The Nikon D3400 is one of the best entry-level DSLR’s on the market. This 24-megapixel camera offers excellent image quality, full HD 1080p video, continuous shooting at up to 5 frames per second, an 11-point autofocus system and battery life for up to 1200 shots per charge.
At this price point, the Nikon D3400 packs a lot of great features paired with excellent image quality.
They’ve also added SnapBridge support, which allows you to quickly and easily transfer photos to your smartphone or tablet. Pairs with up to 5 smart devices.
But no camera is perfect. So in this review we’ll share both the good and the bad. There’s a lot to love about this camera. But also a few niggling little issues that you’ll want to know about. So let’s take a deeper look at the Nikon D3400 and see what it has to offer in comparison to other popular DSLR cameras on the market.
Nikon D3400 Key Features and Specs
Camera Type: DSLR
Processor: EXPEED 4
Sensor Size: APS-C (23.5mm x 15.6mm)
Kit Lens: 3x zoom – 18 – 55 mm
Viewfinder: Optical LCD
ISO: 100 to 25,600
Shutter Speed: 1/4000 sec – 30 sec
Max Aperture: 3.5 (kit lens)
Focus Points: 11 autofocus points
Continuous Shooting Speed: 5 frames per second
Video Resolution: Full HD video shooting up to 1080p @ 60 fps
Image Format: JPEG, NEF (RAW), RAW + JPEG
Battery Life: Up to 1200 shots per charge
Battery Life (when shooting video): 60 minutes
Interfaces Provided: HDMI, USB 2.0
Weight: 22.8oz (645g)
Video Review of the Nikon D3400
Alright… let’s dig into the details.
For starters, the Nikon D3400 is one of the best options for any photographer who is just getting started. If you’re taking your first step into the world of photography. This is one of the best entry-level DSLR cameras.
Easy to Use
One of my favorite features is the Guide Mode – which teaches you how to shoot in various situations and lighting conditions. Simply choose what kind of picture you want to create and the camera will show you the best settings to use.
While also being just as powerful for the professional photographer who wants to shoot in full manual mode with complete creative control.
You can choose the camera mode that works best for your skill level and creative choice. The Nikon D3400 gives you complete freedom.
Another popular feature is called SnapBridge, which gives you the ability to transfer images wirelessly from the camera to your smartphone or tabelt device. The camera does not have Wi-Fi, but instead transfers photos via an always-on Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) connection.
Most cameras these days come with built-in Wifi. But Bluetooth uses a lot less power than Wi-Fi, which saves significantly on your battery life.
Plus, you have the option to automatically transfer all photos to your connected mobile device, or you can pick and choose what you’d like to transfer. You can choose your preference in the settings.
You can also specify whether to transfer images at their original size or limit the file size to a max of 2MP per image.
With the 2MP cap, your photos are going to transfer a lot faster. And this size is perfect for sharing on Facebook, Instagram, or any other social media network.
RAW files and movies cannot be transferred. For that, you’ll want to use your SD card or a usb cable to transfer these larger files to your computer.
If you’re wanting to edit your photos, you’ll want to shoot in RAW and transfer the photos to your computer via an SD card or usb cable.
From there you can process the images in Photoshop, Lightroom, Luminar, or your editing software of choice.
So you can keep it simple or edit the photos on your computers to give them a professional touch. Of course, these days there are also some great photography apps with similar features available right on your phone!
The Nikon D3400 takes crisp, sharp images that will far surpass your old point and shoot camera or your smartphone. But keep in mind that if you’re just getting started with DSLR’s, you will need to spend some time learning about the camera and honing your craft.
The kit lens is actually quite impressive. But I recommend that almost every photographer eventually upgrade to a prime lens. The 50mm prime lens is my personal favorite. As it creates great depth-of-field. Beautifully blurred backgrounds. Great portraits. But also has the versatility to capture impressive
street photography, landscapes, cityscapes, and more.
So my recommendation is to start learning on the kit lens. It comes with
the NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR, which is an excellent starter lens with surprising sharpness. The other big benefit of this lens (compared to it’s predecesssors) is it’s ultra-silent autofocus, which is great for video.
