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Canon SX430 vs Nikon D3500

The Canon PowerShot SX430 IS and the Nikon D3500 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2017 and August 2018. The SX430 is a fixed lens compact, while the D3500 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX430) and an APS-C (D3500) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 19.9 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 SX430 versus Nikon D3500
Canon SX430 Nikon D3500
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
24-1080mm f/3.5-6.6 Nikon F mount lenses
19.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
720/25p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 100-25,600
No viewfinder, LCD framing Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
0.5 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
195 shots per battery charge1550 shots per battery charge
104 x 69 x 85 mm, 323 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 PowerShot SX430 IS 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

The physical size and weight of the Canon SX430 and the Nikon D3500 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon SX430 vs Nikon D3500
Compare SX430 versus D3500 top
Comparison SX430 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 considerably larger (68 percent) than the Canon SX430. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX430 nor the D3500 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX430 has a lens built in, whereas the D3500 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the D3500 and their specifications in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

Concerning battery life, the SX430 gets 195 shots out of its NB-11LH battery, while the D3500 can take 1550 images on a single charge of its EN-EL14a power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SX430 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 323 g 195 n Jan 2017 299 i
2.
 
Nikon D3500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 365 g 1550 n Aug 2018 429 i
3.
 
Canon M50 116 mm 88 mm 59 mm 390 g 235 n Feb 2018 779i
4.
 
Canon SX740 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 299 g 265 n Jul 2018 399 i
5.
 
Canon M100 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 302 g 295 n Aug 2017 499i
6.
 
Canon SX730 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399i
7.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 106 mm 61 mm 42 mm 319 g 265 n Feb 2016 699i
8.
 
Canon SX420 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 195 n Jan 2016 299i
9.
 
Canon SX620 97 mm 57 mm 28 mm 182 g 295 n May 2016 279 i
10.
 
Canon SX720 110 mm 64 mm 36 mm 270 g 250 n Feb 2016 379i
11.
 
Canon SX410 104 mm 69 mm 85 mm 325 g 185 n Feb 2015 279i
12.
 
Canon SX710 113 mm 66 mm 35 mm 269 g 230 n Jan 2015 349i
13.
 
Nikon D3400 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 445 g 1200 n Aug 2016 499i
14.
 
Nikon D5500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 420 g 820 n Jan 2015 899i
15.
 
Nikon D3300 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 430 g 700 n Jan 2014 499i
16.
 
Sony RX100 VI 102 mm 58 mm 43 mm 301 g 240 n Jun 2018 1,199i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The SX430 was launched at a lower price than the D3500, despite having a lens built in. 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.

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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 generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX430 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Nikon D3500 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D3500 is 1211 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.5. The sensor in the SX430 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the D3500 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon SX430 and Nikon D3500 sensor measures

With 24MP, the D3500 offers a higher resolution than the SX430 (19.9MP), but the D3500 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 1.19μm for the SX430) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the D3500 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 7 months) than the SX430, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the 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 SX430 are 25.8 x 19.3 inches or 65.4 x 49.1 cm for good quality, 20.6 x 15.5 inches or 52.3 x 39.3 cm for very good quality, and 17.2 x 12.9 inches or 43.6 x 32.7 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon PowerShot SX430 IS 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).

SX430 versus D3500 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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
1.
 
Canon SX430 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p........
2.
 
Nikon D3500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
3.
 
Canon M50 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/24p........
4.
 
Canon SX740 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
5.
 
Canon M100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278
6.
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
7.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II 1-inch 20.0 5472 36481080/60p........
8.
 
Canon SX420 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/25p........
9.
 
Canon SX620 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/30p........
10.
 
Canon SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
11.
 
Canon SX410 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
12.
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
13.
 
Nikon D3400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286
14.
 
Nikon D5500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884
15.
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
16.
 
Sony RX100 VI 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p........

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the D3500 provides a better video resolution than the SX430. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 720/25p.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the D3500 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX430 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX430, 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
1.
 
Canon SX430none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
2.
 
Nikon D3500optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon M502360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 10.0 Y n
4.
 
Canon SX740none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y
5.
 
Canon M100none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.1 Y n
6.
 
Canon SX730none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
7.
 
Canon G7 X Mark IInone n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 8.0 Y Y
8.
 
