How to Use a Nikon D3500 as a Webcam for Live Video Streaming

Whether you’re upgrading your home office for Zoom meetings or creating a home vlogging studio, it is possible to use a Nikon D3500 as a webcam or for real-time capture to a computer. Here’s a guide on how to do it.

Nikon D3500 Webcam Live Streaming
Nikon D3500 Webcam Live Streaming
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With so many people working from home these days, there are many people looking for ways to make use of the gear they already have in their home office environment. If you’re looking to improve video quality for your Zoom meetings or for recording virtual classroom lessons and already have a Nikon D3500 on hand, here’s how you can put that camera to use.

It is possible to use as the Nikon D3500 as a webcam for Zoom or Skype meetings or for real-time video capture to a computer for recording how-to video tutorials. But it’s not an ideal choice for it, mainly because of a hard-coded maximum 30-minute time-out for the camera’s Live View function. That means that you’ll have to manually reset the Live View every 30 minutes. That’s pretty inconvenient, although it’s not necessarily a dealbreaker for everyone.

So, with that important caveat, it is technically possible to use a Nikon D3500 as a webcam for Zoom or Skype meetings or for real-time video capture to a computer for recording how-to video tutorials.

There are two methods to doing it. One is simple and just uses a USB cable, but there are limitations: the video quality isn’t great quality and often has a lag, which negates the point of using your DSLR in the first place, and, for now, at least, it’s only an option for Windows users. It’s often known as the plug-and-play method, and you can find details on Nikon’s own beta software enabling it here. There are some other alternatives by other software developers mentioned in the “Things Worth Knowing” section at the bottom of this page.

The other method has better video quality and little to no lag, but it requires an extra accessory between your camera and the computer. It’s the method I’m focusing on here. And if you’re going to the effort of connecting your D3500 to your computer, there’s a good chance you’re doing it to improve the video quality. Which is what this method offers.

But it’s not quite as simple as just plugging your camera in with a USB cable. Here’s a guide on how to do it and what you’ll need to make it work. It is fundamentally identical to the process of using a Nikon D3300or Nikon D3400 as a webcam.

Many computers these days come with a webcam built-in. On laptops, it’s usually right above the screen, giving you that upward-looking angle. With desktops, some displays have it built-in; on others you need to add a webcam as an external accessory. But the problem with standard webcams is that their quality usually isn’t great, and there’s not a lot of flexibility in using them. They might be in a fixed spot, have fixed field of view, and have fixed focus. But using a DSLR or a mirrorless camera can potentially give you much better quality and much more flexibility than a regular webcam. You’ll still have full control over things like focus, depth-of-field, and zoom, just as you normally would.

You can use your D3500 as a webcam for videoconferencing Zoom meetings or classes. Or for vlog broadcasting from home. Or maybe you’re a teacher wanting to record home-schooling classes or tutorials. Or have a virtual visit with your doctor or family member. Or an artist or craftsperson creating how-to videos. Basically, there are a bunch of different reasons you might be wanting to do this. It is technically doable with a Nikon D3500, with the important caveat I mentioned at the top that you’ll have to manually reset the Live View every 30 minutes.

And there’s another catch. That is that you’ll need an extra accessory to make it work. Specifically, you’ll need:

  1. HDMI-to-USB Video Capture Device
  2. HDMI cable
MavisLink Audio Video Capture Cards HDMI to USB 1080P USB2.0 Record via...
  • Input (HDMI) resolution 3840×2160@30Hz, output (USB) resolution 1920×1080@30Hz
  • Easily connect your DSLR, camcorder, or action Cam to your PC or Mac

So there is some cost involved, but it might well be cheaper than buying a new camera for the purpose, and you get the benefit of a lot of extra flexibility.

