The Nikon D3400 is a very modestly updated version of the D3300. It’s an entry-level DSLR targeted toward first-time DSLR shooters. Those people who are ready to move on from their smartphones to a more advanced DSLR camera.

The best beginner camera is built around the same 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor. It comes along with an ‘EXPEED 4’ image processor. Nikon D3400 has Full HD video capture and an 11-point autofocus system. Unfortunately, the camera doesn’t have Wi-Fi. But it does have Bluetooth LE connectivity.  Transfer your images easily from the camera to a smartphone via the ‘SnapBridge’ app.

Check Out: Best Lenses for Nikon D3400

Nikon D3400: Price

Nikon D3400: Autofocus

The Nikon D3400 offers an 11-point phase-detection autofocus system. It has one cross-type point that as found in the D3300. Its focusing acquisition speed is relatively quick. Though, it does slow down a bit when in live-view. The autofocus acquisition speed for this entry-level DSLR is pretty quick in a good light. You have to use the kit lens. It slows down a bit in darker conditions but never becoming unreasonably slow.

Nikon D3400: Display

The Nikon D3400 has the same optical viewfinder found in the D3300. It has 95% coverage and 0.85x magnification. You can compose shots relatively straightforward. The best beginner camera also offers Live-View via the 3″ LCD screen. But it’s important to note the screen doesn’t offer touch control and since it’s fixed. It makes shooting in severe lighting conditions a bit of a challenge.

Nikon D3400 does come with a built-in flash. The flash is, however, weaker in the D3400 compared to its predecessor. The flash is rated at 7m at an ISO 100 as opposed to the 12m seen in the D3300.

Nikon D3400: Image quality

The NikonD3400 offers some very punchy, yet pleasing JPEGs right out of the box. They are sharp, even if you engage the optional ‘fine’ setting, is relatively reserved. But with the detail that’s possible with the 24MP sensor is quite nice.

One nice feature found on the D3500 and now the D3400 is Active D-Lighting or ADL. It’s a JPEG-only feature. It works to retain shadow and protect highlight details within one 1-stop. Those are often lost when strong lighting creates big differences between bright and dark areas of an image.

Read More: Best DSLR Camera for Beginners

Although the D3400 only received a modest update it still holds its own as one of the better beginner DSLRs on the market. The camera still features a 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor that offers fantastic Raw performance and punchy, yet pleasing JPEGs. The kit lenses have seen an upgrade to their focus motors which makes for much faster focusing times in Live-View and during video capture. The AF system is reliable, but it’s very sparse in coverage and has difficulty tracking subjects like small children.

More advanced shooters will be disappointed by the control layout, which still doesn’t allow for much growth as a photographer. The camera also lacks a touch or articulating screen that would make better use of the D3400’s features. That being said the D3400 still performs very well and produces quality photos.

Nikon D3400: Specifications

Body type
Optics & Focus
Screen / viewfinder
Photography features
Videography features
Other features
MSRPBody w/AF-P 18-55mm VR lens ($649), body w/AF-P 18-55mm VR and 70-300 F4.5-6.3 non-VR lenses ($999)
Body typeCompact SLR
Max resolution6000 x 4000
Other resolutions4496 x 3000, 2992 x 2000
Image ratio w:h3:2
Effective pixels24 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors25 megapixels
Sensor sizeAPS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorExpeed 4
ISOAuto, 100-25600
White balance presets12
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, Normal, Basic
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Digital zoomNo
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points11
Lens mountNikon F
Focal length multiplier1.5×
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3″
Screen dots921,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT-LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (pentamirror)
Viewfinder coverage95%
Viewfinder magnification0.57× (0.38× 35mm equiv.)
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject / scene modesYes
Built-in flashYes (Pop-up)
Flash range7.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flashYes (via hot shoe or wireless)
Flash modesAuto, Auto slow sync, Auto slow sync with red-eye reduction, Auto with red-eye reduction, Fill-flash, Off, Rear-curtain sync, Rear-curtain with slow sync, Red-eye reduction, Red-eye reduction with slow sync, Slow sync
Continuous drive5.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2, 5, 10, 20 secs (1-9 exposures))
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot AF-area
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingNo
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50 fps), 640 x 424 (30, 25 fps)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (mini-HDMI)
Microphone portNo
Headphone portNo
Wireless notesSnapBridge (Bluetooth only)
Remote controlYes (via smartphone or wireless remote)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionEN-EL14a lithium-ion battery and charger
Battery Life (CIPA)1200
Weight (inc. batteries)445 g (0.98 lb / 15.70 oz)
Dimensions124 x 98 x 76 mm (4.88 x 3.86 x 2.99″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingNo

Nikon D3400: Conclusion

For most people just getting started with DSLR photography, the Nikon D3400 is a great performer and more than ample sensor. Its body is compact and light and its specs are perfectly decent for a product of its class, albeit very similar to its predecessor’s.

Photo and video output are both more than adequate, and you can also polish up your designs quickly and conveniently for instant use if you wish, with the further bonus of in-camera raw processing.

As a Nikon DSLR, its compatibility with top-quality Nikkor glass worth decades is another significant advantage. In addition, the advantage of its low-pass-filter-free optical sensor means you can get the best out of these optics.

Image Quality
ISO Performance
Video mode
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Paul Landscape Photographer and YouTuber. He is taking photos all over the world but the main focus is the cold, rough, northern part of Europe. His style is somewhere in between dramatic and colorful fantasy and Scandinavian minimalism. Be sure to check out his YouTube channel for epic landscape photography videos from around the world.


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