• APS-C 369.7mm2
  • 16.3 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 12,800
  • APS-C 366.6mm2
  • 24.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 25,600

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Differences

Pentax K-30 advantages over Nikon D3500

  • Focus peaking
    Peaker vs Non-peaker
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Yes vs No
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 4.81 vs 3.92 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • More telephoto lens reach
    203 mm vs 83 mm
    Capture objects farther away with the kit lens
  • More cross-type AF points
    9 vs 1
    Cross-type AF points improve autofocus performance
  • Pentaprism viewfinder
    Pentaprism vs Pentamirror
    Much better viewfinder picture fidelity
  • Has anti-aliasing filter
    Filter vs No Filter
    Reduces unsightly moiré in photos
  • Faster shutter
    1/6000 vs 1/4000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light

Nikon D3500 advantages over Pentax K-30

  • Less expensive
    $397 vs $599*
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Fast startup
    ~0.40 vs 1.1 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Yes vs No
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 1550 vs 410 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Newer
    14 months vs 7 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • HDMI out
    HDMI out vs None
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video
  • Lighter weight
    615g vs 1088g
    Lighter weight
  • More pixels
    24.2 vs 16.3 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Lacks anti-aliasing filter
    No Filter vs Filter
    Enjoy sharper photos
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    100 vs 45 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (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
  • Hot shoe
    Both provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Bulb shutter
    Both provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures

Common Weaknesses

  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Tiltable Screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • 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
  • External Mic Jack
    Neither provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • 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

Buy From

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Nikon D3500

Review Excerpt

  • Pentaprism viewfinder is bright and accurate; Weather-sealed body can handle direct rain; Twin control dials make exposure control a snap; Solid build; Great image quality.

  • Lower resolution than some rivals; Not as small as recent Pentax entry-level and mid-range models; A couple of ergonomic and UI quirks; Shutter isn't the quietest; 18-55 kit lens isn't weather-sealed.

  • 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 D7000

Pentax K-30
Nikon D7000
  • $599
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Longer stills battery life
Nikon D3500
Nikon D7000
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Bigger pixels
  • More telephoto lens reach

Compared to Canon T4i

Pentax K-30
Canon T4i
  • $599
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen
Nikon D3500
Canon T4i
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Larger sensor
  • $699
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen

Compared to Pentax K-5 II

Pentax K-30
Pentax K-5 II
  • $599
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking
  • $750
  • APS-C
  • Fast startup
  • Longer stills battery life
Nikon D3500
Pentax K-5 II
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup
  • $750
  • APS-C
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Canon SL2

Pentax K-30
Canon SL2
  • $599
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $449
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen
Nikon D3500
Canon SL2
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Larger sensor
  • $449
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen

Compared to Canon SL3

Pentax K-30
Canon SL3
  • $599
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Shoot 4K video
Nikon D3500
Canon SL3
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Larger sensor
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Shoot 4K video
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