Since both cameras were announced in the same year with just a few months apart, what edge do they have over each other? Which of them would suit your photography style? Which would fit properly into your budget?
We answer all these questions and more by revealing the specifications, common features, uniques features, advantages and disadvantages of both cameras.
This detailed comparison is guaranteed to make sure you come to a final decision on these cameras.
Comparison Overview – Nikon D3400 vs D5600
The Nikon D3400 and the D5600 are cameras that came into the scene of photography in 2016. Ever since their announcement, both cameras have made huge statements as reliable entry-level DSLR cameras.
The D3400 was announced on the 17th of August 2016 as a replacement to the Nikon D3300. While the Nikon D5600 replaced the D5500 when it was announced on the 10th of November 2016.
There are several similarities between these cameras when it comes to image quality. This is evident in the fact that they both have the same sensor format, type, size, and resolution. Their ISOs are the same as well.
Furthermore, the D3400 and the D5600 make use of the same image processor. Hence, their speed of processing is the same.
The body of both cameras is available in black and red colors. This gives you the option of choosing how you want your camera to look like.
When it comes to the size and weight of these cameras, the D5600 is slightly smaller yet heavier than the D3400.
The Nikon D5600 does better than the Nikon D3400 when we look at the screens of these cameras. The D5600 has a larger screen and better screen resolution: Plus it is a fully articulating touch screen.
Another difference is the connectivity features of both cameras. While the D3400 possesses the built-in Bluetooth feature, it lacks the built-in Wifi and NFC feature. The D5600, on the other hand, has both features thereby making it better at connectivity purposes.
Price/Value Ratio – Nikon D3400 vs D5600
Looking at the prices of these cameras, there is no similarity at all. The Nikon D3400 is much cheaper than the D5600 and we say so emphatically. Many attribute this due to the features found in the D5600 that are absent in the D3400.
With this price difference, do these cameras offer sufficient value for their cost? The answer is yes. You’ll get your money’s worth if you choose either camera.
Comparison Table – Nikon D3400 vs D5600
|Nikon D3400||Nikon D5600|
|Size Dimensions||124 x 98 x 76 mm||124 x 97 x 70 mm|
|Screen Size||3.0 inches LCD||3.2 inches LCD|
|Screen Resolution||9,21,00 dots||1,307,000 dots|
|Time Lapse Recording||No||Yes|
|Battery Life||1200 shots||970 shots|
Watch the video below for comparison between Nikon D3400 vs D5600.
What Situation is Each Best For? – Nikon D3400 vs D5600
|Nikon D3400||Nikon D5600|
| The Nikon D3400 is more suitable for taking daily photography. |
Its thickness allows for a better grip as well as handling while you go about shooting.
Its lighter weight also makes it more preferred as the better daily photography than the Nikon D5600.
| Street photography requires an amount of flexibility in capturing certain angles. Most cameras meet up with this with the aid of an articulated screen. |
This type of screen is found in the Nikon D5600 which gives it an edge over the D3400.
| Shooting for an extended period needs a lasting battery. |
The D3400 allows you to take extra shots than you would with the D5600 after a single charge.
| The D5600 is more suitable for sports photography than the Nikon D3400. |
The reason is that it has more focus points than the D3400. The Nikon D5600 can offer more exposure and emphasis.
| The built-in guide of the Nikon D3400 walks its user through as they get acquainted with certain features and functions. |
This is why the D3400 truly suits the need for a beginner/amateur photographer.
| The articulating screen/selfie screen makes the Nikon D5600 an important tool for vloggers. |
The screen can be rotated completely to face the user which means you can easily take a selfie with the D5600.
Common Features – Nikon D3400 vs D5600
The Nikon D3400 and the D5600 share similarities as regards sensor type. Both cameras are fitted with the APS-C CMOS sensor type. This is the common sensor type found in most DSLR cameras out there.
The sensors of the D3400 and the D5600 have a size dimension of 23.5 x 15.6 mm. The sensor size is very important as it determines how much light enters the camera.
The sensor is responsible for determining the values of your camera’s dynamic range, low-light ISO (sensitivity) and color depth (accuracy).
The similarity in sensors also means both cameras will offer the same degree of control for depth of field. This affords the photographer the capacity to separate a subject in capture from its background. This is only possible when both cameras make use of the same focal length and aperture.
