Digital Trends Presents: Nikon D3500 Field Test

Digital Trends Presents: Nikon D3500 Field Test

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Photographer Alivia Latimer

Digital Trends sought out Portland-based photographer Alivia Latimer, a Canon photographer, to test out the Nikon D3500 cameras. Here’s Latimer’s take on the camera and its features.

The jump from one camera manufacturer to another can sometimes be a significant one, but Latimer picked up the Nikon with ease, thanks to the camera’s Guide Mode. “I really enjoyed how the little tips and messages popped up,” she told Digital Trends, to explain the camera’s features. Whether a photographer is switching brands or learning a new system, like a DSLR, getting to know a tool’s capabilities is essential.

Guide Mode, which gives simple on-screen directions to the D3500’s features, makes the transition easy. “As tricky as it might be when you’re picking up a DSLR for the first time, learn how to shoot in manual mode, learn what looks good to you and what you prefer,” Latimer recommended. “Just shooting in auto is going to give you a great photo, but it won’t really be unique to you and your style.”

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Latimer primarily shoots travel lifestyle and tourism photography, which puts her in contact with lots of hotels, airlines, and other travel companies, and she’s developed a workflow around her professional Canon system. But Latimer was impressed by the quality of images she was able to get from the smaller Nikon camera, which she said would be appreciated after a long day walking around and exploring a site.

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She was impressed with the camera’s speed and portability, as well as with its performance in difficult light conditions, such as photographing backlit subjects—a notoriously difficult scenario for many cameras to handle, but one common to travel photographers.

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Captured on the Nikon D3500 by Alivia Latimer

Plus, with Nikon’s SnapBridge app, Latimer was thrilled with the prospect of editing and uploading images on the go. “It would be so great to be able to post photos in more real time,“ she said, “instead of taking them home, uploading, editing on my computer, putting back on my phone, then to social media.” Though the unedited photos fit perfectly into her post-processing workflow (despite it being designed around Canon files), she noted the images that the D3500 produced looked fantastic without editing.

Beyond making photo sharing a breeze, the SnapBridge app allows you to control camera settings remotely, via phone. While Latimer doesn’t use remotes in her own photography, she noted how helpful the feature would be for vloggers, videographers, and photographers who use remotes.

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Captured on the Nikon D3500 by Alivia Latimer

The Nikon D3500 “doesn’t overcomplicate things,” Latimer said, and she’d recommend it to photographers ready to learn a DSLR. Paired with the Nikkor 18–55 f/ 3.5–5.6 lens (available with the camera as a kit), the D3500 takes beautiful pictures for all.

For more work by Alivia Latimer, you can find her on Instagram or visit her website.