If you've been looking to start a photography hobby over the holiday period that's bound to feature a wide variety of great discounts on consumer electronics, there's one product which you should definitely take note of regardless of whether you're a complete photography rookie or someone looking to upgrade their point-and-shoot camera to a more serious piece of equipment. Cue the Nikon D3400, the Japanese company's latest offering meant to compete in the entry-level segment of the digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera market. If you're buying your first DSLR and aren't sure what to get, this is precisely the type of camera made for your needs; it's extremely compact, surprisingly versatile, commendably durable, and doesn't require you to break the bank.
One of the most important factors that beginner photographers often don't consider when shopping for their first DSLR is the form factor; you can max out your credit card to get that sweet Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, but apart from not having any idea what to do with it, you'll soon realize that carrying 2.6 pounds (1.2kg) on your shoulder is easier said than done when you decide to spend the afternoon taking wildlife or architectural pictures. The Nikon D3400 is not only significantly lighter than any full-frame or more serious crop-sensor camera but is even leading the entry-level segment in this aspect despite the fact that low-end DSLRs are already expected to be lighter than their more expensive counterparts. Weighing just 445 grams (0.98 lb), this is a camera that won't dislocate your shoulder at the end of the day while still providing you with all of the functionalities you need from your first DSLR. Coupled with some beginner lens like the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II, you'll still have a setup that's well under two pounds and one that remains highly portable despite providing you with some seriously good image quality.
Another major selling point of the Nikon D3400 is its burst mode capable of taking five shots per second for a short period. If you have ever seen professional photographers work, you'll quickly notice that the overwhelming majority of them prefers not sparing their shutter so as to not risk missing a great shot. While the so-called spray-and-pray technique isn't one you should be applying when learning landscape and portrait photography as it will likely lead you to develop some bad habits, it can deliver fantastic results when shooting sports or any other kind of motion. In that regard, the Nikon D3400 has the potential to absolutely amaze you and teach you one of the most important photography (and life) lessons of them all - the worst shot is the one you don't take.
So, if you're looking to surprise a loved one interested in photography this holiday season and gift them an inexpensive yet highly capable DSLR camera or simply want to treat yourself to one such product, the Nikon D3400 is capable of fulfilling all your needs and then some. Apart from being affordable, Nikon's entry-level offering is also easy to purchase, being available from a wide variety of retailers across the country (and the world). Refer to the list below for a detailed breakdown of where to buy the Nikon D3400 and how much it will cost you.