We knew it was coming, and the announcement is finally here. The Nikon D3400 is the new flagship of the entry-level D3xxx line. If you’re firmly in the prosumer camp, there isn’t much in the announcement for you. The D3xxx series is designed to capture consumers who want something better than their phone, but not overwhelming.
And while the specs are nearly identical to the D3300, there’s one feature that on the D3400 which should push consumers towards the affordable DSLR. Snapbridge. The technology pairs both Wifi and Bluetooth LE to keep the camera always connected to your phone. If you hated life with the Nikon WiFi accessory on the D3300, the D3400 solves the problem.
According to Nikon, Snapbridge’s camera-to-phone technology is a one-time setup that can pair with up to five devices. Hey, no more using your iPad as a camera. There’s hope for humanity after all.
The move from Nikon is a smart one. Instead of fighting phone cameras by siloing off images, it instantly shares 2MB pictures that can be edited inside Lightroom’s mobile app or via Instagram’s variety of filters. If there’s a selling point to the D3400, it’s Snapbridge. You can convince most consumers to throw down $650 for a body and a kit lens with the added carrot of being able to spam their Instagram feed.
Spec-wise, there’s not a lot different from the D3300. The 24.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor is still there along with the EXPEED 4 image processor. It’s not going to win any awards on the frames per second front, but it can burst to 5fps. ISO earns a small nudge higher to 25,600, and there’s no optical low-pass filter.
It’ll be a disappointment to some, but no 4K video recording on the Nikon D3400. Owners will have the option of Full HD 1080p at 60/50/30/25/24p. Yeah, I was hoping to see 4K sneak in, but there are other options for that. Unfortunately for Nikon, it leaves an exposed flank that smartphones can take advantage of.
Guide mode makes a return in the D3400, helping aspiring photographers frame their shot with the Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus sensor with 11 phase detect points.
How about new lenses?
Nikon didn’t disappoint on the kit lens front, releasing a new Nikkor DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G lens that will come bundled with the body for $646.95. The two kit lens bundle including the new 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G will set you back $996.95.
The prices damn near scream Black Friday / Cyber Monday discounts. Whether it’s from Nikon or third-party retailers, those who can hold their buy now inclinations are almost assured a deal closer to the holidays. Entry-level DSLRs are certain doorbuster deals. Can I hope for a D500 as a doorbuster? Come on Amazon; you know you want to.
If you can’t hold off on snapping a D3400 up, you can preorder a kit from Amazon (two lens kit) or B&H. Nikon is targeting a September 12 release date.