Nikon D3500 vs. Canon T6: The Ultimate Comparison

In this article, we break down the differences between the Nikon D3500 and the Canon T6, so you can decide which camera is best for you.

The Nikon D3500 and the Canon T6 are both entry-level DSLR cameras from two of the best camera brands on the market. These cameras are targeted for amateurs and enthusiasts who are ready to step into the DSLR photography game.

With two years between their release dates, the Nikon D3500 has a slight edge when it comes to technology advances, but the Canon T6 manages to hold its own with Canon’s signature features. Both of these models start at some of the lowest price points for DSLR style cameras, and they have similar features that are aimed towards helping beginner photographers get used to the DSLR format.

Although there are a lot of similarities between these models, in this article we take the time to highlight the differences, so you can choose which model is best for you!

Check out the key details and our in-depth comparison to see which of these beginner cameras would be the best fit.

Key Details at a Glance:

The following chart shows the side-by-side specs of the Nikon D3500 and the Canon T6:

Nikon D3500 Canon T6
Price New: $470, Used: $365 (Body Only) New: $462, Used: $415 (Body Only)
Release Date 8/29/2018 3/10/2016
Sensor 24MP APS-C CMOS 18MP APS-C CMOS
Viewfinder Optical Optical
Articulating LCD Screen No No
LCD Screen Size 3 3
Viewfinder Resolution 2359k 921k
Lens Type Nikon F Mount EF/EF-S Mount
Continuous Shooting Speed 5.0 fps 3.0 fps
Video Resolution 1920×1080 1920×1080
Weather sealed No No
Image Stabilization No No
ISO Range 100-25600 100-6400
Low Light ISO 25,600 12,800
Battery Life 1,550 Shots 500 Shots
Time Lapse Recording No No
Touchscreen No No
Selfie Friendly LCD No No
Wireless Connection No Yes
Bluetooth Connection Yes No
Microphone Port No No
AE Bracketing No Yes
Smartphone Remote Yes Yes
Built-in Flash Yes Yes
External Flash Yes Yes
Lenses Available 305 321
Dimensions 124x97x70mm 129x101x78mm
Weight 365g 485g
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Detailed Comparison

The side-by-side specs are a great way of seeing the major differences between the cameras at a quick glance, but this detailed comparison helps illustrate how these differences function between the models.

Taking the plunge into DSLR photography is exciting, but with so many entry-level options, the process of picking a camera is daunting. Going with the Nikon D3500 or the Canon T6 is a great place to start since these brands dominate the market, which can help create a seamless transition into DSLR equipment.

Both of these cameras are entry-level models, which means they are great for beginners (and enthusiasts) who want a basic camera that can conquer many different types of photography. Both of these cameras are equipped with the ability to help photographers master the technique of DSLR cameras.

Design & Battery Life

Nikon and Canon both have signature designs that can be a huge deciding factor when it comes to picking out a camera. Nikon and Canon are known for implementing their classic designs throughout their models, so if you have a preference towards either brand, the Nikon D3500 and Canon T6 will be no exception.

The Nikon D3500 is 124 x 97 x 70mm, and it weighs 365g, whereas the Canon T6 is 129 x 101 x 78mm, and 485g. The size differences are small in measurement, but the Nikon D3500 is a bit thinner and sleeker than the Canon T6, as well as lighter. If you want a camera that is lightweight, and more compact, the Nikon D3500 is the better choice.

Along with their sizes, both of these cameras feature 3’’ fixed LCD screens, so neither of them allow flexibility with shooting angles. Both of these models lack environmental sealing, which means they neither are a good choice if you plan to shoot in extreme weather conditions.

While their size difference comes down to the photographer’s preference in equipment handling, a big difference between these models is the battery life. The Canon T6 has a battery life of 500 shots, which is pretty impressive and allows for lengthy shoots between charging.

