The Nikon D3400 can imprint the date that the photo was taken in the bottom right corner of the photo in bright orange letters.
It looks like this:
With digital photography, that same information—and much more besides—is saved in the metadata that’s embedded in the image file.
Date stamping is a feature that’s usually more useful for the film/print combination, but there still might be times that you want the time and date hard-coded visually into the image itself right out of the camera.
But what if you want to turn it off? Maybe you turned it on accidentally and now can’t figure out how to undo it. Or maybe you’re borrowing the camera from someone else, and they were using the option.
You can find the option under the Setup Menu (the wrench/spanner icon). What you’re looking for is “Date Stamp.”
The available options are:
- Date and time
- Date counter
Turning it off doesn’t mean you can no longer access information about when the photo was taken. Apps like Lightroom can easily read the EXIF metadata that’s included in the image file automatically, and you can even embed that information visually into derivative versions as part of the image processing workflow.
Date, Date & Times, Date Counter Options
The Date and Date and Time options are pretty self-explanatory.
The Date Counter option is a little less intuitive, and it’s not something I’ve noticed on other cameras before. It shows how many days until a future date or that have elapsed since a past date. You choose the reference date, obviously. Nikon gives examples of tracking the growth of a child or counting down the days until a birthday or wedding. It’s one of those features that’s kind of neat, but I also can’t imagine ever actually using it. You can find more specific information on how to use the Date Counter feature in the Nikon D3400 manual.
Things Worth Knowing
The Date Stamp function only works with JPG images. It will not imprint on RAW (.nef) files.
The information for the date and time is derived from the information that you set. That is, when you set the camera up, you set the time and date (
Setup Menu > Time Zone and Date).
And you can set the time and date to anything you like or as accurate as you like. So it’s not all that useful as any kind of forensic proof of when an image was taken. And if you’re traveling across time zones, it’s up to you to adjust the camera’s time accordingly (or at least, the time zone).
Cameras make for imperfect clocks, and I’ve found that many of them end up being fast or slow. So if the time information is important, you’ll want to check and reset the camera’s time and date periodically.
When one of the date stamp options is enabled, you’ll see an icon on the main kitchen-sink information screen (press the i button on the back of the camera to toggle it).