Nikon D3300 vs D3400: Specs compared

Nikon D3300 vs D3400: Viewfinder and LCD

  • Nikon D3300: 3in fixed LCD with 921k-dot resolution; eye-level pentamirror viewfinder with 95% coverage and 0.85x magnification 
  • Nikon D3400: 3in fixed LCD with 921k-dot resolution; eye-level pentamirror viewfinder with 95% coverage and 0.85x magnification 

Again, with regards to the LCD screens and viewfinders, the parallels between the two cameras continue.

Both bodies have LCD screens that are fixed in place

While both cameras boast decent LCD-screen resolutions of 921k dots, the fact that both screens are fixed in place is more of a disappointment. 

Each LCD screen has a 921k-dot resolution, which is perfectly respectable on such models

The Nikons' closest rival, the Canon EOS 700D, sports a Vari-angle screen, which is more useful when trying to set up those awkward low- or high-angle compositions, and better when shooting movies too.

Nikon D3300 vs D3400: Build and design

The D3300 has a fairly basic top-plate layout, but everything you'd expect to see is there...
  • Nikon D3300: 124 x 98 x 75.5mm; 460g with battery and memory card
  • Nikon D3400: 124 x 98 x 75.5mm; 445g with battery and memory card

Both the D3300 and the D3400 are classed as entry-level DSLRs, which means those buying them are usually keen to keep weight and size down to a minimum. Given this, the dimensions of both cameras, which are almost exactly the same, will please those looking for power and precision in a diminutive package. 

... and the situation is the same with the D3400, whose top plate is virtually identical

Both cameras weigh less than 470g with their respective batteries and a memory card in place, and so are perfect for carrying around all day long without bother. The newer D3400 is marginally lighter (15g) but this won't make any practical difference.

The button configuration on the D3300 (pictured) is the same as that on the D3400. Here, the body is shown in its gun-metal finish.

The button configuration on the rear of the two cameras is exactly the same, including a D-pad to access options and a command dial to adjust settings. The body of both cameras is made from polycarbonate – not quite as robust as the magnesium-alloy builds from more expensive such as the Nikon D810, but both cameras are still sturdy enough and capable of taking the bumps and scrapes from everyday photography.

Read more: Nikon D850 vs Nikon D810: Specs compared

Nikon D3300 vs D3400: Other features

The D3400 has Bluetooth built into it, which you can see from the Bluetooth symbol on its side
  • Nikon D3300: No Bluetooth
  • Nikon D3400: SnapBridge (via Bluetooth), smartphone control

While the D3300 and the D3400 are very closely matched in terms of features, there are a couple of difference that could affect your buying decision. 

The most significant of these revolves around connectivity; while the D3300 fails to offer any built-in Bluetooth features, the new D3400 does indeed include Bluetooth technology (with Nikon's SnapBridge connectivity system).

This is an important feature for those photographers wishing to connect their camera to a smartphone or tablet and quickly transfer images before sharing them online.

... but you can use the older D3300 with the optional WU-1a adapter if you want Wi-Fi

Wireless transfer is still possible using the optional WU-1a adapter, however, and the D3300 does at least keep up with the D3400 in many of the other areas.

Both have a built-in flash and a hot shoe to take an external flash or wireless trigger. Both also boast face-detection autofocus, which can be useful when shooting portraits. Lastly, both cameras offer a range of special filters - dubbed Effects – that enable you to capture creative and arty images without the need for any processing work in Photoshop.

Nikon D3300 vs D3400: Battery life

Both cameras use the same EN-EL14a battery - but battery life is significantly better on the D3400
  • Nikon D3300: 700 shots per charge
  • Nikon D3400: 1,200 shots per charge

While battery life is rarely the main reason behind a camera purchase, it can prove to be one of the recurring reasons why you come to love (or loathe) your DSLR. 

A battery that runs out quickly will require charging more often, and might force you to buy an additional one so that you always have a fully-charged one to hand. Fear not though: both the D3300 and the D3400 return excellent battery-life results, although one camera certainly excels here, despite the fact that both use the same rechargeable Li-ion EN-EL14a cell.

The D3300 gives around 700 shots per charge, which should cover a day out with the camera – although it should be remembered that excessive use of Live View or long exposures will drain batteries faster. The more energy-efficient D3400, however, is good for up to 1,200 shots between charges, so if you are looking to travel to areas where recharging points may be scarce, this may well affect your buying decision.

Verdict

Like many incremental upgrades in the entry-level DSLR market, it’s fair to say there isn’t a huge amount of difference between the D3300 and D3400. Collectively, however, those little differences could have a big effect on your shooting.

Both cameras have the same sensor resolution, burst rate and autofocus systems, but if you are looking to buy one of these cameras for video work, the older D3300 has the edge, thanks to its port for an external microphone.

Alternatively, if you are looking at both of these cameras with a view to uploading images on the move, then the simple choice is the D3400 with its Bluetooth technology. For more general photography, the D3400 is also the better choice thanks to its ability to take an extra 500 shots between battery charges.

Read more: The best cameras under £500 right now