Nikon D3500 vs Olympus E-300
The Nikon D3500 and the Olympus Evolt E-300 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2018 and September 2004. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (D3500) and a Four Thirds (E-300) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 8 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Nikon D3500||Olympus E-300|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Nikon F mount lenses||Four Thirds lenses|
|24 MP, APS-C Sensor||8 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||no Video|
|ISO 100-25600||ISO 100-400 (100-1600)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0" LCD, 921k dots||1.8" LCD, 134k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|5 shutter flaps per second||2.5 shutter flaps per second|
|1550 shots per battery charge||750 shots per battery charge|
|124 x 97 x 70 mm, 365 g||147 x 85 x 64 mm, 624 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D3500 and the Olympus Evolt E-300? 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.
The physical size and weight of the Nikon D3500 and the Olympus E-300 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 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 Olympus E-300 is somewhat larger (4 percent) than the Nikon D3500. Moreover, the E-300 is substantially heavier (71 percent) than the D3500. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D3500 nor the E-300 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. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Nikon Lens Catalog (D3500) and the Four Thirds Lens Catalog (E-300).
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»||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||365 g||1550||n||Aug 2018||429||Nikon D3500|
|Olympus E-300«||147 mm||85 mm||64 mm||624 g||750||n||Sep 2004||799||Olympus E-300|
|Canon SX740« »||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||265||n||Jul 2018||399||Canon SX740|
|Canon M100« »||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||302 g||295||n||Aug 2017||499||Canon M100|
|Canon SX730« »||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399||Canon SX730|
|Canon 350D« »||127 mm||94 mm||64 mm||540 g||400||n||Feb 2005||899||Canon 350D|
|Fujifilm X-A5« »||117 mm||68 mm||40 mm||361 g||450||n||Jan 2018||399||Fujifilm X-A5|
|Leica Digilux 3« »||146 mm||87 mm||77 mm||606 g||750||n||Sep 2006||1,499||Leica Digilux 3|
|Nikon A1000« »||114 mm||72 mm||41 mm||330 g||250||n||Jan 2019||429||Nikon A1000|
|Nikon D3400« »||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||445 g||1200||n||Aug 2016||499||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D5500« »||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||420 g||820||n||Jan 2015||899||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D3300« »||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||430 g||700||n||Jan 2014||499||Nikon D3300|
|Olympus E-330« »||140 mm||87 mm||72 mm||637 g||750||n||Jan 2006||999||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-500« »||130 mm||95 mm||66 mm||479 g||750||n||Sep 2005||599||Olympus E-500|
|Panasonic TZ95« »||112 mm||69 mm||42 mm||327 g||380||n||Feb 2019||449||Panasonic TZ95|
|Panasonic TZ90« »||112 mm||67 mm||41 mm||322 g||380||n||Apr 2017||449||Panasonic TZ90|
|Panasonic L1« »||146 mm||87 mm||64 mm||606 g||750||n||Feb 2006||999||Panasonic L1|
|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 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 46 percent) than the E-300, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D3500 features an APS-C sensor and the Olympus E-300 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-300 is 39 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 2.0. The sensor in the D3500 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the E-300 offers a 4:3 aspect.
