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Nikon D3400 vs D3500 2020

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If you are a budding photographer, you might want to go for some basic cameras. Usually, amateurs prefer to go for cheap DSLRs, as they will be just starting out. 

Nikon is one of the most preferred brands for beginners. They manufacture a lot of cameras which are quite easy to understand and use. 

In this article, we will be taking a look at which of these Nikon models is better: The Nikon D3400 vs D3500. Let’s take a look at the comparison now.

nikon d3400 vs d3500

Scale Of Comparison

For judging which of the models is better, we need to set some standard or scale, based on which we can compare them.

They are as follows:

  • Physical Features
  • Build & Design
  • Lens 
  • Sensors and Processors
  • Battery Life
  • AF (Auto- Focus) System
  • FPS (Frames Per Second)
  • Viewfinder
  • Video System
  • Area of Photography

A small reminder regarding the comparison – both these models belong to the same company and under the same category. Therefore, there might not be a huge difference.

Which Is Better?

Let us now look into each of the features and analyze both the models!

1. Physical Features

Size and weight are one of the prime factors one must consider while buying a camera. Of course, you do not want to carry a bulky DSLR with you to places. 

  • Size- First, let’s take into consideration the size of the Nikon D3400. It has an external dimension of 124 x 98 x 76 mm (4.88 x 3.86 x 2.99″), approximately. On the other hand, the D3500 has that of 124 x 97 x 70 mm (4.88 x 3.82 x 2.76″). There is not much difference between both models. If seen at a glance, it will appear as if both of them are of the same size. For the sake of the exact calculations, Nikon D3500 is a bit smaller.
  • Weight- The Nikon D3400 weighs about 395 g (0.87 lb / 13.93 oz), including the weight of the batteries. On the contrary, there is D3500, which weighs 365 g (0.80 lb / 12.87 oz); including the batteries. There is a difference in 30g between the two. Having a lightweight camera, will of course be a priority, as you don’t want to carry around a heavy one with you everywhere. Therefore, in this aspect, D3500 is better.
  • Weather Sealing – None of the cameras come with a weather sealing. Hence, you have to be very careful while handling them outdoors.
  • Screen- Both the cameras have a fixed screen of 3”.

2. Build & Design

The next factor to take into account is the build and design of both the models. 

  • Build- Both the models flaunt a polycarbonate build. The Nikon D3400 has a small narrow handgrip, which ensures that you can comfortably hold the camera. Whereas, the D3500 has a deeper grip which ensures more stabilization. Both models can function within the temperature range of 0°C – 40℃. This is quite a good start for a beginner’s camera. However, there is a small disadvantage. After adding any extra lens on the F mount, you might feel an increase of the weight in the camera.
  • Design- Both of the models look similar to each other. The designs are made keeping the comfort of the user in the mind. You won’t be feeling much uncomfortable while using these cameras. 

3. Lens

Both the Nikon D3400 and D3500 have the Nikon F mount, which enables you to put any lens according to your requirements. There are a total of 309 native lenses available for both models. The types of native lenses available are:

  • Standard Zoom
  • Standard Prime
  • Wideangle Zoom
  • Wideangle Prime
  • Telephoto Zoom
  • Telephoto Prime
  • SuperZoom
  • Wideangle Fisheye Prime
  • Macro Prime
  • Perspective Control Prime
  • Telephoto Mirror Prime

It is important to whether the model supports the type of lenses you might use for your photography or not. If it does suit, then you are good to go. 

Unfortunately, there isn’t any image stabilization feature in either of the models. Therefore, make sure the lenses have an Optical Stabilization feature. This will help you to take perfectly still pictures even when the subject is in motion.

4. Sensors & Processors

One of the vital features of a camera is the sensor and processor. They determine the working of the camera and the quality of the picture shot. However, there isn’t much difference between both models.

