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Sony A9 vs NEX-3

The Sony Alpha A9 and the Sony Alpha NEX-3 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in April 2017 and May 2010. Both the A9 and the NEX-3 are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are based on a full frame (A9) and an APS-C (NEX-3) sensor. The A9 has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the NEX-3 provides 14 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Sony A9   Sony NEX-3
Sony A9 Sony NEX-3
Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
Sony E mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
24 MP, Full Frame Sensor 14 MP, APS-C Sensor
4K/30p Video 720/30p Video
ISO 100-51200 (50-204800) ISO 200-12800
Electronic viewfinder (3686k dots) Viewfinder optional
3.0" LCD, 1440k dots 3.0" LCD, 920k dots
Tilting touchscreen Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
20 shutter flaps per second 7 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilizationLens stabilization only
Weathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
650 shots per battery charge330 shots per battery charge
127 x 96 x 63 mm, 673 g 117 x 62 x 33 mm, 297 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Alpha A9 and the Sony Alpha NEX-3? 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 A9 vs NEX-3

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Sony A9 and the Sony NEX-3. 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.

The NEX-3 can be obtained in three different colors (black, silver, red), while the A9 is only available in black.

Size Sony A9 vs Sony NEX-3
Compare A9 versus NEX-3 top
Comparison A9 or NEX-3 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony NEX-3 is considerably smaller (41 percent) than the Sony A9. Moreover, the NEX-3 is substantially lighter (56 percent) than the A9. It is worth mentioning in this context that the A9 is splash and dust resistant, while the NEX-3 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Sony FE Lens Catalog (A9) and the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog (NEX-3). 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.

Concerning battery life, the A9 gets 650 shots out of its NP-FZ100 battery, while the NEX-3 can take 330 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The power pack in the A9 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. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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 A9» 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.5 in 23.7 oz 650 Y Apr 2017 4,499 i i Sony A9
 
Sony NEX-3« 4.6 in 2.4 in 1.3 in 10.5 oz 330 n May 2010 599- i Sony NEX-3
 
Nikon Z6« » 5.3 in 4.0 in 2.6 in 23.8 oz 310 Y Aug 2018 1,999 i i Nikon Z6
 
Olympus E-M1 II« » 5.3 in 3.6 in 2.6 in 20.2 oz 440 Y Sep 2016 1,999 i i Olympus E-M1 II
 
Panasonic GH5« » 5.5 in 3.9 in 3.4 in 25.6 oz 410 Y Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
 
Sony A7 III« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 610 Y Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
 
Sony A7R III« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.9 in 22.9 oz 650 Y Oct 2017 3,199 i i Sony A7R III
 
Sony A7R II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 22.0 oz 290 Y Jun 2015 3,199- i Sony A7R II
 
Sony A7S II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 22.1 oz 370 Y Sep 2015 2,999 i i Sony A7S II
 
Sony A7 II« » 5.0 in 3.8 in 2.4 in 21.1 oz 350 Y Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II
 
Sony A5100« » 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 10.0 oz 400 n Aug 2014 549 i i Sony A5100
 
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 A99« » 5.8 in 4.4 in 3.1 in 28.6 oz 500 Y Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony A99
 
Sony NEX-5R« » 4.4 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.7 oz 330 n Aug 2012 749- i Sony NEX-5R
 
Sony A77« » 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.2 in 25.8 oz 470 Y Aug 2011 1,399- i Sony A77
 
Sony NEX-5N« » 4.4 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 9.5 oz 460 n Aug 2011 699- i Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-5« » 4.4 in 2.3 in 1.5 in 10.1 oz 330 n May 2010 699- i Sony NEX-5
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The NEX-3 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 87 percent) than the A9, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Sony A9 vs NEX-3

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.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony A9 features a full frame sensor and the Sony NEX-3 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the NEX-3 is 57 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Sony A9 and Sony NEX-3 sensor measures

With 24MP, the A9 offers a higher resolution than the NEX-3 (14MP), but the A9 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.94μm versus 5.11μm for the NEX-3) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the A9 is a much more recent model (by 6 years and 11 months) than the NEX-3, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels.

The resolution advantage of the Sony A9 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the A9 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 NEX-3 are 23 x 15.3 inch or 58.3 x 38.8 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 12.2 inch or 46.7 x 31 cm for very good quality, and 15.3 x 10.2 inch or 38.9 x 25.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The A9 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Sony Alpha A9 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 51200, which can be extended to ISO 50-204800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha NEX-3 are ISO 200 to ISO 12800 (no boost).

A9 versus NEX-3 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 review, the A9 provides substantially higher image quality than the NEX-3, with an overall score that is 24 points higher. This advantage is based on 2.8 bits higher color depth, 1.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.1 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.

