Remember those time and date stamps that you used to be able to get embedded in the bottom corner of your prints? Back in analog days, before there was EXIF metadata to embed in files, those were useful for documenting when a photo was taken.
Well, you can do the same thing on the Nikon D3500. It hardcodes the date stamp and timestamp in the bottom right corner of the photo in bright orange letters.
It looks like this:
But what if you want to turn it off? Maybe you turned it on accidentally and now can’t figure out how to undo it. Or maybe you’re borrowing the camera from someone else, and they were using the option.
You can find the option under the Setup Menu (the wrench/spanner icon). What you’re looking for is the “Date Stamp” menu item.
The available options are:
- Date and time
- Date counter
It’s worth noting that disabling the Date Stamp option doesn’t mean that you no longer have access to information about when the photo was taken. Apps like Lightroom can easily read the EXIF metadata that’s included in the image file automatically, and you can even embed that information visually into derivative versions as part of the image processing workflow.
The Date and Date and Time options are pretty self-explanatory.
The final option, Date Counter, is less intuitive, and it’s not something I’ve noticed on other cameras before. It’s a countdown as well as whatever the opposite of countdown is (ie. something like D + 8 days). That is, it shows how many days until a future date or that have elapsed since a past date. You choose the reference date, obviously. Nikon gives the examples of tracking the growth of a child or counting down the days until a birthday or wedding. It’s one of those features that’s kind of neat, but I also can’t imagine ever actually using it. You can find more specific information on how to use the Date Counter feature in the Nikon D3500 manual.
Things Worth Knowing
The Date Stamp function only works with JPG images. It will not imprint on RAW (.nef) files.
The information for the date and time is derived from the information that you set. That is, when you set the camera up, you set the time and date (
Setup Menu > Time Zone and Date).
And you can set the time and date to anything you like or as accurate as you like. So it’s not all that useful as any kind of forensic proof of when an image was taken. And if you’re traveling across timezones, it’s up to you to adjust the camera’s time accordingly (or at least, the time zone).
Cameras make for imperfect clocks, and I’ve found that many of them end up being fast or slow. So if the time information is important, you’ll want to check and reset the camera’s time and date periodically.
When one of the date stamp options is enabled, you’ll see an icon on the main kitchen-sink information screen (press the i button on the back of the camera to toggle it).
The date stamp is hard coded into the JPG and can’t be moved or removed. That might limit your options for cropping or displaying the image.
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.