D3400 Holiday 3 Lens Bundle: Worth it?

I'm looking to purchase my first dslr and have settled on the d3400, I believe. It's price point is only $50 more than the d3300 now, so I think simply having better battery life will make the extra cash worth it. I'm trying to decide if I should take the plunge and purchase Nikon's holiday special, which includes the d3400 with the kit lens, the AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED, and the AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G. I've done a little research and am concerned I may be better off to just buy the camera with the kit lens, and then buy my lenses separately. The holiday deal does safe a decent chunk of change though, so it's worth thinking about! These are my main concerns:
1. The 70-300mm is NOT equipped with VR and that seems worth while for a zoom lens, however does the deal make the slight drop in quality worth it?
2. I'm unsure if the 50mm is best for me over the 35mm

I'm interested in portrait photography, still life, landscape, and generally to capture great shots as I'm traveling, or just taking a walk downtown (I think this would be considered street photography?), and getting some decent shots of my dad's band as he performs. Sports photography isn't my thing, and I enjoy the idea of wildlife photography but the gear is expensive and that may just have to wait. I'm wanting to train myself for my upcoming Disneyworld vacation next December, so practicing with bright artificial light at night and some of the decorations/statues/architecture during the day.
Do you think this bundle is worth $819 or should I space out my lense purchases and spring for the higher quality?


  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,443Member
    edited December 2016
    Why would you want a 3400 which has a weaker flash and no sensor cleaner ...3300 rules
    just get the 18-140 grey/cheap as the 3xxx range has no fine focus adjust
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • CaMeRaQuEsTCaMeRaQuEsT Posts: 357Member
    Apparently the jump in RAW and video image quality is worth the $50 difference between the D3300 and the D3400, but you loose a mic plug, so all your videos' audio tracks will be restricted to the in-body mic's mono channel and so-so pick-up quality (remember, audio makes up 50% of a video's experience). Snapbridge's functionality on the D3400 is really lacking compared to the D3300 with its WiFi dongle attached (which is usually included in the holiday bundles): you can't remotely control the D3400 with your smartphone and it only downloads 2MP "snapshots" of your pictures, never mind the videos, whereas you are able to remotely control the D3300 using its WiFi app and you will be able to download your pictures and videos at full resolution. And then there is the 1/2 as powerful flash (thus the "longer" quoted battery life) and the lack of a sensor cleaner. I for one upgraded to the D5500 and never look back, though I did enjoy using the 3 D3300 I owned through a 2 year span.

    If you use the 70-300 to shoot action, you will be using high shutter speeds anyways, so the VR is wasted in such situations. VR is most welcome shooting still lifes, landscapes and portraits of subjects that can keep still (read: not children!), so it better serves its purpose on the 18-55. The 50mm you'll use mainly for portraits, were it excels stopped down to f2 or f2.8, and will come in handy when shooting concerts thanks to its mild tele reach, which is perfect for shooting from near the stage, and its wide opening to allow your camera's AF to work under the dark environment of a concert while allowing you to keep ISO low and still be able to freeze the action.

  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,443Member
    The battery life is only greater because of the reduced flash power. The testing is done with the flash on. A battery is only $10 on ebay.
    A video camera with no mic socket ...arrgh
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,186Member
    edited December 2016
    The D3400 not a bad general purpose, "do anything at beginner level" camera. It will do great as a "learn photography" tool and can even do some things very well (as good as ANY other DSLR). It will get you to a place to know if you are ACTUALLY interested in photography.

    So with that in mind I will recommend just getting the Kit lense. The whole idea of a DSLR is you can get new lenses. And the huge advantage of the Nikon Lens system (I think you can mount over 400 lenses on your camera?) is that as you grow your interest and expertise in various areas of photography you will be able to acquire the tools to help you.

