Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 vs. Nikon Coolpix P520

Comparison

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Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 image
vs
Coolpix P520 image
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Nikon Coolpix P520
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Megapixels
20.40
18.10
Max. image resolution
5184 x 3888
4896 x 3672

Sensor

Sensor type
CMOS
CMOS
Sensor size
1/2.3" (~ 6.16 x 4.62 mm)
1/2.3" (~ 6.16 x 4.62 mm)
Sensor resolution
5208 x 3916
4906 x 3689
Diagonal
7.70 mm
7.70 mm
Sensor size comparison
Sensor size is generally a good indicator of the quality of the camera. Sensors can vary greatly in size. As a general rule, the bigger the sensor, the better the image quality.

Bigger sensors are more effective because they have more surface area to capture light. An important factor when comparing digital cameras is also camera generation. Generally, newer sensors will outperform the older.

Learn more about sensor sizes »

Actual sensor size

Note: Actual size is set to screen → change »
vs
1 : 1
(ratio)
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300 Nikon Coolpix P520
Surface area:
28.46 mm² vs 28.46 mm²
Difference: 0 mm² (0%)
HX300 and P520 sensors are the same size.
Pixel pitch
1.18 µm
1.26 µm
Pixel pitch tells you the distance from the center of one pixel (photosite) to the center of the next. It tells you how close the pixels are to each other.

The bigger the pixel pitch, the further apart they are and the bigger each pixel is. Bigger pixels tend to have better signal to noise ratio and greater dynamic range.
Difference: 0.08 µm (7%)
Pixel pitch of P520 is approx. 7% higher than pixel pitch of HX300.
Pixel area
1.39 µm²
1.59 µm²
Pixel or photosite area affects how much light per pixel can be gathered. The larger it is the more light can be collected by a single pixel.

Larger pixels have the potential to collect more photons, resulting in greater dynamic range, while smaller pixels provide higher resolutions (more detail) for a given sensor size.
Relative pixel sizes:
vs
Pixel area difference: 0.2 µm² (14%)
A pixel on Nikon P520 sensor is approx. 14% bigger than a pixel on Sony HX300.
Pixel density
71.48 MP/cm²
63.43 MP/cm²
Pixel density tells you how many million pixels fit or would fit in one square cm of the sensor.

Higher pixel density means smaller pixels and lower pixel density means larger pixels.
Difference: 8.05 µm (13%)
Sony HX300 has approx. 13% higher pixel density than Nikon P520.
To learn about the accuracy of these numbers, click here.

Specs

Sony HX300
Nikon P520
Crop factor
5.62
5.62
Total megapixels
21.10
18.91
Effective megapixels
20.40
18.10
Optical zoom
50x
42x
Digital zoom
Yes
Yes
ISO sensitivity
Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 (6400, 12800)
Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 2000, 3200
RAW
Manual focus
Normal focus range
50 cm
Macro focus range
1 cm
1 cm
Focal length (35mm equiv.)
24 - 1200 mm
24 - 1000 mm
Aperture priority
Yes
Yes
Max. aperture
f2.8 - f6.3
f3 - f5.9
Max. aperture (35mm equiv.)
f15.7 - f35.4
f16.9 - f33.2
Metering
Multi, Center-weighted, Spot
Matrix, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure compensation
±2 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
±2 EV (in 1/3 EV steps)
Shutter priority
Yes
Yes
Min. shutter speed
30 sec
8 sec
Max. shutter speed
1/4000 sec
1/4000 sec
Built-in flash
External flash
Viewfinder
Electronic
Electronic
White balance presets
7
6
Screen size
3"
3.2"
Screen resolution
921,600 dots
921,000 dots
Video capture
Max. video resolution
1920x1080 (60p/60i)
1920x1080 (60i/50i/30p/25p)
Storage types
SD/SDHC/SDXC, Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo/XC-HG Duo
SD/SDHC/SDXC
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI
Wireless
GPS
Battery
Rechargeable Battery Pack NP-BX1
Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL5
Weight
650 g
550 g
Dimensions
129.6 x 93.2 x 103.2 mm
125.2 x 84.1 x 101.6 mm
Year
2013
2013



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Diagonal

Diagonal is calculated by the use of Pythagorean theorem:
Diagonal =  w² + h²
where w = sensor width and h = sensor height

Sony HX300 diagonal

The diagonal of HX300 sensor is not 1/2.3 or 0.43" (11 mm) as you might expect, but approximately two thirds of that value - 7.7 mm. If you want to know why, see sensor sizes.

w = 6.16 mm
h = 4.62 mm
Diagonal =  6.16² + 4.62²   = 7.70 mm

Nikon P520 diagonal

The diagonal of P520 sensor is not 1/2.3 or 0.43" (11 mm) as you might expect, but approximately two thirds of that value - 7.7 mm. If you want to know why, see sensor sizes.

w = 6.16 mm
h = 4.62 mm
Diagonal =  6.16² + 4.62²   = 7.70 mm


Surface area

Surface area is calculated by multiplying the width and the height of a sensor.

