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Introduction

Those that want to get into the photography hobby have a wide range of excellent options on the DSLR market, for great entry-level options that deliver amazing value for their price and bring on the best packages for absolute beginners. These cameras are designed to be very easy to use, and generally isn’t very hard to get decent photographs with these cameras. All of the camera manufacturers produce their entry-level models, and while you can’t go wrong with their models, there are some that excel in this department better than the others, not because they necessarily deliver significantly better photos, however, this cameras teach you a good base about how to operate a camera, its controls, autofocus, exposures and are great stepping stones, and on top of all that they deliver the most bang for your buck.

As I mentioned every camera manufacturer has its entry-level DSLR models, however, no one excels at this job better than Nikon. While Canon is perhaps the biggest name in the camera market and has some solid options in the entry-level, it can’t compare to the entry-level prowess of Nikon. It has managed to produce one of the easiest to use and most fun cameras in the market, and that with a great price and a wide range of lenses to choose from. Today we are going to compare the Nikon D3400 and the D5600.

The Nikon D3400 is an entry-level digital single-lens reflex camera that was released on August 2016. This camera is also marketed for that category, and experienced hobbyists. It delivers excellently on its promise, and you will spot this camera on nearly every single beginner DSLR list because it is so good, one of the most fun cameras to use without a doubt.

On the other hand, the Nikon D5600 is also a digital single-lens reflex camera released in November 2016. It was marketed as a mid-range beginner or enthusiast camera, and since then it has become one of the first choices of beginner and even more experienced photographers. It is a little more expensive than the D3400, but well it has some advantages over it.

Now its time to take a deeper look into our competitors today.

Head To Head Comparison

Nikon D3400

Like I told you earlier, Nikon is the best manufacturer for beginner digital single-lens reflex cameras by a mile. It has accomplished that task with cameras, that don’t have countless features, just bare-bones DSLRs with the ability to take good photographs. The controls have always been very simple and intuitive, and in my opinion, there is no better way to start photography, as its cameras are going to show you the way without any doubt.

Back to the topic, the Nikon D3400 is a pretty good camera that is compatible with a wide range of lenses form the company’s lineup. This camera has a great set of controls that are very easy to use, and also will teach you how to shoot photography, with things like exposure, autofocus, ISO settings and many more. In addition to all this, it is one of the lightest in the market, has a great battery life, and works in a quiet manner. It would be a shame not to mention that it is one of the cheapest cameras on the market as well.

Like I said earlier, this is pretty light and compact camera, as it weighed just about close to 1 pound with the memory card and the battery. Fortunately, we get a pretty deep handgrip with this camera despite its small size, and on top of that on the rear, you will spot a thumb grip for better operation. As a whole, the camera has a pretty durable construction made of polycarbonate, not the best but will do for this small camera.

The Nikon D3400’s controls are excellent and they have very convenient placement, but on the other hand, you do not get a lot of controls. The optical viewfinder is good enough as it covers 95% of the scene and the 3-inch LCD display is pretty sharp with 921K resolution, but it isn’t vari-angle or tiltable, and has is not touch capacitive.

The autofocus performance in this camera is excellent despite using a pretty simple one with 11-points, of which just one is cross-type. It impressed me with its accuracy and speed, especially on still subjects which delivered a pleasant performance. On the other hand, it wasn’t capable of tracking moving subjects properly, due to low autofocus points, but then again for a beginner, this system is plenty and will deliver great photographs.

This camera uses a capable 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor, which is proven to deliver great photographs with plenty of sharpness, it is one of the most versatile sensors int the market. It has an ISO range that spans from 100 to 25,600, and it delivered a great performance in all of those settings, especially in the middle ground.

Performance-wise, it can shoot 5 frames per second on burst shooting mode, and it has some decent metering and white balance performance for it. Combined with its amazing battery life of a whopping 1,200 shots before needing a recharge, you can shoot all day long with this camera without any problem.

 

Nikon D5600

Most of the manufacturers focus on developing and designing, great entry-level models since it is intuitive to opt for the same brand when you upgrade to a more advanced camera. All of the manufacturers know this fact very well, but Nikon takes this to another level.

Next up we have the Nikon D5600, which was marketed as a mid-range model, however, in my opinion, this is one of the best options for beginner photographers, that are up for a challenge and want a camera that they won’t outgrow as fast as the D3400 for example. It has great image quality since it uses the same sensor as the D3400, but this time around it has a better image processor, a solid autofocus system, touchscreen capabilities, amazing enthusiast-level controls and tons of other decent features that will help make a better photographer out of yourself.

When you take both of these cameras sides by side you will not notice a lot of differences in their bodies. Yes, the Nikon D5600 is a little larger by a few millimeters and a little heavier by about some grams, overall they have the same design. What makes this camera upgraded is its better handgrip which delivers excellent and secure grip to the camera, as you can shoot one-handed without any problem. It also has a polycarbonate construction and the camera is very balanced overall, and even with huge lenses, it doesn’t feel disproportionate.

On the controls department, the D5600 still has some very intuitive controls like all Nikon cameras, however, compared to the D3400 it gives you more creative freedom with the added dial. On top of that, it is equipped with a 3.2-inch vari-angle touchscreen display at the back which is extremely sharp with 1.037m resolution and delivers excellent controls through it. The viewfinder is unremarkable as it sports the same one that D3400 uses.

Where these two devices separate is in the autofocus department, as the Nikon D5600 uses a 39-point Multi-CAM 4800DX autofocus system that is tried and tested. It has a great performance in single and continuous modes and is pretty precise and fast in tracking moving subjects, unlike the D3400. From the screen, you can select the autofocus points, while it is not the best Live View experience it is great.

In the image quality department the Nikon D5600 uses the same sensor as the D3400, the 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor, however, this time around Nikon has employed a better image processor the Expeed 4, which is extremely capable of delivering excellent photographs, in all situations. It has an ISO range that spans from 100 to 25,600, and overall it delivered a good performance throughout the range.

In the performance and speed department, it is pretty good the same as the former camera, delivering 5 frames per second in burst shooting mode, however, the quality was better when tracking fast-moving subjects. Coupled with the battery life of about 820 shots, this camera can shoot all day long without any problem.

Feature Comparison

Nikon D3400 Nikon D5600
Camera Type
DSLR
DSLR
Megapixels
24.2
24.2
ISO Range
100-25600
100-25600
Flip-Out Screen
No
Yes
AF Points
11 AF points
39 AF Points
Viewfinder
Yes
Yes
Touchscreen
No
Yes
Video Recording
Yes
Yes
Sensor Size
APS-C CMOS
APS-C CMOS

Conclusion

Before concluding this comparison between these two cameras I have to say that both of these cameras are great entry-level cameras that will teach you a lot about photography. While there are some differences between the two, they will not be very significant for the absolute beginner, but then again it is worth stating them.

Taking all these specs and performance into consideration the Nikon D3400 combined with our testing, I can say that this camera is perfect for landscape and sight photography. Great for absolute beginners that want to take things slow and don’t have a large budget, since this camera is extremely affordable.

Taking a look at the Nikon D5600, I can comfortably say that this is a better camera that offers more creative options, for beginners that want to progress further with a single camera, and even for enthusiasts and hobbyists. It is a little closer to the mid-range in the price department, but it delivers the most bang for your buck. Capable of shooting moving subjects while focusing accurately, the Nikon D5600 is better than its counterpart.