Nikon D3400 – Review of the budget DSLR

The hero of our today’s review is a low-end entry-level SLR camera Nikon D3400 and get Nikon 3400 review. We will get to know about Nikon D3400 review and Nikon D3300 vs D34oo model. Nikon releases model updates quite often. There are not many radical differences from the D3300. This article is on  Nikon D3400 Review and Nikon D3300 vs D3400 Comparison.

Nikon D3300 vs D3400

Specifically for amateur photographers choosing between the Nikon D3300 vs D3400 cameras, we will give their differences after we compare Nikon D3300 vs D3400.

Nikon D3300 vs D3400 comparison table

Nikon D3300 review Nikon D3400 review
EXPEED 4 processor EXPEED 4 processor
The scaled matrix of 24.2 megapixels The scaled pattern of 24.2 megapixels
TFT LCD screen, non-rotatable, non-touch 7.5 inches, viewing angle 170 degrees TFT LCD screen, non-rotatable, non-touch 7.5 inches, viewing angle 170 degrees
Optional Wi-Fi module Bluetooth, SmartBridge
Weight 460 g Weight 445 g
Microphone input

So, as we can see, the main difference we get on comparing Nikon D3300 vs D3400 is Bluetooth and SnapBridge.  These technologies will allow you to quickly connect your camera and smartphone (Android or iPhone) via Bluetooth.

Also, the Nikon D3400 for some reason removed the input from the microphone. It would seem that the updates are not revolutionary. Or is it still a massive step towards the modern user?

Nikon D3400 review – Let’s figure it out!

Look at the tapes of social networks. There are a lot of photos taken on smartphones. It’s no secret that smartphones have long defeated compact cameras! But still, the SLR cameras still have what to oppose smartphones.

The amateur photographer who has laid out a high-quality photo from a mirror, shot on a decent length s, will lay on the shoulder blades of all those taking pictures on the smartphone.

So the old-good DSLRs are still relevant, just in the age of Facebook, Instagram and cloud technologies are perceived slightly archaic.

This problem was severe by Nikon’s players. And they decided to make a new line of DSLRs more understandable to the modern consumer.

According to Nikon D3400 review, it is now a cool modern gadget! He speaks with you in understandable language – smartphones, social networks, events, and emotions.

The camera has become more convenient, no more cables, a desktop computer, flash drives, extended processing. It is enough to take a picture and instantly put it into the camera, connecting it to the smartphone, having processed to your taste, spending only a couple of minutes.

Convenient! But the lack of an input for a microphone can upset many novice videographers and bloggers.

You’ll have to choose: buy an already out-of-date model Nikon D3300 or add money and take the Nikon D5600.


Nikon D3400 review says that it retained all the advantages of the previous model D3300. The camera is small, compact and light; it is very comfortable to hold in your hand. The hull, as before, is plastic, the grip and the place under the thumb of the right side are rubberized.

The compact size and weight of the D3400 is a big plus. The camera is convenient to use for long walks and travel. The weight of the camera on the neck is almost not felt.

The Nikon D3400 retains the simplicity of control. This model is ideal for beginner amateur photographers, as well as for those who occasionally shoot, occasionally.

The camera has only one control dial; everything is simple and clear. With this DSLR, you do not need to remember where there is any setting and what wheel is responsible for that: took the camera in hand, turned on the power and immediately began to shoot.

The menu in the camera has not changed, here everything is still necessary. Once you make the appropriate settings, you do not need to get into the menu in-in general, and there is no need. Although there are many parameters, such as Active D-lighting and Picture Control, which are configured only in the menu, we’ll discuss this in more detail below.

The shooting parameters are adjusted using the information screen; it is called by the I button. The appearance of the screen can customize to your taste.

There is a graphic or tabular view of the display, and you can choose a color gamut, and all this is done separately for creative modes P / S / A / M (for example, choose black), and individually for automatic methods and scene programs AUTO / SCENE / EFFECTS (for example to select a light).

That is very convenient because it is immediately evident in which mode the shooting is currently in progress. In the graphical style, there is a beautiful animation of the diaphragm, everything is thought out to the smallest detail and looks very pretty.


