I am a beginner to DSLR, and I am currently shooting with Nikon Coolpix. As an upgrade I am looking to buy D3400. I checked its specs and seems like AEB is missing. Is it really needed for a beginner or is there any workaround for it? For this reason I am also looking at D5300. In what cases should this feature be my decision point?

My usages are,

  1. Taking photos on events(Wedding,Birthdays, etc)
  2. Taking photos of my kids
  3. Taking photos on trip

I think my current camera is lacking

  1. Clarity in low light/indoor photos and when maximized there is lot of noise
  2. Bokeh effect
  3. Aging problems like shutdown while taking photos or hanging after taking video
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    Assuming that by AEB you mean "automatic exposure bracketing"... How often do you use it on your Coolpix? Enough that not having it will cause an issue for you? Or is it one of the features that you feel you require in an upgrade for some reason? Ultimately, only you can decide what's a deal breaker for you... – twalberg Dec 11 '18 at 18:14
  • You are right automatic exposure bracketing. It is easy to take a shot in coolpix than DSLR, so in that case will these features help a beginner using DSLR. Almost all Nikon entry level DSLR has this feature except this model. – Beginner Dec 11 '18 at 19:14
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    welcome, Beginner! Could you write what kind of pics you like to take, and what you think your current camera is missing? You can edit your question to answer comment – aaaaa says reinstate Monica Dec 11 '18 at 21:11
  • How do you use AEB with the CoolPix? – Michael C Dec 12 '18 at 1:11
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    @Beginner That was kind of the point, although stated in a roundabout way - if you're not accustomed to using it and it's not one of the features that is driving you to think you need an upgrade, then it shouldn't be a deal breaker. – twalberg Dec 12 '18 at 23:58

Considering how many D3000, D3100, D3x00, etc. cameras Nikon has sold, AEB is not a 'deal breaker' for many buyers.

Whether it is a deal breaker for you or not depends on your own personal preferences and plans for usage.

You can do manual exposure bracketing and bracket by changing 'Exposure Compensation' between each successive frame when using semi-automatic exposure modes. You can do manual exposure bracketing by changing the shutter speed manually between each successive frame in manual exposure mode.

Or you can buy an entry level Pentax DSLR or Canon EOS camera. I'm most familiar with the Canon line. All of their entry level, as well as all of the higher level models, include some form of AEB. The Canon model most equivalent to the Nikon D3400 is the Rebel T6/1300D. It has AEB with 3 shots +/- 2 EV in full, 1/2, or 1/3 stop increments. Some of Canon's higher level models offer AEB for up to 7 shots in increments of +/- 3 EV in full, 1/2, or 1/3 stop increments.

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    FWIW entry level Pentax cameras also offer AEB (and in general suffer less from segment-driven disabling of features on cheaper models, since both Canon and Nikon have to worry about cannibalizing their own higher models, while Pentax as distant third place needs to take every market advantage they can). – mattdm Dec 12 '18 at 4:37
  • Since 1300D is older, I looked at Rebel/1500D, most of the online review don't have good opinion and local retailers are also not recommending 1500D – Beginner Dec 12 '18 at 5:42
  • @Beginner Local retailers tend to recommend whatever they'll make the most profit from. Online reviews that prefer the Nikon D3x00 series to the Canon 1x00D series obviously don't place AEB at the top of their list. – Michael C Dec 14 '18 at 2:58

I don't think AEB should ever be a deal breaker for a first step into entry level DSLR.

A proper deal breaker would be not having access to manual exposure settings, or not being able to turn automation features off (not uncommon with consumer point-and-shoot cameras). Automation features invariably slow your camera down. If you are taking pictures of events and kids, it is more important to 'capture the moment' - the moment that the kid's eyes light up, or a group of guests laugh at a joke.

To do that you want look at 'shutter lag' and keep it as short as possible. Here is a review of the D3400 concentrating on shutter lag - and those timings look reasonable to good.


Many people use AEB to compensate for not being able to choose the right exposure. But it is better to learn how to use exposure lock and spot metering modes to get the exposure right, rather than to use AEB to get at least one shot quite close.

That said, where exposure bracketing does shine, is in landscape photography when using a tripod and AEB to substitute for a graduated neutral density filter. You can use manual exposure settings combined with AEB to get a set of exposures that are just right for the sky and the foreground. Later in editing, you can blend between the exposures to get the final picture. You can do this by just changing the exposure manually, but AEB allows you to avoid touching the camera and moving the camera slightly between exposures, which is much better.

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