Nikon D3300 review

Nikon D3300 review

Nikon D3300 Review: the 24.2-megapixel Nikon D3300 is 30% smaller and 25% lighter than the Nikon D3200. See first-hand how it performs in our Nikon D3300 review video, or read our long-form review.

Nikon D3300 review

Nikon D3300 Review: Overview

Cameras at the bottom of Nikon’s range always spring to mind as recommendations for beginner photographers. The Nikon D3200 was an excellent performer, and its replacement the D3300 promises to deliver a camera of a similarly high standard.

In common with other camera manufacturers, Nikon tends to incorporate elements of technology from its more advanced models in its starter range.

The Nikon D3300 looks set to be another good choice for beginners. It offers the same 24.2 million-pixel count as the D3200, but it lacks the optical low-pass filter over the sensor and should therefore capture sharper, more detailed images.

Removing the anti-aliasing filter is something we’ve seen mainly on professional and enthusiast level cameras so far.

A potential downside to removing AA is that it increases the chance of moiré patterning appearing on some images – usually when you photograph something with repeating or close patterns.

Enthusiasts and professionals don’t usually have a problem removing such patterning afterwards in post-processing, but it’s rather interesting that Nikon should choose this design for an entry-level model, whose owners are less likely to use image-editing software to perform such a task.

Nikon claims that the high pixel count found on the D3300 almost eliminates the risk of the patterning occurring. We’ll be keen to find out how true that is.

Along with the sensor redesign, Nikon has also improved the user interface and the Guide mode, to give it more functionality and make it a little cleaner in appearance.

Nikon D3300 Review: Features

In this infographic we’ve taken a closer look at some of the Nikon D3300’s key features. Click on the graphic to view the larger version.

Nikon D3300 Review: Features

Like the Nikon D5300, the new Nikon D3300 has the manufacturer’s latest-generation Expeed 4 engine.
This allows the new camera to shoot up to 100 fine-quality JPEGs continuously at a maximum rate of 5fps.

SEE MORE: Nikon D3300 vs D5300 – which DSLR should you choose?

In addition, the native sensitivity range runs from ISO 100 to 12,800 and there’s an expansion setting that takes it to the equivalent of ISO 25,600.

Also like the D5300, the D3300 has an Effects mode that allows a collection of styles to be applied to JPEG images and video. These include Pop and Toy Camera, while there’s an Easy Panorama mode too.

The D3300 also has a dedicated 420-pixel RGB sensor to gather exposure, white balance and focus information for the Automatic Scene Recognition system.

Although the Nikon D3300 uses the same battery as the D3200, Nikon claims that the new processing engine allows it to be more efficient in its power consumption, meaning that the battery life can last for around 700 shots.

The change in size comes largely from the Nikon D3300 18-55mm VRII kit lens, which offers a retracting barrel.

SEE MORE: Nikon D5300 review

Nikon D3300 Review Video

Here, Amy Davies of our testing team finds out how this new Nikon DSLR performs in her Nikon D3300 review video

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

Nikon D3300 Review Video Transcript

Hi, I’m Amy Davies from Future Publishing’s photography portfolio and I’m here today to take a look at the Nikon D3300.

This camera is the newest entry-level model from Nikon, and is the second to use a monocoque construction – that is, it’s made from a single piece of material making it both stronger and lighter than the Nikon D3200.

Nikon has reduced very slightly the overall size of the Nikon D3300 compared with the Nikon D3200, but what makes the biggest difference is the new collapsible 18-55mm kit lens. If we place the two cameras next to each other, you can really see the difference.

This lens collapses down to a much smaller size than the previous version, making it easier to fit in a bag. Before you use the camera you’ll need to press this button and twist the lens outwards, making initial start-up somewhat slower than other cameras. You can of course leave the lens extended though.

SEE MORE: What camera should I buy? Pros and cons of each camera type

There are relatively few buttons on the Nikon D3300, with much of the control taking place via the screen. It’s a shame therefore that this three-inch, 921,000 dot device isn’t touch sensitive. It’s also not tilting or articulating, making it harder to use when shooting from awkward angles.

The user interface has been revamped for the Nikon D3300, giving it a cleaner look. The camera now displays three circles which represent shutter speed, aperture and sensitivity (ISO). These displays change as you alter settings using the scrolling dials or buttons, and the aperture display opens and closes as you open and close the aperture.

This dial on the back of the camera is used for altering the aperture or shutter speed, depending on the mode you’re shooting in. When in fully manual mode and you need to control both, holding down this exposure compensation button while scrolling the dial enables you to switch between the two parameters.

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

A sort of quick menu is accessed on the Nikon D3300 by pressing a button labelled “i” on the back of the camera.

While holding this down, use the directional keys to travel to a setting you want to change, such as white balance, and then press OK to bring up the different options available to you. Unfortunately, this menu isn’t customisable, so if there’s something on this menu you rarely use, you’re stuck with it.

There is also a function button near the lens mount. By default, holding this down will allow you to quickly change the ISO, but you can change this to control a couple of other settings if you prefer.

Changing the AF point is very simple. All you’ll need to do is press the directional arrow keys to move around to the point you need. AF speeds when using the viewfinder are pretty quick,  but it’s worth noting that if you’re using Live View, speeds are reduced.

As the Nikon D3300 is an SLR, the viewfinder is optical and offers a 95% field of view. While it is bright and clear, not showing 100% of the scene means that there is a chance of something appearing in the final image that you didn’t notice in composition. With a large resolution though, cropping out of any of those mistakes shouldn’t lead to a major reduction in quality.

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

Although the Nikon D3300 has the same pixel count as the Nikon D3200, the sensor is different and it has no optical low pass filter removed,  which we’ve found has had a positive impact on detail reproduction.

We have been impressed with the image quality straight from the camera, with bright punchy colours and excellent detail reproduction as we had hoped for. Although noise isn’t particularly problematic, the camera favours detail reproduction over noise reduction.

Nikon D3300 Review: Features and Video review
Nikon D3300 Review: Build and handling
Nikon D3300 Review: Performance
Nikon D3300 Review: Verdict
Our original Hands-on Nikon D3300 review
Our original Nikon D3300 announcement story


77 photography techniques, tips and tricks for taking pictures of anything
100 Nikon DSLR tips you really need to know
Canon EOS cameras: 100 things you never knew they could do
How to set up a camera for the first time: 11 things you need to do first
Photography for beginners: 6 reasons you’re smarter than your camera
2014 Predictions: new camera technology we can expect in the new year