Nikon D5600 vs D3500: Which Camera Should You Buy?

If you are in a Hurry! here is a quick comparison Nikon D5600 vs Nikon D3500.

Model

Nikon D3500

Nikon D5600

Sensor resolution

24 MP

24 MP

Focus points

11

39

Screen size

3 inches

3.2 inches

Touchscreen

No

Yes

Battery life

1,550 shots

820 shots

Weight

365

465

Microphones

1 (mono)

2 (stereo)

Maximum resolution

1920 x 1080 px

1920 x 1080 px

Max frame rate

60 fps

60 fps

Bluetooth

Yes

Yes

WiFi

No

Built-In WiFi

Rating

Price

If you are looking for an excellent entry-level DSLR camera that can still produce outstanding images and videos, you should be looking for the Nikon D3500 or D5600. Both of these cameras offer great value for money since they are packed with features.

Even the Nikon D3500 and D5600 come from different series, they look very similar to the naked eye. So, to find out the winner between the Nikon D3500 vs D5600, we need to take a closer look at some of their essential specifications.

In this comparison test, we will dig deeper into some of the things you should pay attention to when buying a DSLR camera, and find out which is better Nikon D5600 or D3500.


About Nikon


If you think about buying a DSLR camera, you already have Nikon in the back of your head. The high reputation comes from more than 100 years in manufacturing high-quality optics and imaging products.

Each year, they come up with new and innovative products that push the limits of photography and videography. In other words, you cannot make a mistake by purchasing a Nikon camera, since they all perform excellently.

They are widely known for their straightforward interface, rugged built, and outstanding image quality. With their wide portfolio range, they have a camera for every level of expertise, whether you are just starting with photography or a professional.

Nikon D5600

Nikon D5600

This is an entry-level camera that can rival some of the more expensive ones with its image quality. The body of the D5600 is made from plastic. With using a monocoque technique, which means the shell is made from a single piece of material.

This improves the built-quality and makes the camera steadier than ever. The D5600 is smaller compared to its predecessor and provides an excellent grip for your hands. The one and only disadvantage in terms of design are the oddly small buttons that sometimes can be hard to press.

However, all of that is forgotten when you have a beautiful 3.2-inch LCD touchscreen display. This is probably the most useful feature on the D5600 since you can navigate through settings without any issue, and even press and the screen for focusing your shot.

The D5600 comes with 24.2MP pixel effective resolution, and a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to 25,600, which can be turned to auto.

The best thing about the D5600 is the EXPEED 4 image processor, which is responsible for improving the quality of images by adjusting colors or adding sharpness.

This camera comes with a lot of features like built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, remote smartphone, time-lapse, and much more. On the downside, Nikon decided to remove the built-in GPS, which means that you cannot add placement to your photos.

It comes with an 18-55mm AF-P lens as standard, and it delivers outstanding Live View performance. The autofocus feature works great and just as fast as you would expect it to work.

In terms of battery, the D5600 is not the leader in this category but still has around 820 shots between charges, which is decent enough.

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Touchscreen
  • EXPEED 4 image processor
  • Outstanding image quality
  • Built-in WiFi

Cons

  • Shoots video only at 1080p
  • Battery life is not great
Nikon D3500

As a competitor, we have the all-time DSLR favorite for beginners, the Nikon D3500. This is a camera for anyone that wants to get into serious image taking for a low cost.

This is the latest version of Nikon’s beginner-friendly 3000 series, and even though it sounds like a mediocre camera, it will definitely surprise you with its image quality.

For starters, it has the same 24.2MP APS-C CMOS 4 sensor, with a maximum image size of 6,000 x 4,000 pixels. It can shoot video in full-HD 1080p up to 60fps. The ISO range is from 100 to 25,600.

This is as high as beginner-level cameras go, and in terms of continuous shooting speed, it rivals most of its competitors with its 5fps compared to the average 3fps in this price range.

It has the same EXPEED 4 image processing system for more detail, colors, and improved speed.

