On January 7 2014, Nikon announced its latest entry-level DSLR, the D3300. The D3300 features a 24.2 Megapixels sensor without an optical low pass filter, uses the new EXPEED 4 image processor and will come with a new small and retractable standard zoom kit lens. The Nikon D3300 comes with a 3-inch 921k dot LCD monitor on the rear, compatibility with the WU-1a wireless adapter for the transfer of images and remote shooting, Nikon's EXPEED 4 image-processing engine, ISO range of 100 to 12,800 (and can be expanded to 25,600), a burst speed of 5 fps, and record Full HD 1080p video at 60/50 fps.
The D3300 measures 124 x 98 x 75.5 mm (4.9 x 3.9 x 3 in), which is comparable to its predecessor, but it's considerably lighter, weighing in at 460 g with battery and memory card, compared to 505 g. To keep the D3300 as a viable alternative to increasingly smaller and lighter mirrorless cameras, it will be bundled with a new AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55-mm F3.5-F5.6G VR II kit lens. This uses a retractable lens mechanism which means Nikon has been able to reduce its size by 30 percent, compared to the previous 18-55-mm DX kit lens. The Nikon D3300 is available in black, red or silver and is listed for $650 with the 18-55-mm kit lens. Here's the summary of review by Steve's Digicam:
"Nikon included a 24.2-megapixel APS-C sized CMOS image sensor (23.5 x 15.6 mm) with the D3300, which helps to explain the great image quality. All photos will be shot at a 4:3 aspect ratio to match the dimensions of the image sensor. Only three resolution settings are available, and the smallest resolution is 6MP. You can however shrink photos to sizes of 2.5MP and smaller for use on the web using the D3300's in-camera editing options. This unfortunately requires an extra step versus just having the ability to shoot at a smaller resolution initially. Noise is not overly noticeable with the D3300, at least until you move to mid-range ISO settings, such as ISO 800 or 1600. You can use ISOs as high as 25,600 with this camera, although the maximum native ISO is 12,800. Unlike some more advanced DSLRs though, you're limited to one stop ISO changes (such as going from ISO 100 to 200), rather than 1/3 stop ISO changes (such as going from ISO 100 to 125 to 160 to 200). This is an example of how the D3300 has fewer advanced controls versus some of the more powerful DSLR models. Additionally Nikon removed the anti-aliasing filter from the image sensor with the D3300, a step that rarely has occurred with entry-level DSLRs. By removing this filter the D3300 can create sharper images versus cameras that contain the filter. However the filter does limit the problems of moire patterning in photographs that have a repeating pattern, so Nikon D3300 photographers will have to either create scenes that don't include repeating patterns or will have to remove the moire pattern in post-processing when it occasionally occurs.
Bottom Line - The Nikon D3300 is a pretty impressive entry-level DSLR camera, providing those new to this type of advanced photography a great mix of easy-to-use automatic features and manual control features. This camera is a nice model for less experienced photographers, because you can pick it up and begin using it successfully immediately. It also can help you learn more about photography, and it has enough advanced features to allow you to put your steadily improving skills to work well into the future. The D3300's Guide mode is one of the better features I've seen on a DSLR camera for helping beginners figure out how to use this type of advanced camera. The D3300 compares very favorably to other entry-level DSLR models, producing above average image quality, while also performing fast in Viewfinder mode. If you're someone who needs the latest features in your camera though, you're going to be a bit disappointed with the D3300. Nikon chose to keep this camera's design extremely basic, as there's no built-in Wi-Fi, no built-in GPS, no touchscreen, and no articulated LCD. The lack of those features does keep the starting price of the D3300 low. Battery life could be better and more experienced photographers will bemoan the D3300's lack of anything beyond a basic set of advanced shooting controls, but the Nikon D3300 is a really nice option for those who want to migrate from a point-n-shoot camera to DSLR photography while receiving a good value on their new hardware."
D3300 Sample Photos on Flickr
D3300 Camera Reviews Roundup
|Phoblographer - Apr 08 2014|
"The overall image quality is very good. The images can go right up to the web straight from the camera. Using an Eye-fi card, the images went right to my phone. I either edited with VSCO Cam, Instagram, or just let the image be. Nikon does have a wireless add-on. It enables the use with a Nikon app, but the Eye-fi card was more efficient in my opinion..." More »
|Reviewed - Apr 02 2014|
"As tech journalists, it's tempting to pooh-pooh iterative upgrades as worthless updates when more dramatic changes are more fun to write about. But progress is still progress, and that's worth celebrating. The Nikon D3300 exemplifies this quite well, I think. For $50 less than its predecessor, the D3300 offers better performance in every category, with very..." More »
|Pocket-lint - Mar 28 2014|
"We wouldn't go so far as to describe £550 as a bargain, but we do really like what the D3300 offers for the price. The new collapsible kit lens is great, especially for the kind of people buying this camera. As with all kit lenses though, the speed is on the slow side, especially when autofocusing at 55mm. This will have an impact on using it in low-light..." More »
|PCMag - Mar 28 2014|
"I used Imatest to check the quality of the included 18-55mm zoom lens. The D3300 is the first to ship with this particular zoom; it's got the same focal length range as previous kit zooms from Nikon, but it has a collapsible design that makes it a bit more compact when not in use. At 18mm f/3.5 it exceeds the 1,800 lines per picture height we use to mark a..." More »