Last Updated on April 11, 2021
If you are looking at getting either the Nikon D3500 or the Canon SL2 read on for a comprehensive comparison. We will be looking at the key features of these two cameras, and then the pros and cons of both.
Nikon D3500 Review
The Nikon D3500 is a step up from their entry level DSLR’s. This camera has roughly the same sensor size as the Canon SL2 (24 mm diagonal), 16 MP lenses. This camera would be considered many peoples first foray into DSLR territory, but can it really compete with the Canon SL2?
This camera comes with a 3 inch touchscreen and a 20fps shooting capacity. This is a great camera for those looking to increase the speed, but also want to increase their image quality. This camera will definitely give your images a lot more detail and texture.
This camera has Wi-Fi capability, which means you can transfer your photos straight to your phone and share them almost instantly.
Although this is an entry level DSLR it is very much comparable to the Canon SL2. It weighs just over 500 grams which is almost 100 grams lighter than the Canon SL2.
Canon SL2 Review
The Canon SL2 is a camera that is very much in the mid-range of DSLR. It has a larger sensor, but a lower MP rating compared to the Nikon D3500.
This camera is great if you are looking to do video or benefit from the slow motion option. This camera does have Wi-Fi capability, but it’s not as fast as the Nikon D3500.
This camera also has the capability to record 4k video, which is great for those who do a lot of video work.
This camera has a 49 point AF which is slightly better that the Canon SL2. The Nikon D3500 focuses internally, so you will not have to deal with the mirror going up and down in front of the sensor as with a DSLR.
The Canon SL2 has an 61 point AF.
This camera has a field of view of 24 mm, which is slightly longer than the Nikon D3500. The Canon SL2 also has a 3 inch screen. Although both cameras have the same resolution, the Nikon D3500 has 12 Megapixels while the Canon SL2 only has 11 Megapixels. This means that you will be able to get much better detail with crops and close ups on either camera.
The D3500 has a new processor, which allows the camera to shoot at 6 frames per second. The autofocus is improved and it has fast auto-focus lock when shooting moving subjects, which makes this camera a better option for action photography.
This camera has a 24.2 MP APS-C sensor, which is slightly lower than the Canon SL2. Both cameras have a wide ISO range, and they both have frames per second of 5-6.
Nikon also has a bigger battery, the Nikon EN-EL14a (1170 mAh), which allows you to shoot nearly 400 images on a single battery charge. This is important since replacing the batteries on some DSLRs can be quite expensive.
Canon battery size is the smallest, the Canon LP-E17 (680 mAh). This camera still has quite a good battery life of up to 380 images.
Image Quality Compared
Image quality is very similar between the D3500 and the Canon SL2. Even though the D3500 has an image sensor with higher megapixel count, it is not an issue with this camera. Both cameras have a 22 megapixel (APS-C) CMOS sensor, although the D3500 has a slightly higher resolution (17 MP).
The Canon SL2 has slightly better noise control and dynamic range than the Nikon d3500. The Canon SL2 also has better bokeh. The D3500’s noise control is a little more than average but not overly poor.
The Nikon D3500 has slightly less magnification than the Canon SL2. The D3500 and the SL2 have roughly the same magnification at a similar focal length of 50 mm (for crop sensor cameras). Both cameras have an equivalent focal length of 35 mm. This means they will give you roughly the same image with only a difference in perspective, and not an optical difference in focal length.
The D3500 and the SL2 will give you roughly the same image with only a difference in perspective, and not an optical difference in focal length. The total differences accumulated between the two cameras are small
Lenses for both Cameras
There are many lenses available for both cameras.
The Nikon D3500 and the Canon SL2 both use an APS-C sized sensor. This means that any lens can be used on either camera without having to reduce its focal area. This means you can get a 135mm lens and use it without a problem, or even a 1000mm lens.
The Nikon D3500 and the Canon SL2 are both manual focus. It is important to note that the Nikon D3500 is more geared towards general photography and can be used for any purpose. It is less of an expert level camera.
The Nikon d3500 has image stabilization built in, which improves your photos by compensating for camera movement caused by wind or other sources of camera movement. The Nikon D3500 has 5-axis image stabilization. This is the same as the Canon SL2
WIFI & NFC Compared
Both cameras have Wifi. The D3500 also has NFC (near field communication), which makes it easier to connect to a phone or tablet. The D3500 also has SnapBridge, which allows you to easily send photos from your camera to your smart phone or tablet, without having to use a computer. The Canon SL2 also has Wifi and NFC.
What Type Of Photography Are They Best Used For
The Nikon D3500 is best used for general photography like taking photos of scenery or objects. It is also good for action shots because it has a fast shutter speed. The Canon SL2 is good for travel and street photography because it has a smaller build which allows you to take photos without being noticed as easily. The D3500 works well for sports, although the Canon SL2 is better.
What We Love About Nikon D3500
Our favorite feature of the Nikon D3500 is its 12x optical zoom. The camera can go from a wide angle to a telephoto in only one step. This is great to help you capture unique photography without having to use a motorized zoom lens. The photos are clear and sharp, even at the telephoto end of the zoom.
The Nikon D3500 has more than enough control options for most photographers including settings for exposure compensation and ISO.
What We Love About The Canon SL2
We love the small size of the Canon SL2. If you are into street and travel photography, or just want something less noticeable, this camera is great for that. It can easily be slipped into a purse or backpack. The 20MP sensor helps to take sharp pictures with a wide range of lighting. It also has focus on your subjects, which is not always found in other cameras at this price point.
What Should Be Improved With The Nikon D3500
On the downside, the buttons on the Nikon D3500 are not well placed and can be accidentally pressed at times. Also, to take sharp photos it is recommended to set the ISO to a low level, which is not always possible with street photography.
What Should Be Improved With The Canon SL2
The auto-focus on the Canon SL2 is excellent, but it can hunt for focus sometimes when light levels drop.
Who Should Choose The Nikon D3500
If you are looking for an entry-level camera with great image quality and a wide range of controls, the Nikon D3500 is a great choice. This camera is also perfect if you are looking for portrait photography as there is no motor zoom so it doesn’t move in your hands as you take the pictures. It works well as a real estate camera too. It’s a solid entry level, all purpose camera.
Who Should Choose The Canon SL2
If you are looking for a compact camera without the premium features of the Nikon D3500, the Canon SL2 is a great option. It has a high capacity battery and it offers 10x optical zoom, which is more than enough for most people who need just a little extra reach from their camera. It works well as a travel, street and even a landscape camera.