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Canon XTi vs Nikon D3500

The Canon EOS Rebel XTi (called Canon 400D in some regions) and the Nikon D3500 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2006 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 10.1 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 XTi
versus
Nikon D3500
Canon XTi Nikon D3500
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
10.1 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
2.5 LCD, 230k dots 3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
370 shots per battery charge1550 shots per battery charge
127 x 84 x 65 mm, 556 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 Rebel XTi 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 XTi 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 measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Canon XTi vs Nikon D3500
Compare XTi versus D3500 top
Comparison XTi 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 notably larger (13 percent) than the Canon XTi. However, the D3500 is markedly lighter (34 percent) than the XTi. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the XTi 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 (XTi) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D3500).

Concerning battery life, the XTi gets 370 shots out of its NB-2LH 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 XTi 127 mm 84 mm 65 mm 556 g 370 n Aug 2006 799 i
2.
 
Nikon D3500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 365 g 1550 n Aug 2018 429 i
3.
 
Canon M100 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 302 g 295 n Aug 2017 499 i
4.
 
Canon T6i 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 n Feb 2015 749 i
5.
 
Canon T6s 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 n Feb 2015 649 i
6.
 
Canon T4i 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 n Jun 2012 849 i
7.
 
Canon T3 130 mm 100 mm 78 mm 495 g 700 n Feb 2011 449 i
8.
 
Canon T2i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 530 g 440 n Feb 2010 699 i
9.
 
Canon T1i 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 n Mar 2009 799 i
10.
 
Canon XSi 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 524 g 500 n Jan 2008 799 i
11.
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299 i
12.
 
Canon XT 127 mm 94 mm 64 mm 540 g 400 n Feb 2005 899 i
13.
 
Canon Rebel 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899 i
14.
 
Fujifilm X-A7 119 mm 68 mm 41 mm 320 g 440 n Sep 2019 499 i
15.
 
Fujifilm X-E3 121 mm 74 mm 43 mm 337 g 350 n Sep 2017 899 i
16.
 
Nikon D3400 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 445 g 1200 n Aug 2016 499 i
17.
 
Nikon D3300 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 430 g 700 n Jan 2014 499 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. 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 XTi, which puts it into a different market segment. 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.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras 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 (XTi) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Canon XTi and Nikon D3500 sensor measures

With 24MP, the D3500 offers a higher resolution than the XTi (10.1MP), but the D3500 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 5.71μm for the XTi). Yet, the D3500 is a much more recent model (by 12 years) than the XTi, 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 XTi are 19.4 x 13 inches or 49.4 x 32.9 cm for good quality, 15.6 x 10.4 inches or 39.5 x 26.3 cm for very good quality, and 13 x 8.6 inches or 32.9 x 21.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS Rebel XTi 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).

XTi versus D3500 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-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
1.
 
Canon XTi APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.0664 62
2.
 
Nikon D3500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p...... ..
3.
 
Canon M100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.91272 78
4.
 
Canon T6i APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.712.0919 71
5.
 
Canon T6s APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.612.0915 70
6.
 
Canon T4i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p21.711.2722 62
7.
 
Canon T3 APS-C 12.2 4272 2848720/30p21.911.0755 62
8.
 
Canon T2i APS-C 17.9 5184 34561080/30p22.111.5784 66
9.
 
Canon T1i APS-C 15.1 4752 31681080/20p21.711.5663 63
10.
 
Canon XSi APS-C 12.2 4272 2848none21.910.8692 61
11.
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.3703 64
12.
 
Canon XT APS-C 8.0 3456 2304none21.810.8637 60
13.
 
Canon Rebel APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.8544 55
14.
 
Fujifilm X-A7 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p...... ..
15.
 
Fujifilm X-E3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p...... ..
16.
 
Nikon D3400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.91192 86
17.
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.81385 82

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

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The XTi 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 XTi (0.57x vs 0.49x), 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 XTi, 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 XTioptical n 2.5 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
2.
 
Nikon D3500optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
3.
 
Canon M100none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.1 Y n
4.
 
Canon T6ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
5.
 
Canon T6soptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
6.
 