The sensors of both cameras have a 1.5 format factor (otherwise known as the crop factor) and a 3:2 native aspect ratio. The native aspect ratio is the ratio of the sensor’s width to its height.
Sensor Resolution (Megapixels)
Apart from the sensor type, the Nikon D3400 and the D5600 also have a similar sensor resolution value of 24.2MP. These similarities shared so far mean that both cameras possess equal pixel size and pixel density.
The similarity in the production quality of both sensors is further supported by the time of production of both cameras. The technology available to both cameras is the same as they were announced in the same year, with just 3 months apart.
In most cases, newer cameras tend to have an upper hand than older cameras as they incorporate newer technological advancement. This is not the case with the D3400 and the Nikon D5600 as both falls within the same generation of technology.
The sensor resolution of a camera determines the amount of detail your sensor is sensitive to and can capture. This clarity of detail capture is further enhanced as both cameras lack the anti-aliasing filter feature.
When we talk ISO in cameras, we refer to your sensor’s sensitivity measure. This feature also determines how much light enters your camera.
A camera with a high ISO value means high sensor sensitivity. This means your camera is exposed to receiving more light than you would with a camera with a low ISO value. However, high ISO isn’t usually used as it produces grain in images.
The Nikon D3400 and the D5600 both have the same ISO base value of 100 and a maximum value of 25600. An ISO range such as this offers you good image quality which is usually okay for cameras within their level and category.
Lens Mount and Lenses
The D3400 and the D5600 are both cameras with interchangeable lenses. This means you can change your lenses to suit your purpose. Changing lenses wouldn’t be possible if a lens mount is absent.
Both cameras are fitted with the Nikon F mount which allows the use of 302 native lenses. They are different in size, weight as well as function. The lens you employ would affect the overall quality of your image. These lenses can be used by either of the cameras in focus.
The lens type available to both cameras includes 33 standard zoom, 20 standard prime, 32 wide-angle zoom, 46 wide-angle prime, 51 telephoto zoom, 42 telephoto prime, 30 super-zoom, 8 wide-angle fish-eye prime, 25 macro prime, 11 perspective control prime, and 1 telephoto mirror prime.
Choosing from the host of the lenses above can also be confusing. Nevertheless, the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens is pretty much standard for most photographers. You can start with it as well before exploring other lenses.
Apart from the 302 native lenses available for both cameras, 88 optical stabilization lenses are also available. An optical stabilization lens allows your camera to counter the occurrence of a shake during image capture.
A viewfinder is that part of your camera that lets you view the image which you’re capturing. It allows you to frame your shots.
The D3400 and the D5600 share the same type of viewfinder. Both cameras are fitted with an optical pentamirror viewfinder.
The use of an optical viewfinder is an advantage over a digital viewfinder. A camera that employs the use of digital viewfinder tends to consume more power during shots. This ultimately affects the battery life of your camera.
An optical viewfinder, on the other hand, does not consume power; which means your battery is spared. It also allows you better frame your shot even when the sun is out and shining very bright.
The disadvantage these cameras have in terms of the viewfinder feature is that it uses a pentamirror. This reduces camera efficiency as a pentamirror allows less light pass through unlike with a pentaprism.
The viewfinders of the D3400 and the D5600 have a coverage of 95% and a magnification value of 0.56.
In the video below, find out more about the difference between the optical viewfinder and the digital viewfinder (aka electronic viewfinder).
The Nikon D5500 and the D5600 are fitted with the EXPEED 4 processor. The result is the execution of functions at the same speed. This comes in handy during shots that require auto-focus like AE bracketing.
The EXPEED 4 can multi-task effectively and reduces power consumption in the process. It is also designed to reduce the occurrence of noise during shots and has a video capture of 50/60fps.
Continuous Shooting (Burst Mode) Speed
Continuous shooting mode otherwise known as burst mode allows you to shoot and capture several pictures within a short time. Two major factors influence your camera’s effectiveness in burst mode. The first factor is your buffer capacity and the second is your camera’s shooting speed.
The Nikon D3400 and the D5600 are similar when it comes to shooting speed. Both cameras have a continuous shooting speed of 5 flaps per second.