From there I would upgrade to something like the Nikon AF-S DX 35mm F/1.8G Lens.
It’s a fun, great all-around lens that produces really high quality photos. It’s quite a step up from the kit lens.
Plus, it’s also one of the most affordable Nikon lenses, with literally thousands of reviews on Amazon. This lens produces stunning portrait photos, food photography, nature photos, close-ups, and more.
The wide maximum aperture allows you to capture beautifully blurred backgrounds that bring the subject into full focus. This lens has a maximum aperture of f/1.8, which provides complete control over depth-of-field.
The f/1.8 max aperture also makes for exceptional performance in low-light conditions.
The 50mm lens is another great option that creates beautiful contrast, razor sharp images, smooth and creamy bokeh.
When you’re ready, I would upgrade to one of those two. They will step up your photography game at quite an affordable price. And get you those beautifully blurred backgrounds that so many photographers are after.
The battery life on the D3400 has been significantly improved over it’s predecessor (the D3300). You can now take 1,200 photos on a full charge, compared to just 700 images on the D3300.
However, keep in mind that number can vary based on how often you review your photos, playback images, etc…
Nikon D3400 Vs. D5300 Vs. Canon T6 Vs. Canon T6i
Frequently Asked Questions
Does the Nikon D3400 have WiFi?
No. Instead Nikon has included a feature called SnapBridge which is essentially an app on your phone. Works with both Android and iPhone. This allows you to automatically transfer your images to your tablet or smartphone device. You can connect up to 5 devices via bluetooth.
Can I take sports and action shots?
Yes. With continuous shooting at 5 frames per second, you’ll be able to capture both action and sports shots. Just be sure to use burst mode when shooting fast moving subjects.
Is the Nikon D3400 good for video?
This model is not the best for video. Although it can do 1080p at 60fps, there are some glaring drawbacks that are simply not ideal for anyone who wants to shoot a lot of video.
First, there’s no mic port. Which means there’s no place to easily connect a high-quality microphone for better sound quality. For most budding videographers, that’s a deal breaker.
The other drawback is it doesn’t have a swivel screen. So you can’t preview what the frame looks like as you’re recording.
Overall, the D3400 isn’t your best option for video. It’s focused on creating great photographs. If you’re just wanting to do a few little videos here and there, it can certainly do the trick with HD video quality.
But if you’re looking to start doing a lot of video or start doing YouTube, I would look at other options.
In general, a mirrorless camera is going to be better for video than a DSLR. That’s why I’m personally a fan of the Sony a6000 and the a6300.
But if you’re main focus is on photos, the Nikon D3400 is an excellent option and one of the best entry-level DSLR’s available in 2018.
Does the Nikon D3400 come with a memory card?
No. The base package comes with the D3400 camera body, a rechargeable battery, charger,camera strap, body cap, and the AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens.
So you’ll need to buy the memory card separately. I recommend the SanDisk 64GB memory card. One of the most reputable names in the industry.
What are the best lenses for the Nikon D3400?
For portraits, street photography, nature photography, travel photography and close-ups, the Nikon 50mm and the 35mm are excellent choice. They both produce beuatiful bokeh and razor sharp images with excellent detail and contrast.
- Razor sharp images with beautiful bokeh.
- 52.5mm (35mm Equivalent)
- Aperture Range: f/1.8 to 22
- Silent Wave Motor AF System
- Rear Focusing; Manual Focus Override
The Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 zoom lens is an excellent choice for landscape photography. If you’re looking to capture gorgeous travel photos or photograph the beautiful Milky Way, this is an excellent choice.
Does the Nikon D3400 have image stabilization?
Image stabilization is not built-in to the camera itself. Instead, you would need to purchase lenses that have built-in image stabilization.
The 18-55m kit lens does have image stabilization but the 70-300mm does not.
If it were me personally, I would get the base package with the 18-55mm lens. It takes surprisingly good photos. And from there you can save up for some really good prime lenses.
Does it shoot in RAW mode?
