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Which is the Better Camera the Nikon P500 or Sony HX100V?

by Paolo


I'm writing from Italy and would like to know what is the best camera between Nikon and Sony P500 HX100V.




Thanks for your question on which is the best camera between the Nikon P500 and Sony HX100V.

Both cameras come from well-known companies and have somewhat comparable specifications. If we just compared specifications the Nikon would win on some features and the Sony on others.

For example the Nikon obviously wins when it comes to the focal range of the camera. The Nikon has a 36X zoom compared to the Sony’s 30X. However when we compare the 35mm equivalent range of both lenses we find that the difference is at the wide angle end of the spectrum so both cameras end up with the same 810mm, 35mm equivalent lens when fully zoomed. This means they are equal when it comes to the ability to zoom in on a subject such as a bird or animal. The Nikon still has the edge on the wide angle side with at 22.5mm compared to 27mm for the Sony. How important this difference is will depend on the user.

On the other hand the Sony wins on several other features. When it comes to capturing video the Sony has the advantage as it is able to capture 1920x1080 HD video at 60 frames per second compared to the Nikons 30 frames per second. The Sony also edges out the Nikon when it comes to burst speed by capturing up to 10 fps compared to 8 fps for the Nikon.

Other features where the Sony has a slight edge include:

ISO Range: Sony 100-3200—Nikon 160-3200
Lens Speed: Sony F2.8-5.6—Nikon F3.5-5.7
Slow Shutter Speed: Sony 30 seconds—Nikon 2 seconds

When it comes to megapixel count the Sony’s 16.2 megapixel, 1-2/3 CMOS image sensor wins over the Nikon's 12 megapixel, 1-2/3 CMOS image sensor. However if one does not fall for the “more megapixels are better” trap they understand that more megapixels are not always better.

While none of these differences in specifications are deal breakers for most people, on paper it does appear that the Sony probably has the slight edge.

Issues of Concern

One issue that seems to be a concern with the Nikon P500 is the battery life. In reading forums on both cameras several people have complained of the short battery life of the P500 and it is rated by Nikon at only 220 photos compared to 410 photos on the Sony. For any one that takes a lot of pictures the huge difference in battery life gives the Sony quite an edge.

 Searching the online camera forums and looking at images taken by a variety of people show that both cameras are able to produce high quality images. As usual there were complaints by some on different forums about image quality of both cameras but I seemed to see more complaints about the image quality from the Nikon than the Sony. I have also heard from another reader that his Nikon P500 seemed to be slow in focusing.


While I think both cameras are good and either would serve most people well, the Sony DSC-HX100V would be the camera I would personally recommend to friends and family. I have seen some really amazing photos taken by the camera on different forums and in different conditions.

Also I have owned and been happy with several Sony Super Zoom cameras in the past. I currently have a Sony DSC-HX1 that I use on a regular basis and couldn’t be happier with the camera. I have found the HX1 camera to be an excellent addition to my Sony DSLR’s and sometimes when I travel on business it is the only camera I take because it is so versatile. The longer zoom range and better video of the HX100V makes it even more appealing to me as a long time Sony camera user.

Both cameras have been given good reviews by a variety of sources. One of the latest is the Popular Photography review of the Sony HX100V where they gave it a very favorable review as well.

My personal choice would be the Sony HX100V but then I am a satisfied Sony camera owner. As with any camera decision I would encourage you to do your own research and then make the best choice for your needs. One major disadvantage of choosing the Sony right now is its lack of availability. Most stores have it on back order at this time.

Another good source of information for you when considering a camera are the camera forums at Digital Photography Review. There you will find a lot of discussions about different cameras from a variety of users, as well as many examples of pictures taken with both cameras.

Thanks for writing.


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