The D3400 and the D5600 have a 1920 x 1080 video resolution. This isn’t high but is usually common for cameras within their level and category. This means this resolution is fine as far as you don’t compare it with other cameras outside the entry-level.
A built-in flash allows you to illuminate an environment that is not as bright as you would like. It gives you the convenience of not having to drag along an external flash which increases your camera’s weight.
A built-in flash always comes in handy in situations where you weren’t prepared but you need to capture an important shot.
The D3400 and the D5600 are both fitted with a built-in flash. Apart from having this feature, the flash can cover a distance of 7 meters (23 feet). That means your camera can illuminate an object that is 7 meters away from where you stand with your camera. Now that’s awesome for entry-level cameras.
Hot Shoe (External Flash Shoe)
Yeah, yeah a built-in flash is good but an external flash is better. In situations where your built-in flash comes up short (and trust us they will), an external flash won’t fail you.
Connecting an external flash to your camera won’t be possible without a flash shoe (hot shoe). This is a feature at the top of your camera that allows you to connect certain accessories (in most cases an external flash) to your camera.
The Nikon D3400 and the D5600 both possess an external hot shoe that makes this connection possible.
Selecting the right external flash for these cameras isn’t that difficult nor is it easy. So allow us to recommend the Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite and save you the trouble.
The built-in Bluetooth feature is found in the D3400 and the D5600.
The function of this feature allows you to connect to other Bluetooth supported devices. This feature facilitates easy wireless connectivity as well as easy sharing.
An area where the Bluetooth can also be of great use for the Nikon D3400 and the D5600 is in audio monitoring.
Neither of these cameras possesses a headphone jack that allows the connection of a headphone to your camera. But with a Bluetooth headphone like the COWIN E7 Bluetooth Headphones that is connected to your camera, you can easily overcome this shortcoming.
This is just one of the ways the built-in Bluetooth feature can help your photography career.
An HDMI port allows you to connect your camera to a larger screen via an HDMI cable.
In case you feel the 3 inches screen of the D3400 or the 3.2 inches screen of the D5600 is too small, then you can view your images with a larger screen.
This helps you especially in cases where you’ll need to edit. It allows you to see certain details better than you would with your camera’s screen.
Both cameras come equipped with the bulb shutter feature.
The function of this feature is to keep your shutter manually open for a longer time. This allows you more exposure time during capture.
The Nikon D3400 and D5600 have a single card slot. This card slot can accommodate SD cards. Both cameras are capable of writing picture and video files to SDXC cards.
These cameras also support the UHS-1 cards which allow you to transfer data at a fast speed of 104MB/s.
Unique Features – Nikon D3400 vs D5600
In this section, we deal with features that are found in the Nikon D3400 and not in the D5600 and vice versa. This gives you the knowledge about the areas where these cameras have an edge over the other.
Unique Features – Nikon D3400
Built-in Guide System
The Nikon Company fitted the Nikon D3400 with a built-in guide that walks the user through on how to use the camera. This feature is laudable as the camera itself allows the beginner/amateur photographer to get used to the functions and features in photography.
Unique Features – Nikon D5600
With a touch screen feature, the Nikon D5600 gives you easier access as well as control over your camera’s settings and functions. It lets you interact with your camera the same way you would with your smartphone which we’re so familiar with.
The presence of a touch screen feature eliminates the need for certain buttons. Hence, the D5600 has fewer buttons than the D3400 which lacks the touch screen feature.
The D5600 comes completely equipped with a fully articulating screen. This means unlike a fixed display screen that cannot be tilted, turned or rotated, an articulating screen can.
This is a plus as it enhances the capturing ability of the D5600. This feature provides you with better flexibility options during shoots.
The screen of the Nikon D5600 can be fully turned to face the user. This is an important feature for anyone involved in vlogging or one who makes personal videos.
Plus, selfies just got a lot much better using the D5600 that offers more picture quality than your average smartphone.
Watch an overview of the Nikon D5600’s screen features below.
The Wi-Fi enables your camera to connect wirelessly to other devices. This feature offers you flexibility in terms of connectivity. It is convenient and easy as it eliminates the need to get a cable to facilitate the file transfer.
