If you’ve just bought yourself a Nikon D3400, or even if you’ve had one for a while and are looking to make use of more of its features, here’s a quick rundown of what I think are the best books on using this camera.
Because, let’s face it, instructions manuals rarely give you the information you want in a way that makes practical sense. That’s where these books come in.
David Busch’s Nikon D3400 Guide to Digital SLR Photography, by David D. Busch
It’s not everyone who can pull off putting their own name in the title of a book, but David Busch has turned himself into a brand with a long list of books, most of which are camera-specific guides for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. By now, he’s refined it into a formula, and given the popularity of his camera guides, it’s one that is evidently working well.
Like his other guides, the D3400 guide is a hefty book and it’s comprehensive. I’ve been hard-pressed to find an obscure camera feature that isn’t covered. And, importantly, it doesn’t just regurgitate what’s in the official manual. And as much overlap as there is between what the D3400 does and what other cameras do, this book is heavily customized specifically for the D3400. There are numerous screenshots of the D3400’s menus as well as the overlays that you’ll see through the D3400’s viewfinder.
The author has a conversational style that works well–to the point and not trying to be cute. There are numerous screenshots of the menu settings and through-the-viewfinder screens as well as full-color practical example photos of the results of using certain settings. I have a few of David Busch’s camera guides and have always found them to be reliable and comprehensive.
To the extent I have a criticism of these series, it’s that it they’re very good reference guides. That’s great if you’re looking to find out what setting X does, but if you’re new to DSLR photography, as many D3400 users are, it’s potentially overwhelming.
It’s available in paperback and e-book. There are a couple of things to consider when choosing between the paperback and e-book. One is that with the e-book version that the color photographs aren’t going to display on all e-book readers. Another is that the full-text search capabilities of e-books can be a faster way to find specific information you’re after.
- Rocky Nook
- Busch, David D. (Author)
Nikon D3400 for Dummies, by Julia Adair King
This series, of course, probably doesn’t need much introduction. It includes anything from auto repair to computer code to dog grooming.
Their camera guides are also surprisingly good. The one for the D3400 is about the same size as David Busch’s guide and is also comprehensive. It, too, includes numerous screenshots of the menu items and the overlays that you see through the viewfinder.
The author’s style is direct and clear. Personally, I think the way the content is laid out and explained is slightly better for newcomers to DSLR photography. That’s not to say it’s dumbed down–it’s not. It’s that the way the information is presented is more focused on problem-solving and practical tips rather than being a reference guide.
It’s available as paperback or e-book. If the e-book version appeals, do consider what you plan to read it on because not every e-book reader can display the color photographs.
Which is the Best Nikon D3400 Book?
Each of these has its strengths.
If you’re looking for a gift idea for a new Nikon D3400 owner or you’re just starting out with DSLRs, I’d probably recommend the Nikon D3400 for Dummies first.
If they’re a long-time photographer or more technically inclined, the added detail and slightly more technical approach of David Busch’s Nikon D3400 Guide to Digital SLR Photography might appeal more.
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Nikon D3400 Accessories
Here are some of the key accessories and official part numbers for the Nikon D3400.
Battery & Charger for Nikon D3400
If you're looking for a replacement or spare battery for your D3400, the Nikon D3400's battery is model EN-EL14a. It's a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that's also used by many other Nikon DSLRs (7.2V, 1230mAh). You can also find very good aftermarket versions, like this one from Watson or these from PowerExtra that provide more cost-effective alternatives.
- ✔ Battery Specs：Capacity: 1500mAh / Battery Type: Lithium-ion / Voltage: 7.4V / Come with CE...
- ✔ Standard Compatible with Nikon EN-EL14 EN-EL14a：Ideal Replacement Battery for Nikon Coolpix P7000,...
The battery charger is model MH-24. It's an AC quick charger that plugs directly into the wall socket. Unlike many other cameras, you can't charge the Nikon D3400's battery in the camera. Some of the aftermarket batteries come with a dock charger, which can be a cheaper way to solve the problem.
A memory card is right up there with a battery as an essential accessory for your D3400. But, unlike the battery, it doesn't come with the D3400.
There's no official SD card for the D3400, but there are some that make more sense than others. Some older-model cards are too slow. And some newer, faster (and more expensive) SD cards will work in the D3400 but go beyond what the D3400 can make use of, so you'd be paying for SD card performance that the camera can't take advantage of.
I've put together more detailed SD card recommendations for the Nikon D3400. But here's the Cliff notes version. Any of these make for a good choice and are reasonably priced:
USB Cable for Nikon D3400
If you're looking to connect a Nikon D3400 to a computer to download your photos and videos, you'll need a USB cable. If you've misplaced the one that came with the camera, replacements are easy to find and not expensive. If you'd prefer to get the Nikon original, the model number you're after is [UC-E20](https://www.nikonimgsupport.com/eu/BV_article?articleNo=000005024&configured=1&lang=en_GB), and you can find them at camera specialists like B&H Photo.
But there's no particular reason you have to stick with the Nikon-branded one. There are also many aftermarket micro-USB cables that will work just fine. But there is a bit of a catch: not all micro-USB cables will work with the data transfer that the D3400 needs.
By all means try any others you have lying around to see if the camera mounts to your computer--it won't hurt it. If it doesn't mount, you can pick up replacement data transfer cables like this aftermarket version or this one.
And a reminder that this is only for data transfer. You can't charge the battery while it's in the D3400. For charging, you'll need the MH-24 charger or equivalent (see above).
