Nikon D3500 vs Canon T6I

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links it means we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Learn More

Introduction

For beginners, entry-level DSLRs are the best option out there, while today in this article, we’re going to mention some tips on what features you should be looking for before purchasing a camera. It is a comparison review on two remarkable entry-level budget-friendly DSLR cameras which have been a popular option among many photography enthusiasts and hobbyists during these years, even so, they have remained to be on top-of-the-line especially the DX-format entry-level te Nikon D3500.

Both of these cameras are suited toward photography novices but that will grow with you as you improve, they pack some impressive features along with a fast-paced performance. Personally, I’ve had the chance to use both of these cameras, and for this article, I’ll try to provide you with the most accurate and precise information that I can.

We will go through every feature, while I’ll point out even their slightest details and differences between them. However, before we get more into the specifics, I don’t really recommend these cameras to people who have used more premium cameras before, due to the fact that these two cameras are more for people who are just starting out, just as we mentioned, although, as for a second camera to have for semi-professionals or professionals, it won’t be that bad.

Okay, now, let’s start with the reviews and see what makes these cameras be so special.

Head To Head Comparison

Nikon D3500

The Nikon D3500 is an entry-level DSLR that is infused with the latest technologies as well as some serious features which will elevate your photography experience to a whole new level. It has an easy-to-use operation which is why I recommend it to every novice user, so let’s just dive more into the details and see what this camera is truly capable of.

Design-wise, Nikon D3500 boasts a lightweight, compact yet durable construction, while just like any other DSLR, it has a sculpted, textured handgrip which makes the camera very comfortable to hold, and it has a decent size which means that the camera can also be operated one-handed. I would also recommend this camera to people who travel a lot of those people who intend to keep their camera with them anywhere they go, due to the 4.9 x 3.9 x 2.8-inches construction, and the 12.9-ounce weight.

As we move on to the LCD screen, I must say that I’m not really impressed with what Nikon has done, considering the fact that it doesn’t have touchscreen and it can’t tilt, but nonetheless, it still remains an entry-level DSLR, so if you are someone who is just starting out, then this won’t be a problem for you. Just to point out the facts, the LCD screen is 3.0-inches as it is standard, while it has 921k-dots, so in terms of quality, you’ll get stunning detail, even in outdoor light.

To continue about specs, the Nikon D3500 has a 24-megapixel sensor that combines with the EXPEED 4 imaging processor, thus, outputting an impressive continuous shooting speed of 5 frames per second. It’s not that groundbreaking I must say, but it’s perfect for novice users, especially for still photographers, or landscape photographers. However, this is not the best camera for videography, and we’re going to show why in just a bit.

The first thing is the autofocus, no matter how impressive it may seem, it’s still an 11-AF point system. If you compare it to some other models at similar prices, the Nikon D3500 is not that good, but it’s okay especially due to the fulltime AF which locks onto your subjects to maintain focus when you’re recording or capturing shots. Also, let’s not forget to mention the fact that the camera has an Optical pentamirror which boasts a field coverage of 95% so that being said, your images will be missing some details around the corners, but usually those are the unnecessary parts of the image.

Regarding the ISO range, the Nikon D3500 has a native ISO sensitivity of 100-25600, with metering zones consisted of a 420-pixel RGB sensor, which more or less means that the camera will deliver stunning details even in low light situations.

In terms of video, this particular camera only supports Full HD at 1920 x 1080 at 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p. If you were hoping for 4K video, then you won’t have that in this camera, however, I doubt that you will need it if you’re a beginner.

Before we end, let’s also mention that the Nikon D3500 doesn’t have a built-in Wi-Fi or NFC, but there’s an app called SnapBridge which allows for remote camera control, sharing and transferring directly to a smartphone or tablet.

Overall, I think that the NikonD3500 is a great well-rounded camera for novice users, it has the most common features that are most essential to a beginner, while it outputs an amazing image quality with plenty of detail, sharpness, and vibrancy. I mostly recommend this camera for still photography, landscape, or weddings, but for serious videography, you might have to look for a better option.

Canon T6I

This is the most popular entry-level DSLR camera that you can find on the market. It’s the ideal choice for smartphone or digital point-and-shoot camera users looking to step up their imaging game. It’s only logical to compare these two cameras since they share a similar price, but in terms of features I think Canon T6i is better, while in terms of specs we have still to find out, but either way, it’s still a great camera to go with if you’re a beginner.