The Nikon D3400 and D3500 comes with an APS-C Sensor which successfully delivers images with a 24.2 million pixels effective resolution. They also have a processor of EXPEED 4. All this combines to give you the picture with rich detail. 

Both of the models lack the anti-alias feature. Although it ensures that your pictures have a detailed sharpness, you might experience more in the pictures. 

5. Battery Life

You do not want to have a camera that will run out of its battery while you just clicked a few pictures. Therefore, having a camera with long-lasting battery life is important. 

Both models flaunt the EN-EL14a rechargeable battery pack. However, the Nikon D3400 with a fully charged lithium-ion battery will give you a maximum of 1200 pictures before it dies. 

Whereas, the Nikon D3500 under the same circumstances, will give you a maximum of 1550 pictures. 

Both models have little to no difference between them. However, in this tough battle of Nikon D3500 vs D3400, it seems that this time, the Nikon D3500 has won; owing to its extra shots.

6. AF (Auto-Focus) System

For a beginner, auto-focus is a blessing in disguise. AF helps in clicking pictures a lot faster and in an efficient manner. It also helps in making your pictures look sharper.

In both models, you can lock the focus by pressing the shutter button halfway or by pressing the AE-L/AF-L button. Many AF modes are available for both models. There is a single point AF, dynamic-area AF, auto-area AF, and 3D tracking. 

Both the Nikon D3400 and D3500 boast the same phase-detection auto-focus system with 11 focus points and one cross-type sensor. A cross-type sensor will help in sampling the feature that has the correct orientation to activate the sensor. For a beginner, this AF system is enough.

However, D3400’s AF System under low light conditions turned out to be a bit slow. Yet, it does not disappoint while clicking low light conditions. Therefore, it was understandable that with AF assist lamps one can solve the problem of D3400.

Still, one will not face this problem while using D3500. So, it will be fair to state that the Nikon D3500 has an upper hand when it comes to the AF system. 

7. Frames Per Second (FPS)

FPS, also is known as burst shooting, is an important feature of the camera. The FPS is the number of frames your camera captures within a second. This feature determines how well a camera can capture a still image of a moving subject.

Both models provide you with 5FPS. This does not seem that bad when you look at the other within the same price range. A beginner’s camera for other companies will provide you with a maximum of 3 FPS. 

The only hindrance you will find is while shooting Raw files in bursts. For that, you will require a bit more FPS. However, if you want to capture common day scenarios, like kids and pets running around a park or some moving vehicle in slow traffic, or a JPEG you can get a good shot with a 5 FPS.

Hence, in this aspect, both of the cameras are exactly similar.

8. Viewfinder

As we have mentioned earlier, the Nikon D3400 and D3500 are almost identical to each other in most of the aspects. The statement is justified here too, as both of them have the same 3” LCD screen as the viewfinder. 

The screen has a 95% frame coverage and provides a resolution of 921k dots. The screen also provides a 170°angle. They also come with a built-in Optical viewfinder, also known as Pentamirror. This feature ensures that you can view the picture on the screen even in direct sunlight. This helps a lot if you are shooting outdoors. They both have a magnification ratio of 0.56X.

The only disadvantage that both these models face in this aspect is their fixed screen. Tilting screen has a lot of advantages as it gives a lot of mobility to the photographer for shooting at any angle he wants to. Having a fixed screen makes it difficult to have flexibility in angles.

Some might consider the fact that the screens not being touch-sensitive is an added advantage. It helps the beginners to learn without activating any feature by accidentally pressing on the screen. 

9. Video System

For cameras of the beginner level, these models have some really good video features. You can easily shoot a 30 minutes clip with Full HD Resolution. 

The Nikon D3400 will provide you with several different frame rates to select from while shooting a video; the maximum being 59.94fps. You can also go for 50fps, 29.97fps, 25fps, and 23.976fps. Videos recorded will have 1920X1080 pixels. However, if you want to shoot a long video and want to save the battery till then, you can record videos at 1280X720 pixels. There is a small disadvantage. The manual control is usually enabled during the video mode. If you are an amateur, this might be a bit difficult to handle. 

