Nikon Z5 Vs Nikon D3500

In the realm of photography, Nikon has made a name for itself as a prestigious brand that is recognized for producing cameras of a very high standard. The Nikon Z5 and the Nikon D3500 are two of the most well-liked cameras in the brand’s arsenal. Both cameras provide features that are one of a kind and are tailored to distinct categories of photographers.

In this post, we will contrast the Nikon Z5 with the Nikon D3500 by analyzing their respective features, capabilities, and benefits. At the conclusion of this guide, you will have a crystal clear grasp of which camera best meets your requirements.

Sensor and Image Quality

Because it is responsible for determining the overall image quality, the sensor is one of the most important parts of a camera. The Nikon Z5 is equipped with a full-frame CMOS sensor that has 24.3 megapixels, which allows it to shoot photographs with exceptional dynamic range and astonishing levels of detail.

On the other hand, the Nikon D3500 features an APS-C CMOS sensor with 24.2-megapixels, which delivers exceptional image quality for a camera in its price range. Although the Z5’s sensor is bigger in size, the D3500’s sensor produces great results, especially given the camera’s more affordable price point.

Autofocus System

When it comes to taking photographs that are clear and in focus, the performance of the autofocus system is an extremely important factor. The Nikon Z5 features a hybrid autofocus system that is capable of focusing on a vast region of the frame thanks to its 273 focus points.

Even under difficult lighting circumstances, this technique allows for focusing that is both quick and precise. The Nikon D3500, on the other hand, makes use of an 11-point focusing system that, while it does an excellent job, is not quite as advanced as the one found in the Z5.

ISO Performance

Photographers frequently work in low-light conditions, which need high ISO performance from their equipment. In this regard, both the Nikon Z5 and the Nikon D3500 deliver outstanding performance. The high ISO range of 100-51200 that the Z5 provides ensures that it performs exceptionally well in low-light conditions.

In a similar vein, the D3500 features an ISO range of 100-25600 and is capable of producing respectable results even in difficult lighting settings. At lower ISO levels, the photographs produced by both cameras have a low level of noise, while the Z5 has a little edge at higher ISO settings.

Shooting Speed and Buffer

Those who are interested in capturing action that is happening quickly or shooting continuously may find that shooting speed and buffer capacity are key considerations. The memory capacity of the Nikon Z5 is around 23 RAW files or 100 JPEGs, and it is capable of shooting at a maximum continuous speed of 4.5 frames per second (fps).

On the other hand, the Nikon D3500 has a buffer capacity of around 11 RAW files or 100 JPEGs and can shoot at a maximum continuous speed of 5 frames per second (fps). Because of this, the D3500 is the superior option to consider purchasing if you value both speed and the capacity of its buffers.

Specifications Comparison

SpecificationNikon Z5Nikon D3500
Camera TypeMirrorlessDSLR
SensorFull-frame (35.9 x 23.9mm)APS-C (23.5 x 15.6mm)
Megapixels24.3 MP24.2 MP
ISO Range100-51,200 (expandable to 50-102,400)100-25,600 (expandable to 100-51,200)
Autofocus Points27311
Continuous Shooting SpeedUp to 4.5 fpsUp to 5 fps
Video Resolution4K UHD (3840 x 2160) at 30p/25p/24pFull HD (1920 x 1080) at 60p/50p/30p/25p/24p
ViewfinderElectronic (3.69M-dot)Optical (Pentamirror, 95% coverage)
LCD Screen3.2″ Tilting Touchscreen (1.04M-dot)3.0″ Fixed (921K-dot)
Built-in Wi-FiYesYes
Battery LifeApprox. 390 shots per chargeApprox. 1,550 shots per charge
Weight (Body Only)Approx. 675gApprox. 365g

Video Capabilities

Although the Nikon Z5 and the Nikon D3500 are both capable of shooting video, there are a few key distinctions between the two models in this regard. The Z5 is capable of recording 4K Ultra High Definition films at a rate of 30 frames per second, which guarantees exceptional video quality. In addition to that, it offers recording choices in Full HD as well as slow motion.

On the other hand, the D3500 is capable of recording Full HD video at a rate of 60 frames per second, which results in footage that is both smooth and of a high quality. Because it is capable of recording 4K video, the Z5 should be your camera of choice if you want to make video recording a substantial part of your photography.

Viewfinder and LCD Screen

When framing a photo and evaluating it afterward, both the viewfinder and the LCD screen are extremely useful tools. The electronic viewfinder (EVF) of the Nikon Z5 has a high resolution of 3.69 million dots, which provides a view that is both clear and detailed of the subject matter being captured. Additionally, it includes an LCD screen that can be tilted, allowing for a variety of different shooting angles.

