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Sony A3000 vs NEX-7

The Sony Alpha A3000 and the Sony Alpha NEX-7 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2013 and August 2011. Both the A3000 and the NEX-7 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The A3000 has a resolution of 19.8 megapixels, whereas the NEX-7 provides 24 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Sony A3000   Sony NEX-7
Sony A3000 Sony NEX-7
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Sony E mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
19.8 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60i Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-16000 ISO 100-16000
Electronic viewfinder (202k dots) Electronic viewfinder (2359k dots)
3.0" LCD, 230k dots 3.0" LCD, 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
2.5 shutter flaps per second 10 shutter flaps per second
470 shots per battery charge430 shots per battery charge
128 x 91 x 85 mm, 411 g 120 x 67 x 43 mm, 400 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Alpha A3000 and the Sony Alpha NEX-7? 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: Sony A3000 vs NEX-7

The physical size and weight of the Sony A3000 and the Sony NEX-7 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Sony A3000 vs Sony NEX-7
Compare A3000 versus NEX-7 top
Comparison A3000 or NEX-7 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony NEX-7 is considerably smaller (31 percent) than the Sony A3000. Moreover, the NEX-7 is slightly lighter (3 percent) than the A3000. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the A3000 nor the NEX-7 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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.

The power pack in the A3000 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 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.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Sony A3000» 5.0 in 3.6 in 3.3 in 14.5 oz 470 n Aug 2013 329- i Sony A3000
 
Sony NEX-7« 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 14.1 oz 430 n Aug 2011 1,349- i Sony NEX-7
 
Fujifilm X100« » 5.0 in 3.0 in 2.1 in 15.7 oz 300 n Sep 2010 1,199- i Fujifilm X100
 
Sony A6400« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 2.0 in 14.2 oz 410 n Jan 2019 899 i i Sony A6400
 
Sony A5000« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 420 n Jan 2014 449- i Sony A5000
 
Sony A5100« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 10.0 oz 400 n Aug 2014 549 i i Sony A5100
 
Sony A6000« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.8 in 12.1 oz 360 n Feb 2014 599- i Sony A6000
 
Sony A58« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 3.1 in 17.4 oz 690 n Feb 2013 599- i Sony A58
 
Sony NEX-3N« » 4.3 in 2.4 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 480 n Feb 2013 499- i Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony RX1R« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.0 oz 270 n Jun 2013 2,799- i Sony RX1R
 
Sony NEX-6« » 4.7 in 2.6 in 1.7 in 12.2 oz 360 n Sep 2012 999- i Sony NEX-6
 
Sony RX1« » 4.4 in 2.6 in 2.8 in 17.0 oz 270 n Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony RX1
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 A3000 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 76 percent) than the NEX-7, 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Sony A3000 vs NEX-7

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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the NEX-7 is 2 percent bigger. 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.

Sony A3000 and Sony NEX-7 sensor measures

With 24MP, the NEX-7 offers a higher resolution than the A3000 (19.8MP), but the NEX-7 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.90μm versus 4.25μm for the A3000). Yet, the A3000 is a much more recent model (by 2 years) than the NEX-7, 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 NEX-7 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the NEX-7 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inch or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inch or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inch or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Sony A3000 are 27.3 x 18.2 inch or 69.3 x 46.1 cm for good quality, 21.8 x 14.5 inch or 55.4 x 36.9 cm for very good quality, and 18.2 x 12.1 inch or 46.2 x 30.8 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Sony Alpha A3000 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 16000. The Sony Alpha NEX-7 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

A3000 versus NEX-7 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Sony A3000» APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.712.8106878Sony A3000
 
Sony NEX-7« APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60i24.113.4101681Sony NEX-7
 
Fujifilm X100« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/30p22.912.4100173Fujifilm X100
 
Sony A6400« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p2413.6143183Sony A6400
 
Sony A5000« » APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.813.0108979Sony A5000
 
Sony A5100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780Sony A5100
 
Sony A6000« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782Sony A6000
 
Sony A58« » APS-C 19.8 5456 36321080/60i23.312.575374Sony A58
 
Sony NEX-3N« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.5106774Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony RX1R« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.013.6253791Sony RX1R
 
Sony NEX-6« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.713.1101878Sony NEX-6
 
Sony RX1« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.114.3253493Sony RX1

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. 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 (1080/60i).

