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Introduction

You’ve probably heard or had the chance to use one of these cameras, since they are both very popular among photographers, due to the affordable price, and the excellent set of features.

For people who are just starting out, or for those who want to replace their current camera with a DSLR camera, these two options would be the ideal choice, while I’ve had the chance to test them both, and all I can say is that they have a decent performance, not bad for the price, and they are perfect for beginners.

Why we say perfect for beginners? Because most of the time, people who are just starting out, they immediately purchase a premium DSLR camera, while most of the premium features are still unknown to the users, which results to an unsatisfying experience. These entry-level DSLRs are perfect for such people, because they have the most common features found in many other DSLRs at this price range, but they slightly differentiate from the mass market due to some advantages in specifications, and design.

The easy-to-use operation is key to drawing the attention of the audience, a perk which the manufacturer has done a great job with, in this case.

Nonetheless, for this article, we will try to point out even the slightest differences between the Nikon D3300 and the Nikon D3400, while at the end, hopefully, we come to a decision of which camera is the best, and which one outperforms the other in which situations.

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Head To Head Comparison

Nikon D3300

Some people like to express themselves through photography, and taking that life is full of moments, a camera can really be a key factor in many people’s happiness. While some of us want a camera just for doing our work, some find it as a hobby or a thing that simply makes them happy. For such hobbyists and photography enthusiasts, the Nikon D3300 makes it fun and easy to preserve those moments in the lifelike beauty they deserve.

Firstly, to review this camera, we’ll start off with the design.

The Nikon D3300 comes in a small and light construction, and it remains so even if you pair it with the included AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR II lens, so in other words, it has an ultra-compact design. Therefore, this combination brings out a design which enables the camera to fit comfortably in your hands, while all the buttons and dials are placed in a convenient spot for easy usage and efficient operation. Due to the compact design, this camera can serve you well if you’re a traveler, you can basically take it anywhere you go.

Now, taking into consideration the fact that this camera comes at a very affordable price, don’t expect the LCD screen to be similar to those high-end DSLRs. It has a 3.0-inch display on the rear which sits flush to the body, while it doesn’t have touchscreen capabilities, and despite the popular belief, I don’t really find this disappointing, because it’s an entry-level DSLR, and it has a price as such, along with the features. Although, there is one thing I’m not really impressed with, the optical viewfinder which offers a 95% field of view. I think the manufacturer could have done a better job because there are many rivals out there who offer better specs than this.

Nonetheless, the screen is bright and clear, while the 95% field of view doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a change of something appearing in the final image that you didn’t notice when framing up your shot.

Okay, enough with the design, let’s get more into the specifics now, and see what this camera it’s truly capable of.

It has a 24.2-megapixel sensor which is able to shoot photos and 1080p Full HD video with tack-sharp details, vibrant colors and softly blurred backgrounds. In addition, it has an EXPEED 4 image processor which lets you shoot at high speeds up to 5 frames per second, which isn’t really groundbreaking, but it’s enough for an entry-level DSLR. It’s also great for low light and high ISO sensitivity, while you can also create high-resolution panoramas as well.

When it comes to the AF system, the D3300’s 11-point autofocus system is amazing, and I really like it because it locks onto your subjects as soon as they enter the frame, while it maintains focus until you’re ready to capture the shot. From my experience, I found it to work well even with fast-moving subjects, so you won’t have to worry about that either.

One of the most appealing features of this camera is the Active D-Lighting which preserves the details and tones in whichever condition the photo was taken, dark or bright, shadows won’t be a problem. The D-Lighting in the Retouch menu will provide correction for portraits, basically, it will highlight the subjects against an evenly lit background.

In terms of connections, the camera’s Wi-Fi capability using the WU-1a Wireless Adapter can be used with compatible iOS devices or smart devices that run the Android operating system. But take in mind, that the Wireless Mobile Utility has to be installed first on the device before you can use it with the camera.

To conclude, the Nikon D3300 is not what you’d expect, but again, taking into consideration that it comes at a fairly reasonable and affordable price, it makes up for a great entry-level DSLR.

