Nikon D3500 vs Sony Alpha a6400

  • APS-C
  • 24 megapixels
  • Nikon F
  • 46
    Overall
  • 20
    Imaging
  • 31
    Features
  • 73
    Size
  • 0
    Price
  • APS-C
  • 24 megapixels
  • Sony E
  • 52
    Overall
  • 25
    Imaging
  • 76
    Features
  • 78
    Size
  • 0
    Price

Nikon D3500 vs Sony Alpha a6400: a Complete Review and Comparison

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!

In this review, we are going to make a detailed comparison of two cameras that fall into different categories. While the first model we are looking at, Nikon D3500 belongs to a Entry-Level DSLR category, the other model, Nikon D3500 is a Semi-Pro Mirrorless camera. One of the key common traits of both cameras we are looking at is sensor. Both Nikon D3500 and Sony Alpha a6400, are equipped with the same 24.0 MP CMOS sensors.

Both cameras we are going to look at in our overview fall into two different categories - DSLR and MirrorLess. Keeping in mind all the distinctive features of each category, it will be hard to make a detailed comparison of these two models. However, we will do our best to make this review as unbiased and detailed as possible.

To get started, let’s take a look at some of the key features of Nikon D3500 and Sony Alpha a6400 and, after this, we can go on to our detailed comparison of these models.

Nikon D3500 Key Features:

  • 24.0 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 25600
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 5.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps), 640 x 424 (30, 25 fps)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 124 x 97 x 70 mm
  • Weight: 365 g
  • Environmental Sealing: No
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced Nikon D3400. Compare

Sony Alpha a6400 Key Features:

  • 24.0 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 32000 (Expands to 102800)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3″ Tilting Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 11.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 120 x 67 x 60 mm
  • Weight: 403 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: No

Nikon D3500 substituted Nikon D3400. Be sure to check out some of our other overviews that may also interest you:
Nikon D3500 vs. D3400
Nikon D3400 vs. Sony Alpha a6400

Why is Nikon D3500 a better choice than Sony Alpha a6400

Flash Range 7 vs 6 1 better flash range
Battery Life 1550 shots vs 410 shots 1140 more frames with a single charge
Weight 365 g vs 403 g 38 g lighter

What are the key reasons to pick Sony Alpha a6400 over Nikon D3500

NFC Yes vs No Easy wireless connectivity with compatible devices
Timelapse Recording Yes vs No Creative shooting
Continuous Shooting 11 fps vs 5 fps 6 fps faster
Number Of Focus Points 425 vs 11 414 more focus points
Screen Resolution 922k dots vs 921k dots 0.1% 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
Viewfinder Magnification 0.7 vs 0.56 0.14 better magnification

Key PROs of Nikon D3500 and Sony Alpha a6400

Screen Size 3″ | 3″ Large display
Viewfinder Optical (pentamirror) | Electronic Better framing and control
Raw Support Yes | Yes Better image quality
Sensor Resolution 24.0 MP | 24.0 MP Bigger prints and more details
AutoFocus Face Detection Yes | Yes Very handy for portraits
Built-In Flash Yes | Yes External flash available
Flash Sync Port Yes | Yes Port for Flash Sync

Key CONs of Nikon D3500 and Sony Alpha a6400

Screen Resolution 921k dots | 922k dots Small screen resolution
Headphone Port No | No No headphone port
Image Stabilization No | No No image stabilization

Nikon D3500 vs Sony Alpha a6400: Comparing Two Models By Physical Characteristics

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 Sony Alpha a6400 from the front view.

Nikon D3500
Sony Alpha a6400
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Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Nikon D3500
Sony Alpha a6400
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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 38g less than the Sony Alpha a6400. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.

Comparing Nikon D3500 and Sony Alpha a6400 by the type of Sensor and Resolution

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 Sony Alpha a6400 any different in terms of sensor type?

In terms of sensor type and resolution, these models are identical. Both Nikon D3500 and Sony Alpha a6400 come equipped with the same CMOS that has a resolution of 24.0 MP. Thus, if you are wondering, which option to choose, this is not a factor you should be looking at.

Take a look below to find the comparison of Nikon D3500 and Sony Alpha a6400 by the size of their sensors.

