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Nikon B500 vs D3500

The Nikon Coolpix B500 and the Nikon D3500 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2016 and August 2018. The B500 is a fixed lens compact, while the D3500 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (B500) and an APS-C (D3500) sensor. The B500 has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the D3500 provides 24 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Nikon B500 VS Nikon D3500
Nikon B500 Nikon D3500
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
22.5-900mm f/3-6.5 Nikon F mount lenses
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60i Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 80-6400 ISO 100-25600
No viewfinder, LCD framing Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 921k dots 3.0" LCD, 921k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
7.4 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
600 shots per battery charge1550 shots per battery charge
114 x 78 x 95 mm, 541 g 124 x 97 x 70 mm, 365 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix B500 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 Nikon B500 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The B500 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the D3500 is only available in black.

Size Nikon B500 vs Nikon D3500
Compare B500 versus D3500 top
Comparison B500 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 (35 percent) than the Nikon B500. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the B500 nor the D3500 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the B500 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.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon B500» 114 mm 78 mm 95 mm 541 g 600 n Jan 2016 299iNikon B500
 
Nikon D3500« 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 365 g 1550 n Aug 2018 429 iNikon D3500
 
Canon M100« » 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 302 g 295 n Aug 2017 499iCanon M100
 
Canon SX730« » 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399iCanon SX730
 
Fujifilm X100F« » 127 mm 75 mm 52 mm 469 g 390 n Jan 2017 1,299iFujifilm X100F
 
Fujifilm X70« » 113 mm 64 mm 44 mm 340 g 330 n Jan 2016 799iFujifilm X70
 
Nikon B600« » 122 mm 82 mm 99 mm 500 g 280 n Jan 2019 349 iNikon B600
 
Nikon D5600« » 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 465 g 970 n Nov 2016 699 iNikon D5600
 
Nikon B700« » 125 mm 85 mm 107 mm 565 g 350 n Feb 2016 499 iNikon B700
 
Nikon D3400« » 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 445 g 1200 n Aug 2016 499iNikon D3400
 
Nikon D5500« » 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 420 g 820 n Jan 2015 899iNikon D5500
 
Nikon P900« » 140 mm 103 mm 137 mm 899 g 360 n Mar 2015 599iNikon P900
 
Nikon L840« » 113 mm 78 mm 96 mm 538 g 590 n Feb 2015 299iNikon L840
 
Nikon D3300« » 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 430 g 700 n Jan 2014 499iNikon D3300
 
Panasonic FZ82« » 130 mm 94 mm 119 mm 616 g 330 n Jan 2017 399 iPanasonic FZ82
 
Sony HX80« » 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 390 n Mar 2016 349 iSony HX80
 
Sony H200« » 123 mm 83 mm 87 mm 530 g 240 n Jan 2013 249 iSony H200
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 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 B500 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.

 

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 more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon B500 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 B500 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the D3500 offers a 3:2 aspect.

Nikon B500 and Nikon D3500 sensor measures

With 24MP, the D3500 offers a higher resolution than the B500 (15.9MP), but the D3500 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 1.33μm for the B500) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the D3500 is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 7 months) than the B500, 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 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 inch or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inch or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inch or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon B500 are 23 x 17.3 inch or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inch or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inch or 39 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon Coolpix B500 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D3500 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

B500 versus D3500 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Nikon B500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........Nikon B500
 
Nikon D3500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........Nikon D3500
 
Canon M100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278Canon M100
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p........Canon SX730
 
Fujifilm X100F APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........Fujifilm X100F
 
Fujifilm X70 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........Fujifilm X70
 
Nikon B600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........Nikon B600
 
Nikon D5600 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684Nikon D5600
 
Nikon B700 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........Nikon B700
 
Nikon D3400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286Nikon D3400
 
Nikon D5500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884Nikon D5500
 
Nikon P900 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........Nikon P900
 
Nikon L840 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........Nikon L840
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582Nikon D3300
 
Panasonic FZ82 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........Panasonic FZ82
 
Sony HX80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........Sony HX80
 
Sony H200 1/2.3 15.2 5184 2930720/30p........Sony H200

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the D3500 provides a faster frame rate than the B500. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the B500 is limited to 1080/60i.

