Nikon have a range of D-SLRs, but the two I’ve seen slung around people’s necks most are cameras from the D3000 series and the D5000 series. These cameras are Nikons cheapest and lack many pro features, however for the casual user or someone trying to get into photography on a budget, these cameras can be great. The only question is — which is for you?


For these specs, I’m going to look at the latest iterations of the two camera line-ups: the Nikon D3400 and the the Nikon D5600.


Megapixel DX Sensor

  • 4 Frames Per Second
  • ISO 100-25600

Pounds (UK) with 18-55 AF-P Kit Lens


Megapixel DX Sensor

  • 5 Frames Per Second
  • ISO 100-25600

Pounds (UK) with 18-55 AF-P Kit Lens

So based on what I call the key specs, the D5600 seems a bit of a waste. An extra £300 for an extra frame per second? Well at this point, yes. But the D5600 has a lot — a lot — of things that the D3400 doesn’t. Let’s go through a few:

3.2 inch, fully articulating touchscreen

39-Point AF System

GPS, NFC, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity

Video up to 60 fps 1080p video

And the D3400… well that’s lacking in features. 

3 inch, fixed non-touch screen

11-point AF System

Bluetooth for Snapbridge Connectivity

And that’s it, wheras the D5600 also has timelapse, bracketing, the ability to move in 1/3 shutter, ISO and aperture stops… you get the picture. That extra £300 does get you a better bit of kit.

And it’s the same if you go back and look at previous models in the D3000 and D5000 series — at their core, the two cameras are the same — same sensor, processor, similar build, software and access to the same Nikon F mount lenses — but in the more luxurious feautres, the D3000 series will lack. 

But, and here’s the dealbreaker, can you justify an extra £300 for another twenty-eight focus points a better video system and a touchy-tilt screen? In my opinion, the tilty-screens are too fragile for me and I know that at some point I’m bound to break the fragile connection between the articulating screen and the main body (however I do respect that keen landscape photographers will appreciate the articulating screen — but I always think that if you’re just starting out you don’t necesarrily know what you love shooting). Again, if you want to be doing video as well as stills, the D5600 is the way to go, but Nikon are famous for not being great at video so I’d go for a Canon alternative to these cameras; one of their ‘Rebel’ series.

Connectivity-wise, WiFi is nice for remote camera control and is something I love in my D7200, however it’s not a dealbreaker — especially for £300. In regards to importing pictures from the camera, the D3400 does have Bluetooth for SnapBridge if you’re desperate to port pictures to your phone/tablet wirelessly, but in my opinion the most reliable, hassle-free and quick way of importing images is by using an SD card reader with your chosen editing machine. 

So, as you may’ve gathered from this last paragraph, I have a soft-spot for these D3000 cameras. My first ever D-SLR, and the camera I caught most of my competition-winning shots on, was a D3200, and I would advise both it and it’s two successors. It’s cheap cost means that money saved over buying a higher-end camera can be spent on some good glass to go with that lovely 24 megapixel sensor. For this reason, I’d recommend this series of camera (the best value for money being the D3300) to anyone looking to get into the world of Nikon D-SLR photography as its cheap, stripped down almost to the bear essentials, feautre handy guide modes for just getting started but also the standard ‘P S A M’ modes for when you get more advanced. Also, the limitations of the camera (11-point AF system etc.) make you appreciate the features found on higher-end D-SLRs a lot more. But the main reason is because its cheap!

So? What about the D5000 cameras, the 5600 and the like? Well, there’s no doubt they’re good cameras, and much better than the 3000s, but to me they’re aimed at different audiences. The D3xxx series is aimed at people looking to get into D-SLR photography, wheras the more expensive D5xxx is, to me, aimed at people who just want something better than their point-and-shoot, maybe to do some video as well as stills. Of course, the D3xxx will function just as well as this point-and-shoot upgrade, but if your willing to pay aroud £700, go for the D5600 with kit lens. But, for around the same money, you can pick up a D3400 with the 18-55mm kit lens, a Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 LD Di Macro to get you in the telephoto game and something like the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 for the wide-angle. Or, you can pick up a used D3300 or D3200 and then have a bit extra to splash on lenses, maybe a 35mm f/1.8G as a kit lens upgrade or a higher-end telephoto, such as the Nikon 70-300 VR alternative. 

So there’s my conclusion — if you’re not bothered about expanding your lens collection, then go for the D5600 and the kit lens — it offers WiFi, NFC etc. to quickly port high-quality images from the camera to mobile devices and a touchscreen for a more user-friendly interface. However, if you’re looking to get a bit more serious with your photography, a D3xxx camera may be your best bet as it provides a silmmed-down photography experience but at the core the two cameras are the same. 

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