Recently, you picked interest in photography. You’re beginning to consider it as more than just a hobby. You feel you could start a career in it; even if is not fully at the moment. The only issue is you know nothing about which camera would serve you well as you journey into the world of photography. Don’t let go of your dreams, let’s help you with that.
There are quite a number of cameras out there that a beginner could start with however the Nikon D3500 is one camera that every amateur photographer should start with. Officially released in August 2018, this camera has become Nikon’s flagship entry-level DSLR camera. In this review, we reveal why we think so by talking about the major specs and features of this camera.
Before we begin discussing the features of the Nikon D3500, let’s briefly list out some major specifications that make this camera worth it.
Dimensions: 124 x 97 x 70 mm (4.9 x 3.8 x 2.7 in.)
Weight: 365g (12.9 oz)
Sensor Resolution: 24.20 Megapixels
Sensor Type: APS-C CMOS format sensor
Sensor size: 23.5mm x 15.6mm
ISO: 100 – 25,600
Viewfinder: Optical / LCD
Screen: 3.0-inch fixed display,
Screen Resolution: 921,000 dots
Battery life: 1,550 shots
Lens mount: Nikon F
Burst shooting: 5fps
Video: Full HD 1080p
Connectivity: Bluetooth, Nikon SnapBridge
Storage types: SD/SDHC/SDXC
Body and Design
The D3500 is Nikon’s most portable amateur DSLR camera ever. Its portable size makes us wonder if any camera will topple this record. It has a body dimension of 124mm length, 97mm height and 70mm width. Coupled with its incredible 365g lightweight which is mind-blowing for a DSLR of its class.
The Nikon D3500 is slightly different from its predecessor the D3400. The Live View Lever is located just about the mode dial. The “info” button is found at the back right next to the viewfinder. Other buttons located close to the info button and the viewfinder are: Menu, playback, playback zoom out, playback zoom in, AF-L, AE-L, delete, “i” and drive mode buttons. The front grip is now deeper albeit thinner and bears similarity to the Nikon D5500: The thumb grip is also larger when compared to the D3400. The Nikon D3500 surely offers a comfy ergonomics with this body design.
It is important to note that the Nikon D3500 makes use of the Nikon F lens mount. What this means is that the camera is an interchangeable lens camera and can make use of different lenses. This gives you the opportunity to explore and capture different kind of shots. Bear in mind however that you would need to purchase these lenses separately. Or if you know anyone who uses or used any camera with a Nikon F lens mount that has lenses he/she is not making use of, you could get them: They’ll definitely work with the D3500.
The overall image quality of the Nikon D3500 is top-notch. The APS-C sensor sported by this camera makes it deliver superb images that rival a good number of cameras. With a sensor resolution of 24.2 megapixels, you are guaranteed that the images produced will be highly detailed. The camera’s ISO is also commendable with a range of 100 – 25,600.
The viewfinder also allows you to easily control and frame your shots. The 95% coverage and 0.85x magnification offered by the camera’s optical viewfinder makes the job easy for any an amateur photographer.
The D3500 autofocus system makes use of the phase-detection which offers 11 autofocus points with just 1 being cross-type. It has a -1 to 19EV detection range. This autofocus system allows you to make use of contrast detection however this can only be used in Live View mode. Two important functions that will truly assist amateur photographers are the face detection focus and the subject-tracking focus. With the face-detection focus, portrait shots are bound to come out looking great. The subject-tracking focus is also helpful when you need to capture subjects that are constantly moving. No amateur photographer will enjoy being bothered by having to manually keep focus on such subjects.
This camera is also capable of shooting videos. It is capable of recording 1920 x 1080 Full HD. 1080p video is recorded at 60fps. How long can you record video? Well it is dependent on your storage capacity as well as the video quality used. A normal quality can allow you shoot approximately 30 minutes video. However if you decide to use highest quality, you can only record 20 minutes video.
This is an important feature for any camera and the Nikon D3500 does not let down on this either. Fitted with a 3 inch LCD display screen, this camera is able to deliver detailed images thanks to its 921,000 dots screen resolution.
Battery Life and Storage
The Nikon D3500 has an impressive battery life that even some mid-range Nikon DSLR cameras can’t boast of. The d7100 vs d7200 are the most compared mid-range Nikon cameras yet they don’t come close to the D3500 in terms of battery life. The Nikon D3500 can take as many as 1,550 shots after a single charge. While the d7100 and the d7200 can only manage 950 and 1,110 shots respectively.
The number of shots a camera can take is worth nothing if it has no place to store them. The D3500 therefore is fitted with a single SD card storage slot. It supports the use of SD, SDHC and SDXC cards as well as UHS-1.
Easy to Use
The Nikon D3500 is obviously made for beginners. It is fitted with a guide mode that allows new users get acquainted with the camera’s features, controls and settings. You also find out about the various shooting modes plus the camera can auto-select scene modes for you. And trust us there are a lot of scene modes to choose from with this camera.
The cost of the Nikon D3500 is also very affordable. You don’t need to spend much just to get hold of this camera. You could get it for less than $500 and we mean with an included lens (AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens).
In conclusion, the Nikon D3500 stands above other Nikon entry-level DSLR cameras. It certainly offers all what you need to kick off that amazing photography experience.