Nikon D3100 vs. D3500: Which is Better?

When it comes to entry-level DSLR cameras, Nikon has always been a front-runner with its D series. In this piece, we will delve into a comparative analysis of two popular models – the Nikon D3100 and the Nikon D3500. Both cameras offer a range of features that make them excellent choices for beginners and photography enthusiasts alike, but the question is – which one edges out the other? Let’s explore.

Nikon D3100 Overview


The Nikon D3100 is a remarkable digital SLR camera with a 14.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor. It effortlessly captures stunning images and records Full HD 1080p videos. With 11 autofocus points and 3D tracking, it guarantees precise focusing. The ISO range of 100-3200 ensures exceptional low-light performance. With a continuous shooting speed of 4 frames per second, you never miss a moment. The camera boasts a 3-inch LCD screen with Live View mode for easy composition. It is compatible with Nikon’s full range of interchangeable lenses, offering endless creative possibilities. Powered by the EXPEED image processing engine, it delivers superior image quality that will leave you in awe.

Nikon D3100 Overview


The Nikon D3100 is a remarkable camera, offering a multitude of impressive features. Its compact size makes it an ideal companion for travel, while its 14.2 megapixel sensor ensures exceptional image resolution. With an 11-point autofocus system, it enables quick and precise focusing, capturing every detail with ease. Additionally, its 3D tracking feature excels at capturing fast-moving subjects, while the 4 frames per second continuous shooting speed allows you to seize those decisive moments effortlessly. [1]


The Nikon D3100 has a few drawbacks. It lacks any in-body image stabilization or weather sealing, which means it isn’t great for shooting in low light conditions or in inclement weather.The features a compact 3-inch LCD screen, which some may find smaller than desired. Additionally, its ISO range is limited to 3200, making it less suitable for capturing images in extremely low-light conditions. Additionally, its EXPEED image processor performs relatively slowly compared to other cameras.

Nikon D3500 Overview


The Nikon D3500 is a 24.2 megapixel digital SLR camera with an APS-C CMOS sensor that captures stunning images and Full HD 1080p video. This camera boasts 11 autofocus points, 3D tracking, an ISO range of 100 – 25600, a continuous shooting speed of 5 frames per second, and a 3-inch LCD screen with Live View mode. It is also compatible with Nikon’s full range of interchangeable lenses, and includes a powerful EXPEED 4 image processing engine that ensures superior image quality.


The Nikon D3500 has many advantages over its predecessor. Its 24.2 megapixel sensor provides excellent image resolution, while its 11-point autofocus system allows for quick and accurate focusing. In addition, its 5 frames per second continuous shooting speed is ideal for capturing fast-paced action shots, while its expanded ISO range of 100 – 25600 will enable it to capture images in low light conditions with ease.


The Nikon D3500 does have a few drawbacks. Its 3-inch LCD screen is still on the small side, and its lack of in-body image stabilization can make it difficult to shoot in low light conditions. Its relatively slow EXPEED 4 image processor also means that it won’t be able to keep up with some of the faster cameras on the market. Additionally, its 11 autofocus points are fewer than some other cameras in its class.

Nikon D3500 Overview

Comparison of the Nikon D 3100 vs. D3500

When comparing the Nikon D3100 and D3500, there are a few key differences to consider. The most obvious is the megapixel count, with the D3500 boasting 24.2 megapixels compared to the 14.2 of its predecessor. This means that it is capable of capturing more detail in each image and producing larger prints than the D3100. Additionally, the D3500 has a higher ISO range and faster continuous shooting speed than its predecessor, making it better suited for low-light photography and fast-paced action shots. Finally, the D3500 also features an improved EXPEED 4 image processor which is capable of processing images faster than the D3100.

