Nikon D3400 Questions and Answers

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

  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

    1. 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.

  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?

    1. 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.

  3. Pls my D3400 stopped working and is new but since that time it as stopped working pls what can I do

    1. 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.

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