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Canon D30 vs Nikon D3400

The Canon EOS-D30 and the Nikon D3400 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in May 2000 and August 2016. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 3.1 megapixels, whereas the Nikon provides 24 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Canon D30 versus Nikon D3400
Canon D30 Nikon D3400
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
3.1 MP, APS-C Sensor 24 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-1,600 ISO 100-25,600
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
1.8 LCD, 114k dots 3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
540 shots per battery charge1200 shots per battery charge
150 x 107 x 75 mm, 750 g 124 x 98 x 76 mm, 445 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS-D30 and the Nikon D3400? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Canon D30 and the Nikon D3400 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The D3400 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the D30 is only available in black.

Size Canon D30 vs Nikon D3400
Compare D30 versus D3400 top
Comparison D30 or D3400 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D3400 is notably smaller (24 percent) than the Canon D30. Moreover, the D3400 is substantially lighter (41 percent) than the D30. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the D30 nor the D3400 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Yet, since both cameras are based around an APS-C sensor, their respective lenses will tend to have similar dimensions and heft. You can compare the optics available for the two cameras in the Canon EF Lens Catalog (D30) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D3400).

Concerning battery life, the D30 gets 540 shots out of its BP-511 battery, while the D3400 can take 1200 images on a single charge of its EN-EL14a power pack.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon D30 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 750 g 540 n May 2000 2,999i
 
Nikon D3400 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 445 g 1200 n Aug 2016 499i
 
Canon 77D 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 n Feb 2017 899 i
 
Canon 200D 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 n Jun 2017 549i
 
Canon 5D Mark IV 151 mm 116 mm 76 mm 890 g 900 Y Aug 2016 3,499 i
 
Canon 80D 139 mm 105 mm 79 mm 730 g 960 Y Feb 2016 1,199i
 
Canon 40D 146 mm 108 mm 74 mm 822 g 750 n Aug 2007 1,299i
 
Canon 30D 144 mm 106 mm 74 mm 785 g 750 n Feb 2006 1,399i
 
Canon 20D 144 mm 106 mm 72 mm 770 g 700 n Aug 2004 1,499i
 
Canon 10D 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 850 g 500 n Feb 2003 1,999i
 
Canon 300D 142 mm 99 mm 72 mm 649 g 400 n Aug 2003 899i
 
Canon D60 150 mm 107 mm 75 mm 855 g 620 n Feb 2002 2,999i
 
Nikon D3500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 365 g 1550 n Aug 2018 429 i
 
Nikon D5600 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 465 g 970 n Nov 2016 699 i
 
Nikon D5500 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 420 g 820 n Jan 2015 899i
 
Nikon D3300 124 mm 98 mm 76 mm 430 g 700 n Jan 2014 499i
 
Nikon D3200 125 mm 96 mm 77 mm 505 g 540 n Apr 2012 599i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The D3400 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 83 percent) than the D30, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D3400 is 12 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have format factors, respectively, of 1.6 (D30) and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Canon D30 and Nikon D3400 sensor measures

With 24MP, the D3400 offers a higher resolution than the D30 (3.1MP), but the D3400 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 10.29μm for the D30). Yet, the D3400 is a much more recent model (by 16 years and 3 months) than the D30, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the D3400 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon D3400 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D3400 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon D30 are 10.8 x 7.2 inches or 27.4 x 18.3 cm for good quality, 8.6 x 5.8 inches or 21.9 x 14.6 cm for very good quality, and 7.2 x 4.8 inches or 18.3 x 12.2 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Canon EOS-D30 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D3400 are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).

D30 versus D3400 MP

For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Canon D30 APS-C 3.1 2160 1440none........
 
Nikon D3400 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.813.9119286
 
Canon 77D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.397178
 
Canon 200D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.4104179
 
Canon 5D Mark IV Full Frame 30.1 6720 44804K/30p24.813.6299591
 
Canon 80D APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p23.613.2113579
 
Canon 40D APS-C 10.1 3888 2592none22.111.370364
 
Canon 30D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.510.873659
 
Canon 20D APS-C 8.2 3504 2336none21.911.072162
 
Canon 10D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.110.957157
 
Canon 300D APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none21.010.854455
 
Canon D60 APS-C 6.3 3072 2048none........
 
