Head to head
The D5 costs at least 13 times more than a D3400 kit, but is it 13 times better?
Can the D3400 compete with the D5? The answer might surprise you...
Nikon D3400 kit
The D3400 kit includes a remarkable new-generation zoom lens: the AF-P 18-55mm VR boasts a space-saving design, smooth and silent stepping motor autofocus system, four-stop stabilisation and delivers impressive image quality – all in the price.
As well as USB 2.0 and HDMI ports, the D3400 comes with built-in Bluetooth, enabling wireless connectivity with your smartphone, tablet and other devices. When used in conjunction with Nikon’s SnapBridge software, this makes sharing your photos a doddle.
The 24.2-megapixel image sensor produces pictures of up to 6000x4000 pixels. As with most recent Nikon D-SLRs, the D3400 has no optical anti-aliasing filter to stand in the way of optimum sharpness and full retention of fine detail.
This camera really is no slouch, with a 5fps (frames per second) maximum drive rate, 1/4000 sec shutter speed and a sensitivity range of ISO100-25,600. The 11-point autofocus system features a cross-type point at the centre, and you even get a pop-up flash.
Terms like ‘budget’ and ‘entry-level’ are often applied to the D3400, but there’s no shortage of image quality here. What’s more, its interactive Guide mode enables complete beginners to get up and running quickly, and create stunning images.
There's no kit lens supplied, so you’ll have to buy one separately. The AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR is an obvious contender, but it’s frankly colossal, weighs five times more than the D3400’s kit lens, and will set you back a further £2,000/$2,400. Ouch.
SuperSpeed USB 3.0, HDMI, audio input/output and even Ethernet sockets are on hand, but Nikon's flagship D-SLR has no built-in wireless connectivity. For this, you’ll need to splash out on a WT-6 Wireless Transmitter. That’ll set you back another £600/$700.
The D5 also omits an optical low-pass/anti-aliasing filter, but its image sensor has a lower resolution of 20.8 megapixels. This delivers a slightly smaller maximum picture size of 5568x3712 pixels. Mathematically, it’s another win for the D3400.
Rapid-fire drive rates of up to 14fps and a 1/8000 sec shutter speed are backed up by a 153-point autofocus system, while sensitivity runs from ISO100-102,400 (ISO3,280,000 expanded). Pop-up flash? Don’t be silly, you’ll need to buy a flashgun.
Shooting in favourable conditions, the D5’s increased image quality over the D3400 can be hard to spot. But when the going gets tough, and you have to nail the shot in action sports or retain great quality under poor lighting, the D5 shines through.
Sensor 24.2Mp CMOS DX Shutter speeds 30-1/4000 sec, Bulb Autofocus 11-point (1 cross-type) Sensitivity ISO100-25,600 Max drive rate 5fps connectivity Bluetooth Dimensions 124x98x76mm Weight 445g Price £400/$500
Sensor 20.8Mp CMOS FX Shutter speeds 30-1/8000 sec, Bulb Autofocus 153-point (99 cross-type, 15 support f/8) Sensitivity ISO100-102,400 (50-3,280,000 expanded) Max drive rate 14fps connectivity None Dimensions 160x159x92mm Weight 1,405g Price £5,400/$6,500