If you are interested in taking your photography to the next level, and want more precise image controls that current smartphone can’t provide (sorry, 4K iPhone 7), it might be time to purchase a DSLR. In a large market with several key camera brands, Nikon continues to make its mark with the  low-budget photographers. The D3400 is no exception, offering strong image quality and performance, if lacking some functionality with smaller features, according to a recent Cnet review.

> BUY NOW: Nikon’s D3400 DSLR Camera

The D3400 is a 24 megapixel camera with an ISO range of 100 to 25600; Cnet’s image analysis suggests that the details in photos are maintained up to ISO 6400, with noise reduction and detail kept in decent balance throughout the higher settings. This makes the D3400 a good camera for low light shooting environments. A fast focuser with a fast continuous shooting mode (5fps100 JPEG ),  the camera is perfect for “typical kids, pets and travel photography.” Several auto-focus modes and an in-camera, step-by-step guide keep photography fun and simple, letting you learn your craft without getting bogged down by confusing technology.

Nikon D3400

The interchangeable AF-P kit lenses provided in the bundle also add to the speed of the system by incorporating stepper motors, which allow for a quieter and smoother focus pull. This is perfect for those wishing to use the video features on the camera, which records 1080p HD movie files. Several bundles for the Nikon D3400 include one of the two lenses, an 18-55mm and 70-300mm lens, and have the option of coming with Nikon Vibration Reduction (i.e. image stabilization).


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This is a camera for novices, so it’s not without drawbacks. The auto white balance will often leave whites more on the magenta scale, so it’s worth learning how to make the manual adjustment. The auto-focus points are also small, which could lead to focus problems, and if you want to utilize the self-timer, be prepared to set it every time you take another shot.

Unusual for a camera in this price range is it’s Bluetooth capability, which connects the photographer to Nikon’s SnapBridge app. Use SnapBridge to automatically transfer and backup photos on smart devices, and share them to the cloud. The lower connection means photos have to be small to transfer, about 2 megapixels, and video transfers are out of the question. Still, it is a feature that is slowly becoming pervasive in the prosumer camera market, and is a rarity for a starter device.

The dual-lens kit runs just under $1,000, and only one of the lenses can have Nikon Vibration Reduction. For the body and one lens, Nikon offers a kit for $650.

If you want to graduate from high-definition selfies into more creative work, the Nikon D3400 is a good beginning investment.

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