Nikon D3400 vs. D3500 – Which One is Superior, and Why?

Nikon is a leading digital camera manufacturer with state-of-the-art technology. The company launched the Nikon D3400 and D3500, respectively, in August 2016 and August 2018. Both cameras are entry-level DSLRs (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) and have a fair share of similarities and differences.

In this article, we will provide a detailed comparison of the Nikon D3400 vs. Nikon D3500. The two camera models have epic features, exceptional image quality, and inner workings. However, there are some notable upgrades in the D3500 that make it our top choice.

Hence, we’ll take a look at the two cameras and compare them side-by-side. By the end of this review, you will be able to make an informed decision on which camera to pick.

Our PicK
Why Nikon D3500?

Why Nikon D3500?

Despite a multitude of similarities, we prefer the Nikon D3500 over its older sibling. Its extended battery life, more ergonomic grip, and lightweight design make it a perfect choice for someone looking for a camera upgradethe ultimate winner of the battle!

An Overview of the Nikon D3400 and D3500

The Nikon D3400 and the Nikon D3500 are both entry-level DSLRs that belong to Nikon’s D3000 series of digital cameras. The two cameras have an array of impeccable features that are ideal for photography lovers.

Nikon D3400 and D3500

Entry-level Cameras

These models are entry-level cameras, making them a perfect choice for beginners and first-time DSLR owners. Due to the improved image quality, you may consider replacing your point-and-shoot camera with these models.

Video Format

Both the Nikon D3400 and the Nikon D3500 provide full high definition 1920×1080 pixels up to 60 fps. The HD video quality is fantastic for capturing your family, travel, candid, and special moments.

Image Enhancement

Nikon also offers several innovative features that are valuable for boosting image quality. You can utilize these creative controls to give your pictures a clean, sharp-looking feel. There are also some additional fantastic effects, such as toy camera effects and illustrations.

Autofocus and Continuous Shooting

The autofocus and continuous shooting features come in handy while working with impatient subjects, such as pets or little kids. Moreover, both cameras have a top-quality advanced photo system type-APS C sensor.


The advantage of the Nikon f-mount lenses on the APS-C sensor over the full-frame is their extensive coverage of scenes. With an ISO range, you can adjust the light for the ideal exposure. It also enables you to do magical portrait photography in low-light places, indoors, and at night.

Above all, both are entry-level DSLR cameras with large sensors marketed towards the general audience. So, you won’t find any complicated technicalities as Nikon’s main focus is ease of use. Therefore, a common person can learn to navigate it within a week. Nikon also comes with an onboard guide feature which is helpful for new DSLR owners.

What is New in the Nikon D3500?

Looking at the online pictures won’t make you see considerable differences, especially in their design elements. However, Nikon has outdone itself and revealed a junior model better than its older sibling in terms of ergonomics, size, and battery life.

Nikon D3500

Better Battery Life

The feature that made us choose Nikon D3500 over Nikon D3400 is its improved battery life. You can take 1550 shots per day with a single battery charge, which is 350 shots more than its predecessor.

Button Placement

Next, Nikon has worked upon button positioning. In the latest model, all of the buttons have been moved toward the right. This new setting makes it easier to navigate and easily accessible. Instead of a Live View Button, there is a Live View Switch. Plus, they relocated the info button from the top to the back.

Weight and Size

This new model is also compact and lightweight. It weighs 415 g with the batteries and memory card, but no body cap. The slim size makes it convenient to carry on trips, parties, and hiking. Furthermore, Nikon has introduced a deeper grip for comfortable balance in this entry-level camera, Nikon D3500. It makes holding the camera in your hands super easy, especially for photography rookies.

