Nikon D3400 Questions and Answers

Here are the answers to various questions readers have asked me about the Nikon D3400 DSLR.

Nikon D3400
Nikon D3400
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Here are the answers to various questions readers have asked me about the Nikon D3400. I’ll aim to add to it as more questions come up.

Can Nikon D3400 Record Video?

The Nikon D3400 can record video up to 1080p. That’s sometimes referred to as Full HD and has a resolution of 1920×1080. It can also shoot at 720p (1280×720).

For framerate, in 1080p, it can shoot at 60, 50, 30, 25, and 24 frames per second (fps). In 720p, it can shoot at 60 or 50 fps.1

How to Record Video with the Nikon D3400

Starting video recording on the Nikon D3400 isn’t as intuitive as it could be. There are two main things to know.

The first is you first have to put the camera into Live View mode. To do that, push the Lv button on the back panel.

The second is that there’s a dedicate video shutter button. Some cameras have a separate video shooting mode on the shooting mode dial. The D3400 doesn’t have that. Instead, it uses a separate recording start/stop button (that is, you don’t use the normal shutter). It’s the small button with the red dot on top of the camera, right next to the main shutter.

If you’re using a compatible autofocus lens, you can still use autofocus while recording. For that, use the regular main shutter button (not the one with the red dot—that’s only for starting and stopping the recording).

What Video Bitrate Does the Nikon D3400 Record At?

This table shows the bitrates the D3400 based on my tests. These are all in Mbps (Mb/s).

The D3400 uses variable bitrate encoding, which tries to match the compression to the detail in the scene. So you can get some variation either way depending on the scene you’re shooting. And these bitrates are for the overall bitrate, including both the video and audio streams.

| Resolution/FPS | Normal Quality | High Quality |
| ——————— | ——————— | —————— |
| 1080p60 | 23 | 38 |
| 1080p50 | 23 | 38 |
| 1080p30 | 12 | 23 |
| 1080p25 | 12 | 23 |
| 1080p24 | 12 | 23 |
| 720p60 | 12 | 23 |
| 720p50 | 12 | 23 |

What Kind of Video Files Does the D3400 Save?

The video files from the Nikon D3400 are saved as QuickTime MPEG-4 files. The files use the .MOV file extension.

It uses AVC encoding for the video stream and PCM for the audio.

What are the Video Recording Options on the Nikon D3400?

The D3400’s emphasis is on still photos, and its options for shooting video are quite limited.

You can find the video settings on the main menu under the Camera icon tab. Scroll down to the end to Movie Settings, and then press right.

Aside from the resolution and framerate, the other options you can set are:

  • Movie Quality. You can choose between Normal and High Quality. These refer to the bitrates, which is related to how much compression is applied to the video. Normal applies more compression, which results in smaller file sizes but also lower quality. High Quality applies less aggressive compression, which leads to, well, higher quality, but also results in larger file sizes.
  • Microphone. You have a choice of Auto Sensitivity, Manual Sensitivity, and Microphone Off.
  • Wind Noise Reduction. You can choose On or Off. It applies a low-cut filter to try to reduce the whooshing of wind that you’ll get if you’re moving quickly. It’s an imperfect filter that might affect other sounds you want to keep, so it’s always a good idea to test the results first.
  • Manual Movie Settings. You can choose between On or Off. If you have the shooting dial set to M, it’s possible to exercise some control over the shutter speed and ISO sensitivity.

What is the Maximum Recording Time for Video on the Nikon D3400

The Nikon D3400 has a maximum recording time of 29 minutes and 59 seconds, but that’s not available in all the resolution/framerate/quality combinations. Whatever shooting mode you’re using, the maximum file size is 4GB.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the maximum video lengths on the D3400 by the resolution/framerate/quality combinations.

Movie Quality Setting Resolution/FPS Max length mins
High Quality 1080p60 10
1080p50 10
1080p30 20
1080p25 20
1080p24 20
720p60 20
720p50 20
Normal 1080p60 20
1080p50 20
1080p30 29 min 59 sec
1080p25 29 min 59 sec
1080p24 29 min 59 sec
720p60 29 min 59 sec
720p50 29 min 59 sec

Does the Nikon D3400 Have a Built-in Microphone?

The Nikon D3400’s built-in microphone is on the front panel. It’s the three holes immediately above the “D3400” badge on the front.

