Top positive review
Great Camera but go with the D5600 if your budget permits
September 26, 2018
The Nikon D3500 is a really small DSLR that takes great pictures (when using an external flash). It is really small and lightweight package especially when using the bundled 18-55mm collapsible lens. High ISO and Autofocus performance is very, very good.
The D3500 is Nikon's entry level DSLR replacing the D3400. These two cameras have very similar specifications but the real difference is the White balance. The D3xxx series before this model, had an orangery AWB when shooting with existing incandescent lighting (i.e regular light bulbs). This model does a much better job The colors are really so much better. The buttons are also rearranged to make one handed-shooting a little easier.
However, the next camera up the line, is the D5600 which currently sells for almost the same price since the D5600 has been around for a while. The D5600 which has almost identical and excellent image quality, is about the same size and weight (maybe an ounce or two heavier). But the D5600 has several important features the D3500 lacks; a fully articulating LCD, touch screen controls (in addition to buttons), many more ISO stops (The D3500 has only 2 ISO stops between ISO 400 and 3200), DOF Preview, Bracketing, better wireless picture transfer, automatic sensor cleaning, programmable FN button etc.
Like almost all cameras, the built in flash is not great; an external speedlight with bounce capabilities is really essential for properly exposed photographs. The SB300 is a very small flash and a great match for this camera (and for the D5600).
Like all cameras, the most important component is the skill and imagination of the photographer.