Sony A3000 vs ZV-1
The Sony Alpha A3000 and the Sony Cyber-shot ZV-1 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2013 and May 2020. The A3000 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the ZV-1 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (A3000) and an one-inch (ZV-1) sensor. The A3000 has a resolution of 19.8 megapixels, whereas the ZV-1 provides 20 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 Sony Alpha A3000 and the Sony Cyber-shot ZV-1? 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 Sony A3000 and the Sony ZV-1 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 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 ZV-1 is considerably smaller (46 percent) than the Sony A3000. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the A3000 nor the ZV-1 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the ZV-1 has a lens built in, whereas the A3000 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 A3000 and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the A3000 gets 470 shots out of its NP-FW50 battery, while the ZV-1 can take 260 images on a single charge of its NP-BX1 power pack. 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. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Sony A3000||128 mm||91 mm||85 mm||411 g||470||n||Aug 2013||329||ebay.com|
|2.||Sony ZV-1||105 mm||60 mm||44 mm||294 g||260||n||May 2020||799||amazon.com|
|3.||Canon G5 X Mark II||111 mm||61 mm||46 mm||340 g||230||n||Jul 2019||899||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon G7 X Mark III||105 mm||61 mm||41 mm||304 g||235||n||Jul 2019||749||amazon.com|
|5.||Sony A6400||120 mm||67 mm||50 mm||403 g||410||Y||Jan 2019||899||amazon.com|
|6.||Sony RX100 VII||102 mm||58 mm||43 mm||302 g||260||n||Jul 2019||1,199||amazon.com|
|7.||Sony A5000||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||269 g||420||n||Jan 2014||449||ebay.com|
|8.||Sony A5100||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||283 g||400||n||Aug 2014||549||ebay.com|
|9.||Sony A6000||120 mm||67 mm||45 mm||344 g||360||n||Feb 2014||599||ebay.com|
|10.||Sony RX100 III||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||290 g||320||n||May 2014||799||ebay.com|
|11.||Sony A58||129 mm||95 mm||78 mm||492 g||690||n||Feb 2013||599||ebay.com|
|12.||Sony NEX-3N||110 mm||62 mm||35 mm||269 g||480||n||Feb 2013||499||ebay.com|
|13.||Sony RX1R||113 mm||65 mm||70 mm||482 g||270||n||Jun 2013||2,799||ebay.com|
|14.||Sony RX100 II||102 mm||58 mm||38 mm||281 g||350||n||Jun 2013||749||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony NEX-6||120 mm||67 mm||43 mm||345 g||360||n||Sep 2012||999||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony RX1||113 mm||65 mm||70 mm||482 g||270||n||Sep 2012||2,799||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony NEX-7||120 mm||67 mm||43 mm||400 g||430||n||Aug 2011||1,349||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 obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. 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.
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. 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony A3000 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony ZV-1 an one-inch sensor. The sensor area in the ZV-1 is 68 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.7. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Technology-wise, the ZV-1 uses a more advanced image processing engine (BIONZ X) than the A3000 (BIONZ), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the ZV-1 offers a slightly higher resolution of 20 megapixels, compared with 19.8 MP of the A3000. 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 2.41μm versus 4.25μm for the A3000). However, it should be noted that the ZV-1 is much more recent (by 6 years and 9 months) than the A3000, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The Sony Alpha A3000 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 16000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot ZV-1 are ISO 125 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-25600.
In terms of underlying technology, the A3000 is build around a CMOS sensor, while the ZV-1 uses a BSI-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.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|3.||Canon G5 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.2||12.4||583||65|
|4.||Canon G7 X Mark III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.2||12.4||583||65|
|6.||Sony RX100 VII||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||21.8||12.4||418||63|
|10.||Sony RX100 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67|
|13.||Sony RX1R||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.0||13.6||2537||91|
|14.||Sony RX100 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67|
|16.||Sony RX1||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||25.1||14.3||2534||93|
|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 can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the ZV-1 provides a better video resolution than the A3000. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the A3000 is limited to 1080/60i.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the A3000 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the ZV-1 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Sony A3000, the Sony ZV-1, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Sony A3000||202||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5/s||Y||n|
|2.||Sony ZV-1||none||n||3.0 / 922||swivel||Y||1/2000s||24.0/s||n||Y|
|3.||Canon G5 X Mark II||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||30/s||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon G7 X Mark III||none||n||3.0 / 1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||30/s||Y||Y|
|5.||Sony A6400||2359||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||11.0/s||Y||n|
|6.||Sony RX100 VII||2359||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||Y||1/2000s||90.0/s||Y||Y|
|7.||Sony A5000||none||n||3.0 / 461||tilting||n||1/4000s||3.5/s||Y||n|
|8.||Sony A5100||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|9.||Sony A6000||1440||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0/s||Y||n|
|10.||Sony RX100 III||1440||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|11.||Sony A58||1440||n||2.7 / 460||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||Y|
|12.||Sony NEX-3N||optional||n||3.0 / 460||tilting||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|13.||Sony RX1R||optional||n||3.0 / 1229||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|14.||Sony RX100 II||optional||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony NEX-6||2359||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0/s||Y||n|
|16.||Sony RX1||optional||n||3.0 / 1229||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|17.||Sony NEX-7||2359||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0/s||Y||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 A3000 has one, while the ZV-1 does not. While the built-in flash of the A3000 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.The ZV-1 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 A3000 does not have a selfie-screen.