Canon T6i has a design similar to most other entry-level DSLR cameras in the market, the standard sturdy black body joined by a plastic shell on the outer layer, while it measures 5.2 x 4.0 x 3.1-inch and weighs around 1.22-pounds with the battery included. The button layout is not that impressive, starting from the release button which has only one function, to adjust the lenses, while the rest of the camera’s controls can be found on the right side of the pop-flash. For more convenience, there’s also a Live View button included which again, can be found on the right side of the viewfinder. You basically start and stop video recordings with it when the camera is set to a video position.

To continue, when it comes to the rear display, the T6i has a flip-out LCD screen with touchscreen capabilities, which pose a huge advantage over the Nikon D3500, other specs mainly stay the same including the image preview quality, the performance in outdoor light, and so on.

This is really useful in most cases because you can navigate through the menu, scroll through images with only a touch of a finger, while you can also take shots from different angles and viewing positions because the screen tilts, and this is very essential to videographers.

Performance-wise, let’s first start with the 24-megapixel CMOS (APS-C) image sensor which combines with the DIGIC 6 image processor to output excellence in terms of speed and quality, while these specs are really better than Nikon D3500’s in many ways.

I really like everything that the manufacturer was able to do with a camera of this price range, including the ISO sensitivity that stretches from 100-12800, while it also has a boosted ISO range of 25600, so as you can see, you’ll be able to get stunning results whether in bright, or low light conditions.

Additionally, I’m also very satisfied with the autofocus system, considering it has a 19-point AF system that has some decent tracking abilities and it’s able to successfully maintain focus on a moving subject. Thus, this camera is also preferable for videographers, or portrait photographers, because it can maintain focus with ease even with fast-moving subjects.

This being said, let’s also mention that the camera can record videos at Full HD 1080p, while it also allows you to take manual control of the video with 24, 25 and 30fps frame rates. Although, just like the Nikon D3500, the Canon T6i also doesn’t have 4K capabilities, and it’s really not the best entry-level camera for video recording, however, the autofocus still makes it a good performer.

Remember where we mentioned in the beginning that this camera comes with an advantage in terms of features when you compare it to the Nikon D3500, well one of those advantages is the built-in Wi-Fi connection. Basically, just as the name suggests, you can share or transfer wirelessly directly to your smartphone device or tablet, while the T6i is also compatible with CanonCameraConnect app, which also allows for transfer from camera to your smartphone.

To conclude, the T6i brings excellent value, it is the best entry-level DSLR that you can find, while it outputs a decent performance with some impressive features that are surprisingly present in a camera of this price range. If you’re on a budget and you just want to upgrade from a smartphone to a DSLR for better image quality, then this would be your answer.

Feature Comparison

Nikon D3500 Canon T6I
Camera Type
DSLR
DSLR
Megapixels
24.0
24.0
ISO Range
100-25,600
100-12800(25600)
Flip-Out Screen
No
Yes
AF Points
11 AF Points
19 AF Points
Viewfinder
Yes
Yes
Touchscreen
No
Yes
Video Recording
Yes
Yes
Sensor Size
APS-C
APS-C

Conclusion

All and all, these cameras are both great at what they do, and no matter what you choose, they are most certainly going to be better than your smartphone image quality.

If you want an entry-level DSLR for stunning image quality while also having a reasonable price, the Nikon D3500 would be your ideal choice. However, take in mind that the Nikon D3500 is not really preferable for video recording, while none of these two cameras features 4K. Personally, I would recommend the D3500 for people who are looking for a camera for still photography, landscape, and events.

As for the Canon T6, it really has an impressive performance, but it’s the best DSLR for novice users in my opinion, because it is really rich in terms of features, including the built-in Wi-Fi that the T6i has, the 19-point AF system, and the 3-inch tilting touchscreen LCD, while the Nikon D3500 doesn’t have a built-in Wi-Fi, nor a fully-articulating touchscreen LCD. So, depending on what you’re really after, and what meets your requirements the most, that’s how you decide which camera is better for you, while by now, I believe you have enough arguments to support your decision, and as we got the comparison table out of the way, it should be pretty easy by for you to decide. If you were to choose between these two cameras, then I would recommend you go for the Canon T6i, it is the perfect all-rounder for beginners, while with the plethora of features, you can try a bunch of new things, and see if you are more into videography or photography.