Photography gear can be quite expensive, especially if you want to get into nature photography that requires so many high-quality lenses. But the good news is that you don’t need the most expensive equipment as a hobbyist or even an entry-level photographer. A quality entry-level camera like the Nikon D3400 can be an excellent starter camera, helping you learn the trade and get in some practice before you start applying your skills professionally.
If you are looking for a good entry-level camera then I suggest you consider the Nikon D3400 18-55 VR camera. There is also the camera available as a set – which is where the Nikon D3400 18-55 VR + 70-300 Kit label comes from. The kit includes two lenses, and other items you need to get started in photography. Let’s take a closer look at everything included below.
One Nikon D3400 Camera
The Nikon 3400 camera is a great starter camera for photographers, but many professionals also love using this small and portable camera because it offers advanced technology and great images at an affordable price.
This camera is quite powerful, as it can take sharp 24.2 megapixel images. The ISO range of 100 – 25,600 also gives photographers lots of room to explore with different photography techniques, so they can take breathtaking photos.
On the other hand, the camera doesn’t have the best action features in the world. It can only take 5 frames per second and only has 11 autofocus points, where some more advanced cameras prove to be more advanced in this department.
The camera is also a perfect investment for videography since it can take 1920×1080 pixel videos at a smooth 60fps video frame rate.
The Nikon D3400 does come with a memory card so you can easily store and transfer images but it also has Bluetooth connectivity and Snapbridge connectivity so you can connect it directly to a phone or computer to transfer images.
Ideally, you should invest in a second battery pack for this camera. The battery life is quite good and you will be able to take up to 1200 photographs before your camera battery runs dead – but if you want to capture more images than this, or if you are shooting at a celebration that might take longer than 3 hours, then it is best to have a backup battery. The batteries in this Nikon do take a while to recharge.
Overall, the camera is quite light at just 13.9oz, and at just 4.9 x 3.9 x 3” it is very portable and simple to carry with you.
This camera is also fairly easy to handle. It does have quite a few settings that can be adjusted to help you enhance the image quality, lighting, and focus based on your environment. In addition to the large, removable flash, the camera also comes with a smaller flash.
The camera’s on and off buttons as well as shoot and record buttons are also easy to reach with your index finger. The large LCD screen at the back also makes it very easy to see what you are shooting and you can scan through images to see what your images look like before moving on to the next photography subject. Mastering all of these settings and lenses can take a bit of time.
Nikon D3400 specifications
- 24.2 megapixels
- ISO 100 – 25,600
- 5 frames per second
- 11 autofocus points
- -1 to 19 EV autofocus
- 1920 x 1080 video
- 60fps video frame rate
- Bluetooth connectivity
- 1200 shot battery life
- 13.9 oz weight
- 4.9 x 3.9 x 3.0” overall size
Nikon D3400 Pros
- The full set is ideal for beginners
- It includes everything you need to get started in basic photography
- The set includes a carry case and tripod which is ideal for shooting at different locations
- The set includes two lenses which enhances photography subject flexibility
- The camera is relatively easy to handle
- Everything in the set is light and portable
- The camera can take quality 24.2mp images
- The camera comes with a rechargeable battery and battery charger
- The set includes lots of other accessories such as cleaning kit, recovery disk, screen protectors and more
Nikon D3400 Cons
- A second battery would have been great for this kit, since the batteries do take long to recharge
- By the time you read this, the Nikon D3400 will be hard to find in stores since an upgraded version, the D3500, will have already been released
All in One Kit Option
This is a great starter kit for beginner photographers, photography students, and even for the average family who just wants to be able to take quality family photographs on their own. This kit includes all the basic accessories you will need to get started in photography, including the following items:
All in One Camera Kit Specifications
- Nikon D3400 SLR Camera
- 18-55mm VR lens
- 70-300mm DX AF-P lens
- 32GB memory card
- Camera flash
- Camera battery
- Portable tripod
- Carry bag
- Camera cleaning kit
- Lens protectors
- Memory card case
As you can see, it really is a full set, and not a bunch of cheap crap either (mileage may vary on Amazon). I'm usually against sets, but everything in this one, at least the one I bought, all had real, name brand items.
The only thing that’s lacking here is the laptop and photo editing software that go hand in hand with becoming a bona fide photographer but you usually don't buy these together anyway.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the items included in this kit besides the camera.
Two Camera Lenses
This kit comes with two Nikon lenses. The first camera lens is the 18-55mm VR lens. This lens will cast a smaller image circle than full-frame lenses. It is only compatible with certain cameras that have APS-C sized sensors. This lens has a collapsible lens barrel, autofocus, and weighs 210g. The filter diameter of this lens is 52mm and the closest focusing distance is 0.28mm.
The 70-300mm Nikon telephoto lens that is also included in this kit is ideal for traveling, sports photography, daylight telephoto subjects, portraits, wildlife shooting, and many other photography professions. This lens offers quality images, especially when you use it along with a tripod to help enhance image stability. The lens length is equivalent to 105-450mm DX-format camera lenses.
When used with your D3400 camera, this lens offers various autofocus and metering functions to help you take your photography to the next level.
It is important to take good care of your camera. With the compact cleaning kit included with this camera, you can keep that lens sparkly and smudge-free. The cleaning kit is very easy to use and small, so you can easily take it along on your travels.
With this camera, you never have to worry about buying batteries again. The camera comes with a quality rechargeable battery. Also included is the battery charger with cable. The average battery life lasts around 1200 shots, which means it is probably wise to invest in a spare battery if you are planning on shooting at a large event or celebration.
The carry case included with the kit is ideal for keeping all of your accessories together, such as lenses and chargers. This carry case is also padded and will offer good impact protection for your expensive equipment.
A tripod is always a handy investment when you are shooting large groups of people, landscapes, or animal life. The tripod included in this kit is retractable. You can set it up at different heights and it is super light for easy transportation.
Included with this kit is a 32GB memory card that is ideal for storing lots of images. You also get a memory card carry case to keep those important photos safe and secure while you journey. An LCD screen protector and camera lens protectors are also included with this set and you even get an image recovery software disk should something go wrong while shooting at an important event.
This Nikon set comes with a handy detachable camera flash. This flash is ideal for shooting in low light conditions. By combining your flash and the right photography techniques, you can also take some stunning images. The flash is easy to detach from the camera and stow away once you are finished using it.
Our Use Case
This was our family's first DSLR camera. We saw a deal at Best Buy (in store) that was too good to pass up. Part of the reason was demand for the D3400 isn’t as high (an thus not on the market) since the D3500 model (the upgraded version of the D3400) will hit the shelves on September 20, 2018, which at the time of writing this is about 6 weeks away.
That's right. The best camera we've owned was the family camera. Other cameras, including smartphone usage, were the cameras we've used to make money. It's kind of funny to think about.
It's true. This is our family and event camera that we use in addition to our iPhones. This could have easily been our business camera, especially to record YouTube videos. But we bought a PowerShot earlier this year to do that task.
In the future, I'll add a photo of the camera and the gear. I may also add examples of photos and videos taken by the camera. For now though, I think you have enough information to make a decision if you've made it this far.
This is a superb starter kit for new or student photographers, and it can even be a great kit to have for casual families that love to take their own family photos. It is going to take a while for you to master all of the settings and programs that this camera offers.
But once you do get comfortable with all of these functions and learn how to adjust your camera settings quickly, we are certain that you will have a brilliant tool that will help you capture a great many wonderful quality photos for years to come.