Nikon D3400 tested at DxOMark: “new class leader”

Nikon D3400 DSLR camera
DxOMark tested the Nikon D3400 camera ($496.95) and called it a "new class leader". Here is their conclusion:

As an entry-level APS-C model, the Nikon D3400 is difficult to beat in terms of sensor performance. Nikon has tweaked the sensor to the same level as the pricier D5500. However, except for the SnapBridge connectivity option, the D3400 is very close to that of the older and cheaper D3300, in terms of features and controls. While the bump in image quality is welcome, it’s not as though the D3300 was underperforming in any way, at least when compared with its rivals. But packaged with a new AF-P type kit lens that promises improved AF in live view, the D3400 is a step in the right direction.

More comparisons:

nikon-d3400-tested-at-dxomark nikon-d3400-tested-at-dxomark-2

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  • RMJ

    I wonder which sensor they are using. The ISO performance took pretty big hit.

    • Max

      I wonder how many of the 24mpx dx sensors are physically exactly the same (with just the signal processing tweaked).
      Also, the rate at which DR and ISO performance improve seems to have slowed down from a few years ago.
      I’m sure there is a ceiling ito what you can get out of a sensor

      • peter w

        ‘I’m sure there is a ceiling ito what you can get out of a sensor’
        I was thinking that five years ago. There is a physical limit, and some might be able to calculate how close to 100% effective recording sensors are at the moment.

      • Captain Megaton

        Yeah, it surprises me that the D3400 D3300 D5500 D7200 measure differently. Like you I tend to suspect it’s not sensor performance per se that has changed.

        • KnightPhoto

          Dating back at least as far as D300 ==> D90, the “same” sensor in the D90 pulled off a better ISO rating. Lead to a LOT of discussion at the time 😉

          • RMJ

            D300 and D90 don’t have the same sensor.
            D300s and D90 have.

            D300 = IMX-021
            D90 & D300s = IMX-038

          • Captain Megaton

            I remember that episode! D300 early adopters were most unhappy. Today few people will speak fondly of the D90’s image quality though so I don’t know who had the last laugh on that one.

    • Lex Cross

      Less than 200 ISO isn’t actually a big hit. Anything less than 25% difference isn’t statistically significant. Take a look at how the numbers work. They tell you on the site. The difference there is a 6th of a stop from the 3300 and about a 5th from the 5500.

      • Captain Insane-O

        Statistically significant means that the number is true at a confidence interval such as the alpha levels .01 & .05

        Operating within the margin of error, or just stating it is a negligible difference is something completely different.

        You can easily have statistically significant results that are 1% apart.

        • Eric Calabros

          its statistically irrelevant and engineeringly insignificant and photographically unnoticeable.

          • Carleton Foxx

            So gentlemen, how big a change does there need to be for it to be photographically significant? Is the 25% figure about right?

        • Lex Cross

          Yes. I stand corrected. Well, I stand caught being lazy with my wording. The fact though is that there is no perceptual difference in the vast majority of situations.

          • Nimloth

            Statistically significant, but practically insignificant, except for the geeks. Which you kind of have to be to read articles about minute differences between camera sensors. So the debate goes on. 😉

      • RMJ

        It’s a big hit when normally between Nikon cameras the change is not a lot (unless there is a whole new sensor involved).
        Either D3400 has a new sensor or something has been done different with other electronics.

        (Of course there is small chance of having bad sample but that’s unlikely as I think DxO tests more than one copy)

        • Blue_J_57

          You can plainly see — O.K., in subjective terms — the performance enhancements made to the D3400 relative to, I would argue, all the preceding D3xxx and D5xxx bodies… if what I was viewing in the image comparisons online at Imaging Resource was anything to go by.

          I use a humble Sony A5000 in preference to an A6000 as an APS-C complement to my A7 II for *my* purposes… for similar *effective rendering* reasons. DxO… subjectively (“perceptual megapixels”)… agrees with my judgement on that, it seems; though I am the only one I ever see mentioning this in a forum or in a review. Yep, I am the economics & marketing target kin of my WalMart and Target camera shopping brethren, apparently!

  • doge


    • Max


  • Alda Smite

    DxOmark: “Sports (ISO performance): d500 = 1324; d5500 = 1438”
    no more questions for me.

    • Lex Cross

      Even if I round the the nearest whole number, you’re complaining about a 12th of a stop. Even rounding down is an 11th of a stop difference. That’s not significant.

    • Bob Thane

      They base that score heavily on SNR, where the D5500 does have a slight lead. Where the D500 shines is in high ISO DR, where it has a half stop lead over the D5500.

    • Blue_J_57

      Do you even have a defensible concept of what that rather arbitrary DxO rating means, Alda S.? It would not appear so, if I am reading your sarcasm correctly.

  • Trota

    that top dial is starting to look really dated..

  • Max

    I’m surprised they didn’t refresh the D3400’s dials like with the d5500. One would think that at that end of the market people pay more attention to what looks cool and new.
    Some who buys their first dslr may be more impressed when they handle and hold a 100D and a D3400 side by side and the way it looks and feels may very likely win the sale, over and above specs, for one of the products.

  • Adrian Day

    It has a black shutter button. Like all of Nikon’s Pro cameras. Black button == Pro performance.

    • Captain Megaton

      Aw rats – now how I am going to tell them apart?

  • Allan

    Oh, g-d, we’re talking about the appearance of buttons and dials. I agree that how buttons and dials feel and function are important traits.

    • Max

      Snapbridge and a weaker flash is not enough. They need Apple styling so Nikon can sell these. So that they can fund R&D, manufacturing and supply of Tim’s D900 with 74mpx sensor and improved DR and signal.

      • Allan

        You’re right. I stand corrected. 🙂

  • Eric Calabros

    Very interesting tweaking.. color sensitivity is not straight line as say D5500. Its almost 1 bit higher at ISO1600. and note that measured ISO100 is actually ISO64! sounds familiar? 🙂
    I’m eagerly waiting to see what Nikon engineers have done for D900.

  • CaMeRa QuEsT

    Great to see a whole EV of additional DR at base ISO, although ISO 100 is actually closer to ISO 64 now (and ain’t it great to be able to buy a native ISO 64 camera for just $400?). I wonder if the always-on BT transmitter is the culprit for the lower across the board SNR measurements, as DR and color sensitivity measurements are still very close to those of the D5500. Kudos to Nikon’s engineers to be able to cram all this info into their 12bit NEF files, Sony just ran out of excuses for giving their customers their terrible 12bit RAW files.

    • pmnx

      To get 1EV in DR and some more color depth because Nikon uses the native iso (64) of the sensor is great. I don’t understand why we don’t see this option in every dslr.
      I never had problems with high iso in 15 years of photography but very often, I was unsatisfied with poor dynamic range, hard whites and/or blacks. To get 1 more EV at nearly 14EV of DR is fantastic, especilly for a entry-level dslr.

  • Eyediaz

    the iso rating for the D500 looks lower than i would expect it to be…

    • TwoStrayCats

      DXO also rates the D5 way down the list in “sports.” I would think that body would be king…

  • ahmed alyosef

    I hope they will weak up and add more builtin connectivity tech same like Canon.
    WiFi – NFC
    for God seek

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