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Nikon P900 vs Sony HX400V

The Nikon Coolpix P900 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in March 2015 and February 2014. Both the P900 and the HX400V 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 20.2 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Nikon P900 versus Sony HX400V
Nikon P900 Sony HX400V
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
24-2000mm f/2.8-6.5 24-1200mm f/2.8-6.3
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800) ISO 80-3,200 (80 - 12,800)
Electronic viewfinder (921k dots) Electronic viewfinder (210k dots)
3.0 LCD, 921k dots 3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
7 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
360 shots per battery charge300 shots per battery charge
140 x 103 x 137 mm, 899 g 130 x 93 x 103 mm, 660 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix P900 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Nikon P900 and the Sony HX400V are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Nikon P900 vs Sony HX400V
Compare P900 versus HX400V top
Comparison P900 or HX400V rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony HX400V is notably smaller (16 percent) than the Nikon P900. Moreover, the HX400V is markedly lighter (27 percent) than the P900. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the P900 nor the HX400V are weather-sealed.

Concerning battery life, the P900 gets 360 shots out of its EN-EL23 battery, while the HX400V can take 300 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. The power pack in the P900 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon P900 140 mm 103 mm 137 mm 899 g 360 n Mar 2015 599i
 
Sony HX400V 130 mm 93 mm 103 mm 660 g 300 n Feb 2014 499 i
 
Canon SX60 128 mm 93 mm 114 mm 650 g 340 n Sep 2014 549i
 
Kodak AZ901 139 mm 104 mm 119 mm 777 g 400 n Jan 2016 499 i
 
Nikon P950 140 mm 110 mm 150 mm 1005 g 290 n Jan 2020 799 i
 
Nikon P1000 146 mm 119 mm 181 mm 1415 g 250 n Jul 2018 999 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 L840 113 mm 78 mm 96 mm 538 g 590 n Feb 2015 299i
 
Panasonic FZ100 124 mm 82 mm 92 mm 540 g 410 n Jul 2010 499i
 
Ricoh GR II 117 mm 63 mm 35 mm 251 g 320 n Jun 2015 699 i
 
Sony HX350 130 mm 93 mm 103 mm 652 g 300 n Dec 2016 449 i
 
Sony HX90V 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 360 n Apr 2015 429 i
 
Sony H400 130 mm 95 mm 122 mm 628 g 300 n Feb 2014 319 i
 
Sony H300 128 mm 89 mm 92 mm 590 g 350 n Feb 2014 219 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The HX400V was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 17 percent) than the P900, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units 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 more expensive and 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.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around BSI-CMOS sensors.

Nikon P900 and Sony HX400V sensor measures

While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the HX400V offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 15.9 MP of the P900. This megapixels advantage translates into a 13 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the HX400V has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.18μm versus 1.33μm for the P900). Moreover, it should be noted, that the P900 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year) than the HX400V, 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 HX400V implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the HX400V for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon P900 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 P900 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-12800.

P900 versus HX400V MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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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 P900 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
 
Sony HX400V 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
 
Kodak AZ901 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p........
 
Nikon P950 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Nikon P1000 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Nikon B700 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Nikon B500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Nikon L840 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Panasonic FZ100 1/2.3 14.0 4320 32401080/60i........
 
Ricoh GR II APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.7107880
 
Sony HX350 1/2.3 19.9 5152 38641080/60p........
 
Sony HX90V 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........
 
Sony H400 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
 
Sony H300 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. 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

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under consideration are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the P900 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the HX400V (921k vs 210k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon P900 and Sony HX400V 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
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 P900921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX400V210 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
 
Kodak AZ901202 n 3.0 920 swivel n 1/2000s 5.0 Y Y
 
Nikon P9502359 n 3.2 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon P10002359 n 3.2 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 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 L840none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Panasonic FZ100202 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/2000s 11.0 Y Y
 
Ricoh GR IIoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Sony HX350202 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX90V638 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony H400210 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/2000s 0.7 Y Y
 
Sony H300none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y
The P900 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the HX400V does not have a selfie-screen.

