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Nikon D3400 vs Samsung NX500

The Nikon D3400 and the Samsung NX500 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2016 and February 2015. The D3400 is a DSLR, while the NX500 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the Samsung provides 28 MP.

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

Headline Specifications
Nikon D3400 versus Samsung NX500
Nikon D3400 Samsung NX500
Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
Nikon F mount lenses Samsung NX mount lenses
24 MP, APS-C Sensor 28 MP, APS-C Sensor
1080/60p Video 4K/30p Video
ISO 100-25,600 ISO 100-25,600 (100 - 51,200)
Optical viewfinder No viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 921k dots 3.0 LCD, 1036k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting touchscreen
5 shutter flaps per second 9 shutter flaps per second
1200 shots per battery charge370 shots per battery charge
124 x 98 x 76 mm, 445 g 120 x 64 x 43 mm, 287 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D3400 and the Samsung NX500? 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

The physical size and weight of the Nikon D3400 and the Samsung NX500 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The D3400 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the NX500 is only available in black.

Size Nikon D3400 vs Samsung NX500
Compare D3400 versus NX500 top
Comparison D3400 or NX500 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Samsung NX500 is considerably smaller (37 percent) than the Nikon D3400. Moreover, the NX500 is substantially lighter (36 percent) than the D3400. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D3400 nor the NX500 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. Hence, you might want to study and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

The power pack in the NX500 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient 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.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon D3400 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 445 g 1200 n Aug 2016 499i
 
Samsung NX500 120 mm 64 mm 43 mm 287 g 370 n Feb 2015 799i
 
Canon 77D 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
 
Canon 200D 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549i
 
Canon M100 108 mm 67 mm 35 mm 302 g 295 n Aug 2017 499i
 
Canon M3 111 mm 68 mm 44 mm 366 g 250 n Feb 2015 679i
 
Nikon D3500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 365 g 1550 n Aug 2018 429 i
 
Nikon D7500 136 mm 104 mm 73 mm 720 g 950 Y Apr 2017 1,299 i
 
Nikon D5600 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 465 g 970 n Nov 2016 699 i
 
Nikon D5500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 420 g 820 n Jan 2015 899i
 
Nikon D3300 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 430 g 700 n Jan 2014 499i
 
Nikon D5300 125 mm 98 mm 76 mm 480 g 600 n Oct 2013 799i
 
Nikon D3200 125 mm 96 mm 77 mm 505 g 540 n Apr 2012 599i
 
Ricoh GR II 117 mm 63 mm 35 mm 251 g 320 n Jun 2015 699 i
 
Sony A6000 120 mm 67 mm 45 mm 344 g 360 n Feb 2014 599i
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.

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 D3400 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 38 percent) than the NX500, which puts it into a different market segment. 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 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 NX500 is 1 percent bigger. 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.

Nikon D3400 and Samsung NX500 sensor measures

With 28MP, the NX500 offers a higher resolution than the D3400 (24MP), but the NX500 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.63μm versus 3.91μm for the D3400). It is noteworthy in this context that the D3400 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 6 months) than the NX500, and its sensor might 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 Samsung NX500 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the NX500 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 32.4 x 21.6 inches or 82.3 x 54.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 25.9 x 17.3 inches or 65.8 x 43.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 21.6 x 14.4 inches or 54.9 x 36.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D3400 are 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm for good quality, 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm for very good quality, and 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm for excellent quality prints.

The NX500 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during live view operation.

The Nikon D3400 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Samsung NX500 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200.

D3400 versus NX500 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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. 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
 
Nikon D3400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286
 
Samsung NX500 APS-C 28.0 6480 43204K/30p24.813.9137987
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
 
Canon 200D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
 
Canon M100 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.512.9127278
 
Canon M3 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/30p22.811.8116972
 
Nikon D3500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Nikon D7500 APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.314.0148386
 
Nikon D5600 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684
 
Nikon D5500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
 
Nikon D5300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.013.9133883
 
Nikon D3200 APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/30p24.113.2113181
 
Ricoh GR II APS-C 16.1 4928 32641080/30p23.613.7107880
 
Sony A6000 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.113.1134782

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, but the NX500 provides a better video resolution than the D3400. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the D3400 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the NX500 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon D3400, the Samsung NX500, 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
 
