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Nikon D780 vs Sony a7 III Comparison

Storage & Battery

Nikon D780

D780 camera image

Sony a7 III

Sony A7 III camera
Nikon D780
Sony a7 III
a7 III
Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
Announcement Date
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
February 12, 2020
February 27, 2018
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Nikon D780 edges out the Sony a7 III by just one point, scoring 81/100 compared to the Sony’s 80/100. Both cameras share some common specs, such as their release year and camera type: the D780 is a DSLR released in 2020, while the a7 III is a mirrorless camera released in 2018.

The Nikon D780 has a few advantages, including a larger body (144 x 116 x 76mm) and a higher launch price of $2299, which could suggest better features or build quality. However, the Sony a7 III is lighter, weighing only 650g compared to the D780’s 850g, making it more portable and easier to handle for extended periods.

Taking these factors into account, the Nikon D780 may be more suitable for those who prioritize a larger camera with potentially better features, while the Sony a7 III may appeal to users who value a lighter and more compact option.

Nikon D780 vs Sony a7 III Overview and Optics

The Sony a7 III wins the optics comparison with a score of 81/100, while the Nikon D780 scores 77/100. Both cameras share several specifications, such as a CMOS sensor, full-frame sensor size, and similar megapixel counts (25 for the Nikon D780 and 24.2 for the Sony a7 III). Additionally, the cameras have comparable shooting speeds, with the Nikon D780 at 12 and the Sony a7 III at 10.

The Sony a7 III has advantages over the Nikon D780, including image stabilization and a slightly higher score for optics. Image stabilization is a valuable feature for photographers, as it reduces camera shake and results in sharper images. The Sony a7 III’s lens mount is Sony FE, providing access to a wide range of high-quality lenses.

On the other hand, the Nikon D780 has a higher DXOMARK score for the sensor (97) compared to the Sony a7 III (96), indicating better overall image quality. The Nikon D780 also has a faster shooting speed (12) than the Sony a7 III (10), which can be beneficial for capturing fast-moving subjects. The Nikon D780’s lens mount is Nikon F, which also offers a vast selection of lenses to choose from.

In the optics comparison, the Sony a7 III takes the lead due to its image stabilization feature and slightly superior optics score. However, the Nikon D780 should not be overlooked, as it boasts a higher sensor score and faster shooting speed. Both cameras have their strengths, and the choice between them depends on the photographer’s priorities and preferences.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
25 MP
24.2 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
6048 x 4024 px
6000 x 4000 px
Sensor Type
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
23.9 x 35.9 mm
23.8 x 35.6 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Full Frame
Full Frame
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
12 fps
10 fps
Lens Mount
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
Nikon F
Sony FE
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Expeed 6
Bionz X
Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
Minimum ISO (Native)
Refers to the lowest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
Maximum ISO (Native)
Refers to the highest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
900 s
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 8000 s
1/ 8000 s
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
Viewfinder Type
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.
Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder Resolution
2,359,296 dots

Nikon D780 vs Sony a7 III Video Performance

The Nikon D780 outperforms the Sony a7 III in video capabilities, scoring 91 out of 100 compared to the Sony’s 56. Both cameras share common specifications, including 4K maximum video resolution and video dimensions of 3840 x 2160. However, the Nikon D780 offers superior features that contribute to its higher score.

The D780 boasts a higher maximum video frame rate of 120fps, while the a7 III only reaches 30fps. This difference allows the Nikon to capture smoother and more detailed slow-motion footage, providing an advantage for videographers who require this functionality. Furthermore, the Nikon D780 has built-in time-lapse functionality, which the Sony a7 III lacks. This feature enables users to create dynamic time-lapse videos without additional equipment or software, adding convenience and versatility to the D780’s video capabilities.

On the other hand, the Sony a7 III does not offer significant advantages over the Nikon D780 in terms of video capabilities. Both cameras share the same maximum video resolution and dimensions, but the a7 III falls short in frame rate and time-lapse functionality.

Considering the Nikon D780’s higher video score, faster frame rate, and built-in time-lapse capability, it is the clear winner in terms of video performance. The Sony a7 III, while still offering 4K resolution, does not provide the same level of versatility and functionality as the D780. Videographers in search of a camera with strong video capabilities should opt for the Nikon D780.

Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Max Video Resolution
The best resolution this camera can capture video in. Modern cameras can capture up to 8K video.
Max Video Dimensions
Video resolution measured by the greatest number of pixels possible in each frame, width by height. A higher resolution means more detail or clarity in your video.
3840 x 2160 px
3840 x 2160 px
Max Video Frame Rate
How many frames per second your video will capture. Most cameras have options for multiple frame rates, depending on the resolution you shoot in. For a general video, 24p or 30p is the standard, but more serious filmmakers may need a higher frame rate for creative effect.
120 p
30 p
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.
Video File Format
Different cameras can record in various video file formats. The File format you record in can impact how you edit and use the files.

Nikon D780 vs Sony a7 III Features and Benefits

The Nikon D780 takes the lead in features with a score of 87/100, while the Sony a7 III follows closely with a score of 81/100. Both cameras share several specifications, including a touchscreen, flip screen, WIFI, and Bluetooth connectivity. However, neither camera offers GPS functionality.

The Nikon D780 surpasses the Sony a7 III in screen size and resolution. With a 3.2-inch screen and a resolution of 2,359,000 dots, the D780 provides a larger and sharper display than the a7 III’s 3-inch screen with 921,600 dots. This difference allows the D780 to deliver a better user experience when composing and reviewing images.

Although the Sony a7 III has a lower feature score, it still offers some advantages. The a7 III is a mirrorless camera, which makes it lighter and more compact than the D780, a DSLR. This design difference may be beneficial for photographers who prioritize portability and weight over other features.

The Nikon D780 excels in terms of features, outperforming the Sony a7 III in screen size and resolution. This makes the D780 an excellent choice for photographers who value image composition and review. On the other hand, the Sony a7 III’s mirrorless design offers benefits in terms of portability and weight, making it a suitable option for those who place a higher emphasis on these factors. Both cameras provide a range of features, such as a touchscreen, flip screen, WIFI, and Bluetooth connectivity, making them versatile choices for photographers with varying preferences.

Built-in Flash
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External Flash
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather Sealing
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Screen Type
Touch Screen
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen Size
Screen Resolution
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
2,359,000 dots
921,600 dots
Flip Screen
A flip screen (or articulating screen) is a second screen which can flip out from the side or top of the camera. This rotating screen allows you more freedom to take photos at different angles.
Live View
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.

Nikon D780 vs Sony a7 III Storage and Battery

The Nikon D780 triumphs over the Sony a7 III in the storage and battery category, scoring a remarkable 97 out of 100 points, compared to the Sony a7 III’s 68 points. Both cameras share the convenience of having two memory card slots and accepting SD/SDHC/SDXC cards. However, the Nikon D780 also supports faster UHS-II cards, while the Sony a7 III accommodates Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo cards.

The Nikon D780 significantly outperforms the Sony a7 III in battery life, boasting an impressive 2260 shots per charge with its EN-EL15b battery. In contrast, the Sony a7 III’s NP-FZ100 battery only manages 750 shots per charge. Additionally, the Nikon D780 offers USB charging, giving users more flexibility when recharging their camera.

Despite the lower score in this category, the Sony a7 III does have an advantage in accepting a wider variety of memory card types. This could benefit users who already own Memory Stick Duo/Pro Duo/Pro-HG Duo cards.

Taking these factors into account, the Nikon D780 excels in the storage and battery department, offering superior battery life and faster memory card compatibility. The Sony a7 III, however, may still appeal to users who prefer its broader memory card support.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-II compatible)
SD / SDHC / SDXC, Memory Stick Duo / Pro Duo / Pro-HG Duo
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
Battery Life
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
2,260 shots
750 shots
USB Charging
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
DXOMARK overall sensor score.
Portrait (Color Depth)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Portrait score in our camera sensor reviews defines color depth performance and its unit is a number of bits. A color depth of 22 bits is excellent; differences below 1 bit are barely noticeable.'
25.1 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Landscape score in our camera sensor tests defines the maximum dynamic range of the camera sensor and its unit is an exposure value (EV). A value of 12 EV is excellent with differences below 0.5 EV usually not noticeable.'
14.7 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
Described by DXOMARK as 'The maximal value of ISO sensitivity needed to reach a given value of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The greater the value, the better'
Main Features
Extra Features
Construction and Durability
Handling and Ergonomics
Value for Money
Total Score

Nikon D780 vs Sony a7 III – Our Verdict

Nikon D780 vs Sony a7 III Comparison image.

Are you still undecided about which camera is right for you? Have a look at these popular comparisons that feature the Nikon D780 or the Sony a7 III:

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