Overall, both cameras are great for amateur photographers, but the Nikon D3500 is a superior camera in terms of image quality and performance. Its higher megapixel count, increased ISO range, faster continuous shooting speed and improved image processor make it a more capable camera than its predecessor. If you’re looking to take your photography game up a notch, then the Nikon D3500 is the clear choice. However, if you’re on a tighter budget, then the Nikon D3100 is still a great way to get into the world of digital SLR photography. Both cameras are excellent choices for their respective price points. [2]

Audio Features Comparison

Both cameras have external microphones, allowing for better sound quality and reducing background noise. However, the D3500 does not support stereo sound recording while the D3100 does. Additionally, the D3100 has a built-in headphone jack for monitoring audio while shooting video. The D3500 lacks this feature.

When it comes to audio quality, the D3100 definitely has an edge over the D3500. The D3100 offers more control over audio levels and sound quality than the D3500 does. It also allows for audio gain adjustment and manual recording levels to improve sound quality even further.

Audio Features Comparison

Storage Comparison

The D3100 offers an SD card slot, while the D3500 does not. This means that with the D3100 you can easily transfer photos and videos to your computer or other devices without having to remove the memory card. The D3500 doesn’t offer this feature, so transferring files requires physically removing the memory card from the camera.

In terms of storage, the D3100 has double the capacity for storing photos and videos than the D3500 does. This means that you can store more images on a single card with the D3100 than you can with the D3500.

Power Comparison

The D3100 has a small battery, which means that it can only take up to 500 shots before needing to be recharged. On the other hand, the D3500 has a larger battery and can take up to 900 shots per charge. This makes the D3500 better suited for longer shooting sessions, such as when shooting sports or wildlife photography.

The D3500 also has a built-in environmental protection system, which helps to extend the battery life and protect it from extreme temperatures. The D3100 does not have this feature. As such, the D3500 is better suited for outdoor shooting in harsher conditions.

Price Comparison

The Nikon D3100 is an entry-level DSLR camera and is more affordable than the D3500. The D3100 has a retail price of around $400, while the D3500 retails for around $500.

However, it is important to note that you get more features and better performance with the D3500, so if you can afford it, then it is worth the extra money. The D3500 may be the better choice if you are looking for a camera that has longer battery life, better audio features and more storage capacity.

Price Comparison

Overall, both cameras offer good value for the money and are great options for amateur photographers looking to get started with DSLR photography. In terms of which camera is best, it really depends on your individual needs and budget.

Connectivity Comparison

The D3100 and D3500 both offer built-in WiFi, allowing you to quickly connect your camera to other devices. The D3100 has the added advantage of being able to control it remotely using Nikon’s mobile app. This allows users to adjust settings without having to be near the camera, making it easier to take photos from a distance. The D3500 does not offer this feature.

The D3100 and D3500 both have USB ports for connecting to computers and other devices, as well as an HDMI port for connecting to a television or monitor. Both cameras also offer support for external flash units and remote triggers.

How to Store and Maintain Your Nikon Camera

Battery Charging and Storage

Before using your Nikon camera for the first time, make sure to charge its battery. When not in use, store the camera and battery in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and moisture. [3]

Cleaning Your Camera

Clean your Nikon camera after every shoot to remove any debris or dirt that has accumulated on it. Use only a soft cloth or lens cleaning paper and solution. Do not use chemical cleansers as they could damage the camera.

Updating Software

It is important to keep your Nikon camera’s software up-to-date so you can get the best performance out of it. Check for firmware updates periodically by connecting your camera to a computer via USB cable.

How to Store and Maintain Your Nikon Camera


Periodically clean the exterior of your camera and check that all buttons, ports, and cables are working properly. Also make sure there is no dust or dirt inside the lens mount area and viewfinder. If you encounter any issues with your Nikon camera, contact a Nikon certified service center for assistance.

Memory Cards

When choosing a memory card, always make sure it is compatible with your Nikon camera. Look for cards that are rated Class 10 and above as these are the best for recording high-quality footage. Store memory cards in a secure place away from dust particles and other sources of contamination. [4]

Storing Photos & Videos

Download photos or videos to your computer after every shoot and format the memory card in your Nikon camera. This will help free up storage space and ensure no data is lost. Backing up your files to an external hard drive or cloud storage service is also recommended for extra protection.