On the other hand, the Nikon D3500 features an optical viewfinder (OVF) that is designed with a pentamirror, which offers a shooting experience that is more conventional. In addition to that, it possesses a static LCD screen. The decision between an electronic viewfinder (EVF) and an optical viewfinder (OVF) is one that should be made based on the individual’s shooting preferences.

Battery Life

When taking photographs for a lengthy amount of time, battery life is a very important factor that photographers must take into mind. The Nikon Z5 makes use of a rechargeable battery of the same name, the EN-EL15c, and it can take roughly 470 pictures on a single charge.

When compared, the Nikon D3500 utilizes an EN-EL14a battery, which provides an impressively long battery life of around 1,550 images per charge. In the event that long-lasting battery performance is essential to your operation, the D3500 has an advantage thanks to its battery life.

Connectivity Options

The availability of many connectivity alternatives is becoming increasingly significant in this age of immediate file sharing and wireless management. Both the Nikon Z5 and the Nikon D3500 are equipped with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, making it simple to transmit images and operate the cameras from a remote location.

The Z5, on the other hand, goes one step further by including an extra USB-C connector, which enables both rapid data transmission and charging directly within the camera. The adaptability of the Z5 makes it a better choice for those who place a high emphasis on expanded connectivity possibilities.

Lens Compatibility

The choice of lens is an extremely important factor in the creative options available to a photographer. The Nikon Z5 is a component of Nikon’s Z-mount system, which provides a growing choice of high-quality lenses created exclusively for Nikon’s mirrorless cameras. These lenses were developed specifically for use with the Nikon Z-mount. In addition to this, the Z5 is compatible with F-mount lenses when paired with an appropriate adaptor.

The Nikon D3500, on the other hand, makes use of the F-mount system, which makes it compatible with a wide variety of lenses produced by Nikon as well as by third-party manufacturers. The fact that the D3500 can use lenses with an F-mount offers it an edge in terms of available lenses.

Ergonomics and Handling

When picking out a camera, simplicity of operation and user-friendliness are two of the most important considerations. The magnesium alloy body of the Nikon Z5 is both rugged and weather-sealed, making it exceptionally resistant to the effects of exposure to various environmental conditions. Additionally, the grip is quite comfortable, making it an excellent choice for extended periods of shooting.

In a similar vein, the body of the Nikon D3500 is both lightweight and small, which contributes to the camera’s portability and ease of use. Both of these cameras have great ergonomics, so picking one over the other comes down to personal preference and the way you typically shoot.

Price and Value

When it comes to selecting a camera, price is frequently the deciding factor. The Nikon Z5 is considered to be a mid-range camera since it provides sophisticated capabilities as well as good image quality at a price point that is comparable to other cameras in its class.

On the other hand, the Nikon D3500 is a digital single-lens reflex camera that is aimed at novice photographers or those who are working with a more limited spending limit. When one considers the capabilities and features provided by each camera, it becomes clear that both the Z5 and the D3500 offer a great deal of value to the audiences for whom they are intended.


In conclusion, both the Nikon Z5 and the Nikon D3500 are fantastic cameras that are designed to meet the needs of particular categories of photographers. Because it is a mirrorless camera, the Z5 provides more sophisticated features than its predecessors, including as a bigger sensor, the ability to record video in 4K, and improved networking choices.

It is an excellent choice for both amateurs and pros that value flexibility and functionality in their equipment. On the other hand, the Nikon D3500 shines as an entry-level digital single-lens reflex camera due to its high picture quality, user-friendliness, and extensive lens selection, all of which come at a reasonable cost. It is an excellent option for people who are just starting out or are working with a limited budget.


Q. Can I use my existing Nikon lenses with the Z5?
A. Yes, the Nikon Z5 is compatible with F-mount lenses through the use of an adapter.
Q. Does the Nikon D3500 have image stabilization?
A. No, the D3500 does not have in-body image stabilization. However, some lenses compatible with the D3500 may have built-in stabilization.
Q. Which camera is better for video recording, the Z5 or the D3500?
A. The Nikon Z5 is the better choice for video recording, thanks to its 4K capabilities and additional video features.
Q. Is the Nikon Z5 weather-sealed?
A. Yes, the Nikon Z5 has a weather-sealed magnesium alloy body, providing protection against dust and moisture.
Q. What is the main advantage of the Nikon D3500?
A. The main advantage of the Nikon D3500 is its excellent value for money, making it a perfect entry-level DSLR option.


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