Canon SX420none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
9.
 
Canon SX620none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/2000s 2.5 Y Y
10.
 
Canon SX720none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
11.
 
Canon SX410none n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 0.5 Y Y
12.
 
Canon SX710none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
13.
 
Nikon D3400optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
14.
 
Nikon D5500optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
15.
 
Nikon D3300optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
16.
 
Sony RX100 VI2359 n 3.0 1229 tilting Y 1/2000s 24.0 Y Y

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX430 and the D3500 write their files to SDXC cards. The D3500 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the SX430 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

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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 PowerShot SX430 IS 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
1.
 
Canon SX430-monomono---2.0YY-
2.
 
Nikon D3500Ymonomono--mini2.0--Y
3.
 
Canon M50YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
4.
 
Canon SX740-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
5.
 
Canon M100-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
6.
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
7.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
8.
 
Canon SX420-monomono---2.0YY-
9.
 
Canon SX620-monomono--micro2.0YY-
10.
 
Canon SX720-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
11.
 
Canon SX410-stereomono---2.0---
12.
 
Canon SX710-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
13.
 
Nikon D3400Ymonomono--mini2.0--Y
14.
 
Nikon D5500YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
15.
 
Nikon D3300YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
16.
 
Sony RX100 VI-stereomono--micro2.0YYY

It is notable that the SX430 offers wifi support, while the D3500 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the SX430 and the D3500 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The SX430 replaced the earlier Canon SX420, while the D3500 followed on from the Nikon D3400. 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.

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Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Canon SX430 or the Nikon D3500 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon PowerShot SX430 IS:

  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the D3500 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (104x69mm vs 124x97mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the D3500).
  • Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2017).

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D3500:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 19.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 12%.
  • Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
  • Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (1080/60p vs 720/25p).
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 230k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 0.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1550 versus 195) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • 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 modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 7 months) more recently.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D3500 is the clear winner of the contest (15 : 8 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 wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

SX430 08:15 D3500

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX430 and the Nikon D3500 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the SX430 or the D3500 perform in practice. 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 where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). 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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Expert Camera Reviews
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Canon SX430......3.5/53.5/5 Jan 2017 299 i
2.
 
Nikon D3500....75/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2018 429 i
3.
 
Canon M50..+79/100..3.5/5 Feb 2018 779i
4.
 
Canon SX740..+..4/54/5 Jul 2018 399 i
5.
 
Canon M1003/5+..4/53.5/5 Aug 2017 499i
6.
 
Canon SX730..+..4/54/5 Apr 2017 399i
7.
 
Canon G7 X Mark II4.5/5+ +81/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 699i
8.
 
Canon SX420........3/5 Jan 2016 299i
9.
 
Canon SX620........4/5 May 2016 279 i
10.
 
Canon SX720..+..4/54.5/5 Feb 2016 379i
11.
 
Canon SX410..o...... Feb 2015 279i
12.
 
Canon SX710..+..4/53.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
13.
 
Nikon D34004/5+76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499i
14.
 
Nikon D55005/5+79/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899i
15.
 
Nikon D33003/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499i
16.
 
Sony RX100 VI4.5/5+ +83/1004/54.5/5 Jun 2018 1,199i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon SX430:
Check Amazon price
Nikon D3500:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu 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 SX430 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 SX430 Nikon D3500
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 24-1080mm f/3.5-6.6 Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2017 August 2018
    Launch Price USD 299 USD 429
    Sensor Specs Canon SX430 Nikon D3500
    Sensor Technology CCD CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 366.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 28.2 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 19.9 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5152 x 3864 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.19 μm 3.91 μm
    Pixel Density 70.91 MP/cm2 6.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 720/25p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 4+ EXPEED 4
    Screen Specs Canon SX430 Nikon D3500
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 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 SX430 Nikon D3500
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 0.5 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX430 Nikon D3500
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Canon SX430 Nikon D3500
    Battery Type NB-11LH EN-EL14a
    Battery Life (CIPA)195 shots per charge1550 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 104 x 69 x 85 mm
    (4.1 x 2.7 x 3.3 in)
    124 x 97 x 70 mm
    (4.9 x 3.8 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 323 g (11.4 oz) 365 g (12.9 oz)

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