Accessories You Might Need

To get the most out of your Nikon camera, there are a few essential accessories you should consider investing in.

Extra Batteries

Having extra rechargeable batteries on hand is important so you can shoot for longer without having to worry about running out power. Invest in high-quality replacement batteries that are compatible with your camera model for better performance.

Camera Bag

A good quality camera bag will keep your Nikon camera safe and secure while you are on the go. Look for one with padded compartments and adjustable dividers so you can easily store extra lenses, memory cards, batteries, and other accessories in it. [5]

Accessories You Might Need

Lens Hoods

Lens hoods protect your camera lens from dust, dirt, and other contaminants. They also help cut down on glare and reflections in your photos. Choose a hood that fits the lens you are using and make sure it is compatible with your Nikon camera model.


A tripod is essential for shooting steady shots at slow shutter speeds or when taking photos in low-light conditions. Look for one that is lightweight and adjustable so you can easily position your camera to get the perfect shot.

Remote Shutter

A remote shutter release lets you control your Nikon camera without having to touch it directly. This can help reduce blur in long exposure shots or when shooting from a distance. Wireless remotes are the most convenient as they let you control your camera from up to 30 feet away.


Filters can help you achieve various effects in your photos. UV filters are the most common and protect the lens from dirt and scratches, while polarizers reduce glare and reflections. There are also special effects filters such as starburst and soft focus that can add creative flair to your images.

Flash Diffuser

A flash diffuser helps to soften the light from the built-in or external flash on your Nikon camera, which can help reduce harsh shadows and create a more even illumination in photos. Choose one that is compatible with your specific camera model for the best results.

Alternatives to the Nikon D3100 and D3500

There are other cameras on the market that may be a better fit for you depending on your budget and needs.

One example is the Canon EOS Rebel T6i, which has similar features to the Nikon D3100 and D3500 but at a lower price point. The Canon EOS Rebel T6i also offers an articulated touchscreen LCD monitor and Wi-Fi connectivity, making it an ideal choice for those who want to share their photos right away. [6]

Alternatives to the Nikon D3100 and D3500

The Sony Alpha a6000 is another excellent alternative to the Nikon D3100 and D3500. This camera has a higher megapixel count than either of the Nikon models, as well as fast autofocus and 4K video recording capabilities. It also features an electronic viewfinder and built-in flash, making it a great choice for photographers who want to take their photography to the next level.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 is also worth considering if you’re looking for something smaller and more affordable than the Nikon models. This camera has a Micro Four Thirds sensor that produces excellent image quality in a lightweight body, and it also features 4K video recording capabilities. The Lumix DMC-GX85 is perfect for those who want to take photos in a variety of different settings.

If you’re willing to go all out, the Fujifilm X-T2 is an excellent choice. This camera offers superior image quality, 4K video recording, and a robust autofocus system. With its weather-sealed body, it’s ideal for those who want to take photos in challenging conditions. It also features multiple dials and buttons, making it an excellent choice for experienced photographers who want complete control over their photography.

No matter which camera you choose, the important thing is that you find one that suits your needs and budget. With a little research, you should be able to find the perfect camera for you.

What Types Of Photography Are Nikon D3100 and Nikon D3500 Good for?

Both the Nikon D3100 and the Nikon D3500 are great cameras for all types of photography, including landscape, portrait, sports, wildlife, and much more. The main difference between them is the type of sensor they use. The Nikon D3100 uses a 14-megapixel CMOS sensor while the Nikon D3500 uses a 24-megapixel CMOS sensor. This allows the D3500 to capture more detail in photos, especially for higher ISO settings or when shooting in low-light situations.

When it comes to video recording, both cameras are capable of recording 1080p Full HD video at 30 frames per second (fps). However, the Nikon D3100 is limited to 10 minutes of continuous recording time, while the Nikon D3500 can record up to 20 minutes. If you plan on shooting a lot of video with your camera, then the D3500 is probably the better choice.

