Nikon D3500 vs D5600

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If you have been searching the internet for buying a camera, there is no doubt that you might be hooked by Nikon. They manufacture quite versatile designs, and also they have products that will suit all your demands. However, you must have observed that Nikon D3500 and D5600 are the top models. 

This might have started a war inside your head Nikon D3500 vs D5600; which one will win? Well, let’s find out in our comparison below.

nikon d3500 vs d5600

Parameters for Comparison

There are specific parameters with which you have to measure which camera is better. They are as follows:

  • Physical Features
  • Build & Design
  • The lens of the camera
  • Sensors and Processors
  • Battery Life
  • AF System
  • FPS (Frames Per Second)
  • Viewfinder
  • Video System
  • Area of photography

Before we start delving into the comparison, keep in mind that both these models are very closely related. So, their difference wouldn’t be that big.

Which Is The Best?

Without beating around the bush much, let’s get straight to the topic!

1. Physical Features

Under this point, we will first take into consideration the physical appearance. While buying a camera you have to keep in mind that the size and weight of the camera is an important factor. Usually, people opt for a smaller size in the camera which is easier to handle. You do not want a very heavy camera too. The lighter, the better.

  • Size – Nikon D3500 has an external dimension of 124 x 97 x 70 mm (4.88 x 3.82 x 2.76″), and the Nikon D5600 also has the same dimensions. Therefore, it’s a draw in the size area.
  • Weight – The Nikon D3500 weighs approximately 365 g (0.80 lb / 12.87 oz) whereas the D5600 weighs 465 g (1.03 lb / 16.40 oz). The weights have been taken including the batteries. In this aspect, you can see that the D5600 weighs 100g more than the former. This puts the D5600 at a disadvantage. 
  • Weather Protection – If you are a photographer, you would want to shoot outdoors. Hence, your camera must have some sort of weather protection or sealing. Unfortunately, this isn’t available for neither D3500 nor D5600.

Screen – Nikon D3500 has an LCD Screen measuring up to 3” whereas the D5600 has that of 3.2”. Adding to this advantage, the D5600 has a fully articulated screen. This screen helps the photographer to take the picture from any angle or position. For this feature, you can shoot pictures from the waist or even the head level. 

In this aspect, the D5600 has the advantage.

2. Build & Design

  • Design – Let’s consider the design of both the cameras first. Both of the models don’t give much of a premium feel as the DSLRs in the ones higher up in the DX-format range. The button placement on both models is quite spacious and uncluttered. Therefore, design-wise, both of them rank the same.
  • Build – Nikon D3500 is made with polycarbonate construction; on the other hand, the D5600 is made with carbon fiber composite construction. This gives the latter a “monocoque” type of build. However, both of the models fit well in the hands of the user, and the button layout assists in a relatively smooth operation. 

On the downside, when you fit longer lenses in front of the camera, you might feel it is quite heavy. However, the lightweight is a positive side to the models to ensure easy portability.

Both models can function quite properly within the temperature range of 0°- 40℃, which is enough for a beginner. Also, the price is relatively standard.

3. Lens

While buying a camera, one of the things you need to find out is how many lenses are available. Both D3500 and D5600 have 309 native lenses available. There are various types of lenses, which are suited for different types of photography, like:

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

You can buy any of these lenses as per your requirement. Both models have the same Nikon F mount for inserting the lens.

However, before buying for the lens, make sure that there is an Optical Stabilization Feature. This would help in detecting image stabilization and you can click pictures, even if they are in motion. In this aspect, both of them are at a draw.

4. Sensors & Processors

This is an important part of the camera. You want a camera that has a better sensor and a faster processor. Maybe you will be choosing your winner in Nikon D5600 v/s D3500 based on this. Yet, you cannot, as both of them are very identical in this respect.

Both D3500 and D6500 have 24.78 megapixels APS-C 23.5×15.6mm CMOS sensor and a processor of EXPEED 4. This will ensure that the images captured by the camera are quite rich in detail. They have light sensitivity settings that run from ISO100 to 25600.

However, both of the models are devoid of the anti-alias feature. If the anti-alias feature is there, it allows you to click pictures with more sharpness and level of detail. Yet, if it isn’t there, in certain cases you might notice the moire. 

5. Battery Life

Whatever camera you choose, you have to make sure that it has a long battery life.

The Nikon D3500 has up to 1550 frames per charge of its lithium-ion EN-EL14a battery. Whereas, on the other hand, D5600 gives up to 820 frames per charge on the same lithium-ion battery. 

