Fujifilm X-A5 vs Nikon D3500
The Fujifilm X-A5 and the Nikon D3500 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2018 and August 2018. The X-A5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the D3500 is a DSLR. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixels.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Fujifilm X-A5||Nikon D3500|
|Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Fujifilm X mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|24 MP, APS-C Sensor||24 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|4K/15p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 200-12800 (200-51200)||ISO 100-25600|
|No viewfinder, LCD framing||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0" LCD, 1040k dots||3.0" LCD, 921k dots|
|Tilting touchscreen||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|6 shutter flaps per second||5 shutter flaps per second|
|450 shots per battery charge||1550 shots per battery charge|
|117 x 68 x 40 mm, 361 g||124 x 97 x 70 mm, 365 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Fujifilm X-A5 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-A5 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 views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The X-A5 can be obtained in three different colors (silver, brown, pink), while the D3500 is only available in black.
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 (51 percent) than the Fujifilm X-A5. Moreover, the D3500 is slightly heavier (1 percent) than the X-A5. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the X-A5 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. Both cameras have similarly sized sensors, but DSLRs have a larger flange-to-focal plane distance than mirrorless cameras, which imposes contraints on the optical engineering process and generally leads to bigger and heavier lenses. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Fujinon X Lens Catalog (X-A5) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D3500). Mirrorless cameras, such as the Fujifilm X-A5, have moreover the advantage that they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance and can thus use many lenses from other systems via adapters.
Concerning battery life, the X-A5 gets 450 shots out of its NP-W126S battery, while the D3500 can take 1550 images on a single charge of its EN-EL14a power pack. The power pack in the X-A5 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 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.
|Fujifilm X-A5»||4.6 in||2.7 in||1.6 in||12.7 oz||450||n||Jan 2018||399||Fujifilm X-A5|
|Nikon D3500«||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||12.9 oz||1550||n||Aug 2018||429||Nikon D3500|
|Canon M100« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.4 in||10.7 oz||295||n||Aug 2017||499||Canon M100|
|Fujifilm X-T200« »||4.8 in||3.3 in||2.2 in||13.1 oz||270||n||Jan 2020||699||Fujifilm X-T200|
|Fujifilm X-T30« »||4.6 in||3.3 in||1.9 in||13.5 oz||380||n||Feb 2019||899||Fujifilm X-T30|
|Fujifilm X-A7« »||4.7 in||2.7 in||1.6 in||11.3 oz||440||n||Sep 2019||499||Fujifilm X-A7|
|Fujifilm X-T100« »||4.8 in||3.3 in||1.9 in||15.8 oz||430||n||May 2018||599||Fujifilm X-T100|
|Fujifilm X-E3« »||4.8 in||2.9 in||1.7 in||11.9 oz||350||n||Sep 2017||899||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Fujifilm X-T20« »||4.6 in||3.3 in||1.6 in||13.5 oz||350||n||Jan 2017||899||Fujifilm X-T20|
|Fujifilm X-A3« »||4.6 in||2.6 in||1.6 in||12.0 oz||410||n||Aug 2016||399||Fujifilm X-A3|
|Fujifilm X-A10« »||4.6 in||2.6 in||1.6 in||11.7 oz||410||n||Dec 2016||399||Fujifilm X-A10|
|Fujifilm X-A2« »||4.6 in||2.6 in||1.6 in||12.3 oz||410||n||Jan 2015||399||Fujifilm X-A2|
|Nikon D3400« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||15.7 oz||1200||n||Aug 2016||499||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D3300« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||15.2 oz||700||n||Jan 2014||499||Nikon D3300|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The X-A5 was somewhat cheaper (by 7 percent) than the D3500 at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. 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 more expensive and 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 1 percent smaller. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
Even though the X-A5 has a slightly larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the X-A5 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 3.92μm versus 3.91μm for the D3500), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. It should, however, be noted that the D3500 is a somewhat more recent model (by 6 months) than the X-A5, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that at least partly compensate for the smaller pixel size. 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 Fujifilm X-A5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 200-51200. 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 assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Fujifilm X-A5||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/15p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-A5|
|Nikon D3500||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Nikon D3500|
|Canon M100||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.5||12.9||1272||78||Canon M100|
|Fujifilm X-T200||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-T200|
|Fujifilm X-T30||APS-C||26.0||6240||4160||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-T30|
|Fujifilm X-A7||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-A7|
|Fujifilm X-T100||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/15p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-T100|
|Fujifilm X-E3||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Fujifilm X-T20||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-T20|
|Fujifilm X-A3||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-A3|
|Fujifilm X-A10||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-A10|
|Fujifilm X-A2||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-A2|
|Nikon D3400||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||13.9||1192||86||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D3300||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.8||1385||82||Nikon D3300|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the X-A5 provides a higher video resolution than the D3500. It can shoot video footage at 4K/15p, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/60p.
