Nikon D3500 Vs. D5600 Vs. D7500: Choosing DSLR Camera

Nikon’s entry-level and mid-range DSLR cameras offer excellent image quality and performance for both amateur and enthusiast photographers. The D3500, D5600 and D7500 share some key specs but also have distinct differences.

This guide compares the pros and cons of these three popular Nikon DSLR models to help you decide which is best suited for your needs and budget.

A Brief Comparison Table

SpecsNikon D3500Nikon D5600Nikon D7500
Sensor Resolution24.2MP24.2MP20.9MP
ISO Range100-25600100-25600100-51200 (exp. to 1640000)
Autofocus Points11 points39 points51 points
Continuous Shooting5 fps5 fps8 fps
Video Resolution1080p 60fps1080p 60fps4K 30fps, 1080p 60fps
ViewfinderOptical PentamirrorOptical PentaprismOptical Pentaprism
Articulating ScreenFixedTiltingTilting Touchscreen
Wireless ConnectivityBluetoothWiFi, BluetoothWiFi, Bluetooth
Weather Sealed BodyNoNoYes
Battery Life1550 shots820 shots950 shots
Weight415 g465 g720 g

Nikon D3500

The D3500 is Nikon’s most compact and affordable entry-level DSLR. It was released in 2018 as an upgrade over the highly popular D3400.


Nikon D3500
Nikon D3500
  • Excellent 24.2MP image sensor provides stunning image quality and sharpness
  • Lightweight and portable body design at just 415g
  • User-friendly layout and controls ideal for beginners
  • Guide mode offers step-by-step assistance for shooting in different scenarios
  • Long battery life – up to 1,550 shots per charge
  • In-camera RAW processing allows editing without a computer
  • Full HD 1080p video recording at 60fps
  • Bluetooth for automatic image transfer to smart devices
  • Compatible with a wide range of lightweight DX lenses


  • Fixed 3” LCD without touchscreen capabilities
  • Basic 11-point autofocus system
  • Max continuous shooting speed of only 5fps
  • No mic input for upgraded audio recording
  • Lacks weather sealing

Best for: Beginners, travelers and hobbyists wanting an affordable, compact and easy-to-use DSLR.

Also Read: Comparison Between Nikon D750 And D7500.

Nikon D5600

The D5600 is a mid-range DX-format DSLR aimed at photography enthusiasts. It was released in 2016 as an incremental update to the D5500.

Nikon D5600
Nikon D5600


  • High resolution 24.2MP sensor produces excellent image quality
  • Adjustable 3.2” touchscreen LCD with wide viewing angles
  • 39-point autofocus system handles moving subjects effectively
  • Fast 5fps continuous shooting speed
  • Timelapse movie mode creates smoothly accelerated videos in-camera
  • Built-in WiFi and Bluetooth allows wireless image transfer
  • Extensive ISO range up to 25600 for low light photography
  • Compact and lightweight body weighs just 465g


  • Video maxes out at 1080p 60fps (no 4K video)
  • Mediocre battery life (800 shots per charge)
  • Lacks weather sealing like higher-end models
  • Single SD card slot

Best for: Enthusiasts wanting great image quality and performance in a portable body without breaking the bank. Good step up from entry-level.

Also Read: Is Nikon Z50 Better Than D7500?

Nikon D7500

The D7500 is a high-end DX DSLR geared towards experienced photographers and action shooters. It was released in 2017 as a successor to the D7200.


Nikon D7500
Nikon D7500
  • High-performance 20.9MP image sensor and EXPEED 5 processor
  • Advanced 51-point autofocus system with fast subject tracking
  • Very fast continuous shooting up to 8fps with deep buffer
  • 4K UHD video recording up to 30fps
  • Tilt-angle touchscreen LCD works well at awkward angles
  • Extensive ISO range up to 1,640,000 for astrophotography
  • Excellent build quality with weather sealing for rugged use
  • Two SD card slots for instant backup or overflow


  • Heavier body weighs 720g
  • More expensive than D5600
  • Fixed pentaprism optical viewfinder (Vs. electronic in D5600)
  • SnapBridge wireless transfer app needs refinement

Best for: Enthusiasts who shoot action, sports, wildlife and demanding conditions. A highly capable DX camera before upgrading to full-frame.

Also watch the video!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which is better Nikon D3500 or D5600?

The D5600 is the better overall camera due to its superior autofocus, faster burst rate, touchscreen LCD, timelapse function and improved low light performance.
However, the D3500 remains a great entry-level choice if you’re on a tighter budget or want a lighter camera.

Which is better Nikon D7500 or D5600?

The D7500 easily beats the D5600 with its stronger body construction, deeper buffer, faster burst speed, superior autofocus, 4K video and dual card slots. It’s considerably better for action, sports and professional use but costs more. The D5600 excels as a lighter and cheaper enthusiast DSLR.

Is the Nikon D7500 an upgrade from the D3500?

Yes, the D7500 is a major upgrade over the D3500. It has superior speed, build quality, image processing, autofocus, 4K video and handling.
The D7500 is much better if you need a durable prosumer DSLR with fast performance. The D3500 is still great for beginners on a budget.

Is the D7500 still worth it?

Yes, despite being released in 2017, the D7500 remains an excellent enthusiast DX DSLR that outperforms newer rivals like the D3500 and D5600.
It delivers great image quality, speed, focusing, 4K video, and handling at a reasonable price point. The D7500 is absolutely still worth buying in 2023 if you need its capabilities.

Also Read: Comparison Between Nikon Z9 And D850


The Nikon D3500, D5600, and D7500 are all powerful DSLR cameras that offer great image quality and performance. The D3500 is the most affordable option that’s great for beginners, while the D5600 adds a few more useful features for enthusiasts. For those needing professional-level performance, the D7500 is Nikon’s top APS-C DSLR with the most robust feature set.

Ultimately, the right Nikon DSLR for you depends on your budget and photography needs. The D3500 is ideal if you’re just starting out and want something simple yet high quality.

Stepping up to the D5600 gets you a stronger set of capabilities like a swiveling touchscreen and more AF points, for not much more money. But for seasoned photographers who need faster shooting speeds, deeper RAW buffers, and higher ISO ranges, the D7500 is worth the premium investment.

Any of these three cameras can produce stunning images in the right hands. Consider how much you’re willing to spend and which specific features are most important to your style of photography before deciding.

Nikon offers an excellent DSLR lineup, so you can’t go wrong with the D3500, D5600 or D7500 as your imaging companion.

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