The Nikon D3500 is a 24 Megapixel entry-level DSLR with an APS-C CMOS sensor that replaces the D3400 and is less expensive, lighter, and has a longer battery life. Because it was created with beginning photographers in mind, it has a Guide Mode that essentially shows you how to shoot in different scenarios. For a while now, we have been advising entry-level consumers to purchase mirrorless cameras. also, you can learn our article on Nikon D3500 review.
Generally speaking, they focus as quickly when taking video as they do when taking still photos, which is something budget SLRs typically can’t do. However, mirrorless cameras with superior built-in viewfinders can be slightly more expensive than a basic SLR. Nikon camera hopes that the D3500’s low cost will persuade customers to forego mirrorless technology in favour of a tried-and-true, more cost-effective option. It’s a decent entry-level camera that will allow you some room to develop. Especially if you’re on a tight budget, it’s definitely worth a look.
Simple DSLR with an APS-C sensor is the Nikon D3500. It was first introduced in 2018 and is very similar to earlier models in Nikon’s D3000 series of entry-level DSLR cameras. It features a Guide Mode that can walk beginners through the fundamentals of photography and is incredibly simple to use. Overall, it’s a straightforward and lightweight DSLR that can take high-quality pictures, but if you want 4K video, a lightning-fast burst rate, or more advanced autofocus, you’ll need to look at higher-end models or newer mirrorless cameras.
Nikon slightly reduced the size of the D3500’s body, which now measures 4.9 x 3.9 x 2.8 inches and weighs 12.9 ounces as opposed to the D3400’s body, which measured 4.9 x 3.9 x 3.0 inches and weighed 14 ounces. Even when using the longer 70-300mm kit lens, the camera’s lightweight and compact design make it simple to use all day long without getting tired. The deep handgrip on the camera is cosy to hold. Although we considered the D3400’s control layout to be quite good, we prefer the D3500’s control upgrades even more.
The flash button is located on the back panel just to the left of the viewfinder, and dedicated controls are positioned to the right of the LCD. With just a flick of the forefinger, you can turn on or off live view using a switch that is located next to the mode dial. We don’t know about you, but we’d be willing to pay a little bit more for an LCD touch screen that is articulating or tilting. This makes taking photos from a high or low angle in Live View simpler. Additionally, angling the LCD reduces glare on the screen when you’re outside in direct sunlight, making it easier for you to read menus and review your photos. You’ll need to upgrade to the Nikon D5600, which costs a few hundred more, for that.
Nikon D3500 review: Features
While using a newer sensor, the D3500 maintains the same actual pixel count of 24.2MP as the outdated Nikon D3400. A closer look at the specifications reveals that the total pixel count on the D3500’s sensor is 24.78MP as opposed to 24.72MP on the D3400. In order to enhance image quality, the APS-C sized sensor in the D3500 does away with an optical low-pass filter. The ISO sensitivity range for the D3500 is 100–25,600, which is also quite wide but not as wide as the D3400’s.
It’s a little disappointing to only see Full HD capture on the D3500 given that almost all mirrorless cameras (and even smartphones) offer 4K video. However, there is some good news: the D3500 offers smooth 60/50p, 30/25p, and 24p shooting in addition to lower-resolution recording options. Additionally, there is no microphone port, so the D3500’s built-in monaural microphones must be used. It’s probably best to look elsewhere if you want to regularly shoot video, but for those who only need to record the occasional clip or two, this setup is more than sufficient.
Nikon also decided to keep the same 3-inch screen from the D3400, which has a modest 921,000-dot resolution. If you want a DSLR with a vari-angle display, you’ll need to look further up the range at the Nikon D5600 or at the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D. The screen is fixed and sits flush with the body. It’s also a little disappointing that there isn’t touchscreen functionality, as this is a feature that would really suit an entry-level DSLR since touchscreens are now commonplace in smartphones.
For entry-level DSLRs, the D3500’s 95% coverage optical viewfinder is standard, so you might need to frame some shots more carefully to keep distracting elements from encroaching on the frame’s edges. Similar to the Nikon D3400, there is no Wi-Fi connectivity, but there is Bluetooth, allowing you to use Nikon’s SnapBridge feature to transfer photos.
Between the camera and your smart device, an always-on Bluetooth Low Energy connection is made, and SnapBridge can be configured to either automatically transfer images as you shoot them or to let you select which ones to transfer later. also, you can check our article on Nikon D3500 review.
