Nikon D3400 review and test. Comparison with other cameras

Nikon D3400 review and test. Comparison with other cameras

It is no secret that the most popular cameras on the market are not professional or even advanced models and the entry-level camera. They diverge maximum circulation. Therefore, manufacturers every year encouraging users extended version of simple and affordable cameras.

Another novelty was the Nikon D3400 – a representative of the most affordable “three thousandth” series from Nikon DSLRs. These cameras are popular with beginners and photographers looking for a budget SLR camera.

Today the range of amateur cameras with DX-format matrix consists of three series:

In the segment of junior DSLRs do not expect revolutionary innovations in each of the following model. no jerks evolved amateur camera, as it often happens with older models, but gradually.

Opportunity stills and movies Nikon D3400 is not so different from its ancestor, Nikon D3300, which was released two years ago.

The most notable innovation was SnapBridge technology. This system of communication between the camera and the mobile devices. Thanks to energy-saving technology Bluetooth low energy, the device hardly spends energy on to transfer the captured images in the background on your smartphone. Nikon one of the first implemented this technology in consumer cameras.

The first thing you notice is the compactness. D3400 fits in the palm of your hand. “Carcass” Weight – 395 grams. Hull length -. just 12.4 cm Hardly will find a smaller SLR.

Nikon D3400 review and test. Comparison with other cameras

The body is made of high quality plastic. The assembly does not raise any problems: do not falter, not prominaetsya, gaps and no cracks. It often happens that a small camera awkward to hold in their hands, because the body “dotted with” buttons, the photographer simply nothing to hold. Such problems have no Nikon D3400. Non-slip rubber pads further enhance grip. They are a kind of luxury for this class.

The main part of the camera – image sensor. The Nikon D3400 is set to 24-megapixel CMOS-powered DX-format. As in the more advanced cameras Nikon, protivomuarnogo no filter. This increased image sharpness is achieved.

Matrix assisted processor EXPEED 4, well-established in the previous model. On the processor shoulders rests the conversion, processing and saving images.

The appearance is traditional for younger models from Nikon. Compared to its predecessor in appearance has changed little: the shutter button is now black instead of silver.

In addition to the classic black color, Nikon D3400 is available in red. Unusual and original design for the SLR.

On the front side of the Nikon D3400 is a mount for the lens – the lens mount Nikon F. As in all the previous entry-level cameras, it does not “otvёrtochnogo ‘drive to focus the old lens AF Nikkor. However, with all the modern lenses having its own focus motor AF-S Nikkor, the focus will be to work with. At our test was a lot of lenses, and all of them with the new device worked very well (sometimes even better than the more advanced, but older cameras).

The main “pillars” of the lens for the Nikon D3400 is the latest AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm VR. Looking ahead, we note that the lens is struck by the image quality. It is optimized for video shooting, a new drive AF-P focus. When video recording is not audible focusing sound. The device can be purchased bundled with other lenses – there are several sets of delivery.

Also on the front panel, you can see the AF-assist illuminator. This is a very useful thing, which is often lacking in the devices of other manufacturers. It turns on in low light, and significantly accelerates the focus when taking pictures even in complete darkness.

The handle has an infrared receiver. It is used to control the remote control.

On the back of the camera have settled the basic controls, optical viewfinder, and of course the screen.

Under the thumb wheel control is conveniently placed. It’s one in the chamber (entry-level cameras are no longer supposed to), use it simply.

Nikon D3400 review and test. Comparison with other cameras

Buttons and naviped large, and the location of their logic.

The optical viewfinder has a magnification h0.85 and covers 95% of the frame. Acceptable performance for this class. The viewfinder can not be called great, but it is not tiny. Using them is convenient.

Functions and features Nikon D3400

Focus through the viewfinder at the sight of the phase detector is engaged AF Multi-CAM 1000 is well known to us from previous models. It is installed in the available camera since Nikon D200. This time-tested module excels with its functions. The sensor has 11 focus points cross-type center point – it is the most sensitive. The coverage area is sufficient for comfortable shooting amateur. Such a simple focusing system gives excellent opportunities and continuous AF allows you to use 3D-tracking function, which is not even in the top machines some competitors. In the practical part of the article we will see how the autofocus in real filming conditions.

Sensitivity Auto Focus (from -1EV to +19 EV) enough for shooting indoors or on the streets of the city at night. In complex situations, it helps to backlight.

Nikon D3400 review and test. Comparison with other cameras

The screen has a diagonal of 3 inches and a resolution of 921000 points — good performance. The display is covered by a thin protective plastic, whose scratch resistance is questionable. I would advise to paste on it a protective film. But the viewing angles and color reproduction good. Even at extreme viewing angles the colors on the screen are not distorted, information is easy to read.

