Nikon D3500 vs Canon SX50
The Nikon D3500 and the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2018 and September 2012. The D3500 is a DSLR, while the SX50 is a fixed lens compact. The cameras are based on an APS-C (D3500) and a 1/2.3-inch (SX50) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the Canon provides 12 MP. 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 SX50|
|Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Nikon F mount lenses||24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5|
|24 MP, APS-C Sensor||12 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||1080/24p Video|
|ISO 100-25600||ISO 80-6400|
|Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 921k dots||3.0" LCD, 461k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|5 shutter flaps per second||2.2 shutter flaps per second|
|1550 shots per battery charge||315 shots per battery charge|
|124 x 97 x 70 mm, 365 g||123 x 87 x 106 mm, 595 g|
Body comparison: Nikon D3500 vs Canon SX50
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon D3500 and the Canon SX50. 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.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX50 is notably smaller (11 percent) than the Nikon D3500. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D3500 nor the SX50 are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the SX50 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 adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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.
|Nikon D3500»||4.9 in||3.8 in||2.8 in||12.9 oz||1550||n||Aug 2018||429||Nikon D3500|
|Canon SX50«||4.8 in||3.4 in||4.2 in||21.0 oz||315||n||Sep 2012||429||-||Canon SX50|
|Canon SX740« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||265||n||Jul 2018||399||Canon SX740|
|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 SX60« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||4.5 in||22.9 oz||340||n||Sep 2014||549||-||Canon SX60|
|Canon G16« »||4.3 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.6 oz||360||n||Aug 2013||549||Canon G16|
|Canon G1 X« »||4.6 in||3.2 in||2.6 in||18.8 oz||250||n||Jan 2012||799||-||Canon G1 X|
|Canon G15« »||4.2 in||3.0 in||1.6 in||12.4 oz||350||n||Sep 2012||499||-||Canon G15|
|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|
|Panasonic FZ150« »||4.9 in||3.2 in||3.6 in||18.6 oz||410||n||Aug 2011||499||-||Panasonic FZ150|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. 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 SX50
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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D3500 features an APS-C sensor and the Canon SX50 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the SX50 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 5.6. The sensor in the D3500 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the SX50 offers a 4:3 aspect.
With 24MP, the D3500 offers a higher resolution than the SX50 (12MP), but the D3500 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 1.53μm for the SX50) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the D3500 is a somewhat more recent model (by 5 years and 11 months) than the SX50, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. 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 Nikon D3500 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600 The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS are ISO 80 to ISO 6400 (no boost).
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 adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Nikon D3500»||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Nikon D3500|
|Canon SX50«||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/24p||20.3||11.2||179||47||Canon SX50|
|Canon SX740« »||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||-||-||-||-||Canon SX740|
|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 SX60« »||1/2.3||14.2||4608||3072||1080/60p||19.2||10.8||127||39||Canon SX60|
|Canon G16« »||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||21.0||11.7||230||54||Canon G16|
|Canon G1 X« »||1.5-inch||14.2||4352||3264||1080/24p||21.7||10.8||644||60||Canon G1 X|
|Canon G15« »||1/1.7||12.0||4000||3000||1080/24p||19.9||11.5||165||46||Canon G15|
|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|
|Panasonic FZ150« »||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||19.4||10.9||132||40||Panasonic FZ150|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the D3500 provides a higher frame rate than the SX50. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/24p.