The Nikon D3500 is the clear winner when it comes to battery life, though. It can take up to 1,550 shots on a single charge, which is amazing for entry-level photographers who want to take a lot of pictures during each shoot.

Autofocus System & Performance

These cameras are well-rounded models that have a little bit of every DSLR feature, including autofocus systems and quick continuous shooting speeds. Overall, these are great cameras to help photographers get used to utilizing these features during shoots, but there are some differences between both cameras.

The Nikon D3500 features an autofocus system with 11-points, while the Canon T6’s system operates with 9-points. Both of these are good systems to start with, since they cover the middle of the frame, but aren’t too distracting while shooting. The Nikon D3500 has the upperhand with a few extra focus points.

The Canon T6 has a continuous shooting speed of 3.0 fps, so it is better suited for still subjects and landscape photography. It is possible to capture action shots with this camera, but it won’t be able to take as many frames as higher price point DSLRs.

If you plan on doing more action photography, the Nikon D3500 is the better choice between the two cameras. The Nikon D3500 features a continuous shooting speed of 5.0 fps.

Image Quality & Low Light Performance

For entry-level cameras, the Nikon D3500 and the Canon T6 both produce solid images. The Canon T6 features an 18-MP APS-C CMOS sensor, and the Nikon D3500 features a 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor. While these sensors produce similar results, the extra 6MP gives a lot more freedom when it comes to cropping and printing larger images.

Image Sample from the Nikon D3500:

Image Sample from the Nikon D3500

Image via DPReview

Neither of these cameras feature image stabilization, so it’s important to keep this in mind when planning shoots that require a lot of handling. You may need to invest in other equipment, like a tripod, to reduce image shake when using either model.

In low light situations, the Nikon D3500 pulls ahead compared to the Canon T6. The Canon T6 features an ISO range of 100-6400, and it can expand to 12,800 in low light situations. On the other hand, the Nikon D3500’s ISO range is 100-25,400, which provides a bit more ability for quality low light images.

Image Sample from the Canon T6:

Image Sample from the Canon T6

Image via Imaging-Resourcing

For low light situations, both of these cameras feature built-in flash options, as well as external flash attachments. The built-in options have slight differences in their ability, as the Nikon D3500 has a range of 7.0m, and the Canon T6 has a larger range of 9.2m. If you plan to utilize a flash attachment, you can achieve the same range of flash on either model.

The Nikon D3500 removes the anti-aliasing filter that some cameras have, which means it has a higher ability to retain fine detail. The Canon T6 does feature an anti-aliasing filter though, and it reduces moire in photos.

Connection Features

Modern DSLR cameras typically have the ability to connect via Bluetooth or WiFi to other devices to provide for easy image transfer.

The Nikon D3500 features Bluetooth connection with Nikon’s SnapBridge technology, which allows the connection through a smartphone app to quickly share images between devices. This is a great feature if you plan on sharing images with just one device, but if you require WiFi for image transfer, the Nikon D3500 isn’t the best choice,

The Canon T6 takes a different approach to image transfer, as it utilizes WiFi connection to share images between multiple connected devices. This feature is handy if you’re around WiFi to share, but the Canon T6 lacks Bluetooth connectivity, so it doesn’t work well for on-the-go image transfer.

Both of these cameras can connect to an app to allow remote control with your smartphone. This is convenient for photographers who want to use a tripod, or any kind of set-up, that requires a remote trigger.

The Final Verdict

Both of these cameras are stellar entry-level models, but the Nikon D3500 has a significant advantage over the Canon T6 in several categories.

The Nikon D3500 is great for any photographer who wants a camera that performs well in low light and has super long battery life. It is also a great fit for photographers who want a lighter model when traveling or conducting shoots that require a lot of equipment handling.

If you want a camera that has a reliable connection across multiple devices, along with comparable speed, image quality, and autofocus ability, then the Canon T6 is a good choice.

Overall, the Nikon D3500 is the better choice when it comes to features and performance.

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