When shooting through the viewfinder displays shooting information. Indicators of exposure settings — shutter speed, aperture and ISO are included in a special mug. “Circle” aperture displays how closed the aperture in the lens. This is very convenient because an aspiring photographer often cannot correlate the digital reading on the display what the hole — closed or open — it denotes. Here all clearly illustrated. In addition, in menu you can set the theme information screen. And for automatic, semi-automatic modes P, A, S and M mode it is set separately.

When viewing photos on the screen you can display various useful information, including graphs and histograms. In addition, the unit is able to highlight overexposed areas.

Live view in Live View is a pleasure. Nikon D3400 is not inferior to buttercake: there is everything for shooting through the display. This contributes to a rapid and correct contrast focus. Focus can be on any selected display point, whether it is at least at the borders of the frame. There is face detection: automatic is able to detect the face even in the periphery of the frame, allowing you to compose the shot, use the rule of thirds, creative approach to photography.

When shooting in Live View using the info button you can display the data of all shooting settings grid display. There is a screen showing a frame of the video (video is shot in crop mode, but more on that later) and the sound level. You can even hide all parameters except the key that appears at the bottom on a black field. Here’s the e-level is absent, it is a feature of older models.

D3400 — first Amateur DSLR from Nikon that allows you to adjust the aperture value directly in Live View. Previously, to change the relative holes had to turn off the screen, adjust the aperture and then turn it on.

When working through the screen we see a picture of the brightness of those colors that happens in the end. In this work it is convenient to use the exposure compensation function: you can instantly see the effect of those settings that we make. With the exception of mode M. There the brightness of the picture does not adapt to shooting parameters, but included the scale of the exposure meter, which experienced photographer (who still shoots in M mode?) will be able to navigate.

Nikon D3400 review and test. Comparison with other cameras

Generally, the Live View was a success. It is evident that the Nikon engineers paid special attention to it. Unlike the optical viewfinder and phase detection autofocus, where significant progress in all directions. Apparently, statistical studies have shown that novice photographers often use a screen and not a viewfinder.

By the way, the camera in Live View works for a long time, why? … You can walk all day, shooting through the screen, and the battery is discharged.

By the way, about the battery. High autonomy is an important trump card mirror devices in comparison with betterquality. No one wants to remain with the discharge chamber during travel, excursions, shooting of holiday. Nikon D3400 is equipped with a battery EN-EL14a for 1230 mAh (the same as in other 3xxx series and 5ххх). So Nikon D3400 will fit and the battery from his predecessors. On a single charge can be made of approximately 740 personnel. For a camera this much: the difference with the competitors in half to two times. Power consumption is optimized compared to previous models.

On the left panel there are connectors Micro-USB standard USB 2.0 High-speed to connect the device to the computer and HDMI output for connecting to a TV or monitor.

Closer to the lens there is a customizable Fn button. And it is an occasion to talk a bit about the possibilities of configuration management to the needs of the photographer. The mere existence of the function buttons and some customization options — luxury to entry-level machine. By default, the Fn button adjusts the sensitivity, but it is possible to assign and other options:

On the right panel is a slot for memory cards format SD. Supports SDHC and SDXC UHS-I.

Nikon D3400 review and test. Comparison with other cameras

On the top bar in its place is a built-in flash. Its power is slightly diminished if Nikon D3300 the flash’s guide number is 14, here only 7. Do not take this reduction to heart, because this change is visible only on paper. The guide number is only an indication of flash output when shooting at the minimum ISO sensitivity value. No one bothers us a little bit to raise the ISO. It doesn’t matter because the built-in flash use most often novices when shooting in avtorezhime. And they still put the automatic camera to ISO 100 or ISO 400. Advanced photographers prefer not to use the “flash head”, shooting with a tripod or using a high-aperture optics, as well as external, much more powerful flashes. Nikon D3400 provides enough power flash for all tasks faced by a simple photographer. Portraits in low light with the flash turn out great. There is a protection mode red-eye reduction, slow sync, sync rear-curtain sync and fill flash. In addition, there is a function flash exposure compensation. With its help, we can adjust the flash power.b

In addition to the flash on the top panel has a standard connector hot Shoe for connecting external flashes. Immediately on top is the shutter release button, combined with the lever of inclusion. Have a Nikon with ergonomics everything is in order: to turn on the camera and start shooting, enough to lift one finger! Camera is activated instantly.