Yes. The D3400 offers both jpeg (.jpg) and raw (.NEF) files. You can select either or both file types when shooting. If you select “RAW + JPG”, the camera will generate two image files every time you take a photo.
This takes up a bit more space on your memory card, but also provides you with the ultimate flexibility. You can easily share JPG versions (without processing) while also having the RAW (master file) available for editing.
RAW offers the best image quality, but generally requires some post-processing work in order to use them. Professional photographers almost always shoot in RAW because it allows you to easily enhance the photos using programs like Lightroom, Photoshop, or Luminar.
But if you just want to capture great photos and share them with friends, JPG is far more convenient. You can use the Snapbridge app to transfer the photos to your phone and then quickly share them on social media.
To get the highest quality JPG image, use the JPG Fine setting and set the image size to Large. These files can be used right out of the camera, but can also still be edited using something like Lightroom.
But RAW is still the best for editing. Use RAW + JPG Fine and you get the best of both worlds.
The Medium and Basic settings have slightly lower image quality, but they save space on your memory card. These settings are convenient if you’re not super worried about image quality and just want to be able to share those images quickly and easily.
What kit lens does it come with?
The base package comes with the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5 – 5.6G VR AF-P DX Nikkor Lens .
You can also get the 2 lens kit which comes with both the 18-55m and the AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED.
My recommendation to photographers is to get started with the kit lens. It’s a great way to practice and start learning your camera. Plus, you can get some very high-quality photos on the kit lens. Especially as you learn more and more about your camera.
From there I would upgrade to a prime lens. The 50mm prime lens is a very popular option after you have outgrown the kit lens and what to take your photography to the next level.
Nikon D3400 Sample Images with the Kit Lens
This macro shot was taken by Robin Shepperson with the 18-55mm kit lens. She used an aperture of ƒ/5.6. A shutter speed of 1/1600, a 55mm focal length, and ISO 400.
I love how crisp and sharp this image is with beautiful background bokeh. This is a great example of the kind of results you can get from the kit lens once you master your camera settings.
This photo is called Babel Squared. Also taken by Robin Shepperson with the 18-55mm kit lens. This time he used an aperture of ƒ/10.0. A shutter speed of 1/320, an 18mm focal length, and ISO 200.
I love the perspective he used to capture this photo. Evokes a feeling of steel and strength.
This photo just goes to show that it’s not about the camera, but rather the imagination BEHIND the camera. This was shot on the kit lens with an aperture of ƒ/10.0. A shutter speed of 1/320, an 18mm focal length, and ISO 200.
Here’s a bit of close-up photography with a whole new perspective shooting underneath the flower. This photo was captured with an aperture of ƒ/8.0. A shutter speed of 1/250, a 52mm focal length, and ISO 100.
This cookie looks good enough to eat!
Taken at the Paper Rock Cafe in Berlin, Germany. This photo was captured with an aperture of ƒ/8.0. A shutter speed of 1/60, a 55mm focal length, and ISO 250.
Here’s a landscape shot taken with the Nikon D3400 kit lens. It’s the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore Maryland. Captured with an aperture of ƒ/3.5. A shutter speed of 1/5, a focal length of 18mm, and ISO 560.
This photo was captured with an aperture of ƒ/4.5. A shutter speed of 1/125, an 18.3mm focal length, and ISO 1600.
The thought of cutting up these onions is just about enough to make my eyes start to water. But I love the colors, textures, and just the overall feel of this photo.
It was taken by Gordon Laing with an aperture of ƒ/10.0. A shutter speed of 1/400, a 30.8mm focal length and ISO 400.
Here’s a great fireworks shot using the kit lens. This photo was taken by Michael Dang with an aperture of ƒ/5.6. A shutter speed of 3 seconds, a 22mm focal length and ISO 100.
This photo was taken by Seth Reams with an aperture of ƒ/5.6. A shutter speed of 1/400s, a 55mm focal length and ISO 400.
Another great example of what you can achieve with the Nikon D3400 kit lens.
