Nikon D3500 vs Nikon D5600

The Nikon D3500, a versatile entry-level DSLR, is designed for those venturing into the realm of professional photography. It combines simplicity with performance, delivering high-quality images while ensuring ease of use for beginners.

On the other hand, the Nikon D5600, often considered a mid-range DSLR, offers more advanced features. It is designed for photographers who want to push their creative boundaries further, with enhanced connectivity options, a more sophisticated autofocus system, and a vari-angle touchscreen, among other features.

In this comparison, we will delve into the details of these two cameras, examining their design, image quality, performance, and overall value. Whether you’re a novice seeking your first DSLR or a more experienced photographer looking to upgrade, this comparison should help illuminate the strengths and weaknesses of the Nikon D3500 and D5600, aiding you in making an informed decision.

The Nikon D3500 and D5600, being DSLR cameras, are relatively lightweight and compact compared to their professional counterparts. The Nikon D3500 measures 124 x 97 x 69.5 mm and weighs approximately 365g, making it one of the lightest DSLR cameras in the market.

The Nikon D5600, on the other hand, is slightly larger and heavier, measuring 124 x 97 x 70 mm and weighing around 465g. Although the D5600 is a bit heavier, the difference is not substantial and should not significantly impact portability.

When it comes to ergonomics and control layout, both cameras are designed with user comfort in mind. The Nikon D3500 has a comfortable, deep grip, allowing for a secure hold, which is particularly useful for shooting over extended periods. Its control layout is simplified, with fewer buttons and dials, making it an excellent choice for beginners.

The Nikon D5600, while also comfortable to hold, features a more complex control layout. It boasts a secondary dial and additional buttons, providing more direct access to various settings. This might be more appealing to experienced photographers who prefer having quick control over their camera settings.

Both cameras are made of a sturdy polycarbonate material, making them durable for everyday use. They can withstand minor bumps and drops; however, they lack weather sealing, meaning they are not designed to be exposed to harsh weather conditions such as heavy rain or dust storms. So, while both the D3500 and D5600 are well built for their respective price points, for rugged outdoor use, a more professional-grade camera would be advisable.

In summary, the Nikon D3500 is more straightforward and lighter, making it ideal for beginners or those prioritizing portability. The Nikon D5600, with its more advanced control layout, offers greater flexibility for those who demand more control over their camera settings. Both cameras offer good build quality and durability for their class, but care should be taken when using them in adverse weather conditions.

Both the Nikon D3500 and D5600 utilize a 24.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor. This sensor size and type is common in both entry-level and mid-range DSLR cameras, offering a good balance between image quality and cost. The sensor size is large enough to capture a significant amount of light and detail, but small enough to keep the cameras and lenses compact and affordable.

The Nikon D3500 has an ISO range of 100 to 25600, while the D5600 has a slightly expanded range, going from 100 to 25600 but also offering an extended mode up to ISO 51200. This extended range can provide more flexibility in very low-light situations, but it’s worth noting that higher ISO values typically result in more noise in the image. Both cameras, however, perform reasonably well in low light for their class, with noise becoming noticeable at higher ISO levels.

The Nikon D3500 has an ISO range of 100 to 25600, while the D5600 has a slightly expanded range, going from 100 to 25600 but also offering an extended mode up to ISO 51200. This extended range can provide more flexibility in very low-light situations, but it’s worth noting that higher ISO values typically result in more noise in the image. Both cameras, however, perform reasonably well in low light for their class, with noise becoming noticeable at higher ISO levels.

Both the D3500 and D5600 offer excellent dynamic range and color reproduction, thanks to Nikon’s EXPEED 4 image-processing engine. They can capture a wide range of tones, from deep shadows to bright highlights, and reproduce colors accurately and vividly. However, some users might find slight differences in color rendition between the two models due to different default picture control settings, but these can be adjusted to personal preference in-camera or in post-processing.

In summary, both the Nikon D3500 and D5600 offer similar image quality in terms of sensor size, resolution, and dynamic range. The D5600 has a slight edge in low-light performance due to its expanded ISO range, but both cameras are capable performers in various lighting conditions.

The Nikon D3500 utilizes an 11-point autofocus system, which is fairly standard for entry-level DSLRs. It provides reliable performance for general photography but might struggle with fast-moving subjects or in low-light situations.

On the other hand, the Nikon D5600 features a more advanced 39-point autofocus system, which includes nine cross-type points for increased accuracy. This system offers better tracking of moving subjects and more reliable performance in challenging lighting conditions.

When it comes to continuous shooting (burst mode), the Nikon D3500 can capture images at a rate of 5 frames per second (fps), which is adequate for casual action photography, such as photographing children or pets.