Camera Strap for the Nikon D3400
There's no particular reason you have to use the original Nikon strap with the D3400--any camera strap will work. But if you want to replace the original (the black one with the gold/yellow Nikon branding), its model number is AN-DC3.
There's also a huge variety of other good alternatives. My personal favorites are the ones by Peak Design, which come in especially handy if you're going back and forth between multiple cameras because they come with a quick-release system. And they're very strong.
Remote Shutter Release for Nikon D3400
There's a number of different options for remotely triggering your D3400 (unlike the D3500, where this functionality was removed).
The first step is Nikon's ML-L3 wireless remote. It's very simple--just a single button, without any intervalometer or other features--and with an infrared signal, its range is limited to about 16 feet or less. But it's inexpensive and designed by Nikon for use with their cameras.
And there's a variety of other wireless receiver/transmitter kits that can be set up to work, some of which get up there in terms of complexity and price.
Lenses for Nikon D3400
One of the great things about DSLRs--and especially ones that use a long-standing mounting system like Nikon's F-mount--is that there's a huge variety of lenses that you can use. So there's no "right" lens to use.
But for the D3400, in general, you want to look for lenses that have Nikon's F-mount system and that are designed for DX camera bodies (that's the cropped sensor size of the D3400). And you'll probably want one that has autofocus. None of these things are requirements, though--there are any number of ways to use adapters or manual older manual-focus lenses--but sticking to those basics will make things easier if you're looking to expand your lens collection.
If you're after some recommendations on lenses to get for the D3400 to step beyond the kit lens that comes with the camera (usually a basic 18-55mm zoom lens), I've put together some recommendations on wide-angle lenses for the Nikon D3400.
And here are some other ideas that are sensibly priced and greatly expand your options:
Nikon AF-S DX 18-300mm ƒ/3.5-6.3G ED VR zoom lens. If you had to choose just one lens to take with your traveling, this is a great choice. It has a very wide zoom range. At 18mm (equivalent to 27mm on a full-frame body), it's great for interiors or landscapes. At 300mm (equivalent to 450mm on a full-frame body), there's plenty of reach for wildlife, sports, or dramatic sunsets. It has vibration reduction, is surprisingly compact and light, and is competitively priced. Sigma also makes a good version that's a bit cheaper but great quality.
- Maximum magnification of 032x
- Angle of view from 76 degree to 5 degree 20'. Focal length range: 18 300 millimeter, minimum focus...
Nikon AF-S 50mm ƒ/1.8G lens. It's hard to go past a 50mm prime lens for versatility, fun, and learning photography. They're fast, which means they're good in low-light as well as give you that nice blurry background while keeping the subject sharp. They're inexpensive. They're often very sharp. And they're small and highly portable. This is the ƒ/1.8 version. Nikon also makes a B&H Photofaster ƒ/1.4 version, but it's about double the price. because the D3400 has a cropped DX sensor, the 50mm lens will become a slight telephoto perspective, equivalent to a 75mm lens on a full-frame camera (i.e., 35mm equivalent). Which makes it all the more useful as a portrait lens, whether you're taking formal portraits or candids of the family. And if you want a more traditional "true" 50mm perspective, you can put the 35mm ƒ/1.8G on the D3400 instead.
- Fast, upgraded f/1.8, compact FX format prime lens. The picture angle with 35 millimeter (135) format is...
- Focal length 50 millimeter, minimum focus distance 1.48 feet (0.45 meter)
Nikon D3400 Body Cap
If you're transporting or storing your D3400 camera body without a lens attached, you'll want to put on a body cap over the opening where the lens goes. That prevents dust and moisture from getting inside and causing havoc (and pesky dust bunnies on your photos).
The camera comes with one, but they're easy to misplace. The model number for the replacement part is BF-1B. It's the same cap used for all Nikon F-mount camera bodies. And this is a great opportunity to save a few dollars with an aftermarket version. They're often sold paired with a rear lens cap, since you often need both of those things when removing a lens.
Nikon D3400 Rubber Eyecup
If the rubber eyecup has been knocked off when you take out of your camera bag, the replacement part model number is DK-25. There are also slightly cheaper aftermarket versions, such as the ones by Vello or JJC.
- Made from soft and durable silicone + high quality ABS
- Provide cushioning around the camera's eyepiece, and are especially useful to eyeglass wearers
Battery Dummy for Nikon D3400
A battery dummy is used for longer-term power supply to the camera. They're especially useful for things like time lapse photography, astrophotography, or using your D3400 as a webcam.
It's an accessory that fits into your camera's battery compartment. By itself, it doesn't provide any power, but it's attached to a cable that you can then attach to different power sources such as AC power or a larger battery pack.
- [COMPATIBLE WITH MODEL:] EP-5A DC coupler (Connector) replace EN-EL14/EN-EL14a Battery, work for Nikon...
- [STEPS FOR USAGE:] Remove the original battery, Replace with virtual battery, and cover the battery...
Where Can I Find the Nikon D3400 Manual?
You can find the Nikon D3400 manuals here. There are a few different versions. The Reference Manual is the most detailed and most complete. The User Manual is basically a quick start guide. There are also versions designed for different parts of the world.
The Reference Manual is available as both a downloadable PDF and as on online HTML version.
Where Can I Find the Nikon D3400 Latest Firmware?
Nikon releases firmware updates on their website.
There are a few different types of firmware used by the D3400. The main camera firmware is the "C" version. (The others are for the lens and lens distortion control.)
I have a detailed guide on how to check and update Nikon D3400 firmware versions here.