Sony Alpha a3500 vs Nikon D3200

  • APS-C
  • 20 megapixels
  • Sony E
  • 43
    Overall
  • 17
    Imaging
  • 25
    Features
  • 72
    Size
  • 0
    Price
  • APS-C
  • 24 megapixels
  • Nikon F
  • 45
    Overall
  • 19
    Imaging
  • 30
    Features
  • 73
    Size
  • 0
    Price

Sony Alpha a3500 vs Nikon D3200: 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, Sony Alpha a3500 belongs to a Entry-Level Mirrorless category, the other model, Sony Alpha a3500 is a Entry-Level DSLR camera. Sony Alpha a3500 is equipped with a 20.0 MP CMOS sensor, while Nikon D3200 comes with a 24.0 MP CMOS sensor.

Both cameras we are going to look at in our overview fall into two different categories - MirrorLess and DSLR. 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 Sony Alpha a3500 and Nikon D3200 and, after this, we can go on to our detailed comparison of these models.

Sony Alpha a3500 Key Features:

  • 20.0 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 16000
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 4.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080
  • Built-in Wireless: No
  • Dimensions: 128 x 91 x 85 mm
  • Weight: 411 g
  • Environmental Sealing: No
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced Sony A3000.

Nikon D3200 Key Features:

  • 24.0 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 6400 (Expands to 12800)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 4.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (30,25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps), 640 x 424 (30, 25 fps)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 125 x 96 x 77 mm
  • Weight: 505 g
  • Environmental Sealing: No
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Replaced Nikon D3100. Compare
  • Replaced by Nikon D3300. Compare

Sony Alpha a3500 substituted Sony A3000.

Why is Sony Alpha a3500 a better choice than Nikon D3200

Sensor Area 366.6 mm2 vs 357.28 mm2 2.5% larger pixel area
Number Of Focus Points 25 vs 11 14 more focus points
Weight 411 g vs 505 g 94 g lighter

What are the key reasons to pick Nikon D3200 over Sony Alpha a3500

Wireless Connectivity Optional vs No Better connectivity
Sensor Resolution 24.0 MP vs 20.0 MP 16.7% more pixels
Flash Range 12 vs 6 6 better flash range
Screen Resolution 921k dots vs 230k dots 75% higher resolution screen
Battery Life 540 shots vs 470 shots 70 more frames with a single charge
Microphone Port Yes vs No High quality audio recording option
Viewfinder Magnification 0.53 vs 0.47 0.06 better magnification

Key PROs of Sony Alpha a3500 and Nikon D3200

Screen Size 3″ | 3″ Large display
Viewfinder Electronic | Optical (pentamirror) Better framing and control
Raw Support Yes | Yes Better image quality
AutoFocus Face Detection Yes | Yes Very handy for portraits
Bracketing Yes | Yes Useful for tough lighting conditions and HDR
Built-In Flash Yes | Yes External flash available
Flash Sync Port Yes | Yes Port for Flash Sync

Key CONs of Sony Alpha a3500 and Nikon D3200

Touch Screen No | No No touch screen
Screen Resolution 230k dots | 921k dots Small screen resolution
Screen Type Fixed Type | Fixed Type No flexible viewing angles
Headphone Port No | No No headphone port
Timelapse Recording No | No No timelapse recording
Continuous Shooting 4.0 fps | 4.0 fps Low continuous shooting
Image Stabilization No | No No image stabilization
Environmental Sealing No | No No environmental sealing

Sony Alpha a3500 vs Nikon D3200: 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 Sony Alpha a3500 and Nikon D3200 from the front view.

Sony Alpha a3500
Nikon D3200
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Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Sony Alpha a3500
Nikon D3200
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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, Sony Alpha a3500 is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 94g less than the Nikon D3200. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.

Comparing Sony Alpha a3500 and Nikon D3200 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 Sony Alpha a3500 and Nikon D3200 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. Sony Alpha a3500 features a 20.0 MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor and boasts of a BIONZ image processor processor . Nikon D3200, in its turn, comes with a 24.0 MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.

Take a look below to find the comparison of Sony Alpha a3500 and Nikon D3200 by the size of their sensors.

