Nikon D3400 Digital SLR

Last updated date: September 2, 2019

DWYM Score
9.1

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We looked at the top 1 Nikon DSLR Cameras and dug through the reviews from 11 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, CNET, PC Magazine, Photography Blog, Popular Photography, T3, Tech Radar, Tech Spot, Tom's Guide, Trusted Reviews, New York Times Wirecutter and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Nikon DSLR Camera you should buy.

Overall Take

This DSLR offers the ideal level of image quality, speed and price for beginners. It’s fast enough to capture quick-moving kids and pets clearly. Plus, it has a solid autofocus, high ISO performance and a guide mode that makes it easy to use. In our analysis of 89 expert reviews, the Nikon Nikon D3400 Digital SLR placed 4th when we looked at the top 9 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note July 2, 2019:
Checkout The Best Nikon DSLR Camera for a detailed review of all the top nikon dslr cameras.

Expert Summarized Score
8.3
11 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.2
607 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Easy to use lightweight, versatile, and takes beautiful, high quality pictures. Overall, a solid camera with a good battery life.
- BestReviews
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
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
The Nikon D3400 has Bluetooth connectivity, which means you can send your images across to a smartphone using Nikon's Snapbridge app. This app is now available for both iOS and Android devices, as of September 2016. Using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), SnapBridge creates a connection between the D3400 and a compatible smart device. Once paired, the D3400 will remain connected to the smart device and transfer photos automatically, without the need to re-connect the devices each time.
- Photography Blog
October 11, 2016 | Full review
The camera’s burst speed of 5 frames per second is enough to handle a lot of fast-paced situations.
- Popular Photography
February 1, 2017 | 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
Very compact and lightweight body. Easy to use and superb battery life. Good single-shot AF performance. Easy to use. Very compact and quiet kit lens.
- Tech Radar
October 22, 2018 | Full review
It is very compact and has lightweight body. Good single-shot AF performance. Superb battery life.
- Tech Spot
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
This camera has long battery life and very easy to use.
- Trusted Reviews
August 30, 2018 | 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
What experts didn't like
The wireless SnapBridge feature that transfers images to phones is not always reliable. Not worth the extra cost for unreliable wireless features.
- BestReviews
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
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
Note that because the D3400 does not support Wi-Fi, not all SnapBridge features are available.
- Photography Blog
October 11, 2016 | Full review
The D3400’s range is limited by its resolution. Also, it doesn’t have lots of dedicated control buttons, leaving limited opportunity for customization
- Popular Photography
February 1, 2017 | 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
No touchscreen, no microphone port and has poor connectivity option.
- Tech Radar
October 22, 2018 | Full review
The LCD screen lacks touch operation and is somewhat reflective. Poor connectivity options.
- Tech Spot
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
Fixed non-touch-sensitive screen. No Wi-Fi, 4K video and optical viewfinder doesn't offer 100% coverage.
- Trusted Reviews
August 30, 2018 | 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

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

Overall Product Rankings

1. Nikon D850 Digital SLR
Overall Score: 9.6
Expert Reviews: 9
2. Nikon D5500 Digital SLR
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 13
3. Nikon D7200 Digital SLR
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 8
4. Nikon D3400 Digital SLR
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 11
5. Nikon D750 Digital SLR
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 9
6. Nikon D3300 Digital SLR
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 9
7. Nikon D5300 Digital SLR
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 6
8. Nikon COOLPIX B500 Digital Camera With WiFi
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 6
9. Nikon D3200 Digital SLR
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 7

An Overview On Nikon DSLR Cameras

It wasn’t too long ago that powerful cameras were prohibitively expensive and limited to professionals. The times and technology have certainly changed. Now, families tote DSLR cameras around on trips to the playground, and many consider them a travel necessity.

It makes sense, as companies like Nikon have honed professional-level technology so that beginners and aspiring photographers alike can take stunning photographs every day. Having a high-quality camera, like a Nikon DSLR, will make a significant difference in the photos that you take, no matter how incredible you might think the built-in camera on your phone is.

DSLR cameras were made to capture impressive scenes, minute details and everything in between. DSLR stands for digital single-lens reflex camera and was designed to mimic its predecessor, the single-lens reflex film camera. As such, the DSLR cameras have similar design features. The camera body is equipped with a viewfinder and a reflex mirror and connects with an interchangeable-lens system.

DSLR cameras come in a wide range of prices and features. If you want to take the most beautiful photographs, they are unparalleled in image-capturing technology. They boast the highest image quality, speed and user-friendly design. Similarly, they can match basically any type of photography you can dream up. A DSLR camera is generally the first step toward serious photography for many people. While there are reasonably priced models, any DSLR camera purchase will be an investment. As such, it’s important to understand the DSLR cameras available so you can select one that best fits your personal needs.