When it comes to the design, the D3500 is very compact and lightweight. However, it doesn’t have the full-frame design like most other Nikon cameras, which doesn’t mean that it is not tough.

On the backside, there is a 3-inch display that provides excellent quality even at direct sunlight. The only drawback in terms of connectivity is the lack of built-in WiFi, but it still has Bluetooth as an alternative for transferring images.

The best thing about the D3500 is the battery life, which offers fantastic 1,550 shots on a single charge.

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Good image quality
  • Responsive autofocus
  • 5fps continuous shooting

Cons

  • Slow live AF
  • Fixed rear screen

Face-to-Face


Which Camera Is Better Nikon D3500 vs D5600?

We need to dig deeper and compare each camera’s specifications to determine which is better the Nikon D5600 or D3500.

Built and Design

Built and Design

Both cameras have the classic DSLR look. They are a bit bigger than the typical compact mirrorless alternative. The button placement is relatively spacious and uncluttered. The only issue is the size of the buttons, which is a bit small on both cameras and takes a bit getting used to.

In terms of built quality, the D5600 and D3500 have quite a rugged built for this price range of DSLRs. Let’s get one thing straight, they don’t feel quite as premium as a slightly higher DX-format range, but they still feel great in hand.

One disadvantage in terms of built quality is that both of these cameras can operate on temperatures from zero to 40 degrees, which is standard for all beginner DSLR cameras.

When it comes to size, there isn’t anything to separate both cameras. They have almost identical dimensions. However, the D5600 is a bit heavier coming at 465g compared to the 415g on the D3500.

The biggest difference in aesthetics is the display. The D5600 has a slightly bigger 3.5-inch display that is maneuverable. You can pop up the display and even face it forwards for selfie photos. In contrast, the D3500 has a stationary 3-inch display.

Keep in mind that Nikon doesn’t include stabilization in the body of both of these cameras.

Winner: Nikon D5600

Sensor and Processor

This is probably the most important deciding factor when it comes to choosing your DSLR. As we mentioned earlier, both of these DSLRs have the same APS-C Nikon DX-format sensor, delivering 24.2 million pixels effective resolution.

Compared to the pro DSLRs with a 40MP resolution, they offer a pretty good bang for your buck, considering the outstanding image quality.

Additionally, both DSLRs have the same fourth generation of Nikon’s processor, which performs amazingly for improving processing speed, image quality, and color correction. As a result, the images on both cameras are rich in detail and very closely matched.

They are also identical in the light sensitivity settings, running a range from ISO100 to 25,600. As an addition, they also have a low pass filter to bring out even more detail from subjects.

Overall, they have identical hardware, which results in very similar final results.

Winner: Tie

More: Nikon D7200 VS D7500: Who Will Came Out On Top

Video Quality

Video Quality

There are a few essential things to know about these cameras if you want to buy a DSLR camera for shooting video.

First of all, they both shoot Full HD videos with a maxim duration of 30 minutes. You might be disappointed that they don’t have 4K, but bear in mind that both of these DSLRs are entry-level models designed for amateur videographers to record clips in Full HD 1920x1080 px.

They also have the same selectable frame rates of 60fps, 50fps, 30fps, 25fps, and 24fps. Just so you can achieve the best lighting on your videos, you can control the ISO settings while shooting.

The only advantage of the D5600 is the external microphone port. If you want to record sounds, the built-in microphones will not get the job done just as well as an optional external microphone. The D3500 doesn’t have an external microphone port.

Winner: Nikon D5600

Autofocus System

The autofocus plays a vital role in the quality of your images and videos. That is why the more affordable D3500 has 11 selectable focus points and one cross-type sensor like the most budget-priced DSLRs.

On the other hand, the more expensive D5600 has 39 focus points, which is considerably more than the D3500. Nikon likes to separate different generations, which is why they’ve added more focus points.

The number of focus points on the D5600 is very respectfully, considering it is an entry-version DSLR. As a result, the autofocus on the D5600 is unsurprisingly slower but far more precise.

