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How To Use The Nikon D3400 (Detailed Guide)

If you have just purchased the Nikon D3400 and don’t know how to use it, this guide is for you. In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know before you start taking pictures.

We’ll also explain what some of the features do, and talk about those you might or might not need. So without wasting any more time, let’s begin.


How To Use The Nikon D3400: The specs

The Nikon D3400 is an Entry-Level DSLR which was released on the 17th of August, 2016. It has a 24 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor.

With such a high sensor resolution, you will get a lot of detail in your photos even when cropping. The D3400 also has long battery life, and weighs only about 395g.

It has Face Detection Focusing, Bluetooth connectivity, and an optical viewfinder to make shooting easier.

The D3400 also has some downsides. For example, it has no weather sealing. This means you can’t use the camera in harsh weather conditions.

The screen of the D3400 isn’t articulating, and has no touch capabilities. It also has no image stabilization.

This was just a quick run-down of the D3400’s pros and cons. Now let’s move on to the setup.


How To Use The Nikon D3400: Setting up the camera

Before you start taking photos, there are a few things which you need to do. First, you need to put the battery into the camera.

You can do this by simply opening the compartment at the bottom of the camera, and inserting the battery.

You also need to put a memory card into the camera. If you are just starting out in photography, you need to worry about getting expensive high-end cards. A standard 32GB SD card will be just fine.

You will also need to connect your lens to the camera. Simply line up the lens with your camera, then turn it to lock it into position.
Once you have completed these steps, you can power up the camera by turning the on/off switch beneath the shutter button.

If you want to take a picture, press the shutter button once. Holding the shutter button down will make the shoot in burst mode. This means you will capture more and more image per second.

For a more graphic explanation, please refer to the video below.


How To Use The Nikon D3400: Buttons and dials

The D3400 has quite a few dials and buttons, so let’s talk about them and what they do.


· PLAY button

You can use this button to view all your images.


· Plus/minus button

This button will come in handy if you are shooting in manual mode. You can use it to increase or decrease things like your aperture and shutter speed.


· INFO button

When you select any option in the camera’s menu, pressing the info button will bring up information about that option. If you don’t know what a particular function does, this could be useful.



· Live view button

This flips the camera’s mirror aside, and switches to the LCD. This feature is used when recording videos. When you are in live view mode, you can monitor the video feed coming into the camera.

· RECORD button

This button switches your camera to video mode. Once you have finished recording, simply press the button again to stop.


· MODE dial

With this dial, you can choose various shooting modes such as Program, Auto, Manual, Aperture priority, and Shutter priority.

· FUNCTION button

This button can be customized.



· MENU button

This button opens up the menu.



How To Use The Nikon D3400: Shooting modes

The Nikon D3400 has a number of shooting modes. When you get your camera for the first time, it’s most likely going to be in AUTO mode.

You can check to see what mode you are in by looking at the mode dial at the top of the camera. Now let’s look at the various shooting modes in the D3400.


· AUTO mode

The camera handles all the settings for you. This is the most ideal option for those starting out in photography.


· S – shutter priority mode

In this mode, you have the ability to set the shutter speed by yourself, while the camera handles other settings.


· A – aperture priority mode

Using the command dial, you can control the aperture by yourself, while the camera sets the shutter speed.


· P – program mode

The camera sets the aperture and shutter speed, but still gives you the ability to tweak a few settings.


· M – manual mode

This mode gives you full control over the shutter speed and aperture. The camera will notify you if the exposure is off, but won’t stop you.


How To Use The Nikon D3400: Menu system

Note: You won’t have access to all the menu features unless you are in manual mode.

When you press the menu button on the D3400, you will taken to the menu. The main menu contains sub-menus such as,



In this menu, you can review photos, play them in a slide show, rotate them, or delete them.



You can choose the quality and sizes of your photos, control ISO sensitivity, set white balance, and set picture style.

You can also control noise reduction, auto distortion, flash, metering, focus mode, AF-area mode, and movie settings.


· SETUP menu

In this menu, you can control and customize basic things like the date/time, language, screen brightness, and format memory card. You can also control flicker reduction, HDMI, file naming, and Airplane mode.


· RETOUCH menu

In this menu, you can edit your all your photos. However, it it advised that you use a computer for all your editing and post-processing.



That brings us to the end of this guide. These are all the important things you need to know about the Nikon D3400.

Hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to comment below. Also don’t forget to check out our other guides and comparisons.