The Nikon D3500 has what it calls a continuous shooting mode. On other cameras, it’s often known as a burst mode.1 Basically, it allows you to take a rapid sequence of photos in quick succession.
It’s especially useful for fast-moving action to help maximize the chances that you’ll get the shot you’re after. Sports, for example. Or candid family photos of kids who can’t stop moving. Or wildlife on the move.
The D3500 can shoot at up to five frames per second (whether you actually get that speed depends on the shooting settings; more on that below).
So here’s a rundown of how to use the Nikon’s D3500’s built-in continuous/burst mode.
How to Turn on Continuous/Burst Mode on the Nikon D3500
Press the button on the back panel that has an icon that looks like a stack of photos. It’s the button in the middle in the photo at the top of this page (and the same button that you use for the D3500’s self-timer. That icon is the one for multiple exposures.
When you press that, you’ll get a popup of the Release mode screen. By default, it should have the single frame option selected (a rectangle with an “S”).
The one next to it, with the multi-image icon, is the continuous mode selection.
There are no settings you can control. The mode is either on or off. You can’t change the speed or any other options.
Once enabled, you’ll see a small icon on the main status screen. Like this:
Nikon D3500 Continuous Mode Shooting Rate
The shooting rate depends on the shooting mode you’re using, how full the internal memory buffer is (see below), and whether the battery power is running low.
The D3500’s maximum continuous shooting speed at full resolution is five frames per second.
If battery power is running low, the framerate slows down.
The D3500 has an internal memory buffer. This isn’t storage space that you can access in the usual way–it’s fast flash memory that the camera can use for temporary storage as it’s waiting for data to be written to the memory card. So it’s similar to the RAM of a computer.
And this becomes very important when shooting in continuous/burst mode, because there’s a good chance that the camera is taking photos faster than the camera can write the data to the memory card (all the more reason to get a memory card that’s fast enough for the D3500).
The memory buffer has enough space for up to 100 images at a time, but that’s if you’re shooting JPEG-only.2 If you’re shooting one of the RAW modes (NEF or NEF + JPEG), then you won’t get anywhere near that many shots before the buffer fills up.
These are the buffer capacity estimates provided by Nikon.
|Image Quality Setting|
|NEF (RAW) + JPEG Fine||6|
And there are other factors that reduce those even further. If you’re using the in-camera noise reduction, auto distortion control, or date stamp features, the buffer capacity drops.
You can get a real-time sense of how full the memory buffer is through the viewfinder. At the bottom-right, the number starting with R shows an estimate for how many photos can still fit in the memory buffer. It’s updated as images are written from the buffer to the memory card.
Things Worth Knowing
Unlike some other shooting features, such as the self-timer, continuous mode doesn’t disable automatically. If it’s something you use even semi-regularly, there’s no harm in keeping it engaged. You can still take a single photo–it just means being a bit more careful with how long you hold the shutter down. Then, if you want to shoot multiples, it’s already on, and you can just hold the shutter down.
Continuous Mode doesn’t work with the D3500’s built-in flash. If you have the flash enabled, you won’t be able to select continuous mode. You’ll need to turn the flash setting off first.
- The D3500 manual refers to both continuous mode and burst mode. ↩
- There’s an exception if you choose a shutter speed of four seconds or slower in the shutter-priority or manual modes; in those cases, there’s no limit on the number of shots that you can shoot in a single burst, because the files are being saved to the SD card faster than your taking them. ↩
Nikon D3500 Accessories
Looking for replacements or spares? These are some of the core Nikon D3500 accessories.
Battery & Charger for Nikon D3500
Spare batteries are very handy in your camera bag. Unlike the old mechanical SLRs that didn't need a battery to keep shooting, with the D3500 and other digital cameras, you're high and dry if your battery runs out of juice.
If you're looking for a replacement or spare battery for your D3500, the model number is EN-EL14a. It's a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that's also used by many other Nikon DSLRs (7.2V, 1230mAh). You can also find very good aftermarket versions, like this one from Watson or these from PowerExtra that provide more cost-effective alternatives.
- ✔ Battery Specs：Capacity: 1500mAh / Battery Type: Lithium-ion / Voltage: 7.4V / Come with CE...
- ✔ Standard Compatible with Nikon EN-EL14 EN-EL14a：Ideal Replacement Battery for Nikon Coolpix P7000,...
You can’t charge the battery while it’s in the camera, so you’ll need a separate charger. The camera comes with one. If you’re after a spare or replacement, the model number is MH-24. It's an AC quick charger that plugs directly into the wall socket. Unlike many other cameras, you can't charge the Nikon D3500's battery in the camera. Some of the aftermarket batteries come with a dock charger, which can be a cheaper way to solve the problem.
There's no official SD card for the D3500, but some cards will work better than others in this camera. And there's no point splurging on a super-fast SD card when the camera can't take advantage of it.
I've put together more detailed SD card recommendations for the Nikon D3500. But if you're just after some quick recommendations, any of these make for a good choice and are reasonably priced:
Camera Strap for the Nikon D3500
You don't have to stock with the original Nikon strap with the D3500--any camera strap will work. But if you want to replace the original (the black one with the gold/yellow Nikon branding), its model number is AN-DC3.
There's also a huge variety of other good alternatives. My personal favorites are the ones by Peak Design, which come in especially handy if you're going back and forth between multiple cameras because they come with a quick-release system. And they're very strong.
Lenses for Nikon D3500
One of the great things about DSLRs--and especially ones that use a long-standing mounting system like Nikon's F-mount--is that there's a huge variety of lenses that you can use with it. So there's no "right" lens to use--it depends on what you're aiming for and how much you want to spend.