Nikon D3500’s Improved Features

  • Extended battery
  • It weighs 365 g without batteries, memory card, or body cap
  • Built-in Bluetooth connectivity system enables image transfer via Nikon’s SnapBridge app
  • Guide mode handle to assist newbies
  • It is 30 g lighter than its predecessor

Similarities Between Nikon D3400 vs D3500

If you are a smartphone or compact camera user, opting for one of these two models is perfect. Both DSLR cameras feature plenty of similarities. With supreme quality Nikon f lens mount, both are equipped with an APS-C sensor and offer 24 megapixels resolution. These high-resolution cameras are great for sports photography and street photography, especially in low-light conditions.

However, both the cameras lack image stabilization which means you’ll have to get a separate lens for the optical stabilization feature.

Common Features – Nikon D3400 vs. D3500

  • Autofocus system: Max 11 focus points
  • Digital single-lens reflex (DSLR)
  • High-quality APS-C sensor
  • Resolution: 24 megapixels
  • Large sensor
  • ISO range: ISO 100-25,600
  • 3-inch LCD screen, 921k dots (fixed screen)
  • The image format is DX sensor, that is referred to as APS-C sensor by Nikon Corporation
  • Video format supports HD 1920×1080 at frame rates above 60 frames per second
  • Both cameras support the Bluetooth connectivity system
  • RAW support
  • Face detection focus
  • One cross-type sensor
  • Nikon F lens mount
  • Built-in flash
  • UHS card support
  • USB2
  • Smartphone remote control
  • Five fps continuous shooting
  • Both receive SDHC and SDXC memory cards
  • For anti-aliasing filters, both models lack an optical low pass filter
  • No environmental sealing

Comparison of Nikon D3400 vs. D3500

Let’s zoom in on the individual features of the Nikon D3400 and D3500 to see which advancements Nikon has incorporated in their latest model. Hopefully, you’ll see why we prefer the Nikon D3500 over the Nikon D3400 model. Also, you’ll find out which option is better suited to you.

Nikon D3400 vs. D3500

Sensor & Image Quality

Unlike the mirrorless camera, Nikon D3400 and D3500 both support APS-C sensors and lack an anti-aliasing filter or low-pass filters. An anti-aliasing filter decreases visual imperfections while showcasing high-resolution pictures on a lower resolution system.

Sometimes, an absence of an anti-alias filter enhances the sharpness factor. However, it may also create a moire pattern – a photography term that represents the occurrence of a third mismatched pattern in an image of two coherent patterns.

Moreover, both models feature a 24-megapixel high-resolution sensor, which is commendable. There was a time when 24-megapixel sensors were considered pioneers’ top preference. This resolution is pretty much capable of capturing and producing stunning quality images. You get picture controls with each of these models. Namely, Super Vivid, Illustration, and Toy Camera.

Image Quality Nikon D3500

The old model Nikon D3400 features a 24.2 MP sensor, whereas the Nikon D3500 features a newly created 24.78 MP sensor. An upgrade indeed! This could be a deciding factor in this war of Nikon D3500 vs. D3400.

Another metric for judging the quality of a sensor is to check the permitted ISO range. You can get decent-quality images from the Nikon D3500 at low ISO that is impossible to get with a mirrorless camera. Also, an extensive ISO range of 100-25,600 is not bad.

Victor – Nikon D3500

The winner of the image sensor comparison has to be the Nikon D3500 due to its upgraded 24.78-megapixel high-resolution sensor.

Size & Weight

The size and weight of a camera hold significance for anyone. Especially for those who travel a lot or like to carry their cameras everywhere to capture everything. Nikon D3400 and D3500 have a 30 g body weight difference.

Nikon D3400 is slightly heavier, weighing 445 g with memory card and battery, or 395 g with body only. Not only is the D3500 slightly slimmer in size it’s also lighter. This new model is 415 g with battery and memory card included or 365g without batteries. The external dimensions of the Nikon D3400 are 124 x 98 x 75.5 mm. Meanwhile, the dimensions of D500 are 124 x 97 x 69.5 mm. Again, not very noticeable but a potential deal-breaker for some.

In terms of height, these two cameras are the same in this department. But the Nikon D3500 is 6 mm thinner than the D3400.