The Nikon D3400 has a TFT LCD screen. It does not swivel and not touch-sensitive, with a diagonal of 7.5 cm with a viewing angle of 170 °, almost 100% frame coverage, brightness control and a resolution of approximately 921 thousand pixels.

The screen has an unpleasant feature – there is no single sensor for eye contact, the camera does not turn off the screen when looking through the viewfinder. Some amateurs are annoyed by this feature. But, fortunately, the situation can be corrected.

The menu settings have item Auto Display information. There is an ON / OFF switch. If you turn ON, the settings and shooting options are always visible on the screen and interfere when you bring the camera viewfinder to the eye.

Mainly it can be annoying if a color system color scheme is chosen. A little less annoying, if the system scheme b / w. So, if you turn it off, the shooting options will not be displayed on the screen. But they can be viewed on it by pressing the button (i).

Moreover, you can press it twice, and the information display changes. After a few seconds, the screen goes blank if you do not make anything. The screen will also turn off if you press the shutter button once.

Conveniently! Pressed, extinguished the screen and only then lifted the viewfinder to the eye! And the screen does not dazzle.

Bluetooth and SmartBridge

In place of Wi-Fi in the Nikon D3400 came technology SmartBridge, which allows you to connect the camera and smartphone. The devices support on Android and Apple. To connect gadgets, you need to do three steps:

  1. Install SnapBridge from PlayMarket or AppStore on your smartphone.
  2. Turn on Bluetooth in your smartphone, open the SmartBridge application and select Connect device in the camera menu.
  3. The camera will prompt you to enter the code and confirm it on the smartphone and in the camera.

These actions will take you only a couple of minutes. Also, in the camera, you can agree with the proposal to receive GPS-coordinates from the smartphone.

This point will save the geotagged images, which will later allow you to see where the picture you took. It is very convenient, for example, on the trip you shot a beautiful view, but do not remember where it was. Geotag will accurately show the shooting point.

Video Nikon D3400 review | Bluetooth and SmartBridge

We recorded a video to demonstrate the work of SnapBridge visually. If you like watching the video, turn on our video! If you love delving into all subtleties, read our text material below.

The advantages of Bluetooth-connection are obvious: it works reliably and saves battery life of smartphone and camera. SnapBridge can configure:

  • Automatic transfer of pictures. To do this, you need to turn on Bluetooth and allow the camera to transfer pictures to your smartphone. To do this, turn on Auto Backup in the smartphone and select the size of the transmitted image. Now all the captured images will be transferred to the smartphone. And this can happen even when the camera is off. To do this, in the Nikon D3400 you need to enable the Send Send Off to ON option.
  • If you do not want to score a gallery of your smartphone with all the captured images from the camera, you can turn off Auto Backup. For example, if you shot 1000 shots a day, it really can be inconvenient. It is possible to select only the photos you want and transfer them to your smartphone. To do this, in SnapBridge on your smartphone, choose Download chosen images and select the pictures you need.

Screenshots of SmartBridge from the camera

You need to start setting up a Bluetooth connection from this parameter. After downloading pictures on your smartphone, you can process them to your taste.

For example, in Adobe Lightroom program or immediately download them OK, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Very comfortable! Just a couple of minutes just shot a picture you can publish and share with your friends your experiences.

Cloud service Nikon ImageSpace

If you like to take pictures and do it often – you should be familiar with the situation when folders with photos occupy the entire hard drive of your computer.

And not only a hard drive! But also some external disks. Mainly it is actual for travelers and professional photographers, those who earn shooting with money.

Of course, now there are many cloud services for data storage. Nikon also decided to launch its cloud service – Nikon Image Space. And, making it convenient for working with photos and albums.

You can work with the service through the desktop browser or the application for the smartphone Nikon Image Space, which is also available for Android and Apple.

In addition, Image Space integrates into the SnapBridge application – you can transfer the image directly to the cloud. We . Theliked Image Space!

Image Space displays the GPS coordinates of the image – a very convenient feature

Complete Lens

We tested how the Nikon D3400 shoots on a whale lens AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55MM F / 3.5-5.6G VR. This optics comes with a camera and is of a high enough quality to start learning about a photo or taking pictures from time to time.

Most amateurs of quality pictures from 18-55 will be enough. Of course, for creative tasks, you can buy another optics, there is a massive selection of Nikon optics! The better the characteristics of optics, the more expensive it is.

