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Canon 450D vs Nikon D3500

The Canon EOS 450D (called Canon XSi in some regions) and the Nikon D3500 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2008 and August 2018. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12.2 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 24 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon 450D versus Nikon D3500
Canon 450D Nikon D3500
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 100-25,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3.5 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
500 shots per battery charge1550 shots per battery charge
129 x 98 x 62 mm, 524 g 124 x 97 x 70 mm, 365 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 450D and the Nikon D3500? 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.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 450D and the Nikon D3500 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon 450D vs Nikon D3500
Compare 450D versus D3500 top
Comparison 450D or D3500 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D3500 is somewhat smaller (5 percent) than the Canon 450D. Moreover, the D3500 is markedly lighter (30 percent) than the 450D. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the 450D nor the D3500 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Yet, since both cameras are based around an APS-C sensor, their respective lenses will tend to have similar dimensions and heft. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (450D) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D3500).

Concerning battery life, the 450D gets 500 shots out of its LP-E5 battery, while the D3500 can take 1550 images on a single charge of its EN-EL14a power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon 450D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799i
 
Nikon D3500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 365 g 1550 n Aug 2018 429 i
 
Canon M100 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 302 g 295 n Aug 2017 499i
 
Canon SX730 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399i
 
Canon 750D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749i
 
Canon 760D 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 116 mm 74 mm 66 mm 553 g 240 n Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon 650D 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon G1 X 117 mm 81 mm 65 mm 534 g 250 n Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon 1100D 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon 500D 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon 1000D 126 mm 98 mm 65 mm 502 g 500 n Jun 2008 449i
 
Canon 400D 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799i
 
Nikon D3400 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 445 g 1200 n Aug 2016 499i
 
Nikon D5500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 420 g 820 n Jan 2015 899i
 
Nikon D3300 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 430 g 700 n Jan 2014 499i
 
Nikon D5000 127 mm 104 mm 80 mm 590 g 510 n Apr 2009 749i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The D3500 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 46 percent) than the 450D, which puts it into a different market segment. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D3500 is 12 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (450D) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon 450D and Nikon D3500 sensor measures

With 24MP, the D3500 offers a higher resolution than the 450D (12.2MP), but the D3500 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 5.19μm for the 450D). Yet, the D3500 is a much more recent model (by 10 years and 7 months) than the 450D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the D3500 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon D3500 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D3500 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 450D are 21.4 x 14.2 inches or 54.3 x 36.2 cm for good quality, 17.1 x 11.4 inches or 43.4 x 28.9 cm for very good quality, and 14.2 x 9.5 inches or 36.2 x 24.1 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS 450D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D3500 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

450D versus D3500 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Canon 450D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.869261
 
Nikon D3500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Canon M100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon 750D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.091971
 
Canon 760D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.091570
 
Canon G1 X Mark II 1.5-inch 13.0 4160 31201080/30p21.510.858158
 
Canon 650D APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.272262
 
Canon G1 X 1.5-inch 14.2 4352 32641080/24p21.710.864460
 
Canon 1100D APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.075562
 
Canon 500D APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.566363
 
Canon 1000D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none........
 
Canon 400D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.066462
 
Nikon D3400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286
 
Nikon D5500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
 
Nikon D5000 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.712.586872

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The D3500 indeed provides for movie recording, while the 450D does not. The highest resolution format that the D3500 can use is 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 450D and the D3500 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the D3500 has a higher magnification than the one of the 450D (0.57x vs 0.54x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 450D, the Nikon D3500, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Canon 450Doptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Nikon D3500optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon M100none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.1 Y n
 
Canon SX730none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon 750Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 760Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIoptional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 5.2 Y Y
 
Canon 650Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon G1 Xoptical n 3.0 922 Swivel n 1/4000s 1.9 Y Y
 
Canon 1100Doptical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon 500Doptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
 
Canon 1000Doptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon 400Doptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3400optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D5500optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3300optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D5000optical n 2.7 230 full-flex n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n

The 450D writes its imaging data to SDHC cards, while the D3500 uses SDXC cards. The D3500 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the 450D cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

Connectivity comparison

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 Canon EOS 450D and Nikon D3500 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Canon 450DY----mini2.0---
 
Nikon D3500Ymonomono--mini2.0--Y
 
Canon M100-stereomono--mini2.0YYY
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon 750DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon 760DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Canon G1 X Mark IIYstereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon 650DYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Canon G1 XYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 1100DYstereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 500DYmonomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon 1000DY-----2.0---
 
Canon 400DY-----2.0---
 
Nikon D3400Ymonomono--mini2.0--Y
 
Nikon D5500YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Nikon D3300YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Nikon D5000Ymonomono--mini2.0---

The D3500 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the 450D has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 450D was succeeded by the Canon 500D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Nikon websites.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 450D and the Nikon D3500? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 450D:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2008).

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D3500:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 12.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 40%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60p video.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.57x vs 0.54x).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 230k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 159g or 30 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1550 versus 500) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (46 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 10 years and 7 months of technical progress since the 450D launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D3500 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 2 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

450D 02:12 D3500

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 450D and the Nikon D3500 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the 450D or the D3500. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon 450D+ ++ +4/55/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799i
 
Nikon D3500..75/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2018 429 i
 
Canon M100+..4/5..3.5/5 Aug 2017 499i
 
Canon SX730+..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 399i
 
Canon 750D..75/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749i
 
Canon 760D+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649i
 
Canon G1 X Mark II+77/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2014 799i
 
Canon 650D+ +77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849i
 
Canon G1 X+76/1004/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 799i
 
Canon 1100D80/10069/1004/54/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449i
 
Canon 500D+ +74/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799i
 
Canon 1000D82/100+ +3.5/54/54.5/5 Jun 2008 449i
 
Canon 400D+ ++ +o4.5/54/5 Aug 2006 799i
 
Nikon D3400+76/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499i
 
Nikon D5500+79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899i
 
Nikon D3300+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499i
 
Nikon D5000+ +75/1004/55/54.5/5 Apr 2009 749i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Canon 450D:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D3500:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications: Canon 450D vs Nikon D3500

    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 Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 450D Nikon D3500
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2008 August 2018
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 429
    Sensor Specs Canon 450D Nikon D3500
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.2 x 14.8 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 328.56 mm2 366.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.7 mm 28.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 12.2 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4272 x 2848 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.19 μm 3.91 μm
    Pixel Density 3.70 MP/cm2 6.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 3 EXPEED 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 61 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.9 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.8 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 692 ..
    Screen Specs Canon 450D Nikon D3500
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x 0.57x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon 450D Nikon D3500
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3.5 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDHC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon 450D Nikon D3500
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Canon 450D Nikon D3500
    Battery Type LP-E5 EN-EL14a
    Battery Life (CIPA)500 shots per charge1550 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 129 x 98 x 62 mm
    (5.1 x 3.9 x 2.4 in)
    124 x 97 x 70 mm
    (4.9 x 3.8 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 524 g (18.5 oz) 365 g (12.9 oz)

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