Nikon D3400optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Samsung NX500none n 3.0 1036 tilting Y 1/6000s 9.0 Y n
 
Canon 77Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Canon 200Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon M100none n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 6.1 Y n
 
Canon M3optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 4.2 Y n
 
Nikon D3500optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D7500optical Y 3.2 922 tilting Y 1/8000s 8.0 Y n
 
Nikon D5600optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D5500optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3300optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D5300optical n 3.2 1037 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3200optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Ricoh GR IIoptional n 3.0 1230 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n
 
Sony A60001440 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/4000s 11.0 Y n

One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The NX500 has a touchscreen, while the D3400 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.

The NX500 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the D3400 does not have a selfie-screen.

The Samsung NX500 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 D3400 and the NX500 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 Samsung NX500 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
 
Nikon D3400Ymonomono--mini2.0--Y
 
Samsung NX500Ystereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon 77DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon 200DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon M100-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Canon M3YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Nikon D3500Ymonomono--mini2.0--Y
 
Nikon D7500YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon D5600YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Nikon D5500YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Nikon D3300YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Nikon D5300YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Nikon D3200YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Ricoh GR IIYstereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony A6000Ystereomono--micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the NX500 offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the D3400 does not provide wifi capability.

Both the D3400 and the NX500 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D3400 was replaced by the Nikon D3500, while the NX500 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Samsung websites.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is the Nikon D3400 better than the Samsung NX500 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D3400:

  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1200 versus 370) on a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (38 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 6 months after the NX500).

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Arguments in favor of the Samsung NX500:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (28 vs 24MP), which boosts linear resolution by 8%.
  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • Better live-view autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident autofocus.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1036k vs 921k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/6000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (9 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • More compact: Is smaller (120x64mm vs 124x98mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 158g or 36 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • 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 heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in February 2015).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the NX500 is the clear winner of the contest (16 : 4 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision 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.

D3400 04:16 NX500

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D3400 and the Samsung NX500 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens 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 remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D3400 or the NX500. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon D3400+76/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499i
 
Samsung NX500..81/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2015 799i
 
Canon 77D..82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
 
Canon 200D+ +78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549i
 
Canon M100+..4/5..3.5/5 Aug 2017 499i
 
Canon M3o75/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2015 679i
 
Nikon D3500..75/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2018 429 i
 
Nikon D7500+ +86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2017 1,299 i
 
Nikon D5600..79/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 i
 
Nikon D5500+79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899i
 
Nikon D3300+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499i
 
Nikon D5300+ +79/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 799i
 
Nikon D3200+ +73/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 599i
 
Ricoh GR II....4.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2015 699 i
 
Sony A6000+80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2014 599i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Nikon D3400:
Check Ebay offers
Samsung NX500:
Check Ebay offers

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: Nikon D3400 vs Samsung NX500

    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 Samsung NX500
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Samsung NX mount lenses
    Launch Date August 2016 February 2015
    Launch Price USD 499 USD 799
    Sensor Specs Nikon D3400 Samsung NX500
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.5 x 15.6 mm 23.5 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 366.6 mm2 368.95 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28.2 mm 28.3 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 24 Megapixels 28 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 pixels 6480 x 4320 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.91 μm 3.63 μm
    Pixel Density 6.55 MP/cm2 7.59 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 4K/30p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 25,600 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 51,200 ISO
    Image Processor EXPEED 4 DRIMe Vs
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 86 87
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 24.8 24.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 13.9 13.9
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 1192 1379
    Screen Specs Nikon D3400 Samsung NX500
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder no viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.57x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 1036k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input no Touchscreen Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D3400 Samsung NX500
    Focus System Phase-detect AF On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/6000s
    Continuous Shooting 5 shutter flaps/s 9 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    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 Nikon D3400 Samsung NX500
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication no NFC NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Nikon D3400 Samsung NX500
    Battery Type EN-EL14a BP1130
    Battery Life (CIPA)1200 shots per charge370 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 124 x 98 x 76 mm
    (4.9 x 3.9 x 3.0 in)
    120 x 64 x 43 mm
    (4.7 x 2.5 x 1.7 in)
    Camera Weight 445 g (15.7 oz) 287 g (10.1 oz)

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