Nikon P950 vs Sony HX80
The Nikon Coolpix P950 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX80 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2020 and March 2016. Both the P950 and the HX80 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 18 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Nikon P950||Sony HX80|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|24-2000mm f/2.8-6.5||24-720mm f/3.5-6.4|
|15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor||18 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor|
|4K/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 100-6400 (100-12800)||ISO 80-3200 (80-12800)|
|Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)||Electronic viewfinder (638k dots)|
|3.2" LCD, 921k dots||3.0" LCD, 922k dots|
|Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)||Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|7 shutter flaps per second||10 shutter flaps per second|
|290 shots per battery charge||390 shots per battery charge|
|140 x 110 x 150 mm, 1005 g||102 x 58 x 36 mm, 245 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix P950 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX80? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon P950 and the Sony HX80 is provided 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 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 HX80 is considerably smaller (62 percent) than the Nikon P950. Moreover, the HX80 is substantially lighter (76 percent) than the P950. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the P950 nor the HX80 are weather-sealed.
The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. 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.
|Nikon P950»||5.5 in||4.3 in||5.9 in||35.5 oz||290||n||Jan 2020||799||Nikon P950|
|Sony HX80«||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.6 oz||390||n||Mar 2016||349||Sony HX80|
|Canon SX720« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||9.5 oz||250||n||Feb 2016||379||Canon SX720|
|Canon SX710« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.4 in||9.5 oz||230||n||Jan 2015||349||Canon SX710|
|Leica V-LUX 2« »||4.9 in||3.1 in||3.7 in||18.3 oz||410||n||Sep 2010||849||Leica V-LUX 2|
|Nikon B600« »||4.8 in||3.2 in||3.9 in||17.6 oz||280||n||Jan 2019||349||Nikon B600|
|Nikon A1000« »||4.5 in||2.8 in||1.6 in||11.6 oz||250||n||Jan 2019||429||Nikon A1000|
|Nikon P1000« »||5.7 in||4.7 in||7.1 in||49.9 oz||250||n||Jul 2018||999||Nikon P1000|
|Nikon B500« »||4.5 in||3.1 in||3.7 in||19.1 oz||600||n||Jan 2016||299||Nikon B500|
|Nikon P900« »||5.5 in||4.1 in||5.4 in||31.7 oz||360||n||Mar 2015||599||Nikon P900|
|Nikon L840« »||4.4 in||3.1 in||3.8 in||19.0 oz||590||n||Feb 2015||299||Nikon L840|
|Panasonic FZ1000 II« »||5.4 in||3.8 in||5.2 in||28.6 oz||350||n||Feb 2019||899||Panasonic FZ1000 II|
|Sony HX99« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.5 oz||370||n||Aug 2018||449||Sony HX99|
|Sony HX95« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.5 oz||370||n||Aug 2018||429||Sony HX95|
|Sony WX800« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.2 oz||370||n||Oct 2018||399||Sony WX800|
|Sony RX100 V« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||220||n||Oct 2016||999||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony HX90V« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.6 oz||360||n||Apr 2015||429||Sony HX90V|
|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 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 HX80 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 56 percent) than the P950, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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.
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.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the HX80 offers a higher resolution of 18 megapixels, compared with 15.9 MP of the P950. This megapixels advantage translates into a 6 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the HX80 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.25μm versus 1.33μm for the P950). Moreover, it should be noted, that the P950 is much more recent (by 3 years and 10 months) than the HX80, and its sensor will 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 HX80 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the HX80 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.5 x 18.4 inch or 62.2 x 46.6 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.6 x 14.7 inch or 49.7 x 37.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.3 x 12.2 inch or 41.5 x 31.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon P950 are 23 x 17.3 inch or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inch or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inch or 39 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Nikon Coolpix P950 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-HX80 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-12800.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Nikon P950||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Nikon P950|
|Sony HX80||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Sony HX80|
|Canon SX720||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX720|
|Canon SX710||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX710|
|Leica V-LUX 2||1/2.3||14.0||4320||3240||1080/60i||..||..||..||..||Leica V-LUX 2|
|Nikon B600||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||..||..||..||..||Nikon B600|
|Nikon A1000||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Nikon A1000|
|Nikon P1000||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Nikon P1000|
|Nikon B500||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60i||..||..||..||..||Nikon B500|
|Nikon P900||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Nikon P900|
|Nikon L840||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60i||..||..||..||..||Nikon L840|
|Panasonic FZ1000 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Panasonic FZ1000 II|
|Sony HX99||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Sony HX99|
|Sony HX95||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Sony HX95|
|Sony WX800||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Sony WX800|
|Sony RX100 V||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony HX90V||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Sony HX90V|
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 P950 provides a higher video resolution than the HX80. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60p.