HX300 sensor area

Width = 6.16 mm
Height = 4.62 mm

Surface area = 6.16 × 4.62 = 28.46 mm²

P520 sensor area

Width = 6.16 mm
Height = 4.62 mm

Surface area = 6.16 × 4.62 = 28.46 mm²


Pixel pitch

Pixel pitch is the distance from the center of one pixel to the center of the next measured in micrometers (µm). It can be calculated with the following formula:
Pixel pitch =   sensor width in mm  × 1000
sensor resolution width in pixels

HX300 pixel pitch

Sensor width = 6.16 mm
Sensor resolution width = 5208 pixels
Pixel pitch =   6.16  × 1000  = 1.18 µm
5208

P520 pixel pitch

Sensor width = 6.16 mm
Sensor resolution width = 4906 pixels
Pixel pitch =   6.16  × 1000  = 1.26 µm
4906


Pixel area

The area of one pixel can be calculated by simply squaring the pixel pitch:
Pixel area = pixel pitch²

You could also divide sensor surface area with effective megapixels:
Pixel area =   sensor surface area in mm²
effective megapixels

HX300 pixel area

Pixel pitch = 1.18 µm

Pixel area = 1.18² = 1.39 µm²

P520 pixel area

Pixel pitch = 1.26 µm

Pixel area = 1.26² = 1.59 µm²


Pixel density

Pixel density can be calculated with the following formula:
Pixel density =  ( sensor resolution width in pixels )² / 1000000
sensor width in cm

One could also use this formula:
Pixel density =   effective megapixels × 1000000  / 10000
sensor surface area in mm²

HX300 pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 5208 pixels
Sensor width = 0.616 cm

Pixel density = (5208 / 0.616)² / 1000000 = 71.48 MP/cm²

P520 pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 4906 pixels
Sensor width = 0.616 cm

Pixel density = (4906 / 0.616)² / 1000000 = 63.43 MP/cm²


Sensor resolution

Sensor resolution is calculated from sensor size and effective megapixels. It's slightly higher than maximum (not interpolated) image resolution which is usually stated on camera specifications. Sensor resolution is used in pixel pitch, pixel area, and pixel density formula. For sake of simplicity, we're going to calculate it in 3 stages.

1. First we need to find the ratio between horizontal and vertical length by dividing the former with the latter (aspect ratio). It's usually 1.33 (4:3) or 1.5 (3:2), but not always.

2. With the ratio (r) known we can calculate the X from the formula below, where X is a vertical number of pixels:
(X × r) × X = effective megapixels × 1000000    →   
X =  effective megapixels × 1000000
r
3. To get sensor resolution we then multiply X with the corresponding ratio:

Resolution horizontal: X × r
Resolution vertical: X

HX300 sensor resolution

Sensor width = 6.16 mm
Sensor height = 4.62 mm
Effective megapixels = 20.40
r = 6.16/4.62 = 1.33
X =  20.40 × 1000000  = 3916
1.33
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 3916 × 1.33 = 5208
Resolution vertical: X = 3916

Sensor resolution = 5208 x 3916

P520 sensor resolution

Sensor width = 6.16 mm
Sensor height = 4.62 mm
Effective megapixels = 18.10
r = 6.16/4.62 = 1.33
X =  18.10 × 1000000  = 3689
1.33
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 3689 × 1.33 = 4906
Resolution vertical: X = 3689

Sensor resolution = 4906 x 3689


Crop factor

Crop factor or focal length multiplier is calculated by dividing the diagonal of 35 mm film (43.27 mm) with the diagonal of the sensor.
Crop factor =   43.27 mm
sensor diagonal in mm


HX300 crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 7.70 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 5.62
7.70

P520 crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 7.70 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 5.62
7.70

35 mm equivalent aperture

Equivalent aperture (in 135 film terms) is calculated by multiplying lens aperture with crop factor (a.k.a. focal length multiplier).

HX300 equivalent aperture

Crop factor = 5.62
Aperture = f2.8 - f6.3

35-mm equivalent aperture = (f2.8 - f6.3) × 5.62 = f15.7 - f35.4

P520 equivalent aperture

Crop factor = 5.62
Aperture = f3 - f5.9

35-mm equivalent aperture = (f3 - f5.9) × 5.62 = f16.9 - f33.2

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