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 A9» Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p24.913.3351792Sony A9
 
Sony NEX-3« APS-C 14.0 4592 3056720/30p22.112.083068Sony NEX-3
 
Nikon Z6« » Full Frame 24.3 6048 40244K/30p25.314.3329995Nikon Z6
 
Olympus E-M1 II« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.712.8131280Olympus E-M1 II
 
Panasonic GH5« » Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/60p23.913.080777Panasonic GH5
 
Sony A7 III« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.014.7373096Sony A7 III
 
Sony A7R III« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.014.73523100Sony A7R III
 
Sony A7R II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p26.013.9343498Sony A7R II
 
Sony A7S II« » Full Frame 12.0 4240 28324K/30p23.613.3299385Sony A7S II
 
Sony A7 II« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.913.6244990Sony A7 II
 
Sony A5100« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.812.7134780Sony A5100
 
Sony NEX-3N« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i22.812.5106774Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony A99« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40001080/60p25.014.0155589Sony A99
 
Sony NEX-5R« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.713.191078Sony NEX-5R
 
Sony A77« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.280178Sony A77
 
Sony NEX-5N« » APS-C 16.0 4912 32641080/60i23.612.7107977Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-5« » APS-C 14.0 4592 30561080/60i22.212.279669Sony NEX-5

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the A9 provides a higher video resolution than the NEX-3. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the NEX-3 is limited to 720/30p.

 

Feature comparison: Sony A9 vs NEX-3

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the A9 has an electronic viewfinder (3686k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the NEX-3 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the NEX-3 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the FDA-SV1. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Sony A9 and Sony NEX-3 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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 A9»3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 20.0 n Y Sony A9
 
Sony NEX-3«- n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 7.0 n n Sony NEX-3
 
Nikon Z6« »3690 Y 3.2 2100 tilting Y 1/8000s 12.0 n Y Nikon Z6
 
Olympus E-M1 II« »2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 18.0 n Y Olympus E-M1 II
 
Panasonic GH5« »3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0 n Y Panasonic GH5
 
Sony A7 III« »2359 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Sony A7 III
 
Sony A7R III« »3686 n 3.0 1440 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Sony A7R III
 
Sony A7R II« »2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y Sony A7R II
 
Sony A7S II« »2400 n 3.0 1229 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y Sony A7S II
 
Sony A7 II« »2400 n 3.0 1230 tilting n 1/8000s 5.0 n Y Sony A7 II
 
Sony A5100« »- n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Sony A5100
 
Sony NEX-3N« »- n 3.0 460 tilting n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony A99« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 1/8000s 6.0 n Y Sony A99
 
Sony NEX-5R« »- n 3.0 920 tilting Y 1/4000s 10.0 n n Sony NEX-5R
 
Sony A77« »2359 Y 3.0 921 full-flex n 1/8000s 12.0 Y Y Sony A77
 
Sony NEX-5N« »- n 3.0 920 tilting Y 1/4000s 10.0 n n Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-5« »- n 3.0 920 tilting n 1/4000s 7.0 n n Sony NEX-5

One feature that differentiates the A9 and the NEX-3 is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The A9 reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while the NEX-3 has to rely on optical image stabilization in OIS-equipped lenses to achieve the same effect.

The NEX-3 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 A9 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 A9 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).

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the A9 and the NEX-3 write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The A9 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the NEX-3 only has one slot. The A9 supports UHS-II cards on its first slot and UHS-I on its second one, while the NEX-3 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

 

Connectivity comparison: Sony A9 vs NEX-3

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 A9 and Sony Alpha NEX-3 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 A9»YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YYYSony A9
 
Sony NEX-3«Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony NEX-3
 
Nikon Z6« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1Y-YNikon Z6
 
Olympus E-M1 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.0Y--Olympus E-M1 II
 
Panasonic GH5« »YstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-YPanasonic GH5
 
Sony A7 III« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYYSony A7 III
 
Sony A7R III« »YstereomonoYYmicro3.1YYYSony A7R III
 
Sony A7R II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7R II
 
Sony A7S II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7S II
 
Sony A7 II« »YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Sony A7 II
 
Sony A5100« »-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony A5100
 
Sony NEX-3N« »-stereomono--micro2.0---Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony A99« »YstereomonoYYmini2.0---Sony A99
 
Sony NEX-5R« »Ystereomono--mini2.0Y--Sony NEX-5R
 
Sony A77« »YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Sony A77
 
Sony NEX-5N« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-5« »Ystereomono--mini2.0---Sony NEX-5

It is notable that the A9 has a microphone port, which is missing on the NEX-3. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

The A9 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the NEX-3 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the NEX-3 was succeeded by the Sony NEX-3N. 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 A9 vs NEX-3

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Sony A9 better than the Sony NEX-3 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha A9:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 14MP) with a 31% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (24 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
  • Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (2.8 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.3 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (2.1 stops ISO advantage).
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 720/30p).
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for quicker and more confident autofocus.
  • Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1440k vs 920k dots).
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (20 vs 7 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (650 versus 330) on a single battery charge.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Supports Ultra High Speed (UHS-II and UHS-I) SDXC cards.
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years and 11 months of technical progress since the NEX-3 launch.