Sony Alpha a3500
Nikon D3200
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Sony Alpha a3500 and Nikon D3200 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 Sony Alpha a3500 and Nikon D3200 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 Sony Alpha a3500 and Nikon D3200 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 Sony Alpha a3500 Nikon D3200
Portrait Photography
73%
83%
Street Photography
75%
62%
Sports Photography
71%
64%
Daily Photography
64%
52%
Landscape Photography
78%
92%

Sony Alpha a3500 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D3200 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.2 x 15.4 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • You might not like Nikon skintone
  • No Image Stabilization

Sony Alpha a3500 for Street Photography

Advantages:

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

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (128 x 91 x 85 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D3200 for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large APS-C(23.2 x 15.4 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (125 x 96 x 77 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization
  • Small Number of autofocus Points (11)

Sony Alpha a3500 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Big size (128 x 91 x 85 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (4.0 fps)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/4000s)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (25)
  • Bad Max Native ISO (16000)
  • Small battery life (470 shots)

Nikon D3200 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Big size (125 x 96 x 77 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (4.0 fps)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/4000s)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (11)
  • Small Number of CrossFocus Points (1)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (1131)
  • Small battery life (540 shots)

Sony Alpha a3500 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

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

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (411 g)
  • Big size (128 x 91 x 85 mm)

Nikon D3200 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.2 x 15.4 mm) sensor
  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (505 g)
  • Big size (125 x 96 x 77 mm)

Sony Alpha a3500 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

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

Disadvantages:

  • Low resolution sensor (20 MP)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Bad Max Native ISO (16000)

Nikon D3200 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.2 x 15.4 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Good Dynamic Range (13.2)
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Bad Low Light ISO (1131)

Comparison of Sony Alpha a3500 vs Nikon D3200: 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, Sony Alpha a3500 or Nikon D3200, 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 Sony Alpha a3500 and Nikon D3200 here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Nikon D3200 deserves a higher Total Score than the Sony Alpha a3500. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.

Sony Alpha a3500 vs Nikon D3200 Table Of Technical Specs

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

Sony Alpha a3500 Nikon D3200
General
Brand Sony Nikon
Model Alpha a3500 D3200
Announced Mar 21, 2014 Jul 25, 2012
Body Type SLR-style mirrorless Compact SLR
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Sensor Size APS-C APS-C
Sensor Dimensions 23.5 x 15.6 mm 23.2 x 15.4 mm
Sensor Area 366.60 mm2 357.28 mm2
Sensor Resolution 20.0 MP 24.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 5456 x 3632 6016 x 4000
Max Native ISO 16,000 6,400
Max Boosted ISO n/a 12,800
Min Native ISO 100 100
RAW Support Yes Yes
Lens
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Sony E Nikon F
Number of Lenses 83 287
Focal Length Multiplier 1.5x 1.5x
Macro Focus Range
AutoFocus
AF Touch No No
AF Continuous Yes Yes
AF Single Yes Yes
AF Tracking Yes Yes
AF Selective Yes Yes
AF Center Yes No
AF Multi Area Yes Yes
AF Live View Yes Yes
AF Face Detection Yes Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes Yes
AF Phase Detection No Yes
Number of Focus Points 25 11
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a 1
Screen
Screen Type Fixed Type Fixed Type
Screen Size 3″ 3″
Screen Resolution 230k dots 921k dots
Live View Yes Yes
Touch Screen No No
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Electronic Optical (pentamirror)
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 100% 95%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.47 0.53
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/4000 s 1/4000 s
Continuous Shooting 4.0 fps 4.0 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 6 12
Flash Modes Flash off, Auto flash, Fill-flash, Slow Sync., Rear Sync. Auto, Red-Eye, Slow, Red-Eye Slow, Rear curtain
External Flash Yes Yes
AE Bracketing Yes Yes
WB Bracketing No No
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes Yes
Average No No
Spot Yes Yes
Partial No No
AF-Area No Yes
Center Weighted Yes Yes
Video Features
Video Resolutions 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 (30,25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps), 640 x 424 (30, 25 fps)
Max Video Resolution 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080
Video Formats AVCHD, H.264 MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone Port No Yes
Headphone Port No No
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity No Yes
HDMI Yes Yes
USB USB 2.0 USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing No No
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof No No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 411 g 505 g
Physical Dimensions 128 x 91 x 85 mm 125 x 96 x 77 mm
Battery Life 470 shots 540 shots
Battery Type Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Model NP-FW50 EN-EL14
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording No No
GPS Optional
Storage Type n/a SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-I compliant
Storage Slots 1 1

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