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Nikon’s D3500 is its new beginner-friendly DSLR with a price tag to match

If you’re looking for a sub-£500 camera and prefer the reassuringly chunky feel of a DSLR to a mirrorless model, then Nikon’s new entry-level D3500 might be for you.

The Nikon D3500 replaces 2016’s D3400 and brings a few minor but potentially useful tweaks that should help beginners clamber up from their smartphones onto its beefier, more powerful frame.

Compared to its predecessor, the D3500 is slightly thinner and around 30g lighter, and has a new deeper grip to help improve its handling. It also has a simpler button layout and a slightly longer battery life of 1,550 shots per charge, which is around 350 shots more than the D3400.

Internally, not much has changed, with the D3500 featuring a 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor and many of the same specs as its predecessor, including 5fps burst mode, a native 100-25600 ISO range and an 11-point autofocus system.

Still, Nikon says that the sensor and Expeed processor have been updated to improve the colour reproduction, which sounds promising as we were already impressed with the D3400’s images, particularly when using it with better lenses than the supplied kit lens.

Related: Best DSLR 2018

To keep its cost down, the D3500 still lacks 4K video recording (it maxes out at 1080p at 60fps) and the 3in, 921k-dot LCD screen is fixed rather than giving you the flexibility of a vari-angle display. To get one of those on a Nikon DSLR you’ll need to go for the very similar D5600.

On the plus side, omissions like this mean that you’ll be able to buy the D3500 for £499 with an 18-55mm kit lens when it goes on sale from September 20 2018. We’ll bring you a full review very soon to show how it compares to rivals like Canon’s EOS 200D, which is our current favourite entry-level DSLR.

Do you prefer the sound of the D3500 over one of its mirrorless rivals? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter @TrustedReviews.

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