I want to buy a pro point and shoot camera, but I can't decide between the Nikon Coolpix p340($285) and the Sony rx100($385). I love night photography and also nature scenery photography during the day.

Which would be best for my needs?

  • Well as a start, the Sony's sensor is almost four times bigger. It makes the difference in night photography. – clabacchio Dec 9 '14 at 20:56
  • 2
    "Low light" and "point and shoot" don't go together. – JDługosz Dec 10 '14 at 2:25
  • "pro" and "point and shoot" also don't go together. – Caleb Dec 10 '14 at 19:17
  • Ticks all the boxes: not the one where the box shape does't have a protruding lens when turned off. Any DSLR has a full-auto, if that's what is needed, and the lenses can be changed. I suppose this must be smaller? – JDługosz Dec 11 '14 at 0:21

The main contributing factor when it comes to low-light performance is sensor size. The RX100 (Original, II or III) all use a 1" sensor which is larger than the 1/1.7" one used on the Nikon P340. You can see the difference in actual size by comparing both of these on my site. Just like at the rectangle in the row with the Sensor Area heading.


While I'm not sure I'd class either camera as "pro", the RX-100 has two big advantages over the Coolpix P340 for night-time photography. Its sensor is about four times larger, so it's high iso noise performance and dynamic range are liable to be better, and the RX-100 has bulb mode (i.e., there's no limit to how long you can leave the shutter open). Thee 1/1.7" sensor in the P340 is more limited, and its maximum shutter speed is limited to 60 seconds, in M mode, with the iso set to 800 or lower.


Besides the fact that the Nikon one is thinner, lighter and cheaper, it basically doesn't have any advantage over the RX100 (mark 1, 2 or 3).

With much larger sensor, RX100 can have much better performance in low light, higher dynamic range, lower noise at high ISO.

With the same wide f/1.8 aperture at wide angle, RX100 with its larger sensor will have a bigger 35 mm equivalent aperture, and thus (again) better low light performance, and better out-of-focus effect if you desire.

The only possible upside of Nikon P340 is that, it has more optical zoom, and slightly wider angle at 24 mm, vs RX100 at 28 mm.

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