Nikon D3400 Review: A neat incremental upgrade
Nikon D3400 detailed review
Nikon’s recent launches in the DSLR’s entry segment are mostly incremental upgrades. The D3400 in question here is basically a D3300 with a smaller body and Snapbridge, and as such, is consistent with most of the increasing camera upgrades these days. It’s quite neat, though, packed in a highly compact body with an older generation EXPEED 4 image processor with a tri-end-tested 24.2MP APS-C sensor and the same metering and autofocus mechanism so that experienced DSLR users would be doubled. Check the body. Nikon has also introduced a new line of AF-P lenses that are quieter than the outgoing AF-S models, and the D3400 is being paired with a new 18-55mm kit lens for beginners.
There’s hardly any difference to pick, let’s see exactly how well the Nikon D3400 performs, and whether it’s really recommended for first-time owners of interchangeable lens cameras (ILCs).
Color, dynamic range and vitality
After using this very sensor in previous Nikon cameras, we didn’t really expect a growing catastrophe and we never felt that way. The D3400 produces very good color throughout a wide range of situations, with crisp and vibrant bold colors and a good dynamic range signature in Nikon’s normal imaging performance.
The colors are sharp and accurate
The colors look crisp and sharp and this sensor captures the highlight area and shadow zone with a deft touch. It helps to maintain the color accuracy of different areas in brightly illuminated, varied arranged compositions. The metering sensor also selects highlights and shadow areas very well when shooting on RAW and gives you a fairly deep opportunity for post-processing photographs to find the right color shades and tones, detailed shades and smooth highlights.
The Nikon D3400 produces impressive dynamic range
You can also significantly lower frames in different exposure areas when shooting on RAW, and the D3400’s good dynamic range, true source and wide vibrating colors combine to allow post-processing recovery of shadow regions. This allows you to successfully capture details while keeping the colors intact. Even within different shades of the same color, the Nikon D3400 germinates at a good level of color detail.
Underexposing to save highlights
The colors also retain good vitality for this price and range camera and all this leads to clear photographs with bright, accurate colors that look sharp enough. Good dynamic range further aids in color reproduction with detail.
Nice contrast level here
White balance and color saturation
Continuing the fact that it works well with color, the Nikon D3400 creates good auto-calibrated white balance throughout the scene. It reads the situation well according to the environment, does not go off-the-mark with warm environment, as many budget DSLRs have a tendency. You can manually adjust the white balance with the presets or choose your custom color temperature according to your needs. All of this serves a purpose and is true for the environment in which you shoot
Neutral gray, deep black, clear white
In terms of color saturation, the Nikon D3400 produces a slightly richer saturation level than the competitor Canon EOS 1300D. Colors are more vibrant here, and this leads to more saturated colors, especially dark reds. Yellows and blues are more subtly optimized and the overall performance of the camera gives good color saturation points. RAW shooters want to tinker with the color, the image control works according to the purpose set in the flat.
Saturation levels are rich and slightly higher
You’ll also find Nikon’s tested Active D-Lighting mode to illuminate the shadows and balance the color combination of the photograph, and it also preserves color compositions very well. The Nikon D3400 produces clear white with a fairly deep black and gray hue that is slightly deeper. This, however, does not significantly hinder the performance of color from optimal.
Details and sharpness
The Nikon D3400 produces a fine layer of fine detail in JPEG compression, which will shoot the file format of most users of this camera. The complexities are well written here, even with the reduction of noise while playing. The sharpness is somewhat compromised and the tight edges look a bit loose. The photographs don’t really lose their crisp edge, but are a bit softer than the photographs taken by the EOS 1300D.
Notice the slight tenderness, despite the decent detail
The details are improved because you rely less on noise reduction without significant increase in noise, at least in bright situations. This is a significant upper hand that the Nikon D3400 gets over its rivals. Overall, the Nikon D3400 produces enough detail in macro photographs, in photography, landscape and other common areas of shooting, making it a good first camera for casual shooters.