 

Feature comparison: Sony A3000 vs NEX-7

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 NEX-7 offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the A3000 (2359k vs 202k dots). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Sony A3000 and Sony NEX-7 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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
Camera
Model
 
Sony A3000»202 n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n Sony A3000
 
Sony NEX-7«2359 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y n Sony NEX-7
 
Fujifilm X100« »1440 n 2.8 460 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Fujifilm X100
 
Sony A6400« »2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 11.0 Y n Sony A6400
 
Sony A5000« »- n 3.0 461 tilting n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n Sony A5000
 
Sony A5100« »- n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Sony A5100
 
Sony A6000« »1440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n Sony A6000
 
Sony A58« »1440 n 2.7 460 tilting n 1/4000s 5.0 Y Y Sony A58
 
Sony NEX-3N« »- n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony RX1R« »- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Sony RX1R
 
Sony NEX-6« »2359 n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 10.0 Y n Sony NEX-6
 
Sony RX1« »- n 3.0 1229 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Sony RX1

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the A3000 and the NEX-7 write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Sony A3000 vs NEX-7

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 Sony Alpha A3000 and Sony Alpha NEX-7 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Sony A3000»Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony A3000
 
Sony NEX-7«YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony NEX-7
 
Fujifilm X100« »Ystereo---mini2.0---Fujifilm X100
 
Sony A6400« »YstereomonoY-micro2.0YYYSony A6400
 
Sony A5000« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony A5000
 
Sony A5100« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony A5100
 
Sony A6000« »Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony A6000
 
Sony A58« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony A58
 
Sony NEX-3N« »-stereomono--micro2.0---Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony RX1R« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony RX1R
 
Sony NEX-6« »Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Sony NEX-6
 
Sony RX1« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony RX1

It is notable that the NEX-7 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The A3000 does not feature such a mic input.

Both the A3000 and the NEX-7 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. Neither of the two has a direct successor, so they represent the end of the respective camera lines from Sony. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Sony website.


Review summary: Sony A3000 vs NEX-7

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Sony A3000 and the Sony NEX-7? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Advantages of the Sony Alpha A3000:

  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (76 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years of technical progress since the NEX-7 launch.


Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha NEX-7:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 19.8MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.6 EV of extra DR).
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2359k vs 202k dots).
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.73x vs 0.47x).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 230k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (120x67mm vs 128x91mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2011).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the NEX-7 is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 2 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 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.

A3000 02:10 NEX-7

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony A3000 and the Sony NEX-7 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 comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the A3000 and the NEX-7 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews: Sony A3000 vs NEX-7

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Sony A3000»+-4/54.5/54/5 Aug 2013 329- i Sony A3000
 
Sony NEX-7«+ +81/1004.5/55/55/5 Aug 2011 1,349- i Sony NEX-7
 
Fujifilm X100« »-75/1004/54/55/5 Sep 2010 1,199- i Fujifilm X100
 
Sony A6400« »+85/1004.5/5-4/5 Jan 2019 899 i i Sony A6400
 
Sony A5000« »+-4.5/5o4.5/5 Jan 2014 449- i Sony A5000
 
Sony A5100« »+-4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i i Sony A5100
 
Sony A6000« »+80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599- i Sony A6000
 
Sony A58« »--4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2013 599- i Sony A58
 
Sony NEX-3N« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2013 499- i Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony RX1R« »--4/5o4.5/5 Jun 2013 2,799- i Sony RX1R
 
Sony NEX-6« »+ +78/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2012 999- i Sony NEX-6
 
Sony RX1« »-79/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony RX1
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Sony A3000:
Check Ebay offers
Sony NEX-7:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Sony A3000 vs Sony NEX-7

    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 Sony A3000 Sony NEX-7
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Sony E mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2013 August 2011
    Launch Price USD 329 USD 1349
    Sensor Specs Sony A3000 Sony NEX-7
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.2 x 15.4 mm 23.4 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 357.28 mm2 365.04 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 27.8 mm 28.1 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 19.8 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5456 x 3632 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 4.25 μm 3.90 μm
    Pixel Density 5.55 MP/cm2 6.57 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100-16000 ISO 100-16000 ISO
    Image Processor BIONZ BIONZ
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 78 81
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 23.7 24.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.8 13.4
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1068 1016
    Screen Specs Sony A3000 Sony NEX-7
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.47x 0.73x
    Viewfinder Resolution 202k dots 2359k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs Sony A3000 Sony NEX-7
    Autofocus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000/s 1/4000/s
    Continuous Shooting 2.5 shutter flaps/s 10 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium MS or SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Sony A3000 Sony NEX-7
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Sony A3000 Sony NEX-7
    Battery Type NP-FW50 power pack NP-FW50 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)470 shots per charge430 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging no USB charging
    Body Dimensions 128 x 91 x 85 mm
    (5.0 x 3.6 x 3.3 in)
    120 x 67 x 43 mm
    (4.7 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 411 g (14.5 oz) 400 g (14.1 oz)

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