Next to the shutter release button is the info button, with which change of display information, recording button and the exposure compensation button. Latest in mode M adjusts the aperture.

By the way, in this regard, there is a small subtlety. When using auto-ISO in M mode is not possible to set exposure correction: on luminance images to influence does not, you will change only the parameters expobar, and automatic machine fills need, in her opinion, the sensitivity value. The solution is simple: either disable auto-ISO, either make the exposure compensation, switching to any other semi-automatic mode.

At the top is the usual wheel choice of modes: P, A, S and M, in which the photographer himself is setting shooting options, a wide selection of automatic modes.

Presents many scene modes: Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Macro, Night portrait. There are “green” mode is the most automatic of automatic. It is the automation itself will determine the type of plot and select the appropriate settings. There are mode effects, which can choose one of many treatment options shooting: Night vision, super bright, Pop, photo illustration, toy camera Effect, miniature Effect, Selective color, Silhouette, High key, Low key.

Selective color: you can choose any color, leaving the photo only.

Nikon D3400 review and test. Comparison with other cameras

In addition to these effects, the camera has a traditional Picture Control profiles, which provide a softer and more natural treatment. They can be selected in any shooting mode. Thus, almost all the shots for the article were shot with the profile Picture Control Vivid (“Rich”), so images look bright enough without postprocessing.

So, we got acquainted with the camera, held it in his hands. It’s time to go shooting. That is capable of the most affordable DSLR from Nikon? Let’s find out!

Nikon D3400: Photography for beginners


We have no other SLR. This is not a professional tool, the treatment of which it is necessary long and to study persistently. Nikon D3400 is designed to be as easy to learn, accessible to everyone. That’s where we will start the practical part of the article.

The phone has all the necessary features for shooting on full automatic. A “green” mode in which automatic identify all shooting parameters. The photographer remains only to bring the camera at the subject and press the shutter button. There are scene modes, when you enable automation which takes into account the specifics of the shooting scenes. For example, in the Landscape it prefers to close the aperture for greater depth of field, and in the mode “Sport” is to shoot at a fast shutter speed so that fast moving objects remained sharp.

During use of the camera did not have any issues to auto mode and scene modes. In most shooting situations I would set up shooting parameters exactly the same as it did automatic.

In the scene the software we can configure some settings: select the mode of operation of the system focus or the focus point to always hover just on the subject.

Also in the scene we can use the function of exposure compensation (brightness image). If the camera makes the shots too dark or too bright, click on the “+/-” buttons and spin the control wheel in the desired direction. No more difficult than to adjust the sound volume on the TV!

Nikon D3400 review and test. Comparison with other cameras


Special attention is given mode Guide (“Guide”). This is a real photography school in your camera! In this mode, you choose remove the story, and the camera tells you what settings to use, what tricks to apply. Of course, the recommendations are simple, basic. But that is exactly what is missing for the photographer. How to blur the background? How to make everything sharp?How to shoot fast-moving object? How to blur the movement? All this and much more you will learn the Guide mode. Honestly, I was drawn to him. It is similar to photo quest with fun activities.

This is the mode that I definitely recommend everyone to try, in whose life Nikon D3400 will be the first SLR camera!


The device has an advanced help system and tooltips. In addition to the Guide mode, which is entirely devoted to teaching photography, in any mode, function reference, by pressing button “?”. If the corresponding icon on the camera screen starts to blink, the camera has something to tell you. Click the question and read the message. Surely it will help to improve the results of the survey. Will help understand all the settings. Moving through the menu, we can query any item by clicking on the button with a question mark.

To recap: in automatic mode to remove easy. In the vast majority of shooting situations, this mode will give you excellent results. Camera won’t take the time to learn the settings — it out of the box ready to take good pictures.Nikon D3400 has an extensive help system and training that will allow you to make the first steps in photography.

Photos on Nikon D3400

Photos on Nikon D3400


Nikon D3400 offers quite a wide range of functions to edit and even convert pictures in RAW format. To try processing capabilities and to correct basic flaws in the pictures, there will be enough. A beginner will be able to apply to their works “decorations” (e.g., “miniature Effect”).

Among the functions available in the menu processing, there are the overlay images. Its effect is similar to the effect of multiple exposure, but is convenient because it is used not when shooting, and after the fact to any two RAW images.

I didn’t like the fact that even on a long exposure I was not able to blur both flow at the intersection: one of the cars standing at the traffic lights, then the other. Using overlay images I linked:

Got exactly what I wanted.

Photos on Nikon D3400

Experience shooting on Nikon D3400


For metering in the device corresponds to a 420-point RGB sensor (same as in other Nikon DSLRs entry level). It is well-established.

