Nikon P7800 vs Sony A6400
The Nikon Coolpix P7800 and the Sony Alpha A6400 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in September 2013 and January 2019. The P7800 is a fixed lens compact, while the A6400 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/1.7-inch (P7800) and an APS-C (A6400) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 12 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 24 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix P7800 and the Sony Alpha A6400? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The physical size and weight of the Nikon P7800 and the Sony A6400 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 width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A6400 is notably smaller (13 percent) than the Nikon P7800. It is noteworthy in this context that the A6400 is splash and dust-proof, while the P7800 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the P7800 has a lens built in, whereas the A6400 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 A6400 and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the P7800 gets 350 shots out of its EN-EL14 battery, while the A6400 can take 410 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The power pack in the A6400 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, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Nikon P7800||119 mm||78 mm||50 mm||399 g||350||n||Sep 2013||549|
|2.||Sony A6400||120 mm||67 mm||50 mm||403 g||410||Y||Jan 2019||899|
|3.||Canon G16||109 mm||76 mm||40 mm||356 g||360||n||Aug 2013||549|
|4.||Canon G15||107 mm||76 mm||40 mm||352 g||350||n||Sep 2012||499|
|5.||Canon G12||112 mm||76 mm||48 mm||401 g||370||n||Sep 2010||499|
|6.||Fujifilm X30||119 mm||72 mm||60 mm||423 g||470||n||Aug 2014||599|
|7.||Fujifilm X20||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||353 g||270||n||Jan 2013||599|
|8.||Fujifilm X10||117 mm||70 mm||57 mm||350 g||270||n||Sep 2011||599|
|9.||Nikon D5300||125 mm||98 mm||76 mm||480 g||600||n||Oct 2013||799|
|10.||Olympus Stylus 1||116 mm||87 mm||57 mm||402 g||410||n||Oct 2013||699|
|11.||Panasonic LF1||103 mm||62 mm||28 mm||192 g||250||n||Apr 2013||499|
|12.||Panasonic LX7||111 mm||68 mm||46 mm||298 g||330||n||Jul 2012||499|
|13.||Pentax MX-1||122 mm||61 mm||51 mm||391 g||290||n||Jan 2013||499|
|14.||Sony A6100||120 mm||67 mm||59 mm||396 g||420||n||Aug 2019||749|
|15.||Sony A6300||120 mm||67 mm||49 mm||404 g||400||Y||Feb 2016||999|
|16.||Sony A5100||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||283 g||400||n||Aug 2014||549|
|17.||Sony A6000||120 mm||67 mm||45 mm||344 g||360||n||Feb 2014||599|
|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 P7800 was launched at a lower price than the A6400, despite having a lens built in. 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.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to 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 P7800 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and the Sony A6400 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the A6400 is 753 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.5 and 1.5. The sensor in the P7800 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the A6400 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 24MP, the A6400 offers a higher resolution than the P7800 (12MP), but the A6400 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 1.89μm for the P7800) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the A6400 is a much more recent model (by 5 years and 4 months) than the P7800, 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 A6400 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the A6400 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 P7800 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The A6400 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Nikon Coolpix P7800 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 80-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha A6400 are ISO 100 to ISO 32000, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-102400.
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 A6400 offers substantially better image quality than the P7800 (overall score 29 points higher). The advantage is based on 2.8 bits higher color depth, 1.9 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.8 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|10.||Olympus Stylus 1||1/1.7||11.8||3968||2976||1080/30p||20.7||11.6||179||51|
|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. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the A6400 provides a better video resolution than the P7800. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the A6400 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the P7800 (2359k vs 921k dots). The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon P7800, the Sony A6400, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Nikon P7800||921||n||3.0 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|2.||Sony A6400||2359||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n|
|3.||Canon G16||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.2||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon G15||optical||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.1||Y||Y|
|5.||Canon G12||optical||n||2.8 / 461||swivel||n||1/4000s||1.1||Y||Y|
|6.||Fujifilm X30||2360||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|7.||Fujifilm X20||optical||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y|
|8.||Fujifilm X10||optical||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|9.||Nikon D5300||optical||n||3.2 / 1037||swivel||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|10.||Olympus Stylus 1||1440||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||7.0||Y||Y|
|11.||Panasonic LF1||200||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|12.||Panasonic LX7||optional||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||Y|
|13.||Pentax MX-1||none||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/8000s||1.0||Y||Y|
|14.||Sony A6100||1440||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n|
|15.||Sony A6300||2359||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n|
|16.||Sony A5100||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|17.||Sony A6000||1440||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The A6400 has a touchscreen, while the P7800 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.