This photo was taken by Mlle Adélaïde using the 18.0 – 55.0mm lens. He used an aperture of f/18. A shutter speed of 1/60s, an 18mm focal length and ISO 100.
This one reminds me a bit of Harry Potter. Its the Neuschwanstein Castle, taken by Joseph Fox with an aperture of f/4. A shutter speed of 1/125s, a 29mm focal length, and ISO 100.
A beautiful evening at the beach. This photo was shot using an aperture of f/8. A shutter speed of 1/250s, an 18mm focal length and ISO 125.
Sample Images with Other Lenses
This macro shot was captured by Robin Shepperson using the Nikon D3400 and the Tamron 70-300mm lens. An excellent option for macro shots with beautiful background bokeh.
This photo was captured with an aperture of ƒ/4.5. A shutter speed of 1/640, a 185mm focal length, and ISO 800.
Here’s a shot of the supermoon, taken with the Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G lens.
This photo was taken by Kibwe Jonay with an aperture of ƒ/5.6. A shutter speed of 1/125s, a 35mm focal length and ISO 100.
This gorgeous shot of the Golden Gate Bridge was captured by Arvind Singh with the Sigma 17-50mm lens. He used an aperture of f/22. A shutter speed of 2 seconds, a 17mm focal length and ISO 100.
This photo was taken by Renée Gauthier with an aperture of ƒ/5.3. A shutter speed of 1/1000s, a 195mm focal length and ISO 800.
This photo was shot using an 11.0-16.0 mm f/2.8 lens on the D3400. He used an aperture of f/16. A shutter speed of 10 seconds, an 11mm focal length and ISO 100.
This one obviously required some editing using Photoshop or Lightroom but I love the imagination here.
This photo was captured on the Nikon D3400 using the Zoom-Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G lens. The photographer used an aperture of ƒ/4. A shutter speed of 1/25s, an 18mm focal length and ISO 250.
Some Fun Accessories
The first thing you’ll want for your photography adventures is a camera bag. This will allow you to easily transport your camera gear safely.
I like to keep things pretty simple. I’m not looking to carry around a suitcase full of gear. Instead, I just want something that will protect my camera and lenses.
That’s why I love this little camera bag with 2 side pockets and a shoulder strap. It’s ultra light and fits the Nikon D3400 perfectly.
- Medium Carrying Case with a comfortable carrying handle
- Sturdy construction
- 2 side pockets
- Removable shoulder strap
- Dimensions: Inside: 7"(L) X 5"(D) X 5.5"(H) | Outside: 7.5"(L) X 5.5"(D) X 6"(H)
Wireless Remote Control
Control your shutter from up to 16 feet away with the AmazonBasics Wireless Remote Control for Nikon DSLR cameras.
Wireless remotes are a great way to get tack sharp photos and avoid blurring. Remote shutters allow you to control the camera, even if you’re not behind the camera itself. Perfect for taking group photos, night photography, and long exposure shots.
Also works great for recording video. Without having to physically get up to stop and start a recording. You can do as many “takes” as needed right from your seat. Perfect for YouTubers who want to easily start and stop their recordings.
- Eliminate vibration and increase image clarity with this wireless remote for Nikon cameras
- Activates the shutter remotely
- Use for a broad range of images, like low-light and family portraits
- Compatible with the following Nikon cameras: D3000, D3200, D3300, P6000, P7000, D40, D40x, D50, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D60, D70, D7000, D70s, D750, D80, and D90
- Battery powered; 16 foot range
Just like your smartphone, your camera needs a screen protector. One of our favorites is the Afunta screen protector. Very affordable. A perfect fit from edge to edge on the Nikon D3400. Protects your screen against scratches. And allows you to easily remove any fingerprints with a microfiber cloth or cleaning wipes.
This package contains 2 screen protectors, 2 wet cleaning wipes, 2 dry cleaning wipes, and 2 dust removal stickers.
Everything you’ll need to protect your screen against scratches, smudges, fingerprints, water, oil and dust.
For me the screen protector just gives me peace of mind. It’s a super affordable way to keep your camera looking like new for years to come.
- Specifically designed for Nikon D3100, D3200, D3300, and D3400.
