How to Find the Shutter Count of a Nikon D3400

Here are some quick, easy, and free ways to find the shutter count of a Nikon D3400 without installing new software or learning new command-line code.

Nikon D3400
Nikon D3400
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If you’re buying a used Nikon D3400–or selling one or just trying to judge whether your camera is getting more likely to fail anytime soon–you might be looking to find your camera’s shutter count.

There are many different ways to find the shutter count–or, more technically, shutter actuations–of your Nikon D3400. My objective here isn’t to provide a laundry list of all of the ways you can do this. And there are plenty of other methods. Instead, I’m focusing on quick, easy, and free methods that don’t require installing new software or navigating code commands. Because I’m betting that you just want a quick answer to how many shutter actuations your D3400 has had and that you don’t particularly want to invest a lot of time or effort to find out. The good news is that you don’t need to.

So here are some quick, easy, and free ways to find the shutter count of your Nikon D3400.

Camera Menu vs. Image EXIF Metadata

First, though, it’s important to know something about where to find the shutter count information. The shutter count isn’t displayed in the Nikon D3400’s menu system. So you can’t just navigate the menu system and find it out in the same way that you can find out, say, the camera’s firmware version. I’m not aware of any particular reason it couldn’t be there–and it would be nice if it was, in a kind of “about this camera” screen–but in practice, you can’t find it there.

Instead, you can find it in the photos taken by the camera. Like other digital cameras, the D3400 embeds the shutter count of that specific photo in each photo the camera takes. More specifically, it’s in the maker notes section of the EXIF metadata. That information is usually hidden–it’s not something we need to know every day, after all–but there’s software that can reveal it. Some of those software apps are paid; some are free. I’m focusing on free options here.

Tips for Making it Work Smoothly

There are some tips to make this go more smoothly. The most important is to use an unedited image taken straight from the camera. What I mean by that is: don’t edit the image first in something like Lightroom and then export a derivative version. If you do that, the shutter count might still be in the metadata, but it also might not–it depends on the settings you’re using and how the editing app handles metadata. So the safest bet is to use an unedited image straight from the camera.

You can use either a JPG or NEF from the Nikon D3400. The safest option is to use a JPG, especially on Windows. You should be able to use these same methods with NEF files too–and it has worked fine for me on Mac–but it’s conceivable that if you’re using an older operating system, it might have trouble decoding some of the newer RAW image file formats. And on Windows, you’ll need to have the necessary codecs installed (they’re integrated automatically into macOS X). So it’s not that you can’t use NEF files to find the shutter count; it’s just that using JPGs is a simpler and more reliable method regardless of the computer system.

It doesn’t matter where the image is on the filesystem. The safest option is to read the file directly from the memory card using a card reader (or the camera connected to the computer via USB). In many cases, it will work just fine with the image copied to your hard drive too. But some of the image ingesting apps that you can use to download images from a memory card to your computer might edit the metadata as part of the process. So the safest option is to do it directly from the memory card, although it’s rarely a dealbreaker if that’s not possible.

Free and Simple Ways to Get a Nikon D3400 Shutter Count

Here are some quick options for finding the D3400 shutter count, depending on which of the major operating systems you’re using.

On Mac: Preview.app

The simplest and quickest option I’ve found to do it with a Mac is to use the Preview app. It’s built-in to the macOS operating system, so if you’re using a Mac, you already have the Preview app–there’s no need to download anything.

Here’s how to use it to find the shutter count of a D3400.

Open the image in the Preview app and load the NEF or JPG image you want to use.

Go to Tools / Inspector or use the keyboard shortcut CMD+I. You’ll get a small General Info popup screen.

Nikon D3400 Shutter Count with Preview app 1

In the popup, click on the i tab (the icon that is a small dark circle with an “i”).

Nikon D3400 Shutter Count with Preview app 2

From the next screen, click on the Nikon tab. This is the maker notes section.

Nikon D3400 Shutter Count with Preview app 3

Down toward the bottom, you’ll see the Shutter Count item. In this example, it’s shot #1085.

On Windows: Online Service

Windows 10 doesn’t read the EXIF maker notes to reveal the shutter count in its built-in apps (e.g., Properties or Windows Photo Viewer). There are some good apps you can install–Irvanview is one of several very good, free options–but if you want to find the shutter count without installing anything, your best bet is to use one of the free online services that can tell you that information.

Basically, you upload a single image using a web browser to the service; it then reads the metadata and then displays the shutter count. Some are better than others; some have maximum file size restrictions, for instance, that limit their usefulness with the D3400’s NEF files.

One simple one that I’ve found to work well with D3400 files is Camera Shutter Count. It’s simple and straightforward, and something I like about this particular one is that there are no file size limits, so you can use even the high-resolution NEF files from a D3400.

Nikon D3400 Shutter Count with Camera Shutter Count Online Service

You can also use this same service with Mac (or Linux, for that matter).

Other Alternatives

There are plenty of apps that can display the shutter count. But these will require installing something on your computer.

ExifTool. If you want to bring a bazooka to a knife fight, you can use ExifTool by Phil Harvey. It’s free, but it’s probably the most powerful EXIF reader, writer, and editor available, and it can do way more than read just the shutter count. But getting ExifTool up and running requires installing the software and, depending on your setup, probably some configuration. And, by itself, it’s better suited to users comfortable with working with command-line tools (e.g., Terminal in Mac or a command prompt in Windows). That’s because it doesn’t have its own user interface. It’s free, and there are packages for Windows, Mac, and UNIX (all will require some setup). There are some graphical user interfaces available that work on top of ExifTool, although some will require you to install services like python as well.

