Features & Controls

The PowerShot A3400 IS has a telescoping lens with a 5x optical zoom. The wide-angle lens has a 35mm film equivalent of 28mm to 140mm. The maximum aperture of f/2.8 (at wide angle) helps the camera perform well in low light. On the downside, 5x is not powerful enough to capture close-ups of far-away subjects. The lens retracts into the body when you turn off the camera.

Focusing Range:
Normal: 2.0 in. (5cm) - infinity (W), 3.9 ft. (1.2m) - infinity (T)
Auto: 1.2 in. (3cm) - infinity (W), 3.9 ft. (1.2m) - infinity (T)
Macro: 1.2 in. - 2.0 ft. (3-60cm) (W)

Canon PowerShot A3400 IS_closeup-flash.jpg

The range of the flash, up to 9.8 feet (wide) and 6.6 feet (telephoto), isn't great and limits its usefulness, though it performs fairly well within its range. Its most useful application is as a fill-in to lighten strong shadows in bright light.

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The LCD is both this camera's greatest asset and disappointment. The touch screen technology is convenient for selecting a scene mode, adjusting color settings, and selecting your subject for autofocus tracking, for example. You can choose to trip the shutter by tapping an on-screen icon as well, but tapping and swiping on this touch screen is not as elegant as a typical smart phone, and due to the force you must use and the sometimes sticky response, it can cause fatigue and frustration.

Viewing images on the screen is fine while indoors or in shady areas, but can be difficult in bright sunlight (notice the cloudy appearance here). Given that this is a basic beginner's camera, it's not surprising that the LCD has a 230,000-dot resolution, lacking the extremely sharp details and bright, vivid appearance of pricier models with 460,000-dot resolution. In most situations, this is certainly adequate. But colors tend to have a cloudy appearance due to the touch screen overlay, which becomes problematic in bright light when it obscures visibility enough to make operation inconvenient.

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The dedicated movie button makes it easy to shoot videos without having to navigate a menu. In the middle of the panel is the four-way controller; at the center sits the FUNC./SET button, which takes you to selections for shooting mode, exposure compensation, ISO setting, white balance, drive mode, self-timer, file size, and movie quality. The top position switches the camera into Auto mode, and in playback mode serves as the trash can (for quickly deleting images). In playback mode, you use the FUNC./SET button to play movies.

Just below this button sits the key to the A Series cameras' intended audience: the dedicated help button labeled with a question mark. This button delivers you to a list of explanations accompanied by a helpful graphic of the camera's back panel, highlighting which button controls the function being described.

The Menu button in the lower right takes you to shooting and playback settings. Shooting settings include AF frame, digital zoom, AF point zoom, Servo AF, touch shutter, lamp setting , redeye correction, i-Contrast, light metering, review time, review info, blink detection, gridlines, image stabilization settings, and date stamp. You also can change basic camera settings such as mute, volume, hints and tips, LCD brightness, file numbering, and folder creation by day or month. Playback options include jump search, so you can scroll more quickly through your images (for example, jump by 10 or 100 images, or by shot date). This is also where you set up a slide show and erase, protect, or rotate images; basic edit functions include contrast and red eye correction.

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Around the corner from the control buttons on the back is a mini-USB/AV port on the side panel. The camera comes with a USB cable, and you can get an optional A/V cable for outputting standard-definition video. Although this camera shoots 720p high-definition video, it doesn't include an HDMI port for playing high-definition video, which is a standard feature these days on cameras that record HD video.

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The shutter button is encircled by the zoom ring. In playback mode, the zoom ring allows you to magnify images to inspect details, and to zoom out to views of 4, 9, 36, and 100 shots.

Canon PowerShot A3400 IS_SDcard.jpg

The camera is compatible with SD, SDHC, and SDXC type memory cards. The card slot is located in the same compartment as the battery.

Canon PowerShot A3400 IS_battery pack.jpg

The camera is powered by an NB-11L rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack. Battery life is a bit meager, having a shooting capacity of approximately 180 shots. The CA-DC10 power adapter (pictured) also is included.

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.