- Daily protection against scratches, water, dust, oil, and fingerprints.
- Made of optical glass with 0.3mm thickness, which achieves more than 99% of transmittance. Higher than plastic screen protectors. Exceptionally clear & low reflection.
The Nikon D3400 comes with a battery and a charger. But you might want some back-up batteries while you’re traveling or doing lots of video. If you’re like me, I just like knowing that I’ve always got a battery to spare. Whether I’m on vacation and taking LOTS of photos or recording lots of video.
These batteries will keep you shooting all day long so you never have to worry about running out of juice.
Also comes with a USB cable so you can recharge using your desktop, laptop, power bank or even in your car.
Many reviewers have reported that this battery and charger lasts just as long (or longer) than their original Nikon battery.
- Battery Type: Li-ion, Voltage: 7.4V Capacity: 1500 mAh
- Package includes 2 batteries and 1 dual USB charger with LCD display to power your Nikon camera.
- Fully compatible with Nikon Coolpix P7000, P7100, P7700, P7800, D3100, D3200, D3300, D3400, D5100, D5200, D5300, D5500, and D5600.
- USB cable allow you to charge wherever there's a USB device. You can connect with your desktop, laptop, power bank, or car charger.
This 60-inch tripod is perfect if you’re wanting to get into night photography or long-exposure photography. Because it’s labeled under the AmazonBasics brand,
it’s also one of the most affordable tripods. But don’t let the price fool you!
It’s a very capable tripod. Sturdy. Compact. Portable. And perfect for all of your digital video and still photos.
It also has two built-in levelers to ensure that your camera is level and straight. One is for the base and another for the camera. This tripod has features that are often only included on $40+ tripods.
I have three of these and they continue to impress me. But keep in mind, if you’re looking to do a lot of video with smooth panning and cinematic shots, you’ll want to upgrade to something like the ZoMei Z668 Tripod.
Other than that, this is the perfect tripod for most any photographer.
- Lightweight tripod with adjustable-height legs and rubber feet
- Compatible with most video cameras, digital cameras, still cameras, GoPro devices, smartphone adapters (not included), and scopes.
- Recommended max load weight is 6.6 lbs (3kg) for optimal performance
- Weighs 3 lbs; Extends from 25 inches to 60 inches when center post is fully extended; Carrying case included
- Two built-in bubble view levels and 3-way head to allow for tilt and swivel motion; portrait or landscape options
The Nikon D3400 does not come with a memory card so you’ll need to purchase an SD card before you’re able to fully use the camera.
There are a lot of brands to choose from. But SanDisk is the leader in this category by far. I recommend buying the SanDisk 64GB Ultra Memory Card.
This allows you to take 2,000+ photos and Full HD video (1080p).
Plus, you can easily transfer your photos and videos to your desktop or laptop by inserting it into the SD card slot on your computer.
- Great for compact-to-midrange point-and-shoot digital cameras and camcorders
- Twice As Fast As Ordinary SDHC Cards, Allowing You To Take Pictures And Transfer Files Quickly
- Exceptional video recording performance with Class 10 rating for Full HD video (1080p). Compatibility : SDHC-I/SDXC-I devices
- Quick transfer speeds up to 80MB/s and Waterproof, temperature-proof, X-ray proof, magnet-proof, shockproof
- 10-year limited warranty
The Nikon D3400 is one of the best entry-level DSLR’s on the market. If you’re looking to get into photography, you really can’t go wrong with the D3400.
It has excellent image quality, huge battery life, an easy-to-use guide mode, and a wide-range of lenses to choose from.
And at this price, it’s hard to match the value that you get out of this camera.
No, it’s not great for video. There’s no flip screen or external mic port.
But if you’re looking for a great all-around camera for portraits, travel photos, and more, this camera offers top-of-the-line features in an affordable package.
Plus, this camera is light enough that you can carry it around all day long on your next photography adventure. And as you’ve seen from the sample images, this 24.2MP camera can produce stunning images with a wide variety of lenses.
A Few Tips for the Nikon D3400