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 A6400 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Nikon P7800 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 P7800 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A6400 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The A6400 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the P7800 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon Coolpix P7800 and Sony Alpha A6400 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Nikon P7800||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Sony A6400||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon G16||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|4.||Canon G15||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Canon G12||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Fujifilm X30||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Fujifilm X20||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|8.||Fujifilm X10||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Nikon D5300||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Olympus Stylus 1||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Panasonic LF1||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Panasonic LX7||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Pentax MX-1||-||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Sony A6100||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony A6300||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Sony A5100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|17.||Sony A6000||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the A6400 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the P7800 does not provide wifi capability.
The A6400 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the P7800 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the P7800 from Nikon. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Sony websites.
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon P7800 or the Sony A6400 – 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.
Arguments in favor of the Nikon Coolpix P7800:
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the A6400 requires a separate lens.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the A6400).
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2013).
Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha A6400:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 44%.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (29 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (2.8 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.9 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2.8 stops ISO advantage).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2359k vs 921k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- More compact: Is smaller (120x67mm vs 119x78mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (410 versus 350) 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.
- 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.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 4 months of technical progress since the P7800 launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A6400 is the clear winner of the contest (21 : 7 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon P7800 and the Sony A6400 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the P7800 or the A6400. 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.
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.
|1.||Nikon P7800||3/5||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||549|
|2.||Sony A6400||4/5||+||4/5||85/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jan 2019||899|
|3.||Canon G16||4/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549|
|4.||Canon G15||4/5||+||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499|
|5.||Canon G12||4/5||+||..||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||499|
|6.||Fujifilm X30||4/5||..||..||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2014||599|
|7.||Fujifilm X20||4/5||+ +||..||77/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||599|
|8.||Fujifilm X10||..||..||..||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599|
|9.||Nikon D5300||4/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||799|
|10.||Olympus Stylus 1||..||+ +||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||699|
|11.||Panasonic LF1||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||499|
|12.||Panasonic LX7||3/5||+ +||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499|
|13.||Pentax MX-1||3/5||..||..||74/100||4/5||4/5||Jan 2013||499|
|14.||Sony A6100||..||..||4/5||82/100||4/5||5/5||Aug 2019||749|
|15.||Sony A6300||4.5/5||+||..||85/100||5/5||5/5||Feb 2016||999|
|16.||Sony A5100||4.5/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549|
|17.||Sony A6000||5/5||+||4.5/5||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, 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.
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. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 5D vs Nikon P7800
- Canon SL1 vs Nikon P7800
- Fujifilm X-E3 vs Nikon P7800
- Kodak S-1 vs Sony A6400
- Nikon 1 V3 vs Nikon P7800
- Nikon P7800 vs Olympus E-M1 II
- Nikon P7800 vs Sony NEX-5N
- Panasonic GF7 vs Sony A6400
- Panasonic S1H vs Sony A6400
- Ricoh WG-60 vs Sony A6400
- Sony A6400 vs Sony RX100
- Sony A6400 vs Sony RX100 VII
Specifications: Nikon P7800 vs Sony A6400
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Nikon P7800||Sony A6400|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||28-200mm f/2.0-4.0||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||September 2013||January 2019|
|Launch Price||USD 549||USD 899|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon P7800||Sony A6400|
|Sensor Format||1/1.7" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||7.6 x 5.7 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||43.32 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||9.5 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.89 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||27.70 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 32,000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 102,400 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||54||83|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.2||24|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.7||13.6|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||200||1431|
|Screen Specs||Nikon P7800||Sony A6400|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||921k dots||2359k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon P7800||Sony A6400|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||On-Sensor Phase-detect|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||8 shutter flaps/s||11 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||YES|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|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||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon P7800||Sony A6400|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC 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 P7800||Sony A6400|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||350 shots per charge||410 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
119 x 78 x 50 mm
(4.7 x 3.1 x 2.0 in)
120 x 67 x 50 mm
(4.7 x 2.6 x 2.0 in)
|Camera Weight||399 g (14.1 oz)||403 g (14.2 oz)|
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