Till now, this is the only aspect where D3500 stands at an advantage. Nikon has managed to give the D3500 30% more power than D5600 despite having the same processor. With D3500, a fully charged battery will provide you a minimum of 1,550 images.

6. Auto Focus(AF) System 

Auto-focus tries to ensure that the subject of the photograph is sharpened. This is another feature that you have to look out for. Auto-focus helps a lot if you are a beginner.

In Nikon D3500, we have a Multi-CAM 1000 auto-focus sensor module with TTL phase detection and 11 focus points, including one cross-type sensor. And the D5600 has a Multi-CAM 4800DX autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection and 39 focus points.

The first thing we need to know is about the cross-type sensor. A cross-type sensor is where a horizontal line sensor and a vertical line sensor are at the same AF point. In simple terms, in a cross-type sensor, the AF point will be able to detect lines in both orientations. Therefore, it will be sampling the feature that has the correct orientation to activate the sensor. 

The D3500 has this feature, which you will be expected to find in any DSLRs for beginners. However, this model has the added advantage of the points being arranged in a diamond pattern. This will help with accuracy. 

You focus on a subject by pressing the shutter button halfway or the AE-L/AF-L button. In D3500, with the help of the 11 focus points, you get a lot of choices for the AF modes. There are single-point AF, dynamic-area AF, auto-area AF, and 3D Tracking.

However, this is where the D5600 steals the thunder. It has an AF system of 39 focus points, out of which there are 9 cross-type sensors. You can easily change the focus points from 39 to 11, according to your requirements.

The D5600’s AF system is very advanced and quite helpful for the beginners. It is very quick to respond in the daylight and focuses on the subject. Hence, the image quality comes out with a razor-like sharpness. However, in dim-light, it might take time to focus. You can compensate for that with a wide aperture lens.  

In conclusion, to the AF System, the D5600 proves to be a better and efficient option.

7. Frames Per Second (FPS)

When people talk about FPS or Frames Per Second, they are usually referring to the number of frames a camera captures with a second. The more the FPS, the better motion picture can be captured by that camera.

Both D3500 and D5600 have up to 5 FPS. This is quite advantageous. Usually, with other cameras of the same price range, you will get far lesser FPS. However, if you do feel that you need a camera with more FPS, you might have to reconsider your budget.

With 5 FPS, you can capture pictures of kids and pets running around in a park, vehicles moving in light traffic, etc. If you try to go for the Raw files in Burst mode, that might cause a problem. However, a JPEG image won’t be a hassle to capture.

Therefore, we can declare that it is a draw under the FPS System.

8. Viewfinder

The viewfinder or the LCD screen on the back of the camera helps you to view the picture before and after clicking. 

The Nikon D3500 has an eye-level pentamirror single-lens reflex viewfinder offering 0.85x magnification and 95% frame coverage, and it also has a 3-inch LCD with 921K dot resolution. Whereas, the Nikon D5600 has an eye-level pentamirror single-lens reflex viewfinder offering 0.82x magnification and 95% frame coverage; also a tilting 3.2-inch touch screen LCD with 1037K dot resolution.

The D3500 has a better magnification than that of the D5600. But the resolution of D5600 and the screen is far better and bigger than D3500. 

It is not necessary to believe that a bigger screen is better, however, the touch screen feature of the D5600 has an added advantage here. You can easily zoom and change the focus through the touch screen of the camera. This will be very useful for those who are shifting from mobile photography to camera.

The screen on the D3500 provides 100% frame coverage with a 170° angle. However, the D5600 not only has these features but also has a tilting screen. This will help you in clicking pictures from any angle while watching the screen. 

In conclusion, it is quite safe to say that the D5600 comes with better features in this area.

9. Video System

Both these cameras are for just the beginners, hence they do not have an advanced video system. Therefore, both the models have a Full HD 1920×1080 pixels at up to 59.94fps.

These models were primarily built for beginners in photography. If you want something that has some advanced features in videography, you have to increase the budget.

Once you switch the camera to the Live View Mode, you can shoot Full HD videos. Indeed, you might not get a 4K resolution. The maximum frame rate for both models is 59.94 fps, which is pretty good for beginners. The light sensitivity settings can be set from ISO100 to 25600. 

D5600 has an advantage. This Nikon model has a built-in unit for a microphone. If you want to try out videography along with photography, this model will help you a lot.

