The Nikon D3400 is the best entry-level DSLR for those looking to improve their photography and learn the ins and outs of tweaking camera settings. The D3400 has some of the best image quality we’ve ever seen at this price, along with excellent battery life, Bluetooth connectivity, 1080/60p video, silent autofocus for video, easy-to-use controls, and a Guide Mode to help you learn—and it’s widely available for less than $500.
Nikon continues to put better sensors into its entry-level cameras than main rival Canon, which means you get cleaner images when you shoot in low light and can capture a wider range of darks and lights in a single photo. Add to that a superior kit lens and a mode specifically designed to teach beginners how to shoot and you end up with a camera that makes it easier for beginners to capture better images.
The D3400 edged out its predecessor, the Nikon D3300, which has been our pick for the past two years running, but if you don’t care about Bluetooth, the Nikon D3300 will get you almost identical image quality, a stronger flash, a built-in panorama mode (dropped in the D3400) and sensor cleaning. It generally costs a bit less than the D3400.
If you plan to focus on video and are willing to sacrifice usability and still-image quality for better video features, the Canon T5i is a good option (and for most beginners, it makes more sense than the newer T6i on account of its substantially lower price). The T5i has a tilting LCD touchscreen that’s a major boon for videography at weird angles and a better autofocus system. But you won’t get the same battery life, overall performance, or, most important, image quality that you do with the D3400.
If you already know your way around a camera, the Pentax K-S2 offers powerful features in an affordable package: Wi-Fi/NFC for transferring images wirelessly to your phone, a better viewfinder, autofocus and image stabilization for older lenses, and tools to aid with manual focus for when you want it. But that all comes with a much steeper learning curve, as the Pentax lacks anything like Nikon’s Guide Mode to help new users figure out their camera. While the K-S2 was initially too expensive to make it a worthy contender, its price has dropped considerably since our last update. Pentax models are more prone to dramatic price freefalls than nearly any other manufacturer.
At The Wirecutter, we’ve been suggesting low-cost DSLRs to our readers since 2012. The two writers of this guide have more than 15 years of hands-on experience reviewing, using, testing, and recommending cameras from every possible price point. Tim Barribeau is The Wirecutter’s camera and imaging editor; his work has appeared in DPReview, PopPhoto, Imaging Resource, and Reviewed.com, not to mention the countless recommendations he’s written for The Wirecutter. Mike Perlman has written about cameras since 2007 for DPReview, Gizmodo, Petapixel, TechnoBuffalo, infoSync World, Reviewed, and Camcorderinfo. He is also a professional photographer and videographer.
If you’re tired of trying to capture beautiful photographs or videos with your smartphone, want more out of your photos, and are interested in learning the ins and outs of how a camera’s settings can affect resulting images—that’s where a DSLR like the D3400 comes in.
DSLRs have much larger imaging sensors than budget point-and-shoots and smartphones (which means better performance with less light and being able to capture a wider range of lights and darks in a single image), more manual controls (which let you fine-tune how your photos will look), and the versatility of interchangeable lenses for different subjects (which means more options for capturing the perspective you want). They also let you use high-power flashes so you can control your lighting conditions, and most DSLRs today can even record impressive HD video footage—better than your old camcorder—with external microphones for a soundtrack that matches your images. DSLRs even give you more options after you’re done shooting, since they can record what are known as raw images, a larger type of file that stores more data than a JPEG, which you can edit with Photoshop, Lightroom, or other image editing software to get the best photos possible.
Great budget DSLRs—like our top pick in this guide—can even teach you to be a better photographer, walking you through the process of shooting in various modes by providing helpful hints and guides embedded in their control menus.
Plus, you look far more legit with a DSLR in your hand than an iPhone.
If you’ve outgrown your current low-end DSLR and are ready to take the next step into intermediate territory, head on over to our midrange DSLR guide and start reading. Midrange DSLRs feature a greater array of external controls, more granular settings, custom shooting modes, and other tools that more experienced users will appreciate. Generally they are larger and heavier, and they handle better as a result—a larger grip is easier to hold on to for long periods of shooting, and a heavier body not only means higher-quality construction but also helps keep your hand steady.
Nearly all midrange DSLRs have a handy LCD info screen on the top of the grip side of the camera that lets you change settings quickly while using less battery than a rear screen. Control dials in the front and back let you swiftly adjust shutter speed and aperture, and large-coverage optical viewfinders give you a better representation of what your camera sees. You can expect sharper image quality with a wider dynamic range and bolder colors from higher-resolution sensors.
