Nikon has enjoyed great success with their DSLR cameras in this price range. Now, their famous and already popular camera has gotten better and prettier. Their new Z system is set to change the mirrorless market, and therefore it should not be a surprise that they launched a brand new entry-level DSLR camera, the Nikon D3500, and made no big deal about it. Still, their older D3400 is so popular and beloved that many would still choose it over the new one. Let us see how much these two awesome cameras differ, and what you should get if you need a trusty new DSLR.
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The D3500 mirrors the D3400 when it comes to the pixel count of 24.2MP from a DX-format APS-C sensor, without the optical low-pass filter. However, the one is D3500 is brand new, and not a recycled or updated one. It now actually comes with 24.78MP in total, instead of 24.72MP on the D3400. It is not clear how much of an actual improvement this is, but the image quality should be better.
The amazing battery life has always been one of the top factors why D3400 is more popular than the competition. The models in this range last for between 600 and 700 frames on one charge, but the amazing doubles this, and can give you a staggering 1,200 frames. This was already impressive, but the D3500 is even better at 1,550 per charge while using the same EN-EL14a battery. This is a 30% increase, and something like this always sits well with the consumers.
The D3500 camera has some of the features from the D5600, which made it have a cheaper price. You will immediately notice that the grip is more substantial, which will help with the overall handling and with the use of longer and heavier lenses. The rear part is also changed, as the buttons on the left side of the LCD are now around the top and right side with the 3500. The info button is also here, instead of the top. Moreover, the live view button was on the rear on the 3400, and it is now on the top of the new 3500. The flash button is also on the back.
Size and weight
The D3500 is 30 grams lighter than the D3400 and has a total of 365 g instead of 395 g without the battery or a memory card. This is not that much, but still welcome. The D3500 is 124 mm wide, same as the D3400, but it is 1 mm shorter and 6 mm thinner than the D3400, which is 97mm and 69.5mm respectively. Like with the weight, these are pretty minor changes, but it is nice to see manufacturers able to slightly shave off the dimensions.
In this competitive market, the cost is of the utmost importance. With this in mind, it is awesome to see that Nikon is pricing their new camera at a much more affordable initial price. When it first launched, the D3400 DLSR camera had a price tag of $649 and it came with an AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 VR optic. In comparison, the new D3500 will cost only $499.95 with the same lens model in the package. There will also be one more option available, in which the camera will come in a bundle the aforementioned lens, as well as AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED lenses. This one will be much more expensive and will cost $849.95.
In the UK, with the £499 price for the base model is higher than the £490 price for the D3400. There is an option to save £20 and get a £479 version without the VR version. In Australia, the whole VR kit costs $1,099 AU.
Overall, as expected, the new D3500 is a better version of the already amazing D3400. If you need a new camera, definitely aim for the new model, and trust that a company as serious as Nikon will never disappoint.