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Is this what the Nikon D3500 replacement will look like? (We hope not)

Nikon Z30 mockup
(Image credit: Digital Camera World)

There’s always lots of talk and rumour around Nikon cameras, but all we have right now is renewed speculation that a new APS-C Nikon Z30 model, positioned below the current Nikon Z50, will arrive in the first half of 2021, and that this may not have an EVF, just a rear screen. Will this replace the much-loved Nikon D3500 as Nikon's cheapest entry-level interchangeable lens camera?

The existing Nikon Z50 is decent camera, but priced for hobbyists and not beginners. Once the D3500 disappears for good (and the D5600 with it, we believe), novice photographers will lose what we think is the best beginner camera on the market, and so far we’ve heard nothing from Nikon to suggest a replacement is waiting in the wings.

Right now, the best cameras for beginners are older models on sale at discounted prices. It’s been years (literally) since any camera maker released a new, budget beginner camera.

This is the patent design that got everybody talking. Is this a new Nikon Z30? (Image credit: Design Watch)

However, there are certain things we think any beginner camera should have, including a viewfinder, and if the talk about a new Nikon Z30 mirrorless model is correct, it won’t have one.

The Nikon D3500 has been one of the best selling beginner cameras of recent times. When the D3500 goes, does the beginner market go with it? (Image credit: Nikon)

Is this the end for Nikon DSLRs?

Apparently not. Nikon Rumors has reported that two new Nikon DSLRs will be released in the second half of 2021, along with several new F-mount lenses. This is encouraging news for DSLR fans, but we don’t know whether either of these will be a D3500 replacement.

Not surprisingly, Nikon is shifting its R&D resources towards mirrorless cameras, but so far all the attention seems to have been on its full frame cameras and lenses. The APS-C Nikon Z50, launched back in December 2019, is an able and affordable camera, but it still only has two native DX-format Z mount lenses.

We all get very excited about full frame cameras and lenses, but let’s not forget that beginners need to start somewhere. 

Read more:

Best beginner cameras
Best Nikon cameras
Best DSLRs
Best mirrorless cameras