Advantages of the Sony Alpha NEX-3:

  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • More compact: Is smaller (117x62mm vs 127x96mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 376g or 56 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (87 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in May 2010).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the A9 is the clear winner of the match-up (24 : 5 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 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.

A9 24:05 NEX-3

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony A9 and the Sony NEX-3 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 the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the A9 or the NEX-3. 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: Sony A9 vs NEX-3

This is why hands-on reviews by experts 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.

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 A9»+ +89/1005/55/55/5 Apr 2017 4,499 i i Sony A9
 
Sony NEX-3«-70/1004.5/55/54/5 May 2010 599- i Sony NEX-3
 
Nikon Z6« »--4.5/5-5/5 Aug 2018 1,999 i i Nikon Z6
 
Olympus E-M1 II« »+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2016 1,999 i i Olympus E-M1 II
 
Panasonic GH5« »+ +85/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2017 1,999 i i Panasonic GH5
 
Sony A7 III« »+ +89/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2018 1,999 i i Sony A7 III
 
Sony A7R III« »+ +90/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2017 3,199 i i Sony A7R III
 
Sony A7R II« »+ +90/1005/54.5/55/5 Jun 2015 3,199- i Sony A7R II
 
Sony A7S II« »+-4.5/55/55/5 Sep 2015 2,999 i i Sony A7S II
 
Sony A7 II« »+82/1004.5/55/55/5 Nov 2014 1,999- i Sony A7 II
 
Sony A5100« »+-4.5/54.5/55/5 Aug 2014 549 i i Sony A5100
 
Sony NEX-3N« »--4.5/54/54.5/5 Feb 2013 499- i Sony NEX-3N
 
Sony A99« »-84/1004.5/5o4.5/5 Sep 2012 2,799- i Sony A99
 
Sony NEX-5R« »--4.5/5-4.5/5 Aug 2012 749- i Sony NEX-5R
 
Sony A77« »91/10081/100-4.5/55/5 Aug 2011 1,399- i Sony A77
 
Sony NEX-5N« »+ +79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2011 699- i Sony NEX-5N
 
Sony NEX-5« »+ +71/1004.5/54/54/5 May 2010 699- i Sony NEX-5
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 A9:
Check Amazon price
Sony NEX-3:
Check Ebay offers

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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Sony A9 vs Sony NEX-3

    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 A9 Sony NEX-3
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Sony E mount lenses Sony E mount lenses
    Launch Date April 2017 May 2010
    Launch Price USD 4499 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Sony A9 Sony NEX-3
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 35.6 x 23.8 mm 23.4 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 847.28 mm2 365.04 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 42.8 mm 28.1 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 14 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 4592 x 3056 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.94 μm 5.11 μm
    Pixel Density 2.83 MP/cm2 3.84 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 720/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100-51200 ISO 200-12800 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-204800 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor BIONZ X BIONZ
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 92 68
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 24.9 22.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 13.3 12.0
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 3517 830
    Screen Specs Sony A9 Sony NEX-3
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Viewfinder optional
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.78x
    Viewfinder Resolution 3686k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1440k dots 920k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Sony A9 Sony NEX-3
    Autofocus System On-Sensor Phase-detect Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus PeakingNo Peaking Feature
    Continuous Shooting 20 shutter flaps/s 7 shutter flaps/s
    Electronic Shutterup to 1/32000sno E-Shutter
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilizationLens stabilization only
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium MS or SDXC cards MS or SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Single card slot
    UHS card support Single UHS-II no
    Connectivity Specs Sony A9 Sony NEX-3
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port no MIC socket
    Headphone Socket Headphone port no Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in no Bluetooth
    Body Specs Sony A9 Sony NEX-3
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyNot weather sealed
    Battery Type NP-FZ100 power pack NP-FW50 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)650 shots per charge330 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging no USB charging
    Body Dimensions 127 x 96 x 63 mm
    (5.0 x 3.8 x 2.5 in)
    117 x 62 x 33 mm
    (4.6 x 2.4 x 1.3 in)
    Camera Weight 673 g (23.7 oz) 297 g (10.5 oz)

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