Sony HX400V vs NEX-3N
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V and the Sony Alpha NEX-3N are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2014 and February 2013. The HX400V is a fixed lens compact, while the NEX-3N is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (HX400V) and an APS-C (NEX-3N) sensor. The HX400V has a resolution of 20.2 megapixels, whereas the NEX-3N provides 16 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Sony HX400V||Sony NEX-3N|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|24-1200mm f/2.8-6.3||Sony E mount lenses|
|20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor||16 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO 80-3200 (80-12800)||ISO 200-16000|
|Electronic viewfinder (210k dots)||Viewfinder optional|
|3.0" LCD, 921k dots||3.0" LCD, 460k dots|
|Tilting screen (no touchscreen)||Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|10 shutter flaps per second||4 shutter flaps per second|
|300 shots per battery charge||480 shots per battery charge|
|130 x 93 x 103 mm, 660 g||110 x 62 x 35 mm, 269 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V and the Sony Alpha NEX-3N? 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Sony HX400V and the Sony NEX-3N. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The NEX-3N can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the HX400V 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 NEX-3N is considerably smaller (44 percent) than the Sony HX400V. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the HX400V nor the NEX-3N are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the HX400V has a lens built in, whereas the NEX-3N 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 NEX-3N and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Sony HX400V»||5.1 in||3.7 in||4.1 in||23.3 oz||300||n||Feb 2014||499||Sony HX400V|
|Sony NEX-3N«||4.3 in||2.4 in||1.4 in||9.5 oz||480||n||Feb 2013||499||Sony NEX-3N|
|Canon SX70« »||5.0 in||3.6 in||4.6 in||21.4 oz||325||n||Sep 2018||549||Canon SX70|
|Canon SX60« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||4.5 in||22.9 oz||340||n||Sep 2014||549||Canon SX60|
|Kodak AZ901« »||5.5 in||4.1 in||4.7 in||27.4 oz||400||n||Jan 2016||499||Kodak AZ901|
|Nikon B700« »||4.9 in||3.3 in||4.2 in||19.9 oz||350||n||Feb 2016||499||Nikon B700|
|Sony HX99« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.5 oz||370||n||Aug 2018||449||Sony HX99|
|Sony HX95« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.5 oz||370||n||Aug 2018||429||Sony HX95|
|Sony HX350« »||5.1 in||3.7 in||4.1 in||23.0 oz||300||n||Dec 2016||449||Sony HX350|
|Sony HX90V« »||4.0 in||2.3 in||1.4 in||8.6 oz||360||n||Apr 2015||429||Sony HX90V|
|Sony A5000« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||9.5 oz||420||n||Jan 2014||449||Sony A5000|
|Sony A5100« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||10.0 oz||400||n||Aug 2014||549||Sony A5100|
|Sony H400« »||5.1 in||3.7 in||4.8 in||22.2 oz||300||n||Feb 2014||319||Sony H400|
|Sony H300« »||5.0 in||3.5 in||3.6 in||20.8 oz||350||n||Feb 2014||219||Sony H300|
|Sony NEX-F3« »||4.6 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||11.1 oz||470||n||May 2012||599||Sony NEX-F3|
|Sony NEX-3« »||4.6 in||2.4 in||1.3 in||10.5 oz||330||n||May 2010||599||Sony NEX-3|
|Sony NEX-5« »||4.4 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||10.1 oz||330||n||May 2010||699||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 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony HX400V features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Sony NEX-3N an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the NEX-3N is 1204 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.5. The sensor in the HX400V has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the NEX-3N offers a 3:2 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Sony HX400V offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 16 MP of the Sony NEX-3N. 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 1.18μm versus 4.78μm for the NEX-3N). However, it should be noted that the HX400V is a somewhat more recent model (by 11 months) than the NEX-3N, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that partly offset its pixel-size disadvantage. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the HX400V has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Sony HX400V implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the HX400V for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inch or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inch or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inch or 43.9 x 32.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Sony NEX-3N are 24.6 x 16.3 inch or 62.4 x 41.5 cm for good quality, 19.6 x 13.1 inch or 49.9 x 33.2 cm for very good quality, and 16.4 x 10.9 inch or 41.6 x 27.6 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 80-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha NEX-3N are ISO 200 to ISO 16000 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Sony HX400V||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Sony HX400V|
|Sony NEX-3N||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||22.8||12.5||1067||74||Sony NEX-3N|
|Canon SX70||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Canon SX70|
|Canon SX60||1/2.3||14.2||4608||3072||1080/60p||19.2||10.8||127||39||Canon SX60|
|Kodak AZ901||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||1080/30p||..||..||..||..||Kodak AZ901|
|Nikon B700||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Nikon B700|
|Sony HX99||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Sony HX99|
|Sony HX95||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Sony HX95|
|Sony HX350||1/2.3||19.9||5152||3864||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Sony HX350|
|Sony HX90V||1/2.3||18.0||4896||3672||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Sony HX90V|
|Sony A5000||APS-C||19.8||5456||3632||1080/60i||23.8||13.0||1089||79||Sony A5000|
|Sony A5100||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.8||12.7||1347||80||Sony A5100|
|Sony H400||1/2.3||19.9||5152||3864||720/30p||..||..||..||..||Sony H400|
|Sony H300||1/2.3||19.9||5152||3864||720/30p||..||..||..||..||Sony H300|
|Sony NEX-F3||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||22.7||12.3||1114||73||Sony NEX-F3|
|Sony NEX-3||APS-C||14.0||4592||3056||720/30p||22.1||12.0||830||68||Sony NEX-3|
|Sony NEX-5||APS-C||14.0||4592||3056||1080/60i||22.2||12.2||796||69||Sony NEX-5|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the HX400V provides a higher frame rate than the NEX-3N. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the NEX-3N is limited to 1080/60i.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the HX400V has an electronic viewfinder (210k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the NEX-3N relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the NEX-3N can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the FDA-SV1. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Sony HX400V and Sony NEX-3N in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Sony HX400V||210||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony HX400V|
|Sony NEX-3N||optional||n||3.0||460||tilting||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Sony NEX-3N|
