Nikon has long held a good position in the entry-level DSLR segment using its D3xxx group of cameras. For some time now, the Nikon D3300 has been the go-to choice for most because it offers far better features and performance relative to Canon’s 1200D for only a modest increase in cost. The introduction of the Canon 1300D unveiled last year included Wi-Fi connectivity for smart devices. This was likely to ruffle some feathers at Nikon, and in August they announced the D3400 which also offered wireless connectivity.
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But, what are the differences between these two cameras? Should current owners of a D3300 upgrade to the newer model or not?
The Nikon D3400 weighs 453grams, making it lighter than its predecessor by 13g. As well as the plastic body, the ergonomic grip offers reassurance when you hold onto it for a long period of time. This button layout is similar to that in the previous model. You get a row of buttons on the side for camera settings, playback, image magnification, and quick access during shooting. The front of the camera has buttons for display, deleting files, navigating channels, and inserting media.
The D3400 has an AE-L/AF-L toggle just next to the command dial for locking exposure or focus. In countries that have a well established network, it includes standard Mini USB and HDMI ports so you can connect with all your devices including HDTVs. Nikon has dropped support for an external microphone here, therefore you won’t be able to use it when recording video. The 3-inch display includes a 921K-dot resolution, which is average brightness for some cases but not so great under sunlight where it will wash out. The optical viewfinder can provide basic information like exposure settings, and there is an optional pop-up flash or hot shoe for external flashes.
There is a tripod mount at the bottom combined with the battery compartment. The SD card slot is on the right side and next to it we have a button that can be customized called Fn. The last cluster of buttons are at the top, and they include power switch and mode dial as well as shutter release, video recording, exposure compensation and display info The raised edges of the dial make it easier to operate in low light conditions.
The Nikon D3400 is a well-designed and compact camera for beginners, but we would have appreciated some additional features– such as a command dial or more function buttons.
To buy the body alone, you can select from new 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR or 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3 VR AF-P lenses to go with your D3400 camera and choose the one which best suits your needs.
Nikon D3400 packs a single-CMOS sensor with 24.3MP resolution, this camera also uses Nikon’s Expeed 4 image processor for enhanced low light performance and video quality. The Nikon D3400 comes with a total of 11 sensors for tracking focus and offers shooting at varying shutter speeds based on situation.
In this example, the input text was rewritten to improve clarity by splitting it up into more comprehensible segments, adding context around its features, and limiting what’s being discussed to just that camera. The Nikon D3400’s video recording tops out at 1080p 60fps, about the same that can be found on the D3300. The lack of 4K is disappointing, but perhaps a higher frame rate would have been reasonable for full-HD videos.
For the latest features of the D3400, SnapBridge is a newly added feature that automatically transfers pictures from your camera to your smartphone. It is available on iOS and Android devices, as well as Windows 10 PC’s. You can sync photographs with the camera powered off. It works just like when we first tested it with the Nikon D500, but you cannot transfer videos nor remotely control the camera because unlike the D1000, this camera doesn’t support standard Wi-Fi. One feature of the Canon Rebel T6 1300D that is missing from the Nikon D3400 is built-in WiFi and NFC.
The menus on this camera have been simplified to make them easier to use. The Playback, Shooting, Setup and Retouching areas are labeled below other options on the right-hand side of the screen. The Recent Settings tab makes it easy to quickly find the options you use most, and pressing the i button in standby mode enlarges the icons at the bottom of your screen. This new monochrome look is comparable to what we saw with the D500.
Nikon dropped its auto sensor dust cleaning system, which is a bit of sorry. That said, this camera still captures Image Dust Off reference data for pictures post-production. However there s no bracketing feature within the brand new model, something we would have preferred to see added on in.
Nikon wasn t in a position to send us the brand new AF-P kit lens for testing, so we used an old 18-55mm lens instead. We also covered all of our bases with two other lenses that cover long and wide focal lengths: the 55-300m pd VR and 16-80mm f 2.8 4E
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ISO performance was good. There are mild variations till ISO 3200 but noise is barely visible even there and becomes more evident at higher ISOs, but overall still acceptable. details and colors get a litle blurrier at ISO 25600, but this is only noticeable when looking at the complete picture in full size. The details are still quite crisp on medium-sized pictures
The sensor’s quality makes it possible for an entry-level camera to take such good shots
The Nikon D 3400’s size makes it easy to transport around when you travel. Plus, its less conspicuous design also means that you don t look overly conspicuous while looking for candid shots on the street. The camera has fast focus, and it is quick to lock in on subjects. In live mode, you can choose face priority autofocus for portraits which is especially helpful with people shots. Excellent subject tracking too.
Nikon D3400 sample: ISO 450, f/4, 1/4000sec
Nikon D3400 sample: ISO 200, f/7.1, 1/800sec
The D3400 excels outdoors with its ability to capture detailed landscapes without barrel distortion or chromatic aberration. If you’re using the kit lens, switching to a higher-quality lens like the AF-S 16-80 f/2.8-4E ED VR will help achieve the full potential of your D3400. You’ll be able to take close up shots that are amazingly sharp with no artifacts around subjects. The colors appear more bold and natural.
the video recording tops out at 1080p at 60fps, just like with the D3300, to help you experiment with slow-motion effects down the road in post. Continuous autofocus works well for movies and recordings sound quiet on all of the lenses we used.
Pros High image quality and small size The Nikon D3400 is a semi-professional camera with good ISO performance and video capability. The only thing the Sigma has on the Nikon is Bluetooth access which is particularly handy for when you need to control your camera from afar via your smartphone. Nikon includes an 8GB Sdcard with the camera.
The D3400 is a much better buy than the D3300, simply for an additional $130. The wireless capability and quieter lens alone are worth that cost; in addition, this camera should be cheaper to maintain due to its latest iteration. Current owners of the Nikon D3300 don’t have any good reason to upgrade, as there isn’t much to get from upgrading.