Recently my camera has randomly stopped letting me take photos on settings that have a flash or have a flash option. It focuses, and goes as if it is going to take a picture but nothing happens. No warnings, no beeps nothing. It`ll only shoot if I do not pop up the flash/disable it. It pops up normally.

What I have done so far:

->reset shooting menu
->reset setup menu
->battery is charged
->lens is attached correctly (it`s the kit 55-18mm one)

One thing I did was to try to take a picture on manual mode with flash and lower gradually while pressing the shutter release; it shoots about halfway down, when the camera no longer detects the flash and gives the alert of low light.


1 Answer 1


It seems, for whatever reason, that your camera can not detect when the flash signals a confirmation that is is charged and ready to take a shot. This may be an issue with the confirmation circuitry, or it may be an actual issue with the flash itself that prevents the capacitors in it from charging or otherwise prevents the flash from functioning properly.

You could send the camera in for service to see if the problem can be diagnosed and corrected. Unless your D3400 is still under warranty, the cost of the repair will likely be an appreciable percentage of the price you paid for the camera. It may even exceed the value of a used D3400.

If you don't want to spend the money on getting your D3400 repaired, an easy solution is to buy an external flash. Third party flashes with full i-TTL capability ("Auto" flash), almost certainly more power, and sometimes additional features than the D3400's internal flash offered are available for as little as around $100 in the U.S. Manual only controlled flashes can be as little as half that. Even the compact Nikon SB-300 runs less than $150 and would be a considerable upgrade to the built-in flash.

Before you buy a flash, though, you might want to borrow or rent one to confirm that the issue is not deeper in your camera's control system than just the built-in flash unit. Even a very cheap manual flash should confirm that the camera's hot shoe is working and can fire a flash. There is the very remote possibility that your camera could fire a single pin manual flash but not fire a TTL flash with the additional pins in the hot shoe connection, but the chances of that are very slim.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I am kinda of afraid of buying a flash, out of fear of it not working. It is not under warranty. I have some experience with electronics, I have tried removing the flash cover (so see if something was disconnected or broken) but everything seems ok. Do you know what to to look for when troubleshooting the camera circuits? It`s possible to check if the hot shoe is working with a multimeter/scope? \$\endgroup\$
    – k_orolev
    Commented Apr 29, 2018 at 12:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's pretty easy to check the central pin of the hot shoe. It's nothing more than an unpowered switch that shorts the ground rails and the center pin. The voltage for basic flash sync is supplied by the flash. So all you need to check it for continuity is a small battery powered test light. Don't put more than 12V DC to it. The other four, smaller pins are data circuits used for communication between the camera and automatic flashes. Testing equipment for that would probably cost more than a cheap flash. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Apr 29, 2018 at 18:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, Ill check it when I have the time, if its just a switch it won`t be too much trouble. \$\endgroup\$
    – k_orolev
    Commented Apr 29, 2018 at 20:57

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