THE NIKON D3400 VIDEO SET UP
The Nikon D3400 is an entry-level DSLR camera designed by Nikon for people who are moving up from bridge cameras or from compact cameras and whilst it takes excellent stills it also shoots superb video. One of the selling points of this camera is that it shoots Full HD video which is 1080 at 60 frames per second, which is really very impressive, and gives you a very smooth and very high quality video reproduction. One of the downsides however is that it doesn’t have an external microphone socket and that is very much in common with most cameras in this category – though ironically its predecessor, the Nikon D3300, does have an external microphone socket and I would say that if you’re going to shoot a lot of video, which will require a lot of sound when you’re actually recording the video – perhaps you are doing interviews or you are recording bands – then you might want to look at the D3300 rather than this camera.
On the other hand one of the things that I really do like about this camera is that it has a lot of effects and modes, so that you can be quite creative with the way that you shoot stills and those effects are translated through to videos too which is really quite fun. So you can have a lot of fun with photo illustration which shoots a sort of comic effect but in video. You can have fun with the miniature effect which shoots a sort of time lapse but within the miniature effect option, and you can also https://www.scootmobielbelang.nl have some great fun which I found with toy camera effect which gives a really OLDE WORLDE type of shot through video with vignette and quite unsaturated color.
Before you shoot video you need to change some of the settings in the menus. So first of all switch the camera on and press the menu button and you are looking for the shooting menu. The video options are right at the bottom of the page so you could use the multi selector to go all the way down or you can press it one up and, because it’s on a rotating dial, it means that you go straight to movie settings. Then you can choose your FRAME RATE and FRAME SIZE. There are two different frame rates one is NTSC which is mainly for America and that will give you 60 frames per second or 30 frames per second, and the other is PAL which is mainly for Europe which will give you 50 frames per second and 25 frames per second. It is quite important that you choose the correct one for your country so it’s worth checking if you are not sure. I would recommend 1080 at the highest frame rate, obviously. It will go down to 720 which is perfectly acceptable for social media for YouTube etc. If you move one down on the menu you can have a look at movie quality which, of course, should be high rather than normal and then go down one more option to microphone. The D3400 doesn’t have an external microphone socket, but it does have an internal microphone which can be reasonably effective over short distances.
You have three options for microphone – the first one is AUTO, which is okay and worked reasonably well for ambient sound, the second one is MANUAL, which I would recommend because it gives you more control over the sound that you’re recording. If you are in manual you should be aiming for your sound to peak at 12, so if you can test out the recording before hand – if somebody’s talking for example – then what you’re really looking for is when that person is at their loudest, to peak on 12 and you can use the multi selector to move the sensitivity up or down to ensure that that happens. The final one is to switch microphone OFF and I don’t recommend that at all even if you don’t intend using the sound used having the sound on the video is actually a very useful way of selecting clips when you’re editing. Coming out of that you then go on to wind noise reduction which doesn’t make a huge amount of difference. The final option is manual movie settings. If you leave that off, then even if you go into manual on here you won’t be on manual settings because you’ve switched it off here. If you switch it on here you can use the manual settings and the auto settings so I would recommend that you switch that on.