Feature comparison: Nikon D3500 vs Canon SX50
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the SX50 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), while the D3500 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon D3500 and Canon SX50 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 SX50«||202||n||3.0||461||swivel||n||2000||2.2||Y||Y||Canon SX50|
|Canon SX740« »||-||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||3200||10.0||Y||Y||Canon SX740|
|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 SX60« »||922||n||3.0||922||swivel||n||2000||6.4||Y||Y||Canon SX60|
|Canon G16« »||optical||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||4000||2.2||Y||Y||Canon G16|
|Canon G1 X« »||optical||n||3.0||922||Swivel||n||4000||1.9||Y||Y||Canon G1 X|
|Canon G15« »||optical||n||3.0||922||fixed||n||4000||2.1||Y||Y||Canon G15|
|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|
|Panasonic FZ150« »||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||2000||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ150|
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the D3500 and the SX50 write their files to SDXC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Nikon D3500 vs Canon SX50
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 PowerShot SX50 HS 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 SX50«||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon SX50|
|Canon SX740« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon SX740|
|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 SX60« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX60|
|Canon G16« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon G16|
|Canon G1 X« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon G1 X|
|Canon G15« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon G15|
|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|
|Panasonic FZ150« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic FZ150|
It is notable that the D3500 offers wifi support, while the SX50 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 SX50 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the SX50 was succeeded by the Canon SX60.
Review summary: Nikon D3500 vs Canon SX50
So what conclusions can be drawn? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon D3500 or the Canon SX50 – has the upper hand? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Nikon D3500:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 12MP) with a 44% higher linear resolution.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
- Richer colors: Larger sensor generates images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Capable of capturing a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can be used in poorly lit environments and still produce good images.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/24p).
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 461k dots).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (4000/sec vs 2000/sec) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 2.2 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More flexible: Can take a variety of interchangeable lenses, including specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1550 versus 315) on a single battery charge.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More modern: Reflects 5 years and 11 months of technical progress since the SX50 launch.
Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with an integrated lens, while the D3500 requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (123x87mm vs 124x97mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2012).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D3500 is the clear winner of the match-up (16 : 8 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.
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 SX50 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 SX50
This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Nikon D3500»||-||-||4/5||-||4.5/5||Aug 2018||429||Nikon D3500|
|Canon SX50«||HiRec||72/100||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||Sep 2012||429||-||Canon SX50|
|Canon SX740« »||Rec||-||4/5||-||4/5||Jul 2018||399||Canon SX740|
|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 SX60« »||HiRec||75/100||4/5||-||4.5/5||Sep 2014||549||-||Canon SX60|
|Canon G16« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||549||Canon G16|
|Canon G1 X« »||Rec||76/100||4/5||4/5||4.5/5||Jan 2012||799||-||Canon G1 X|
|Canon G15« »||Rec||76/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499||-||Canon G15|
|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|
|Panasonic FZ150« »||HiRec||76/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499||-||Panasonic FZ150|
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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. 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 would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 5D vs Canon 1D Mark III
- Canon SX60 vs Canon T3i
- Fujifilm GFX 50S vs Ricoh GR II
- Fujifilm X-M1 vs Sony RX100 V
- Fujifilm X-T20 vs Canon T5
- Nikon D5300 vs Sony A9
- Nikon Z6 vs Fujifilm X100T
- Panasonic FZ2500 vs Panasonic GX85
- Sony A6000 vs Pentax KP
- Sony A6000 vs Sony A99 II
- Sony A6300 vs Canon 1D
- Sony A7R II vs Pentax K-3
Specifications: Nikon D3500 vs Canon SX50
|Camera Model||Nikon D3500||Canon SX50|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses||24-1200mm f/3.4-6.5|
|Launch Date||August 2018||September 2012|
|Launch Price||USD 429||USD 429|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.6 mm||6.17 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||366.6 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.2 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||12 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||4000 x 3000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.91 μm||1.53 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.55 MP/cm2||42.74 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||1080/24p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-25600 ISO||80-6400 ISO|
|Image Processor||EXPEED 4||DIGIC 5|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||47|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||20.3|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||11.2|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||179|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||n/a||202k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||461k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Swivel screen|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||2.2 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|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Battery Type||EN-EL14a power pack||NB-10L power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||1550 shots per charge||315 shots per charge|
124 x 97 x 70 mm
(4.9 x 3.8 x 2.8 in)
123 x 87 x 106 mm
(4.8 x 3.4 x 4.2 in)
|Camera Weight||365 g (12.9 oz)||595 g (21.0 oz)|
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