Verdict

The Nikon D3400 is a fine performer and more than enough camera for most people just getting started with DSLR photography. Its body is small and light and its specs, while very similar to its predecessor's, are perfectly decent for a model of its class. Image and video quality is more than satisfactory too, and with the further benefit of in-camera raw processing, you can also polish up your creations quickly and easily for immediate use if you wish.

As a Nikon DSLR, its compatibility with decades worth of top-quality Nikkor glass is another major advantage. Furthermore, the benefit of its optical low-pass-filter-free sensor means that you can get the best out of these optics.

Nikon D3400

The advantage of the 1200-shot battery shouldn't be overlooked too (especially when compared to mirrorless rivals), and means that it's much more likely to be taken to a festival, on holiday or elsewhere where you may not always have easy access to a power supply. 

Perhaps most importantly for a entry-level DSLR, the built-in Guide mode and straightforward controls make the D3400 incredibly easy to use. 

Initially quite a pricey option when launched last year, prices have fallen steadily to make the D3400 a much more appealing proposition. If you're after an easy to use DSLR with a huge back-up of lenses and accessories at your disposal, this is a great starting point.

Competition

Nikon D3300

If you can live without the connectivity offered by the D3400, then the D3300 is definitely worth a look. Pretty much exactly the same (in some ways it's better specified in some areas) camera as the D3400, the D3300 is still on sale and can be snapped up for a little less than the D3400. Still our top pick when it comes to entry-level DSLRs. 

Read the full review: Nikon D3300

Nikon D5300

Nikon D5300

The D5300 may have been updated by the D5500 and D5600, but its impressive spec sheet, ongoing availability and similar price point makes it well worth considering. Currently, for only a few extra pennies more compared to the D3400, you get a host of superior tech inside a better-built body, including a 39-point AF system, Wi-Fi, GPS and a larger, higher-resolution articulating LCD screen. 

Read the full review: Nikon D5300

Canon EOS 1300D

Canon EOS Rebel T6 / EOS 1300D

On paper the EOS 1300D isn't quite as well specified as the D3400, with an 18MP sensor, 9-point AF system, more restricted ISO range and a battery that has nowhere near as much juice per charge, although it does offer Wi-Fi which the D3400 does not. It's main advantage, however, is price: having been launched at a lower RRP and with a six-month headstart, you can currently find it quite a bit cheaper. If you can find the even more compact EOS Rebel SL1 / EOS 100D, it's also well worth adding to your shortlist.

Read the full review: Canon EOS Rebel T6 / Canon EOS 1300D