Nikon D3400 DSLR Review- Fantastic entry level DSLR for photography enthusiasts
• Super-compact light weight design
• Captures high quality images
• 24MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
• 11-point PDAF system
• 5-fps burst shooting
• Can capture upto 1200 shots
• 1080p Videos at 60fps
• Good single shot AF system
• No built-in Wifi
• No touchscreen
• No articulating screen
• Slow image transmission via Snapbridge app
• Average video features
• Mediocre flash
• Missing external microphone input
• No GPS
• Could have sensor cleaner just like other Nikon DSLR’s
Nikon’s D3400 is the latest entry level DSLR from Nikon, launched in September last year. The camera is updated version of D3300 with some upgraded specifications such as Bluetooth connectivity and longer battery life. To begin, the latest Nikon D3400 DSLR is a 445grams DSLR camera including the weight of Battery and SD card; it’s lighter than the other similar category DSLRs.
Nikon D3400 has a 24 Megapixel sensor that can capture ultra high quality images right ahead of unboxing. The DSLR measures 12.4 x 9.8 x 7.6 cm in dimensions which also makes it smaller than other entry level DSLRs.
Nikon D3400 DSLR is priced nearly 25000 rupees on Amazon and at this price segment; I would say it is the best choice available in market till now, for the reasons mentioned in the review below.
Compared to most of the other professional cameras from Nikon, D3400 is super quiet and refined.
The latest D3400 has more resolution to offer than many other high-end or entry level cameras available in market.
For entry level photographers, amateur photographers, hardcore photographers or the ones who shoot on the go, Nikon D3400 DSLR is a great choice. It’s better than any conventional point-and-shoot camera and for occasions like sports and kids’ photography, D3400 gets the job done fantastically.
A quick comparison between Nikon’s D3300 and D3400
- D3300 and D3400 measure exactly the same; however D3400 is nearly 65grams lighter than D3300.
- Where D3300 captures 700 shots, the D3400 can capture upto 1200 shots. Which means it can capture a total of 500 shots more compared to D3300.
- For sharing images one must have to connect mobile adaptor on D3300, however D3400 is embedded with Bluetooth Low Energy for connectivity along with Snapbridge app for image sharing.
- D3300 offers an ISO range of 100~ 12,800, while the D3400 has a higher ISO range exceeding till ~25, 600.
- The D3400 has a less powerful flash compared to the one we see on D3300, which helps the camera in saving battery life.
- D3300 has external Mic connectivity which is not available on D3400.
- The ultrasonic sensor cleaning function which was available on D3300 is not available on D3400 anymore.
- One can share the images instantly on Social media by Snapbridge Application connectivity feature available on D3400.
Build and Controls
Plastic body construction is a first preference among all brands for entry level DSLRs. However, it’s important to have good controls and ergonomics in the device if you want to make it competitive. For an entry level user, the number of controls available on D3400 is a fairly good choice. Most of the time one might be using the camera in ‘auto mode’ or ‘no flash mode’, and in such conditions, D3400 gets the job done without breaking a sweat. On the other hand, if you’re over an advanced user you’ll find using the camera a little complicated. But what make it a great product are its manageable weight and the capability to capture high resolution shots.
The simple design of Nikon D3400 DSLR is well suited for any entry level user. It’s a compact lightweight body with built-in flash in which most of the controls are easily accessible with right hand thumb. The 3-inch bright LCD screen is fixed and could be a problem using the camera for making Youtube videos or vlogs. The dials are located on top and there’s an additional exposure compensation control incorporated in the camera.
As far as ergonomics are concerned, the D3400 is easy to hold and super easy to use. Which allows you to do marathon photography sessions and the battery life complements its ergonomics. However, using the camera in manual mode and fiddling around ISO and shutter speed does affects sometimes.
The display on the camera has 920k-dot resolution, which compared to D3100, is way upgraded, this eventually affects the images captured by camera and makes them look pretty accurate in both camera and laptop.
Nikon D3400 has a built in flash release button and just like the Canon 1300D camera, there is no external mic connectivity option. The DSLR is shipped with AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens or AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G and AF-P NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens as a kit.
Connectivity via Snapbridge application
One of the significant upgrades that you’ll notice on Nikon D3400 over its predecessor is the ability to transfer images over Bluetooth. The latest D3400 is equipped with ‘Snapbridge’ software that allows it to connect to any smartphone and share images in 2MB or full image size (manually). Snapbridge is always active which allows it to share the camera information and location related data your smartphone.
The Snapbridge feature is available on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch or smart devices running the Android operating system. One can download the application over ‘Apple App Store’ and ‘Google Play Store’.
Shutter and Auto-Focus
Just like its predecessor, Nikon D3400 offers a top shutter speed of 1/4000s with a max flash synchronization of 1/200s. The processor on camera is same as of D3300 and the sensor is also similar, however the 5fps burst shooting mode in manual focus is super impressive in both JPEG and RAW file formats. Which gets affected once you shift the camera from manual focus to auto focus, as the camera start selecting objects for focussing, the speed gets a little slower. Even if the camera has a great shutter speed, the AF capability of D3400 is not amongst the best.
The mirror movement we mentioned as a limitation of Canon 1300D in our earlier review is not the same with Nikon D3400.
Using the Canon 1300D was daunting as the images get over calibrated to sensitivity. The camera could blow away slighter brighter areas in well-lit conditions. Well, that was only with Canon 1300D, using D3400 was surprising than ever. Even when I was using the camera in slightly bright conditions, the images were crispy and the noise levels were pretty accurate. ISO range was mostly precise, which made shooting fun. However, shooting images in low light conditions could be a little daunting. Though the details are accurate in photographs, images get a little noisier in low light conditions.
Nikon D3400 DSLR has a 24MP APS-C CMOS Sensor coupled to a EXPEED 4 processor, both the specifications are same as of the earlier D3300. Using the bundled 16-80mm f/2.8-4e ED VR lens was more fun than ever. It’s a 70K lens which is equipped to a 25K camera and the result were mesmerising. The only issue that I had using Nikon D3400 is in adjusting the ISO range, apart from that the controls were way better than Canon’s 1300D. However, both the cameras does not have HDR mode, which is a laggard considering it to be a basic feature on any smartphone these days.
Check out the image samples:
Nikon D3400 DSLR can capture images in 6,000 × 4,000 pixels native (LARGE, 24MP), 4,496 x 3,000 (MEDIUM, 13.5MP) and 2,992 x 2,000 (SMALL, 6MP) image sizes. The camera can capture videos FHD 1,920 x 1,080p at 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25 or 23.976 FPS and HD 1,280 x 720 at 59.94 or 50 FPS. You can capture a video as long as 29:59 in normal quality and 20 minutes at High quality.
There are many specification upgrades that you get on Nikon D3400 DSLR over Canon1300D or Nikon D3300. But a higher resolution size and battery capacity makes it the best choice among the available entry level DSLRs in the market. Indeed it’s an entry level camera, but one can capture high quality images with D3400 and can also make bright crispy videos with it. The upgrades on D3400 over D3300 are minimal; still the upgrades are worth considering as most of the time you’re affected by these things only. However, if Nikon could’ve added WiFi connectivity than there was no single thought of selecting any other camera in comparison to D3400.