Nikon D3300 Sample Images:

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Nikon D3400

Nikon D3400 is a highly-rated and widely recognized entry-level DSLR which has been a popular option for years, just like the Nikon D3300, its predecessor, these two cameras boast similar specs and performance, although, in this case, the successor, does come at a slightly different price than the predecessor, and we’re going to see why in just a bit.

In terms of the design, this camera boasts a small and lightweight construction which makes it preferable for travelers, while it has a decent-sized grip for various hand sizes, basically, everyone will find it comfortable to hold this camera. In addition, the camera also includes a spot on the rear which is made specifically for the user to place the thumb, thus, you won’t be messing up the controls while shooting.

Since we’re speaking about the design, let’s also mention the 3-inch LCD screen which has a respectable resolution of 921k dots, although, I’m really disappointed at the fact that the D3400 doesn’t feature adjustability to face different angles. Other than that, there is also a viewfinder which is based on a pentamirror construction, but yet again, there’s no improvement in this aspect or whatsoever, the field of view remains the same as in the D3300, 95%.

Okay, now let’s get more into the specifics and talk more about its performance.

The D3400 has a 24MP sensor, which is good enough but yet again, this specification remains the same as in the predecessor, the D3300. Until now, there’s definitely no need to upgrading to D3400 if you already own a D3300. But there is though one thing I like about the sensor, what’s really impressing is that the sensor inside the D3400 doesn’t have an optical low-pass filter, which results in more detailed images, crisp subject, even if you try to view the image at their full size in different software.

In addition, the Nikon D3400 has a decent ISO range of 100-25,600, which translates to a one-stop expansion over the native ISO12,800 range, for instance like its predecessor the D3300.

Let’s not forget to mention that this camera runs the Nikon’s EXPEED 4 processing engine, while this helps for 5fps burst shooting, but did you notice that there is no improvement here as well, the stats remain the same as in the D3300. Oh, and it can also record Full HD video at 60p.

Another aspect at which I’m really disappointed at is that Nikon has not included 4K capabilities here as well, so for some people who are looking for such specific features, then maybe this camera won’t be the one that they’re after, but if you’re just starting out, just as we mentioned in the beginning, then you don’t really need 4K.

To continue, the autofocus system remains the same as well, featuring an 11-point AF system similar to the Nikon’s D3300, having a single cross-type point in the center of its array. But with this, you are given the option to enable the camera to focus continuously on a subject, along with Nikon’s 3D tracking technology, and above all, the camera can also continue to autofocus even in live view and when recording.

Manual focus is also possible, and it can be found in the menu where it can also obe optimized using the ring at the front of the camera’s kit lens.

Before we end, I’d also like to mention that Nikon hasn’t included Wi-Fi inside the body, but there’s another option available, the Snapbrige technology which means you can still use wireless image transmission, while there is also Bluetooth available, so you’ll have other options available.

All and all, I don’t really think that the Nikon D3400 is worth the money, because it mostly remains the same as its predecessor when it comes to specs, features, and performance. So, if you are to choose between these two cameras, I would definitely recommend the Nikon D3300 over the D3400, because it delivers great value for the money.

Nikon D3400 Sample Images:

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Feature Comparison

Nikon D3300 Nikon D3400
Camera Type
DSLR
DSLR
Megapixels
24.0
24.0
ISO Range
100-12800 (25600 with expansion)
100-25,600
Flip-Out Screen
No
No
AF Points
11 AF points
11 AF points
Viewfinder
Yes
Yes
Touchscreen
No
No
Video Recording
Yes
Yes
Sensor Size
CMOS
CMOS

Conclusion

These cameras are both great entry-level DSLRs, however, I still think that the Nikon D3300 delivers better value for the money.

The Nikon D3400 hasn’t been upgraded much from its predecessor, in fact, their specs mostly remain the same, but in some cases, for example for videography, the Nikon D3400 performs better.

They are both great for people who travel due to their decent size and lightweight construction, while the Nikon D3300 is better for still photography, portrait and landscapes, the Nikon D3400 is better for wedding recordings and other videography situations.