Gear - January 19, 2017

Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera Review

By Adam Parr

How many times have you found yourself reaching for your cell phone in an attempt to capture a photo that looks so utterly badass in real life, only to be left with an image that resembles a small, blurry, pathetic blob? Sound familiar? I’m guilty. In today’s day and age, we all enjoy to take pictures with our iPhone but more often than not (unless the object is less than 10 yards away) we end up disappointed with the results. This is 2017 and it’s time to step up your photography game.

Whether you’re an avid outdoorsman or a connoisseur of good quality photography, you’ve most likely had thoughts of one day purchasing a good quality camera. Since starting Transition Wild in 2015, I’ve been longing to improve my photography and I finally made it happen with my purchase of a Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera. After putting this piece of equipment to the test over the past few weeks with pictures of wildlife, landscapes, humans, and everything in between, I’ve been exceptionally pleased with the overall quality and functionality of this camera.

The Nikon D3400 has all of the characteristics and features that matter most to me as a beginner outdoor photographer which include:

  • Easy To Use Controls
  • Relatively Low Cost
  • Lightweight Compact Design
  • Great Photo Quality

Easy To Use With Room To Grow

Like with any new DSLR camera, there is a bit of a learning curve in order to take good quality photos but what I quickly realized with the Nikon D3400 is that it’s easy to take great photos right out of the box. After watching a quick tutorial video, I was getting magazine quality shots within minutes using the auto picture mode. Complimentary to the auto-focus and picture controls, this camera leaves plenty of room to grow with advanced settings and manual modes when I’m ready to move up to the next level.

Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera

A large 3″ LCD screen is a nice feature for reviewing photos in the field.

Another nice feature that I really like about this camera is the extra large 3″ LCD display for reviewing pictures in the field and adjusting camera controls, which caters well to a beginner like myself.

Low Cost – Best Value

Much like televisions, laptops, and other consumer electronic devices, DSLR cameras have been dropping in price and improving in quality over the last decade. In addition to the camera body itself and a standard 18-55mm lens, you can add higher magnification lenses (for taking photos of objects further away) as well as other essentials such as memory cards, tripods and carrying cases.

Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera

The very basic starter kit includes two lenses, a memory card, and a protective carrying case.

I went with a package deal that includes two lenses (18-55mm / 70-300mm), a 16GB memory card, and a carrying case, which is everything a beginner needs to get started taking great quality photos for under $600 USD.

Lightweight Compact Design

As a hunter first and a photographer second, one of the main driving factors to ultimately purchasing this particular model camera was its compact and lightweight design. Weighing in at less than 14 ounces and overall dimensions of 4.9 x 3.9 x 3.0 inches, these features allow me to save precious space and pounds when tackling rugged mountain terrain with an already heavy pack.

Great Picture Quality

The Nikon D3400 is by no means the most advanced and highest quality camera on the planet but for what it offers in picture quality to the amateur photographer, it’s hard to find a camera with better overall value. This really goes without saying but at a 24 megapixel image quality and various exposure settings for diverse environments, you really can’t go wrong.

Estes Park Colorado Elk

I was able to capture an amazing (unedited) photo of this Colorado bull elk on the second day using the Nikon D3400.

Estes Park Colorado Elk

A few cow elk look up to see what all the commotion is about. This camera takes spectacular photos right out of the box.

View the entire album of elk photos on the Transition Wild Facebook Page.

In addition to taking spectacular still photos, this Nikon camera shoots amazing video in full HD 1080p. I was also pleasantly surprised with the audio quality even without an external microphone. If you plan on shooting video, make sure to pick up a good camera tripod to produce quality footage that isn’t shaky.

Do Yourself A Favor

With so many brands, options, and models on the market today, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to decide on the right camera for yourself, especially if you have zero prior photography experience. With a trusted name like Nikon and it’s unmatched value, this is a camera that is ideal for the beginner yet will allow advanced growth throughout the years. Do yourself a favor, step up your game in 2017 and buy the D3400 DSLR Camera from Nikon.

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