• APS-C 366.6mm2
  • 24.3 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 25,600
  • APS-C 366.6mm2
  • 24.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 25,600

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Differences

Sony A5100 advantages over Nikon D3500

  • Focus peaking
    Peaker vs Non-peaker
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Touchscreen
    Touch vs No touch
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • In-camera panoramas
    Yes vs No
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Tiltable Screen
    Tiltable vs Fixed
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Wi-Fi vs None
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • NFC
    Yes vs No
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Yes vs No
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Thinner
    35 mm vs 69 mm
    Thinner
  • Lighter weight
    399g vs 615g
    Lighter weight
  • Has anti-aliasing filter
    Filter vs No Filter
    Reduces unsightly moiré in photos
  • Wider angle kit lens
    24 mm vs 27 mm
    Capture more of the scene with the included lens
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    6.0 fps vs 5.1 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    6.0 fps vs 5.1 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in burst mode
  • Bigger RAW buffer
    25 vs 13 shots
    Larger buffer for RAW shots (burst mode)

Nikon D3500 advantages over Sony A5100

  • Lens selection
    Excellent vs Good
    Better lens selection gives you more options
  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Eye-level vs Rear display only
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Fast startup
    ~0.40 vs 2.0 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 400 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Newer
    14 months vs 5 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • Higher-res screen
    307k vs 230k pixels
    More detail on the screen lets you judge focus and composition
  • Hot shoe
    Hot shoe vs None
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Lacks anti-aliasing filter
    No Filter vs Filter
    Enjoy sharper photos

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • HDMI out
    Both provide
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video
  • 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
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Neither provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • 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

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Your purchases support this site

Buy the Sony A5100

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Nikon D3500

Review Excerpt

  • Very small and comfortable form factor; Very good image quality for its class; New dual video record function; Quick autofocus and good dynamic range.

  • Lacks an EVF and external mode dial; No hot shoe; JPEG processing at higher ISOs not as good as some competing mid-level models.

  • 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 Samsung NX1100

Sony A5100
Samsung NX1100
  • $348
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
  • $450
  • APS-C
  • Higher-res screen
  • Hot shoe
Nikon D3500
Samsung NX1100
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • $450
  • APS-C
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Thinner

Compared to Sony A5000

Sony A5100
Sony A5000
  • $348
  • APS-C
  • Touchscreen
  • Higher effective ISO
  • $298
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
Nikon D3500
Sony A5000
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • $298
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Focus peaking

Compared to Canon EOS M3

Sony A5100
Canon EOS M3
  • $348
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Larger sensor
  • $429
  • APS-C
  • More telephoto lens reach
  • External Mic Jack
Nikon D3500
Canon EOS M3
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Larger sensor
  • $429
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Touchscreen

Compared to Canon SL2

Sony A5100
Canon SL2
  • $348
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $449
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Tilt-swivel screen
Nikon D3500
Canon SL2
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Larger sensor
  • $449
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen

Compared to Canon SL3

Sony A5100
Canon SL3
  • $348
  • APS-C
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Lens selection
Nikon D3500
Canon SL3
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Larger sensor
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Shoot 4K video
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