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 X-A5 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Fujifilm X-A5 and Nikon D3500 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Fujifilm X-A5||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X-A5|
|Nikon D3500||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D3500|
|Canon M100||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.1||Y||n||Canon M100|
|Fujifilm X-T200||2360||n||3.5||2780||swivel||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X-T200|
|Fujifilm X-T30||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X-T30|
|Fujifilm X-A7||none||n||3.5||2760||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X-A7|
|Fujifilm X-T100||2360||n||3.0||1040||full-flex||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X-T100|
|Fujifilm X-E3||2360||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||1/4000s||8.0||n||n||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Fujifilm X-T20||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||8.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X-T20|
|Fujifilm X-A3||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X-A3|
|Fujifilm X-A10||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||n||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X-A10|
|Fujifilm X-A2||none||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.6||Y||n||Fujifilm X-A2|
|Nikon D3400||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D3300||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D3300|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The X-A5 has a touchscreen, while the D3500 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The X-A5 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.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the X-A5 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The Fujifilm X-A5 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.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the X-A5 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.
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 Fujifilm X-A5 and Nikon D3500 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Fujifilm X-A5||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm X-A5|
|Nikon D3500||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||Y||Nikon D3500|
|Canon M100||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M100|
|Fujifilm X-T200||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm X-T200|
|Fujifilm X-T30||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||3.1||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm X-T30|
|Fujifilm X-A7||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm X-A7|
|Fujifilm X-T100||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm X-T100|
|Fujifilm X-E3||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Fujifilm X-T20||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X-T20|
|Fujifilm X-A3||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X-A3|
|Fujifilm X-A10||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X-A10|
|Fujifilm X-A2||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X-A2|
|Nikon D3400||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||Y||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D3300||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3300|
It is notable that the X-A5 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 X-A5 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the X-A5 from Fujifilm. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Fujifilm and Nikon websites.
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Fujifilm X-A5 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.
Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X-A5:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/15p vs 1080/60p).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k 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.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (117x68mm vs 124x97mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2018).
Advantages of the Nikon D3500:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1550 versus 450) out of a single battery charge.
- More modern: Was introduced somewhat (6 months) more recently.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the X-A5 is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 4 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Fujifilm X-A5 and the Nikon D3500 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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 says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the X-A5 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.
This is why expert reviews 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.
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon SX720 vs Nikon D3500
- Canon T2i vs Fujifilm X-A5
- Canon XS vs Nikon D3500
- Fujifilm X-A5 vs Fujifilm XP130
- Fujifilm X-A5 vs Leica V-LUX Typ 114
- Fujifilm X-A5 vs Nikon D1H
- Fujifilm X-A5 vs Nikon W150
- Fujifilm X-A5 vs Sony NEX-5N
- Leica CL vs Nikon D3500
- Nikon D3500 vs Panasonic GM1
- Nikon D3500 vs Sony A7R IV
- Nikon D3500 vs Sony NEX-3N
Specifications: Fujifilm X-A5 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||Fujifilm X-A5||Nikon D3500|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Fujifilm X mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2018||August 2018|
|Launch Price||USD 399||USD 429|
|Sensor Specs||Fujifilm X-A5||Nikon D3500|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.7 mm||23.5 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||368.95 mm2||366.6 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||28.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.92 μm||3.91 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.50 MP/cm2||6.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/15p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||200-12800 ISO||100-25600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||200-51200 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Screen Specs||Fujifilm X-A5||Nikon D3500|
|Viewfinder Type||No viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Touch Input||Touchscreen||no Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Fujifilm X-A5||Nikon D3500|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||No Peaking Feature|
|Continuous Shooting||6 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/32000s||no E-Shutter|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|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||Fujifilm X-A5||Nikon D3500|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Fujifilm X-A5||Nikon D3500|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||450 shots per charge||1550 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
117 x 68 x 40 mm
(4.6 x 2.7 x 1.6 in)
124 x 97 x 70 mm
(4.9 x 3.8 x 2.8 in)
|Camera Weight||361 g (12.7 oz)||365 g (12.9 oz)|
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