The Nikon D3300 is targeted at people looking for a SLR that is simple, small and a step up from their camera phones and point and shoot cameras. With it’s 24mp APS-C sensor and interchangeable lenses this is a great starter DSLR camera. The Nikon D3300 is Nikon’s smallest DSLR currently available with an APS-C sized imaging chip. Continue reading my Nikon D3300 review to get my overall impression and recommendation.
- Size and Handling
- Image Quality
- What I Don’t Like
- The Bottom Line
- Sample Images
One thing I really like about Nikon is some of the consistency in their design. For example, the on/off button is in the same place on all of their DSLR cameras, from their entry level to the flagship pro models. This makes pickingup any Nikon DSLR easier since you don’t have to scout around for the power switch. In an effort to make the camera “simpler” however, they have removed quite a few of the external controls and put them either in the menu or their “info” screen. I find this requires too many button pushes to change things such as ISO, White Balance, autofocus settings, and drive mode. This is Nikon’s way of making the camera appear easy to use, and if you only plan to use the Auto or Scene modes and not ever venture into the creative modes, then this design philosophy is fine. Given that the camera is targeted to users that are coming from simple point and shoot or their smartphones, this is not surprising.
The image quality from the Nikon D3300 is excellent, and given that it uses the same chip as the D5500 and D7200 cameras, this is not surprising. Images look great all the way up to ISO 1600 and very usable up to ISO 3200 for larger prints like 11×14. ISO 6400 is good for up to 8×10 and the highest ISO settings are reserved for emergency snapshot prints.
The Nikon autofocus works very well, and one feature I quite like is the 3d tracking that can be used when shooting sports, wildlife or other moving subjects, like toddlers. The 3d tracking mode tracks subject movement based on color and distance so it is less likely to refocus on a subject that is closer to the camera if it is significantly different than your subject. Imaging a basketball game and your player is coming in for a layup, you start the focus by placing your center point on the player then press the shutter half way. Now the camera will track your subject across the 11 points, even if an opposing player comes between you and the main subject.
Overall, I like the D3300 for it’s intended audience, but for those who want to get out of the automatic or scene modes and start taking control of their camera, the Nikon D3300 is a little harder than the Canon Rebel T5 to set things such as white balance, autofocus point, drive mode and a few other things. The small size makes this a great camera for traveling or taking just about anywhere. It is not much bigger than mirrorless entries such as the Sony and Olympus/Panasonic models that are targeting the users that want a small system. The new 18-55mm kit lens collapses to make it even smaller, but requires the user to press a button and turn the lens barrel to make the lens ready to shoot. The Sony 16-50mm lens does this automatically when the camera is turned on, and I prefer that to the way Nikon chose to do it.
The Nikon D3300 is a great camera for anyone looking for a small and lightweight DSLR camera to replace their smartphone or point and shoot camera. I would recommend you pick one up when Nikon offers the sale with the 55-200mm or 55-300mm telephoto zoom lenses. Currently this is the camera I recommend in it’s class of entry-level, budget oriented cameras.
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Nikon D3300 vs the Nikon D3200
The major differences between the Nikon D3300 and the Nikon D3200 are not all that major. The D3300 adds 60/50 fps to the 1920×1080 video mode, 5fps vs 4fps for the D3200, A new collapsible 18-55mm Kit lens that makes the kit smaller when storing it, and a slightly smaller body. Because the D3200 is still available there may be some great deals on the camera that make is attractive to buyers.
Nikon D3300 vs the Nikon D5500
The Nikon D5500 adds a couple of great features including a full tilt and swivel LCD with touch screen, Built-in WiFi and 39-point Autofocus. The D5500 is a little bit larger, but the image quality is pretty much identical as they both use the same 24mp APS-C (DX) sensor.
Nikon D3300 vs the Canon Rebel T5
The Canon Rebel T5 is currently a great value, but The Nikon D3300 offers a few more things for not a lot more money such as higher resolution LCD screen (460k dots for the Canon vs 921k dots for the Nikon), faster frame rate (3fps on the Canon vs 5fps on the NiKon), Better autofocus in low light (+1ev for the Canon vs -1ev for the Nikon D3300) and of course the “Biggest” difference is in the sensors, the Canon is 18mp while the Nikon is 24mp. Buy the Canon is you have friends/family that own Canon cameras and you want to share lenses, or if you can’t afford the little extra for the Nikon. Otherwise I recommend the Nikon D3300.
Date Introduced: Jan 2014
Sensor: 24mp APS-C (DX)
Resolution: 6000 x 4000 Pixels
Memory: SD / SDHC / SDXC
Viewfinder: Pentamirror with 95% coverage, .85x magnification and 18mm Eye Relief
Interchangeable Focus Screens: No
Drive: 5 fps
Shutter Speed Range: 30s – 1/4000s + Bulb
Built-in Flash: Yes 12ft (39m) at ISO 100
Sync Speed: 1/200s
Video: Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 60/50/30/25/24 fps
LCD: 3″ 921k dots
Highlight/Shadow Warning: Highlight Warning Only
Weather Sealed: No
Size (WxHxD): 4.88 x 3.86 x 2.99″ (124 x 98 x 76 mm)
Weight (w/battery and card): 15.2oz (430g)
Price: $499 (sale – reg $649)
Price as of review time and is subject to change