    And dont listen to Pistnbroke !! He takes the fun out of learning (failing and learning from mistakes) and just provides shortcuts to the best options.... ;-) (PS: the 18-140 is an excellent recommendation ... damit! )
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,443Member
    did my learning in the 1970s Photographed the sun the moon and the stars (and orbiting satellites) Processed slide film etc etc But for me going on a wedding shoot is not about experimenting with the camera its about keeping out of court.
    D3300+ 18-140 and some gaffer tape !!!!
  • dabug91dabug91 Posts: 2Member
    edited December 2016
    You would be better off buying a D3300, D5300, or D5500 instead of the D3400. Unfortunately, the lack of VR on the 70-300mm lens will make it useless in a lot of situations and you will wind up with blurry images, especially if shooting handheld.
    Earlier this year and last year, Nikon was selling the D3300 bundles for just $600 (and I think it even got down to $500 at one point). The D3400 is sadly a downgrade from the D3300 in some respects and many stores have cleared a lot of their D3300 inventory off their shelves but you can still find them for really good prices ($400 or less) if you look hard enough and are willing to consider refurbished or gently used.
    The D3300 bundles included the 18-55mm VR II and 55-200mm VR II lenses, as well as the Nikon camera bag, the wifi adapter, and typically a 32GB SanDisk Ultra SDXC card.
    The D3300 was $650 when it was first introduced in March of 2014. About 5 or 6 months after that it dropped down to $500 while the D3200 held the $450 spot.
    Then there was a period of time where you could buy the Nikon D3300 for only $400.
    The 55-200 VR II lens was $350 when first introduced and is now temporarily on sale for $150 and has been since around late September/early October.
    Like another person has said, I would recommend finding a D3300 for cheap and getting the 18-140mm lens, OR get the D3300 with the 18-55 VR II kit lens and purchase the 55-200 VR II separately for just $150.
    Furthermore, both the DX 35mm f/1.8G ($200 retail, around $150-$180 when on sale), and the 50mm f/1.8G ($220 retail, usually $180 on sale) would be excellent prime lenses for you to add as well, with the 50mm being slightly better for portraits.
    Another option in between the 35mm and 50mm 1.8G's would be the 40mm f/2.8 macro lens ($280 retail, $250 when on sale).
    I've had both the 55-300mm and 55-200mm (and 18-140) lenses, and in all reality, the 300mm focal length isn't a tremendous deal more zoom vs 200mm when you're working with a 24MP DX APS-C crop sensor like the Nikon D3xxx, D5xxx, and D7xxx series.
    Post edited by dabug91 on
  • dabug91dabug91 Posts: 2Member
    edited December 2016
    Actually, it appears Nikon is still selling the D3300 2-lens kit with the 18-55 VR II and 55-200 VR II + the free WU-1a WiFi adapter for $600. The D3400 is tempting for $100 less, but you'd be getting a useless non-VR lens that would be harder to sale, and a camera with a weaker flash, no microphone jack, and no built-in sensor cleaning. Surely you would also want to take video of your dad's band, and to get truly good audio for something like that you would need an external microphone, which the D3300 would allow you to make use of whereas the D3400 is crippled for video without a mic input. Nikon's built in microphones and audio electronics aren't that great and often have a hissing sound, and even Nikon's own external microphone still suffers from the hiss.
    Or what you can do instead is purchase the D3300 with the 18-55mm VR II lens for $450, which includes the free wifi adapter, and then because you'd be purchasing a camera body, you could get the AF-P 70-300mm VR lens for $250 ($150 off).
    So for $700, you'd have a Nikon D3300, AF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR II, AF-P 70-300 f/4.5-6.3G ED VR, + wifi adapter.
    The 70-300mm lens would easily allow you to take portraits, and then you could later on buy the 50mm f/1.8G when it goes on sale again. If you're going to buy the 35mm f/1.8G, you're better off buying it in the 2 lens kit with the 85mm macro for $500. You could also use the 85mm macro lens for portraits as well.
    Nikon Holiday Sale Page
    Post edited by dabug91 on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,545Moderator
    If you want to shoot your dad's band, you will want a faster and fairly wide lens for sure. It's a different scale of cost, but the 20/1.8 is good on DX whereas the 35 and 50 I find to be too long for some uses and too short for others. Go for the FX 70-300 VR if you need that focal length. The 20 will suit your landscape needs too.
    Always learning.
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 1,090Member
    The D3300 is a better camera. Nikon has downgraded the D3400 in a most tragic way. However the JPEG is slightly better in the new D3400 but represents an almost unnoticeable change from the D3300. I have the new 70-300mm DX VR lens which you can buy from many dealers with $150 off when you buy a D3300 and the 18-55 kit lens, called a Holiday savings deal on the Nikon USA website. When you get a D3300 you get a better lens sensor cleaner, panaramic mode, etc., the D3400 substitutes SnapBridge for desirable features. When Nikon realized what was going to happen they jacked up the D3300'and kit lens price. Get the 18-55mm kit lens for sure, it is very good for what it costs. On the new 70-300 mm DX VR lens it is quite highly rated. I personally think the 70-300 DX non VR lens would be OK on a tripod, pretty doubtful off a tripod. At 400 ISO and up, I shoot a lot on 800 it is quite good. Lastly a D7200 is quite a bit better with these same lens. The 50 mm prime lens
    I own, as well as the 35mm 1.8 DX and they have their place but don't fail to test them against the 18-55 kit lens, you will find the 18-55 which has the zoom advantage is quite good!
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