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Nikon D3400 vs. D3500: The Battle of 2 Entry-Level Nikon Cameras

Nikon D3400 vs. D3500

Today, we have two of the best entry-level DSLR cameras from Nikon: the D3400 and the D3500.

If you’re trying to pick up photography as a new hobby, these two cameras will be a great starter for you.

In this Nikon D3500 vs. Nikon D3400 detailed comparison, you’ll know what to get.

Nikon’s Very Best Entry-Level Cameras: D3400 & D3500

Searching for the best entry-level DSLRs is not easy. And once you’ve found the entry-level camera that satisfies your need to take awesome pictures, don’t ever let it go.

This is why today, we’re more than happy to share with you the two most highly rated Nikon cameras that are perfect for beginners and aspiring photographers.

The two models come at a pretty affordable price point and are packed with impressive features.

Despite coming from the same manufacturer, the two cameras are DIFFERENT.

Sure, they sport the same design and build, but once you get into the specifics of the two cameras, you’ll soon realize the two are very different.

Nikon D3500

Technical Specifications

  • 3-inch LCD screen
  • 5 FPS continuous shooting
  • Connectivity: Built-in Bluetooth, which connects to Nikon’s SnapBridge app
  • ISO range: 100–25600
  • Sensor size: 24.2 MP DX / APS-C Sensor
  • Optical viewfinder
  • AF system: 11 points

Basically, the Nikon D3500 is a new model that has everything the Nikon D3400 has and then some.

With all the new and improved specs and features on this camera, we don’t doubt you’ll fall in love with it in an instant.

The D3500 looks and feels relatively compact and lightweight. It was pretty easy to travel with, which is important if you want to be a photographer on the go.

Planning to Do Some Street Photography?

No problem! Grab the Nikon D3500 and hit the roads! Its built-in flash and mic will have you feeling excited to take those live shots.

What’s so Special About the Buttons?

We also noticed how the placement of the menu buttons changed and is now at the back of the camera.

This small and minor change made a huge difference. It now feels a lot MORE comfortable and natural to use the buttons.

Switching through different buttons will be a breeze, especially if you want to change your settings in an instant.

Battery Life: Another Major Asset

And when it comes to battery life, this camera can match your power. In a single battery charge, you can get up to 1500 SHOTS! Can you imagine how many beautiful subjects you can capture?

You won’t have to charge and bring extra batteries each time, which we all know tends to be a hassle.

Pros

  • Interchangeable Nikon F mount lenses and fast shutter speed
  • Impressive ISO options
  • Compact and light body weight
  • Improved battery life

Cons

  • No articulating screen and image stabilization

Nikon D3400

Technical Specifications

  • 3-inch fixed type screen
  • Optical viewfinder
  • 5 FPS continuous shooting
  • ISO range: Auto, 100 – 25,600
  • Nikon F mount lenses
  • Sensor size: 24.2 MP – DX / APS-C Sensor
  • AF system: 11 points

Even before the Nikon D3500 came to life, the D3400 DSLR was Nikon’s all-star when it came to the best point and shoot camera.

It’s a spectacular budget-friendly DSLR, made especially for beginners who want to improve their photography skills.

If you ARE NOT ready to invest in a high-end or mirrorless camera just yet, the Nikon D3400 camera won’t disappoint! It’s a leg up to digital cameras and can rank the performance of high-end cameras.

The set-up of this camera is pretty outstanding, and there isn’t much we can complain about.

Take as many photos as you want and do an image transfer to your phone immediately via the SnapBridge app.

Is the Nikon D3400 Still Available?

Looking for the Nikon D3400 in the market is CHALLENGING. Since the release of the Nikon D3500, the Nikon D3400 has been discontinued.

You may still be able to find them in the market, although NOT in a brand new state. Nevertheless, once you get a hold of the Nikon D3400, best believe all your trouble finding this camera is worth it.

Pros

  • Built-in flash
  • Interchangeable lenses and fast shutter speed
  • Bluetooth 
  • SnapBridge app allows remote control use of the camera

Cons

  • No anti-aliasing filter and image stabilization

Face to Face Challenge: The Nikon D3500 vs. Nikon D3400

Now that you have a better idea of the two cameras, it’s time to get down into great detail about their features.

We’re sure you’re very interested to know which between the two performs well, given its price point.

But before we put the two against each other, note that they are excellent cameras that produce some pretty outstanding image quality and focal length.

Although they may not be at par with high-end models, the two cameras feature an impressive set of specs you’d want to check out.