Slightly lighter and compact DSLR bodies could cause problems. For instance, the installation of longer lenses can cause unevenness or imbalance. However, the advantage of carrying it with ease and comfort outweighs this concern.

Victor – Nikon D3500

The Nikon D3500 is a winner as it’s slightly lighter than the D3400. Take the Nikon D3500 wherever you go because of its compact size and slim body. The small size makes it much easier to carry with you wherever you go.

Layout, Design & Build

Ergonomics plays a vital role in the success of a camera. Most of the time, veteran photographers don’t pay much heed to entry-level cameras. They say they’re too small for professional use. So this time, Nikon really said, say no more!

With the Nikon D3500, you’ll notice a substantial grip. This feature has proven to be a real plus for D3500 over its older sibling. In addition to ensuring a comfortable grip, it is helpful with fitting bulkier lenses, such as macro or telephoto. Most importantly, a deeper and bigger grip makes the process of handling and balancing pretty convenient. The camera feels easy in your hands.

Remember we stated earlier that slim designs become a problem for the installation of heavier lenses? Yes, it is a solution for that.

Layout, Design & Build Nikon D3500

This new model employs design and material, which gives the feel of a stylish and professional DSLR camera. The material is sturdy and glossy, which is aesthetically pleasing. Nikon has also revamped the rear plate in their new model.

The company has also made several changes with the button positioning. The Nikon  D3500’s buttons have been transferred to the right-hand and around the top side of the display. The Live View button is around the mode dial in the D3500 and located at the rear of the Nikon D3400. Nikon changed this button to a switch instead, in the newer model, for easier scrolling.

Besides the built-in flash feature, there is another flash button change. It is located on the back of the Nikon D3500. With the Nikon D3400, it is on the front side. These minute changes are easily adaptable for people who are planning to go from Nikon D3400 to D3500.

Victor – Nikon D3500

The larger grip of the Nikon D3500 makes it easier to hold than its older sibling. The seamlessly small button changes ensure a user-friendly and intuitive experience.

Battery Life

One thing that makes the Nikon D3400 stand out from the crowd is its impressive battery life. From a single charge, it enables approximately 1200 shots. What is even better is that Nikon has been able to challenge its own record. It has increased it to 1550 shots on a single full charge, despite featuring the same EN-EL14a battery. It is what makes Nikon 3500 our top pick but also a considerable threat to its competitors.

The extended battery life is commendable for a consumer digital camera at its price point. Featuring the same battery and accepting a 32 GB SD card, this camera has planned it all to give you a stress-free photography experience.

If you are someone who performs the role of personal photographer at family or friends’ gatherings, the Nikon D3500 can comfortably accompany you. Now, you no longer have to worry about how many pictures you can shoot today. As long as your camera is fully charged, you are all set.

Victor – Nikon D3500

We’re sure you’ll agree that the extended battery life is the most crucial feature of the Nikon D3500 that gives it an edge over the Nikon D3400. You won’t have to worry about recharging your camera as you can keep capturing pics or filming all day on a single charge.

Remote Shooting Through Bluetooth

These two cameras support Bluetooth connectivity. However, a primary difference is that the Nikon D3500 offers remote continuous shooting through Bluetooth.

There is no WiFi feature on board for now. However, we are glad to share pictures from this digital camera with our smartphones through its app, SnapBridge. It is available for Android and iOS users. This feature makes it pretty convenient to share pictures with your friends and family directly. It also enhances connectivity between the camera and the compatible device.

Moreover, in an era where managing and keeping all your images and graphic content on a single medium is a hassle, Nikon SnapBridge App is a savior. Users can access this space as a free online image sorting, sharing, and storage platform. It solves the issue of managing your pictures as you can save all your visual content in one place and access it whenever you want.

Victor – Nikon D3500

In the Nikon D3500 vs. D3400 battle, the Nikon D3500 beats its predecessor in this department too. All credits go to remote continuous shooting and real-time sharing features. Although the WiFi feature is missing, this is still an enormous upgrade.

