Nikon D3500 vs Canon M3
The Nikon D3500 and the Canon EOS M3 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2018 and February 2015. The D3500 is a DSLR, while the M3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Both cameras are equipped with an APS-C sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 24 megapixels. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Nikon D3500||Canon M3|
|Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Nikon F mount lenses||Canon EF-M mount lenses|
|24 MP, APS-C Sensor||24 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO 100-25600||ISO 100-12800 (100-25600)|
|Optical viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|3.0" LCD, 921k dots||3.0" LCD, 1040k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Tilting touchscreen|
|5 shutter flaps per second||4.2 shutter flaps per second|
|1550 shots per battery charge||250 shots per battery charge|
|124 x 97 x 70 mm, 365 g||111 x 68 x 44 mm, 366 g|
Body comparison: Nikon D3500 vs Canon M3
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon D3500 and the Canon M3 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon M3 is considerably smaller (37 percent) than the Nikon D3500. However, the M3 is slightly heavier (0 percent) than the D3500. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D3500 nor the M3 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 adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.
|Nikon D3500»||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||12.9 oz||1550||n||Aug 2018||429||Nikon D3500|
|Canon M3«||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.7 in||12.9 oz||250||n||Feb 2015||679||-||Canon M3|
|Canon M50« »||4.6 in||3.5 in||2.3 in||13.8 oz||235||n||Feb 2018||779||Canon M50|
|Canon SX740« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||265||n||Jul 2018||399||Canon SX740|
|Canon M6« »||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.8 in||13.8 oz||295||n||Feb 2017||779||Canon M6|
|Canon M100« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.4 in||10.7 oz||295||n||Aug 2017||499||Canon M100|
|Canon SX730« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.6 in||10.6 oz||250||n||Apr 2017||399||-||Canon SX730|
|Canon M5« »||4.6 in||3.5 in||2.4 in||15.1 oz||295||n||Sep 2016||979||Canon M5|
|Canon G7 X« »||4.1 in||2.4 in||1.6 in||10.7 oz||210||n||Sep 2014||699||-||Canon G7 X|
|Canon M« »||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||10.5 oz||230||n||Jul 2012||599||-||Canon M|
|Fujifilm X-A5« »||4.6 in||2.7 in||1.6 in||12.7 oz||450||n||Jan 2018||399||Fujifilm X-A5|
|Fujifilm XF10« »||4.4 in||2.5 in||1.6 in||9.8 oz||330||n||Jul 2018||499||Fujifilm XF10|
|Fujifilm X-E3« »||4.8 in||2.9 in||1.7 in||11.9 oz||350||n||Sep 2017||899||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Nikon D3400« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||15.7 oz||1200||n||Aug 2016||499||-||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D5500« »||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||14.8 oz||820||n||Jan 2015||899||-||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D3300« »||4.9 in||3.9 in||3.0 in||15.2 oz||700||n||Jan 2014||499||-||Nikon D3300|
|Panasonic ZS70« »||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.6 in||11.4 oz||380||n||Apr 2017||449||Panasonic ZS70|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The D3500 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 37 percent) than the M3, 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison: Nikon D3500 vs Canon M3
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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the M3 is 10 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.5 (D3500) and 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Even though the D3500 has a larger sensor, both cameras offer the same resolution of 24 megapixels. This implies that the D3500 has a lower pixel density and larger individual pixels (with a pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 3.72μm for the M3), which gives it a potential advantage in terms of light gathering capacity. In addition, the D3500 is much more recent (by 3 years and 6 months) than the M3, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time. 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 M3 has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during video recording.
The Nikon D3500 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600 The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS M3 are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600..
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Nikon D3500»||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Nikon D3500|
|Canon M3«||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/30p||22.8||11.8||1169||72||Canon M3|
|Canon M50« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/24p||-||-||-||-||Canon M50|
|Canon SX740« »||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Canon SX740|
|Canon M6« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Canon M6|
|Canon M100« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.5||12.9||1272||78||Canon M100|
|Canon SX730« »||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Canon SX730|
|Canon M5« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.4||12.4||1262||77||Canon M5|
|Canon G7 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71||Canon G7 X|
|Canon M« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.1||11.2||827||65||Canon M|
|Fujifilm X-A5« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/15p||-||-||-||-||Fujifilm X-A5|
|Fujifilm XF10« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/15p||-||-||-||-||Fujifilm XF10|
|Fujifilm X-E3« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Nikon D3400« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||13.9||1192||86||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D5500« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1438||84||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D3300« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.8||1385||82||Nikon D3300|
|Panasonic ZS70« »||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||19.1||10.6||106||36||Panasonic ZS70|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the D3500 provides a higher frame rate than the M3. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/30p.
