The Nikon D3400 is an entry-level DSLR designed as an upgrade of the D3300 and targeted toward anyone who wants to upgrade from the average smartphone camera to an advanced shooting platform. It is built around the same 24-megapixel sensor found in the D3300, with an Expeed 4 image processor. Think you are ready to advance to a high-performance camera? Keep reading this Nikon D3400 review to learn more about the camera and if it is right for you.
What kind of improvements were introduced with the Nikon D3400? Here is a quick glance at some of the features the camera has to offer.
Type: Single-lens reflex digital camera
Resolution: 24.2 megapixels
Sensor size: 23.50 x 15.6 mm
Lens: Nikkor AF-P DX f/3.5-5.6G VR
Focal length: 18 – 55 mm
Exposure compensation: -/+ 5.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
- Native ISO: 100 – 25600
- Extended ISO: Not specified
Shutter speed: 30 0 1/4000
Continuous shooting rate: 5 frames per second
Size: 3.86 x 4.88 x 2.97 inches
Weight: 22 ounces
Media storage: SD, SDHC, SDXC
The Nikon D3400 is the latest addition to the company’s D3xxx series, which prioritizes lightweight, compact and simple design while providing the advantages of the interchangeable lens. It is lighter than the D3300 (reviewed here) and offers an extended battery life of 1260 shots. The camera boasts an APS-C sized sensor with a very respectable 24.2MP pixel count, which is to be expected at this price point. The lack of an optical low-pass filter goes a long way towards helping capture better detail. The sensitivity range is reasonably wide and works with the Expeed 4 image processor among other features to ensure 4K recording and 5 fps burst shooting.
Image Quality & Performance
Without a low-pass filter in front of the sensor, the images you capture are quite detailed. Still photos are somewhat soft towards the edges of the frame at wider apertures. You get really good sharpness in the center of the frame when you use the camera in intermediate focal length. Some curvilinear distortion and chromatic aberration is noticeable in RAW files, but both are dealt with automatically and successfully in JPEGs. The Picture Control feature provides a wide array of color options to work with so that you can create customized work while minimizing post-processing.
You can alter the camera’s metering system between multi, spot and center-weighted options. You will be pleased to know that it doesn’t overexpose when working in low light conditions. However, there is a tendency to underexpose when in brighter conditions. The Auto White Balance feature doesn’t disappoint and does exceptionally well under artificial lighting. While the Nikon D3400 doesn’t stretch to 4K recording, the Full HD recording produces good results. A little rolling shutter is visible when shooting scenes and the kit lens focuses smoothly during recording.
Design & Controls
Considering that the Nikon D3400 is an entry-level camera, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the body is mostly made of a composite plastic material. The control design is very simple, making it easy for learners to choose and manage settings on the fly. The Exposure button sits next to the shutter release button and so does a button labeled “info,” which you can use to display all of the major settings on the high-resolution screen. A small LV button at the back makes switching to Live View Mode a simple affair.
Like with most entry-level DSLRs by Nikon, the D3400 doesn’t have a body integral motor. However, there is an “electronic rangefinder” function that tells you how far you’re from the perfect focus. The textured coating around the grip gives the feel of quality build. The included VR kit lens is retractable, meaning that it folds up to a smaller size when not in use.
The upsides of using the Nikon D3400 include;
- Compact DSLR camera body,
- Low shutter lag,
- Quick startup,
- Great image quality given its design and price,
- Relatively fast single-shot autofocus,
- Outstanding battery life,
- Built-in Bluetooth LE for Snapbridge support,
- Improved RAW buffer depths with a fast card,
- New AF-P kit lens with faster, smoother and quieter AF operation,
- Improved dynamic range compared to the predecessor,
- Sharp and punchy JPEG images,
- Great ISO performance for APS-C sensor,
- 5 fps burst mode with deep JPEG buffers,
- Good value for your money.
The disadvantages that come with using the Nikon D3400 are highlighted below.
- 11-point AF system doesn’t track moving objects well,
- Weaker flash than the D3300,
- Underwhelming video performance,
- Kit lens has mixed performance with geometric distortion at wide angle and high chromatic aberration,
- SnapBrige features and performance are limited due to lack of inbuilt Wi-Fi.
The Nikon D3400 is an excellent performer built around a 24.2 MP sensor and specially designed for beginners. It is quite simple to use what with its easy-to-navigate menu and clearly labeled control buttons. The camera is a strong performer and comes with an 11-point AF focus system. Its ability to deliver stunning image quality at a low price point is one of the things that makes it popular among first-time ILC shooters. While we wouldn’t recommend it to videographers, the Nikon D3400 makes a good purchase for casual photography and anyone who wants to upgrade from their smartphone camera.
This Nikon D3400 review has established that the camera is designed around a 24.2-megapixel APS-C sized sensor. It’s also established that it is a high-performance camera, at least compared to other models in the same price range. The relatively fast single-shot autofocus, quick startup, good image quality and extended battery life are some of the qualities that make it a good purchase. Unfortunately, it still leaves a lot to be desired considering it’s supposedly an upgrade of the D3300. With an external mic port and removal of the in-body sensor cleaning, one would expect there to be a few more updates to the Nikon D3400. That aside, this camera offers more than enough room to improve their photography skills. And in any case, the D3400 is worth every penny you spend.