Connecting a Nikon D3500 to a Desktop or Laptop via HDMI

Most cameras won’t connect directly to a computer. At least, not to transmit a live video feed—most can either charge or transfer saved photos and videos over a USB connection. But to get that live video feed, you’ll need something in between that takes the video stream from the camera and turns it into something that the computer can work with over the USB connection.1

Once you have that video stream going to the computer, it’s available to your computer as a video input source. That means that you can use your preferred app or service to work with it. None of these require special, dedicated software. I have a few software alternatives below, but I’m focusing here mainly on getting the video stream to your computer so that your software or service can use it, whether that’s Zoom, Skype, VLC, QuickTime, or a high-end video editing suite like Final Cut Pro X or Adobe Premiere Pro.

HDMI Out vs Tethered Shooting

It’s worth mentioning that this is not quite the same thing as tethered shooting. With tethered shooting, you can connect the camera to a laptop or desktop with either a wired or wireless connection. That lets you control the camera’s settings, remotely press the shutter, and have the images transferred quickly to your computer. They will also give you a live preview feed. In a punch, you might be able to use that for live streaming, but there are two main issues with that. One is that the video feed is often jerky, has a low framerate, and has a lag. All of those things can be distracting. The other issue is that it can be hard to get that video feed available to other apps such as Zoom or Skype. Tethering is especially useful in a studio setting or for macro or product photography. But with live video streaming, which is what I’m focusing on here, you’re sending only video and audio signals from your camera to your computer. There’s usually much less of an issue with lag and jerkiness, and it makes the feed available easily to other apps.2 So tethering and the type of video output I’m focusing on here are similar but not the same.

HDMI Video Capture Cards

Video signals in modern cameras are sent over HDMI video cables.3 It’s the standard used for HD TVs, projectors, and screen displays as well. The Nikon D3500 has a built-in HDMI-out port that can send the video signal out of the camera. But most computers can’t take that HDMI video signal as is. (Some laptops have an HDMI-out port, which is useful for connecting a laptop to a projector or display for Powerpoint presentations, but what’s needed here is an HDMI-in, which most computers don’t have as standard.)

So, to get that video signal from your camera to your computer, you’re going to need some hardware: an HDMI video capture device. It’s a small device that sits between your camera and your computer. It takes the HDMI video signal and converts it to a USB signal.

There are a few different HDMI-to-USB converters on the market. In general, they’ll work with any camera or computer or gaming console with HDMI-out, so these aren’t specific to the Nikon D3500. Some that I’ve found to work well and have personally used with the Nikon D3500 are:

MavisLink HDMI Capture

The MavisLink HDMI capture dongle is one I’m including as a budget option that’s readily available (and seems to turn up under different brandnames). I’m including it here first not because it’s the best quality of the ones here–it doesn’t–but because the others are hard to find and expensive. This is much cheaper and easier to find.

It looks very similar to the Elgato and works the same way. I’ve found it to work well enough, but it’s basically a cheap knockoff that is not the same quality as the others I mention here. Most noticeably, the picture quality is much harsher and more contrasty. But it connects and works with the D3300 and will get the job done at a much lower price. You can find them at Amazon.

The input end accepts a full-size (type A) HDMI connector. There are no buttons or switches.

It can accept a 4K30 input, but its maximum output is 1080p30. It’s compatible with Windows, Mac, and Android (but not iOS). And it doesn’t require an external power source. It also doesn’t come with an HDMI cable—you’ll have to pick one up separately.

MavisLink Audio Video Capture Cards HDMI to USB 1080P USB2.0 Record via...
  • Input (HDMI) resolution 3840×2160@30Hz, output (USB) resolution 1920×1080@30Hz
  • Easily connect your DSLR, camcorder, or action Cam to your PC or Mac

Elgato Cam Link 4K

My top pick, for a combination of performance, features, and price, is the Elgato Cam Link 4K. There are cheaper and fancier (as well as more expensive options), but this is a good combination that I’ve found to perform reliably. It looks like a slightly oversized USB thumb drive. It plugs directly into your computer. You then use an HDMI cable to connect the camera to the Cam Link.

With so many more people working from home late, capture devices have been in high demand, and stock levels are sometimes low at retailers. But good places to look whether they’re in stock are Amazon and B&H Photo.

