Nikon D3400 vs Df
The Nikon D3400 and the Nikon Df are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in August 2016 and November 2013. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (D3400) and a full frame (Df) sensor. The D3400 has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the Df provides 16.2 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Nikon D3400||Nikon Df|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Nikon F mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|24 MP, APS-C Sensor||16.2 MP, Full Frame Sensor|
|1080/60p Video||no Video|
|ISO 100-25600||ISO 100-12800 (50-204800)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0" LCD, 921k dots||3.2" LCD, 921k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|5 shutter flaps per second||5.5 shutter flaps per second|
|Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|1200 shots per battery charge||1400 shots per battery charge|
|124 x 98 x 76 mm, 445 g||144 x 110 x 67 mm, 760 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D3400 and the Nikon Df? 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon D3400 and the Nikon Df is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The D3400 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the Df is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, silver).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon Df is notably larger (30 percent) than the Nikon D3400. Moreover, the Df is substantially heavier (71 percent) than the D3400. It is noteworthy in this context that the Df is splash and dust-proof, while the D3400 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
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. A larger imaging sensor (as in the Df) will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, while more compact options are available for the smaller-sensor camera (D3400). You can compare the optics available in the Nikon Lens Catalog.
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.
|Nikon D3400»||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||445 g||1200||n||Aug 2016||499||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon Df«||144 mm||110 mm||67 mm||760 g||1400||Y||Nov 2013||2,749||Nikon Df|
|Canon 77D« »||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899||Canon 77D|
|Canon 200D« »||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549||Canon 200D|
|Canon M100« »||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||302 g||295||n||Aug 2017||499||Canon M100|
|Nikon D3500« »||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||365 g||1550||n||Aug 2018||429||Nikon D3500|
|Nikon D7500« »||136 mm||104 mm||73 mm||720 g||950||Y||Apr 2017||1,299||Nikon D7500|
|Nikon D5600« »||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||465 g||970||n||Nov 2016||699||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D5500« »||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||420 g||820||n||Jan 2015||899||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D4S« »||160 mm||157 mm||91 mm||1350 g||3020||Y||Feb 2014||6,499||Nikon D4S|
|Nikon D750« »||141 mm||113 mm||78 mm||750 g||1230||Y||Sep 2014||2,299||Nikon D750|
|Nikon D810« »||146 mm||123 mm||82 mm||980 g||1200||Y||Jun 2014||3,299||Nikon D810|
|Nikon D3300« »||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||430 g||700||n||Jan 2014||499||Nikon D3300|
|Nikon D610« »||141 mm||113 mm||82 mm||850 g||900||Y||Oct 2013||1,999||Nikon D610|
|Nikon D5300« »||125 mm||98 mm||76 mm||480 g||600||n||Oct 2013||799||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D4« »||160 mm||157 mm||91 mm||1340 g||2600||Y||Jan 2012||5,999||Nikon D4|
|Nikon D3200« »||125 mm||96 mm||77 mm||505 g||540||n||Apr 2012||599||Nikon D3200|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 82 percent) than the Df, 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D3400 features an APS-C sensor and the Nikon Df a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the Df is 134 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
In terms of chip-set technology, the D3400 uses a more advanced image processing engine (EXPEED 4) than the Df (EXPEED 3), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Nikon D3400 offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixels, compared with 16.2 MP of the Nikon Df. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.91μm versus 7.29μm for the Df). However, it should be noted that the D3400 is much more recent (by 2 years and 9 months) than the Df, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. 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 inch or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inch or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inch or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon Df are 24.6 x 16.4 inch or 62.6 x 41.7 cm for good quality, 19.7 x 13.1 inch or 50.1 x 33.3 cm for very good quality, and 16.4 x 10.9 inch or 41.7 x 27.8 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Nikon D3400 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon Df are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 50-204800.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. 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 Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Nikon D3400||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.8||13.9||1192||86||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon Df||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||none||24.6||13.1||3279||89||Nikon Df|
|Canon 77D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.3||971||78||Canon 77D|
|Canon 200D||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.4||1041||79||Canon 200D|
|Canon M100||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.5||12.9||1272||78||Canon M100|
|Nikon D3500||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Nikon D3500|
|Nikon D7500||APS-C||20.7||5568||3712||4K/30p||24.3||14.0||1483||86||Nikon D7500|
|Nikon D5600||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1306||84||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D5500||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.1||14.0||1438||84||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D4S||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||1080/60p||24.4||13.3||3074||89||Nikon D4S|
|Nikon D750||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||1080/60p||24.8||14.5||2956||93||Nikon D750|
|Nikon D810||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.7||14.8||2853||97||Nikon D810|
|Nikon D3300||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.3||12.8||1385||82||Nikon D3300|
|Nikon D610||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||1080/30p||25.1||14.4||2925||94||Nikon D610|
|Nikon D5300||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.0||13.9||1338||83||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D4||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||1080/30p||24.7||13.1||2965||89||Nikon D4|
|Nikon D3200||APS-C||24.1||6016||4000||1080/30p||24.1||13.2||1131||81||Nikon D3200|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The D3400 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the Df does not. The highest resolution format that the D3400 can use is 1080/60p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D3400 and the Df 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 viewfinder in the Df offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the D3400 (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the Df has a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.57x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon D3400 and Nikon Df along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Nikon D3400||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon Df||optical||Y||3.2||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.5||n||n||Nikon Df|