In conclusion, both cameras are great choices for all types of photography and videography. The Nikon D3100 is an excellent entry level camera that won’t break the bank, while the Nikon D3500 is a great choice for those who want to shoot more advanced photos and videos. It all boils down to your budget and what type of photography you plan on doing with your camera. Whichever one you choose, you will be sure to get some amazing shots!

It’s also important to note that both cameras support a wide range of lenses, so you can easily upgrade and add accessories as your photography skills improve. If you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, then consider investing in Nikon’s DX-series DSLR lenses. These lenses are designed specifically for cropped sensor cameras like the D3100 or D3500, and they offer great quality at a reasonable price. If you’re just starting out in photography, then these lenses are a great way to get started and expand your repertoire of photographic equipment. With the Nikon D3100 and D3500, you can be sure to capture stunning photos with ease! [7]

What Types Of Photography Are Nikon D3100 and Nikon D3500 Good for?

Common Mistakes While Using Nikon D3100 and D3500

When using either a Nikon D3100 or D3500 DSLR, it is important to avoid certain mistakes in order to get the best pictures possible. To start, make sure that you don’t use too much ISO and that you are aware of how your camera handles noise when shooting at higher settings. Additionally, be aware of shutter speed and aperture settings as improper settings can cause blurry pictures. Furthermore, it is important to check the metering mode of your camera before taking a shot as incorrect settings for this can lead to exposure problems. Finally, make sure that you are using the right lenses and accessories for the type of photography you intend to do; for example, if shooting in low-light situations, having a fast lens with low aperture would be ideal. With the proper knowledge and practice, you can achieve great results with your Nikon D3100 or D3500.

How to Choose a Camera?

When it comes to choosing a camera, there are several factors that should be taken into consideration. The most important factor is the purpose of the camera. Are you looking for a basic point and shoot camera for casual photography or a more advanced camera for professional-level images?

The type of lens system is also an important factor when choosing a camera. DSLR cameras have interchangeable lenses, which can be beneficial for those who want to use different types of lenses in their photography. Mirrorless cameras are lighter and smaller than DSLR cameras, but they don’t offer the same level of image quality as DSLRs.

In addition to the type of camera, you should also consider its features and ergonomics. Do you need image stabilization, burst mode, a flip-out LCD screen? All of these features can make a big difference in the quality of photos you take. It’s also important to make sure the camera is comfortable to hold and use.

Finally, you’ll want to consider the price range for your camera. DSLR cameras are typically more expensive than mirrorless cameras, but the cost of entry is still relatively reasonable. If you’re serious about photography, it can be worth investing in a higher-end camera. You’ll also want to consider whether or not you need additional accessories such as lenses and bags.

Once you have considered all of these factors, it’s time to make your decision. Compare different models side by side and look at the features of each one. Think about how you plan to use your camera and what kind of photos you want to take, as this will help you determine which model is right for you.

No matter which type of camera you choose, it’s important to practice and become familiar with its features. Take time to experiment with different settings so that you can get the most out of your camera and create beautiful images.


What are the main differences between Nikon D3100 and D3500?

The differences between the Nikon D3100 and D3500 are largely in terms of image quality, video performance, and features. The Nikon D3100 has a 14 megapixel sensor, while the D3500 offers 24 megapixels.The D3500 also has improved low-light performance due to its higher ISO range (up to 25600). Additionally, the D3500 offers improved video recording capabilities with Full HD resolution and 60 frames per second. Finally, the D3500 has several features that are not available in the D3100 such as built-in Wi-Fi, SnapBridge connectivity, time-lapse photography mode and interval timer.

Is one camera better than the other?

Both the Nikon D3100 and D3500 offer excellent image quality and performance, so it really depends on your specific needs. The D3100 is a great choice for those on a budget or who don’t need advanced features like built-in Wi-Fi or SnapBridge connectivity. If you are looking for more advanced features or higher resolution images, then the D3500 is the better option.

Is either camera suitable for more serious photography?

Yes, both cameras are suitable for more serious photography. The D3100 offers great image quality and features that will satisfy most amateur photographers, while the D3500 takes it a step further with its improved low light performance and extra features. Both cameras offer good value for money and are great choices for those looking to get into photography.

