Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!
The goal of this overview is to provide a detailed comparison of two popular camera models introduced by the same brand - Nikon. Although both products are offered by the same brand, they come from different categories. Thus, Nikon, is a camera from Entry-Level DSLR category, while Z 6 is a Pro Mirrorless camera. Both products that we are going to review are equipped with the same type of sensor - CMOS. However, they have different resolution. The first compared model, Nikon D3500, features has a resolution of 24.0 MP. Another model that we are reviewing, Nikon Z 6, features a sensor with a resolution of 25.0 MP.
Without a doubt, these two categories have a few considerable distinctive features. However, it is worth saying that cameras from DSLR category create serious competition to models that fall into MirrorLess category. Such an intense competition between these two categories is explained by the significant advantages of cameras from the first category in terms of size and weight. In addition, thanks to the latest enhancement, this type of cameras come with increased focus speeds. This fact makes our comparison overview even more exciting.
Now, before we can move on to our comparison, let's take a moment to look at the key characteristics of Nikon D3500 and Nikon Z 6.
Nikon D3500 Key Features:
Nikon Z 6 Key Features:
|Built-In Flash||Yes vs No||All the lenses are stabilized|
|Flash Range||7 vs No||7 better flash range|
|Battery Life||1550 shots vs 330 shots||1220 more frames with a single charge|
|Weight||365 g vs 675 g||310 g lighter|
|Timelapse Recording||Yes vs No||Creative shooting|
|Sensor Resolution||25.0 MP vs 24.0 MP||4% more pixels|
|Sensor Area||858.01 mm2 vs 366.6 mm2||57.3% larger pixel area|
|Image Stabilization||Yes vs No||All lenses are stabilized|
|Continuous Shooting||12 fps vs 5 fps||7 fps faster|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/8000 vs 1/4000||Faster shutter speed|
|Number Of Focus Points||273 vs 11||262 more focus points|
|Screen Size||3.2″ vs 3″||0.2" larger screen|
|Screen Resolution||2,100k dots vs 921k dots||56.1% higher resolution screen|
|Touch Screen||Yes vs No||Easy control of camera functions|
|Environmental Sealing||Yes vs No||Shoot at tough conditions|
|Max Video Resolution||3840 x 2160 vs 1920 x 1080||Higher Resolution Video|
|Microphone Port||Yes vs No||High quality audio recording option|
|Headphone Port||Yes vs No||Has headphone port|
|Viewfinder Magnification||0.8 vs 0.56||0.24 better magnification|
|Screen Size||3″ | 3.2″||Large display|
|Viewfinder||Optical (pentamirror) | Electronic||Better framing and control|
|Raw Support||Yes | Yes||Better image quality|
|Sensor Resolution||24.0 MP | 25.0 MP||Bigger prints and more details|
|AutoFocus Face Detection||Yes | Yes||Very handy for portraits|
|Flash Sync Port||Yes | Yes||Port for Flash Sync|
Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Nikon D3500 and Nikon Z 6 from the front view.
Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.
After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.
Speaking of weight, Nikon D3500 is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 310g less than the Nikon Z 6. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.
Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.
Are Nikon D3500 and Nikon Z 6 any different in terms of sensor type?
In fact, that's exactly what makes these two models really different. Thus, it is a good point to consider if your are choosing between these two cameras. Nikon D3500 features a 24.0 MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor . Nikon Z 6, in its turn, comes with a 25.0 MP Full frame sized CMOS sensor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.
Take a look below to find the comparison of Nikon D3500 and Nikon Z 6 by the size of their sensors.
One more distinctive feature of compared models is the sensor size. Nikon Z 6 is equipped with a sensor that is 0.4x larger than the one featured in Nikon D3500. Compared to the cameras with smaller sensor area, the ones with larger sensors ensure more control on the blurry background and depth of field if you shoot in the same aperture and focal length. Thus, the first model has a significant advantage here.
If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.
This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Nikon D3500 and Nikon Z 6 in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.
|Photography Type||Nikon D3500||Nikon Z 6|
Disadvantages:No Significant Disadvantages
Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Nikon D3500 or Nikon Z 6, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.
What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Nikon D3500 and Nikon Z 6 here is what we can say in conclusion:
According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Nikon Z 6 deserves a higher Total Score than the Nikon D3500. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.
For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:
|Nikon D3500||Nikon Z 6|
|Announced||Aug 29, 2018||Aug 23, 2018|
|Body Type||Compact SLR||Rangefinder-style mirrorless|
|Sensor Size||APS-C||Full frame|
|Sensor Dimensions||23.5 x 15.6 mm||35.9 x 23.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||366.60 mm2||858.01 mm2|
|Sensor Resolution||24.0 MP||25.0 MP|
|Max Image Resolution||6000 x 4000||6048 x 4024|
|Max Native ISO||25,600||51,200|
|Max Boosted ISO||n/a||204,800|
|Min Native ISO||100||100|
|Lens Mount||Nikon F||Nikon Z|
|Number of Lenses||287||3|
|Focal Length Multiplier||1.5x||1x|
|Macro Focus Range|
|AF Multi Area|
|AF Live View|
|AF Face Detection|
|AF Contrast Detection|
|AF Phase Detection|
|Number of Focus Points||11||273|
|Number of Cross Focus Points||n/a||n/a|
|Screen Type||Fixed Type||Tilting|
|Screen Resolution||921k dots||2,100k dots|
|ViewFinder Resolution||0k dots||3,690k dots|
|Min Shutter Speed||30 s||30 s|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/4000 s||1/8000 s|
|Continuous Shooting||5.0 fps||12.0 fps|
|Manual Exposure Mode|
|Custom White Balance|
|Flash Modes||Auto, Auto slow sync, Auto slow sync with red-eye reduction, Auto with red-eye reduction, Fill-flash, Rear-curtain sync, Rear-curtain with slow sync, Red-eye reduction, Red-eye reduction with slow sync, Slow sync||Front-curtain sync, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction with slow sync, slow rear-curtain sync|
|Video Resolutions||1920 x 1080 (60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps), 640 x 424 (30, 25 fps)||3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 144 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM|
|Max Video Resolution||1920 x 1080||3840 x 2160|
|Video Formats||MPEG-4, H.264||MPEG-4, H.264|
|USB||USB 2.0||USB 1|
|Weight||365 g||675 g|
|Physical Dimensions||124 x 97 x 70 mm||134 x 101 x 68 mm|
|Battery Life||1550 shots||330 shots|
|Battery Type||Battery Pack||Battery Pack|
|Storage Type||SD/SDHC/SDXC||XQD card|