Nikon D3500 Review

Nikon D3500 hero
Overall Rating
Based on 17 expert reviews

The Nikon D3500 is the best DSLR for beginner photographers or anyone looking to move up from a point-and-shoot camera or a smartphone to take better pictures. That's the consensus from most reviewers, who rate the 24.2 MP D3500 as one of the top, if not the top, entry-level DSLR on the market. Weighing just under 13 ounces (camera body only), and with dimensions of 4.6 x 3.9 x 2.8 inches, this APS-C (DX-format) sensor-based DSLR is highly portable and easy to use. While it's aimed at novices, more advanced photographers, including photo enthusiasts, will appreciate its quick and responsive autofocus and its fast five frames per second continuous shooting capabilities. Image quality was excellent for a camera that costs less than $450 with a kit lens. Battery life was also impressive, making this a great camera for travel photography: take it out all day and shoot without worrying about recharging. On the downside, the D3500 lacks a rotating touchscreen on back and there's no 4K video option. Otherwise though, first-time DSLR buyers can't go wrong with the Nikon D3500.

+ Excellent image quality for the price
+ Compact and ergonomic design
+ Easy to use
+ Outstanding battery life
+ Helpful Guide mode
+ 5 frames per second continuous shooting
+ Responsive autofocus
+ Affordable
+ Fixed rear LCD screen with no touch capability
+ No 4K video
+ Bluetooth but no Wi-Fi
+ Slow autofocus in Live View
Full Model Name
Nikon D3500
Camera Type
Sensor Format
Kit Lens
Nikkor AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR
Frame Rate
5 frames per second
1080p HD
ISO Range
ISO 100-25600
Optical viewfinder
Built-in Flash
Yes, pop-up flash
Rear Screen
3-inch, 921,600-dot, fixed LCD
Card Slots
Single SD slot
Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
4.88 x 2.76 x 3.82 inches
12.87 ounces
Top Reviews

"Fact fans might be grinding their teeth at the relatively small list of changes Nikon made in the D3500 compared to the two-year-old Nikon D3400 that came before it, but that’s not the point. Nikon has refreshed and rejuvenated one of its classic designs to keep it fresh, responsive and appealing to first-time DSLR buyers." - Digital Camera World, read the full review here.


"If you're looking to get more creative with your photography, and are on the hunt for your first DSLR, then the Nikon D3500 is hard to beat. It combines great value, intuitive menus and a fantastic battery life to create a compelling, beginner-friendly alternative to its mirrorless rivals." - Tech Radar, read the full review here.


"The Nikon D3500 doesn't offer a lot of upgrades, but cements its value as a strong entry-level camera thanks to a lower price point." - PC Magazine, read the full review here.


"The D3500 is an incredible bargain for an incredible camera. It takes exactly the same pictures as more expensive Nikon cameras — the world's best pictures —  and it weighs and costs much less." - Ken Rockwell, read the full review here.


"Like its D3400 predecessor, the new Nikon D3500 is a modestly priced but well-equipped camera that takes really good pictures and is an excellent learning tool for those new to DSLRs." - Tom's Guide, read the full review here.


"The D3500 is capable of amazing photos at an excellent price – and it does it in a camera body that is finally comfortable to hold. I can see the D3500 being ideal for someone’s first “real” camera, or as a backup option for pros who want something lightweight and well-priced." - Photography Life, read the full review here.


"If you’re looking for your first DSLR, the Nikon D3500 is hard to beat. The image quality is excellent and the camera’s build quality is pretty good. While maybe I kvetched too much about the camera’s lack of a flippy screen, I believe that the Nikon D3500 represents an outstanding bargain for a photographer’s first DSLR." - Shutterbug, read the full review here.


"The D3500 is a solid, well-specified entry-level DSLR that gives beginners good handling, great performance and real value for money." - Trusted Reviews, read the full review here.


"The new Nikon D3500 retains the same core feature-set as its predecessor, the D3400, but presents it in a smaller, lighter and more logical design that's very reminiscent of the mid-range D5600 camera. A couple of things have been sacrificed along the way, but overall the Nikon D3500 is a better entry-level DSLR camera than the previous model." - Photography Blog, read the full review here.


"While it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of higher-end siblings, nor is it drastically different from the previous model, the Nikon D3500 is a fantastic value for those looking to take their first step into the world of photography." - Imaging Resource, read the full review here.


"If you’re looking for your first DSLR, the D3500 is a great choice. Nikon hasn’t skimped on the sensor and it delivers high-quality results with a good level of detail. The camera is also tuned to help beginners get decent images in a wide range of situations." - Camera Jabber, read the full review here.

Top Video Reviews