The letters AF-P mean that the lens is autofocus. You do not have to focus manually, like our fathers and grandfathers did.

If before, these lenses were labeled AF-S, now the P-letter means that a step-wise focusing motor (Pulse motor)For many, buying a camera is an expensive pleasure, and a whale lens for the first time is a good option.

Lens 18-55

So, let’s look at the lens 18-55 in more detail and see how he takes portraits. To begin with, we will decipher its name for beginner amateurs:

  • DX – the lens is designed specifically for cameras with a crested matrix, if you install this lens on a full-frame model, it will automatically switch to DX mode, and if it does not, there will be a vignetting effect.
  • 18-55 – focal lengths, this optics belongs to the class of zoom lenses. At focal lengths of 18-30 mm it is good to shoot landscapes. Focal distances of 30-55 are suitable for portrait photography.
  • F / 3.5-5.6G are the minimum aperture values, respectively, at focal lengths of 18 and 55 mm. The benefits are not impressive, for example, beautiful blur the background, achieving a beautiful bokeh, this lens can not.
  • The letters VR are the system of optical stabilization (Vibration Reduction). It allows you to take clear pictures in low light conditions. We individually tested this system and will talk about it later.

The lens has a particular button on the left side – to start shooting, you need to press and turn the ring on it – the lens will move forward, and the lens will be ready for operation. After firing, you need to reverse the process and put the camera in the bag.

A button on the lens is a controversial decision. On the one hand, the lens is very compact due to this solution.

On the other hand, it’s impossible to take a picture instantly, you need to press this button, twist the ring. In some situations, it’s inconvenient, for example when shooting a reportage, where you need to react quickly and shoot.

ISO sensitivity test

ISO in the Nikon D3400 sets between 100 and 25600. We shot in A, F / 8, NEF mode, the focal length is 22 mm. In the examples below, clicking on the photo will open the picture in 1: 1 scale.

We shot this test from a tripod in the self-timer mode, to exclude camera vibrations. Nikon D3400 does not remember the setting of the self-timer, it every time for the next frame has to be re-entered – it’s inconvenient.

It is clear that not every amateur will want to repeat our experience, on the other, when shooting at night, I want to make more takes to play with the camera settings and then select the best picture. Therefore, you will inevitably have to do a lot of shots and every time set the self-timer again.

Infrared remote control ML-L3

But there is a solution! It’s good that as an optional accessory you can buy the Infrared remote control ML-L3. Convenient thing. If you are fond of evening or subject photography, when your camera shoots with a prolonged exposure you will need this remote!

Let’s return to our ISO test! So, that’s what we got. We surveyed the 26th floor of the office building through the glass, so some images show reflections. However, this does not affect the quality and does not change the essence of the test.

Live View Mode

The shooting in Live View mode disappointed us a lot a year ago during our testing of the Nikon D3300. We strongly hoped that in the new model 3400 this mode would improve at least a little.

The Live View still does not have the same speed, it’s slow, it’s the same as the Nikon D3300, we recommend to use it only for shooting a video or a leisurely subject in the studio.

But still, there are situations when it’s convenient to shoot in this mode. The main thing is to remember that in the Nikon D3400 Live View is very med.

During the shooting you need to build a frame, then focus with the half-pressing on the shutter release button, it happens more or less quickly.

And then, after pressing the shutter button, the camera will slowly take a picture, then raise the mirror slowly, turn on the live view, while displaying the captured frame on the screen. All this takes about 5-6 seconds.

For reporting, shooting dynamic scenes, portraits, this does not fit, but for a subject in the studio will come down.

Live View and aperture mode

As with the Nikon D3300 review, the result of aperture change does not display in the 3400 in Live View mode. The value itself changes, for example, if you switch from 4 to 22 the number will show on the screen. But to what result this will result no.

At the top of the Nikon D3400, there is an exposure compensation button. If you change this parameter – its result is visible on the screen well!

That is, the image becomes either much darker, or, conversely, lighter. Okay! But why does nothing happen when changing the diaphragm?

In M mode, the control wheel is responsible for the shutter speed, the aperture must change while holding down the exposure compensation button.

The control wheel is already in charge of the diaphragm in mode A.

