Using your smartphone or a point-and-shoot camera for photography is quite difficult for those enthusiasts who want to get something out from their captured masterpieces. Shooting in low light is unimaginable, zooming is irritating and capturing fast moving objects is almost impossible.
Getting your hands on an entry-level DSLR will wipe away all of your problems which you encountered earlier as you will feel a significant change in your photography. Nikon D3400 is one of the finest entry-level DSLR available in the present day market. Let’s see what it carries for the enthusiasts who want to take their photography to the next level.
What’s the Nikon D3400?
Released in the August of 2017, the Nikon D3400 is the successor to the D3300 which released in 2014. The D3400 comes packed with lots of exciting features like full manual control, raw format shooting and the facility of adding interchangeable accessories including lenses and strobes. Newbies should not get confused with all these terms as there is a bundle of auto modes which continually helps the user until they are comfortable enough to play with the manual controls and other accessories. Let’s have a detailed look at this device.
Design, Ergonomics & Feel
Nikon has not gone off the hook while developing the D3400 as it pretty much resembles the D3300, its predecessor. At first glance, it looks like any modern day DSLR with a bulky body and sturdy design. However, when measurements are taken into consideration, the D3400 is a lightweight and compact machine because it is targeted towards amateur photographers who are not used to bigger cameras. It measures 4.9 x 3.9 x 3.0 inches at weighs at just 650 grams.
Using it is nothing but easiness
It feels quite comfortable in hands as the grip and thumb rest are covered by a soft rubber casket providing additional comfort and grip over the camera. The mode dial situated on the top of the camera is quite easy to rotate. There is a “Guide Mode” on the dial as well which assist the photographer in using the camera. You can turn off the “Guide Mode” once you are familiar with all the controls and settings you want to capture the perfect shot.
Easy and efficient control scheme
There is a “Fn” button on the side of the lens mount which provides quick access to the ISO control setting. Once you are in the settings menu, the command dial is used to navigate among the ISO ranges. This “Fn” button can be assigned three alternative functions as well for easy access.
All the buttons on the rear side of the camera are fair in size. The buttons which are related to settings are on the right side whereas the buttons which are used to access the menus are on the left side. The menu control is also on the right side of the camera to navigate through the options on the screen as the LCD is not touch-enabled. The menu controls, while not using the menu provide some additional functions.
The Nikon D3400 is an entry-level DSLR camera boasting a 24 MP, APS-C CMOS image sensor, similar to Nikon D3300. It is powered by the latest EXPEED 4 image processor which offers enhanced dynamic range and greater noise reduction as compared to the previous EXPEED 3 image processor. It has an amazing continuous shooting rate of 5 fps which might seem a little too low for the professional users. But, given the price and the fact that it is an entry-level DSLR, the rate of 5 fps justifies itself pretty well. The D3400 has an ISO range of 100 to 25,600.
Tackling the obstacles
The camera is capable of producing some very good images. The 11 point autofocus system makes sure that the object is locked and captured perfectly through the lens. Crispier details are part of every image, but the camera’s sensor does not have an anti-aliasing filter which reduces distortion in fine patterns. Under good lighting conditions, the camera performs exceptionally well without any extra warmth in the pictures. On the other hand, if the lighting conditions are low, the camera performance is pleasing with very little noise given that the required ISO setting is implied.
Viewfinder & LCD
The Nikon 3400 comes with the same optical viewfinder of the D3300. The viewfinder has a magnification of 0.85x and can provide the photographer with a scene coverage of to 95%.
The LCD, however, is of a very decent size 3 inches with 920,000 dots. It offers a sharp and vivid display of the images and information shown on the edges. The LCD is neither touch-enabled nor tiltable, and a traditional navigation layout is used to scroll through the options.
Video – No 4K
The D3400 can record stunning videos at a rate of 60 fps but is limited to a resolution of just 1080p. A dedicated movie record button is located on the top of the camera which allows the user to start and stop video recording in any mode whatsoever. Regarding video, the D3400 is no different than the D3300 as it still does not offer 4K video. Another drawback for the videographers is the removal of the external microphone input. The users would not be able to attach an external mic attachment for better sound. The built-in microphone, however, has adjustable sensitivity, but that too is monaural instead of being a stereo one.
Battery, Storage & Connectivity
One of the best features of the D3400 is the immense battery life. The 1230mAh EN-EL14a battery is capable of providing you 1,200 shots in a single charge. That’s 500 more shots than D3300’s 700 shots at a full charge.
Talking about the storage, since the camera has a sensor of 24.2 MP, the resulting size of the images is quite large varying between 15 to 24 megabytes including RAW. Nikon recommends SDHC and SDXC cards.
To transfer the files, you can make use of USB and Bluetooth if you want wireless connectivity. There is no Wi-Fi or NFC.