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Samsung NX30 vs Sony A6400

The Samsung NX30 and the Sony Alpha A6400 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2014 and January 2019. Both the NX30 and the A6400 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Samsung has a resolution of 20 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.

Headline Specifications
Samsung NX30 versus Sony A6400
Samsung NX30 Sony A6400
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Samsung NX mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
20 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-25,600 ISO 100-32,000 (100 - 102,400)
Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots) Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)
3.0 LCD, 1036k dots 3.0 LCD, 922k dots
Swivel touchscreen Tilting touchscreen
9 shutter flaps per second 11 shutter flaps per second
360 shots per battery charge410 shots per battery charge
127 x 96 x 58 mm, 375 g 120 x 67 x 50 mm, 403 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Samsung NX30 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.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Samsung NX30 and the Sony A6400. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Samsung NX30 vs Sony A6400
Compare NX30 versus A6400 top
Comparison NX30 or A6400 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony A6400 is considerably smaller (34 percent) than the Samsung NX30. However, the A6400 is markedly heavier (7 percent) than the NX30. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the NX30 nor the A6400 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

The battery packs of both cameras can be charged via USB, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons 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
 
Samsung NX30 127 mm 96 mm 58 mm 375 g 360 n Jan 2014 999i
 
Sony A6400 120 mm 67 mm 50 mm 403 g 410 n Jan 2019 899 i
 
Canon M50 116 mm 88 mm 59 mm 390 g 235 n Feb 2018 779 i
 
Canon M5 116 mm 89 mm 61 mm 427 g 295 n Sep 2016 979 i
 
Canon 760D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon M3 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679i
 
Nikon D5500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 420 g 820 n Jan 2015 899i
 
Nikon D3300 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 430 g 700 n Jan 2014 499i
 
Panasonic FZ1000 137 mm 99 mm 131 mm 831 g 360 n Jun 2014 899i
 
Panasonic LX100 115 mm 66 mm 55 mm 393 g 300 n Sep 2014 899 i
 
Samsung NX500 120 mm 64 mm 43 mm 287 g 370 n Feb 2015 799i
 
Sony A6100 120 mm 67 mm 59 mm 396 g 420 n Aug 2019 749 i
 
Sony A6300 120 mm 67 mm 49 mm 404 g 400 Y Feb 2016 999i
 
Sony RX100 IV 102 mm 58 mm 41 mm 298 g 280 n Jun 2015 999i
 
Sony A6000 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599i
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 A6400 was somewhat cheaper (by 10 percent) than the NX30 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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 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 an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the A6400 is 1 percent smaller. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Samsung NX30 and Sony A6400 sensor measures

Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the A6400 offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixels, compared with 20 MP of the NX30. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 4.30μm for the NX30). However, it should be noted that the A6400 is much more recent (by 5 years) than the NX30, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the NX30 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

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 Samsung NX30 are 27.4 x 18.2 inches or 69.5 x 46.3 cm for good quality, 21.9 x 14.6 inches or 55.6 x 37.1 cm for very good quality, and 18.2 x 12.2 inches or 46.3 x 30.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Samsung NX30 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. 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.

NX30 versus A6400 MP

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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the A6400 has a markedly higher DXO score than the NX30 (overall score 7 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 0.5 bits higher color depth, 1.2 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.5 stops in additional low light sensitivity. 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
 
Samsung NX30 APS-C 20.0 5472 36481080/60p23.512.4101476
 
Sony A6400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p2413.6143183
 
Canon M50 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p........
 
Canon M5 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.412.4126277
 
Canon 760D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
 
Canon M3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
 
Nikon D5500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
 
Panasonic FZ1000 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.111.751764
 
Panasonic LX100 Four Thirds 12.7 4112 30884K/30p22.312.555367
 
Samsung NX500 APS-C 28.0 6480 43204K/30p24.813.9137987
 
Sony A6100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p........
 
