Written by Sanne

Expert review of the Nikon D3400

As a novice photographer, getting started with a complicated SLR camera can be quite a challenge. You have no idea which settings to use on your camera in order to get the result. The Nikon D3400 helps you out. I tried out the camera, discovered all the options, and checked out how quickly you can master it.

First impression

I immediately noticed the weight the first time I picked up the camera. The camera has a compact design that makes it easy to hold the rubber grip with 1 hand. The settings dial shows that the camera has two interesting settings: the effects and the guide mode. The difference between the options for novice photographers and more experienced photographers is immediately clear from the design of the settings dial.

Guide mode

Nikon D3400 guide mode

The Nikon D3400 is a perfect camera for novice photographers thanks to the guide mode. Although I didn't need the option when photographing, I can imagine that's not familiar with the technical aspects can learn from it. For all kinds of scenes, the camera explains the camera settings. For instance, it clearly explains how to soften the background when making a portrait photo and how to set the aperture.


D3400 effects

Using the effects option on the settings dial, the camera lays an effects layer over the photo. You can for instance create a photo with a miniature effect or show an object in color on a black-and-white photo. Initially, I wasn't sure people would be very interested in these options, as they can also be done with editing software later. Still, if you don't use Photoshop or Lightroom, these ready-to-go options can come in handy.


D3400 app

These days, there's an app for almost every camera that lets you see photos on your smartphone right away. For this camera, it's the Snapbridge App. Via Bluetooth, there's a constant connection between the camera and your smartphone or tablet. Photos are automatically transferred. It let me take a good look at my photos on my bigger smartphone screen. After that, I could share them on Instagram right away.

Light sensitivity

D3400 light sensitivity

It's best to take a picture at the lowest possible ISO value to limit image noise. The higher the ISO value, the grainier the image will become. This camera has a maximum ISO value of 25,600, which is very high, even for 24.3 megapixels. Luckily, the camera lets you set your own maximum of for instance 6,400. That way, even in automatic mode, your photos won't suffer from image noise.


This is a great lightweight camera for novice photographers who don't know much about camera settings but want to learn. The guide mode helps the photographer take pictures in different situations. Although I didn't use it myself, the effects are handy for someone without Photoshop experience. The Snapbridge App makes sharing photos very easy, enabling you to show off the results of your learning process to everyone.

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