Nikon DSLRs are among the wide array of digital cameras available on the market today. Canon and Sony are competitive camera manufacturers. There are models suitable for beginners, professional photographers and everyone in between. DSLRs are the leading camera technology available today, and Nikon is often the camera of choice for professional photographers.

Unlike basic digital cameras, when buying a DSLR camera, you’ll likely purchase at least two parts. These two main components are the body and the lens. Generally, these pieces are sold separately, and there are specific lens options for each camera body. For beginners, you can purchase a kit that includes the body and one or more lenses as a package. Generally, these lenses are lower performance than those sold individually. The DSLR camera body contains a mirror that reflects the light onto an optical viewfinder that displays the image viewed through the lens.

It is with various lenses, not camera bodies, that you will notice the biggest difference in photos and capabilities. As such, one of the most important characteristics to think about is the system of lenses compatible with each camera body. While you may begin with one or two lenses, you will likely invest in more over time as your photography grows. Each camera body connects with a different system of lenses.

Even though Nikon is well-known as a top camera choice for professional photographers, there are plenty of beginner-friendly Nikon DSLR cameras too. These cameras, like the Nikon D3400 and D5500, are especially appealing because they have reasonable starting price points (around $300 and up). They also have helpful automatic photography settings. That means you will have high image quality but less control over the camera settings. As such, these are aimed at beginners and could be frustrating for more advanced photographers. Armed with a variety of preset effects, you can rely on these and gradually learn how to handle a DSLR camera.

The value pick, the Nikon D3400, is an excellent first DSLR camera for beginners and costs around $400. It delivers solid image quality and shutter speed for its class at a good value. That means it is fast enough to capture kids and pets. For a step up in performance without a significant price increase, the D5500 offers upgrades across the board. At around $600, this camera is one of the lightest Nikon DSLR cameras and features a more comfortable grip.

If you’re familiar with photography and want a bit more control and range in a Nikon DSLR, you may be ready for a higher priced and higher performance intermediate category camera. There are many intermediate options for aspiring photographers as well as professionals. If you’re looking for innovative technology, this is an exciting category.

For example, the Nikon D7200 costs around $700 and offers upgraded features, such as the 51-point autofocus system and native range of ISO100-25,600.

The top pick Nikon D850 DSLR camera boasts many impressive features. It shoots up to 45.7 megapixels resolution, one of the highest resolutions on the market today. It also has an upgraded 153-point autofocus system, advanced 181,000-pixel RGB metering system and 7 frames per second continuous shooting speed. By design, this camera outperforms others in low-light. Overall, it’s a powerful, professional camera that commands an equivalent price tag.

Within Nikon’s range of DSLRs, there’s a camera and a price point that’s perfect for every photography skill level. As the company innovates, the cameras are constantly improving, boasting more features and improved image quality at ever more reasonable prices.

DYWM Fun Fact

Digital cameras seem like they’re everywhere these days. Before Steve Sasson at Eastman Kodak built the very first digital camera, there weren’t any hanging from tourists necks. The first digital camera was very low quality, at only .01 megapixel and weighing eight pounds.

Nikon’s first DSLR camera debuted in 1999 with the D1. It was the beginning of multiple generations of constantly improving DSLR cameras. Now, Nikon has progressed into the D7000s, as well as offering Z series mirrorless and full-frame DSLR options.

Today’s most impressive DSLR cameras, like the Nikon D850, can capture images with as many as 45.7 megapixels. These files can be blown up to 20-inch by 30-inch poster size and maintain a crisp, clear image.

The Nikon DSLR Camera Buying Guide

  • Entry-level DSLR cameras generally incorporate an APS-C-sized sensor and polycarbonate construction. These two components help make them compact and lightweight. However, those new to DSLRs will notice they are heavier and more unwieldy than standard point and shoot.
  • Beginners should look for features like guide modes when buying their first DSLR. These entry-level DSLR cameras help teach new photographers about the controls and settings with the ultimate goal of understanding exactly how to produce specific types of imagery in mind.
  • DSLR cameras tend to have superb battery life because the optical viewfinder uses minimal power. Depending on the length of time you’re shooting, DSLR cameras can take thousands of photos on a single battery charge
  • DSLR cameras can range from around $200 on the low end to $1,000 and up for the high-end cameras professionals rely on. Nikon DSLR prices tend to be a bit higher than competitors because each level of camera includes enhanced performance features.
  • Be careful when changing lenses to not touch the mirror or sensor or get dust on the inner components. If anything does get on the sensor, some cameras include an auto-clean mode, or you can use specialty cloths to clean.
  • Some DSLRs have more rugged weather sealing. However, most require a separate housing to be waterproof and weatherproof. You should be careful in adverse weather conditions or wet or dusty areas to protect the sensitive camera.