Therefore, in this aspect too, the Nikon D5600 proves to be better. 

10. Area Of Photography

Photography is a wide niche, with a lot of varieties in it. You can be a professional in one area and a beginner in another. Therefore, you might be searching for a camera that suits your comfort zone and helps you grow in your area.

In this aspect, we will find which model is better suited for which area of photography.

  • Portrait Photography – For clicking portraits, you will require a camera that comes with a high resolution for enhancing the picture. A good sensor, so that you can make the background blurry. You will find these points in both of the models. However, the absence of image stabilization takes a few points away from them.
  • Street Photography – For this, you will require a camera with good sensors and resolution. These features are already available in the models. Both of them also offer a live-view and face-detection feature, which gives a good advantage.

However, the D5600 is better suited for street photography for its fully-articulated LCD screen. The screen’s touch feature helps the user to click the pictures quite fast and efficiently, as is required in street photography.

  • Sports Photography- A good build with a fast processor is one of the most necessary features in sports photography. Both D3500 and D5600 have got a draw in those categories. However, with long battery life, you might consider D3500 as a better choice.

But wait, the D5600 provides you with 39 focus points and 9 cross-type sensors. This gives an upper hand to D5600, finally. 

  • Landscape Photography – For clicking good landscapes, you will surely require a camera with a good resolution and sensor. Which again brings us back to these models. They both fulfill these criteria and also an advantage. 

The Live-View feature will help you to even record amazing videos of the whole scenery. However, if you are going for a landscape photography session, you might want to have a camera with environmental sealing, which lacks in both of the models.

Therefore, in this, they both come to a draw.

  • Daily Photography – In daily photography, you do not require much-advanced criteria or features. All you need is a good focus, sensors, and resolution, all of which are present in both D3500 and D5600. 

Although, for daily photography, you might want to take the camera with you outdoors. The D3500 here gives you an added advantage of its light-weight.

FAQs on Nikon d3500 vs d5600 

Q1. Is Nikon D3500 Good For Night Photography?

Nikon D3500 has a good resolution, so it might not be a problem for a beginner. With the right type of lens, you might be able to get great pictures.

Q2. Is Nikon D5600 A Professional Camera?

The Nikon D5600 has quite impressive features and settings, which gives out really good pictures. For a beginner’s level and a tight budget, it is a good professional camera.

Q3. Is Nikon D3500 Waterproof?

Unfortunately, the Nikon D3500 is not weather-sealed nor waterproof. Therefore, you might have to be very careful in damp weather conditions or near water bodies.

Q4. Does Nikon D3500 And D5600 Have Wi-Fi?

The Nikon D3500 does not have wi-fi capability. However, you can use the SnapBridge app and Bluetooth to transfer your pictures.

The Nikon D5600 can connect to the Wi-fi easily. You can transfer images, videos, clips from your camera to your preferred device, by connecting both to a wi-fi network.

Q5. Is Nikon D5600 Good In Low Light?

The Nikon D5600 has a light sensitivity settings ranging from ISO100 to 25600. This is quite good for shooting in low light. You can easily shoot your pictures or videos in the low light without worrying about the quality.

Q6. Is Nikon D3500 Worth Buying?

If you are a complete beginner and have a tight budget, you can go for the Nikon D3500. It is a pretty good camera if you consider the price it has.


Finally, we have to come up with a winner in the war of Nikon D3500 vs D5600. You can differ from these opinions and choose what best suits your requirements.

If you are a beginner and want to get started on photography, the best decision is to start with Nikon D3500. The sensor and resolution are the same for both of the models, so the quality of the pictures wouldn’t be a lot different. The long battery life will give you a long time to practice and make yourself comfortable with clicking pictures. After you have upgraded yourself and increased your budget, you can go for something more professional.

However, if you already have a good experience with a camera and want to get a camera, which will help you get creative; Nikon D5600 is your answer. Though you have to compromise on the battery life, you are getting a lot in return. The AF system is far more impressive than the D3500, and also the articulated LCD screen will give you an added advantage. The D5600 is also a better option if you want to lean towards videography.

In conclusion, overall, D5600 is a clear win.



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Marco Downs

Marco Downs

Marco Downs is our second founder and he is the creative head of this website. Marco stumbled upon photography only in college when he joined the photography club. His parents could never afford a camera for him as a child and it was in college that he saved up and bought his first camera. He now writes in-depth buyer guides and informational articles to assist the buyers. 
Marco Downs

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