Canon XC10 vs Nikon D3500
The Canon XC10 and the Nikon D3500 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in April 2015 and August 2018. The XC10 is a fixed lens compact, while the D3500 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an one-inch (XC10) and an APS-C (D3500) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 12 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.
|Canon XC10||Nikon D3500|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|24-240mm f/2.8-5.6||Nikon F mount lenses|
|12 MP, 1" Sensor||24 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|4K/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 160-20,000||ISO 100-25,600|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0 LCD, 1030k dots||3.0 LCD, 921k dots|
|Tilting touchscreen||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|3.8 shutter flaps per second||5 shutter flaps per second|
|125 x 102 x 122 mm, 1040 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 XC10 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.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon XC10 and the Nikon D3500. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D3500 is notably smaller (6 percent) than the Canon XC10. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XC10 nor the D3500 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the XC10 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 XC10 gets .. shots out of its LP-E6N battery, while the D3500 can take 1550 images on a single charge of its EN-EL14a power pack. The power pack in the XC10 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Canon XC10||125 mm||102 mm||122 mm||1040 g||..||n||Apr 2015||2,499|
|Nikon D3500||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||365 g||1550||n||Aug 2018||429|
|Canon M100||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||302 g||295||n||Aug 2017||499|
|Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|Canon G7 X Mark II||106 mm||61 mm||42 mm||319 g||265||n||Feb 2016||699|
|Canon G5 X||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799|
|Canon G9 X||98 mm||58 mm||31 mm||209 g||220||n||Oct 2015||529|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||116 mm||74 mm||66 mm||553 g||240||n||Feb 2014||799|
|Canon G7 X||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699|
|Canon SX60||128 mm||93 mm||114 mm||650 g||340||n||Sep 2014||549|
|Fujifilm X30||119 mm||72 mm||60 mm||423 g||470||n||Aug 2014||599|
|Nikon D3400||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||445 g||1200||n||Aug 2016||499|
|Nikon D5500||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||420 g||820||n||Jan 2015||899|
|Nikon P900||140 mm||103 mm||137 mm||899 g||360||n||Mar 2015||599|
|Nikon D3300||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||430 g||700||n||Jan 2014||499|
|Panasonic FZ2000||138 mm||102 mm||135 mm||915 g||350||n||Sep 2016||1,199|
|Panasonic LX100||115 mm||66 mm||55 mm||393 g||300||n||Sep 2014||899|
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.
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
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. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its 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 XC10 features an one-inch sensor and the Nikon D3500 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the D3500 is 198 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.75 and 1.5. The sensor in the XC10 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the D3500 offers a 3:2 aspect.
With 24MP, the D3500 offers a higher resolution than the XC10 (12MP), but the D3500 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 3.20μm for the XC10) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the D3500 is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 4 months) than the XC10, and its sensor will 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 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 XC10 are 20 x 15 inches or 50.8 x 38.1 cm for good quality, 16 x 12 inches or 40.6 x 30.5 cm for very good quality, and 13.3 x 10 inches or 33.9 x 25.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon XC10 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 160 to ISO 20000. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D3500 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
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.
|Canon G7 X Mark II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Canon G5 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Canon G9 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.5||12.3||495||63|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||1.5-inch||13.0||4160||3120||1080/30p||21.5||10.8||581||58|
|Canon G7 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71|
|Panasonic LX100||Four Thirds||12.7||4112||3088||4K/30p||22.3||12.5||553||67|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the XC10 provides a higher video resolution than the D3500. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/60p.
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 XC10 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon XC10 and Nikon D3500 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Canon G7 X Mark II||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||8.0||Y||Y|
|Canon G5 X||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|Canon G9 X||none||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/2000s||6.0||Y||Y|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||optional||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||5.2||Y||Y|
|Canon G7 X||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The XC10 has a touchscreen, while the D3500 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.
The Canon XC10 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The XC10 writes its imaging data to CFast or SDXC cards, while the D3500 uses SDXC cards. The XC10 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the D3500 only has one slot. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
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 XC10 and Nikon D3500 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Canon G7 X Mark II||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Canon G5 X||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Canon G9 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|Canon G7 X||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
It is notable that the XC10 has a microphone port, which is missing on the D3500. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.
The D3500 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the XC10 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the XC10 was succeeded by the Canon XC15. 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.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon XC10 and the Nikon D3500? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Canon XC10:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1030k vs 921k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the D3500 requires a separate lens.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- 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.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in April 2015).
Advantages of the Nikon D3500:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 12MP), which boosts linear resolution by 44%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- 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.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3.8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 4 months of technical progress since the XC10 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the XC10 comes out slightly ahead of the D3500 (14 : 13 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 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon XC10 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 XC10 and the D3500 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
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.
|Canon XC10||..||80/100||..||..||..||Apr 2015||2,499|
|Nikon D3500||..||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||429|
|Canon M100||+||..||4/5||..||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499|
|Canon SX730||+||..||4/5||..||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|Canon G7 X Mark II||+ +||81/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||699|
|Canon G5 X||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799|
|Canon G9 X||+ +||..||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||529|
|Canon G1 X Mark II||+||77/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||799|
|Canon G7 X||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699|
|Canon SX60||+ +||75/100||4/5||..||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549|
|Fujifilm X30||..||76/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2014||599|
|Nikon D3400||+||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||499|
|Nikon D5500||+||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899|
|Nikon P900||..||77/100||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Mar 2015||599|
|Nikon D3300||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||499|
|Panasonic FZ2000||+||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2016||1,199|
|Panasonic LX100||+ +||85/100||5/5||4/5||5/5||Sep 2014||899|
|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. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time 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.
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. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 5D vs Canon XC10
- Canon 90D vs Nikon D3500
- Canon XC10 vs Nikon D1X
- Canon XC10 vs Nikon D60
- Canon XC10 vs Olympus E-M1X
- Canon XC10 vs Panasonic G9
- Canon XC10 vs Panasonic TS7
- Contax N Digital vs Nikon D3500
- Fujifilm XF10 vs Nikon D3500
- Nikon D3500 vs Olympus E-PL3
- Nikon D3500 vs Panasonic GM5
- Nikon D3500 vs Panasonic L10
Specifications: Canon XC10 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 Model||Canon XC10||Nikon D3500|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||24-240mm f/2.8-5.6||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||April 2015||August 2018|
|Launch Price||USD 2,499||USD 429|
|Sensor Specs||Canon XC10||Nikon D3500|
|Sensor Format||1" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||12.8 x 9.6 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||122.88 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||16 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||12 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4000 x 3000 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.20 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||9.77 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||160 - 20,000 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC DV5||EXPEED 4|
|Screen Specs||Canon XC10||Nikon D3500|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1030k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon XC10||Nikon D3500|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||no Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||3.8 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CFAST or SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon XC10||Nikon D3500|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Headphone Socket||Headphone port||no Headphone port|
|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 XC10||Nikon D3500|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
125 x 102 x 122 mm
(4.9 x 4.0 x 4.8 in)
124 x 97 x 70 mm
(4.9 x 3.8 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||1040 g (36.7 oz)||365 g (12.9 oz)|
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