Feature comparison: Nikon D3500 vs Canon M3
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 M3 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the M3 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the EVF-DC1. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon D3500 and Canon M3 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Nikon D3500»||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||4000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D3500|
|Canon M3«||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||4.2||Y||n||Canon M3|
|Canon M50« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||4000||10.0||Y||n||Canon M50|
|Canon SX740« »||-||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||3200||10.0||Y||Y||Canon SX740|
|Canon M6« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||9.0||Y||n||Canon M6|
|Canon M100« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||6.1||Y||n||Canon M100|
|Canon SX730« »||-||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||3200||5.9||Y||Y||Canon SX730|
|Canon M5« »||2360||n||3.2||1620||tilting||Y||4000||9.0||Y||n||Canon M5|
|Canon G7 X« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||2000||6.5||Y||Y||Canon G7 X|
|Canon M« »||-||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||4000||4.3||n||n||Canon M|
|Fujifilm X-A5« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||6.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X-A5|
|Fujifilm XF10« »||-||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||4000||6.0||Y||n||Fujifilm XF10|
|Fujifilm X-E3« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||4000||8.0||n||n||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Nikon D3400« »||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||4000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D5500« »||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||4000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D3300« »||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||4000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D3300|
|Panasonic ZS70« »||1166||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||2000||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic ZS70|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The M3 has a touchscreen, while the D3500 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The M3 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 D3500 does not have a selfie-screen.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the D3500 and the M3 write their files to SDXC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Nikon D3500 vs Canon M3
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 D3500 and Canon EOS M3 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Nikon D3500»||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y||Nikon D3500|
|Canon M3«||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon M3|
|Canon M50« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M50|
|Canon SX740« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon SX740|
|Canon M6« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M6|
|Canon M100« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M100|
|Canon SX730« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon SX730|
|Canon M5« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M5|
|Canon G7 X« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G7 X|
|Canon M« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon M|
|Fujifilm X-A5« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm X-A5|
|Fujifilm XF10« »||-||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm XF10|
|Fujifilm X-E3« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Nikon D3400« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D5500« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D3300« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3300|
|Panasonic ZS70« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic ZS70|
It is notable that the M3 has a microphone port, which can help to improve the quality of audio recordings by attaching an external microphone. The D3500 does not feature such a mic input.
The D3500 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the M3 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the M3 was succeeded by the Canon M6.
Review summary: Nikon D3500 vs Canon M3
So what is the bottom line? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon D3500 or the Canon M3 – has the upper hand? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Reasons to prefer the Nikon D3500:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/30p).
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image framing and settings control.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 4.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1550 versus 250) on a single battery charge.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (37 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 6 months of technical progress since the M3 launch.
Advantages of the Canon EOS M3:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
- 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: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- More compact: Is smaller (111x68mm vs 124x97mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in February 2015).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the M3 emerges as the winner of the match-up (11 : 8 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.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D3500 or the M3 handle or 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: Nikon D3500 vs Canon M3
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Nikon D3500»||-||-||4/5||-||4.5/5||Aug 2018||429||Nikon D3500|
|Canon M3«||rev||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||679||-||Canon M3|
|Canon M50« »||Rec||79/100||-||-||3.5/5||Feb 2018||779||Canon M50|
|Canon SX740« »||Rec||-||4/5||-||4/5||Jul 2018||399||Canon SX740|
|Canon M6« »||-||80/100||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||779||Canon M6|
|Canon M100« »||Rec||-||4/5||-||3.5/5||Aug 2017||499||Canon M100|
|Canon SX730« »||Rec||-||4/5||-||4/5||Apr 2017||399||-||Canon SX730|
|Canon M5« »||Rec||82/100||4/5||4.5/5||4/5||Sep 2016||979||Canon M5|
|Canon G7 X« »||HiRec||77/100||4.5/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699||-||Canon G7 X|
|Canon M« »||Rec||-||4/5||3.5/5||4/5||Jul 2012||599||-||Canon M|
|Fujifilm X-A5« »||Rec||-||4/5||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2018||399||Fujifilm X-A5|
|Fujifilm XF10« »||-||-||4/5||-||4.5/5||Jul 2018||499||Fujifilm XF10|
|Fujifilm X-E3« »||Rec||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2017||899||Fujifilm X-E3|
|Nikon D3400« »||Rec||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||499||-||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D5500« »||Rec||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899||-||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D3300« »||Rec||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||499||-||Nikon D3300|
|Panasonic ZS70« »||HiRec||-||4/5||-||4/5||Apr 2017||449||Panasonic ZS70|
The review scores listed above should be treated 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. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
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Specifications: Nikon D3500 vs Canon M3
|Camera Model||Nikon D3500||Canon M3|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses||Canon EF-M mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2018||February 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 429||USD 679|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.6 mm||22.3 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||366.6 mm2||332.27 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.2 mm||26.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.91 μm||3.72 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.55 MP/cm2||7.22 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-25600 ISO||100-12800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100-25600 ISO|
|Image Processor||EXPEED 4||DIGIC 6|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||72|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||22.8|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||11.8|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1169|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||n/a|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||4.2 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|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Battery Type||EN-EL14a power pack||LP-E17 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||1550 shots per charge||250 shots per charge|
124 x 97 x 70 mm
(4.9 x 3.8 x 2.8 in)
111 x 68 x 44 mm
(4.4 x 2.7 x 1.7 in)
|Camera Weight||365 g (12.9 oz)||366 g (12.9 oz)|
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