Many midlevel DSLRs also have highly upgraded autofocus systems. For instance, while the Nikon D3400 has 11 AF points with one cross-type point, the D7200 has 51, and 15 of them are the desirable cross-type. The more cross-type points, the more accurate and quicker your camera will focus. Midlevel models also have higher ISO thresholds, wider shutter speed ranges, and assignable quick function buttons. The best part is that the crop sensor lenses you’ve been using will transfer right over, granted you stick with the same brand.
That’s a very, very good question. It’s a tough choice between a mirrorless camera and a DSLR, as they provide very different sets of strengths and weaknesses—and they both take excellent photos.
Generally speaking, a mirrorless camera will be significantly smaller and lighter than a DSLR, but with equivalent image quality. Mirrorless cameras tend to have more modern feature sets that include touchscreens, Wi-Fi integration, and focus peaking, and they generally run on the more affordable side. But they tend to focus more slowly than DSLRs and have a battery that lasts fewer shots. Their small size means shooting for long periods can be uncomfortable for your hands, you have fewer lenses to choose from, and you’re limited to electronic viewfinders (which are generally seen as inferior to optical ones) where you even get a viewfinder at all.
If you came of age shooting digital cameras and you’re used to holding your camera out from your body and looking at the screen, rather than holding it up against your eye, you might not even miss not having a viewfinder on a low-end model. And a portable, light camera that you’re likely to take with you everywhere might be a better match for you than a bulkier DSLR that you might end up leaving sitting on the shelf. Honestly, for a beginner user, a smaller, lighter mirrorless camera makes a lot of sense over a DSLR. If you’re interested in what your options are, have a look at “What Camera Should I Buy?” for advice.
An entry-level DSLR has to be able to do a lot these days. It has to provide excellent image quality, including low noise and a wide dynamic range. It has to be easy enough to use that someone who has never tried a complex camera before can learn how to handle it, but it still has to offer manual controls that photographers can graduate into as they improve their skills. And it has to be affordable enough to be someone’s first foray into more advanced photography.
Most cameras in this class to date have struggled in one or more of these areas, but the Nikon D3400 checks enough of these boxes that we can confidently recommend it as the best option for a low-cost DSLR.
We spent hours researching DSLRs that had been identified as top budget picks by the top photography sites in the world—DxOMark, DPReview, Photography Blog, CNET, and more. We also pored over customer reviews on Amazon, B&H, Adorama, and other top retailers, and we drew on our own years of experience with trends in photography.
Once we assembled our candidates, we brought them in for six hours of hands-on testing. Important parameters like image quality, focusing speed, menu layout, features, handling, and battery life were all put to the test; in the end, the Nikon D3400 proved to be the best DSLR for beginner photographers on a budget.
The Nikon D3400 is Nikon’s current entry-level model, and while it’s available for around $500, it can take better photos than cameras that sell for hundreds more. It’s designed so that it’s easy enough for a total newbie to use, but it has all the manual controls they could need as they get more and more comfortable, plus an impressive video mode with silent autofocus, and a still-image burst mode that can capture action at five frames per second.
Right now, Nikon is putting better sensors into its low-end cameras, which means that the D3400 takes nicer photographs than comparable Canon models. Despite the fact that Canon recently upgraded the sensor in the T6i, it still underperforms compared to the D3400. That better sensor means the D3400 is able to capture a wider range of lights and darks in your images: bright areas won’t be as overexposed and washed out, and you’ll still be able to see details in the shadows instead of underexposed black splotches. And if you have to crank up the ISO sensitivity up to shoot in low light, you’ll see less of the speckling of digital noise than you would with the competition.
A direct comparison between the image quality of the D3400 and the Canon T5i by DxOMark (who do detailed and in-depth testing of the data from the sensor to compare between cameras) found that the Nikon has more than two stops1 more of dynamic range than the Canon: that means your photos will have substantially more information and detail in highlights and shadows. The Nikon also has significantly better low-light capabilities: ISO 1200 on the Nikon D3400 looks as good as ISO 700 on the Canon T5i. And the better color score means that the Nikon is able to capture more subtle variations in coloring for smoother, cleaner looking images.