Nikon D3500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Nikon D5600 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684
 
Nikon D5500 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0143884
 
Nikon D3300 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.312.8138582
 
Nikon D3200 APS-C 24.1 6016 40001080/30p24.113.2113181

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The D3400 indeed provides for movie recording, while the D30 does not. The highest resolution format that the D3400 can use is 1080/60p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The D30 and the D3400 are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (95%), but the viewfinder of the D3400 has a higher magnification than the one of the D30 (0.57x vs 0.54x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon D30, the Nikon D3400, and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Canon D30optical Y 1.8 114 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3400optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 77Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n
 
Canon 200Doptical n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 5D Mark IVoptical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 1/8000s 7.0 n n
 
Canon 80Doptical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
 
Canon 40Doptical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 1/8000s 6.5 Y n
 
Canon 30Doptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 20Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
 
Canon 10Doptical Y 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Canon 300Doptical n 1.8 118 fixed n 1/4000s 2.5 Y n
 
Canon D60optical Y 1.8 114 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3500optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D5600optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D5500optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3300optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3200optical n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 4.0 Y n

One feature that is present on the D30, but is missing on the D3400 is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.

The D30 writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the D3400 uses SDXC cards.

Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS-D30 and Nikon D3400 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Canon D30Y-----1.0---
 
Nikon D3400Ymonomono--mini2.0--Y
 
Canon 77DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon 200DYstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Canon 5D Mark IVYmonomonoYYmini3.0YY-
 
Canon 80DYstereomonoYYmini2.0YY-
 
Canon 40DY-----2.0---
 
Canon 30DY-----2.0---
 
Canon 20DY-----1.1---
 
Canon 10DY-----1.1---
 
Canon 300DY-----1.1---
 
Canon D60Y-----1.1---
 
Nikon D3500Ymonomono--mini2.0--Y
 
Nikon D5600YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Nikon D5500YstereomonoY-mini2.0Y--
 
Nikon D3300YmonomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Nikon D3200YmonomonoY-mini2.0---

Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon D30 (unlike the D3400) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.

Both the D30 and the D3400 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D30 was replaced by the Canon D60, while the D3400 was followed by the Nikon D3500. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Nikon websites.

Review summary

So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon D30 and the Nikon D3400? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS-D30:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
  • Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in May 2000).

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D3400:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 3.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 178%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60p video.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.57x vs 0.54x).
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 1.8") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 114k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (124x98mm vs 150x107mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 305g or 41 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1200 versus 540) out of a single battery charge.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (2.0 vs 1.0).
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (83 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 16 years and 3 months of technical progress since the D30 launch.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D3400 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 4 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

D30 04:14 D3400

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon D30 and the Nikon D3400 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the D30 or the D3400. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.

Expert reviews

This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Canon D30..+ +...... May 2000 2,999i
 
Nikon D3400+76/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2016 499i
 
Canon 77D..82/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Feb 2017 899 i
 
Canon 200D+ +78/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2017 549i
 
Canon 5D Mark IV+ +87/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Aug 2016 3,499 i
 
Canon 80D+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Feb 2016 1,199i
 
Canon 40D+ ++ +4.5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,299i
 
Canon 30D+ ++ +oo.. Feb 2006 1,399i
 
Canon 20D..+ +..o.. Aug 2004 1,499i
 
Canon 10D..+ +..o.. Feb 2003 1,999i
 
Canon 300D..+ +..o.. Aug 2003 899i
 
Canon D60..+ +o.... Feb 2002 2,999i
 
Nikon D3500..75/1004/54.5/54.5/5 Aug 2018 429 i
 
Nikon D5600..79/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 i
 
Nikon D5500+79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jan 2015 899i
 
Nikon D3300+77/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2014 499i
 
Nikon D3200+ +73/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2012 599i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Canon D30:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D3400:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Canon D30 vs Nikon D3400

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon D30 Nikon D3400
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date May 2000 August 2016
    Launch Price USD 2,999 USD 499
    Sensor Specs Canon D30 Nikon D3400
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 22.0 x 14.9 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
    Sensor Area 327.8 mm2 366.6 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 26.6 mm 28.2 mm
    Crop Factor 1.6x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 3.1 Megapixels 24 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 2160 x 1440 pixels 6000 x 4000 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 10.29 μm 3.91 μm
    Pixel Density 0.95 MP/cm2 6.55 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 25,600 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 86
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 24.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 13.9
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 1192
    Screen Specs Canon D30 Nikon D3400
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95% 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.54x 0.57x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View
    Rear LCD Size 1.8inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 114k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Canon D30 Nikon D3400
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    Connectivity Specs Canon D30 Nikon D3400
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket no PC Sync
    USB Connector USB 1.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Bluetooth Support no Bluetooth Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs Canon D30 Nikon D3400
    Battery Type BP-511 EN-EL14a
    Battery Life (CIPA)540 shots per charge1200 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 150 x 107 x 75 mm
    (5.9 x 4.2 x 3.0 in)
    124 x 98 x 76 mm
    (4.9 x 3.9 x 3.0 in)
    Camera Weight 750 g (26.5 oz) 445 g (15.7 oz)

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