Tips & Tricks

The Nikon D3400 PLAYBACK MENU Setting in This Nikon DSLR

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This is an article about the Nikon D3400 PLAYBACK MENU and the RECENT SETTINGS MENU. The reason I put those two together is they are both relatively short and so it is easy to put them into one article. The playback menu controls how the camera both stores and looks at the pictures or videos that you have taken. So, if we go into the Nikon D3400 PLAYBACK MENU the first option is delete. Now, of course you have the delete button at the bottom of the camera on the bottom right at the back, so that is just a different way of accessing that option. The one down below that is the playback folder. This allows you to allocate the folder that is on the SD memory card that the camera shows you when you press the playback button. When you put the SD card in and format it then a folder will be created so that all the pictures and all the videos go into that folder. Once you have created 999 files whether they be images or videos or edited images which go back into that folder, then a new folder is automatically created and so this is the point at which you decide which folder you want to select from when you press playback. It is worth knowing this because at some point a little way down the line, possibly your card will create another folder and then you may discover that you can not access the pictures that you thought you could. The options here are to see all the pictures, and they will be in a chronological or numeric order, or you can assign certain folders so that you can just see from specific folders. I usually leave it on all because it is just easier but it may be on occasion easier to see it from a specific folder, if you want to look at a specific shoot or specific holiday pictures, then that I one way of doing it.

Next is option in the Nikon D3400 PLAYBACK MENU is the PLAYBACK DISPLAY OPTIONS. These are really useful and allow you to see the data surrounding that picture on the Liveview screen. It will show you the histograms, both tonal and RGB histograms, and other shooting data. It is very very useful, not least because in the days of film you would have had a notebook and written all of this down. You would have shot and you would have written down the shutter speed and the aperture and the ISO and various other elements which were important to that picture so that you could remember how you did it so that you can do it again. Here the data is attached to the image and you can access that data through choosing the PLAYBACK DISPLAY OPTIONS and here I would recommend that you have the RGB histogram ticked that the shooting data is ticked and the overview is ticked. The highlights is less important, that just shows you the areas where there is essentially no data – in other words it is bright white. That can be useful but it is not as useful as the other three.

The IMAGE REVIEW OPTION in the Nikon D3400 PLAYBACK MENU refers to the option of having the image appear on the back screen once you have taken it. I tend to shoot single frames then having that review on the back can be quite useful so I tend to leave it switched on. However if you are going to be shooting sport or something that is happening very quickly in front of you then there is no real need for it and you need to bear in mind that it does take battery power.

The AUTO IMAGE ROTATION and ROTATE TALL I leave on and the reason I do that is because they refer to when you take a picture in portrait shape like this. When you go back to review it either on the back screen here or on a computer then it will turn the image so that it is the correct way around when you are looking on a horizontal screen. It is useful it is just worth switching it on and leaving it because there is no reason to change that once you have done it once.

SLIDESHOW in the Nikon D3400 PLAYBACK MENU gives you the option to see on the back screen pictures as a slideshow. I think probably this is one of those things that you will never use, but it is an option. You can go in and you can select the images that you want to see and also the interval between the frame changes. Is it useful? I do not think so. I suppose you could run it if you attach an HDMI cable to this and had it on a TV screen. It is a way of reviewing your pictures or showing them to other people more easily, but I can not see much point for it beyond that.

RATING again is an option that allows you to go into the camera and rate your pictures. It has a star over it so that you can know which pictures you selected at the time that you think are the best pictures. Again to be honest I would recommend looking at your pictures on a larger screen. It is not something that I would use but it is an option that is there for you. Finally the option to select images to send to your smart device. You can either send every picture that you take to your smart device, or you can choose to select the image that you send to your smart device.

So those are the options in the playback menu and if we just go quickly down now to the very bottom and have a look at the RECENT SETTINGS MENU. Now this in a sense is not a menu in and of itself – it is not something that the camera has provided for you. There are no options in here unless you put them in there or unless you select them from other menus. These are the recent settings, the things that you have looked at and changed recently. I think it is of limited value but it can be useful if you change the settings on your camera so that you want to shoot something specific, you may want to shoot something say with a specific white balance or you might want to choose a particular picture style anything like that, that means that you have changed things in the menus. Then you can go back to recent settings at the end of that shoot and you have a list of things you have changed which you can then change back again. I would say that is probably the most useful it can be. The reason I do not think it is terribly useful is that it only has eight of the 20 options on the screen, so when you are in recent settings you find yourself scrolling down the page in exactly the same way as you would if you were in any of the other menus looking for the setting in its original place. So it does have a limited value but it is there, it can be useful it is sometimes worth referring back to if you’re not quite sure what you may have changed or looked at and inadvertently changed. So, these are the settings in the Nikon D3400 PLAYBACK MENU.

Jeremy Bayston has worked in the photography industry for over two decades.  He has  a particular interest in digital photography and has written on the subject for many websites including CameraWize. He has written user manuals for the Nikon D5200, Nikon D3400 and Canon 1300D/T6. Learn more about the new Nikon D3400 here and see some   D3400 videos here.

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