The Nikon P900 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.

Both the P900 and the HX400V have zoom lenses built in. The P900 has a 24-2000mm f/2.8-6.5 optic and the HX400V offers a 24-1200mm f/2.8-6.3 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Nikon and Sony provide the same view at the wide-angle end, but the Sony has less tele-photo reach at the long end. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.

The P900 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the HX400V uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo 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 Coolpix P900 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V 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 P900-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony HX400VYstereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Kodak AZ901-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Nikon P950YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon P1000YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon B700-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Nikon B500-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Nikon L840-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Panasonic FZ100Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Ricoh GR IIYstereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony HX350-stereomono--micro2.0---
 
Sony HX90V-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony H400-monomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Sony H300-monomono--micro2.0Y--

It is notable that the HX400V has a hotshoe, which makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun. The P900 does not feature such an accessory-socket.

Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that both cameras feature internal geolocalization sensors and can record GPS coordinates in their EXIF data.

The HX400V is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the P900 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the P900 was succeeded by the Nikon P950. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Sony websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Nikon P900 better than the Sony HX400V or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon Coolpix P900:

  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (921k vs 210k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (360 versus 300) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year after the HX400V).

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Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (20.2 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 13%.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (130x93mm vs 140x103mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 239g or 27 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (17 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2014).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the match-up finishes in a tie (7 points each). 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 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.

P900 07:07 HX400V

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon P900 and the Sony HX400V 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 partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the P900 or the HX400V. 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 P900..77/1004/54.5/54/5 Mar 2015 599i
 
Sony HX400V+ +..4/5..4/5 Feb 2014 499 i
 
Canon SX60+ +75/1004/5..4.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
 
Kodak AZ901....3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2016 499 i
 
Nikon P950....4/5..4/5 Jan 2020 799 i
 
Nikon P1000+73/1003.5/54.5/53.5/5 Jul 2018 999 i
 
Nikon B700+..4/5..4/5 Feb 2016 499 i
 
Nikon B500+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2016 299i
 
Nikon L840+ +..3.5/5..4/5 Feb 2015 299i
 
Panasonic FZ100+..4.5/5..4.5/5 Jul 2010 499i
 
Ricoh GR II....4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 699 i
 
Sony HX350........4/5 Dec 2016 449 i
 
Sony HX90V+ +..4/5..4.5/5 Apr 2015 429 i
 
Sony H400o..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2014 319 i
 
Sony H300+..4.5/5..4/5 Feb 2014 219 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted 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 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 P900:
Check Ebay offers
Sony HX400V:
Check Amazon price

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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

~

    Specifications: Nikon P900 vs Sony HX400V

    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 P900 Sony HX400V
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 24-2000mm f/2.8-6.5 24-1200mm f/2.8-6.3
    Launch Date March 2015 February 2014
    Launch Price USD 599 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Nikon P900 Sony HX400V
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS BSI-CMOS
    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 20.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 5184 x 3888 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 1.18 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 71.80 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 80 - 3,200 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 12,800 ISO 80 - 12,800 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED C2 BIONZ X
    Screen Specs Nikon P900 Sony HX400V
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    Viewfinder Resolution 921k dots 210k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon P900 Sony HX400V
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peakingno Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 7 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inno Intervalometer
    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 P900 Sony HX400V
    External Flash no Hotshoe 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 NFC built-in
    Geotagging GPS built-in GPS built-in
    Body Specs Nikon P900 Sony HX400V
    Battery Type EN-EL23 NP-BX1
    Battery Life (CIPA)360 shots per charge300 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging no USB charging
    Body Dimensions 140 x 103 x 137 mm
    (5.5 x 4.1 x 5.4 in)
    130 x 93 x 103 mm
    (5.1 x 3.7 x 4.1 in)
    Camera Weight 899 g (31.7 oz) 660 g (23.3 oz)

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