• APS-C 368.2mm2
  • 16.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • APS-C 366.6mm2
  • 24.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 25,600

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Differences

Nikon D5100 advantages over Nikon D3500

  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Tilt-swivel vs none
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 4.79 vs 3.92 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • External Mic Jack
    Jack vs No jack
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Has anti-aliasing filter
    Filter vs No Filter
    Reduces unsightly moiré in photos

Nikon D3500 advantages over Nikon D5100

  • Less expensive
    $397 vs $499*
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Yes vs No
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 1550 vs 660 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Newer
    14 months vs 9 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • Lighter weight
    615g vs 829g
    Lighter weight
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.57x vs 0.52x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • More pixels
    24.2 vs 16.2 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Shoots 60p video
    Yes vs No
    A faster framerate can give you more editing options
  • Lacks anti-aliasing filter
    No Filter vs Filter
    Enjoy sharper photos
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    5.1 fps vs 3.9 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    5.1 fps vs 4.0 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in burst mode

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Focus peaking
    Neither provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Neither provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Neither provide
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • NFC
    Neither provide
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Top deck display
    Neither provide
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Neither provide
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • Dual card slots
    Neither provide
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

User reviews

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Your purchases support this site

Buy the Nikon D3500

Review Excerpt

  • Side-mounted tilt / swivel LCD screen; same sensor and processing as the Nikon D7000; good speed and battery life; in-camera HDR and filter effects; Full HD video capture with aperture control; audio levels control and external microphone jack.

  • AF-S lens mount doesn't offer autofocus with screw-drive lenses; popup flash isn't the greatest; no built-in wireless flash control; HDR function doesn't microalign source images.

  • Great image quality for its class; Excellent high ISO performance for APS-C; Fast single-shot AF speeds; Compact, easy to use design; Incredible value at under $500 with lens.

  • 11-point AF system feels out-dated; Underwhelming C-AF performance; Below average viewfinder coverage accuracy; No touchscreen; Limited wireless features.

The Competition

Compared to Nikon D3100

Nikon D5100
Nikon D3100
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $700
  • APS-C
Nikon D3500
Nikon D3100
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $700
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • Has anti-aliasing filter

Compared to Sony A35

Nikon D5100
Sony A35
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $567
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • In-camera panoramas
Nikon D3500
Sony A35
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Fast startup
  • $567
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Sony A57

Nikon D5100
Sony A57
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
Nikon D3500
Sony A57
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • $800
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization

Compared to Canon SL2

Nikon D5100
Canon SL2
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels
  • $449
  • APS-C
  • Touchscreen
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
Nikon D3500
Canon SL2
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Larger sensor
  • $449
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen

Compared to Canon SL3

Nikon D5100
Canon SL3
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Larger sensor
  • Less expensive
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Shoot 4K video
  • Touchscreen
Nikon D3500
Canon SL3
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Larger sensor
  • $549
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Shoot 4K video
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