Nikon D3300 vs D3200 vs D3100: which camera should you choose?

Nikon D3300 vs D3200 vs D3100: which camera should you choose?

Nikon D3300 vs D3200 vs D3100: 04 ISO range

Nikon D3100: tips to get more from your digital camera

The newer Expeed processor in each model has an impact on the ISO range too. The D3100 is the worst here, offering a maximum ISO of 3,200.

This can be increased to ISO 12,800 in Hi 2 mode, but the quality goes downhill. The D3200 is slightly better, with a normal ISO range of 100-6,400, again expandable to 12,800, but the D3300 shows a clear improvement over both, with a range of 100-12,800, expandable to ISO 25,600. This is very good for a beginner-level camera.

SEE MORE: Nikon D5200 vs D3200 – which DSLR is best for you?

Nikon D3300 vs D3200 vs D3100: 05 Kit lens

Nikon D3300 vs D3200 vs D3100: which camera should you choose?

The Nikon D3300 itself has a number of useful improvements over its predecessor, but possibly the biggest news of all is that it introduces a new retracting 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR kit lens.

This has identical optical specifications to its predecessor, but is narrower and, when retracted, much shorter. This changes the overall size of the camera/lens combination considerably. Nikon’s D3000-series camera bodies have always been very small, but somewhat let down by their ungainly and bulky kit lens.

But the new D3300’s retractable kit lens puts this right, and closes the size gap to SLR-style mirrorless cameras like the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and Panasonic Lumix G6. The dimensions tell the story.

The old lens measures 73mm across x 79mm long and weighs 265g. Nikon’s new retractable lens measures 59.5mm x 66mm and weighs just 195g.

SEE MORE: Nikon lenses from A-Z – the ultimate photographer’s guide

Nikon D3300 vs D3200 vs D3100: 06 Autofocus

Interestingly, Nikon has stuck to the same Multi-CAM 1000 11-point AF sensor for all three cameras, presumably to avoid overlapping with cameras further up the range. It’s a competent but basic AF module, with a single cross-type AF point in the centre.

Nikon D3300 vs D3200 vs D3100: Sensor, Processor, Continuous shooting
Nikon D3300 vs D3200 vs D3100: ISO, Kit lens, Autofocus
Nikon D3300 vs D3200 vs D3100: Shooting modes, Movies, LCD
Nikon D3300 vs D3200 vs D3100: Memory, Wi-Fi, Battery
Nikon D3300 vs D3200 vs D3100: Dimensions, Weight, Price
Nikon D3300 vs D3200 vs D3100: Our conclusion


24 camera features every beginner photographer must memorise
Learn photography: classic tips and tutorials for shooting any subject
7 beginner photography tutorials that can still improve your photography
Photography for beginners: 6 reasons you’re smarter than your camera
2014 Predictions: new camera technology we can expect in the new year

  • lucy

    hello, i’ve had the d3000 for a while and wanted to upgrade to one of the two last models. amazon has the d3200 for $496 with 15-55mm lens and 55-200mm non-vr lens and the d3300 for $496, the same price, but only the 15-55mm lens. which do you think would be a wiser choice?

  • Shane McDonald

    What I can’t understand, is, here it is Jan 2016 and Nikon is selling refurbed d3100’s for $719.00 as compared to $329.00 for the 3200 and 3300. Something isn’t jiving if the 3100 is so overmatched????

  • Shane McDonald

    I got lucky and found one of the last [new] 3100’s before it was archived aka ”Laid to Rest” , I got it new for $249.00. It NOW sells on Nikons website [refurbished] for $719.00. After a lot of research on the 18-55 kits lens. It is a stellar lens for the price. Resolution numbers are 2000 across the board with that lens !! Not to shabby for that price range

  • Really? You’re going to run your article over 7 separate webpages so I have to scroll through each page to see a lot of ads? No thanks!