Nikon D3400 vs Nikon D3500-Which is Better Value?

The comparison between the Nikon D3500 vs the Nikon D3400 is an interesting one, due that 2 models are entry level DSLR cameras made by Nikon. The Nikon D3500 was an upgrade of the D3400 that was released in August of 2018, 2 years later than the D3400.  A nice exercise is to observe what had happened in those 2 years of difference, and how the technology that Nikon applies in these kinds of cameras have evolved.

To do that, we have prepared a detail comparison of the features that both cameras present.

Nikon D3500

Nikon D3400

Specifications Of The Nikon D3500

  • Effective Megapixels: 24.200.000 
  • ISO: Sensitivity: 100-25.600
  • Sensor size: 23.5 mm x 15.6 mm
  • Monitor size:3.0 in. diagonal
  • Top continuous shooting speed at full resolution: 5 frames per second 
  • Dimensions: 4.9 x 3.9 in.
  • Camera body weight: 12.9 ounces 

Specifications Of The Nikon D3400

  • Effective Megapixels: 24.200.000 
  • ISO: Sensitivity: 100-25.600
  • Sensor size: 23.5 mm x 15.6 mm
  • Monitor size:3.0 in. diagonal
  • Top continuous shooting speed at full resolution: 5 frames per second 
  • Dimensions: 4.9 x 3.9 in.
  • Camera body weight: 14 ounces

Nikon D3500 Features                              

  • Monitor type: Wide Viewing Angle TFT-LCD
  • Image Sensor Format: DX
  • Storage Media: SD, SDHC, SDXC
  • Battery: EN-EL14a Rechargeable Li-ion
  • Viewfinder: Eye-level Pentamirror Single-Lens Reflex

Nikon 3400 Features

  • Monitor type: Wide Viewing Angle TFT-LCD
  • Image Sensor Format: DX
  • Storage Media: SD, SDHC, SDXC
  • Battery: EN-EL14a Rechargeable Li-ion
  • Viewfinder: Eye-level Pentamirror Single-Lens Reflex


We think that the verdict in this case is quite straightforward, because the Nikon D3500 is clearly an upgraded version of the Nikon D3400.

That been said, some of the highlights of this new version is the significant input that the new DSLR design has given to the old APS-C sensor of the D3400. It seems to us that the approach here was trying to attract amateur photographers who wanted to jump from smartphones or basic cameras to some kind of product that without been complicated to use, could give them the ability to try some more sophisticated features like DX formats, F mount or the great variety of accessories that are available from Nikon.

In our opinion there is little doubt that most of the times people would choose the D3500 that with only a little increment in price, gives a more complete experience for evolving photographers.

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D3500 Video Tutorial: How To

D3400 Video Tutorial- AF

Strengths of the D3500 Vs D3400

  • The D3500 is lighter than the D3400(12.9 oz. vs 13.9)
  • The D3500 can shot more picture with 1 charge of battery than the D3400(1550 vs 1200).
  • The D3500 supports UHS memory cards , and The Nikon D3400 not.

Strengths of the D3400  vs D3500

  • The Nikon D3400 shows a flash coverage that is longer that the D3500  (13 yards vs 7.6 yards)

What About the Designs?

When analyzing these entry level cameras, sometimes people tend to compare them with mirrorless, and obviously, a camera like the Nikon D3500 is going to look somehow plump. The point is that both cameras the D3500 and the D3400 are DSLR that needs this kind of design to accommodate the mechanism that characterize these models.

Nevertheless, the good news is that this layout give you a proper handling of the camera, an also helps you to avoid the undesired pressing of buttons which were not intended to.

When looking for beginners DSLR there is a big chance that the interested are going to see cameras that have rear screens that are not touch-sensitive, and the user needs to utilizes the physical buttons and dials of it. Again in both models the screen is fixed, but we think that most of the people understand that is a tradeoff between amount of features and price.

The settings are displayed in an efficient manner, showing information about the ISO settings, lens aperture and also the shutter speed, allowing you to have a better impression of the interaction of the different parameters.

Dimensions and Weight

Even though a lighter product is always appreciated, the marginal ounce that the D3500 saves in weight would difficulty change the mind of a buyer. The D3400 weighs almost 14 ounces, meanwhile the D3500 nearly 13 ounces, both without inserting the memory card or battery inside them.

Talking about dimensions the cameras are very similar, and for example both products shows the same width (almost 5 inches), but they display different length, being the D3500 four inches long, and almost imperceptibly slimmer.

These numbers seems almost insignificant, but if you think about their direct competitors (the mirrorless), any difference counts.

Nikon D3400 vs Nikon D350 Top View

Cameras Video Performance

Although these somehow budget cameras don’t have the ability to shoot 4k videos, they do have the possibility to do full HD videos with a length of 30 minutes at its best.

The D3500 gives this option for beginner photographers with its 1920 x 1080 pixel clips, and features like the selectable frame rates, which are the same that its predecessor the D3400. The sensitivity settings that are accessible in both cameras are from ISO 100 to 25600.

Also both products can achieve a maximum video frame rate of up to 59.94fps, and have also the option to apply 50fps, 29.97fps, 25fps and 23.976fps. Beyond that the items come with a manual control exposure feature that can be used when recording videos.

