Nikon D3400 Digital SLR Camera

Last updated date: October 6, 2020

DWYM Score

8.5

Nikon D3400 Digital SLR Camera

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We looked at the top DSLR Cameras and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best DSLR Camera you should buy.

Update as June 14, 2021:
Checkout The Best DSLR Camera for a detailed review of all the top dslr cameras.

Overall Take


In our analysis of 132 expert reviews, the Nikon D3400 Digital SLR Camera placed 15th when we looked at the top 20 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Before the Nikon D3400 Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm Lens (Black), you chose your smartphone camera for convenience. Zooming was clumsy. Shooting in low light was nearly impossible. Capturing fast action was a game of luck. But after the D3400, you'll see that you were compromising image quality. That some of the greatest photos happen when the light is low. That fast action can be frozen in perfect clarity. And that a camera and a smartphone can work together in harmony to make the photos you share absolutely amazing.FEATURES:Stunning simplicity - Photos and videos captured with the D3400 and a superb NIKKOR lens are as vibrant and lifelike as the moments they preserve. Shoot in extremely low light without a problem. Freeze fast-action in its tracks. Create portraits with rich, natural skin tones and beautifully blurred backgrounds. The photos you share will amaze everyone—even yourself.Camera, smartphone and cloud in perfect harmony - SnapBridge has changed the way cameras and smartphones work together—and only Nikon has it. Take a picture with the D3400 and it's automatically transferred to your compatible smartphone or tablet, ready to share. SnapBridge works seamlessly with NIKON IMAGE SPACE, a cloud storage and sharing site, to back-up your photos and to help you create and share albums with your friends and family. The future of photo sharing is here.A camera designed for you - Compact and lightweight, the D3400 is designed to go everywhere you go. Even first-time DLSR owners will quickly feel at home—the camera's controls are smartly laid out for comfort and intuitive control. The bright optical viewfinder provides a sharp, glare-free view of the world, and the comfortable grip enables precise handling.The gateway to better photography - The D3400 makes photography easy and fun, freeing you to focus on your natural talents—framing great shots, anticipating special moments and finding unique perspectives in everyday scenes. As your

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

8.2
11 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.2
608 user reviews

What experts liked

Very compact and lightweight body. Superb battery life. Good single-shot AF performance. Very compact and quiet kit lens. Easy to use.
- Tech Radar
October 22, 2018 | Full review
Good for A beginner specifically looking for a DSLR experience who may want to eventually take a little control over shooting settings or someone looking for a lightweight kit.
- DP Review
October 17, 2016 | Full review
But if you want a compact DSLR that is capable of highly detailed photos at a good price, it is hard to beat. I can see the D3400 being ideal for someone’s first “real” camera, or as a backup option for pros who want something lightweight and well-priced.
- Photography Life
On the plus side, the view was bright and clear and there was a good amount of information displayed around the edges to help you ensure you have the correct settings. The active AF point would light up red when focus was achieved, too.
- Trusted Reviews
August 30, 2018 | Full review
The Nikon D3400 delivers the image quality and speed that a first-time dSLR buyer should expect. Very good photo quality for its class plus performance fast enough to capture kids and pets make the Nikon D3400 A solid choice for a first dSLR
- CNET
October 16, 2016 | Full review
This is one of the lightest DSLRs you can buy: it’s about 40g less than a Canon EOS 1300D with an 18-55mm lens. Ready to go with the kit lens on it comes in at a respectably low 650g, which you’ll appreciate during long shooting sessions.
- T3
The Nikon D3400 is powered by a proprietary Lithium-ion battery that now offers an impressive 1200-shot life, and ships with a cordless charger that plugs directly into a mains socket.
- Photography Blog
October 11, 2016 | Full review
Great image quality. Speedy Performance. Excellent Battery Life. Good in Low Light. Easy transfer of images to mobile devices. Solid set of practical and creative features.
- Tom's Guide
November 18, 2016 | Full review
The gateway to Nikon’s DSLR lineup, the D3400 takes great photos in low light and is easy to carry around.
- New York Times Wirecutter
December 18, 2018 | Full review
It is very compact and has lightweight body. Good single-shot AF performance. Superb battery life.
- Tech Spot
It's a strong performer, as it's built around an excellent 24MP image sensor and includes an 11-point autofocus system that tracks subjects at 5.1fps. Compact. 24MP image sensor. Includes lens. Solid autofocus and high ISO performance. 5.1fps continuous shooting. Guide Mode for beginners. Bluetooth wireless file transfer.
- PC Magazine
November 10, 2016 | Full review

