Sony A5100 vs H300
The Sony Alpha A5100 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2014 and February 2014. The A5100 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the H300 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (A5100) and a 1/2.3-inch (H300) sensor. The A5100 has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the H300 provides 19.9 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 A5100 and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300? 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 A5100 and the Sony H300 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The A5100 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the H300 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony H300 is considerably larger (64 percent) than the Sony A5100. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the A5100 nor the H300 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the H300 has a lens built in, whereas the A5100 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 A5100 and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.
The power pack in the A5100 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along 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 A5100||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||283 g||400||n||Aug 2014||549|
|2.||Sony H300||128 mm||89 mm||92 mm||590 g||350||n||Feb 2014||219|
|3.||Canon SX610||105 mm||61 mm||27 mm||191 g||270||n||Jan 2015||249|
|4.||Sony RX100 IV||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999|
|5.||Sony HX90V||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||360||n||Apr 2015||429|
|6.||Sony A5000||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||269 g||420||n||Jan 2014||449|
|7.||Sony A6000||120 mm||67 mm||45 mm||344 g||360||n||Feb 2014||599|
|8.||Sony HX400V||130 mm||93 mm||103 mm||660 g||300||n||Feb 2014||499|
|9.||Sony H400||130 mm||95 mm||122 mm||628 g||300||n||Feb 2014||319|
|10.||Sony A3000||128 mm||91 mm||85 mm||411 g||470||n||Aug 2013||329|
|11.||Sony NEX-3N||110 mm||62 mm||35 mm||269 g||480||n||Feb 2013||499|
|12.||Sony NEX-5T||111 mm||59 mm||39 mm||276 g||330||n||Aug 2013||699|
|13.||Sony RX100 II||102 mm||58 mm||38 mm||281 g||350||n||Jun 2013||749|
|14.||Sony H200||123 mm||83 mm||87 mm||530 g||240||n||Jan 2013||249|
|15.||Sony NEX-F3||117 mm||67 mm||42 mm||314 g||470||n||May 2012||599|
|16.||Sony RX100||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||240 g||330||n||Jun 2012||649|
|17.||Sony NEX-3||117 mm||62 mm||33 mm||297 g||330||n||May 2010||599|
|Notes: 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 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 H300 was launched at a lower price than the A5100, despite having a lens built in. 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. 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony A5100 features an APS-C sensor and the Sony H300 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the H300 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 5.6. The sensor in the A5100 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the H300 offers a 4:3 aspect.
In terms of chip-set technology, the A5100 uses a more advanced image processing engine (BIONZ X) than the H300 (BIONZ), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
With 24MP, the A5100 offers a higher resolution than the H300 (19.9MP), but the A5100 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 1.19μm for the H300) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the A5100 is a somewhat more recent model (by 6 months) than the H300, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the H300 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Sony A5100 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the A5100 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 Sony H300 are 25.8 x 19.3 inches or 65.4 x 49.1 cm for good quality, 20.6 x 15.5 inches or 52.3 x 39.3 cm for very good quality, and 17.2 x 12.9 inches or 43.6 x 32.7 cm for excellent quality prints.
The A5100 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.
The Sony Alpha A5100 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|4.||Sony RX100 IV||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70|
|13.||Sony RX100 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67|
|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 have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the A5100 provides a higher video resolution than the H300. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the H300 is limited to 720/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The A5100 and the H300 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. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony A5100 and Sony H300 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Sony A5100||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n|
|2.||Sony H300||none||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/1500s||0.8||Y||Y|
|3.||Canon SX610||none||n||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/2000s||2.5||Y||Y|
|4.||Sony RX100 IV||2359||n||3.0 / 1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||Y||Y|
|5.||Sony HX90V||638||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|6.||Sony A5000||none||n||3.0 / 461||tilting||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n|
|7.||Sony A6000||1440||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/4000s||11.0||Y||n|
|8.||Sony HX400V||210||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|9.||Sony H400||210||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/2000s||0.7||Y||Y|
|10.||Sony A3000||202||n||3.0 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n|
|11.||Sony NEX-3N||optional||n||3.0 / 460||tilting||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n|
|12.||Sony NEX-5T||optional||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0||n||n|
|13.||Sony RX100 II||optional||n||3.0 / 1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|14.||Sony H200||none||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/1500s||0.8||Y||Y|
|15.||Sony NEX-F3||optional||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.5||Y||n|
|16.||Sony RX100||none||n||3.0 / 1229||fixed||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y|
|17.||Sony NEX-3||optional||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||7.0||n||n|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The A5100 has a touchscreen, while the H300 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The A5100 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the H300 does not have a selfie-screen.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the A5100 and the H300 write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The A5100 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the H300 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 A5100 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Sony A5100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|2.||Sony H300||-||mono / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|3.||Canon SX610||-||- / -||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|4.||Sony RX100 IV||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|5.||Sony HX90V||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|6.||Sony A5000||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|7.||Sony A6000||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|8.||Sony HX400V||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|9.||Sony H400||-||mono / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|10.||Sony A3000||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|11.||Sony NEX-3N||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Sony NEX-5T||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|13.||Sony RX100 II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|14.||Sony H200||-||mono / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Sony NEX-F3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Sony RX100||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Sony NEX-3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
Both the A5100 and the H300 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The H300 replaced the earlier Sony H200, while the A5100 followed on from the Sony A5000. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Sony website.
