Nikon D3300 specifications and review
The D3300 may have been replaced by the D3400, but that’s no reason to discount this entry-level DSLR. In fact, while the D3400 costs a little bit more (though prices are continuing to fall), the D3300 is the better buy right now.
Despite the growing popularity of mirrorless cameras, the entry-level DSLR market is still incredibly popular for those looking to take the next step in their photography journey.
Nikon’s range of D3xxx models has proved incredibly popular over the years for new users looking to expand their creativity thanks to their blend of easy handling and solid performance, backed-up by an impressive range of lenses and accessories.
- APS-C CMOS sensor, 24.2MP
- 3.0-inch screen, 921,000 dots
- 1080p video capture
The Nikon D3300 features a high resolution 24.2MP APS-C sensor, which is pretty impressive when you consider the enthusiast-focused (and much higher priced) D7200 shares the an almost identical sensor with it. Like the rest of the Nikon range, the D3300’s sensor does away with a low-pass filter on the sensor as well, which means even more detail can be captured.
In addition to this, the native sensitivity range runs from ISO100 to 12,800, and there’s an expansion setting that takes it to the equivalent of ISO25,600, that should provide plenty of flexibility for a range of lighting situations.
Like the , the D3300 sports Nikon’s now second-generation processing engine, the EXPEED 4, allowing the D3300 to shoot continuously at a maximum rate of 5fps, while it can sustain this burst rate for up to 100 fine
quality JPEGs. Not probably quite a match for some mirrorless rivals, but more than enough for most people’s needs.
The EXPEED 4 processing engine is also responsible for allowing the D3300 to record Full HD movie footage at frame rates up to 50p/60p and with continuous autofocus. Helpfully, there’s a microphone port as well as a built-in stereo mic for better sound recording during movie shooting. If you want 4K, you’ll either have to look further up the Nikon line-up or at some mirrorless competition like the .
Unlike some (pricier) rivals sporting articulating screens, the 3.0-inch display on the rear of the D3300 sits flush to the body. The absence of a touchscreen interface is also a little disappointing, especially when you consider how many of the camera’s controls are changed via the screen itself. If these are deal-breakers, then you might want to look further up the Nikon range to the D5600or rivals from Canon.
Build and handling
- Polycarbonate construction
- Small and lightweight body
- Weighs 460g
The D3300 is the second DSLR from Nikon to use a monocoque construction – this means that the chassis is made from a single piece of material. Lighter than the D3200 it replaced, the D3300 is actually a bit heavier than the D3400, with Nikon managing to shave a very modest 15g off the 410g body-only weight of the D3300.
The grip is still deep and comfortable to hold, with the textured surface making it feel particularly secure in the hand.
The new 18-55mm kit lens that the D3300 will probably most likely be purchased with is now collapsible. While by no means small in comparison to compact system camera lenses of the same equivalent zoom range, when collapsed the lens is quite a bit shorter than its predecessor, making it easier to fit into a small bag when not in use.
When you want to use the camera (with this kit lens attached), you’ll first need to press a button on the lens barrel to expand it back into normal proportions. This does mean that start-up time from packed away is a little slower than other cameras, but you can of course leave it extended if you need a quicker start.
- 11-point AF, 1 cross-type AF point
- AF-assist illuminator
- 3D-tracking AF
Meanwhile, there’s an 11-point AF system that we’ve seen on a host of previous models, which has a central cross-type AF point for extra sensitivity.
It’s a little unremarkable, especially when compared to some , but its a tried and test system that does a solid job.
Autofocusing speeds are pretty high, especially in daylight or well-lit conditions. It’s rare for the kit lens to hunt around to acquire focus, and rarer still for it to present a false confirmation of focus. Speeds do drop a little in lower light conditions, but it’s only when it gets very dark that the lens struggles to focus at all.
- 5fps burst shooting
- Helpful Guide mode
- 700-shot battery life
The D3300’s interface has a pleasingly modern appearance, with the high resolution giving the display beautifully rounded edges and displaying the interface’s colors well.
When shooting, the camera displays three circles which represent shutter speed, aperture and sensitivity (ISO). These displays change as you alter settings using the scrolling dials, most obvious being the aperture circle which closes and opens to represent the opening and closing of the aperture blades. If you’re new to creative photography, this is a great way to get to grips with the basics.
- ISO100-12,800, expandable to 100-25,600
- No low-pass filter
- Punchy colors
As expected, the D3300 has excellent resolving power. Even when zoomed in to images at 100% reveals that very fine details can be seen.
With such a high pixel count (24 million pixels), there comes the increased chance of noise appearing in images. The D3300 handles low light, high sensitivity situations very well. Noise only really starts to become particularly apparent when shooting at ISO 3200 above, and even then it’s acceptable, or certainly preferable to a blurred or missed shot.