 

Feature comparison

Beyond 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 B500 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon B500 and Nikon D3500 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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
Camera
Model
 
Nikon B500none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y Nikon B500
 
Nikon D3500optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D3500
 
Canon M100none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.1 Y n Canon M100
 
Canon SX730none n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9 Y Y Canon SX730
 
Fujifilm X100F2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 8.0 Y n Fujifilm X100F
 
Fujifilm X70optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y n Fujifilm X70
 
Nikon B600none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y Nikon B600
 
Nikon D5600optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D5600
 
Nikon B700921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y Y Nikon B700
 
Nikon D3400optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D3400
 
Nikon D5500optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D5500
 
Nikon P900921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y Nikon P900
 
Nikon L840none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y Nikon L840
 
Nikon D3300optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n Nikon D3300
 
Panasonic FZ821166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Panasonic FZ82
 
Sony HX80638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y Sony HX80
 
Sony H200none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y Sony H200

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the B500 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 B500 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.

 

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 Nikon Coolpix B500 and Nikon D3500 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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
Camera
Model
 
Nikon B500-stereomono--micro2.0YYYNikon B500
 
Nikon D3500Ymonomono--mini2.0--YNikon D3500
 
Canon M100-stereomono--mini2.0YYYCanon M100
 
Canon SX730-stereomono--micro2.0YYYCanon SX730
 
Fujifilm X100FYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X100F
 
Fujifilm X70YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Fujifilm X70
 
Nikon B600-stereomono--micro2.0Y-YNikon B600
 
Nikon D5600YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYYNikon D5600
 
Nikon B700-stereomono--micro2.0YYYNikon B700
 
Nikon D3400Ymonomono--mini2.0--YNikon D3400
 
Nikon D5500YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--Nikon D5500
 
Nikon P900-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Nikon P900
 
Nikon L840-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Nikon L840
 
Nikon D3300YmonomonoY-mini2.0---Nikon D3300
 
Panasonic FZ82Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic FZ82
 
Sony HX80-stereomono--micro2.0YY-Sony HX80
 
Sony H200-monomono--none2.0---Sony H200

It is notable that the B500 offers wifi support, while the D3500 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

The D3500 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the B500 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the B500 was succeeded by the Nikon B600. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon website.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon B500 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.


Advantages of the Nikon Coolpix B500:

  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7.4 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 (114x78mm vs 124x97mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • 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 available for much longer (launched in January 2016).


Arguments in favor of the Nikon D3500:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 25%.
  • 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 movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1550 versus 600) out of a single battery charge.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 7 months of technical progress since the B500 launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D3500 emerges as the winner of the match-up (12 : 9 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 sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

B500 09:12 D3500

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon B500 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 B500 or the D3500 perform in practice. 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Nikon B500+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2016 299iNikon B500
 
Nikon D3500..75/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2018 429 iNikon D3500
 
Canon M100+..4/5..3.5/5 Aug 2017 499iCanon M100
 
Canon SX730+..4/5..4/5 Apr 2017 399iCanon SX730
 
Fujifilm X100F+83/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 1,299iFujifilm X100F
 
Fujifilm X70..76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 799iFujifilm X70
 
Nikon B600+..3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2019 349 iNikon B600
 
Nikon D5600..79/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 iNikon D5600
 
Nikon B700+..4/5..4/5 Feb 2016 499 iNikon B700
 
Nikon D3400+76/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499iNikon D3400
 
Nikon D5500+79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899iNikon D5500
 
Nikon P900..77/1004/54.5/54/5 Mar 2015 599iNikon P900
 
Nikon L840+ +..3.5/5..4/5 Feb 2015 299iNikon L840
 
Nikon D3300+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499iNikon D3300
 
Panasonic FZ82+ +..4.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 399 iPanasonic FZ82
 
Sony HX80.......... Mar 2016 349 iSony HX80
 
Sony H200....3.5/5..3.5/5 Jan 2013 249 iSony H200
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.

Nikon B500:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D3500:
Check Amazon price

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 a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Nikon B500 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 Nikon B500 Nikon D3500
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 22.5-900mm f/3-6.5 Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date January 2016 August 2018
    Launch Price USD 299 USD 429
    Sensor Specs Nikon B500 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 15.9 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 3.91 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 6.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 80-6400 ISO 100-25600 ISO
    Screen Specs Nikon B500 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 3.0 inch 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon B500 Nikon D3500
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 7.4 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 Nikon B500 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 Nikon B500 Nikon D3500
    Battery Type 4xAA EN-EL14a
    Battery Life (CIPA)600 shots per charge1550 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 114 x 78 x 95 mm
    (4.5 x 3.1 x 3.7 in)
    124 x 97 x 70 mm
    (4.9 x 3.8 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 541 g (19.1 oz) 365 g (12.9 oz)

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