Does the Nikon D3400 Have HDMI Out?

Yes. It uses an HC-E1 HDMI cable with a type C connector.

You can choose the output resolution by going to Setup Menu (wrench/spanner icon) > HDMI > Output Resolution. The options are: Auto, 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 576p, and 480p.

If the device you’re connecting to has HDMI-CEC, you can set the option to use Device Control.

Does the Nikon D3400 Shoot RAW?

The Nikon D3400 can shoot RAW image files. They are saved in Nikon’s propriety .NEF RAW format. And they’re compressed RAW.

You can enable RAW by going to Shooting Menu (camera icon) > Image Quality. There you can choose to shoot RAW-only, RAW + JPG (i.e., it saves both types simultaneously), or a few different quality settings of JPG-only.

The RAW files give you more flexibility in processing and potentially offer significantly higher image quality, especially if you’re editing. The catch is that they need to be processed in something like Lightroom or an alternative before they can be shared.

When you’re shooting RAW on the D3400, you have available a maximum shooting rate of 5 frames per second continuous shooting for up to 24 RAW files.

Is the Nikon D3400 Weather-Sealed or Waterproof?

The Nikon D3400 is not weather-sealed or waterproof or otherwise ruggedized. So you’ll want to exercise caution in damp conditions. It’s not until you step up to Nikon’s D7### series that you can find weather-sealed models.

You can find dedicated underwater dive housings for the D3400, but as usual with dive housings, they’re expensive and will wind up costing far more than your camera.

A much more affordable option is a waterproof soft case from DiCAPac. They’re designed for damp conditions and shallow water. I’ve had good results from them, but there’s always some risk when taking a camera like the D3400 near the water.

Can You Control the Nikon D3400 via WiFi?

The Nikon D3400 doesn’t have WiFi, but it does have Bluetooth. So you can connect to the camera to do some operations, but you don’t have the full range of power that a WiFi connection affords. For instance, you can’t control the camera’s operation wirelessly.

To connect to the D3400 via Bluetooth, use Nikon’s SnapBridge app. It uses low-energy Bluetooth, which means that images can be transferred to your phone without killing battery life too much.

What is the ISO Range of the Nikon D3400?

The Nikon D3400 has an ISO range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. You can set the ISO manually or use the built-in Auto ISO feature. I have a detailed guide on the D3400’s ISO features separately.

What Aspect Ratios Does the Nikon D3400 Have?

The Nikon D3400 shoots photos with a native aspect ratio of 3:2. You can’t change the aspect ratio while shooting, but you can edit the files afterwards in the camera (or on your computer or phone).

For video, it’s a fixed 16:9 aspect ratio for both the 1080p and 720p resolutions.

What Battery Does the Nikon D3400 Use?

The model number of the battery for the Nikon D3400 is EN-EL14a.

You can get Nikon-branded replacements or use aftermarket versions from other manufacturers. I have detailed post on Nikon D3400 batteries here.

Which Memory Cards are Best for the Nikon D3400?

The D3400 is not especially demanding of the memory card. It takes SDXC and SDHC cards, and you can use cards from 16GB up through 512GB.

I have posted some detailed recommendations on memory cards for the D3400 here.

Can the Nikon D3400 Shoot Time lapse?

The Nikon D3400 doesn’t have any time lapse features built-in. Nor does it have a port for connecting accessories such as intervalometers. So the usual selection of intervalometers for Nikon cameras won’t work.

I’ve heard rumors of people getting it to work with external intervalometers designed for Sony cameras, but having tried several, I’ve yet to find one that works. It’s possible the rumors were nothing more than speculation based on the D3400’s micro-USB port (which is what some Sony models use), but if you’ve been able to successfully get it to work, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

But I can confirm that it does work with the qDslrDashboard app to control the camera. The catch is that it’s limited to a physical USB connection to a computer because the D3400 doesn’t have wifi capabilities.


  1. Video framerates are sometimes rounded up, especially for NTSC standards, as in this case. As a technical matter, the “60” setting records at 59.94 fps. The “30” records at 29.97 fps. And the “24” records at 23.976 fps. 

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.

Powerextra 2 x EN-EL14 EN-EL14a Battery & Dual LCD Charger Compatible with...
  • ✔ 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.

Memory Card

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).