Good complexity here, too
Image Noise and ISO Performance
Another area where Nikon D3400 excel image noise level. The camera produces excellent photographs with minimal noise in brightly lit scenes and even with low light, it is best to capture minimal sound rendering. In RAW files, the Nikon D3400 produces less noise than most competitors, and you won’t find too many nicknames unless you shoot complex objects or very similar color shades.
Fairly decent sound performance
It basically gives you some of the clearest JPEG translations we’ve ever seen in this section of the DSLR, creating an equally low sound file across scenes within the Nikon D3400. In terms of ISO performance, the Nikon D3400 begins to render significantly higher noise levels above ISO 1600, although this does not really affect the good colors at ISO 3200. This gives you more space to shoot at night or in dark areas, something that budget DSLRs often struggle to do. The Nikon D3400 is definitely superior to competitors in terms of detail and color, and the ISO performance is quite good overall.
Low ISO performance is also great
Although the autofocus mechanism is very easy to use and control in most situations here, the 11-point phase detection autofocus is rather dated. It’s reasonably fast, but feels lazy in the live view. It also struggles to lock in fast-moving objects and takes some time to master shooting with the D3400 for quick response.
Autofocus is soft but hard for quick movement
Overall, the Nikon D3400 has decent autofocus performance that is comparable to other cameras in this segment. It’s not just the exceptional thing, sometimes getting the job done with a few hiccups. The new AF-P lens is a silent shooter, and you can often miss complex focusing adjustments, giving you an adjustment curve in the autofocus process.
Low-noise shots, even in low light
Some fun preset modes that you can play
Create quality and ergonomics
The Nikon D3400 retains a largely similar build, which may be the smallest of its competitors. It has mixed reactions – if you are a first time user and are not accustomed to heavy body you will appreciate it. However, if you have used a DSLR before, you may find it too small.
Nikon, however, is targeting the former group of users with the D3400. Somehow, the camera misses an external mic port, ultrasonic sensor for cleaning, and the range of the built-in flash is limited to 7m at ISO 100. Each of these was downgraded from D3300, which included mic port, sensor cleaning. And 12m flash range at ISO 100.
Despite having such dimensions, the camera offers ample hand grip as well as great ergonomics. The button layout is familiar, and the 921k-dot fixed viewfinder is not touch-capable. This is a big hurdle against the Canon EOS 1300D’s 1.04m-dot articulating touchscreen LCD, which means it will be harder to shoot with the Nikon D3400 in difficult situations. The lack of a touchscreen means that there is no touch-to-focus, and all these factors are taken into account when you consider that this camera will be mostly bought by new and amateurs.
Other than that, everything in this camera stays the same, including the user interface, controls and toggles. The body still doesn’t get weatherproofing, which means that once you get used to shooting with a DSLR, you’ll need an upgrade.
Connectivity, port and battery life
One thing that Nikon has included in the D3400, though, is the SnapBridge. This Bluetooth pairing with the phone lets you quickly transfer 2MB compressed JPEG for instant sharing on social media, or you can choose to transfer full size photographs, which takes up relatively little time for an average 8MB file. Other camera ports include a SATA connector for USB cable (for much faster transfer), and a mini-HDMI.
Battery life has also improved significantly with the Nikon D3400, and we can shoot a full cycle of over 1,000 stills and 85 minutes of Full HD 60fps video. It’s fairly impressive, and with a little more careful use, you might even be able to shoot a total of more than 1,400 steels. Idle discharge is minimal, and the battery itself takes a maximum of one hour and 15 minutes to charge from empty.
The last row
The Nikon D3400 is the best budget DSLR on the market right now, but not without some flaws It provides class-leading imaging performance and now requests an upgrade to the autofocus mechanism. Very light body and easy to use with controls, but missed external mic port, ultrasonic sensor clean, touchscreen and a second control toggle. It adds Bluetooth and improves battery life, both of which are important for anyone learning photography.
However, its small body limitations and lack of weather ceilings mean that for three years or more, if you are more serious about photography, you will need to upgrade the body. In addition to that, and the new, Uber smooth AF-P lens, the camera for the Nikon D3400 to buy.