It doesn’t require an external power source—it draws its power via the computer’s USB connection. It doesn’t come with an HDMI cable, so you’ll have to pick one up separately (see below), but it does include a short USB extension cable, which is handy when you’ve got a crowded row of USB ports on your computer.

Elgato - Cam Link 4K - Capture Device, USB 3.0 (Renewed)
  • Level up your content You want your content to be visually captivating? With Cam Link 4K, simply hook up...
  • Plug-and-produce Coupled with Cam Link 4K, your camera functions as a webcam in all your favorite apps....

Magewell USB Capture HDMI Gen 2

The Magewell USB Capture HDMI Gen 2 converter is one I’ve covered in detail before. It’s very similar feature-wise, but instead of plugging directly into the camera itself, you use a USB cable to go from the device to your computer.

I’ve been using this capture device for several years; it’s what I’ve used to capture the camera settings menu examples I use on this site. It works very well, and I have no complaints about using it.

There are two reasons it’s not my top pick here. The first is that it doesn’t plug directly into your computer. Or, more precisely, what I mean is that you need to use a separate USB cable to go directly from the capture device to your computer. That adds flexibility in that you can use different kinds of cables, but it’s also another moving piece. By contrast, the other options I’m focusing on here plug in directly without the need for an extra USB cable.

The second reason is the price. It’s a very good product, but you pay a premium price for it. In terms of what you get, it’s hard to justify paying double the price of the Elgato Cam Link 4K for this kind of use.

In addition to requiring a separate USB cable, this one is a little larger than the others mentioned here. A USB cable plugs in one side, and an HDMI cable plugs in the other. It doesn’t require a separate power source.

Again, they’re in high demand, but good places to look are at Amazon and B&H Photo.

Magewell USB Capture HDMI Plus
  • Loop-through HDMI signal
  • Audio input via 3 5mm mic jack

HDMI Cables

The Nikon D3500 uses a Type C Mini HDMI connector.

You’ll also need an HDMI cable. This is the type of cable that transmits video and audio signals. It’s possible that your capture card will include the right cables in the box, but don’t count on them being included. And the cable you have on hand to connect a DVR or BluRay player to your TV probably won’t work because it doesn’t have the right connector on one end. So you’ll probably have to pick one up separately.

Just like with USB, there are a few different sized plugs for HDMI, and you just have to make sure you get the right cable for your camera.

For the Nikon D3500, that means one with a Type C Mini HDMI connector on one end (for the camera) and a Type A HDMI connector on the other (for the capture device). Note that there are also HDMI to USB Type C connectors—they’re not the same thing. When searching for the ones you need, they’re most often listed as “HDMI to Mini-HDMI cables,” and you can often find them in lengths ranging from 3 feet to 15 feet. There is no need to invest in one of the super-expensive HDMI cables that some brands offer. You can also get bidirectional cables, which are often more expensive—you don’t need one of those for this purpose since the signal is in only one direction.

How to Set Up a Nikon D3500 with a Computer and HDMI Capture Device

Once you have the necessary hardware, it’s a pretty straightforward process to get up and running, but there are a few things to watch out for and tweak.

Connect the Capture Device to Your Computer

Connect the HDMI capture device to one of your computer’s USB ports.

It’s best to use one of the computer’s own USB ports rather than through a USB hub (especially an unpowered one). That reduces the risk of power or connectivity problems.

Connect the HDMI Cable to the Camera and Capture Device

With the camera powered off, connect the HDMI cable to the capture device (the larger connector goes into the device) and the camera’s HDMI port.

Tip: If the video feed doesn’t show up, make sure you connected with the camera turned off. I’ve found that it sometimes doesn’t switch over properly if you connect with the camera powered on.

Power On the Camera

You’ll have to put the D3500 in LiveView mode. If you don’t, it will only show the menus on the screen, not the through-the-lens view. On the D3500, the Live View mode is toggled on and off using the small LV lever on the top around the shooting mode dial.

