Sony HX95 vs NEX-3N
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX95 and the Sony Alpha NEX-3N are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in August 2018 and February 2013. The HX95 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 (HX95) and an APS-C (NEX-3N) sensor. The HX95 has a resolution of 18 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.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX95 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Sony HX95 and the Sony NEX-3N is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The NEX-3N can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), while the HX95 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 notably larger (15 percent) than the Sony HX95. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the HX95 nor the NEX-3N are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the HX95 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.
Concerning battery life, the HX95 gets 370 shots out of its NP-BX1 battery, while the NEX-3N can take 480 images on a single charge of its NP-FW50 power pack. The power pack in the HX95 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Sony HX95||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||429|
|2.||Sony NEX-3N||110 mm||62 mm||35 mm||269 g||480||n||Feb 2013||499|
|3.||Canon SX740||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||265||n||Jul 2018||399|
|4.||Canon SX70||127 mm||91 mm||117 mm||608 g||325||n||Sep 2018||549|
|5.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|6.||Nikon A1000||114 mm||72 mm||41 mm||330 g||250||n||Jan 2019||429|
|7.||Nikon W300||112 mm||66 mm||29 mm||231 g||280||Y||May 2017||389|
|8.||Panasonic ZS70||112 mm||67 mm||41 mm||322 g||380||n||Apr 2017||449|
|9.||Sony HX99||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||449|
|10.||Sony WX800||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||233 g||370||n||Oct 2018||399|
|11.||Sony HX90V||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||360||n||Apr 2015||429|
|12.||Sony A5000||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||269 g||420||n||Jan 2014||449|
|13.||Sony A5100||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||283 g||400||n||Aug 2014||549|
|14.||Sony HX400V||130 mm||93 mm||103 mm||660 g||300||n||Feb 2014||499|
|15.||Sony NEX-F3||117 mm||67 mm||42 mm||314 g||470||n||May 2012||599|
|16.||Sony NEX-3||117 mm||62 mm||33 mm||297 g||330||n||May 2010||599|
|17.||Sony NEX-5||111 mm||59 mm||38 mm||287 g||330||n||May 2010||699|
|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 listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The HX95 was launched at a lower price than the NEX-3N, 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Sony HX95 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 HX95 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the NEX-3N offers a 3:2 aspect.
In terms of chip-set technology, the HX95 uses a more advanced image processing engine (BIONZ X) than the NEX-3N (BIONZ), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Sony HX95 offers a higher resolution of 18 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 1.25μm versus 4.78μm for the NEX-3N). However, it should be noted that the HX95 is much more recent (by 5 years and 6 months) than the NEX-3N, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the HX95 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX95 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 80-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha NEX-3N are ISO 200 to ISO 16000 (no boost).
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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.
| DXO |
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 HX95 provides a higher video resolution than the NEX-3N. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the NEX-3N is limited to 1080/60i.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the HX95 has an electronic viewfinder (638k 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 HX95 and Sony NEX-3N in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the HX95 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-HX95 and Sony Alpha NEX-3N and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
It is notable that the HX95 offers wifi support, while the NEX-3N does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
The HX95 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Sony. In contrast, the NEX-3N has been discontinued (but 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 the Sony HX95 better than the Sony NEX-3N or vice versa? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Advantages of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX95:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- 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).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (922k 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.
- More compact: Is smaller (102x58mm vs 110x62mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the NEX-3N).
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- 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.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 6 months of technical progress since the NEX-3N launch.
Reasons to prefer 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.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (480 versus 370) out of a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2013).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the HX95 is the clear winner of the match-up (16 : 9 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Sony HX95 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 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 HX95 and the NEX-3N 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 why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], 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 HX95||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 2018||429|
|2.||Sony NEX-3N||3/5||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||499|
|3.||Canon SX740||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2018||399|
|4.||Canon SX70||..||+ +||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Sep 2018||549|
|5.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|6.||Nikon A1000||..||+ +||..||3.5/5||3/5||Jan 2019||429|
|7.||Nikon W300||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||May 2017||389|
|8.||Panasonic ZS70||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||449|
|9.||Sony HX99||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||449|
|10.||Sony WX800||..||..||..||..||..||Oct 2018||399|
|11.||Sony HX90V||4/5||+ +||..||4/5||4.5/5||Apr 2015||429|
|12.||Sony A5000||3/5||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||449|
|13.||Sony A5100||4.5/5||+||..||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549|
|14.||Sony HX400V||4/5||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2014||499|
|15.||Sony NEX-F3||4/5||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2012||599|
|16.||Sony NEX-3||..||..||70/100||4.5/5||4/5||May 2010||599|
|17.||Sony NEX-5||3/5||+ +||71/100||4.5/5||4/5||May 2010||699|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, 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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
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 your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Sony HX95 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 HX95||Sony NEX-3N|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||24-720mm f/3.5-6.4||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2018||February 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 429||USD 499|
|Sensor Specs||Sony HX95||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||18 Megapixels||16 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4896 x 3672 pixels||4912 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.25 μm||4.78 μm|
|Pixel Density||64.04 MP/cm2||4.39 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 3,200 ISO||200 - 16,000 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 6,400 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 HX95||Sony NEX-3N|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||638k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Sony HX95||Sony NEX-3N|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/2000s||1/4000s|
|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 HX95||Sony NEX-3N|
|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||no Wifi|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Sony HX95||Sony NEX-3N|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||370 shots per charge||480 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
102 x 58 x 36 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.4 in)
110 x 62 x 35 mm
(4.3 x 2.4 x 1.4 in)
|Camera Weight||242 g (8.5 oz)||269 g (9.5 oz)|
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