Probably the most frequent question we receive. In this new series, we will brave the digital frontier. After all, We suffer so you don’t have to™ is our motto and our mantra. This is Part II of the series.
The Nikon D3400 is a DLSR camera that can do it all.
This is the camera for you. The optics and software are the same as more expensive and complicated options that will follow. You are going to take great photos with this camera. Get one.
No real downsides, but the menus are a little slower than the dials and buttons on more expensive options. They are laid out logically and will be more than fast enough once you practice switching between options.
Choose one lens or the other for now. Come back and get the other one when you want to give yourself options. You won’t be carrying both at the same time. Put one on the body and go!
I recommend starting with the fast 35mm. It lets you learn the body of the camera with a lens that mimics the eye, is fast enough to arrest motion, and will capture your image in available light without a flash.
Then swap it out for the real thoroughbred, the 18-300mm. This lens is going to let you go long, go wide, and go macro. There is literally nothing else like it. You are buying a Nikon so that you can slap this lens on the body and go take photographs for a year without ever removing it. Landscapes, flowers, tiny insects, your dog, your kid, your partner, everything and anything you want to point it at, is just a twist of the wrist away.
I have had photographers who are dragging a wagon of gear behind them start drooling when I explain it to them while I nonchalantly stroll along capturing everything in sight handheld. I feel bad for them as they heft their many thousand dollar lenses onto a tripod and struggle to get it pointed at something that is long gone. I am already shooting something else, and quietly snickering to myself.
The 18-55mm lens that comes with the body can be sold immediately to help cover the cost of one of the recommended lenses. Don’t even take it out of the box. It is not as fast and light as the 35mm, and you will be constantly slamming it into the 55mm peg as you try to reach out with it. It is the worst of both worlds, and you have two amazing choices that are the best at what they do.
Yes, you really do need them all.
More on troubleshooting problems and cropping your photos for professional results in a future post.