Nikon D3500

Nikon D3500

More product images of the Nikon D3500

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Source: Manufacturer


The D3500 was introduced by Nikon in August 2018. It belongs to the Beginner DSLRs category.

Nikon is well-known and shouldn't require further introduction, please see our manufacturer's page for more digital cameras by Nikon.

CategoryBeginner DSLR

The D3500 features a CMOS sensor in APS-C size (with Nikon cameras: DX)that has an area of approximately 24 x 16 mm² (0.93" x 0.61").

This infographic compares the D3500's sensor to other common formats:

Infographic: D3500 comparing sensor sizes

(The 1-Euro coin used for scale has a diameter of 23.25mm, slightly smaller than a US quarter.)

The D3500's image sensor has an effective resolution of around 24 megapixel. The resolution is above average and will be sufficient for the foreseeable future. Photos with this resolution can easily be printed in A2 size or larger, even if unwanted parts of the photo have to be cropped.

The Nikon supports taking images in RAW. RAW images are stored as they come from the sensor, without any in-camera processing or sharpening. Converting to JPEG or other formats takes place on the computer, using software like Adobe Lightroom or Nikon's RAW converter. This involves one extra processing step but almost always results in superior image quality. Some filters, like converting to monochrome (black and white) will only yield decent results when used with RAW images.

The D3500 does not have a mechanism for automatic sensor cleaning. Dust that collects on the sensor has to be removed with a blower or brush.

Sensor area23.50 x 15.60mm²
(0.93" x 0.61")
Resolution (physical)25.00 megapixel
Resolution (effective)24.00 megapixel
Pixel size15.30 µm²
Sensor cleaning
RAW support
Continuous 5 frames/second

All compatible F lenses can be mounted to the D3500.

Currently, approximately more than 200 F lenses are available, not counting lenses by third-party manufacturers. Further lenses can be connected via suitable adapters.

Interchangeable lens
MountNikon F

The D3500 uses an optical viewfinder with a penta mirror. Viewfinders with a penta mirror are typical for entry level cameras. The viewfinder covers 95% of the field of view and has a magnification of 0.53x, an average value for a viewfinder like this.

Simulated viewfinder D3500

The infographic illustrates the viewfinder magnification of the D3500. The black area represents a magnification of 1x, corresponding to natural size. The red frame indicates the largest viewfinder magnification in any digital camera on the market today (0.85x).

Tip: If the viewfinder image of the D3500 is fuzzy, us the little wheel next to the viewfinder to adjust the sharpness.

TypeOptical (Penta mirror)
Dioptric correction

The D3500's shutter speeds range from 1/4000s to 30s.

Max. shutter speed1/4000s
Min. shutter speed30s

The D3500's sensitivity goes from 100 ISO und 25600 ISO, a very useful and practical range.

Min. sensitivity100 ISO
Max. sensitivity25600 ISO

The D3500 supports all common metering modes.

The Nikon will also allow spot metering, a must for challenging motives.

Center weight

The D3500's auto focus processor uses 11 AF points (or sensors). A basic rule of thumb says that the more AF points you have, the better. More AF points mean a better chance to have a point at the location of interest in a scene, a big plus in challenging situations (e.g. when picking a single face in a crowd).

Manual focus is also possible with the Nikon, a plus in tricky situations or for some creative freedom.

TypePhase Detection
AF points11
Manual focus

The D3500 features a built-in flash with a range of up to 7m (23 ft.). That range will work for most situations.

A flash or a trigger for remote flashes can be attached to the Nikon's hotshoe. Very useful for indirect flashes or for trigggering remote flashes.

(23 ft.)
Hot shoe
D3500 display

The D3500 features a monitor with a diagonal of 76.00mm (3.0 in.) and a resolution of c. 0.92 megapixel. That's about average.

Unfortunately, the D3500's monitor is not articulated. That can make it tricky to frame your subject in some situations, e.g. when taking selfies.

The D3500 does not feature a touch screen.

Display characteristics at a glance:

Size76.00mm (diagonal)
(3.0 in.)
Resolution0.92 megapixel
Touch screen

When recording videos with the D3500, the highest supported resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixel, in other words Full HD Video. 4K videos are not supported by the Nikon.

A connector for an external microphone is missing from the Nikon. A built-in mike will usually record everything in front and to the sides of the camera which is not always what the film maker wants. Internal microphones also tend to record camera sounds like focus beeps.

Videos with the Nikon D3500 at a glance:

Max. resolution1920 x 1080 pixel
...with frame rates24 frames/second
25 frames/second
30 frames/second
50 frames/second
60 frames/second
External microphone

The camera lets you transfer images and videos to the smartphone over Bluetooth (Note: Bluetooth connections will not always transmit images or videos with full resolution.)

However, the camera can be controlled over a wired connection.

Connect the Nikon to a monitor or TV set over HDMI.

The Nikon connects to your PC over USB 2.0.

The Nikon's connectivity at a glance:

Remote (wired)
Remote (infrared)
HDMI (standard)
HDMI (mini)
HDMI (micro)
USB 2.0
USB 3.0
USB Micro
USB Mini

What memory cards can be used with the Nikon D3500?

The camera will accept all common SD HC and SD XC cards.

With an average image size of 8 megabytes (JPEG, fine) a 32 GByte memory card would hold up to 4000 images.

Supported memory cards at a glance:

Memory cardsSD

Let's have a look at some other features of the Nikon D3500. That's a bit of a letdown:

The D3500 doesn't have a built-in GPS receiver. If you want to add coordinates to your photos, you'll have to do so in 3rd party software like Adobe Lightroom.

The D3500 doesn't have a built-in stabilizer. That would have been a plus when using legacy zooms or tele lenses without stabilizer. When buying a kit with lens, make sure that the lens is stabilized.

If you are into HDRs, the camera won't create those automatically. You will have to manually create image sequences and later assemble those sequnces in third-party software.

The D3500 is not environmentally sealed against dust and moisture; keep that in mind in the rain and on the beach.

The Nikon's features in a handy table:

Image stabilizer
Level indicator
Environmentally sealed

The Nikon D3500 works with a EN-EL14a LiIon battery. The battery lifetime is a generous 1550 shots. Usually enough for a full day or more.

The battery can not be charged while in camera. Instead you have to take it out of the camera and put it into the supplied dedicated charger.

The D3500's battery at a glance:

TypeEN-EL14a LiIon
In-camera charging
Battery life1550 photos

The Nikon D3500's dimensions are 124.0 x 97 x 69.5mm³. (4.9" x 3.8" x 2.7"). That's the body only, without lens. The camera's weight is a reasonable 415 grams (13.4 oz.). Add to this the weight of the lens.

Front and top view of the D3500 with dimensions:

Nikon D3500 Dimensions (Width / Height)
Nikon D3500 Dimensions (Width / Depth)

To put the size of the camera in context, here it is next to a typical ID card (c. 86mm x 55mm, about the size of a credit card).

The D3500 is clearly bigger:

Nikon D3500 size comparison
DownloadSpecs, manual & software

Click red button for current price and ratings of the D3500:

Price and Ratings

Visiting from the UK? Click here.

Source of specifications and product images: Manufacturer. This page was generated by an experimental computer program. Errors and omissions excepted.

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