Regarding the audio performance, the first thing to say is that both the D3500 and the D3400 don’t show a port to connect an external microphone, and the small mono microphone that comes embedded, is not a quality one that matches the class of the camera.

Sensor and Processing System

The sensor of the two cameras is an APS-C that releases a remarkable 24.2 mill. Pixels effective, resolution and the processor is the EXPEED 4, which is the fourth model of processors from Nikon and can burst shooting at 5 fps and Full HD video recording up to 60p.

Thanks to the potent partnership between a great sensor and a really quick processor the cameras own one of the most recognized characteristics of the cameras made from Nikon, which is the ability to capture realistic images, giving the photographers the chance to manipulate the images later on.

Needless to say it is that no matter that we are talking about entry level cameras, the 24.2 megapixels APS-c sensor is the best that could get someone that is looking for a beginner camera in this price range, and want to climb to the next level in her or his photography adventure.

Finally, beyond that the cameras lack the optical low-pass filter that sometimes negates the possibility to get clearer images that show greater details.



Screen view

Nikon D3500 vs Nikon D3400- Viewfinder and Screen

Regarding frame coverage the Nikon D3400 and D3500 come with a 95%, and if the LCD screen DSLR is not placed in Live View mode, the cameras display information about the shooting and also a menu. Also the 2 machines show a screen of 3 inches with a 921,000 of resolution, but when using viewfinder the coverage is with an angle of with170 degrees and a 100%, with an extra option that allows adjusting the brightness.

The drawback in both cameras are that the camera is fixed and cannot change the position or shooting angel, and also that there is no touch screen capability, which is understandable in these kinds of entry level cameras price range. The only difference between the 2 items, in this aspect is that the layout of the D3500 makes hard to activate buttons by accident which in our opinion is a great advantage.

Video-Nikon D3500 vs Nikon D3400 Detailed Comparison

Battery Life

If you see the positive comments about these models of Nikon, you will observe that almost all of them talk about their battery life. Why? Because normally beginner cameras can only store nearly 600 or 700 frames per charge, and these items pursuant to CIPA evaluations can handle the awesome amount of 1,200. Well if that was awesome, we have acknowledge that the Company has been able to increase that numbers to 1550 frames with the D3500, using exactly the same EN-EL14a battery.

That make possible to shot nearly 30% more of photos per charge, figure that will tempt many buyers to finally choose the product, due that they will be able to use the camera for nearly a complete day without to be obliged to access a power outlet.

Nikon D3500 vs D3400-General Features

Regarding picture manipulation, both cameras come with some nice classic controls from Nikon, like for example the ‘toy camera” and the super vivid options that help to give a personal touch to your pictures.

Even though both machines don’t come with connectivity capability they do have the ability to use the SnapBridge application from Nikon that allows sharing photos and videos.

Also the cameras come with a guide feature that is intended to facilitate the managing of the products, and giving an option for people that needs a simpler way of using them. The feature works showing a question mark and explaining the use of a specific function.

Many of the features of the D3400 are still present on the D3500, that in order to preserve characteristics that have been proven to be efficient.

Price Comparison

When the Nikon D3500 was launched the price was much more tempting that the D3400, which is nice when you get an upgraded product. The variety of prices is wide, because these kinds of cameras are usually sold in bundles that have different components. This is an important factor when analyzing the cost of buying most of the cameras, and if you want to get the best deal it is a good idea to check the prices of the components out, individually to get the right conclusion about the best price according to your own preferences.

The price structure in which these items are valued is different in each country, but we think the analysis is valid independently of the  country in which the interested wants to buy them..


Cameras AF Capability

The newer D3500 and the original D3400 use the phase detection AF system, that consists in 11 selectable focus points and one cross type sensor, that most of these types of beginner DSLRs present.

The approach has been there for many consecutive models of budget digital cameras, and somehow seems that is intended to highlight more sophisticated feature of more advanced products.

The system is activated or locked by pressing the shutter release button halfway, or by doing the same with the AE-L/AF-L button. The system comes with several modes like the; Dynamic area AF, single point AF, auto area AF and 3D tracking.

Instructions on how to operate the system in beginners cameras are paramount, no matter how simple they are, and this aspect is covered by the two of the cameras.

Talking about performance we think that the AF locking on to objects is good enough, despite some lack of speed in low light situations.

Nevertheless, we have to point out that the AF will sometimes lose targets that are next to the frame, but we would say that generally speaking the AF of both cameras is good considering that are entry level products.

Nikon D3400 vs Nikon D3500-Which is Better Value? Conclusion

During our research about the similarities and differences of both cameras we learned that they are quite the same, but with the D3500  including some upgraded features, and a lighter weight. The two are entry level or beginners cameras that comes with some more sophisticated instruments to enhance the quality and performance of them. Prices are affordable, like most of these types of machines, but the opportunities to use features that normally are reserved for more expensive products, is there.

As we said the D3500 is more developed and easier to handle because its difference in  weight, that even though this is not significative, is  good news for the fans of this line of cameras from Nikon.

At the beginning when the Nikon D3500 was launched the D3400 was more expensive, but these days the valuation is a little more complex due that the D3400 is often sold in bundles .

Nevertheless our option would be for the D3500, because we estimate that all in all is a better camera, and represents better value.