I want to pay particular attention to auto-ISO. It has long been caught from the pros and works here so correct that it can always rely on. Especially in manual mode: we can adjust expobar — shutter speed and aperture — how we need, and automation will adjust the sensitivity.

A common problem beginners switching from automatic to semi-automatic modes P, A and S, that they forget about setting ISO: put a single value and shoot it all the time. Of course, this approach does not give optimal results.Auto-ISO will help to always keep the sensitivity at the desired level.

The auto-ISO has the same structure as in the older DSLRs. In the settings window, we can adjust not only the maximum automatic ISO value, but also to configure the maximum shutter speed available for automatic mode A and R!It is a real salvation for beginner photographers. I have worked in photography school and now I know what “blur” — the blurring of the image due to shooting at too slow shutter speeds — the number one problem for beginners. They just can’t keep track of changes in exposure when shooting in program mode (P) or aperture priority mode (A).This problem once and for all will help to solve one single setting in the camera.

Most often “blur” appears when shooting handheld (not on a tripod) at exposures longer than 1/60 of a second. Just disable the automation to set exposure longer than a predetermined value. When shooting static subjects most of the this setup will insure inattentive photographer from blurred images.

Of course, for shooting dynamic subjects require a shorter exposure. It is better to shoot in shutter priority mode (S), but that’s another story.

Uncomfortable just what to turn on and off auto-ISO every time you have to go into menu of the camera.

Almost all the footage I shot with auto-ISO. Coupled with the absolutely correct and predictable metering function works just perfectly!

In people, the phrase “the kit lens” has acquired a negative connotation. They say that the lens that comes with cameras, always give a poor quality picture, and generally they need to change at the first opportunity on something else. Nikon D3400 is equipped with a new universal Nikon lens AF-P DX 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR. He was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the image. The picture is very sharp, colors juicy. Chromatic aberration and distortion are well corrected. They are much smaller than in previous models “the whale” optics.

By the way, in the camera all distortion can be removed by postprocessing. Sufficient to enable the corresponding option in the menu. The camera knows what lens you shoot, and knows how to correct for its inherent distortion. I advise you to use this feature.

Photos on Nikon D3400

At maximum zoom, the lens gives a pretty strong background blur, which is important when shooting portraits:

Nikon AF-P DX 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR features a foldable design. To start shooting, the lens needs to “sort” by pressing the side button and turning the zoom ring. This system is familiar to us from previous kit lens Nikon. It allows you to make the optics more compact, without sacrificing versatility.

The lens has a separate ring for focus. When focusing, the front lens does not rotate, making it possible to use polarizing and gradient filters.

Nikon AF-P DX 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR has a built-in image stabilization system, as evidenced by the letters VR in the title. She will insure you from blurry images. Aspiring photographers often pulled the camera at the moment of pressing the shutter button, and that even relatively short exposures can be blurring. That is why the stabilizer is very important. In addition, it will help to shoot without a tripod or support on a fairly long exposures.

The usual controls on / off of auto focus and optical image stabilization on the lens are missing. These parameters are adjusted via quick menu.

To summarize. I recommend you to buy Nikon D3400 that is included with the lens Nikon AF-P DX 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR. It’s very high quality optics for its class. A new autofocus drive AF-P adapted for movie and focus while shooting video. The autofocus is fast and silent.


The device provides a burst speed of 5 frames per second. This is enough for most sequential tasks.

Focusing with modern lenses Nikon fast and correct.

Focus in continuous shooting satisfactory. But continuous shooting is complicated by the fact that the device has very small buffer. Fast card standard UHS-I managed to do without falling speed shooting of a series of 9 frames in RAW and 85 shots in JPEG Fine quality. A long series, especially when shooting in RAW format, should not wait.

Function of 3D-tracking device works, but it is limited by the 11-point system of the phase focus. In more advanced cameras autofocus have several dozen points, making object tracking more stable.

Wireless capabilities. Nikon D3400 as a communication tool

Social media is increasingly moving to mobile devices. All known service Instagram. Today is a communication tool for millions of creative people. Full access is only possible from mobile devices. Instagram equal rights professionals and Amateurs: everyone can put their photos, and will leave nobody offended, the thing to do beautiful shots! Mobile media is evolving much faster than the camera in mobile phones. To be a successful instagrammer today, you need to take pictures of high quality.So many bloggers have been rented on cameras, not on smartphones.

Photos on Nikon D3400

Photos on Nikon D3400


First of all, image quality. All the talk about what “image quality from a smartphone on par with the photos with DSLRs” at best perverse. Of course, there are smartphones, sharpened the photo and gives reasonable image quality, but they are comparable to Nikon D3400 or more. The majority of camera phones continue to provide images with a watercolor effect, and a narrow dynamic range.