Furthermore, connectivity does not stop with other devices. The built-in Wi-Fi makes your D5600 capable of sending your pictures and videos directly to your social platforms. In other words, you don’t need to send your images to your smartphones before you can share them online.
NFC (Near Field Communication)
This is a wireless connectivity feature that allows you to connect your camera with other compatible and supported devices. This feature works in association with your camera’s Wi-Fi. This further enhances the sharing of files with more speed and ease.
The time-lapse recording is a creativity feature in the sense that it allows the photographer to get creative.
Time-lapse recording is simply the combination of several pictures to make a short video. These pictures are of the same subject which has been taken continuously over some time.
The Nikon D5600 has this time-lapse feature and is usually used to make a video of sunsets, cloud movements, plant growth, etc.
An external microphone is used to bring about a higher audio quality than you would normally have with your camera’s microphone.
Even though your camera possesses an internal microphone that still works well during video recording, it is usually limited. Hence, the need for an external microphone.
However, your camera won’t be able to make use of an external microphone if it lacks a microphone jack.
The D5600 is fitted with a microphone jack that allows you to connect your camera to an external microphone.
An external microphone that we recommend because of its compatibility with the Nikon D5600 out of the many in the market is the Movo VXR10 Universal Video Microphone.
The AE bracketing is a handy feature that assists greatly in harsh lighting conditions. This feature enables your camera to alter its settings automatically to suit the current environment you’re shooting in.
For example, moving from one area to another during shooting is inevitable. Hence, it is common to move from a properly illuminated area to a poorly illuminated one. When this happens, the AE bracketing feature will automatically change your camera’s settings to fit the new environment.
Unlike the Nikon D3400 that lacks the AE bracketing feature, the D5600 does. This gives it an edge over the D3400 in terms of general performance.
Consequently, most would prefer the camera to adjust such settings as required automatically instead of doing so manually. Furthermore, this is particularly suitable for an entry-level camera as it helps the user (in most cases amateurs) get their desired shot.
Unique Pros – Nikon D3400 vs D5600
The section deals with features and functions found in both cameras but with different performance levels. In other words, we discuss the advantages they have over each other as regards common features.
Unique Pros of Nikon D3400 – Nikon D3400 vs D5600
Extended Battery Life
Both cameras have an impressive battery-life despite being entry-level cameras. Nevertheless, the Nikon D3400 has the advantage here over the D5600.
The D3400 can take up to 1200 shots after a single charge whereas the D5600 can capture 970 shots before switching off.
As we said, both cameras have impressive battery life, but the Nikon D3400’s extended battery life of 230 shots wins the day. It is important to add that the D3400’s battery longevity as been said to be a product of its weak flash.
Also, the use of Bluetooth in place of a Wi-Fi for file transfer reduces energy consumption. Whatever the case may be, the Nikon D3400 is a reliable camera in terms of battery life.
Better Color Depth (Accuracy)
The Nikon D3400 does better than the D5600 when it comes to color accuracy or color depth. Color depth is the number of distinct colors that your camera’s sensor can capture.
The D3400 has a color depth of 24.8 while the D5600 has a value of 24.1. The difference looks negligible on paper but when you place the pictures of both cameras side by side, you’ll discover the difference.
One of the factors that most people consider when choosing a camera is the weight of that camera: Ordinarily, most people will go for a lighter camera. If you’re one of such people, the Nikon D3400 would be your pick when compared with the D5600.
The D3400 with a weight of 445g is 20g lighter than the D5600 with a weight of 465g. To some, this may not look like much of a big deal. However, experience has shown us that using a camera to shoot over an extended period is a big deal: You’ll feel this extra weight, we can assure you.
Bigger RAW Buffer
The buffer is a temporary storage area that holds your pictures for a short while during continuous shooting (burst mode) before they are moved to your memory card.
The size of your buffer determines how long you can keep shooting in burst mode. Once your buffer capacity is filled up; your camera stops shooting.
For the Nikon D3400 and the D5600, the buffer capacity for JPEG pictures is the same. Both cameras can shoot up to 100 JPEG images in burst mode.
However, when it comes to shooting RAW images, then we see a difference. Whereas the D5600 has a RAW buffer capacity of 8 shots, the D3400 has an additional 4 shots making a total of 12 RAW shots.
