If you’re in the market for a reliable DSLR camera, you may be looking at a variety of options, including the Nikon D3400. Before you make a final decision, you should understand what a D3400 is, how it works, what makes it unique, and how it stacks up against common competitor brands, such as Canon.
What Is The Nikon D3400?
The first thing you should know is what a Nikon D3400 is. The D3400 is a beginner’s DSLR, so if you’ve never had experience with professional photography and want to see if you enjoy it, then this is a good place to start. Because of its affordability, many people who are new to DSLR photography are likely to consider purchasing this camera. Since it’s the most basic DSLR in Nikon’s lineup, it doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as other models, such as the Nikon D5, which are more suited for professional photographers. You’ll still get some great features with this little camera that give you a good idea of what DSLR photography is about.
How It Works
As a DSLR camera, the Nikon D3400’s job is to give you control over many facets of taking a photo. From the amount of exposure to the depth of field, DSLR cameras allow you to play around with the camera’s features to capture the perfect image.
The Nikon D3400 features a 3.0-inch LCD monitor, so you can easily view your photos after shooting. You can also use the screen in live mode as a visual aide while you shoot if you don’t like the traditional way of looking through the viewfinder or you’re shooting at an odd angle.
The D3400 is going to produce a better image than your smartphone thanks to 24.2 megapixels, which give your photo a crisp, high-quality look. You’ll also find the 3400 to have a wide sensitivity range of 10-25600, which allows you to shoot in a variety of lighting conditions without creating noise, which can make your photos look fuzzy.
Though it’s seen a starter camera, the D3400 has enough features to get the job done well. It features built-in Bluetooth connectivity thanks to SnapBridge, so you can transfer your photos quickly and easily to any mobile device after a quick initial setup.
If you’re interested in using your camera to shoot video in addition to photos, the camera’s full HD mode has 1920 x 1080p resolution and the ability to shoot continuous video at a rate of 60 fps, giving you a seamless video experience that you can easily share online.
You can use the camera’s manual settings to give you complete control over your photography experience, or you can take advantage of automatic features, such as the autofocus sensor, which allow you to capture a photo quickly in a range of lighting conditions without missing out on the moment. You can also use automatic flash to snap great pics in low-light conditions without worrying about the settings.
Unless you purchase the body-only option, the Nikon D3400 comes standard with a 35mm focal range of 27-82.5 mm, which gives you a variety of choices when you’re using the camera.
The D3400 comes standard with a lithium-ion battery with a long-lasting life that allows you to snap up to 1200 photos in between charges, so you can take your camera with you while you’re on the go without worrying about it fizzling out halfway through your adventures.
Other notable features on the Nikon D3400 include:
- Built-in special effects, such as the Toy Camera, Miniature, Silhouette, Pop, Super Vivid, Night Vision, High- and Low-Key, and Selective Color effects.
- Specialized scene modes, including Landscape, Neutral, Portrait, Sports, Child, Close-up, and Monochrome modes.
- Automatic Scene Selector, which allows your camera to choose the right scene mode for your photos based on the surroundings.
- In-camera editing mode, which includes features such as color distortion, specialized filters, fisheye, image overlay, quick retouch, red-eye correction, and photo illustration.
In addition to these features, the Nikon D3400 also supports multiple languages, including: Hungarian, Arabic, Finnish, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, German, French, Greek, Korean, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Persian, Russian, Portuguese, Turkish, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Swedish.
While some people may enjoy the fun and ease of use you’ll find while using the D3400, others who are in the market for a more serious photography experience may find the camera lacking. The compact, lightweight construction makes the D3400 easy to carry around compared to other DSLRs, which are often known for their bulky structure. Its battery life is an area where this camera excels, since most amateur photographers aren’t shooting thousands of photos in a single sitting, which give this camera a leg up over the competition. Its easy-to-use interface makes it a great starter camera for people who are just breaking into photography as a hobby or are looking for something that doesn’t require a lot of background knowledge. You can essentially pick up this camera and start using it right away, making it a great solution for novice photographers. The overall performance of this camera is impressive for the size and price, and you will be hard pressed to find a better comparable camera on the market.
While the D3400 has a lot of great features, it seems to be lacking some specs that could have really raised the bar for this starter camera. While it boasts a 3.0-inch LCD screen, it lacks the touchscreen capability that many people have become accustomed to with most electronics. This isn’t likely a deal breaker, but if you’re used to being able to navigate your screen with the touch of a finger, you may be disappointed with the D3400. The camera uses SnapBridge to allow you to take advantage of Bluetooth to send photos to your mobile device, but it seems like an unnecessary step when so many devices allow you to use a direct Bluetooth connection to share photos. It seems like an oversight on the part of the manufacturer, especially in an age when people are used to instant sharing and easy connectivity. It’s nice that the D3400 has the ability to shoot video, but you shouldn’t expect to be blown away by the quality. While it has full HD video capabilities, it’s lacking 4K video mode, which can be found on most smartphones these days. If shooting video is a high priority for you, you may want to skip this camera.
As the cheapest model in the Nikon lineup, you’ll find the D3400 to be reasonably priced for all the features it offers. The price will vary depending on what extras you purchase with your camera. Be aware when purchasing that you’ll often come across a body-only model, which means it comes without any lenses. You need lenses to take photos, so you’ll have to purchase them separately and it isn’t always the cheapest option. Getting a bundle, which often includes one or two lenses and a couple filters, is often the most affordable option. You’ll find D3400s starting at a retail value of about $600 for a basic kit, with the next model up, the D5600, costing about $100 more. When you compare across other brands, the D3400 is a much cheaper option, even than Canon, which is most often compared against Nikon.
- SnapBridge Bluetooth Connectivity
- 24.2MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor
- EXPEED 4 Image Processor
How It Stacks Up
When most people are looking for a quality DSLR, they usually choose between two brands: Nikon and Canon. If you’re looking for a comparable camera to the D3400, it most closely compares with the Canon T6i, which was released about a year before the D3400. If having a touchscreen and wireless connectivity are important, then the T6i wins out over the D3400. The D3400 shines over the T6i, however, when it comes to ISO (25600 over 12800), a longer battery life (1200 shots between charges over 400), and Bluetooth connectivity. You’ll also get a richer color depth, better low-light ISO capabilities, and a more dynamic range when shooting your photos when you choose the D3400 over the T6i. The D3400 has a lighter body, which makes it easier to carry without worrying about camera strap fatigue. They D3400 also comes in at over $150 cheaper, making it a much more affordable option.
The Nikon D3400 is a great camera if you’re just getting into photography as a hobby or want something a little more lightweight than most DSLR cameras on the market. If you’re an experienced photographer, chances are you won’t find this camera meeting your needs and may be better off looking at some of the higher-end models Nikon offers.
Choosing the right camera is a matter of personal preference and taste, so if you’re not concerned about having wireless connectivity, sophisticated video capabilities, or a touchscreen, then the D3400 will likely meet your needs. If you’re not interested in investing money into a lower-end model camera and want something with all the bells and whistles, then you probably won’t be satisfied with the D3400. Considering all the things this camera can do for the price tag, it packs a big punch without putting a huge dent in your wallet.