PCMag’s review pointed out that details in the D3400’s images remain clear even when you crank up the sensitivity to shoot in dim light, even up to ISO 3200, in which “detail holds up well.” Even raw images at 3200 “show strong detail with not that much grain.” Higher than 3200, things get increasingly smudgy “at ISO 6400, but it’s still a solid option for shooting in dim light, running circles around what a smartphone or low-cost point-and-shoot can manage.” Basically, you’ll have no trouble getting usable shots at your next dinner party as long as you put away your iPhone and keep the D3400 locked and loaded.
The D3400 doesn’t just have the best sensor and software performance in its class—it also has one of the better kit lenses among beginner DSLRs. Nikon’s new collapsible AF-P 18-55mm Nikkor lens is a pretty fantastic and sharp lens, and it also helps keep the camera’s size down when not in use. The downside of the new lens is that you can lose precious time extending it before shooting—but if that’s really an issue, you can just leave it extended. What’s great about Nikon’s new AF-P lens is that it utilizes a stepping motor to achieve speedy, ultra quiet focusing. This is particularly useful in video mode, providing much quieter focusing than the D3300’s lens.
Nikon has caught up with the competition and equipped the D3400 with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity. This enables the camera to transfer captured images right to a smartphone automatically via its SnapBridge app. Camera Labs was quite fond of this feature: “When set to automatically transfer resized 2 Megapixel images, your photos ‘magically’ appear on your phone moments after taking them without intervention; you literally pull your phone out of your pocket and the photo you just took with the D3400 is waiting for you, ready for sharing.”
That’s the experience we had once we got it working, though only after a grueling connectivity battle in which it took several attempts for the camera to link up with an iPhone 6. Once the connection was made, the D3400 successfully transferred any new images to the phone as long as both were powered on and the SnapBridge app was launched—and would readily re-pair when the two had been separated. A few caveats here: only resized 2-megapixel images can be automatically transferred, and raw images cannot. Full resolution JPEGs can be sent to a smartphone, but they must be manually selected from the app and transmission time is very long. Images can also be embedded with GPS information and labeled with artist, camera settings, and time and date information. After several shoots, we came to find that the D3400 always connected and transferred images in the background. For posting to the web, this is an ideal setup, and would even work in more professional environments as a way to show clients previews on location, though the D3400 is certainly not designed for commercial work.
The D3400 uses the same image processor as the D3300, giving it a burst rate of five frames per second, which is on par with Canon’s T6i and T6 and sufficient for basic fast-action photography needs.
Nikon has not changed the video capabilities of the D3400 as it can still shoot 1080p video at your choice of 60, 50, 30, 25, or 24 frames per second. The inclusion of 1080/60p video recording—ideal for capturing fluid, seamless slow motion or action-packed sporting events—gives the D3400 a significant edge over the competition at this price point.
The D3400 can autofocus during video recording with a simple half-press of the shutter button, or automatically (what Nikon refers to as “Servo AF in video mode”). It’s simple, extremely effective, and accurate. Autofocus noise has been much reduced over the D3300, courtesy of the new AF-P 18-55mm kit lens, and the ability to silently autofocus in video mode while shooting 1080/60p (especially on a DSLR under $500) should be very attractive to those looking to shoot video (though the Canon T5i makes a better choice overall for video). Though the AF can hunt from time to time, the one-press Servo function remains locked until the shutter button is pressed halfway again. In addition, the lens has a buttery smooth manual focus ring.
The D3400 also packs some of the longest battery life around, significantly surpassing that of its competition. The D3400’s battery is rated for 1,200 shots on a single charge, whereas Canon’s options run from 440 (T6i) to 500 (T6), depending on the model and how you shoot with the thing. That’s quite a leap from the D3300’s 700 shots, isn’t it? To achieve that Nikon significantly reduced the power of the D3400’s flash by half in order to pound out more exposures for when it was being tested for battery life certification. A weaker flash means less draw on the battery. So, if you took the D3300’s more powerful flash and threw it onto the D3400, you would expect about the same battery life of 700 shots. Sneaky, yes, but battery life is honestly still better than the competition.
Nikon’s entry-level DSLRs have a special shooting tool called “Guide Mode” that holds your hands as you learn to use the technical settings rather than dropping you in the deep end of the traditional PASM (that’s Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual) modes. And then, once you have a handle on things, you can switch it off. Nikon’s Guide Mode is basically a tour guide for beginner photographers. It functions like an information booth in that it lets the shooter narrow down a desired style like blurred background or sports, and explains the technique used to achieve that style. As an example, in Easy Operation mode, the D3400 will offer a slew of options from “Closeup” to “Night Portrait,” explaining the settings in aperture, ISO, white balance, and shutter speed, etc., in order to capture the particular shot. Guide Mode is like a portable photography class that boosts confidence to bridge the gap between Auto and Manual modes.