Dynamic Area AF Points (TIE)

The beauty of using a DSLR is that you can focus on your subject and blur everything else. This is all thanks to the auto focus points of the camera.

Some cameras have auto-area AF, which comes in pretty handy if you’re a beginner and want to do some portrait photography. Just press your subject, and the camera will do the focusing for you.

If you’re starting photography, the 11 AF points and one cross-type sensor of the two are pretty stellar. We were able to focus on our subjects without a problem!

Just press the shutter release button, and focus on your subjects! And the results?

Let’s just say we got an impressive image quality.

Battery (WINNER: Nikon D3500)

Whenever we’re out shooting stunning photos on the streets, we make sure to pack an extra set of batteries for our cameras.

Although sometimes, it can be a hassle to bring extra batteries. Not only do we have to bring an extra pack, but we also have to charge extra batteries each time! Annoying right?

Fortunately, battery life will be the least of your problems when it comes to the Nikon D3500 and Nikon D3400.

Here are the number of shots you can take with just a single charge:

  • Nikon D3500: 1550 shots
  • Nikon D3400: 1200 shots

Between the Nikon D3400 vs. Nikon D3500, it’s pretty obvious that the Nikon D3500 comes out on top!

But we have to commend the Nikon D3400 because 1200 shots for a single charge is already outstanding in itself.

Camera Sensor (Winner: Nikon D3500)

There isn’t a lot of difference in the sensor of the Nikon D3400 and the Nikon D3500. Both sport the same large sensor size, which is the 24.2 MP DX Sensor.

Another SIMILARITY between the two is that they don’t have any anti-alias filter nor an optical low pass filter.

And what that means is that you can’t enjoy the same sharpness in your images, like what you’d get from others.

Is it a deal-breaker? Not exactly. Even without the anti-alias filter, we’re still impressed with the image quality.

Does that mean both are equal in terms of sensor comparison? Well, we’d have to give it to the Nikon D3500.

Since the Nikon D3500 is the latest and upgraded model, the sensor is relatively better. Though it sports the same 24.2 MP DX Sensor, we noticed some mild differences.

Continuous Shooting (Winner: Tie)

As an aspiring photographer, we’re sure you’re interested in the continuous shooting of the Nikon D3500 and the Nikon D3400.

In general, the continuous shooting feature of the two is pretty decent—both clock in at 5 FPS, which isn’t bad for the basic moving subject.

However, if you want to capture fast-paced activities like action or sports photography, the 5 FPS might not be enough.

ISO Range (Winner: Tie)

We love how incredible the Nikon D3500 and Nikon D3400 capture images even under low light conditions. Our photos look incredibly clear, without any noise nor blurring.

Regardless of the ISO Setting, the two fared well! Now, if you’re a beginner, understanding ISO settings might still be a foreign topic to you.

Don’t worry because both cameras are ideal for getting you fully acquainted with using the different ISO settings to your advantage.

For this category, we call it a TIE.

LCD Screen (Winner: Tie)

Whenever we’re checking out DSLRs, we always look at the LCD screen. It SHOULD be clear and sharp enough for us to appreciate our photos.

For a budget camera, there isn’t much we can complain about the screen of the two Nikons. Both cameras sport a fixed 3-inch screen, which isn’t too outstanding nor disappointing.

In this day and time, you’d notice that there aren’t many cameras with a fixed screen. Truth be told, we got used to that idea, so we wished the two Nikons had the same functionality.

Nevertheless, it isn’t a dealbreaker for us. Again, for the price, not bad!

Lenses (Winner: Tie)

You can pretty much use the same Nikon F mount lens on both cameras. The two use an interchangeable lens mount, so you won’t have a hard time using other lenses.

Fair warning, the native lenses DON’T provide the most stellar image stabilization. It doesn’t sport the usual sensor-based image stabilization, which you’ll find in other cameras.

You’d need to get a dedicated lens with an optical stabilization feature if you want more control with your camera.

That being said, the Nikon D3500 and D3400 are pretty much the same! The lens mount pretty much does what it’s supposed to, even without image stabilization.

Size (Winner: Nikon D3500)

When you think of DSLR cameras, the first thing that comes to your point is probably images of big and bulky cameras. That’s just how DSLR cameras look to an outsider in general.

With the Nikon D3400 and Nikon D3500, you might be shocked by how minimal and compact they are. And because of this, they feel extremely light!

The Nikon D3500 is slightly lighter than the D3400, but it isn’t a big issue. Between the Nikon D3400 vs. Nikon D3500, we find the latter to be a lot easier to carry.

