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Nikon D3400 vs Nikon D500

Storage & Battery

Nikon D3400

Nikon D3400 Camera image

Nikon D500

Nikon D500 camera image
Nikon D3400
Nikon D500
Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
Announcement Date
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
August 17, 2016
January 06, 2016
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

Nikon D3400 vs Nikon D500 Overview

Choosing between Nikon D3400 vs Nikon D500? This is a head-to-head between two of Nikon’s finest APS-C sensor DSLR cameras. Both cameras were released around 2016, but aimed at different types of photographers.

Nikon D3400 vs Nikon D500 comparison image

The D500 is a favourite amongst wildlife photographers, and with good reason. It has a superb ISO range and image quality for shooting in the nocturnal hours. The D3400 is lightweight and low-priced, making it an ideal camera for beginners.

Nikon D500
Using a DX-Format APS-C sensor with a resolution of 20.9 MP, you won’t be disappointed with the results. Fabulous image quality in low light.

The Nikon D500 comes out on top when we look at the specs. It’s also much more expensive.

Body and Handling

The Nikon D500 measures 860 g weight (1.9 lb). This is almost twice the weight of the Nikon D3400. The D500 is also a bigger camera. If you are searching for a lightweight camera, you may need to take this into consideration. Nikon knows how to design a camera. The controls are well-positioned with a simple and intuitive layout.

Two Nikon Cameras
Nikon DSLRs are legendary


The first major point when we compare Nikon D3400 vs Nikon D500 optics is the megapixel count. At 22.2 MP, the Nikon D3400 is ahead. It also has a higher image resolution at 6000 x 4000 px compared to 5568 x 3712 px. However, The Nikon D500 edges the D3400 in image quality thanks to the image processor. They have a similar APS-C sensor, but the Nikon D500 has an improved (Expeed 5) image processor.

They both have a Nikon F DX lens both so their lenses are interchangeable. They have excellent options for all types of photography. And the quality is never in question with Nikon lenses. They have excellent auto and manual focus options.

When it comes to image stabilization, both cameras start to show their age. Image stabilization is something we’ve come to expect from modern cameras. But neither of these models has a stabilization system.

The Nikon D500 beats the D3400 with a faster burst mode. The Nikon D500 has a frame rate of 10 FPS for continuous shooting, which is twice the amount of the D3400.

Where the D500 leaps ahead is ISO range. The native ISO is 100 to 51,200 which expands all the way to 1,640,000 ISO. And there’s very little compromise in quality when you push the ISO higher. Saying that the D3400 still has a good ISO range for an entry-level camera. You have a base of 100 and a top limit of 25,600 ISO.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
24.2 MP
20.9 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
6000 x 4000 px
5568 x 3712 px
Sensor Type
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
15.6 x 23.5 mm
15.7 x 23.5 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
5 fps
10 fps
Lens Mount
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
Nikon F DX
Nikon F DX
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Expeed 4
Expeed 5
Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
Minimum ISO (Native)
Refers to the lowest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
Maximum ISO (Native)
Refers to the highest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
30 s
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 4000 s
1/ 8000 s
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
Viewfinder Type
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.
Optical (pentamirror)
Optical (pentaprism)

Nikon D3400 vs Nikon D500 Video Performance

If you want to shoot video as well as stills, the Nikon D500 is the clear winner with top-notch 4K video specs and built-in time-lapse feature. The D500 offer excellent 4K video at 25 or 30 fps. And there’s Full HD at 60 fps. It also offers microphone and headphone ports.

Although the Nikon D3400 is running behind on video specs, it’s still a fine camera for casual videos. Beginners will enjoy the Full HD video recording. The recording time is limited, but the video quality is good enough to practice with.

Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Max Video Resolution
The best resolution this camera can capture video in. Modern cameras can capture up to 8K video.
Full HD
Max Video Dimensions
Video resolution measured by the greatest number of pixels possible in each frame, width by height. A higher resolution means more detail or clarity in your video.
1920 x 1080 px
3840 x 2160 px
Max Video Frame Rate
How many frames per second your video will capture. Most cameras have options for multiple frame rates, depending on the resolution you shoot in. For a general video, 24p or 30p is the standard, but more serious filmmakers may need a higher frame rate for creative effect.
60 p
30 p
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.
Video File Format
Different cameras can record in various video file formats. The File format you record in can impact how you edit and use the files.
Built-in Flash
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External Flash
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather Sealing
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Screen Type
Touch Screen
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen Size
Screen Resolution
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
921,000 dots
2,359,000 dots
Flip Screen
A flip screen (or articulating screen) is a second screen which can flip out from the side or top of the camera. This rotating screen allows you more freedom to take photos at different angles.
Live View
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.
Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-II compatible), XQD
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
Battery Life
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
1,200 shots
1,240 shots
USB Charging
DXO Mark Scores
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
DXOMARK overall sensor score.
Portrait (Color Depth)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Portrait score in our camera sensor reviews defines color depth performance and its unit is a number of bits. A color depth of 22 bits is excellent; differences below 1 bit are barely noticeable.'
24.8 bits
24.1 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Landscape score in our camera sensor tests defines the maximum dynamic range of the camera sensor and its unit is an exposure value (EV). A value of 12 EV is excellent with differences below 0.5 EV usually not noticeable.'
13.9 EVs
14 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
Described by DXOMARK as 'The maximal value of ISO sensitivity needed to reach a given value of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The greater the value, the better'

Nikon D3400 vs Nikon D500 - Which to Buy?

The Nikon Z500 is the better of the two cameras. It is a sports and wildlife specialist because of its low-light performance.

However, if you are looking for a cheap and cheerful Nikon DSLR as a beginner camera, the D3400 is not a bad choice at all. The Nikon D3400 is a nice entry-level all-rounder.

Nikon D500
Using a DX-Format APS-C sensor with a resolution of 20.9 MP, you won’t be disappointed with the results. Fabulous image quality in low light.

Nikon D3400 vs D500 Alternatives

If you’re still not sure which camera to go for, here’s some more popular comparisons to inspire you:

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