With 24MP, the D3500 offers a higher resolution than the E-300 (8MP), but the D3500 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 5.30μm for the E-300). However, the D3500 is a much more recent model (by 13 years and 11 months) than the E-300, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that 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 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 Olympus E-300 are 16.3 x 12.2 inch or 41.5 x 31.1 cm for good quality, 13.1 x 9.8 inch or 33.2 x 24.9 cm for very good quality, and 10.9 x 8.2 inch or 27.6 x 20.7 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Nikon D3500 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus Evolt E-300 are ISO 100 to ISO 400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-1600.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 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|
|Olympus E-300||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||none||..||..||..||..||Olympus E-300|
|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 350D||APS-C||8.0||3456||2304||none||21.8||10.8||637||60||Canon 350D|
|Fujifilm X-A5||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/15p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-A5|
|Leica Digilux 3||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..||Leica Digilux 3|
|Nikon A1000||1/2.3||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Nikon A1000|
|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|
|Olympus E-330||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-500||Four Thirds||8.0||3264||2448||none||..||..||..||..||Olympus E-500|
|Panasonic TZ95||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||..||..||..||..||Panasonic TZ95|
|Panasonic TZ90||1/2.3||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||19.1||10.6||106||36||Panasonic TZ90|
|Panasonic L1||Four Thirds||7.4||3136||2352||none||..||..||..||..||Panasonic L1|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The D3500 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the E-300 does not. The highest resolution format that the D3500 can use is 1080/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The D3500 and the E-300 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%), but the viewfinder of the D3500 has a higher magnification than the one of the E-300 (0.57x vs 0.5x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon D3500 and Olympus E-300 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Nikon D3500||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D3500|
|Olympus E-300||optical||n||1.8||134||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n||Olympus E-300|
|Canon SX740||none||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/3200s||10.0||Y||Y||Canon SX740|
|Canon M100||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.1||Y||n||Canon M100|
|Canon SX730||none||n||3.0||922||tilting||n||1/3200s||5.9||Y||Y||Canon SX730|
|Canon 350D||optical||n||1.8||115||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Canon 350D|
|Fujifilm X-A5||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X-A5|
|Leica Digilux 3||optical||n||2.5||207||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Leica Digilux 3|
|Nikon A1000||1166||n||3.0||1036||tilting||Y||1/4000s||7.0||Y||Y||Nikon A1000|
|Nikon D3400||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon D5500||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D3300||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D3300|
|Olympus E-330||optical||n||2.5||215||tilting||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-500||optical||n||2.5||215||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||n||Olympus E-500|
|Panasonic TZ95||2330||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic TZ95|
|Panasonic TZ90||1166||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Panasonic TZ90|
|Panasonic L1||optical||n||2.5||207||fixed||n||1/4000s||3.0||Y||n||Panasonic L1|
The D3500 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the E-300 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-300 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the D3500 only has one slot.
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 Olympus Evolt E-300 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||Nikon D3500|
|Olympus E-300||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-300|
|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 350D||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 350D|
|Fujifilm X-A5||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y||Fujifilm X-A5|
|Leica Digilux 3||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Leica Digilux 3|
|Nikon A1000||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Nikon A1000|
|Nikon D3400||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||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|
|Olympus E-330||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-330|
|Olympus E-500||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-500|
|Panasonic TZ95||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y||Panasonic TZ95|
|Panasonic TZ90||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic TZ90|
|Panasonic L1||Y||none||none||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic L1|
The D3500 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the E-300 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the E-300 was succeeded by the Olympus E-330. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Olympus websites.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D3500 and the Olympus E-300? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Nikon D3500:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 8MP) with a 77% 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: 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.
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/60p movies.
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.57x vs 0.5x).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 134k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 2.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 259g or 42 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1550 versus 750) on a single battery charge.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (46 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 13 years and 11 months of technical progress since the E-300 launch.
Advantages of the Olympus Evolt E-300:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in September 2004).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D3500 is the clear winner of the match-up (16 : 3 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.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D3500 and the Olympus E-300 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D3500 or the E-300 perform in practice. 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.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts 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.
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 5D Mark IV vs Nikon D3500
- Canon G7 X vs Olympus E-300
- Canon SX520 vs Nikon D3500
- Canon XSi vs Nikon D3500
- Fujifilm X-T200 vs Nikon D3500
- Nikon 1 J5 vs Nikon D3500
- Nikon D3500 vs Nikon D7500
- Nikon D3500 vs Olympus E-400
- Nikon D3500 vs Olympus E-PL9
- Nikon D3500 vs Panasonic GH4
- Nikon D3500 vs Sony A7S II
- Nikon Z6 vs Olympus E-300
Specifications: Nikon D3500 vs Olympus E-300
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 Model||Nikon D3500||Olympus E-300|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses||Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2018||September 2004|
|Launch Price||USD 429||USD 799|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon D3500||Olympus E-300|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.6 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||366.6 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.2 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||8 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||3264 x 2448 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.91 μm||5.30 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.55 MP/cm2||3.55 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100-25600 ISO||100-400 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||100-1600 ISO|
|Image Processor||EXPEED 4||TruePic|
|Screen Specs||Nikon D3500||Olympus E-300|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||95%|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||1.8 inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||134k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon D3500||Olympus E-300|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||2.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||CF or XD cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon D3500||Olympus E-300|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Nikon D3500||Olympus E-300|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||1550 shots per charge||750 shots per charge|
124 x 97 x 70 mm
(4.9 x 3.8 x 2.8 in)
147 x 85 x 64 mm
(5.8 x 3.3 x 2.5 in)
|Camera Weight||365 g (12.9 oz)||624 g (22.0 oz)|
Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.