• 35mm 847.3mm2
  • 24.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 51,200
  • APS-C 366.6mm2
  • 24.2 megapixels
  • ISO 100 - 25,600

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Differences

Sony A9 advantages over Nikon D3500

  • Focus peaking
    Peaker vs Non-peaker
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Larger sensor
    35mm vs APS-C
    More sensor area. Bigger is (generally) better.
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Yes vs No
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 5.93 vs 3.92 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Shoot 4K video
    4K (UHD) vs 1080p
    Make sure you have a fast computer
  • Touchscreen
    Touch vs No touch
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • 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
  • Longer video battery life
    105 vs 75 minutes
    Capture more video
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Yes vs No
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • External Mic Jack
    Jack vs No jack
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • More viewfinder magnification
    0.78x vs 0.57x
    Get a bigger view of the scene through the eye-level viewfinder
  • Dual card slots
    Yes vs No
    Gives you more storage flexibility
  • Headphone jack
    Yes vs No
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Has anti-aliasing filter
    Filter vs No Filter
    Reduces unsightly moiré in photos
  • Faster JPEG shooting
    20.0 fps vs 5.1 fps
    Faster JPEG shooting (burst mode)
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    364 vs 100 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)
  • Faster RAW shooting
    20.0 fps vs 5.1 fps
    Faster RAW shooting in burst mode
  • Bigger RAW buffer
    240 vs 13 shots
    Larger buffer for RAW shots (burst mode)
  • Slow-motion videos
    Yes vs No
    Shoot slow-motion videos
  • Faster shutter
    1/32000 vs 1/4000 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light
  • Higher extended ISO
    204800 vs 25600 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Nikon D3500 advantages over Sony A9

  • Lens selection
    Excellent vs Good
    Better lens selection gives you more options
  • Less expensive
    $397 vs $3998*
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • Fast startup
    ~0.40 vs 1.2 sec
    Faster startup lets you catch the moment
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 1550 vs 650 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Internal flash
    Internal flash vs None
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash
  • Newer
    6 months vs 2 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • Lacks anti-aliasing filter
    No Filter vs Filter
    Enjoy sharper photos

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Both provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Both provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • 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

  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • Top deck display
    Neither provide
    Check settings with a screen on top of the camera

User reviews

Buy From

Your purchases support this site

Buy the Nikon D3500

Review Excerpt

  • New sensor offers incredible performance; Excellent image quality at low & high ISOs; Very good dynamic range; Phenomenal 20fps burst speed & deep buffer; Very good battery life for a mirrorless; 4K video; Dual card slots.

  • Slow buffer clearing; Only one card slot is UHS-II compatible; Touchscreen underutilized; No lossless RAW compression option; No 4K/60p option.

  • 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 Leica SL (Typ 601)

Sony A9
Leica SL (Typ 601)
  • $3998
  • 35mm
  • Less expensive
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
  • $5995
  • 35mm
  • Built-in GPS
  • Top deck display
Nikon D3500
Leica SL (Typ 601)
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Fast startup
  • $5995
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor

Compared to Leica M (Typ 262)

Sony A9
Leica M (Typ 262)
  • $3998
  • 35mm
  • Lens selection
  • Focus peaking
  • $4791
  • 35mm
  • Thinner
  • Lacks anti-aliasing filter
Nikon D3500
Leica M (Typ 262)
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Less expensive
  • $4791
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Leica M-D (Typ 262)

Sony A9
Leica M-D (Typ 262)
  • $3998
  • 35mm
  • Rear display
  • Lens selection
  • $5995
  • 35mm
  • Thinner
  • Lacks anti-aliasing filter
Nikon D3500
Leica M-D (Typ 262)
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Rear display
  • Lens selection
  • $5995
  • 35mm
  • Larger sensor
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Nikon D3400

Sony A9
Nikon D3400
  • $3998
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Lens selection
  • Less expensive
Nikon D3500
Nikon D3400
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Longer video battery life
  • Longer stills battery life
  • $397
  • APS-C

Compared to Canon SL2

Sony A9
Canon SL2
  • $3998
  • 35mm
  • Focus peaking
  • Larger sensor
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Tilt-swivel screen
Nikon D3500
Canon SL2
  • $397
  • APS-C
  • Less expensive
  • Larger sensor
  • $499
  • APS-C
  • Tilt-swivel screen
  • Touchscreen
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