Canon T4ioptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
7.
 
Canon T3optical n 2.7 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
8.
 
Canon T2ioptical n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 3.7 Y n
9.
 
Canon T1ioptical n 3.0 920 fixed n 1/4000s 3.4 Y n
10.
 
Canon XSioptical n 3.0 230 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
11.
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
12.
 
Canon XToptical n 1.8 115 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
13.
 
Canon Rebeloptical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
14.
 
Fujifilm X-A7none n 3.5 2760 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
15.
 
Fujifilm X-E32360 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/4000s 8.0 n n
16.
 
Nikon D3400optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
17.
 
Nikon D3300optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n

The XTi writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the D3500 uses SDXC 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 EOS Rebel XTi 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 XTiY-----2.0---
2.
 
Nikon D3500Ymonomono--mini2.0--Y
3.
 
Canon M100-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon T6iYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
5.
 
Canon T6sYstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
6.
 
Canon T4iYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
7.
 
Canon T3Ystereomono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Canon T2iYstereo-Y-mini2.0---
9.
 
Canon T1iYmonomono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Canon XSiY----mini2.0---
11.
 
Canon 40DY-----2.0---
12.
 
Canon XTY-----2.0---
13.
 
Canon RebelY-----1.1---
14.
 
Fujifilm X-A7YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y-Y
15.
 
Fujifilm X-E3YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
16.
 
Nikon D3400Ymonomono--mini2.0--Y
17.
 
Nikon D3300YmonomonoY-mini2.0---

The D3500 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the XTi has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the XTi was succeeded by the Canon Xsi. 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? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon XTi and the Nikon D3500? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS Rebel XTi:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • More compact: Is smaller (127x84mm vs 124x97mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2006).

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D3500:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 10.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 54%.
  • 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 0.49x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 230k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 191g or 34 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1550 versus 370) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (46 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 12 years of technical progress since the XTi launch.

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D3500 is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 3 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.

XTi 03:12 D3500

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon XTi 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the XTi 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular 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 XTi..+ ++ +o4/5 Aug 2006 799 i
2.
 
Nikon D3500....75/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2018 429 i
3.
 
Canon M1003/5+..4/53.5/5 Aug 2017 499 i
4.
 
Canon T6i5/5..75/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 749 i
5.
 
Canon T6s5/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 649 i
6.
 
Canon T4i4/5+ +77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2012 849 i
7.
 
Canon T3..80/10069/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2011 449 i
8.
 
Canon T2i..+ +77/1004/54.5/5 Feb 2010 699 i
9.
 
Canon T1i..+ +74/1004.5/54.5/5 Mar 2009 799 i
10.
 
Canon XSi..+ ++ +4/54.5/5 Jan 2008 799 i
11.
 
Canon 40D..+ ++ +4.5/54.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299 i
12.
 
Canon XT..80/100+ +o.. Feb 2005 899 i
13.
 
Canon Rebel....+ +.... Aug 2003 899 i
14.
 
Fujifilm X-A73/5..81/1004/53.5/5 Sep 2019 499 i
15.
 
Fujifilm X-E34.5/5+84/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2017 899 i
16.
 
Nikon D34004/5+76/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499 i
17.
 
Nikon D33003/5+77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, 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. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon XTi:
Check Ebay offers
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 XTi 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 XTi Nikon D3500
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2006 August 2018
    Launch Price USD 799 USD 429
    Sensor Specs Canon XTi 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 10.1 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 3888 x 2592 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 5.71 μm 3.91 μm
    Pixel Density 3.07 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 II EXPEED 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 62 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.1 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 664 ..
    Screen Specs Canon XTi Nikon D3500
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.49x 0.57x
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 230k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon XTi Nikon D3500
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy50 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon XTi Nikon D3500
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Canon XTi Nikon D3500
    Battery Type NB-2LH EN-EL14a
    Battery Life (CIPA)370 shots per charge1550 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 127 x 84 x 65 mm
    (5.0 x 3.3 x 2.6 in)
    124 x 97 x 70 mm
    (4.9 x 3.8 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 556 g (19.6 oz) 365 g (12.9 oz)

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