|Canon SX70||2360||n||3.0||922||swivel||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Canon SX70|
|Canon SX60||922||n||3.0||922||swivel||n||1/2000s||6.4||Y||Y||Canon SX60|
|Kodak AZ901||202||n||3.0||920||swivel||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||Y||Kodak AZ901|
|Nikon B700||921||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||Y||Nikon B700|
|Sony HX99||638||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony HX99|
|Sony HX95||638||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony HX95|
|Sony HX350||202||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony HX350|
|Sony HX90V||638||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony HX90V|
|Sony A5000||none||n||3.0||461||tilting||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n||Sony A5000|
|Sony A5100||none||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Sony A5100|
|Sony H400||210||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/2000s||0.7||Y||Y||Sony H400|
|Sony H300||none||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/1500s||0.8||Y||Y||Sony H300|
|Sony NEX-F3||optional||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.5||Y||n||Sony NEX-F3|
|Sony NEX-3||optional||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||1/4000s||7.0||n||n||Sony NEX-3|
|Sony NEX-5||optional||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||1/4000s||7.0||n||n||Sony NEX-5|
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the HX400V and the NEX-3N write their files to SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo 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 Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V and Sony Alpha NEX-3N and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Sony HX400V||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony HX400V|
|Sony NEX-3N||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-3N|
|Canon SX70||-||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Canon SX70|
|Canon SX60||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX60|
|Kodak AZ901||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Kodak AZ901|
|Nikon B700||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Nikon B700|
|Sony HX99||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony HX99|
|Sony HX95||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Sony HX95|
|Sony HX350||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Sony HX350|
|Sony HX90V||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony HX90V|
|Sony A5000||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A5000|
|Sony A5100||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A5100|
|Sony H400||-||mono||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Sony H400|
|Sony H300||-||mono||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Sony H300|
|Sony NEX-F3||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-F3|
|Sony NEX-3||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-3|
|Sony NEX-5||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-5|
It is notable that the HX400V has a hotshoe, while the NEX-3N does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the HX400V has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.
The HX400V is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the NEX-3N has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the NEX-3N was succeeded by 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? Is there a clear favorite between the Sony HX400V and the Sony NEX-3N? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (20.2 vs 16MP) with a 10% higher linear resolution.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 460k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the NEX-3N requires a separate lens.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
- 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.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 11 months after the NEX-3N).
Advantages of the Sony Alpha NEX-3N:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- More compact: Is smaller (110x62mm vs 130x93mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (480 versus 300) out of a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2013).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the HX400V emerges as the winner of the contest (13 : 10 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 HX400V and the Sony NEX-3N place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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 HX400V or the NEX-3N perform in practice. 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.
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.
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, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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 use the search menu 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.
- Canon 750D vs Sony NEX-3N
- Canon T100 vs Sony NEX-3N
- Fujifilm X-T20 vs Sony NEX-3N
- Leica M10 vs Sony HX400V
- Nikon D5200 vs Sony NEX-3N
- Nikon P900 vs Sony HX400V
- Olympus E-1 vs Sony HX400V
- Olympus E-PL5 vs Sony HX400V
- Olympus E-PL6 vs Sony NEX-3N
- Panasonic LX7 vs Sony HX400V
- Sony A6000 vs Sony HX400V
- Sony A9 vs Sony HX400V
Specifications: Sony HX400V vs Sony NEX-3N
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 HX400V||Sony NEX-3N|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||24-1200mm f/2.8-6.3||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2014||February 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 499|
|Sensor Specs||Sony HX400V||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||23.4 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||365.04 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||28.1 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20.2 Megapixels||16 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5184 x 3888 pixels||4912 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.18 μm||4.78 μm|
|Pixel Density||71.80 MP/cm2||4.39 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||80-3200 ISO||200-16000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80-12800 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||BIONZ X||BIONZ|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||74|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||22.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||12.5|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1067|
|Screen Specs||Sony HX400V||Sony NEX-3N|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||210k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Sony HX400V||Sony NEX-3N|
|Autofocus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||No Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000/s||1/4000/s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||4 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 HX400V||Sony NEX-3N|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Geotagging||GPS built-in||no internal GPS|
|Body Specs||Sony HX400V||Sony NEX-3N|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||300 shots per charge||480 shots per charge|
130 x 93 x 103 mm
(5.1 x 3.7 x 4.1 in)
110 x 62 x 35 mm
(4.3 x 2.4 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||660 g (23.3 oz)||269 g (9.5 oz)|
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