The Nikon D3500 is no different whatsoever. It has the same features mentioned for D3400. These features are enough for videographers who are just starting out. If you are a photographer but might want to experiment with videography, these features are all you need.

Both the models have light sensitivity settings of ISO100 to 25600. This will make sure that your videos are pretty clear even in low light conditions. D3400 has a built-in mono microphone and speaker. Whereas, D3500 has a built-in stereo microphone and mono speaker. This is enough for just budding videographers.

However, if you do want high-quality audio for the videos, you might have to get an external microphone. Another disadvantage that comes into play is that there is no external port for a microphone in any of the models. 

10. Areas Of Photography

Finally, we come to the last of the topics to compare the models. You can be a complete beginner to photography and yet have a specific interest. Therefore, you might want a camera which is good in that area. 

As both of the models are quite similar, there will be hardly any difference in their working in different areas. However, we shall discuss the features which are required for the following specific areas to give you a better understanding.

  • Portrait Photography- This requires a camera with a good sensor and resolution. The subject has to be in focus and the image should be rich in detail. Both models satisfy these qualifications and can be used if you are into portrait photography. The only disadvantage that you will be facing is the absence of image stabilization.
  • Street Photography- This type of photography will require a camera with a good sensor and resolution, which is present in both models. Also, the face detection focusing feature helps to click clear pictures of the subject with a blurry background. This gives a professional touch to the photograph. The only disadvantage that these cameras bear is the lack of image stabilization and the large body. For street photography, you will require a smaller camera to carry around with you all the time.
  • Sports Photography-  One of the most important features a camera must have to be able to capture any sports event is fast shutter speed. Both Nikon D3400 and D3500 have a shutter speed of 1/4000s. This is enough for a beginner’s camera. Both models also have an impressive AF system. The 11 focus points and one cross-type sensor will result in an enriched picture. However, the D3400 is not very efficient in low-light situations, which might be a drawback. The battery of D3500 is better than D3400, too. Therefore, you might want to go for D3500 for sports photography.
  • Daily Photography- For daily photography, a camera with a good sensor is enough. However, you might want a camera that is compact and lightweight. This would help you carry the camera with you at all times. Though both the cameras have a really good sensor, their size and weight might be a problem. Although they are not ‘too’ heavy.  However, carrying them around every day could be tiring.  Therefore, at a beginner’s level, these cameras are okay for daily photography. 
  • Landscape Photography- Both Nikon D3400 and D3500 have a good sensor and resolution. Also, they have a live-view that will enable them to shoot videos. There are quite good features that facilitate excellent landscape photography.

However, the cameras are devoid of weather sealing. Landscape photography requires one to capture nature in every weather possible. Therefore, you have to be extra careful while going for this area. 

FAQs on Nikon d3400 vs d3500

Q1. Is Nikon D3400 A Professional Camera?

The Nikon D3400 is an entry-level professional camera. It is best suited for beginners who are just starting in the world of photography.

Q2. Are Nikon D3500 And D3400 Waterproof?

Both models lack weather sealing. Therefore, none of them are waterproof.

Q3. Does Nikon D3500 Have Wi-Fi?

The Nikon D3500 is not compatible with the WI-Fi. You have to use the SnapBridge app or the Bluetooth to share pictures from your camera to any smart device.

Conclusion

Now we are finally going to answer the question as to between Nikon D3400 vs D3500; who will win?

Unfortunately, it is very difficult to come up with an exact answer as both of the cameras are very similar to each other. The D3500 was released after the D3400, but it was hardly changed. The only factor on which we can base this whole conclusion is battery life. The D3500 has a better battery life than the D3400.

Therefore, if you want a camera at entry-level with a good battery you can go for D3500. Even if you go for the D3400, there won’t be much that you will be missing out.