|Canon 77D||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Canon 77D|
|Canon 200D||optical||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Canon 200D|
|Canon M100||none||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.1||Y||n||Canon M100|
|Nikon D3500||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D3500|
|Nikon D7500||optical||Y||3.2||922||tilting||Y||1/8000s||8.0||Y||n||Nikon D7500|
|Nikon D5600||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D5500||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D4S||optical||Y||3.2||921||fixed||n||1/8000s||11.0||n||n||Nikon D4S|
|Nikon D750||optical||Y||3.2||1229||tilting||n||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D750|
|Nikon D810||optical||Y||3.2||1229||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D810|
|Nikon D3300||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D3300|
|Nikon D610||optical||Y||3.2||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D610|
|Nikon D5300||optical||n||3.2||1037||swivel||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D4||optical||Y||3.2||921||fixed||n||1/8000s||11.0||n||n||Nikon D4|
|Nikon D3200||optical||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Nikon D3200|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The D3400 has one, while the Df does not. While the built-in flash of the D3400 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The Nikon Df has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the D3400 and the Df write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
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 Nikon D3400 and Nikon Df and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Nikon D3400||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||Y||Nikon D3400|
|Nikon Df||Y||none||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon Df|
|Canon 77D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 77D|
|Canon 200D||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon 200D|
|Canon M100||-||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Canon M100|
|Nikon D3500||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||Y||Nikon D3500|
|Nikon D7500||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||-||Y||Nikon D7500|
|Nikon D5600||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y||Nikon D5600|
|Nikon D5500||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5500|
|Nikon D4S||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D4S|
|Nikon D750||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D750|
|Nikon D810||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D810|
|Nikon D3300||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3300|
|Nikon D610||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D610|
|Nikon D5300||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Nikon D5300|
|Nikon D4||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D4|
|Nikon D3200||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3200|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Nikon Df (unlike the D3400) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
The Df is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the D3400 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D3400 was succeeded 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 Nikon website.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Nikon D3400 better than the Nikon Df or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Nikon D3400:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (24 vs 16.2MP) with a 22% higher linear resolution.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (0.8 EV of extra DR).
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (EXPEED 4 vs EXPEED 3).
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/60p movies.
- More compact: Is smaller (124x98mm vs 144x110mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 315g or 41 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (82 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 9 months of technical progress since the Df launch.
Advantages of the Nikon Df:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (1.5 stops ISO advantage).
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 95%).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.70x vs 0.57x).
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1400 versus 1200) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in November 2013).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (11 points each). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D3400 and the Nikon Df 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 incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D3400 or the Df perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. 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.
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. 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. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 30D vs Nikon Df
- Canon G7 X Mark II vs Nikon D3400
- Canon SL3 vs Nikon Df
- Fujifilm X100T vs Nikon D3400
- Leica M10 vs Nikon D3400
- Nikon D3400 vs Nikon D7000
- Nikon D3400 vs Panasonic GF3
- Nikon D3400 vs Sony WX800
- Nikon D7000 vs Nikon Df
- Nikon Df vs Panasonic FZ2500
- Nikon Df vs Panasonic GF5
- Nikon Df vs Sony A58
Specifications: Nikon D3400 vs Nikon Df
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 Model||Nikon D3400||Nikon Df|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2016||November 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 2749|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon D3400||Nikon Df|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Full Frame Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.6 mm||36.0 x 23.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||366.6 mm2||860.4 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.2 mm||43.2 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||16.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||4928 x 3280 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.91 μm||7.29 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.55 MP/cm2||1.88 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100-25600 ISO||100-12800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||50-204800 ISO|
|Image Processor||EXPEED 4||EXPEED 3|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||86||89|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||24.8||24.6|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||13.9||13.1|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1192||3279|
|Screen Specs||Nikon D3400||Nikon Df|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.2 inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon D3400||Nikon Df|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||5.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations||150 000 actuations|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon D3400||Nikon Df|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Nikon D3400||Nikon Df|
|Environmental Sealing||Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||1200 shots per charge||1400 shots per charge|
124 x 98 x 76 mm
(4.9 x 3.9 x 3.0 in)
144 x 110 x 67 mm
(5.7 x 4.3 x 2.6 in)
|Camera Weight||445 g (15.7 oz)||760 g (26.8 oz)|
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