Faster RAW Shooting
In addition to your camera’s buffer capacity, your shooting speed also makes your shooting experience in burst mode more delightful.
The D3400 once again has the advantage over the D5600 when it comes to shooting speed of RAW images in burst mode. With a shooting speed of 5.1fps compared to 4.1fps, the D3400 is capable of taking more pictures in less time than the D5600.
“Light in your hands and light on your pockets” could be a good advertising catchphrase for the Nikon D3400. This is because apart from being light, the D3400 is also cheap.
When relatively compared to other cameras in the entry-level range, this camera saves you money. A typical example is comparing the price with that of the Nikon D5600; you are bound to save over $200 if you opt for the D3400 instead. Now, tell us if that isn’t light on your pockets…
The video below sheds more light on which of these cameras is cheaper.
Unique Pros of Nikon D5600 – Nikon D3400 vs D5600
A larger screen offers you a wider working area. This means you get to notice certain details in your images than you would if you used a smaller screen.
Another advantage is that you get a better view of the angles in your shots plus it’s easier on the eye.
The Nikon D5600 offers you these advantages with its 3.2 inches LCD screen. Therefore, it offers better viewing than the D3400 that has a 3.0 inches screen.
Higher Screen Resolution
A large screen with a low screen resolution is a disaster. However, the Nikon Company avoided this disaster by fitting the D5600 with a screen resolution of 1,037,000 dots.
On the flip side, the Nikon D3400 has a screen resolution of 921,000 dots.
Better Low Light ISO (ISO Performance)
Both cameras have the same ISO range which means their sensors have the same level of sensitivity. Yet, the D5600 has a better ISO performance (usually referred to as low light ISO).
The low light ISO is a measure of a sensor’s response to light. The higher the value, the faster the response to light.
The D5600 does better than the D3400 in this regard. It has a low light ISO of 1306 while the D3400 has 1192 low light ISO.
This advantage makes the Nikon D5600 better at capturing moving objects than the D3400. This is because it exposes a picture faster than the D3400 would.
Ultimately, the low light ISO is practically applicable in low light conditions. The D5600 does better at capturing images in low light than the D3400.
A better ISO performance also reduces noise occurrence in your pictures.
Additional Focus Points
Focus points are the areas in a picture where the camera places more focus thereby improving that area’s details.
The Nikon D5600 and the D3400 have 39 and 11 focus points respectively.
More Cross-Type AF Points
Cross-type AF points enhance your camera’s autofocus ability. More cross-type AF points offer you better control over the autofocus function.
The Nikon D5600 does better in this aspect than the D3400 as it has 9 cross-type AF points whereas the D3400 has just 1.
Better Dynamic Range
The D3400 might have the edge concerning color depth, but the D5600 balances the scale as it does better with an improved dynamic range.
The D5600 has a dynamic range of 14.0 while the D3400 has a value of 13.9. Just like with color depth, the value looks negligible on paper but is of great importance in practical terms.
Startup time is the period it takes for your camera to be fully operational after it is switched on.
The Nikon D5600 is faster with a startup time of 0.20 seconds while the D3400 has a 0.50 seconds startup time. In the event where you need to quickly capture a moment, the D5600 would bail you out faster.
Less Shutter Lag
Shutter lag is referred to the period between when you click the shutter and the actual time when your image is stored. This period causes the camera to be inactive as it tries to save the image captured. Hence, you could end up missing the next important shot.
To this end, a camera with less shutter lag gladdens the heart of many photographers (especially events and sports photographers). Besides, less shutter lag offers a wider angle and focus as well.
Consequently, we favor the D5600 over the D3400 as it has a shutter lag of just 0.11 seconds while the latter has 0.20 seconds shutter lag.
Unique Cons – Nikon D3400 vs D5600
Unique Cons of Nikon D3400 – Nikon D3400 vs D5600
i. No built-in Wi-Fi
ii. No time-lapse recording
iii. No microphone jack
The next video comprehensively compares both cameras.