So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Sony A5100 or the Sony H300 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Sony Alpha A5100:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 19.9MP) with a 12% higher linear resolution.
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (BIONZ X vs BIONZ).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60p vs 720/30p).
- Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k vs 460k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/1500s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 0.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Accepts interchangeable lenses, so that lens characteristics can be altered.
- More compact: Is smaller (110x63mm vs 128x89mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (400 versus 350) on a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- 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 modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 6 months after the H300).
Arguments in favor of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Ready to shoot: Has an integrated lens, whereas the A5100 necessitates an extra lens.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2014).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A5100 is the clear winner of the match-up (22 : 5 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape 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 A5100 and the Sony H300 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the A5100 or the H300 perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
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 A5100||4.5/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549|
|2.||Sony H300||..||+||..||..||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2014||219|
|3.||Canon SX610||..||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2015||249|
|4.||Sony RX100 IV||4.5/5||+ +||..||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999|
|5.||Sony HX90V||4/5||+ +||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2015||429|
|6.||Sony A5000||3/5||+||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||449|
|7.||Sony A6000||5/5||+||4.5/5||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2014||599|
|8.||Sony HX400V||4/5||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2014||499|
|9.||Sony H400||..||o||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Feb 2014||319|
|10.||Sony A3000||3/5||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||Aug 2013||329|
|11.||Sony NEX-3N||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||499|
|12.||Sony NEX-5T||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||699|
|13.||Sony RX100 II||5/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749|
|14.||Sony H200||..||..||..||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jan 2013||249|
|15.||Sony NEX-F3||4/5||..||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2012||599|
|16.||Sony RX100||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4/5||5/5||Jun 2012||649|
|17.||Sony NEX-3||..||..||..||70/100||4.5/5||4/5||May 2010||599|
|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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. 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 are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon T8i vs Sony H300
- Fujifilm GFX 100 vs Sony H300
- Fujifilm X100F vs Sony H300
- Leica X Vario vs Sony A5100
- Nikon D1X vs Sony H300
- Nikon D3 vs Sony A5100
- Nikon P950 vs Sony H300
- Olympus E-400 vs Sony A5100
- Panasonic FZ150 vs Sony A5100
- Panasonic GH4 vs Sony H300
- Panasonic S1 vs Sony A5100
- Pentax K-1 vs Sony A5100
Specifications: Sony A5100 vs Sony H300
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 A5100||Sony H300|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Sony E mount lenses||25-875mm f/3.4-6.5|
|Launch Date||August 2014||February 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 549||USD 219|
|Sensor Specs||Sony A5100||Sony H300|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.6 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||366.6 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.2 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||19.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||5152 x 3864 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.91 μm||1.19 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.55 MP/cm2||70.91 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||720/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 25,600 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||BIONZ X||BIONZ|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||80||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.8||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.7||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1347||..|
|Screen Specs||Sony A5100||Sony H300|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||no viewfinder|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Sony A5100||Sony H300|
|Focus System||On-Sensor Phase-detect||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||6 shutter flaps/s||0.8 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||MS or SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Sony A5100||Sony H300|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Sony A5100||Sony H300|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||350 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
110 x 63 x 36 mm
(4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 in)
128 x 89 x 92 mm
(5.0 x 3.5 x 3.6 in)
|Camera Weight||283 g (10.0 oz)||590 g (20.8 oz)|
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