 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.

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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 Coolpix L840 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 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
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Nikon L840-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony H300-monomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Canon SX530-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX520-stereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Leica Q Typ 116Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Leica X Typ 113Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Nikon B600-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon B700-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Nikon B500-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Nikon P900-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony HX80-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX100 IV-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony HX400VYstereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony H400-monomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Sony H200-monomono---2.0---

The H300 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the L840 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the L840 was succeeded by the Nikon B500. 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.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon L840 or the Sony H300 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon Coolpix L840:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60i vs 720/30p).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 460k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/1500s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7.4 vs 0.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/3.0 vs f/3.4).
  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More compact: Is smaller (113x78mm vs 128x89mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (590 versus 350) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 11 months after the H300).

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Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (19.9 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 12%.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (27 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2014).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the L840 is the clear winner of the match-up (11 : 4 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

L840 11:04 H300

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon L840 and the Sony H300 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the L840 or the H300 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

This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon L840+ +..3.5/5..4/5 Feb 2015 299i
 
Sony H300+..4.5/5..4/5 Feb 2014 219 i
 
Canon SX530+ +..4/5..4/5 Jan 2015 429i
 
Canon SX520+..3.5/5..3.5/5 Jul 2014 399i
 
Canon SX60+ +75/1004/5..4.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
 
Leica Q Typ 116..80/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jun 2015 4,249i
 
Leica X Typ 113....3.5/5..4/5 Sep 2014 2,295i
 
Nikon B600+..3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2019 349 i
 
Nikon B700+..4/5..4/5 Feb 2016 499 i
 
Nikon B500+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2016 299i
 
Nikon P900..77/1004/54.5/54/5 Mar 2015 599i
 
Sony HX80.......... Mar 2016 349 i
 
Sony RX100 IV+ +85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999i
 
Sony HX400V+ +..4/5..4/5 Feb 2014 499 i
 
Sony H400o..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2014 319 i
 
Sony H200....3.5/5..3.5/5 Jan 2013 249 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Nikon L840:
Check Ebay offers
Sony H300:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Nikon L840 vs Sony H300

    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 L840 Sony H300
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 22.5-855mm f/3.0-6.5 25-875mm f/3.4-6.5
    Launch Date February 2015 February 2014
    Launch Price USD 299 USD 219
    Sensor Specs Nikon L840 Sony H300
    Sensor Technology CMOS CCD
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 19.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 5152 x 3864 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 1.19 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 70.91 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 80 - 3,200 ISO
    Screen Specs Nikon L840 Sony H300
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Magnification
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 460k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon L840 Sony H300
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 7.4 shutter flaps/s 0.8 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Nikon L840 Sony H300
    External Flash no Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Body Specs Nikon L840 Sony H300
    Battery Type 4xAA 4xAA
    Battery Life (CIPA)590 shots per charge350 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 113 x 78 x 96 mm
    (4.4 x 3.1 x 3.8 in)
    128 x 89 x 92 mm
    (5.0 x 3.5 x 3.6 in)
    Camera Weight 538 g (19.0 oz) 590 g (20.8 oz)

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