Opanda IExif Viewer. This Windows-only app is a free EXIF viewer. Opanda also offers other paid programs, such as PowerEXIF, that let you edit the EXIF data, but this free viewer will give you the information you’re after. You can find it here.

PhotoMechanic shows the shutter count, or shutter actuations, as the “Frame #” field in the info panel when looking at an individual image. It also makes the shutter actuations data available in its variables. That means that it’s available in some of PhotoMechanic’s very powerful metadata management tools. So you can insert it dynamically into things like filenames or IPTC fields; using shutter count, combined with something else like camera serial number or date, can be a good way to get unique filenames even for images shot in fast burst sequences (i.e., sub-second). So it is possible to find out the shutter count of the D3400 using PhotoMechanic in a two-step process of generating new IPTC metadata fields or file renaming. But PhotoMechanic isn’t inexpensive, and it’s very much overkill just for this purpose. But if you already have PhotoMechanic, showing you the Nikon D3400 shutter count is just one of the many things it can do.

What Doesn’t Work

Lightroom. You won’t be able to find the D3400’s shutter count in Lightroom even if you switch over to the EXIF metadata tab. That’s not something specific to the D3400–it’s because Adobe doesn’t parse the maker notes section that the shutter count is in.

Things Worth Knowing

Why Find Shutter Activations, Anyway?

Finding the number of shutter activations of a Nikon D3400 is not something that most users will need often. But it’s something that’s useful to know in some circumstances.

An example is when buying or selling used cameras. Shutter count is a bit like a car’s mileage–it can give you a pretty good sense of how much a camera has been used (although it won’t tell you how well it has been looked after). In other words, it’s an indicator of possible wear and tear. So a camera with a low shutter count will often command a higher resale value than one in otherwise the same overall condition with a high shutter count.

Pros and studios can also find shutter counts useful in their planning on when to budget for new gear. High shutter counts suggest a replacement might be needed sooner rather than later.

And repair shops can use it to narrow down whether a fault is expected from typical wear and tear from the amount of use, or whether it’s related to a manufacturing defect.

RAW + JPG

When shooting RAW+JPG, the shutter only goes once when creating each version. So the RAW version and the JPG version will both have the same shutter count.

How Many Shutter Activations Should I Expect?

Some manufacturers, like Canon, often publish their shutter life expectancies for their cameras. To my knowledge, Nikon doesn’t officially publish that information for their cameras. I’ve seen some mentions online that the Nikon D3400 is rated for 200,000 shutter activations. That sounds like a plausible number to me, but I haven’t been able to trace back the source of that to anything official from Nikon. Oleg Kikin used to maintain a camera shutter life expectancy database based on crowd-sourced information, but it hasn’t been updated in a while now and doesn’t include newer models like the D3400.

As a rule of thumb, you can probably count on 50,000 to 150,000 shutter actuations for most digital DSLRs. But that’s by no means set in stone. Some shooters get many, many more shots out of their cameras than that.

Where to Find Used Camera Gear

There are many places to find used camera gear. Some come with more risk than others.

KEH. My first stop for used gear--both buying and selling--is KEH. I've bought and sold quite a bit of gear on there. They have a huge selection, which increases the odds of finding exactly what you're after. And I've found the condition grading ratings to be accurate, the service very good, and they offer a 180-day warranty on most of their gear.

B&H Photo. My first stop for new gear is usually B&H Photo. But they also carry a large selection of used gear. It also comes in handy if you want to trade in some of your gear for new gear. Their used gear comes with a 30-day return warranty. You can find their current used gear listings here.

Adorama also keeps a large selection of used gear on hand. It's backed by a 30-day return policy. You can find their current used gear inventory here.

Ebay. There's an enormous amount of stuff on eBay, and you can find some great deals. But you do have to be more careful about what you're buying and who from. The seller might not be a good judge of the gear or its condition (or, often, even whether it's in proper working order). It's definitely worth a look, but use caution before buying. A handy feature I often use is to submit specific questions to the seller beforehand. eBay, of course, isn't the only online marketplace of its type, but it is by far the best known.

Craigslist / Classified ads. Some good deals to be had, for sure, but as with any private individual sales, there's not much recourse if there's a problem with the gear or the transaction. But one positive element is that because most of these types of transactions are local, you often have a chance to personally inspect the gear--and, ideally, try it--before handing over the cash. There's also a good opportunity for negotiating a deal.

Facebook MarketPlace. If you have a Facebook account, Facebook MarketPlace can be a good source of used equipment (and a bunch of other stuff). It comes with similar drawbacks to traditional classified ads or Craigslist, although it's often much less anonymous.

Photography Forums. You can sometimes find good deals on online photography forums, but the offerings tend to be slim. Buying through one of these has some of the same drawbacks as any person-to-person private transaction, although the forum participants tend to be more self-selecting (they're probably photographers), and you may even have come to know them virtually through their post history.

Gear Rental Services. Just as rental car companies have a constant turnover of used cars, you can also buy used rental gear from camera rental companies. I've bought some lenses this way, and the results have been mixed. There are some good deals, but some of the gear was more well-loved than I would have preferred (but I should have guessed). Due to the nature of the business, a lot of the gear offered for sale tends to be a generation or two back in terms of models. You can find the used gear from LensProtoGo on a separate site called Lens Authority. You can find the used gear portal of BorrowLenses.com here.

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.

by David Coleman

I'm a freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my travel photography here. More »

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