Nikon D3500
Sony Alpha a6400
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Nikon D3500 and Sony Alpha a6400 are identical by this indicator, as each feature a sensor of the same size. Thus, both cameras will provide the same level of control in terms of the depth of field if you use them with the same focal length and aperture.

For Which Fields Of Photography Are Nikon D3500 and Sony Alpha a6400 Suitable?

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 Sony Alpha a6400 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 Sony Alpha a6400
Portrait Photography
83%
88%
Street Photography
77%
82%
Sports Photography
69%
98%
Daily Photography
12%
54%
Landscape Photography
86%
97%

Nikon D3500 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • You might not like Nikon skintone
  • No Image Stabilization

Sony Alpha a6400 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D3500 for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large APS-C(23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • Big battery life (1550 shots)

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (124 x 97 x 70 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization
  • Small Number of autofocus Points (11)

Sony Alpha a6400 for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large APS-C(23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (120 x 67 x 60 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D3500 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Big battery life (1550 shots)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (5.0 fps)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/4000s)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (11)

Sony Alpha a6400 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Fast Continuous Shooting (11.0 fps)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (425)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/4000s)
  • Small battery life (410 shots)

Nikon D3500 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (124 x 97 x 70 mm)

Sony Alpha a6400 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (403 g)
  • Big size (120 x 67 x 60 mm)

Nikon D3500 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • No Environmental Sealing

Sony Alpha a6400 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Good Dynamic Range (13.6)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

No Significant Disadvantages

Comparison of Nikon D3500 vs Sony Alpha a6400: Final Verdict

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 Sony Alpha a6400, 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 Sony Alpha a6400 here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Sony Alpha a6400 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.

Nikon D3500 vs Sony Alpha a6400 Table Of Technical Specs

For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:

Nikon D3500 Sony Alpha a6400
General
Brand Nikon Sony
Model D3500 Alpha a6400
Announced Aug 29, 2018 Jan 15, 2019
Body Type Compact SLR Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Sensor Size APS-C APS-C
Sensor Dimensions 23.5 x 15.6 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
Sensor Area 366.60 mm2 366.60 mm2
Sensor Resolution 24.0 MP 24.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 6000 x 4000 6000 x 4000
Max Native ISO 25,600 32,000
Max Boosted ISO n/a 102,800
Min Native ISO 100 100
RAW Support Yes Yes
Lens
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Nikon F Sony E
Number of Lenses 287 102
Focal Length Multiplier 1.5x 1.5x
Macro Focus Range
AutoFocus
AF Touch No Yes
AF Continuous Yes Yes
AF Single Yes Yes
AF Tracking Yes Yes
AF Selective Yes Yes
AF Center Yes Yes
AF Multi Area Yes Yes
AF Live View Yes Yes
AF Face Detection Yes Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes Yes
AF Phase Detection Yes Yes
Number of Focus Points 11 425
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a n/a
Screen
Screen Type Fixed Type Tilting
Screen Size 3″ 3″
Screen Resolution 921k dots 922k dots
Live View Yes Yes
Touch Screen No Yes
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Optical (pentamirror) Electronic
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots 2,359k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 95% 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.56 0.7
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/4000 s 1/4000 s
Continuous Shooting 5.0 fps 11.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes Yes
Aperture Priority Yes Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes Yes
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization No No
Built-in Flash Yes Yes
Flash Range 7 6
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 auto, slow sync, rear sync, redeye reduction, wireless, hi-speed sync
External Flash Yes Yes
AE Bracketing No Yes
WB Bracketing Yes Yes
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes Yes
Average No Yes
Spot Yes Yes
Partial No No
AF-Area No No
Center Weighted No No
Video Features
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 / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
Max Video Resolution 1920 x 1080 3840 x 2160
Video Formats MPEG-4, H.264 MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone Port No Yes
Headphone Port No No
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity Yes Yes
HDMI Yes Yes
USB USB 2.0 USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing No Yes
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof No No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 365 g 403 g
Physical Dimensions 124 x 97 x 70 mm 120 x 67 x 60 mm
Battery Life 1550 shots 410 shots
Battery Type Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Model EN-EL14a NP-FW50
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording No Yes
GPS
Storage Type SD/SDHC/SDXC SD/SDHC/SDXC/Memory Stick DUO (UHS-I compliant)
Storage Slots 1 1

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