But for the D3500, in general, you want to look for lenses that have Nikon's F-mount system and that are designed for DX camera bodies (that's the cropped sensor size of the D3500). And you'll probably want one that has autofocus. These are not hard-and-fast rules, but sticking to those basics will make things easier if you're looking to expand your lens collection.
The D3500 typically comes with a basic 18-55mm zoom lens. There's nothing wrong with it as an entry-level lens. It works just fine, it's inexpensive, and, most importantly, you can still take great photos with it. But it's very much a starter lens. If you're after some recommendations on lenses to get for the D3500 to step beyond the kit lens, here are some ideas. These are sensibly priced, are logical additions to a D3500, and go beyond what the kit lens can do.
Nikon AF-S DX 18-300mm ƒ/3.5-6.3G ED VR zoom lens. If you had to choose just one lens to take with your traveling, this is a great choice. It has a very wide zoom range. At 18mm (equivalent to 27mm on a full-frame body), it's great for interiors or landscapes. At 300mm (equivalent to 450mm on a full-frame body), there's plenty of reach for wildlife, sports, or dramatic sunsets. It has vibration reduction, is compact and portable, and is competitively priced. Sigma also makes a good version that's a bit cheaper but great quality. They're both high-quality, extremely versatile, and surprisingly affordable.
- Maximum magnification of 032x
- Angle of view from 76 degree to 5 degree 20'. Focal length range: 18 300 millimeter, minimum focus...
Nikon AF-S 50mm ƒ/1.8G lens. It's hard to go past a 50mm prime lens for versatility, fun, and learning the fundamentals of photography. They're fast, which means they're good in low-light as well as give you that nice blurry background while keeping the subject sharp. They're inexpensive. They're often very sharp. And they're small and highly portable. This is the ƒ/1.8 version. Nikon also makes a B&H Photofaster ƒ/1.4 version, but it's about double the price. because the D3500 has a cropped DX sensor, the 50mm lens will become a slight telephoto perspective, equivalent to a 75mm lens on a full-frame camera (i.e., 35mm equivalent). Which makes it all the more useful as a portrait lens, whether you're taking formal portraits or candids of the family. And if you want a more traditional "true" 50mm perspective, you can put the 35mm ƒ/1.8G on the D3500 instead.
- Fast, upgraded f/1.8, compact FX format prime lens. The picture angle with 35 millimeter (135) format is...
- Focal length 50 millimeter, minimum focus distance 1.48 feet (0.45 meter)
Nikon D3500 Body Cap
If you're storing or transporting your D3500 camera body without a lens attached, you'll want to put on a body cap. It goes over the opening where the lens goes and prevents dust and moisture from getting inside and wreaking havoc (and pesky dust bunnies on your photos).
The camera comes with one, but they're easy to misplace. The model number for the replacement part is BF-1B. It's the same cap used for all Nikon F-mount camera bodies. And this is a great opportunity to save a few dollars with an aftermarket version--it's just a piece of plastic, after all. They're often sold paired with a rear lens cap, since you often need both of those things when removing a lens.
Nikon D3500 Rubber Eyecup
If the rubber eyecup has been knocked off the viewfinder when you take out of your camera bag, the replacement part model number is DK-25. There are also slightly cheaper aftermarket versions, such as the ones by Vello or JJC.
- Made from soft and durable silicone + high quality ABS
- Provide cushioning around the camera's eyepiece, and are especially useful to eyeglass wearers
Battery Dummy for Nikon D3500
A battery dummy is used for longer-term power supply to the camera. They're especially useful for things like time lapse photography, astrophotography, or using your D3500 as a webcam.
It's an accessory that fits into your camera's battery compartment. By itself, it doesn't provide any power, but it's attached to a cable that you can then attach to different power sources such as AC power or a larger battery pack.
- [COMPATIBLE WITH MODEL:] EP-5A DC coupler (Connector) replace EN-EL14/EN-EL14a Battery, work for Nikon...
- [STEPS FOR USAGE:] Remove the original battery, Replace with virtual battery, and cover the battery...
FAQs & Tips
I've put together a number of resources related to the Nikon D3500.
Where Can I Find the Nikon D3500 Manual?
You can find the Nikon D3500 manuals here. There are several different versions. The Reference Manual is the most detailed and most complete. The User Manual is basically a quick start guide. There are also versions designed for different parts of the world.
The Reference Manual is available as both a downloadable PDF and as on online HTML version.
Where Can I Find the Nikon D3500 Latest Firmware?
Nikon releases firmware updates on their website.
So far, there haven't been any firmware updates issued for the D3500.
Where to Buy a Nikon D3500 DSLR
The D3500 is an excellent entry-point camera for getting started with DSLR photography.
You can also find them used at major used camera gear sellers such as KEH (which is where I often buy when I'm looking for used gear).
Nikon D3500 FAQs
Is Nikon D3500 full frame?
The Nikon D3500 is in Nikon's DX format series of DSLRs, which means it has an APS-C sensor. These sensors are sized smaller than a full-frame sensor but larger than most smartphone and compact camera sensors.
The Nikon D3500's sensor measures 23.5 mm x 15.6 mm and produces images that are up to 24 megapixels (6000 x 4000 pixels). The sensor has a native ISO sensitivity of ISO 100 to ISO 25,600.
What year was the Nikon D3500 released?
The Nikon D3500 was released in 2018. It replaced the Nikon D3400.
What is the weight of the Nikon D3500?
The camera body itself (i.e., without a lens attached) weighs approximately 12.9 oz. (365 g).
Does the Nikon D3500 have a built-in flash?
Yes, the Nikon D3500 has a built-in flash that uses i-TTL.
Does the Nikon D3500 have wireless connectivity?
Yes, the D3500 has Bluetooth connectivity, although that connectivity is limited to use with Nikon's SnapBridge app.