In the S mode, the control wheel changes the shutter speed; the camera chooses the aperture itself.

Live View and Autofocus

In Live View mode, contrast control works, but it works quite slowly. Therefore, if you need speed – it’s better to shoot through the viewfinder, there operates a high-speed mode of phase focusing.

Manual Focus

During manual focus with Live View, you can zoom in on a portion of the image – so you can comfortably adjust the focus. This point is very convenient when shooting subjects or still life when you need to set the focus on some object scene accurately.

High-speed shooting

Nikon D3400 review allows you to shoot 5 RAW frames per second – it’s very good! To switch to the high-speed shooting mode, go to the menu and select the mode.

Sometimes there is no time for this, and you need to shoot some moving object faster. For this, the mode dial of the Nikon D3400 is Sports mode.

Turns on quickly, and you can immediately take pictures. We tried to test this mode when shooting a city street and were quite pleased with the result – the camera takes photos with a very short shutter speed of 1/1000 sec.

Short exposure allows you to achieve sharpness of a moving object in the frame.

Automatic shooting modes: Nikon D3400 review

The following options are available on the mode dial:

  • Full auto – if you are new or are accustomed to the cameras of other manufacturers and there is no time to understand the settings, but you need to shoot a story quickly.
  • Auto without flash – it is guaranteed that the burst will not suddenly open and illuminate pictures.
  • Portrait – here it is guaranteed the camera set the desired settings for portrait shooting.
  • Landscape – similar, only for scenes.
  • Sports – a useful mode for fast moving objects.
  • Macro – works great when shooting flowers.
  • Night portrait – will make quality portraits at dusk.

The Sports mode we just considered, now it’s the turn for the macro. See how crisp the flowers look on the pictures taken in this mode!

Image Effects from Nikon D3400 Review

Nikon D3400 review allows you to select artistic effects when shooting. To start shooting with impact, you need to move the mode dial to Effects mode. As it turned out, the results can significantly diversify your pictures! So, in our opinion, this set of effects is quite impressive.

The main thing is not to get carried away by the effects and use them where it is appropriate. We chose a somewhat original story for the effects test.

Active D-Lighting

In more expensive models, the active force of this tool is configurable, in D4300 Active D-Lighting can either be turned on or off.

Active D-Lighting helps to show light and shadow on the photo, slightly widening the dynamic range of the scene. In our opinion, this mode is actual when shooting in JPEG, when you are sure that you will not spend hours at home at the desktop computer for processing images.

In this case, this mode will be useful for you, for example, when shooting landscapes with a substantial drop of light and shadow.

Picture Control Modes

Picture Control modes help the photographer achieve the most natural shade in the picture, depending on the plot. Like Active D-Lighting, these modes are relevant when shooting in Jpeg, when you are sure that you will not waste time processing pictures.

For example, when traveling, you can shoot in Saturdays or * Landscape * – the pictures will be juicy and bright! For amateur photography, this set of modes is convenient, and it’s good that there is such a set in the camera.

  • Standard – recommended in most cases. This parameter uses standard processing to obtain a balanced effect.
  • Neutral – used for subsequent processing on the computer. This parameter uses minimal processing to obtain natural results. Do not confuse it with the Flat mode, which is in the more advanced Nikon cameras. But Nikon D3300 does not support it.
  • Saturated – for photos, on which it is necessary to emphasize the primary colors. Processing of images for obtaining saturated photographic prints.
  • Monochrome – the shooting of black and white photographs and video.
  • Portrait – shooting portraits to get a natural color and texture of the skin.
  • Landscape – for the shooting of scenes and urban species.

Shooting in RAW (NEF)

RAW – for advanced photographers and fans of cold winter evenings for a cup of hot tea for hours to process images from summer holidays 🙂

The concept of the Nikon D3400 review with SmartBridge technology guides the camera to further image processing on a smartphone and publication in social networks.

With this scenario, you do not need the RAW format – save space on the memory card and time. Another thing – professional use of the camera. Here the RAW form is indispensable.

Open the NEF files (RAW format of Nikon cameras) will allow the proprietary program from Nikon Capture NX-D.  The program is not the easiest to use and certainly not fast at work even on powerful computers.

But you can get it for free if you purchased the Nikon D3400 officially. An alternative to Capture NX-D is Adobe Lightroom, but you will need a fresh version to open NEF Nikon D3400 files.