Optical zoom. Depending on the camera lens you will be able to shoot both wide-angle panoramas, and considerably distant objects. Almost all smartphones are set to “moderate wide angle” lenses, and the zoom there is only digital. Everyone who has shot with the smartphone remote objects, know how to suffer picture quality when using digital zoom.

A beautiful and natural background blur in the images. With blurred background, a main object of shooting or to hide unwanted items that are located in the background.

High-quality photos in low light. While smartphones have not learned to take good shots in low-light conditions. Everyone knows about it, who tried to take the phone of the city at night. Having photos on your smartphone, you can immediately send them to friends and family, edit and publish in social networks. No longer required no messing around with wires, computer, memory cards. Everything happens instantly! Just removed the image and in a few moments it is already available on the mobile device. The data transfer is not stopped at shutdown of the machine.


Very simple. Just download the app SnapBridge, available for both Android and iOS, and then find the camera menu item “Connect to smart device” and follow the simple instructions.

Among the shortcomings note the inability to produce remote shooting on a Nikon D3400 through the app SnapBridge. This camera does not have Wi-Fi-module through which the exchange of a large amount of data required to operate remote shooting. Use your smartphone as a remote control via SnapBridge will not work. You can buy a simple remote control Nikon ML-L3.

Because my phone has a IR port, I just downloaded an application that allows you to simulate the IR remote.

Despite this limitation, I got the pleasure of using SnapBridge. I’m sure the technology will be further developed.

Nikon D3400: Conclusion

Nikon D3400 is logical, verified, the logical development of the line of the most affordable DSLRs. Available not only in price but in use.

The device is made so that to use them would be child’s play, and the housewife and the pensioner. To obtain high-quality personnel is sufficient to find the camera shutter button and put “green” mode. Nikon D3400 can operate on full automatic. But he is willing to grow with you. The help function will make a convenient and affordable learning the basics of photography. Semi-automatic and manual shooting modes will allow you to independently adjust all shooting parameters.

Nikon D3400 is ideal for those who shoot from time to time (e.g. during vacations), non-professional photographers, those who have no time to study the manual settings and techniques and who need a tool that can capture the important moments of life.

Nikon D3400 can be your guide to the world of photos. The matrix device is able to give great image quality and interchangeable optics allow you to expand your Toolkit. The device is easy to work with, and all the basic settings in it are made by pressing a couple of buttons.

Before buying a digital camera meant the acquisition of a powerful personal computer with a quality monitor. Today, the function of SnapBridge makes it easy to use the camera even without a computer. For all operations will be sufficient tablet or smartphone. It makes D3400 more accessible. SnapBridge is a direct path to your photos in a social network.

It is clear that Nikon D3400 is the simplest model in the lineup SLR the company. It lacks the ultrasonic sensor cleaning and remote shooting via SnapBridge. Experienced photographers the camera seem too simple. They were Nikon D5500 and older models. Recall that SnapBridge is in professional reportage camera, the Nikon D500. However, in the main chamber is not cheated: she is able to capture great images.

Before us is a tool for Amateur photography. Therefore, to approach him it is necessary not only from the standpoint of a professional or advanced photographer, and from the standpoint of the photographer. Like any entry-level SLR, the machine is doomed to be popular. But in the case of Nikon D3400, I’m sure this popularity will be well deserved.

PROS Nikon D3400:

  • excellent image quality;
  • the low level of digital noise at high ISO;
  • compact size and light weight;
  • good battery life: approx 740 shots on a single charge of the battery;
  • excellent ergonomics: every button in its place;
  • quick and accurate focusing as when using the optical viewfinder, and when shooting via the display;
  • high-quality implementation of Live View;
  • technology SnapBridge: photos are automatically sent to your smartphone;
  • advanced work auto-ISO (in the settings of this function you can set the maximum exposure by protecting itself from blurring the images, which is especially important for beginners);
  • mode Guide (“Guide”) for beginners will help you master all the basic techniques to operate the camera;
  • the perfect balance between ease of development and availability of advanced features: the device will allow the owner to learn from scratch and evolve in photography.

CONS Nikon D3400:

  • the absence of a system of ultrasonic cleaning of the matrix;
  • images in RAW format is not so flexible to handle, both on the older models Nikon;
  • record video in crop mode with mono sound.

Source: nikonusa

Nikon D3400 review and test. Comparison with other cameras was last modified: November 20th, 2016 by Tomas Shellby