Change the Input Video and Audio Sources in Your Video Streaming Software or Service

In whatever software you’re planning to use, change the video source and audio source to the capture device. Precisely how you do that varies by software or service. Here are some of the common ones:

  • Zoom: Go to Settings (the cog icon at top right) > Video > Camera. From the drop-down list, select the one matching your capture device (it won’t be named after the camera)
  • Skype: Go to Settings > Audio + Video > Camera.
  • QuickTime Player: Go to File > New Movie Recording. Then change the video and audio input sources by clicking on the small down arrow to the right of the red record button.
  • VLC: Go to File > Open Capture Device.
  • Webex: Go to the video icon > Video Connection > click on the drop-down menu.

Tweak the Output Settings

Once you can see the camera’s output on the screen, there are some things you can tweak.

The first is the timer for the automatic-off for the Live View function. By default, it’s set to 10 minutes. You can increase that up to 30 minutes (I’m not aware of overriding that any further and increasing that time).

You can find this setting under Settings > Auto Off Timers > Custom > Live View > 30m.

Nikon D3500 Live View Auto Off Custom 30 Minutes

Nikon D3500 Live View Auto Off Custom 30 Minutes

Nikon D3500 Live View Auto Off Custom 30 Minutes

Nikon D3500 Live View Auto Off Custom 30 Minutes

The next settings you might want to tweak are the output resolution and framerate settings. On the D3500, the HDMI settings are in the menu system under the Setup Menu, then scroll down to: Setup Menu > HDMI.

Nikon D3500 Menu Settings for HDMI Options

There you can set the resolution/framerate output and the device control.

For the output resolution, Auto is a good place to start and will work in most cases. If you need to tweak it for some reason, there are some other options as well where you can reduce the size or choose an interlaced version rather than the typical progressive. But, if in doubt, start with Auto.

Nikon D3500 Webcam and Live Video Streaming Output Resolution

You’ll notice another setting under the HDMI settings. That’s Device Control. It refers to being able to use a TV remote to control playback via the HDMI-CEC standard. And it’s only relevant if you’re connecting your camera to a TV or display to play back directly from the camera. So you can safely ignore it for our purposes here.

One other thing you’ll probably want to tweak is the display style. When you first connect it up, you might see icons and status displays around the image. You can get rid of those to get a clean live view by pressing the info button on the back of the camera near the viewfinder. Each time you press it, it’ll cycle through a short selection of different versions of the screen, and one of them is a clean video feed with no extra information on-screen. Note that this is not the same as the i button further down near the OK button—they don’t do the same thing.

Keeping Live View Active

Once you’ve changed the Live View auto-off setting to 30 minutes, you’ll still need to manually keep it active every 30 minutes.

You’ll get a small 30-second countdown as it leads into the auto-off. It shows on-screen (and will show on the video feed). Like this:

Nikon D3500 Live View Auto-Off Countdown

You don’t need to turn the Live View on and off to reset the clock. You can tap just about any button, and it will gracefully reset the clock without blacking out the feed. The two options for doing that that I’ve found that are least likely to have any effect or interruption are to tap:

  • The exposure compensation button (next to the shutter with the +/- icon. This is easily accessible when the camera is facing you.
  • The AE-L/AF-L button on the top of the back panel (less convenient when the camera is facing you).

You can also lightly tap the shutter with a half-press, but this risks throwing off the focus.

If you forget to keep Live View active, it will automatically black out the video feed but won’t cut it off. What I mean by that is that viewers won’t be able to see you, but it shouldn’t disconnect you from the meeting session.

Optional Extras & Other Considerations

With that setup, you’re good to go for basic video streaming. There are some other optional extras that can improve the experience of using your DSLR as a webcam.

External Power

One important consideration is keeping the camera powered. The HDMI port does not convey power, and you can’t power the D3500 with the USB port. For short sessions, you can run the camera from its regular battery. For longer or more frequent recording, you might want to look at connecting the camera to an external power source.

