Getting started with the Nikon D3400
The Nikon D3400, thanks to its brand cachet and an aggressive price point, is likely to find its way into many new homes this holiday season. Many of you may be first-time photographers, so this combined how-to and review is designed for novices. I’ll do my best to keep it simple while still explaining the features of this complex and interesting device. In the box you’ll find a manual – always useful when I have trouble sleeping – … the body, the lens, the charger and the battery. I start by charging the battery.
Plug in the charger and place the battery – it only fits one way. The light flashes while it’s charging, solid when it’s done. In the meantime unwrap the camera and the lens. For a DSLR, the D3400’s body is plastic, small and light with a nice deep hand grip. Turn the cover on the camera to remove it, find the white spot beside the lens mount. Slide the cover from the back of the lens and find its white spot.
Now is the tricky part – lineup the white spots, slide the lens on and turn it until it clicks. There’s one more item in the box – … the strap. Not everyone likes to use the strap or puts it on the same way. Here’s how I go. Take both things off the strap and put the slider back on. With the top of the strap and the Nikon logo on the clip facing you, slide the strap thru the back and out again. Then with the top of the strap facing you, slide the strap under the camera’s eyelet, loosen the strap to slide both through both sides of the clip. Finally, position the slider to hold the loose end – and repeat on the other side. There is an essential accessory that’s not included – a memory card. This camera supports SDHC and SDXC cards. Use the UHS 3 type for recording video. The card door, conveniently on the right side, slide the card door and insert the card – it only fits one way – until it snaps into place. To remove it, a little push pops it back out. Battery door, on the bottom – far enough from the tripod mount not to get in the way.
Turn the camera on. To highlight the language, press the top or bottom of the big dial on the right side of the back to select. Press OK. We’ll set up Snapbridge – Nikon’s smartphone app later. Press menu on the left side to go on. Select a time zone, date and time. The camera displays the shooting settings screen. Press menu. We’re going to format the SD card, so make sure to backup any existing images on the card first. If the wrench on the left side is not highlighted, press the left side of the back dial and navigate to it. Press right and select Format memory card. Press the center for OK, press up and OK again.
Pinch and remove the lens cap, press the button on the side of the lens and turn the large barrel to unlock. Place your eye on the viewfinder to see the image. If it’s not sharp, use the diopter dial to adjust to your vision. The D3400, like other DSLR cameras, has a mirror which makes it ideal for shooting with the viewfinder. For the moment it’s easier for me to show you how it works using the LCD screen. The viewfinder screen looks and works slightly differently. Press the LV button to release the mirror and view the scene. Adjust the zoom barrel on the lens if needed.
For now I’ve left the mode dial in its green auto position. Press lightly on the shutter button (beep) the camera makes automatic focus and exposure adjustments. The focus rectangle turns green and the camera beeps when it’s ready. Press the shutter down to take the picture. Press the Play button to see the photo you’ve just taken. Great Nikon colour, perfect exposure and focus.
That’s really all you need to know – except that the camera can do better and you may not be completely happy. Oh, there’s no need to be slow or wait at the soft press stage. The D3400 reacts very quickly and can set both focus and exposure about as fast as you can press. Let’s go back to the menu and up to the camera settings. By default, Image quality is NORMal. The camera is capable of FINE, so let’s move up to that. The difference isn’t the size of the image, it’s detail. Fine saves twice as much information – more detail and that’s a good thing.
There’s also the NEF (RAW) +JPEG fine setting. RAW files capture all the information directly from the sensor- bigger files, more detail – but more work. More about raw later. By default the D3400 takes large 24 megapixel files, that’s good for me. Let’s go back to the still life. The camera decided to focus on the orange in the bowl, but I’d like to have the pear in focus. Point the camera at the pear. Soft press and while holding the soft press recompose to get the shot before pressing all the way. Or press on the back dial to move the focus point. There’s enough light on this scene that the flash didn’t fire, but the flash may – rightly or wrongly – pop up when you least expect it. Turn the mode dial one past auto to suppress the flash. In many cases the image will turn out fine. I’ve made several videos to help you master the D3400. They’re listed in the description below. Thanks for watching. Please use the comments area below to ask questions. I do reply to all civil and relevant comments..
As found on Youtube
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Last Minute Memorial Day Tech DealsMay 28, 2018 - Forbes
This Memorial Day Weekend, save $500 off the Nikon DSLR D3400 Camera 2-Lens Kit at Target. Perfect for beginners, the Nikon DSLR D3400 features SnapBridge, so your high-quality videos and photos automatically sync to your smartphone or tablet for...
Nikon D3400 review: the best entry-level DSLR money can buyMarch 15, 2018 - T3
Nikon's entry level DSLRs focus – pun intended – on the important things: light weight, small bodies, simple design and excellent results, alongside the many benefits of interchangeable lenses. This is an update to the excellent D3300 with lighter...
Stunning simplicity Photos and videos captured with the D3400 and a superb NIKKOR lens are as vibrant and lifelike as the moments they preserve.
The D3400 is a 24.2MP DSLR that's compact and lightweight and features SnapBridge connectivity to easily and quickly share images.
Buy Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm Lens (D3400 Black Camera) featuring 24.2MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor, EXPEED 4 Image Processor. Review Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera