Sony a1 vs Nikon D3500

This is a full comparison between the cameras Sony a1 and Nikon D3500. We compare them by looking at the categories you see below.

Manufacturing

Sony a1 is manufacturered by Sony but Nikon D3500 is from Nikon. Both Sony and Nikon are well known brands though.

Sony a1 were released 2021 and Nikon D3500 was released 2018. That is a 3 years difference. In tech, this period can be of interest since technology is always improving, etc.

Camera Released
Sony a1 2021
Nikon D3500 2018

Type of camera

Sony a1 is a Mirrorless camera while Nikon D3500 is a DSLR camera. More information about their differences will come soon.

Sensors / crop factor

These cameras have different sensors. Sony a1 has a "Sony Full Frame"-sensor while Nikon D3500 has a "Nikon DX"-sensor, and their difference in sensors will also affect the crop factor and experience focal length. See the table below.

Camera Focal length, 50mm f/1.8 **
Sony a1 50 mm
Full-frame sensor
No crop factor/focal length multiplier
Nikon D3500 75 mm
Nikon DX sensor
Crop factor/focal length multiplier by * 1.5

** Experienced focal length when using a lens such as a common "50mm f/1.8"

Learn more about crop factor and focal length multiplier here:
Camera selection can affect the focal length (Sony)
Camera selection can affect the focal length (Nikon)

Resolution

Sony a1 has a 50 MP (Megapixels) resolution while Nikon D3500 has 24 MP. If we break down this in more detail this is the data behind the numbers:

Camera Megapixels
Sony a1 50 MP
49766400 pixels
8640 x 5760
Nikon D3500 24 MP
24000000 pixels
6000 x 4000

Sony a1 has a 107 % larger resolution than Nikon D3500. This could give you more details in the picture but also a possibility to crop more in the pictures, afterward while editing the pictures, if needed that is.

ISO range

Sony a1 has a larger ISO-range than Nikon D3500. Sony a1 has an ISO range that stretches from 100 to 32000 while Nikon D3500 has 100 to 25600.

Camera ISO Range
Sony a1 100-32000
Nikon D3500 100-25600

Autofocus and lens compatibility

There is a big difference between these two cameras. Sony a1 has a built-in autofocus motor but Nikon D3500 does not. If you want to be able to use autofocus on Nikon D3500 there is a need for having an autofocus motor inside the lens. We really encourage you to look closely at our lens compatibility charts at the links below.

Here is a complete overview of which lenses work with each camera:
Lens compatibility chart for Sony a1
Lens compatibility chart for Nikon D3500

Pictures per second

Depending on what you are shooting the FPS, or frames/pictures per second, can definitely be of interest. Sony a1 can shoot up to 30 pictures per seconds and Nikon D3500 can shoot up to 5 pictures per seconds.

Camera FPS (Frames per second)
Sony a1 30
Nikon D3500 5

Ability to record movies

It is becoming more and more popular to record movies with digital cameras.

In this case, both Sony a1 and Nikon D3500 can shoot movies.

Weight

The weight of the camera can be an extremely important factor, especially if the camera is about to be used, or carried around, for several hours at a time.

Sony a1 weighs 737 gr (equal to 1.62 lb) which is 102% heavier than Nikon D3500 and its 365 gr (or 0.8 lb).

Camera Weight
Sony a1 737 gr
1.62 lb
Nikon D3500 365 gr
0.8 lb

Sony a1 vs Nikon D3500 Specs

Below you will find the complete and detailed technical specs for both Sony a1 and Nikon D3500, next to each other. Each category of data is a link to an article covering the subject, giving you a deeper understanding so you can better understand the strengths and weaknesses of the two camera models.

