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Canon SX740 vs Nikon D3500

The Canon PowerShot SX740 HS and the Nikon D3500 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in July 2018 and August 2018. The SX740 is a fixed lens compact, while the D3500 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (SX740) and an APS-C (D3500) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 20.2 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 SX740 versus Nikon D3500
Canon SX740 Nikon D3500
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 Nikon F mount lenses
20.2 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
4K/30p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-3,200 ISO 100-25,600
No viewfinder, LCD framing Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 922k dots 3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
10 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
265 shots per battery charge1550 shots per battery charge
110 x 64 x 40 mm, 299 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 SX740 HS 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 side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon SX740 and the Nikon D3500. 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.

The SX740 can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the D3500 is only available in black.

Size Canon SX740 vs Nikon D3500
Compare SX740 versus D3500 top
Comparison SX740 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 (71 percent) than the Canon SX740. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX740 nor the D3500 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX740 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 SX740 gets 265 shots out of its NB-13L 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 SX740 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.5 oz 265 n Jul 2018 399 i
 
Nikon D3500 4.9 in 3.8 in 2.8 in 12.9 oz 1550 n Aug 2018 429 i
 
Canon SX70 5.0 in 3.6 in 4.6 in 21.4 oz 325 n Sep 2018 549 i
 
Canon M100 4.3 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 10.7 oz 295 n Aug 2017 499i
 
Canon SX730 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.6 in 10.6 oz 250 n Apr 2017 399i
 
Canon SX720 4.3 in 2.5 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 250 n Feb 2016 379i
 
Canon SX710 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.4 in 9.5 oz 230 n Jan 2015 349i
 
Fujifilm X-A7 4.7 in 2.7 in 1.6 in 11.3 oz 440 n Sep 2019 499 i
 
Fujifilm X-E3 4.8 in 2.9 in 1.7 in 11.9 oz 350 n Sep 2017 899 i
 
Nikon D3400 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.7 oz 1200 n Aug 2016 499i
 
Nikon D3300 4.9 in 3.9 in 3.0 in 15.2 oz 700 n Jan 2014 499i
 
Panasonic ZS80 4.4 in 2.7 in 1.7 in 11.5 oz 380 n Feb 2019 449 i
 
Panasonic TS7 4.6 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 11.3 oz 300 Y May 2018 449 i
 
Panasonic ZS70 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 11.4 oz 380 n Apr 2017 449i
 
Sony HX99 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 370 n Aug 2018 449 i
 
Sony HX95 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.5 oz 370 n Aug 2018 429 i
 
Sony WX800 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.2 oz 370 n Oct 2018 399 i
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 retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The SX740 was launched at a lower price than the D3500, despite having a lens built in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon SX740 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 SX740 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the D3500 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Canon SX740 and Nikon D3500 sensor measures

With 24MP, the D3500 offers a higher resolution than the SX740 (20.2MP), but the D3500 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 1.18μm for the SX740) due to its larger sensor. It is noteworthy in this context that the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. 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 SX740 are 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm for good quality, 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm for very good quality, and 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon PowerShot SX740 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D3500 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

SX740 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 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 SX740 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Nikon D3500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Canon SX70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Canon M100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon SX720 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Canon SX710 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........
 
Fujifilm X-A7 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p........
 
Fujifilm X-E3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p........
 
Nikon D3400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
 
Panasonic ZS80 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Panasonic TS7 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Panasonic ZS70 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p19.110.610636
 
Sony HX99 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........
 
Sony HX95 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........
 
Sony WX800 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the SX740 provides a higher video resolution than the D3500. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the D3500 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX740 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon SX740 and Nikon D3500 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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 SX740none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 10.0 Y Y
 
Nikon D3500optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon SX702360 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
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 SX720none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y
 
Canon SX710none n 3.0 922 fixed n 1/3200s 6.0 Y Y
 
Fujifilm X-A7none n 3.5 2760 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X-E32360 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 8.0 n n
 
Nikon D3400optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3300optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Panasonic ZS802330 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic TS71170 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/1300s 10.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic ZS701166 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX99638 n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX95638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony WX800none n 3.0 922 tilting Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
The SX740 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the D3500 does not have a selfie-screen.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX740 and the D3500 write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.

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 SX740 HS 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 SX740-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Nikon D3500Ymonomono--mini2.0--Y
 
Canon SX70-stereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Canon M100-stereomono--mini2.0YYY
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon SX720-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX710-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Fujifilm X-A7YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y-Y
 
Fujifilm X-E3YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon D3400Ymonomono--mini2.0--Y
 
Nikon D3300YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Panasonic ZS80-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Panasonic TS7-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Panasonic ZS70-stereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Sony HX99-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Sony HX95-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Sony WX800-stereomono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the SX740 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 SX740 and the D3500 are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The SX740 replaced the earlier Canon SX730 HS, 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.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon SX740 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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Advantages of the Canon PowerShot SX740 HS:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the D3500 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (110x64mm 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.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon D3500:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 20.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 11%.
  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/3200s) to freeze action.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1550 versus 265) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the SX740 comes out slightly ahead of the D3500 (11 : 10 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

SX740 11:10 D3500

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX740 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 technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SX740 and the D3500 in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. 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 SX740+..4/5..4/5 Jul 2018 399 i
 
Nikon D3500..75/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2018 429 i
 
Canon SX70+ +..3.5/5..3.5/5 Sep 2018 549 i
 
Canon M100+..4/5..3.5/5 Aug 2017 499i
 
Canon SX730+..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 399i
 
Canon SX720+..4/5..4.5/5 Feb 2016 379i
 
Canon SX710+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2015 349i
 
Fujifilm X-A7..81/1004/5..3.5/5 Sep 2019 499 i
 
Fujifilm X-E3+84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2017 899 i
 
Nikon D3400+76/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499i
 
Nikon D3300+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499i
 
Panasonic ZS80+ +..4.5/5.... Feb 2019 449 i
 
Panasonic TS7+......3.5/5 May 2018 449 i
 
Panasonic ZS70+ +..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 449i
 
Sony HX99....4/5..4.5/5 Aug 2018 449 i
 
Sony HX95.......... Aug 2018 429 i
 
Sony WX800.......... Oct 2018 399 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated 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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon SX740:
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 make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

~

    Specifications: Canon SX740 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 SX740 Nikon D3500
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date July 2018 August 2018
    Launch Price USD 399 USD 429
    Sensor Specs Canon SX740 Nikon D3500
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS 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 20.2 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5184 x 3888 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.18 μm 3.91 μm
    Pixel Density 71.80 MP/cm2 6.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4K/30p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 3,200 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor DIGIC 8 EXPEED 4
    Screen Specs Canon SX740 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 922k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon SX740 Nikon D3500
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 10 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 UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Canon SX740 Nikon D3500
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Canon SX740 Nikon D3500
    Battery Type NB-13L EN-EL14a
    Battery Life (CIPA)265 shots per charge1550 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 110 x 64 x 40 mm
    (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.6 in)
    124 x 97 x 70 mm
    (4.9 x 3.8 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 299 g (10.5 oz) 365 g (12.9 oz)

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