Video & Audio

These entry-level DSLR cameras allow full high-definition video clips. The thing is that you can’t film a whole concert over it since the limit is less than 30 minutes. Thus, it goes without saying that it is a highly affordable entry-level digital camera, understandably so. There is no luxury of a 4K video option as well.

If you are a Nikon D3400 user, you must know that there is a range of selectable frame rates. You can choose any of them while filming high-definition 1920×1080 pixel videos. The maximum achievable frame rate is 59.94 frames per second. The other options are 25 fps, 29.94 fps, 50 fps, and 23.976 fps.

There is the same range of selectable frame rates for the Nikon D3500 too. Despite the lack of glorious 4K resolution, several beginner videographers are still pretty satisfied with the results. The reason is the epic videos and sharper image quality.

You can’t expect broadcast-level audio from a video made from either the Nikon D3500 or Nikon D3400. As you’d need a connecting external high-end microphone. We may not get plenty of advanced options with beginner-friendly cameras as the audio is recorded through the built-in microphone. Broadcast-quality audio is only achievable through a supreme-quality microphone. Unfortunately, neither the Nikon D3400 nor D3500 feature an external microphone port.

Victor – Neither

In this department, we cannot decide a winner in the Nikon D3500 vs. D3400 battle. Both models lack higher-end features such as an external microphone port. However, the selectable frames per second options are similar, so it’s a tie.

Optical Viewfinder & LCD

Both the Nikon D3500 and older Nikon D3400 have a common 3-inch LCD screen with 921k dot resolution. It offers a 170° viewing angle and 100% frame coverage. Thankfully, you can adjust the brightness settings yourself.

The screen is a fixed screen type. It means there is no touch or articulating screen. You can see that it is a non-tilting and non-angle adjustable screen. Like the majority of users, we would prefer a movable screen.

Optical Viewfinder & LCD

After all, a fixed type screen optical can’t provide the same amount of flexibility and creative composition as an articulating screen or a touch-sensitive screen can. Maybe Nikon Corporation decides to bring this advancement in the future, but currently, there is nothing of this sort.


Again, a tie situation.

Continuous Shooting

The maximum video frame rate and capture speed of both camera models remain the same. It is five frames per second. Although it is not groundbreaking, it is better than three fps associated with other camera brands.

On the other hand, there is an extensive number of brands that offer much better frame rates. You can opt for them if you are not economically conscious and have the actual skill to handle an advanced camera.

With the Nikon D3400 and D3500, you get a performance suitable for casual photoshoots, mainly JPEG images. There are very many chances that your camera may face challenges while capturing RAW files in bursts.

Victor – Nikon D3500 and 3400

Both cameras offer five frames per second. So, in this category of Nikon D3500 vs. D3400, both are winners.

Nikon D3400 VS D3500 – Final Verdict

After going through the similarities, comparison chart, and a thorough study of the key features of these two cameras, you’ll notice there aren’t many differences. We justified which camera was the frontrunner for each specific feature. According to user reviews, most Nikon D3500 owners agree that the extended battery life of the Nikon D3500 is the ultimate perk.

Power performance, size, and design aside, the built-in microphone, high definition video capture, interchangeable lenses, APS- C sensor, and fixed 3″ LCD screen are the same on both DSLR cameras.

With minor design and weight changes in the Nikon D3500 model. Their fast shutter speed makes them both good companions for sports photography.

However, they are not that significant for the common eye. Another substantial reason to go for the Nikon D3500 is it is the latest release. And you should always find room for growth and advancement. So — the ultimate winner between these two cameras is the advanced, better, and improved Nikon D3500.

Our PicK
Why Nikon D3500?

Why Nikon D3500?

Despite a multitude of similarities, we prefer the Nikon D3500 over its older sibling. Its extended battery life, more ergonomic grip, and lightweight design make it a perfect choice for someone looking for a camera upgradethe ultimate winner of the battle!

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