The D3400 upholds the current trend in camera design to remove the optical low-pass filter (OLPF) or anti-aliasing (AA) filter. What this filter does is make the image a tiny bit softer to prevent moiré when photographing fine patterns. A number of cameras have had these filters removed to boost image sharpness by a small degree.
But it’s up for debate if it makes a noticeable improvement or not. “Images are very sharp with lots of detail, thanks in part to the D3400’s lack of an optical low-pass filter in front of its 24.2-megapixel sensor says Imaging Resource. TechRadar claims that with “no low-pass filter in front of its sensor, it’s possible to record a very good level of detail in images, particularly if you use a high-quality prime lens, a macro optic or one of Nikon’s pro-oriented zooms.” While if it does make a difference, it’s probably not huge, the removal of the filter certainly doesn’t seem to hurt the D3400.
DPReview writes that “compared to other cameras on the market the D3400’s sensor is still at the top of its class in terms of Raw processing latitude and overall JPEG performance. It has built in Bluetooth LE that works fairly well with the SnapBridge app for transferring images, but it can be a bit cumbersome to use (especially on iOS devices, since the app is relatively new and rough ’round the edges).”
Techradar thinks: “Viewed in isolation, the Nikon D3400 is a fine performer and more than enough camera for most people just getting started with DSLR photography. Its body is small and light and its specs, while very similar to its predecessor’s, are perfectly decent for a model of its class. Image and video quality is more than satisfactory too, and with the further benefit of in-camera raw processing, you can also polish up your creations quickly and easily for immediate use.”
According to CNET, “Like the D3300 before it, the D3400 is a good choice for competent and inexpensive, general-purpose first dSLR, and despite [any] nitpicks, is still better than current similarly priced competitors.”
Aside from labeling it the “new class leader,” DxOMark comments: “As an entry-level APS-C model, the Nikon D3400 is difficult to beat in terms of sensor performance. Nikon has tweaked the sensor to the same level as the pricier D5500. However, except for the SnapBridge connectivity option, the D3400 is very close to that of the older and cheaper D3300, in terms of features and controls. While the bump in image quality is welcome, it’s not as though the D3300 was underperforming in any way, at least when compared with its rivals. But packaged with a new AF-P type kit lens that promises improved AF in live view, the D3400 is a step in the right direction.”
Photography Blog says that “despite the lack of any real advances other than longer battery life and Snapbridge connectivity, we can continue to highly recommend the new Nikon D3400 as a great camera for beginners, thanks mainly to the price decrease and the new kit lens.”
PCMag says that “for those who prefer the form factor and optical viewfinder of an SLR, or have already their own Nikon lenses, the D3400 offers quick, accurate autofocus, superb image quality, and easy smartphone connectivity—all strong pulls for family snapshooters. Add the Guide Mode, which is an excellent in-camera resource that will help you take better photographs without delving into tutorials or thumbing through a user manual, and you have a solid choice for the price.”
Ken MacMahon at Camera Labs thinks that while it’s sad to see features like the microphone jack and sensor cleaning axed, “the improved movie AF from the new lens, the longer battery life and in particular the addition of SnapBridge are much more important for most owners. While it’s still early days for SnapBridge and the implementation a little rough around the edges, there’s no denying it provides a much simpler and more straightforward way of sharing photos than most Wi-fi implementations.”
There are still a couple of things that are a bit less than fantastic about the D3400, which made this decision quite difficult.
For starters, the D3300’s Panorama mode has been cut from the D3400 for reasons unknown. We feel that keeping it would have provided the D3400 with yet another reason for people to put their smartphones down in favor of a far-more-capable DSLR, and we can hear it now: “Even my iPhone has Panorama!”
Nikon is also a bit behind is in screen technology. Most of the competition has either slightly higher-resolution LCDs (1,044,000 dots to the 921,000 on the D3400), hinged screens, or touchscreens (or some combination of the above). Again, the D3400’s display is not a dealbreaker, but the screen could have been done better, and if a touchscreen is done right, it can be a handy tool, especially for choosing focus points. The Canon T5i offers a prime example of a touchscreen done right and is ideal for video recording with touch focus.
