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Nikon D3400 vs D3500

The Nikon D3400 and the Nikon D3500 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2016 and August 2018. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that 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.

Headline Specifications
Nikon D3400
versus
Nikon D3500
Nikon D3400   Nikon D3500
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
24 MP – APS-C sensor 24 MP – APS-C sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-25,600 ISO 100-25,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD – 921k dots 3.0" LCD – 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
5 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
1200 shots per battery charge1550 shots per battery charge
124 x 98 x 76 mm, 445 g 124 x 97 x 70 mm, 415 g
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Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D3400 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 D3400 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.

The D3400 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the D3500 is only available in black.

Size Nikon D3400 vs Nikon D3500
Compare D3400 versus D3500 top
Comparison D3400 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 somewhat smaller (1 percent) than the Nikon D3400. Moreover, the D3500 is markedly lighter (7 percent) than the D3400. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D3400 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. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Nikon Lens Catalog.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons 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.
 
Nikon D3400 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 445 g 1200 n Aug 2016 499ebay.com
2.
 
Nikon D3500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 415 g 1550 n Aug 2018 429 amazon.com
3.
 
Canon 77D 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899ebay.com
4.
 
Canon 200D 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549ebay.com
5.
 
Canon M100 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 302 g 295 n Aug 2017 499ebay.com
6.
 
Canon SX730 110 mm 64 mm 40 mm 300 g 250 n Apr 2017 399ebay.com
7.
 
Nikon D7500 136 mm 104 mm 73 mm 720 g 950 Y Apr 2017 1,299 amazon.com
8.
 
Nikon D5600 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 465 g 970 n Nov 2016 699 amazon.com
9.
 
Nikon D5500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 470 g 820 n Jan 2015 899ebay.com
10.
 
Nikon D3300 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 430 g 700 n Jan 2014 499ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon D5300 125 mm 98 mm 76 mm 480 g 600 n Oct 2013 799ebay.com
12.
 
Nikon D3200 125 mm 96 mm 77 mm 505 g 540 n Apr 2012 599ebay.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

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 D3500 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 14 percent) than the D3400, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

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. 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.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.5. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Nikon D3400 and Nikon D3500 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 24 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the D3400 and the D3500 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the D3500 is much more recent (by 2 years) than the D3400, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time. 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 Nikon D3400 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. The Nikon D3500 offers exactly the same ISO settings.

Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors. Both cameras use a Bayer filter for capturing RGB colors on a square grid of photosensors. This arrangement is found in most digital cameras.

D3400 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 following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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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.
 
Nikon D3400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286
2.
 
Nikon D3500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.4185183
3.
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
4.
 
Canon 200D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
5.
 
Canon M100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278
6.
 
Canon SX730 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38881080/60p20.511.992450
7.
 
Nikon D7500 APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.314.0148386
8.
 
Nikon D5600 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684
9.
 
Nikon D5500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884
10.
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
11.
 
Nikon D5300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.9133883
12.
 
Nikon D3200 APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/30p24.113.2113181
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, and both provide the same movie specifications (1080/60p).

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D3400 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%), as well as the same magnification (0.57x). The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon D3400 and Nikon D3500 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Nikon D3400optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
2.
 
Nikon D3500optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
3.
 
Canon 77Doptical Y3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0/s Y n
4.
 
Canon 200Doptical n3.0 / 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
5.
 
Canon M100none n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.1/s Y n
6.
 
Canon SX730none n3.0 / 922 tilting n 1/3200s 5.9/s Y Y
7.
 
Nikon D7500optical Y3.2 / 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 8.0/s Y n
8.
 
Nikon D5600optical n3.2 / 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
9.
 
Nikon D5500optical n3.2 / 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
10.
 
Nikon D3300optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
11.
 
Nikon D5300optical n3.2 / 1037 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0/s Y n
12.
 
Nikon D3200optical n3.0 / 921 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0/s Y n
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the D3400 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 Nikon D3400 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
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Nikon D3400Ymono / mono--mini2.0--Y
2.
 
Nikon D3500Ymono / mono--mini2.0--Y
3.
 
Canon 77DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
4.
 
Canon 200DYstereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
5.
 
Canon M100-stereo / mono--micro2.0YYY
6.
 
Canon SX730-stereo / mono--micro2.0YYY
7.
 
Nikon D7500Ystereo / monoYYmini2.0Y-Y
8.
 
Nikon D5600Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0YYY
9.
 
Nikon D5500Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
10.
 
Nikon D3300Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---
11.
 
Nikon D5300Ystereo / monoY-mini2.0Y--
12.
 
Nikon D3200Ymono / monoY-mini2.0---

The D3500 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the D3400 has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on ebay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D3400 was succeeded by the Nikon D3500. Further information on the features and operation of the D3400 and D3500 can be found, respectively, in the Nikon D3400 Manual (free pdf) or the online Nikon D3500 Manual.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D3400 and the Nikon D3500? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Reasons to prefer the Nikon D3400:

  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in August 2016).


Advantages of the Nikon D3500:

  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1550 versus 1200) out of a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (14 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years of technical progress since the D3400 launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D3500 emerges as the winner of the match-up (3 : 1 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.

D3400 01:03 D3500

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D3400 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 comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D3400 or the D3500. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

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], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Nikon D34004/5+4/576/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499ebay.com
2.
 
Nikon D35004/5..4/575/1004/54.5/5 Aug 2018 429 amazon.com
3.
 
Canon 77D4.5/5..4/582/1004.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899ebay.com
4.
 
Canon 200D4/5+ +4/578/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549ebay.com
5.
 
Canon M1003/5+....4/53.5/5 Aug 2017 499ebay.com
6.
 
Canon SX730..+....4/54/5 Apr 2017 399ebay.com
7.
 
Nikon D75004.5/5+ +4.5/586/1005/54.5/5 Apr 2017 1,299 amazon.com
8.
 
Nikon D56004/5..4/579/1004.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 amazon.com
9.
 
Nikon D55005/5+..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899ebay.com
10.
 
Nikon D33003/5+..77/1004.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499ebay.com
11.
 
Nikon D53004/5+ +..79/1004.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799ebay.com
12.
 
Nikon D32005/5+ +..73/1004.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 599ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted 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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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.

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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.

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    Specifications: Nikon D3400 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 D3400 Nikon D3500
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2016 August 2018
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 429
    Sensor Specs Nikon D3400 Nikon D3500
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.6 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 366.6 mm2 366.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.2 mm 28.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.91 μm 3.91 μm
    Pixel Density 6.55 MP/cm2 6.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 25,600 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED 4 EXPEED 4
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 86 ..
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 24.8 ..
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 13.9 ..
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1192 ..
    Screen Specs Nikon D3400 Nikon D3500
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.57x 0.57x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D3400 Nikon D3500
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations100 000 actuations
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Single or Dual Card Slots Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs Nikon D3400 Nikon D3500
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Nikon D3400 Nikon D3500
    Battery Type EN-EL14a EN-EL14a
    Battery Life (CIPA)1200 shots per charge1550 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 124 x 98 x 76 mm
    (4.9 x 3.9 x 3.0 in)
    124 x 97 x 70 mm
    (4.9 x 3.8 x 2.8 in)
    Camera Weight 445 g (15.7 oz) 415 g (14.6 oz)
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    Check D3400 offers at
    ebay.com
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    Check D3500 price at
    amazon.com

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