What experts didn't like

Wi-Fi hasn't been included inside the body, although wireless image transmission is still possible through the SnapBridge feature. Poor connectivity options. No touchscreen. No microphone port.
- Tech Radar
October 22, 2018 | Full review
Not so good for DSLR users looking to regularly take control over more camera settings and those looking for lots of easily accessible, reliable in-camera effects modes and features. Users who need more reliable AF with additional coverage for capturing moving subjects such as small children.
- DP Review
October 17, 2016 | Full review
On the sports and action side of things, this camera is less impressive, with 5 frames per second and just 11 autofocus points.
- Photography Life
Many people still prefer the look of an optical viewfinder, which is what you had on offer on the D3400. However, this one showed you only 95% of the scene – which in real terms meant it was very easy for something to creep into the edge of the frame, or for your composition to be ever so slightly off.
- Trusted Reviews
August 30, 2018 | Full review
A lot of the small annoyances from previous models remain, including tiny autofocus points in the viewfinder and a nonpersistent self-timer mode. Plus, its Bluetooth-only wireless solution isn't very good.
- CNET
October 16, 2016 | Full review
It’s not a great action camera – it only shoots bursts up to 5fps and it doesn’t do 4K video either
- T3
While the extended battery life and Snapbridge support are both nice additions to the new Nikon D3400, it doesn't really offer anything that the previous D300 model did, either in terms of features or design.
- Photography Blog
October 11, 2016 | Full review
The only downside is that the viewfinder covers only about 95 percent of what the camera will actually capture in a shot, so don't be surprised to see areas of the scene you didn't notice through the viewfinder.
- Tom's Guide
November 18, 2016 | Full review
The D3400’s biggest flaw is that Nikon reduced the power of this model’s flash by half in order to achieve the camera’s impressive battery-life rating of 1,200 shots on a single charge (a weaker flash means less draw on the battery).
- New York Times Wirecutter
December 18, 2018 | Full review
The LCD screen lacks touch operation and is somewhat reflective. Poor connectivity options.
- Tech Spot
The rear LCD is a crisp 920k-dot 3-inch panel. It's bright enough to view in daylight, and shows excellent detail. But it can't tilt, and it doesn't support touch input. Fixed, non-touch LCD. Pentamirror viewfinder. Limited buffer when shooting Raw. Omits microphone input. Video autofocus not as advanced as some mirrorless competitors.
- PC Magazine
November 10, 2016 | Full review

An Overview On DSLR Cameras

At one time, you couldn’t get the same high-quality picture with a digital camera as you could with traditional, film-based cameras. But DSLR cameras changed all that, providing high-quality, professional results without the need to go through the process of developing prints. This allows professional photographers to service the many customers who now prefer digital files to paper-based photos. It also lets amateurs refine their photography skills without the cost of film developing.

But if you’re in the market for a DSLR camera, be prepared to spend some money. Top-notch DSLR cameras can cost in the thousands, making it tough for hobbyists to make room in their budget. However, you can find a DSLR camera for a few hundred dollars, so it’s important to go into your shopping trip knowing exactly what features you’ll need.

First up is image quality, which is likely a top consideration, no matter how advanced your photography skills are. A bad camera can make it tough to provide images that have that “wow” factor, even if you have all the skills. There are multiple things that factor into whether a camera shoots well, though, including the lenses you use and the build of the camera itself. Little things, like whether your camera can shoot higher-quality images when lighting isn’t ideal, can make a big difference.

Whether you’re a professional photographer or someone still learning your trade, there are times when you’ll want to rely on autofocus. It can especially come in handy with action shots, where you don’t have an abundance of time.

Another important factor with action shots is whether or not your camera supports continuous shooting. The faster your camera can grab images at sports games, live performances or even red carpet events, the less likely you’ll miss that all-important shot. This is measured in frames per second, and the top cameras are all in a similar range. However, if you’re comparing two cameras and all other features are equal, frames per second can tip the scales.

If you plan to shoot outdoors even occasionally, you may want to consider your camera’s level of weather resistance. Some cameras are built specifically to withstand the rain and debris that you’ll at least occasionally encounter on outdoor shoots. A camera with that feature can come in handy over the years.

The DSLR Camera Buying Guide

  • Every camera promises to produce great images, but how do you know that’s what you’re getting? There are quite a few factors playing into whether your pictures look great, starting with range. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II Wi-Fi Enabled Digital SLR Camera offers high image quality whether you’re shooting wide-angle or using a telephoto lens to get up close and personal.
  • Trying to find the perfect lighting can dramatically shorten your shooting window each day. If you have a camera that can snap sharp images in a variety of lighting situations, you’ll give yourself a great headstart. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II Wi-Fi Enabled Digital SLR Camera can shoot sharp images even in low lighting situations with no flash. Although the Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR offers some of the best image quality you’ll find in a camera, it really shines in low-lighting situations.  It can lock onto a subject and create a great picture in just 0.7 seconds, even in extremely dim light.
  • Noise is also an issue in images. The Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR displays very little noise disruption in images, especially between ISO 100 to 1600.
  • Today’s DSLR cameras can also handle video, but not all cameras are created equal in this area. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II Wi-Fi Enabled Digital SLR Camera records 4K video, allowing you to even capture 8.8-megapixel screen grabs from each video frame. As an added bonus, you’ll get high-quality audio recording in video mode, as well. However, it can’t output 4K over HDMI, which means by the time you export it, you’ll find it drops down to 1080p.
  • The sensor on your camera will also play a big role in image quality. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II Wi-Fi Enabled Digital SLR Camera has a 26.2-megapixel sensor that can output impressive image quality, even at a higher ISO range.  With the Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR Camera, you get a 24.7-MP sensor.
  • When shooting events, the pressure can be intense to get that perfect shot. Continuous shooting can lend a big hand. You’ll get the best results from the Canon EOS 6D Mark II Wi-Fi Enabled Digital SLR Camera, which offers shooting speeds of 7 frames per second. Even when you aren’t aiming for a burst of continual images, this model is faster at getting ready for the next shot than comparable cameras. The Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR also has impressive shutter speed, offering 5 frames per second at full resolution.
  • If you’re toting your camera around a while, you probably won’t want a camera that weighs you down. The Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR Camera weighs only 0.86 pounds, making it among the most portable in its class. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II Wi-Fi Enabled Digital SLR Camera weighs 3.45 pounds.
  • Although many photographers know autofocus has its weaknesses, technology has pushed the feature well beyond what it used to be. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II Wi-Fi Enabled Digital SLR Camera uses Canon’s specialized dual-pixel technology, which puts phase-detection points on the camera’s imaging sensor.
  • Even professional photographers don’t want to deal with complicated features that take hours to learn. The easier a camera is to use, the faster a photographer can get to work. The Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR Camera is designed as entry-level cameras, so it’s ideal for the photographer who is still learning. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II Wi-Fi Enabled Digital SLR Camera can be complex, but a touch-sensitive screen helps take some of the sting out of learning.
  • You won’t exactly have access to a wall outlet every time you want to snap photos. That makes battery life an essential feature to consider. The Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR Camera has great battery life, having increased by 30 percent over its previous model. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II Wi-Fi Enabled Digital SLR Camera also has an impressive battery life.
  • Camera prices tend to increase with the experience level of the photographers they’re built to serve. Keep your skill level in mind when looking at price.
  • One feature that’s increasingly important in newer cameras is Wi-Fi connectivity. Not only does this make it easy to move your photos from your camera to other devices for editing and sharing, but it also allows you to post your photos on social media. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II Wi-Fi Enabled Digital SLR Camera has built-in Wi-Fi and GPS. The Nikon D750 DSLR Camera has integrated Wi-Fi, which also lets you use your smartphone as a remote control for your camera.
  • If you shoot outdoors, you’ve likely experienced the frustration of being limited by the weather. The right weatherproof camera lets you capture images even when it’s raining or snowing outside. The Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR is both gasketed and sealed to keep dust and moisture out. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II Wi-Fi Enabled Digital SLR Camera is also weatherproof.
  • Before setting aside part of your budget for a camera, make sure you know how much you’ll have to spend on accessories. The Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR Camera comes with an 18-55mm lens, as well as an optional upgrade to include a bag. You can also upgrade to a 55-mm lens, but it will bump the cost up by a couple hundred dollars. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II Wi-Fi Enabled Digital SLR Camera has no built-in flash, and you’ll need to purchase a high-quality lens. There are a variety of bundle options, though, that will cost more but possibly save you money on buying the items separately. Look for a camera that comes with multiple accessories, including a rubber eyecup for the viewfinder, caps, a strap, a powerful battery and a built-in charger. Some models also come with an optically-stabilized lens.