Nikon’s power reduction of the D3400’s built-in flash was purely motivated by the potential to score much higher on the CIPA battery rating. Even on paper, a jump from 700 to 1,200 shots should raise an eyebrow, and it didn’t take long to figure out that it was too good to be true. This is because battery rating tests are performed with the flash firing at full power every other shot. So if you look at the fact that Nikon reduced the D3400’s full power output to half the D3300’s, it’s no wonder battery life leapt to new heights. Advanced shooters will want a decent aftermarket flash regardless, but we feel there was no need to weaken a flash that was already weak, comparatively speaking.
Nikon also got rid of the 3.5-millimeter microphone jack in the D3400. While this probably will not affect most shooters, those looking for a budget filmmaking option will feel neglected. There’s no room to grow without the ability to connect a high quality shotgun mic. The D3400 offers frame rates up to 1080/60p, silent focus, and full manual control in video mode, so the lack of this connectivity is unfortunate, and is something that will corral more video-oriented shooters into Canon’s pen.
Another feature that fell by the wayside is the automatic sensor cleaning. While it’s likely that most D3400 owners will just stick with the kit lens, the lack of a sensor cleaning unit increases the chances that dust and particles will find a way to cling to the sensor during lens removal, leading to dark spots on images. In-camera sensor cleaning is a highly useful tool, and it’s sad to see it go for what can be surmised as another way to improve the camera’s CIPA battery score.
The D3400’s autofocus system isn’t quite as nice as either the Canon T5i nor the K-S2, both of which have 9 and we delve more into the differences below.
Our previous pick, the Nikon D3300, came close to remaining our top pick. It’s got image quality that is second only to the D3400 according to DxOMark, a more powerful flash, built-in sensor cleaning, a mic jack, and panorama mode. What the D3300 lacks over the D3400 is Bluetooth, though an adapter can be purchased to not only transfer images but to control the camera as well. I had a less-than-joyous experience with the adapter on the D3300, and its price accounts for the gap between the D3300 and the D3400. The D3400 also has the benefit of the silent autofocus lens, which is one of its selling points. If BLE is not a requirement, the D3300 offers more than the D3400 at a lower price point.
If you think you’re going to be shooting more video than still photography, or you’re a budding filmmaker on a student budget, a good way to go would be the Canon EOS T5i. With a lens well suited to videography, a tilting touchscreen, and compatibility with third-party firmware, there’s a lot there for a video fans to like. That said, in terms of ease of use, battery life, and image quality, it still lags behind the D3400. The newer Canon T6i is an improvement over the T5i in most ways, including image quality, autofocus, and wireless connectivity—but it’s priced just a bit too high for a new user.
The T5i’s primary strength is its swivel LCD touchscreen. It lets you capture high- or low-angle shots while still being able to see the Live View feed on the LCD screen. It’s a feature crucial to filmmaking—you can still see what you’re filming, even if you have your camera at ground level pointing up. The screen is also capable of touch focus—just tap on what you want to focus on—and this feature performs quite well.
The T5i’s STM lenses offer smooth, seamless autofocus during video recording. Granted, AF is not as speedy as we’d like it to be, but it beats out most of the competition, save the D3400. The D3400 has a brand new lens that offers full-time AF, only its operation, now far quieter than its predecessor, edges out the T5i. In addition, the Canon lenses did hunt at times; the D3400’s were faster and more accurate in obtaining focus while recording video.
The truly dedicated can add functionality to the Canon T5i by using Magic Lantern, a community-crafted firmware replacement that adds a vastly more advanced set of video controls. Not condoned by Canon in the slightest, it does offer incredibly powerful possibilities to those with the knowledge to take advantage of them—it’s not intended for beginners.
Overall, with its quiet autofocus and well-thought-out touchscreen, the T5i has the best handling for videomaking of any low-end DSLR. Its only downfall is its lack of 1080/60p video recording, which the Nikon D3400 proudly flaunts. This means you’ll have to shoot at 720p with the T5i in order to get 60 fps and suffer a slight quality loss when importing the footage into a 1080p timeline in your editing software due to the fact that you’re taking a smaller footage and blowing it up to make it look larger. Or, if you want to shoot 1080p natively, you’ll be stuck at 30 frames per second. If slow motion at the highest quality is a must, the Nikon D3400 is your ticket. Otherwise, the T5i is the best video-oriented budget DSLR you can find.
For a photographer who already has some idea of what they’re doing, the Pentax K-S2 offers some incredibly powerful features at a low price. While once significantly more expensive, the Pentax K-S2 has dropped in price dramatically, as most Pentax models tend to do a year or so after introduction.
