The Nikon D3400 has a continuous shooting mode. Sometimes known as a burst mode, this allows you to take a rapid sequence of photos in quick succession. It can shoot at up to five frames per second (depending on the shooting settings; more on that below).
It’s especially useful for fast-moving action to help maximize the chances that you’ll get the shot you’re after. So it’s very useful for sports. Or candid family photos of kids who can’t stop moving. Or wildlife on the move.
So here’s a rundown of how to use the Nikon’s D3400 continuous mode.
How to Turn On Continuous Mode
Press the button on the back panel that has an icon that looks like a stack of photos. It’s the button at the left in the photo at the top of this page (and the same button that you use for the D3400’s self-timer.
When you press that, you’ll get the Release Mode screen on the back of the camera. If you haven’t already changed it, it should be on the default setting of Single Frame, like this:
Use the controller to move across to the icon that looks like a stack of photos. That’s the Continuous (or Burst) mode.
Once enabled, you’ll see a small icon on the main status screen.
There are no settings you can control; it’s either on or off.
The D3400 has an internal memory buffer. This isn’t storage space that you can access in the usual way–it’s fast memory that the camera can use for temporary storage as it’s waiting for data to be written to the memory card.
And this becomes very important when shooting in continuous/burst mode, because there’s a good chance that the camera is taking photos faster than the camera can write the data to the memory card (all the more reason to get a memory card that’s fast enough for the D3400).
The memory buffer has enough space for up to 100 images at a time, but that’s if you’re shooting JPEG-only. If you’re shooting one of the RAW modes (NEF or NEF + JPEG) then you won’t get anywhere near that many shots before the buffer fills up.
These are the buffer capacity estimates provided by Nikon.
|Image Quality Setting|
|NEF (RAW) + JPEG Fine||6|
And there are other factors that reduce those even further. If you’re using the in-camera noise reduction, auto distortion control, or date stamp features, the buffer capacity drops.
You can get a real-time sense of how full the memory buffer is through the viewfinder. At the bottom-right, the number starting with R shows an estimate for how many photos can still fit in the memory buffer. It’s updated as images are written from the buffer to the memory card.
Nikon D3400 Continuous Mode Shooting Rate
The shooting rate depends on the shooting mode you’re using, how full the internal memory buffer is, and whether the battery power is running low.
The D3400’s maximum continuous shooting speed at full resolution is five frames per second.
If battery power is running low, the framerate slows down.
Things Worth Knowing
Continuous Mode doesn’t disable automatically. Unlike the behavior of the self-timer mode, once you engage continuous mode, it stays on until you turn it off. It will even remain on if you turn the camera off and on again.
If it’s something you use even semi-regularly, there’s no harm in keeping it engaged. You can still take a single photo–it just means being a bit more careful with how long you hold the shutter down. Then, if you want to shoot multiples, it’s already on, and you can just hold the shutter down.
Continuous Mode doesn’t work with the D3400’s built-in flash. If you have the flash enabled, you won’t be able to select continuous mode. You’ll need to turn the flash off first.
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 Type:Li-ion, Voltage: 7.4V Capacity: 1500mAh
- Package includes 2 batteries and 1 dual USB charger with LCD display to power your Nikon EN-EL14 battery
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:
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), here are some 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.