Nikon W300 vs Sony NEX-5R
The Nikon Coolpix W300 and the Sony Alpha NEX-5R are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in May 2017 and August 2012. The W300 is a fixed lens compact, while the NEX-5R is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (W300) and an APS-C (NEX-5R) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 16 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 W300 and the Sony Alpha NEX-5R? 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 W300 and the Sony NEX-5R 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.
The W300 can be obtained in three different colors (black, orange, yellow), while the NEX-5R is available in two color-versions (black, silver).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony NEX-5R is notably smaller (11 percent) than the Nikon W300. It is worth mentioning in this context that the W300 is splash and dust resistant, while the NEX-5R does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing. More than that, the W300 is water-proof up to 30m and can, thus, be used for underwater photography.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the W300 has a lens built in, whereas the NEX-5R 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 NEX-5R and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the W300 gets 280 shots out of its EN-EL12 battery, while the NEX-5R can take 330 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The power pack in the W300 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Nikon W300||112 mm||66 mm||29 mm||231 g||280||Y||May 2017||389||amazon.com|
|2.||Sony NEX-5R||111 mm||59 mm||39 mm||276 g||330||n||Aug 2012||749||ebay.com|
|3.||Nikon B600||122 mm||82 mm||99 mm||500 g||280||n||Jan 2019||349||amazon.com|
|4.||Nikon A1000||114 mm||72 mm||41 mm||330 g||250||n||Jan 2019||429||amazon.com|
|5.||Nikon P1000||146 mm||119 mm||181 mm||1415 g||250||n||Jul 2018||999||amazon.com|
|6.||Olympus TG-5||113 mm||66 mm||32 mm||250 g||340||Y||May 2017||449||ebay.com|
|7.||Panasonic TS7||117 mm||76 mm||37 mm||319 g||300||Y||May 2018||449||amazon.com|
|8.||Ricoh WG-60||123 mm||62 mm||30 mm||193 g||300||Y||Oct 2018||279||ebay.com|
|9.||Ricoh GR||117 mm||61 mm||35 mm||245 g||290||n||Apr 2013||799||ebay.com|
|10.||Sony HX99||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||449||amazon.com|
|11.||Sony HX95||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||429||amazon.com|
|12.||Sony WX800||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||233 g||370||n||Oct 2018||399||ebay.com|
|13.||Sony HX80||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||390||n||Mar 2016||349||ebay.com|
|14.||Sony NEX-3N||110 mm||62 mm||35 mm||269 g||480||n||Feb 2013||499||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony NEX-5T||111 mm||59 mm||39 mm||276 g||330||n||Aug 2013||699||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony NEX-5N||111 mm||59 mm||38 mm||269 g||460||n||Aug 2011||699||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony NEX-3||117 mm||62 mm||33 mm||297 g||330||n||May 2010||599||ebay.com|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The W300 was launched at a lower price than the NEX-5R, despite having a lens built in. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon W300 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Sony NEX-5R an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the NEX-5R is 1204 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.5. The sensor in the W300 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the NEX-5R offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 16MP, the NEX-5R offers a higher resolution than the W300 (15.9MP), but the NEX-5R nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.78μm versus 1.33μm for the W300) due to its larger sensor. However, the W300 is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 9 months) than the NEX-5R, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The Nikon Coolpix W300 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 125-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha NEX-5R are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
In terms of underlying technology, the W300 is build around a BSI-CMOS sensor, while the NEX-5R uses a CMOS imager. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|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 W300 provides a higher video resolution than the NEX-5R. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60i.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The W300 and the NEX-5R 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. That said, the NEX-5R can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the FDA-EV1S. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon W300 and Sony NEX-5R along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Nikon W300||none||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.0/s||Y||Y|
|2.||Sony NEX-5R||optional||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0/s||n||n|
|3.||Nikon B600||none||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.4/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Nikon A1000||1166||n||3.0 / 1036||tilting||Y||1/4000s||7.0/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Nikon P1000||2359||n||3.2 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||7.0/s||Y||Y|
|6.||Olympus TG-5||none||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/2000s||20.0/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Panasonic TS7||1170||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/1300s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Ricoh WG-60||none||n||2.7 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||n|
|9.||Ricoh GR||optional||n||3.0 / 1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|10.||Sony HX99||638||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|11.||Sony HX95||638||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|12.||Sony WX800||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|13.||Sony HX80||638||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|14.||Sony NEX-3N||optional||n||3.0 / 460||tilting||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|15.||Sony NEX-5T||optional||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0/s||n||n|
|16.||Sony NEX-5N||optional||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0/s||n||n|
|17.||Sony NEX-3||optional||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||7.0/s||n||n|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The W300 has one, while the NEX-5R does not. While the built-in flash of the W300 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.The NEX-5R 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 W300 does not have a selfie-screen.