What accessories are essential for either camera?

Essential accessories for both cameras include a good quality lens, memory card, and tripod. A lens hood is also recommended to protect against glare and lens flare. For the D3500, an external flash can help improve lighting in low light conditions and a wired or wireless remote can be useful for long exposures. Finally, if you plan on using the camera for video recording, then an external microphone is highly recommended.

What are some other Nikon cameras to consider?

Other Nikon cameras to consider include the D5600, D7100, and D7500 models. The D5600 is a great entry-level model with many of the features found on the D3500, while the D7100 and D7500 offer increased resolution and improved low light performance. Additionally, Nikon has recently released its mirrorless line of cameras, such as the Z50, which offer excellent image quality in a compact form factor.

What other brands should I consider?

In addition to Nikon, other popular camera brands include Canon, Sony, Fujifilm, and Olympus. Canon and Sony both offer a wide range of DSLR and mirrorless cameras that cater to different needs and budgets. Fujifilm has their own unique series of cameras with great image quality in a retro design. Finally, Olympus is known for their micro four-thirds cameras which offer excellent image quality in a small and lightweight body.

No matter what brand you choose, it’s important to do your research and find the right camera to fit your needs.

What are some good online resources for learning about photography?

There are many great online resources available for learning about photography, including:

  • National Geographic’s Your Shot Photo Community
  • Digital Photography School
  • Shutterbug Magazine
  • Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Tutorials
  • Photography Courses
  • Photzy Photograph Learning Center
  • The Phoblographer Blog

In addition to these online resources, there are also many local photography classes and workshops available for those who want to learn more about photography in person. It’s also worth mentioning that the Nikon website has great resources for learning about their cameras, lenses, and other products.

Are there any good camera repair services?

Yes, there are several reputable camera repair services online including Precision Camera, Camera Clinic, and If your camera is still under warranty then it’s best to contact the manufacturer directly for repair services. It’s also worth mentioning that many local camera stores offer repair services as well.

How does the battery life of Nikon D3100 compare with D3500?

The battery life of the Nikon D3100 is slightly better than that of the D3500, with up to 550 shots per charge compared to 500 for the D3500. However, it’s worth noting that these figures can vary depending on usage and settings. So if you are shooting in continuous mode or using more advanced features like Wi-Fi then the battery life might be lower. It’s also worth investing in an extra battery to get extended shooting time.

What type of memory cards are compatible with either camera?

Both the Nikon D3100 and D3500 are compatible with Secure Digital (SD) memory cards, as well as SDHC and SDXC formats. If you are shooting in RAW format then it’s best to use a UHS-I or UHS-II card for the fastest read/write speeds.

What lenses can I use with either camera?

Both cameras are compatible with Nikon’s F mount lenses, so any lens designed for the F mount will work on either camera. Popular lenses for the D3100 include the 18-55mm kit lens, 50mm f/1.8G and 55-200mm telephoto zoom lens. For the D3500, a more suitable lens would be the 18-140mm all-in-one zoom or 35mm f/1.8G portrait lens.

Useful Video: Nikon D3100 vs Nikon D3500


After examining both the Nikon D3100 and the D3500, it is clear that the two cameras have similarities but also key differences. The Nikon D3100 has a better sensor resolution than its counterpart, as well as more features such as HD video recording. On the other hand, the Nikon D3500 offers an improved autofocus system and faster burst shooting speeds, making it more suitable for sports or fast-moving subjects. Ultimately, the choice comes down to a user’s needs and preferences; if image quality is an essential factor for them, then the D3100 would be the better option. However, if speed and accuracy are priorities, then the D3500 would be a better pick.

Those looking to purchase a new DSLR should take into consideration all the features each camera offers and decide which best fits their individual needs. With modern cameras like the D3100 and D3500, photographers have more options than ever before, making it easier to capture stunning photos in any situation. It is important to do research on both models and make an informed decision depending on one’s budget and desired results. From casual snap-shooters to more serious photographers, both cameras can be used to great effect when operated correctly.