With the Nikon D3500, you’ll want what’s known as a dummy battery with an AC power adapter. In this case, you’re looking for an EN-EL14 dummy battery replacement. This goes in the camera in place of the regular battery. It has a cable running out of it that you then connect to an external power source such as an AC outlet or car charger.

There are a number of different ones available. They all do basically the same thing, but some don’t come with an AC adapter included. So that’s something to watch for when choosing one (you can still add an AC adapter to the others, but you’ll have to pick that up separately).

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...

External Microphone

The microphone built into the Nikon D3500 is OK but not great. The microphone on the D3500 is behind the two dots just below the “D3500” badge on the front.

The single best thing you can do to get better sound quality in your recordings is to add an external microphone.

With many cameras, there are two ways to go here. One is to add an external microphone to the camera. The other is to run the external microphone directly to your computer.

But the Nikon D3500 doesn’t have an input for an external microphone, so you’re limited to connecting a microphone directly to your computer and running the audio as a separate stream. That ultimately gives you more control and flexibility, but it also introduces some extra complexity in syncing the audio with the video. The simplest option in this scenario is to make sure that your audio source and video sources are each set independently in the input settings of your software or service.

There’s a huge range of microphones that can work well for this, and covering them is far beyond the scope of this post. With the boom in podcasting in the last few years, there has been a corresponding boom in equipment for it. So you can get high-quality podcasting microphones. But you can also keep things simpler (and cheaper) with more basic models. After all, it’s something you can upgrade later if you want.

Lighting. Lighting can be tricky. If you have the D3500 in any of the auto-exposure modes (P, S, A), it will adjust automatically for the available light. But a better-lit scene will still look more professional than when you’re talking from the shadows.

If the whole scene is too light or too dark, you can still use the D3500’s exposure compensation slider to brighten or darken the whole scene. You can also set a manual exposure for even finer control.

That said, it’s usually better to start with decent lighting. You usually want the light source in front of you, not behind you.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and you can probably get good results from what you have before investing in more lighting gear. It might be natural window light (face the window or have it to a side from a front angle rather than have your back to it), a desk lamp (in front of you, slightly off to the side), or room lights (turn them on). In general, more light is better than less, and dispersed light or multiple light sources will help minimize harsh shadows.

Mounting. While it’s convenient to just set the camera on top of the computer or on your desk, that limits the angle of view and tends to emphasize every little bump or keystroke. So, for better quality, you’ll probably want the camera standing separately or at least on some kind of absorbing layer. Aside from that, you can use any of the usual photography mounts or other photography tripods—there’s nothing specific about this use that requires a specialized type of mount.

Things Worth Knowing

  • The maximum HDMI output resolution of the D3500 is 1080p30.
  • You can use any of the regular shooting modes. P is probably the most logical place to start.

Other Alternatives

If you’re using Windows, there’s another option that might be worth trying if you’re willing to tinker with beta software. Its less-well-tested for now, and your mileage might vary. The developer of digiCamControl tethering software has released digitCamControl Virtual Webcam software that is designed to let your DSLR emulate a webcam. The Nikon D3500 is listed as compatible. As a tethering approach, it might suffer from lag and jerky framerate—common issues with cameras tethered to computers—but it’s definitely worth a try if you’re looking for another option. One potentially very useful feature is that it’s designed to automatically restart the Live View when it times out.

  1. Canon has released a software app that works with some of its newer cameras. It will let you connect directly via USB and capture the video. But that doesn’t work with Nikon cameras.
  2. You can separate out the video and audio signals if you’d prefer to use a different source than your camera’s microphone for the audio—and there are good reasons to do that (see below).
  3. HDMI stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface. It’s a standard in consumer electronics that is designed to both transmit AV data as well as control signals in the one cable. Some older cameras have RCA-style outputs (i.e., the yellow, white, and red ports).

Images and product information from Amazon PA-API were last updated on 2021-11-26 at 17:22. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon Site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

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.