MaxLLTo 3FT Replacement USB 2.0 Transfer Cable Cord for Nikon D3400 D3500...
  • Length: 3FT, light and easy to carry.
  • Brand new, high quality usb 2.0 Data cable/lead.( Non-OEM )

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.

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens...
  • 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.

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens
  • 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.

2 Pack JJC Eyecup Eyepiece Eye Cup Viewfinder for Nikon D3400 D3500 D3200...
  • 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.

Nikon's official model is EP-5A. You can also pick up aftermarket versions. Some include only the dummy battery part; others come bundled with AC adapters.

TKDY EH-5 AC Adapter EP-5A DC Coupler Power Supply EN-EL14A Dummy Battery...
  • [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...

FAQs

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.

6 thoughts on “Nikon D3400 Questions and Answers”

  1. Hi. I would love to take a night time photo of a shrimp boat out at sea. I keep playing with it, but can not figure out what settings. I have a zoom lens as the boats are further out to sea 30-300 dx zoom. Thanks for any help would love to do this before leaving in a few days

    Reply
    • It’s a bit hard to say without a more specific idea of what shot you’re trying to get (how far away, light levels, framing, etc), but for some general ideas:

      • Stabilize the camera. If you have a tripod on hand, that’s ideal. If not, try resting the camera on a bag or pillow or railing. Basically anything that will old the camera very still while still allowing you to frame the shot how you want it.
      • Use a large aperture (that corresponds to a small number). How low you can go depends on the lens you’re using. If your lens has a maximum aperture of ƒ/3.5, use that. Or ƒ/5.6. Or whatever the largest aperture you can get out of it. That will increase the size of the lens opening and let more light in. It’s important to note that this isn’t the largest number, as you might expect–f/22 is actually a very small aperture that doesn’t let much light in, while ƒ/3.5 is a much larger aperture that lets in much more light.
      • Increase the ISO. This increases the sensor’s sensitivity to light. The catch is that the higher you go, the grainer the image can get. I’d start at somewhere like ISO 3200. If there’s enough light to get lower than that, great. If it’s still too dark, increase in increments until you find a good compromise.
      • Slow down the shutter speed. The longer the shutter is open, the more light will hit the sensor. This combines with the ISO (sensitivity), so you can adjust these in tandem to find a good balance. It will also depend on how much movement there is. If the boat is bouncing around on waves, you’ll probably want a faster shutter speed to freeze the action. If you want some motion streak, leave the shutter open for longer. This is where the tripod or support comes in–it allows much more freedom in selecting the shutter speed.

      It is possible to tweak these settings in many of the D3400’s shooting modes, but since it sounds like you have time to get the shot, it’s a good opportunity to use manual mode for maximum control.

      Here’s a place to start that you can tweak as conditions and preferences allow:

      • Stabilize the camera on a tripod or other support.
      • Put it into Manual mode.
      • Set ISO to 3200.
      • Set aperture to maximum (aka wide open). That corresponds to the smallest number.
      • Set the shutter speed to, say, 1/30.

      Take a shot and look at results. If it’s too bright, shorten shutter speed to 1/60 and try again. If it’s too dark, try boosting ISO up to ISO 6400. And so on, until you find a combination that works for what you’re after.

      There are other ways to tackle it, but basically you’re looking for a combination of ISO, aperture, and shutter speed that creates the exposure you’re looking for.

      Reply
  2. My nikon d3400 changes between manual mode and effects mode automatically. It creates great problem while shooting as the mode changes from manual to effects and the photographs are ruined. Is there any solution to this other than sending it for repair?

    Reply
    • That’s not an issue I’ve run into or heard of before. Short of some kind of electronic fault, I can’t think what might be causing it.

      Reply
    • That’s not much information to go on. What exactly do you mean by “stopped working”? Is it powering up? Is it activating the shutter but not saving a photo? Here are some basic troubleshooting steps to start with:
      – Check that the battery is fully charged and inserted properly into the camera.
      – Check that the memory card is healthy and fully inserted. If the camera is powering up, format the memory card in the camera.
      – Check that the lens is properly attached and clicks into place. If you’re using the kit 18-55mm lens, make sure you’ve pressed the button on the lens and extended it by rotating the lens ring.
      – Do a hard reset of the camera back to the factory defaults. You can find instructions here.

      Reply

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