Nikon D3500 Sample Photos

Here are some sample photos I’ve taken with a Nikon D3500 to give a sense of how it performs in real-world shooting conditions.

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Nikon D3500 Sample Images Header
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The Nikon D3500 is Nikon’s entry-level camera in its DSLR range. While that means it’s the most basic, it’s still an excellent camera that can take great photos. Digital camera sensors have come a long way in recent years, and you can get some outstanding results out of the D3500. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of cameras higher in the range, but it’s also at a much more affordable price point. All of which makes it a great choice if you’re making the leap to DSLR photography.

Nikon intl D3500 DSLR Camera Bundle with 18-55mm VR Lens - Built-in...
  • Nikon D3500 DSLR Camera Body (Import Model)- DX-format 24.2MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor , EXPEED 4 Image...
  • Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Lens - F-Mount Lens/DX Format ,27-82.5mm (35mm Equivalent) ,...

The D3500 is commonly sold with an 18-55mm zoom lens as part of the kit, and that’s the lens I’ve used in most of these shots. But being a Nikon F-mount, you can also attach a wide variety of other lenses to this camera, from much longer telephoto lenses to very wide-angles or specialty lenses like fisheyes or macro (close-up) lenses.

The D3500 has a 24-megapixel sensor that produces photos that measure 6000 by 4000 pixels. In practical terms, that’s more than big enough for sharp prints at least up to 16×20 inches, and even excellent results up to poster size 20×30 prints.

Sample Photos Taken with a Nikon D3500

Here are some sample photos I’ve taken with D3500. I’ve included the exposure details in the caption of each photo, and you can click on each of them to open a full-size version. The D3500 offers the option to save the files as JPGs or NEF RAW files (or both).

Most of these were originally shot in RAW image format (the D3500 can also shoot in JPEG) and have only been lightly processed in Lightroom. I haven’t applied any noise reduction beyond the light amount that Lightroom applies by default.

Nikon 18-55mm Lens Sample Image
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 18mm @ ISO 100 and ¹⁄₁₂₅ sec at ƒ/3.5.
Nikon 18-55mm Lens Sample Image
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 22mm @ ISO 250 and ¹⁄₄₀ sec at ƒ/3.8.
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 18mm @ ISO 100 and ¹⁄₁₀₀ sec at ƒ/13.
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 27mm @ ISO 100 and ¹⁄₁₂₅ sec at ƒ/5.6.
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 18mm @ ISO 110 and ¹⁄₃₀ sec at ƒ/3.5.
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 21mm @ ISO 100 and ¹⁄₆₄₀ sec at ƒ/3.8.
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 21mm @ ISO 100 and ¹⁄₁₆₀₀ sec at ƒ/3.8.
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 35mm @ ISO 100 and ¹⁄₂₀₀ sec at ƒ/13.
Dawn at the Washington Monument
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 18mm @ ISO 125 and ¹⁄₃₀ sec at ƒ/3.5.
Nikon 18-55mm Lens Sample Image
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 55mm @ ISO 3600 and ¹⁄₁₀₀ sec at ƒ/5.6.
Nikon 18-55mm Lens Sample Image
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 29mm @ ISO 320 and ¹⁄₅₀ sec at ƒ/4.2.
Nikon 18-55mm Lens Sample Image
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 18mm @ ISO 450 and ¹⁄₃₀ sec at ƒ/3.5.
Nikon 18-55mm Lens Sample Image
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 30mm @ ISO 100 and ¹⁄₁₂₅₀ sec at ƒ/4.2.
Nikon 18-55mm Lens Sample Image
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 20mm @ ISO 100 and ¹⁄₁₂₅ sec at ƒ/4.
Nikon 18-55mm Lens Sample Image
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 40mm @ ISO 100 and ¹⁄₅₀₀ sec at ƒ/5.
Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - DATE, 2019
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 18mm @ ISO 560 and ¹⁄₃₀ sec at ƒ/3.5.
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 55mm @ ISO 100 and ¹⁄₁₀₀₀ sec at ƒ/5.6.
Lincoln Memorial
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 18mm @ ISO 2200 and ¹⁄₃₀ sec at ƒ/3.5.
Lincoln Memorial in early Morning Light
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 25mm @ ISO 100 and ¹⁄₂₅₀ sec at ƒ/4.
Washington Monument Flags
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 55mm @ ISO 100 and ¹⁄₈₀₀ sec at ƒ/8.
Lincoln Memorial at Equinox Sunrise
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 34mm @ ISO 100 and ¹⁄₈₀ sec at ƒ/4.5.
Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington DC
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 18mm @ ISO 100 and ¹⁄₁₀₀ sec at ƒ/11.
Washington DC Cherry Blossoms - Photo Taken with a Nikon D3500
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 36mm @ ISO 100 and ¹⁄₆₄₀ sec at ƒ/8.
Photo of the MLK Memorial Taken with a Nikon D3500
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 46mm @ ISO 100 and ¹⁄₁₆₀ sec at ƒ/5.3.
Photo of Washington Monument Flags taken with a Nikon D3500
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 18mm @ ISO 100 and ¹⁄₆₄₀ sec at ƒ/8.
Photo Taken with a Nikon D3500
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 31mm @ ISO 100 and ¹⁄₁₆₀ sec at ƒ/5.
Photo Taken with a Nikon D3500
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 18mm @ ISO 100 and ¹⁄₂₀₀ sec at ƒ/13.
Photo Taken with a Nikon D3500
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 55mm @ ISO 100 and ¹⁄₁₂₅₀ sec at ƒ/5.6.
Photo Taken with a Nikon D3500
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 35mm @ ISO 2800 and ¹⁄₆₀ sec at ƒ/4.5.
Photo Taken with a Nikon D3500
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 23mm @ ISO 2000 and ¹⁄₄₀ sec at ƒ/3.8.
Photo Taken with a Nikon D3500
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 45mm @ ISO 100 and ¹⁄₅₀₀ sec at ƒ/8.
Photo Taken with a Nikon D3500
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 18mm @ ISO 25600 and ¹⁄₃₀ sec at ƒ/3.5.
Photo Taken with a Nikon D3500
This photo was taken with a Nikon D3500 DSLR with a Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens at 18mm @ ISO 4500 and ¹⁄₃₀ sec at ƒ/3.5.

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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.

Powerextra 2 x EN-EL14 EN-EL14a Battery & Dual LCD Charger Compatible with...
  • ✔ 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.

Memory Cards

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.

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens...
  • 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.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens
  • 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.

2 Pack JJC Eyecup Eyepiece Eye Cup Viewfinder for Nikon D3400 D3500 D3200...
  • 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.

Nikon's official model is EP-5A. You can also pick up aftermarket versions. Some include only the dummy battery part; others come bundled with AC adapters.

TKDY EH-5 AC Adapter EP-5A DC Coupler Power Supply EN-EL14A Dummy Battery...
  • [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.

Good places to start are with the Nikon D3500 Q&As and recommended SD cards for 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 find them at Amazon and B&H Photo.

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.

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