Apart from 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 P950 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the HX80 (2359k vs 638k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon P950 and Sony HX80 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Nikon P950||2359||n||3.2||921||swivel||n||1/4000s||7.0||Y||Y||Nikon P950|
|Sony HX80||638||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony HX80|
|Canon SX720||none||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/3200s||5.9||Y||Y||Canon SX720|
|Canon SX710||none||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/3200s||6.0||Y||Y||Canon SX710|
|Leica V-LUX 2||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||11.0||Y||Y||Leica V-LUX 2|
|Nikon B600||none||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.4||Y||Y||Nikon B600|
|Nikon A1000||1166||n||3.0||1036||tilting||Y||1/4000s||7.0||Y||Y||Nikon A1000|
|Nikon P1000||2359||n||3.2||921||swivel||n||1/4000s||7.0||Y||Y||Nikon P1000|
|Nikon B500||none||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||1/4000s||7.4||Y||Y||Nikon B500|
|Nikon P900||921||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||1/4000s||7.0||Y||Y||Nikon P900|
|Nikon L840||none||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||1/4000s||7.4||Y||Y||Nikon L840|
|Panasonic FZ1000 II||2360||n||3.0||1240||swivel||Y||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ1000 II|
|Sony HX99||638||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony HX99|
|Sony HX95||638||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony HX95|
|Sony WX800||none||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony WX800|
|Sony RX100 V||2359||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||24.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony HX90V||638||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony HX90V|
The Nikon P950 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 P950 and the HX80 have zoom lenses built in. The P950 has a 24-2000mm f/2.8-6.5 optic and the HX80 offers a 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4 (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. The P950 offers the faster maximum aperture.
The P950 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the HX80 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The HX80 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the P950 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 P950 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX80 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Nikon P950||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Nikon P950|
|Sony HX80||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony HX80|
|Canon SX720||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX720|
|Canon SX710||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX710|
|Leica V-LUX 2||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica V-LUX 2|
|Nikon B600||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Nikon B600|
|Nikon A1000||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Nikon A1000|
|Nikon P1000||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Nikon P1000|
|Nikon B500||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Nikon B500|
|Nikon P900||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Nikon P900|
|Nikon L840||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Nikon L840|
|Panasonic FZ1000 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Panasonic FZ1000 II|
|Sony HX99||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony HX99|
|Sony HX95||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony HX95|
|Sony WX800||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony WX800|
|Sony RX100 V||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony HX90V||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony HX90V|
It is notable that the P950 has a hotshoe, while the HX80 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Both the P950 and the HX80 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The HX80 replaced the earlier Sony HX60, while the P950 followed on from the Nikon P900. 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 what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon P950 or the Sony HX80 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Nikon Coolpix P950:
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2359k vs 638k dots).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3.5).
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 10 months of technical progress since the HX80 launch.
Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX80:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (18 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 6%.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 140x110mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 760g or 76 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (390 versus 290) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (56 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2016).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the P950 emerges as the winner of the contest (12 : 9 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 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 P950 and the Sony HX80 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the P950 or the HX80. 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 (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.
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. 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.
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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 1D Mark II vs Sony HX80
- Canon 1D Mark III vs Sony HX80
- Fujifilm X-Pro1 vs Sony HX80
- Fujifilm XP120 vs Sony HX80
- Nikon P7800 vs Sony HX80
- Nikon P950 vs Sony A9
- Olympus E-400 vs Sony HX80
- Panasonic TZ100 vs Sony HX80
- Pentax K-5 vs Sony HX80
- Sony A7 III vs Sony HX80
- Sony HX80 vs Sony NEX-3
- Sony HX80 vs Sony NEX-7
Specifications: Nikon P950 vs Sony HX80
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 P950||Sony HX80|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-2000mm f/2.8-6.5||24-720mm f/3.5-6.4|
|Launch Date||January 2020||March 2016|
|Launch Price||USD 799||USD 349|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon P950||Sony HX80|
|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|
|Sensor Resolution||15.9 Megapixels||18 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4608 x 3456 pixels||4896 x 3672 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.33 μm||1.25 μm|
|Pixel Density||56.73 MP/cm2||64.04 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-6400 ISO||80-3200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-12800 ISO||80-12800 ISO|
|Screen Specs||Nikon P950||Sony HX80|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||90%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||2359k dots||638k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.2 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon P950||Sony HX80|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||No Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||7 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no 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||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon P950||Sony HX80|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Nikon P950||Sony HX80|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||290 shots per charge||390 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
140 x 110 x 150 mm
(5.5 x 4.3 x 5.9 in)
102 x 58 x 36 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||1005 g (35.5 oz)||245 g (8.6 oz)|
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