Sony A6300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.413.7143785
 
Sony RX100 IV 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p22.812.659170
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782

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 A6400 provides a better video resolution than the NX30. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Samsung is limited to 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The NX30 and the A6400 are similar in the sense that both feature an electronic viewfinder, which is helpful when framing images in bright sunlight. Moreover, their viewfinders offer an identical resolution of 2359k dots. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Samsung NX30 and Sony A6400 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
 
Samsung NX302359 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/8000s 9.0 Y n
 
Sony A64002359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
 
Canon M502360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0 Y n
 
Canon M52360 n 3.2 1620 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y n
 
Canon 760Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon M3optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
 
Nikon D5500optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3300optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Panasonic FZ10002359 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 12.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic LX1002764 n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 11.0 n Y
 
Samsung NX500none n 3.0 1036 tilting Y 1/6000s 9.0 Y n
 
Sony A61001440 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
 
Sony A63002359 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
 
Sony RX100 IV2359 n 3.0 1228 tilting n 1/2000s 16.0 Y Y
 
Sony A60001440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n
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 Samsung NX30 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 NX30 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the A6400 uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

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 Samsung NX30 and Sony Alpha A6400 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
 
Samsung NX30Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A6400YstereomonoY-micro2.0YYY
 
Canon M50YstereomonoY-micro2.0YYY
 
Canon M5YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon 760DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon M3YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Nikon D5500YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Nikon D3300YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Panasonic FZ1000YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-
 
Panasonic LX100Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Samsung NX500Ystereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Sony A6100YstereomonoY-micro2.0YYY
 
Sony A6300YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-
 
Sony RX100 IV-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A6000Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the A6400 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The NX30 does not feature such a mic input.

The A6400 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the NX30 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the NX30 from Samsung. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Samsung and Sony websites.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Samsung NX30 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.

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Arguments in favor of the Samsung NX30:

  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1036k vs 922k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2014).

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Advantages of the Sony Alpha A6400:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 20MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (7 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.2 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • 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.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.64x).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 9 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • More compact: Is smaller (120x67mm vs 127x96mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (410 versus 360) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More modern: Reflects 5 years of technical progress since the NX30 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A6400 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 6 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.

NX30 06:14 A6400

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Samsung NX30 and the Sony A6400 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listing 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 NX30 or the A6400. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

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
 
Samsung NX30..77/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2014 999i
 
Sony A6400+85/1004.5/5..4/5 Jan 2019 899 i
 
Canon M50+79/100..4/53.5/5 Feb 2018 779 i
 
Canon M5+82/1004/54.5/54/5 Sep 2016 979 i
 
Canon 760D+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon M3o75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679i
 
Nikon D5500+79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899i
 
Nikon D3300+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499i
 
Panasonic FZ1000+ +82/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 899i
 
Panasonic LX100+ +85/1005/54/55/5 Sep 2014 899 i
 
Samsung NX500..81/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 799i
 
Sony A6100..82/1004/5..5/5 Aug 2019 749 i
 
Sony A6300+85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2016 999i
 
Sony RX100 IV+ +85/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 999i
 
Sony A6000+80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599i
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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Samsung NX30:
Check Ebay offers
Sony A6400:
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 your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

~

    Specifications: Samsung NX30 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 Specifications
    Camera Model Samsung NX30 Sony A6400
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Samsung NX mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2014 January 2019
    Launch Price USD 999 USD 899
    Sensor Specs Samsung NX30 Sony A6400
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.7 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 368.95 mm2 366.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.3 mm 28.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 20 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5472 x 3648 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.30 μm 3.91 μm
    Pixel Density 5.41 MP/cm2 6.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 25,600 ISO 100 - 32,000 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 102,400 ISO
    Image Processor DRIMe IV BIONZ X
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 76 83
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.5 24
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.4 13.6
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1014 1431
    Screen Specs Samsung NX30 Sony A6400
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.64x 0.70x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2359k dots 2359k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 1036k dots 922k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Samsung NX30 Sony A6400
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/8000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 9 shutter flaps/s 11 shutter flaps/s
    Electronic Shutterno E-ShutterYES
    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 UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Samsung NX30 Sony A6400
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Samsung NX30 Sony A6400
    Battery Type BP1410 NP-FW50
    Battery Life (CIPA)360 shots per charge410 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 127 x 96 x 58 mm
    (5.0 x 3.8 x 2.3 in)
    120 x 67 x 50 mm
    (4.7 x 2.6 x 2.0 in)
    Camera Weight 375 g (13.2 oz) 403 g (14.2 oz)

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