Both have the same AF models, such as single point AF, auto-area AF, 3D tracking, and dynamic area AF.

Winner: Nikon D5600

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Battery Life

Battery Life

Surprisingly both DSLRs have the same EN-EL14a cell, but the D3500 can squeeze almost double the number of shots of a fully charged battery compared to the D5600. Even more impressive is the fact that the D3500 managed to get more than 30% more battery life than its predecessor.

A fully charged battery will provide you with around 1,550 images, which is far more than the 820 images on the D5600.

However, if you plan long video shootings, you will probably be better off buying an extra battery.

Winner: Nikon D3500

What Is The Difference Between Nikon D3500 and D5600?

Connectivity

The types of connections will increase the usability of your DSLR. Unfortunately, the D3500 doesn’t come with WiFi connectivity onboard. If you decide to go with the D3500, you have to be satisfied with Nikon’s Bluetooth powered SnapBridge feature for image sharing.

On the other hand, the D5600 comes with built-in WiFi, which is great for image or video sharing to another device. The D5600 also has Bluetooth, so it is much more user friendly.

However, you can also use the Bluetooth feature on the D3500 to send images to your smartphone or use it as a remote control.

Unfortunately, Nikon decided to remove the built-in GPS feature on the D5600, so both DSLRs are the same.

More: Nikon D5500 Vs D5600: Which One Should You Buy?

LCD Display

LCD Display

The D5600 has a slightly larger 3.2-inch display and a slightly higher resolution coming at 1037K dot resolution. In contrast, the D3500 has a 3-inch display with 925K dot resolution.

A larger screen doesn’t necessarily mean that it is better. For instance, a larger screen is better for checking manual focus, but it drains the battery faster.

Another crucial difference is the mobility of the D5600 display. It can be flipped and rotated to face the subject, which is great for taking images or videos at an impossible angle. Also, the screen on the D5600 comes with touch-sensitive technology.

This is an excellent feature because you can go through the settings much easier, and you can even tap the screen to focus on the areas you want.

By contrast, the D3500 has a fixed screen without touch-sensitive technology. This makes the D3500 harder to use since the only way to navigate is by using the buttons.

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Time Lapse

If you like shooting nature images of a sunset or sunrise, you will love the time-lapse feature on the D5600. This feature will enable you to record and fast-forward footage of anything you want.

This may not be an essential feature for you, but it is still a nice addition to have. You can also create time-lapse footage with the D3500, but you have to edit the section using video editing software on your PC.

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Wireless Connection

If you want to share your images via WiFi to another location, the best option to go for is the D5600. However, if you are just a casual photographer who appreciates transferring files via the SD card, the wireless connection will not make any difference.

In other words, it doesn’t worth spending more money on a feature that you will barely use.

Battery Life

There are not many things to separate both of these DSLRs, but the most significant difference is probably the battery life. Even though they both have the same 1230mAh battery, the D3500 manages to squeeze out more shots.

The difference is incredible since the D5600 can only shoot around 820 images, compared to the incredible 1,550 images on the D3500.

The battery life on the D5600 is still good, just like the average battery life of DSLRs from the same category.

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Verdict

Choose the Nikon D3500 if:

  • You want more value for your money.
  • You want bigger battery life.
  • You don’t mind the lack of WiFi.
  • You want a compact and lighter design.
  • You want a good image quality.

Choose the Nikon D5600 if:

  • You want a maneuverable display.
  • You want WiFi connectivity.
  • You want better autofocus.
  • You want a touch screen.
  • You want an external microphone port.

Overall, both DSLR cameras perform excellently. Considering that the D3500 is a lower generation than the D5600, it still manages to have a couple of better options.

They are very similar DSLR with almost identical image quality. The only difference is in the features. For instance, if you want a built-in WiFi, Time-lapse, or external mic port, you should go with the D5600.

However, if all those things don’t matter to you and all you want is an entry-level camera, you will be better off buying the D3500 since it is cheaper.

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