The K-S2 outclasses the D3400 with a number of features. It has a built-in stabilization system that will work with lenses dating back decades, as well as built-in Wi-Fi/NFC connectivity. The K-S2 has semi-professional features like focus peaking and an anti-aliasing filter than can be disabled or enabled, usually only found in more expensive models. It has a renovated, completely weather-sealed external design with a front dial to improve handling and a tiltable, swivel LCD. Out of all the beginner-friendly DSLR models, the K-S2 offers the most optical viewfinder coverage, which creates a better representation of what will actually be captured in your photos. Most importantly, the K-S2 produces beautiful still images.
Unfortunately, the K-S2 suffers in the video department. While it offers an external mic jack, video quality is poor compared to the Nikon D3400 and Canon EOS T5i. With stabilization enabled, the video suffers from the dreaded jello effect, more professionally referred to as rolling shutter (just check out that video above when we pan left and right). With stabilization disabled, the shake can be dramatic. The Pentax K-S2 is also saddled with a more confusing menu system than the Nikon or Canon cameras we tested, offering more options than even many seasoned photographers could ask for. And while the focus system is quick and accurate at times, it’s super loud and gets stuck hunting as well. And after capturing a video or still image, the camera takes its sweet time processing the image on the SD card, leaving the shooter standing around waiting before getting to take the next shot becomes possible.
As a result, the Pentax K-S2 is best suited for someone who already knows what they’re doing to some extent and is looking for more flexibility. It’s certainly not for the videographer, nor is it for the shooter looking for simple operation.
Nikon’s biggest competitor for beginning users is Canon, whose Rebel line has long been the first port of call for low-end DSLR seekers. The Canon T6 is attractively portable. Unfortunately, it’s plagued with an underwhelming sensor compared to the D3400, has a battery life CIPA rating of just 500 shots, and lacks 60p video recording. All in all, it’s a watered-down T6i. The T6 is $450 right now, but there’s a reason for that: Canon has taken the same mediocre image sensor that it has been using since 2011’s T3i or thereabouts and slapped it into a case with a processor that’s a couple of years old, along with a super-low-res 460,000-dot LCD screen, a mediocre AF system, a max burst rate of 3 frames per second, and a top ISO of 6400. The only improvements are a slightly upgraded processor, a 920,000-dot LCD, and Wi-Fi support.
The Canon T6i is an update in every way to the T5i, with NFC and Wi-Fi, better low light performance, double the cross-type focus points, and a higher resolution sensor that produces better image quality, but at around $700, it’s more expensive than most beginners are looking to spend. The T6i carries over the highly functional tilting touchscreen LCD that enables tap focus and control over Canon’s menu system. Videographers just starting out will appreciate the screen along with Canon’s STM quiet focus lenses and the addition of an external mic jack. For some baffling reason, the T6i lacks 1080/60p recording, which is available on the D3400. Although its image quality has improved, the T6i’s still images are still inferior to the D3400’s, which makes its higher cost look far less enticing.
The Sony a68 has an improved sensor and takes very good photos, but doesn’t have a true optical viewfinder, relying on an electronic one instead. While an electronic viewfinder does show more info than an optical one, it’s also inherently not as sharp as optical, with slight delays in motion which get worse when panning and in low light. The Sony also takes worse images in low light than the D3400, and has a lower resolution screen, 460,000 dots as opposed to the 921,000 dots on the Nikon. The a68 does have a top deck LCD display, a feature found on more expensive DSLRs, but its near-$600 price distances it even further from the D3400.
The Nikon D3400 comes with a collapsible 18-55mm lens, which is a great start to your photography. But when you want to invest more heavily in lenses for different situations, or for better optical quality, here’s a guide to some really good beginner’s glass for Nikon.
Luckily, DSLRs don’t require a lot of looking after. They’re designed to live through some pretty heavy use. Don’t go drop-kicking them off a cliff or anything, but a quick wipe down if splattered should do it well enough as long as the front of the lens is kept clean. Just be very careful when changing lenses, as that’s when the real damage can happen—grime getting inside your camera.
The D3400 comes with a one-year limited warranty against defects that can be extended by another two years. This is on par with other cameras, and if you’re worried about damage from the aforementioned drop-kicking, we’d recommend going with a third-party insurance option.
(Photos by Mike Perlman.)
Originally published: January 26, 2017