The Nikon D5600 also shoots at 5 fps, matching the speed of the D3500. While this may not be sufficient for serious sports or wildlife photography, it’s suitable for general use and occasional action shooting.

Buffer depth refers to the number of images the camera can capture in a burst before it needs to slow down and write those images to the memory card. The Nikon D3500 has a buffer depth of around 14 RAW images, which is decent for its class.

The Nikon D5600, on the other hand, has a slightly better buffer capacity, capable of shooting up to 18 RAW images in a row. This can be beneficial when shooting rapid sequences, giving you a better chance of capturing the perfect moment.

In summary, the Nikon D5600 has a clear edge over the D3500 in terms of autofocus performance, thanks to its more advanced 39-point AF system. Both cameras offer the same continuous shooting speed, but the D5600 holds a slight advantage in buffer depth, allowing for longer bursts of continuous shooting.

Both the Nikon D3500 and D5600 are capable of recording Full HD video (1920 x 1080 pixels). The D3500 can record at up to 60 frames per second (fps), which is sufficient for general video recording and allows for smooth slow-motion playback.

The D5600 also records Full HD video at up to 60fps, matching the capabilities of the D3500. However, the D5600 features an additional time-lapse movie function, which allows the creation of time-lapse videos in-camera, a feature not present in the D3500.

The D3500 uses contrast-detection autofocus in video mode, which can be slower and less reliable than phase-detection autofocus, especially when tracking moving subjects.

The D5600, on the other hand, benefits from Nikon’s Full-time Servo AF (AF-F) and subject-tracking AF in video mode, providing smoother and more reliable autofocus performance during video recording.

In terms of audio capabilities, the Nikon D3500 has a built-in monaural microphone but lacks an external microphone jack. This means that while it can record sound along with video, for higher-quality audio or for situations that require more directional sound recording, it falls short.

The Nikon D5600 improves on this by including a 3.5mm microphone jack, allowing for the use of an external microphone. This can significantly improve the quality of audio in your videos, making the D5600 a more viable option for more serious video work.

In summary, while both cameras offer similar video resolution and frame rates, the D5600 stands out with its superior autofocus in video mode and the ability to use an external microphone for better audio recording. The time-lapse movie function is another notable feature that enhances the D5600’s video capabilities.

Both the Nikon D3500 and D5600 feature a pentamirror optical viewfinder with approximately 95% coverage. This is standard for cameras in this class and allows for reliable framing and focusing.

When it comes to the screen, the D3500 has a fixed 3.0-inch LCD with a resolution of 921,000 dots. It provides a clear and bright image for composing shots and reviewing photos.

The D5600, on the other hand, features a 3.2-inch fully articulating touchscreen with a resolution of 1,037,000 dots. The larger, higher-resolution screen offers a more detailed view, and the ability to tilt and swivel the screen is particularly useful for shooting at awkward angles or for vlogging.

Both cameras utilize Nikon’s standard menu system, which is well-organized and easy to navigate. The D3500’s simplified control layout and Guide Mode make it particularly friendly for beginners, offering on-screen guidance for choosing the right settings.

While the D5600 also offers the same guidance, its additional buttons and dials provide quicker access to settings for more experienced users who prefer to have direct control.

One of the significant differences between the two models is the touchscreen functionality. The D3500 lacks a touchscreen, meaning all navigation and settings adjustments are done using physical controls.

The D5600’s screen, however, is touch-sensitive. This allows for intuitive operations like touch focus, touch shutter (taking a picture by touching the screen), and pinch-to-zoom during image playback. It also simplifies navigation of menus and settings.

In summary, the D5600 offers a more versatile and advanced user interface, thanks to its larger, articulating touchscreen. However, the D3500’s simplified controls and Guide Mode make it an excellent choice for beginners or those who prefer a more straightforward shooting experience.

Both the Nikon D3500 and D5600 feature built-in Bluetooth for connecting to Nikon’s SnapBridge app, which allows for image transfer and remote camera control from a smartphone. However, the D5600 also includes Wi-Fi connectivity, which enables faster image transfer rates and a more reliable connection for remote camera control.

Neither the D3500 nor the D5600 has built-in GPS. However, location information can be added to photos via the SnapBridge app, which uses the connected smartphone’s GPS data.

The Nikon D3500 includes some extra features such as a variety of Creative Modes for applying different looks to your photos in-camera, as well as an HDR (High Dynamic Range) mode for capturing more detail in high-contrast scenes.

The D5600, in addition to similar Creative Modes and HDR mode, also offers an interval timer and time-lapse movie functionality. This allows for automatic creation of time-lapse videos in-camera, a feature that can be particularly appealing to creative photographers and videographers.

