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Nikon D3400 Review

One of the most well-liked digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLRs) offered by Nikon is the D3400, which takes a straightforward approach to its design. In spite of the fact that it is compatible with a huge number of fantastic Nikon lenses and that it provides complete control over aspects like exposure and focus, the primary goal of the design was to make it as user-friendly and portable as possible.

[As of this writing, Nikon has released the D3500, which is intended to succeed the D3400. When compared to the D3400, which has been discontinued, the D3500 has been given a lot of design updates and upgrades, making it our top choice for the finest entry-level DSLR cameras that are now on the market.

This model takes the place of its predecessor, the D3300, which was an excellent DSLR for entry-level photographers. So, what exactly has changed? To begin, the overall weight of the device has been reduced somewhat, and the battery life has been significantly improved. On the interior, there is also a smattering of other features that, collectively, make it even more enticing.

Nikon D3400 Build Quality

Although Nikon intended the D3400 to be compact and lightweight, the company made sure there was sufficient grip to allow users to hang on to the camera. It is also possible to rest the thumb on the back of the camera without accidentally activating any of the controls, which is not something that all cameras are able to accomplish.

The model is one of the lightest single-lens reflex cameras available, weighing only 445 grams with its battery and memory card installed. That’s only 9 grams more than Canon’s EOS Rebel T100 / EOS 4000D, so in all practical terms, they’re on par with one another. It is also almost 200g lighter than the Pentax K70 model, despite the fact that the K70 model does provide sensor-based image stabilization as well as weather-sealing, both of which are absent from this model.

There are certain to be drawbacks associated with having such a tiny and light physique. Mounting anything other than Nikon’s smallest and lightest lenses results in an unbalanced partnership, for example, and it’s easy to get your nose in the way of the menu selector pad on the rear of the camera, which may make altering the focusing point difficult. Because of its lower price point, the camera does not have the same high-quality construction as its D5xxx brothers like the D5600. This is to be anticipated, though.

Nikon D3400 Autofocus

The camera’s 11-point Multi-CAM 1000 AF system, which has points organized in a diamond-like arrangement, covers a good amount of the frame, which is consistent with the coverage provided by many other APS-C-based competitors’ systems. This is roughly the same as in earlier versions, despite the fact that the new AF-P 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR kit lens has been built to ensure quick and silent focus.

It is, in fact, quite quiet, producing just a small burr while it operates, which is something that is easily covered up by the majority of the surrounding noise. When shooting in well-lit environments, the technology brings things into focus as quickly as would be expected, contributing to the overall high quality of the camera’s quickness. Naturally, this slows down when there is less light, despite the fact that the AF assist lighting is rather bright and can be used reasonably quickly.

Even though the cross-type sensor is only present at the center AF point, the points immediately above and below it turn out to be more sensitive than the rest of the points in the surrounding area. I discovered that this particular triplet had the ability to concentrate on relatively low-contrast topics, but the other eight did not.

When the system is programmed to follow a moving subject, it is able to keep up with the subject as it travels around the scene. However, because the points that make up the system are spaced much further apart from each other than the points that make up the array on cameras that have a more densely packed array, the system frequently loses subjects if they don’t occupy enough of the frame, to begin with.

Nikon D3400 Performance

We were relieved to discover that the metering on the D3400 did not have a tendency to overexpose when confronted with a subject that was predominately dark. However, just like the metering on many other DSLRs, it does appear to have a slight tendency toward underexposure when it is presented with brighter areas.

Any intervention, however, is quick and uncomplicated thanks to the fact that the top plate features a specialized exposure compensation button that collaborates with the command dial on the rear of the device. You can also utilize Active D-Lighting to bring back a sense of equilibrium to situations that may have shadow features that are a bit too dark owing to the presence of backlighting. The image that can be found below is a nice illustration of this.

The camera’s performance in terms of Auto White Balance is pretty good, with only a few minor inaccuracies occurring during the course of our study. Although the performance in the notoriously challenging mixed natural and artificial conditions remained impressive, it fared better than predicted under artificial lighting, with just a little warmth taken away from select images. However, the performance was still commendable overall.

Nikon D3400 Image Quality

It is possible to record a very good degree of detail in photographs with a Nikon camera since there is no optical low-pass filter placed in front of its sensor. This is especially true if you use a high-quality prime lens, a macro optic, or one of Nikon’s professional-oriented zooms.

The standard of the 18-55mm VR kit lens is one factor that brings down the overall image quality, notably at the wide-angle and telephoto ends of the zoom range. However, if you pair the D3400 with a set of high-quality lenses, you will be able to create photographs with exceptional levels of detail, such as the one seen below.

When the aperture is wide open, the images are less crisp, particularly in the four corners and around the borders of the frame. However, when the lens is set to a focal length in the middle range, it is possible to get extremely excellent sharpness in the central portion of the frame.

Both lateral chromatic aberration and curvilinear distortion may be seen in Raw files, despite the fact that JPEGs are correctly and automatically correct for both of these issues. This is typical of many kit lenses of a similar design.

Nikon D3400 Specs

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
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousFace DetectionLive 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 modesMultiCenter-weightedSpot 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

Final Verdict

The Nikon D3400 is an excellent performer and more than adequate camera for the vast majority of individuals who are just beginning their journey with DSLR photography. It has a compact and lightweight design, and its technical specifications, despite being fairly comparable to those of its predecessor, are more than enough for a model in its price range.

Image and video quality are both above and beyond what is considered acceptable, and thanks to the additional feature of in-camera raw processing, you can also polish up your works in a quick and easy manner for immediate usage if that is something you would like to do.

Another significant benefit is that because it is a Nikon DSLR, it is compatible with decades’ worth of Nikkor glass of the highest quality. In addition, the absence of an optical low-pass filter in the sensor ensures that you will obtain the highest possible quality from these optics.

Nikon D3400 Pros & Cons

Good For
  • Excellent battery life
  • Compact, light, and easy to use
  • Good single-shot AF performance
  • A tiny, quiet kit lens
Need Improvements
  • No microphone port
  • Lacks touchscreen
  • Poor connectivity options
  • LCD is fixed in place
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Paul is a seasoned photographer and blogger. With 10 years of experience, he creates stunning visuals and engaging writing. His work captures powerful stories and showcases his expertise in both photography and blogging. Paul brings passion and excellence to every project, delivering beautiful and impactful results.

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