The W300 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the NEX-5R uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo 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 W300 and Sony Alpha NEX-5R and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Nikon W300||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|2.||Sony NEX-5R||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|3.||Nikon B600||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Nikon A1000||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Nikon P1000||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|6.||Olympus TG-5||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|7.||Panasonic TS7||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Ricoh WG-60||-||mono / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|9.||Ricoh GR||Y||mono / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Sony HX99||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|11.||Sony HX95||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|12.||Sony WX800||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|13.||Sony HX80||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|14.||Sony NEX-3N||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Sony NEX-5T||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|16.||Sony NEX-5N||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Sony NEX-3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the NEX-5R has a hotshoe, which makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun. The W300 does not feature such an accessory-socket.
Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the W300 has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.
The W300 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the NEX-5R has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on ebay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the NEX-5R was succeeded by the Sony NEX-5T. Further information on the features and operation of the W300 and NEX-5R can be found, respectively, in the Nikon W300 Manual (free pdf) or the online Sony NEX-5R Manual.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Nikon W300 better than the Sony NEX-5R or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Nikon Coolpix W300:
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60i).
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the NEX-5R requires a separate lens.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the NEX-5R).
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Water-proof: Is rugged and sealed and can thus be used for underwater photography (up to 30m).
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 9 months of technical progress since the NEX-5R launch.
Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha NEX-5R:
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- More compact: Is smaller (111x59mm vs 112x66mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (330 versus 280) out of a single battery charge.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2012).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the NEX-5R emerges as the winner of the match-up (14 : 12 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 W300 and the Sony NEX-5R 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 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 W300 or the NEX-5R 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.
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 (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 W300||..||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||May 2017||389||amazon.com|
|2.||Sony NEX-5R||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2012||749||ebay.com|
|3.||Nikon B600||..||+||..||..||3.5/5||3/5||Jan 2019||349||amazon.com|
|4.||Nikon A1000||..||+ +||3.5/5||..||3.5/5||3/5||Jan 2019||429||amazon.com|
|5.||Nikon P1000||..||+||3.5/5||73/100||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jul 2018||999||amazon.com|
|6.||Olympus TG-5||..||+ +||4.5/5||..||4/5||4/5||May 2017||449||ebay.com|
|7.||Panasonic TS7||..||+||..||..||..||3.5/5||May 2018||449||amazon.com|
|8.||Ricoh WG-60||..||..||..||..||..||..||Oct 2018||279||ebay.com|
|9.||Ricoh GR||5/5||..||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||799||ebay.com|
|10.||Sony HX99||..||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||449||amazon.com|
|11.||Sony HX95||..||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 2018||429||amazon.com|
|12.||Sony WX800||..||..||..||..||..||..||Oct 2018||399||ebay.com|
|13.||Sony HX80||..||..||..||..||..||..||Mar 2016||349||ebay.com|
|14.||Sony NEX-3N||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||499||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony NEX-5T||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||699||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony NEX-5N||3/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||699||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony NEX-3||..||..||..||70/100||4.5/5||4/5||May 2010||599||ebay.com|
|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.
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.
- Canon 1D Mark III vs Nikon W300
- Canon S120 vs Sony NEX-5R
- Canon XC10 vs Sony NEX-5R
- Fujifilm X-E3 vs Sony NEX-5R
- Hasselblad X1D II vs Sony NEX-5R
- Nikon D750 vs Sony NEX-5R
- Nikon D90 vs Nikon W300
- Nikon W300 vs Olympus E-510
- Nikon W300 vs Olympus E-M5 II
- Nikon W300 vs Panasonic GF1
- Nikon W300 vs Sony A9 II
- Sony NEX-5R vs Sony RX100 VI
Specifications: Nikon W300 vs Sony NEX-5R
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 W300||Sony NEX-5R|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||24-120mm f/2.8-4.9||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||May 2017||August 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 389||USD 749|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon W300||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||23.4 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||365.04 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||28.1 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.9 Megapixels||16 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4608 x 3456 pixels||4912 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.33 μm||4.78 μm|
|Pixel Density||56.73 MP/cm2||4.39 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||125 - 1,600 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||125 - 6,400 ISO||no Enhancement|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||78|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||23.7|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||13.1|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||910|
|Screen Specs||Nikon W300||Sony NEX-5R|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||920k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon W300||Sony NEX-5R|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||7 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon W300||Sony NEX-5R|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Geotagging||GPS built-in||no internal GPS|
|Body Specs||Nikon W300||Sony NEX-5R|
|Environmental Sealing||Waterproof body (30m)||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||280 shots per charge||330 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
112 x 66 x 29 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.1 in)
111 x 59 x 39 mm
(4.4 x 2.3 x 1.5 in)
|Camera Weight||231 g (8.1 oz)||276 g (9.7 oz)|
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