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 ZV-1 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 Sony ZV-1 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.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the A3000 and the ZV-1 write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The ZV-1 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the A3000 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 Sony Alpha A3000 and Sony Cyber-shot ZV-1 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Sony A3000||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Sony ZV-1||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon G5 X Mark II||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|4.||Canon G7 X Mark III||-||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y|
|5.||Sony A6400||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|6.||Sony RX100 VII||-||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|7.||Sony A5000||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Sony A5100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Sony A6000||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|10.||Sony RX100 III||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Sony A58||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Sony NEX-3N||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Sony RX1R||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|14.||Sony RX100 II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|15.||Sony NEX-6||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|16.||Sony RX1||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Sony NEX-7||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the ZV-1 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the A3000 does not provide wifi capability.
The ZV-1 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the A3000 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on ebay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the A3000 from Sony. Further information on the features and operation of the A3000 and ZV-1 can be found, respectively, in the Sony A3000 Manual (free pdf) or the online Sony ZV-1 Manual.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Sony A3000 and the Sony ZV-1? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha A3000:
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (470 versus 260) on a single battery charge.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2013).
Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot ZV-1:
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (BIONZ X vs BIONZ).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60i).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 230k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or 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 (24 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the A3000 necessitates an extra lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (105x60mm vs 128x91mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight even though it has a lens built in (unlike the A3000).
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Reflects 6 years and 9 months of technical progress since the A3000 launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the ZV-1 is the clear winner of the contest (19 : 6 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 Sony A3000 and the Sony ZV-1 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the A3000 and the ZV-1 in practical situations. 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 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.||Sony A3000||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Aug 2013||329||ebay.com|
|2.||Sony ZV-1||4/5||..||4.5/5||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||May 2020||799||amazon.com|
|3.||Canon G5 X Mark II||4/5||+||4/5||82/100||..||4/5||Jul 2019||899||amazon.com|
|4.||Canon G7 X Mark III||..||+ +||4/5||81/100||4/5||..||Jul 2019||749||amazon.com|
|5.||Sony A6400||4/5||+||4/5||85/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jan 2019||899||amazon.com|
|6.||Sony RX100 VII||4.5/5||..||4/5||..||4/5||5/5||Jul 2019||1,199||amazon.com|
|7.||Sony A5000||3/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||449||ebay.com|
|8.||Sony A5100||4.5/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549||ebay.com|
|9.||Sony A6000||5/5||+||4.5/5||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599||ebay.com|
|10.||Sony RX100 III||5/5||+ +||..||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799||ebay.com|
|11.||Sony A58||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||599||ebay.com|
|12.||Sony NEX-3N||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||499||ebay.com|
|13.||Sony RX1R||5/5||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||2,799||ebay.com|
|14.||Sony RX100 II||5/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749||ebay.com|
|15.||Sony NEX-6||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||999||ebay.com|
|16.||Sony RX1||5/5||..||..||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,799||ebay.com|
|17.||Sony NEX-7||5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2011||1,349||ebay.com|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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 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? 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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Sony A3000 vs Sony ZV-1
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||Sony A3000||Sony ZV-1|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Sony E mount lenses||24-70mm f/1.8-2.8|
|Launch Date||August 2013||May 2020|
|Launch Price||USD 329||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Sony A3000||Sony ZV-1|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.2 x 15.4 mm||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||357.28 mm2||116.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27.8 mm||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||19.8 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5456 x 3632 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.25 μm||2.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.55 MP/cm2||17.18 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 16,000 ISO||125 - 12,800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||80 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||BIONZ||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||78||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.7||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.8||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1068||..|
|Screen Specs||Sony A3000||Sony ZV-1|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||202k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Swivel screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Sony A3000||Sony ZV-1|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||2.5 shutter flaps/s||24 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/32000s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||MS or SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Single or Dual Card Slots||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Sony A3000||Sony ZV-1|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Sony A3000||Sony ZV-1|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||470 shots per charge||260 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||USB charging|
128 x 91 x 85 mm
(5.0 x 3.6 x 3.3 in)
105 x 60 x 44 mm
(4.1 x 2.4 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||411 g (14.5 oz)||294 g (10.4 oz)|
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