Common Pros – Nikon D3400 vs D5600
|Nikon D3400||Nikon D5600|
|Supports RAW Format|| The D3400 can shoot and store pictures and videos in RAW format. |
This format produces better quality than your JPEG formats. Furthermore, RAW pictures can be easily edited.
|Same as Nikon D3400|
|Has Face Detection Focus|| This feature allows you to give the face of people in a shot the right amount of exposure. This is especially useful during portraits photography. |
Hence, D3400 is a recommended portrait camera.
|Same as Nikon D3400|
Common Cons – Nikon D3400 vs D5600
|Nikon D3400||Nikon D5600|
|No AF Micro Adjustment|| No fine-tune option is available which allows you to adjust or tune your autofocus. |
The D3400 lacks this function.
|Same as Nikon D3400|
|No Environmental Sealing|| The condition of the weather around us during a shoot tends to influence our shot. This could be a result of the noise from the wind which affects audio during video recording. Or it could be a result of fog, rainfall, etc which affects image quality. |
Certain cameras are equipped with environmental sealing which counters these interferences: The Nikon D3400 is not one of such cameras though.
|Same as Nikon D3400|
|No Image Stabilization|| The slower the shutter speed, the higher the possibility of your camera experiencing a shake. When a shake occurs, you’re bound to have a blurred image. |
For an entry-level camera like the D3400 whose shutter’s speed isn’t phenomenal, this occurs often.
This effect is usually countered with the built-in image stabilization function.
Since the Nikon D3400 lacks this function, you’ll need to get an optical stabilization lens. There are 88 of such lenses that are available for the D3400.
|Same as Nikon D3400|
|No Focus Peaking||A camera that has the focus peaking function is capable of highlighting what’s in focus. The Nikon D3400 lacks this function.||Same as Nikon D3400|
|No Panorama||With the D3400, you can’t stitch pictures together to form a panoramic photo.||Same as Nikon D3400|
|No On-Sensor Phase Detect||This function is used to enhance video AF and live view performance. This is not possible with the D3400 as this function is absent.||Same as Nikon D3400|
|No Built-in GPS||The Nikon D3400 lacks a built-in GPS function. This means you can’t geo-tag with this camera.||Same as Nikon D340|
|No Headphone Jack|| A headphone jack allows you to connect an external headphone to your camera. This isn’t just for looking cool but a headphone is an important accessory during video recording. |
With the aid of a headphone, you can easily observe and monitor audio during video recording.
The Nikon D3400 lacks a headphone jack which means you can’t make use of a headphone.
However, with the aid of the built-in Bluetooth feature, you can connect to a Bluetooth headphone.
|Same as Nikon D3400 except the D5600 lacks the built-in Bluetooth feature.|
|No Slow Motion||Certain moments require being captured in slow motion. The D3400 can shoot videos but cannot make slow-motion videos.||Same as Nikon D3400|
|Single Storage Card Slot|| Having dual card slots, means you get more storage space and flexibility. |
With dual card slots, you can choose to store pictures in one card while you store videos in the other.
It offers you the chance to even store JPEG files in one card and RAW files in another.
These are a few benefits you enjoy from having dual card slots.
The Nikon D3400 does not offer this flexibility with its single storage card slot.
|Same as Nikon D3400|
General Feeling among Users – Nikon D3400 vs D5600
|Nikon D3400||Nikon D5600|
|The price value of the D3400 is praised by users as it comes cheap and offers amazing features as well.||Certain users complained about the price as they felt the Nikon D5600 should have offered more than it did.|
|No built-in Wi-Fi limits the D3400’s ability to connect easily. Most users complained about this.||Nikon D5600 users applauded the built-in Wi-Fi. They say it offered flexibility in terms of connectivity.|
|The absence of a touch screen feature wasn’t much of a big deal for the Nikon D3400 users.||A good number of users praised the Nikon D5600 for its touch screen feature. They were thrilled with the ease with which they could operate the camera.|
Final Thoughts – Nikon D3400 vs D5600
|Nikon D3400||Nikon D5600|
| The D3400 is an excellent entry-level DSLR camera that gently introduces one into the world of photography. |
Besides being great for amateurs, the Nikon D3400 would serve pro photographers well when paired with certain accessories such as lenses.
Its battery life is fantastic for capturing images for an extended period.
|Few entry-level DSLR cameras offer the connectivity functions which the Nikon D5600 does. Its versatility in capturing difficult shots would come in handy frequently.|