Besides, Adobe Lightroom is not cheap. In general, it’s good that there is a choice, and he is behind you.

Nikon Capture NX-D for Mac

Shooting video | Nikon D3400 review

Even though the Nikon D3400 is an entry-level camera, it allows you to shoot Full HD video with a frame density of 50p, which is now the standard. When you shoot a video, autofocus will work, but you should not expect miracles from it.

Autofocus allows you to determine the faces of people and to some extent monitor the movement of the object. But there is some unpleasant news.

Engineers removed the input from the microphone! But in the model, Nikon D3300 from comparison table Nikon D3300 vs D3400 it was. And it’s outrageous!

Thus, Nikon further delineated the buyers of the initial line of DSLRs, because in the model D5600 there is an input for the microphone.

Thus, you should not regard the Nikon D3400 as a severe camera for video recording. Instead, only for amateur commercials for social networks.


The camera uses an EN-EL14A battery with a capacity of 1230 mAh. You can say that the charge is enough for a whole day of walks, even if from time to time you shoot video and watch the footage.

But with intensive use of batteries for the whole day is not enough, especially if you are keen on shooting in Live View mode. If you plan to shoot a lot, you should consider buying an additional battery.

For whom is the Nikon D3400 review

Buying after reading Nikon D3400 review

  • You are a beginner, and this is your first SLR. For learning the basics of photography, the Nikon D3400 is the smartest choice.
  • You are a traveler, and you walk a lot with a camera in hand. Choose a comfortable and compact camera, but you want a DSLR. In this case, the Nikon D3400 will be even more preferable for you, than the more sophisticated professional DSLR with a set of optics that weighs several kilograms.

  • You are a fan of gadgets, smartphones and are fond of shooting. In that case, Nikon D3400 review will please you! You can connect the camera and smartphone and instantly transfer pictures to it, process them and post to social networks – now it’s fast and convenient.
  • You already have a professional Nikon SLR with a set of optics and a flash. And you need a second lightweight and compact camera or a backup camera. Well, the Nikon D3400 is the smartest choice. Optics will work for it, and it will help you out if (God forbid) something will happen to your primary camera.
  • You constrain in the means and buying a Nikon D3400 for you is a severe step. If so, you will be sure – you have acquired a high-quality camera, even if it lacks useful features like a rotary screen. In the skillful hands of the Nikon D3400 will make great pictures and also make money by taking pictures of simple subjects.
  • You buy a camera as a gift to a child (already old enough to get carried away with shooting), but you worry that, as it happens to children, the fate of children’s toys is waiting for the camera.

Interview | Nikon D3400 review

Major pluses of Nikon D3400 review Disadvantages of Nikon D3400 review
  1. Price. Probably, this is one of the most affordable DSLRs on the market
  2. Nothing superfluous, this camera. All the functions that a photographer needs to take photos are in this camera.
  3. An excellent choice for teaching the basics of photography
  4. Smart Bridge and Bluetooth – it’s convenient and modern, a big step towards the modern amateur photographer
  5. Convenient control ergonomics, light weight, compactness
  6. Compatible with Nikon lenses, and complete with good optics, such as the portrait fix 50, the camera shows excellent results
  1. Not rotary or touchscreen
  2. The effect of changing the aperture in Live View mode is not displayed, both for photos and for video
  3. Very slow shooting and focusing in Live View mode
  4. No input for the microphone – big minus when recording video
  5. The camera does not remember the setting of the self-timer, it each time for the next frame has to be re-enabled (only the remote control helps out)
  6. Cheap plastic housing. When using the camera does not leave the feeling that everything is saved

Advantages of D5600 over D3400

If you can afford to add some more money, consider possibly buying a Nikon D5600 camera. It has a number of advantages:

  • Rotary screen
  • Touchscreen
  • Advanced Functionality
  • Microphone input

By the way, we are preparing a review of the Nikon D5600 and will soon publish it on our website.

Advantages of Nikon D3400 review in comparison of Nikon D3300 vs D3400

  • Price
  • Ease of Management

Well, this whole article was about Nikon D3400 review and Nikon D3300 vs D3400. Stay tuned for the next updates.

Morgan Dominguez

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