Product
Sony a1
Nikon D3500
Name Sony a1 Nikon D3500
Manufacturer Sony Nikon
Release Date and Price
Sony a1
Nikon D3500
Release Year 2021 2018
Release Date 2021-01-26 2018-08-30
MSRP 6499 USD 499 USD
Buy it today
Camera Type
Sony a1
Nikon D3500
Camera Type Mirrorless DSLR
Sensor
Sony a1
Nikon D3500
Sensor Size Full Frame (approx 36 x 24 mm) APS-C (approx 23.7 x 15.5 mm)
Also known as "DX"
Sensor Type Stacked CMOS CMOS
Resolution 8640 x 5760 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
Megapixels 50 MP 24 MP
Image Processor Dual Bionz XR EXPEED 4
Image
Sony a1
Nikon D3500
ISO Range 100 - 32000 100 - 25600
White Balance Presets 7 12
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization Yes
(Sensor-shift)
No
Image Stabilization CIPA Rating 0 stops 0 stops
Uncompressed format RAW RAW
Optics & Focus
Sony a1
Nikon D3500
Autofocus Motor Yes No
Autofocus Contract Detect (sensor)
Phase Detect
Multi Area
Center
Selective Single Point
Tracking
Single
Continuous
Touch
Face Detection
LiveView
Contract Detect (sensor)
Phase Detect
Multi Area
Center
Selective Single Point
Tracking
Single
Continuous
Face Detection
LiveView
Focus Points 759 11
Lens Mount Sony E

See Compatible Lenses
Nikon F

See Compatible Lenses
Focal Length Multiplier Full frame
No multiplier
Example:
24 mm remains 24 mm
50 mm remains 50 mm
100 mm remains 100 mm
200 mm remains 200 mm
DX / APS-C (1.5x)
1.5x multiplier
Example:
24 mm becomes 36 mm
50 mm becomes 75 mm
100 mm becomes 150 mm
200 mm becomes 300 mm
Screen & Viewfinder
Sony a1
Nikon D3500
Articulated LCD Tilting Fixed
Screen size 3 3
Screen dots 1440000 921000
Touch screen Yes No
Screen type TFT LCD TFT LCD
Live view Yes Yes
Viewfinder Type Electronic Optical (pentamirror)
Viewfinder Coverage 100% 95%
Viewfinder Magnification 0.9 0.85 (0.57 35mm equiv.)
Viewfinder Resolution 9437184 N/A
Photography features
Sony a1
Nikon D3500
Frames per second 30 fps 5 fps
Minimum Shutter Speed 30 seconds 30 seconds
Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000 seconds 1/4000 seconds
Built-in Flash No Yes
Built-in Flash Range N/A 7 meters
External Flash Yes Yes
Self-Timer Yes Yes
Time-lapse No No
Metering modes Multi
Center Weighted
Highlight Weighted
Spot
Average
Multi
Center Weighted
Spot
Exposure Compensation +/- 5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps) +/- 5 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Videography features
Sony a1
Nikon D3500
Video recording Yes Yes
Video format H.264
H.265
XF-AVC
XAVC-S
XAVC-HS
MPEG4
H.264
Video resolution 1920 x 1080
3840 x 2160
7680 x 4320
1280 x 720
1920 x 1080
Built-in Microphone Yes Yes
Built-in Speakers Yes Yes
Storage
Sony a1
Nikon D3500
Memory Card Compact Flash Express
SD/SDHC
SD/SDHC
Connectivity
Sony a1
Nikon D3500
HDMI Output Yes Yes
Microphone Port Yes No
Headphone Port Yes No
Wireless Yes
Built-In 802.11ac (Dual Band)
Yes
Built-in, SnapBridge (Bluetooth only)
Remote Control Yes (via Bluetooth or tethered PC) Yes (via Smartphone)
GPS No No
Body & Dimensions
Sony a1
Nikon D3500
Enviromentally sealed Yes No
Battery Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Details NP-FZ100 lithium-ion battery & charger
EN-EL14a lithium-ion battery and charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 530 shots 1550 shots
Width 129 mm 124 mm
Height 97 mm 97 mm
Depth 81 mm 70 mm
Weight 737 gram 365 gram