Nikon D3500 For Dummies
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For times when you don't have access to your copy of Nikon D3500 For Dummies, this Cheat Sheet offers a handy reference guide. It offers a map to the camera’s exterior controls along with basic information about exposure modes and the functions played by each button, dial, and switch.

Controls on your Nikon D3500 Camera

If you’re not familiar with the Nikon D3500 camera, here’s a quick guide to its buttons, dials, and other external controls. The lens shown here is the 18–55mm AF-P kit lens; other lenses may have different features.




Functions of buttons and other controls on the Nikon D3500

Can’t remember which exterior control on your Nikon D3500 camera does what? To jog your memory, the following list provides a review of the major purpose of each button, switch, and other doo-hickey, all labeled in the figures in the first part of this Cheat Sheet. Some controls have additional functions during certain operations, but the table lists the ones you’ll use most often. Note: This information focuses on features available when you shoot in the P, S, A, and M exposure modes. A few controls also work in other modes.

This Control . . . Performs These Functions
Mode dial Sets the exposure mode, which determines how much control you have over picture settings. For the most control, choose P, S, A, or M.
On/Off switch/Shutter button Rotate the switch to power the camera on; rotate again to turn it off. Press the shutter button halfway to wake up the camera’s exposure meter and initiate autofocusing. Press the rest of the way to take a picture.
Live View switch Rotate toward the back of the camera and release to toggle Live View on and off.
Command dial Used to adjust a variety of settings, often in combination with pressing a camera button.
Movie-record button After engaging Live View, press the button to start and stop recording.
Exposure Compensation button Press while rotating the Command dial to apply Exposure Compensation, which adjusts exposure for the next picture or movie you shoot. A higher value produces a brighter picture.
Flash button In P, S, A, and M exposure modes, press to use built-in flash. For exposure modes that offer flash, press button while rotating the Command dial to change the Flash mode. Hold down the button and the Exposure Compensation button and then rotate the Command dial to adjust flash power.
Viewfinder adjustment dial Rotate this dial to adjust the viewfinder focus to your eyesight. To take this step, press the shutter button halfway and release it. Then concentrate on the shooting data at the bottom of the viewfinder screen as you rotate the dial. Keep rotating until the data looks clearest to you (focus of the scene in front of the lens won’t change).
Info button During viewfinder shooting, press to turn Shooting Information screen on and off. When Live View is engaged, press to cycle through the available data-display modes.
AE-L/AF-L/Protect button During shooting, press to interrupt continuous exposure adjustment, locking in the current settings as long as you hold down the button. When you use continuous autofocusing, also locks in current focusing distance. During playback, press to toggle file-protection on and off.
Playback button Press to toggle picture playback on and off.
Menu button Press to display camera menus. Set the Mode dial to any mode but Guide to access normal menus; set the dial to Guide mode to display guided menu screens.
i button During shooting, press to access the control strip, which offers quick access to critical shooting settings. During picture playback, press to display the i-button menu containing a handful of post-capture features, such as retouching.
Multi-Selector/OK button During shooting, press outer edges up/down/left/right to navigate menus and select camera settings; press OK to lock in your choice of settings. During playback, press up/down to change the playback display mode; press left/right to scroll through pictures.
Release Mode button Press to select shutter-release mode (single frame, continuous, or self-timer).
Zoom In button During Live View shooting and picture playback, press to magnify display. During movie playback, press to increase audio volume.
Zoom Out/Thumbnails/Help During Live View shooting, press to reduce on-screen magnification. In Playback mode, press to cycle from full-frame playback to Thumbnail view and then to Calendar view. When a question-mark symbol appears on a menu or information screen, press to display more information about the current operation.
Delete button While reviewing pictures, press to erase currently displayed or selected photos.
Lens-release button Press to disengage lens from camera lens mount so that you can remove the lens.
Microphone/Speaker When you record audio with movies, the camera captures sound through the microphone and plays it through the speaker.
Connection port cover Open this door to access the camera’s USB and HDMI connection ports.


Exposure modes on your Nikon D3500

Which exposure mode you select on the Nikon D3500 determines which camera features you can access and how much you need to take control over various settings, such as shutter speed and aperture. Exposure modes break down into two groups: Automatic and advanced, as described in the following tables. Make your choice via the Mode dial on top of the camera.

Automatic exposure modes

For photography novices, the D3500 offers the following automatic settings that enable point-and-shoot simplicity. The settings listed here help you capture the most common types of subjects; just set the Mode dial to the icon shown in the table. For automatic photography and movie recording using special effects, set the dial to Effects and rotate the Command dial to select an effect.


Advanced exposure modes

To really take creative control, step up to one of these four exposure modes, which enable you to adjust aperture (f-stop) to manipulate depth of field (distance over which focus appears acceptably sharp) and adjust to shutter speed, which determines whether moving objects appear sharply focused or blurry. You also gain access to some features not available in the fully automatic modes.


About This Article

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About the book author:

Julie Adair King is a veteran educator and bestselling author in the field of digital photography. Through her books including Digital Photography For Dummies and several For Dummies guides to dSLR cameras, she has helped readers to explore the joy of photography.

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