The Best Settings for Shooting With the Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera

The menu of most of the Nikon cameras is detailed but the menu of D3400 is not as detailed as other ones. But still, you can set everything on this camera properly. We will demonstrate the most significant settings for D3400 in this article.

I will also share my personal recommendations for each significant menu regarding this camera. But this doesn’t mean that this is the only main camera settings that would work for the D3400, yet rather take this as a decent spot to begin essentially. But these settings gives you a good keepers rate, no matter whether you are just taking photos and uploading to your portfolio or shooting video to edit yourself or ship off to a professional video editing website.

These settings will also help you before you begin to learn more about how to master your DSLR camera.

Let’s jump into the main thing then. 

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Nikon D3400 Playback Menu Settings

You can leave most of the settings at the default figures and the remaining ones are mostly down to individual likings. Anyway, we will cover a couple of playback settings that are very critical to set appropriately. 

  • Playback Display Preferences
    • Image Only (None): Mark with a check.
    • Highlights: Mark with a check (empowers the capacity to have overexposed districts of an image blink black and white) 
    • RGB histogram: Mark with a check. 
    • Shooting Data: Do not mark with a check. 
    • Overview: mark with a check. 

  • Image Review: It means your photo will automatically pop up right after you take it. So if you want to review it, just turn it ON. 
  • Auto Image Rotation: It will rotate the vertical photos when you open them on your computer. If you want the feature, turn it ON. 
  • Rotate Tall: If you turn this on, it will narrow down the vertical photos on your camera. Besides, it will cause you to review vertical images when you’re on a tripod. So it’s better to keep it OFF.

I skipped some of the playback settings here because they are not that much important to set up your Nikon D3400. 

Photo Shooting Menu on the Nikon D3400

We will focus on the menu of photo shooting now. There are many important settings in this sector. We have added some notes in order to make you more clear about the complex settings we have picked below. 

  • Image Quality: NEF (RAW). 
  • Image Size: When you shoot RAW, it will gray out. Choosing “L” will provide you the best quality for JPEG. But you can also choose “M” or “S” for a bit lower quality and smaller image sizes.
  • ISO Sensitivity Settings
    • ISO Sensitivity: If you want to match sensitivity with whatever ISO you’re using, just put 100 on this. 
    • Auto ISO Sensitivity Control: You may turn this ON. But you will also have to turn it OFF when you want the same ISO on works such as tripod-based ones.
    • Maximum Sensitivity: 3200
    • Minimum Shutter Speed: Select this auto. You can also select manual and it will halt action when you shoot fast motion. 

  • White Balance: Auto
  • Set Picture Control: Standard (SD). It’s better to keep it on default values. But in case if you have a specific reason, you can change it.
  • Color Space: If you prefer shooting RAW, then Adobe RGB is the best. You don’t have to worry because it doesn’t hamper the photo itself. Also, if you shoot JPEG, you can have it at sRGB. 
  • Noise Reduction: You can keep it OFF as it never affects your RAW images. 
  • Vignette Control: This one also has to be OFF.
  • Auto Distortion Control: OFF.
  • Focus Mode: It automatically matches your chosen preferences from the “/” button.
  • AF Area Mode: Matches from “/” button.
  • Metering: Matches from “/” button settings. Matrix metering 99% of the time is good from my point of view. 
  • Built-in Flash Control: TTL
  • Movie Settings
  • Frame Rate: 1920×1090; 30p
  • Movie Quality: High
  • Microphone: Keep it on AUTO.
  • Wide Noise Reduction: Keep it ON.
  • Manual Movie Settings: Keep it ON. You can manually adjust the ISO and shutter speed. 

Setup Menu on the Nikon D3400 (Wrench Icon)

The setup menu is something you set once and get back on it never. But still this menu needs your attention and we will cover the important settings here. Let’s see what they are.

  • Format Memory Card: If you want to erase your memory card, click on YES. It’s better to clear your card when you’re done offloading all the pictures. 
  • Data Stamp: OFF.
  • Info Display Format: Black text, white background (my personal preference).
  • Auto Info Display: Turn it OFF. It’s very annoying when it pops up when you unwillingly half-press the shutter button. 
  • Auto-Off Timers: Keeping “normal” on this is good. 
  • Self Timer
    • Self-timer delay: 5s is good. You can change your requirements. 
    • The number of shots: 1 is good. You can change it to your requirements if you want to make sure to have a keeper when shooting on self-timer. Setting your camera to take 3-5 photos when it is on self-timer, gives you a few photos to choose from, so you can get a photo where people i.e. don’t blink or look away.
  • Copyright Information: Entering copyright information ensures that all your images are marked digitally with copyright information. 
  • Beep: Can be annoying. OFF is better. 
  • Flicker Reduction: Auto
  • Buttons
    • Assign Fn button: ISO. Changing ISO is very important if you’re in manual mode, and having ISO on the Fn button will help you to do that. 
    • Assign the AE-L button: AF-ON.
    • Shutter release button AE-L: OFF.
    • AF activation: OFF.

  • Rangefinder: The dot it puts was never helpful for me, so OFF is better. 
  • HDMI
  • Device control: ON
  • Output resolution: AUTO
  • Connect To A Smart Device: Use when you only have to transfer JPEGs to your phone. 
  • Bluetooth: OFF
  • Slot Empty Release Lock: If you want to save yourself from taking photos accidentally without a memory card – Release Locked. 

Final Verdict

So now you have a good idea to set everything correctly on your Nikon D3400 and play around with it. This setting worked great for me, and I hope it will work for you too. You may also have different needs, and there is no problem to alter some settings from here. But to be honest, the options above are good for a starting point. You can find the settings you adjusted recently on the menu named “Recent Settings”. You can find everything more quickly and adjust things like Auto ISO.

Now go out and experiment, and see if these settings help you get more out of your Nikon D3400.

Author Details
Hey, I’m Amy. I’m part of the writer team at Photography-RAW. Besides writing in-depth articles about photography, I also take part in making sure that the website runs smoothly here on Photography-RAW.
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Hey, I’m Amy. I’m part of the writer team at Photography-RAW. Besides writing in-depth articles about photography, I also take part in making sure that the website runs smoothly here on Photography-RAW.
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