In summary, while both cameras offer Bluetooth connectivity and similar extra features, the D5600 has the advantage of additional Wi-Fi connectivity and in-camera time-lapse movie creation. Neither camera offers built-in GPS, but both can incorporate location data via the SnapBridge app.

One of the standout features of the Nikon D3500 is its impressive battery life. According to CIPA ratings, it can deliver up to 1550 shots per charge, which is exceptional for a DSLR in its class.

The Nikon D5600, while not quite matching the D3500, still offers a respectable battery life with up to 970 shots per charge as per CIPA standards. This is above average for cameras in its range and should suffice for most day-to-day shooting scenarios.

Both the Nikon D3500 and D5600 use SD cards for storage, and both are compatible with SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards. They each have a single card slot, which is typical for DSLRs at this level.

However, it’s worth noting that not all SD cards are created equal. For best performance, especially when shooting in burst mode or recording video, a high-speed card (Class 10 or UHS-I rating) is recommended.

In summary, the D3500 takes the lead in terms of battery life, offering considerably more shots per charge compared to the D5600. However, both cameras provide adequate battery life for typical use. In terms of storage, both cameras offer the same options, with compatibility with a range of SD card types and speeds.

The Nikon D3500 is aimed at beginners and those who want a simple, user-friendly DSLR for better image quality than a smartphone or compact camera can provide. Its impressive battery life and ease of use make it a great choice for those new to DSLR photography.

The Nikon D5600, with its more advanced features, is targeted at more experienced photographers, or those looking to upgrade from an entry-level DSLR. Its enhanced connectivity and video capabilities also make it a suitable option for vloggers or those who frequently share their photos online.

In conclusion, both cameras offer good value for money within their respective segments. The choice between them should primarily be based on your personal needs, experience level, and budget.

See current price and more information on:

Amazon eBay KEH

See current price and more information on:

Amazon eBay KEH

While both the Nikon D3500 and D5600 share the same sensor size and resolution, there are several key differences between these two models:

  1. Autofocus System: The D5600’s 39-point system is more advanced and reliable than the D3500’s 11-point system.
  2. Continuous Shooting and Buffer Depth: Both offer the same shooting speed, but the D5600 can take more consecutive shots.
  3. User Interface: The D5600 has a fully articulating touchscreen, while the D3500 has a fixed screen without touch capability.
  4. Video Capabilities: The D5600 has superior autofocus in video mode and can accommodate an external microphone.
  5. Connectivity: While both have Bluetooth, the D5600 also includes Wi-Fi.
  6. Battery Life: The D3500 offers longer battery life.

If you’re a beginner or value simplicity, long battery life, and a lower price point, the Nikon D3500 will be a great choice. It offers excellent image quality and is easy to use, making it perfect for those new to DSLR photography.

For those who need more advanced features such as a superior autofocus system, better video capabilities, a touchscreen interface, and enhanced connectivity, the Nikon D5600 would be worth the additional investment. It’s also a more suitable option for those into vlogging or sharing their work online frequently.

The Nikon D3500 and D5600 are both excellent cameras in their respective categories. The right choice depends on individual user needs, experience level, and budget. While the D3500 offers great value and simplicity, the D5600 provides more advanced features that can help to nurture and develop your photography skills. Both are solid choices for anyone looking to explore the world of DSLR photography.

While both the Nikon D3500 and D5600 share the same sensor size and resolution, there are several key differences between these two models:

  1. Autofocus System: The D5600’s 39-point system is more advanced and reliable than the D3500’s 11-point system.
  2. Continuous Shooting and Buffer Depth: Both offer the same shooting speed, but the D5600 can take more consecutive shots.
  3. User Interface: The D5600 has a fully articulating touchscreen, while the D3500 has a fixed screen without touch capability.
  4. Video Capabilities: The D5600 has superior autofocus in video mode and can accommodate an external microphone.
  5. Connectivity: While both have Bluetooth, the D5600 also includes Wi-Fi.
  6. Battery Life: The D3500 offers longer battery life.

If you’re a beginner or value simplicity, long battery life, and a lower price point, the Nikon D3500 will be a great choice. It offers excellent image quality and is easy to use, making it perfect for those new to DSLR photography.

For those who need more advanced features such as a superior autofocus system, better video capabilities, a touchscreen interface, and enhanced connectivity, the Nikon D5600 would be worth the additional investment. It’s also a more suitable option for those into vlogging or sharing their work online frequently.

The Nikon D3500 and D5600 are both excellent cameras in their respective categories. The right choice depends on individual user needs, experience level, and budget. While the D3500 offers great value and simplicity, the D5600 provides more advanced features that can help to nurture and develop your photography skills. Both are solid choices for anyone looking to explore the world of DSLR photography.

Related Posts