Nikon D3500 review: Image quality
The D3500 and D3400 both have a 24MP resolution, but the D3500 has an upgraded sensor and EXPEED image processor. However, since the majority of the specifications between the D3400 and D3500 remain the same, it is unknown what those updates will entail. Both models are renowned for their user-friendliness and the best image quality available in their price range. So it comes as no surprise that the Nikon D3500 consistently produced high-quality images with accurate and saturated colours. Regardless of the metering method employed, exposure was almost always accurate.
According to the results of our lab tests, the D3500’s image quality is very competitive with its rivals. There are minor variations in resolution, noise, and dynamic range, but these are more noticeable in lab tests than they are in actual shooting. The 18-55mm AF-P lens performs admirably for a cheap kit lens, with consistent sharpness across the focal range and right to the edges of the frame. In practise, the D3500 produces sharp, vibrant, and very well-exposed images. There is some colour fringing and distortion in its raw files, but if you turn on the in-camera lens corrections, you won’t see this in its JPEG images. Most photo editor software now apply built-in lens correction profiles to raw files, which means that this issue is mostly resolved.
The D3500 cannot capture 4K video. Small 4K action cameras are available for less money, but if you also want an APS-C image sensor, prepare to spend more than $1,000. There is nothing wrong with the D3500’s video quality; it can shoot at 50 or 60 frames per second in 720p and at 24, 25, 30, or 60 frames per second in 1080p.
In comparison to still photography, autofocus is slower when recording video. Even when the D3500 is set to AF-F (full-time focus) for movies, it takes a little while for it to react to changes in the scene. The contrast focus system is to blame, even though it operates a bit more quickly in this model than in earlier ones. Here, the AF-P lens is also helpful because it has a motor that is made to focus more silently and smoothly for video use.
For quick family video clips and home movies, the D3500 is an excellent option. However, we wouldn’t advise using it for anything else. Professionals and video enthusiasts have long demanded 4K and a microphone input. Also keep in mind that since there is no in-body stabilisation, your footage will suffer if you use a lens without VR. Consider the Sony a6400 or the Fujifilm X-T20 for 4K if you want a more contemporary, capable camera for video. Better 1080p video cameras, if you want to stick with an SLR, are the Canon T7i and SL2.
Nikon D3500 review: Battery life
Even though the EN-EL14a battery is the same in both the D3400 and the D3500, battery life has increased by about 350 shots per charge to 1,550 on the D3500. If you’re a frequent photographer, this means you should be able to shoot for at least a few days before needing to recharge. We discovered that the battery had some charge left over after a week of more moderate daily use.
The D3500’s autofocus specifications appear to be quite simple on paper. An 11-point autofocus system with a more precise central cross-type sensor is available for shooting through a viewfinder. Only contrast autofocus is available when shooting in Live View mode using the rear screen, not the hybrid phase-detection systems found on some Canon DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. Contrast autofocus, particularly in DSLRs, has a reputation for being accurate but slow.
But the AF-P kit lens for the D3500 flips this on its head. In addition to being quick and quiet, Nikon’s new stepper motor autofocus design appears to work brilliantly in live view, delivering a quick response you just wouldn’t anticipate from a budget DSLR. The D3500’s autofocus specifications appear to be quite simple on paper. An 11-point autofocus system with a more precise central cross-type sensor is available for shooting through a viewfinder. you can read our article on Nikon D3500 review.
Only contrast autofocus is available when shooting in Live View mode using the rear screen, not the hybrid phase-detection systems found on some Canon DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. Contrast autofocus, particularly in DSLRs, has a reputation for being accurate but slow. But the AF-P kit lens for the D3500 flips this on its head. In addition to being quick and quiet, Nikon’s new stepper motor autofocus design appears to work brilliantly in live view, delivering a quick response you just wouldn’t anticipate from a budget DSLR.
Price and availability
The D3500 costs $496.95 on Amazon as of this writing and includes an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens. The 18-55mm and 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G lenses are part of a different $596 bundle.
The Nikon D3500 is suitable for taking travel photos. For an entry-level APS-C camera, its sensor punches above its weight with good dynamic range and solid image quality. Additionally, the battery life is excellent, so it can easily last throughout a long day of travel. One of the most portable DSLRs available, as well.
However, compared to mirrorless alternatives, it is still relatively bulky, and the autofocus system is quite basic, with focus limited primarily to the Centre of the frame and unreliable tracking for moving subjects. In the end, the D3500 is a very capable and reasonably priced camera for amateurs and new families.
It does a good job of getting “candids” and other informal pictures. The Guide Mode does provide a non-intimidating way to learn about some of the more technical facets of photography, even though it leaves something to be desired for experienced shooters.