But overall, because of how lightweight the cameras are, lifting the camera for a long time didn’t feel such a hassle on our part.

Video Resolution (Winner: Tie)

If you love taking videos, then you’ll love the Nikon D3400 and the Nikon D3500 for it. A bit of a disclaimer, you won’t achieve a commercial level or HD video sort of quality. But close enough!

The cameras can record up to 1080p at 60 FPS and achieve a maximum video frame rate. Not bad for a beginner camera!

Thanks to the built-in monaural microphone, you won’t be needing an external mic.

Well, that’s because both don’t have an external microphone port. So technically, you won’t be needing them because it doesn’t have a port for it.

Notwithstanding the lack of ports, you can still achieve a pretty decent sound from the built-in mic.

White Balance (Winner: Tie)

Another category we’re calling a tie is the white balance presets of the two Nikons. We explored both, and they have the same number of presets.

The presets are pretty impressive, regardless of the light condition you’re working on. We were able to capture the images as they are, which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Our shots looked exactly what they are in real life.

Nikon D3500 vs. D3400: Which Camera Takes the Cake?

So far, it’s pretty clear to us that the Nikon D3500 wins this heavyweight matchup! It won us over, although not by a mile.

Both the Nikon D3400 and Nikon D3500 more or less sport the same set of features. They could almost be interchangeable.

The only difference between the two stems from the fact that the Nikon D3500 is a relatively newer model than the Nikon D3400. If it weren’t that, we’d say the two are pretty much the same.

We’ve listed down key features that give the Nikon D3500 an upper hand. Let’s check them out!

Battery Power

If you’re new to photography, we’re sure you’ll be excited to take as many photos as you can. You’ll probably be taking photos non-stop! And we won’t blame you for that.

Photography is such an enjoyable hobby to try, but you need sufficient battery power to capture amazing moments.

Extending your battery life for many days is even possible.

What we love about the Nikon D3500 is that a single charge lets us capture up to 1500 shots. That’s way more than what you can get from other beginner cameras!

Keep the fun going, and don’t let anything stop you!

Price

We can all agree on the fact that PRICE is always an important factor. Who doesn’t want to find the best deal? Awesome features at an affordable price point? Sounds like a steal!

The Nikon D3500 is pretty much a steal. Unlike the Nikon D3400, the D3500 was priced relatively lower than its older model. So much so, it’s a lot more accessible to a lot of beginners.

Not bad!

Weight

Taking pictures with your DSLR can be tiring, especially if your camera is heavy. But DSLRs are naturally heavy, so they’ll weigh you down as your day continues.

Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean DSLRs don’t come in a lightweight and compact size. Well, at least lightweight for a DSLR.

And once you’ve found one that’s easy to carry around, you better grab it while you can.

The Nikon D3500 is more lightweight than the Nikon D3400, making it the more portable camera to bring around than the Nikon D3400!

Release Date

One of the main reasons we consider the Nikon D3500 as the winner is its later released date. To some, this fact may not mean a lot. But for us, it plays an important role in our camera decision-making.

Like we’ve said above, the Nikon D3500 vs. Nikon D3400 battle is so close when it comes to their specs.

The only variation between the two is that the Nikon D3500 is a new and improved version of the Nikon D3400.

Well, the improvement isn’t that much. But it certainly made a difference when it comes to the functionality of the camera.

Conclusion

It’s never too late to start a new hobby, especially if it involves the arts. It’s a great way to tell your story through your perspective.

But before we let you go in this Nikon D3500 vs. Nikon D3400 challenge, we’ll leave you with final pointers to help you make your final deciding factor.

Why You Should Choose the Nikon D3500

The Nikon D3500 probably has it all!

It’s affordable, portable, and slightly lighter than the Nikon D3400. It has a deeper grip on the body, making it easy for you to grab and handle this camera.

Although it doesn’t sport a high-resolution sensor, the APS-C sensor performs slightly BETTER than the Nikon D3400.

If you’re ready to get serious about photography, this camera will be your best buddy.

Why You Should Choose the Nikon D3400

If you’re looking for an easy-to-use and beginner-friendly camera, the D3400 is a perfect choice.

Though it has been discontinued and no longer sold in the market, you can still get it elsewhere at a lower price, or as renewed.

It’s a good camera to practice your photography skills without having to commit just yet. Even without the high-resolution sensor, the picture quality is just right.

It has a fast shutter speed, solid focal length, AF 11 focus points, and more! Not to mention, the camera comes with different shooting effects like toy camera, illustration, just to identify a few.

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