on 19 July 2015
I really wanted to use this camera for a long time before I gave it any sort of review. I purchased this when it first came out in 2014 and I've been using it for over a year now. It is my only camera and I'm now stretching it to its limits I find.
Build quality is excellent, after a year of usage, it looks like new. The screen is very good for the price and all the controls are very intuitive.
I'm not going to go too much into the specs as you can read into that in much more detail online. What I will say is that the sensor is great. It provides clear sharp photos, excellent dynamic range and accurate colour reproduction (don't forget I'm still using the kit lens).
I find this camera very handy for travelling as it is small and concealed. This is good for two reasons:
1. Less weight around your neck.
2. Less likely to get stolen, especially if using the very compact kit lens.
I use a GorrilaPod along with my main Velbon tripod and it has no problem on both due to the fact that it is so light and the lens does not protrude much.
This was first DSLR I purchased and my photography has improved significantly over the past year. I think now, it is even better value for money due to the fact that it's a year old. I would not hesitate to recommend this for people looking for a first DSLR. Here included are some pictures I have taken with this camera and lens whilst in London last week.
The D3300 is a minor update to the D3200, it does offer most of what a new user might be looking for, or a decent choice for someone moving up from a bridge or compact camera, wanting to expand their photography knowledge
It's also easy to use and learn on.
There are a few limitations though compared to higher priced bodies, which I will go into later on. This won't matter to many users, but they are worth a mention
A quick summary of the notable strong and weaker points of the camera
+ Excellent image quality from the 24mp sensor, good dynamic range too. Nikon removed the optical low pass filter this increases the resolution a bit, you can shoot RAW and JPEG
+ 11-point AF system with central cross sensor is quite good enough at this price point
+ Nicely made and a smaller more compact size for a DSLR, quite comfy in the hand
+ Fairly well featured for an entry DSLR, has most of what you might want to start off with (bear in mind cons section)
+ Has HD video 1920 x 1080 50p which is sharp and clean. You do have autofocus (contrast) with the AF-F mode
+ 3.5mm mic input
+ "Guide mode" can be useful for some people it can help with shooting situations, but it's not perfect
+ Range of creative effect/filters to play with
+ Metering and WB are improved over the previous model quite consistent in most situations
+ Built in white light AF assist (helps the camera focus in lower light) it works, though it can be distracting for people shots inside
+ Good battery life around 600 shots
+ 5fps continuous shooting is quite fast for an entry level camera, buffer is quite small though (about 6 frames raw)
- No exposure bracketing (about time at least something was added here), no depth of field preview
- No Auto FP (High speed sync), this allows your external flash to sync at all shutter speeds with the camera, particularly useful for daylight fill in flash photography, where you will easily go over the normal 1/200 flash sync speed with faster lenses or on a bright day. Camera doesn't support it so you will have to use ND filters as a workaround (to reduce light to the camera)
- No built in AF motor in the body. This is less of an issue now that most recent Nikon lenses have motors built into them, but if you are digging around for second hand (or non AF-S)lenses it's something to consider. You can still use screw driven lenses but manual focus only
- Live view is fairly slow to focus, it's ok for non moving subjects though. Video AF-F can jump about a bit trying to focus
- No support for wireless (CLS) flash with the built in flash. You can use radio triggers though or optical slave flashes (Yongnuo etc)
Body controls wise, fairly straight forward. Menus are easy to use and navigate. There is a lack of some controls on the body, direct buttons for some important functions are not present such as ISO and WB settings. You can set the "Fn" button on the left hand side under the flash raise button can be set to (WB, ISO, image size and active D lighting) this helps quite a lot. As does using the "info" button which allows you to change settings on the rear LCD by moving around with the D pad.
Nikon probably could do with re-vamping the controls a bit on their entry models, ie more direct controls. But it's ok for this segment.
There is no vertical grip option from Nikon for the D3300. You can use the IR remote ML-L3 with the camera
Canon v Nikon:
I won't get into this major debate, both makers have large and extensive systems, in terms of lenses and bodies.
As a general guide Canon tend to be a bit more generous on entry bodies in terms of functionality (Auto FP, Wireless flash, DOF preview, bracketing) Nikon offer higher resolution sensors with better dynamic range, all their bodies have a built in AF assist light (none of Canon's do) If you are taking a photo course Canon might be a slightly better choice (those missing things might be useful for learning)
Try both (and other makers too) and see what you like best. You can't beat a real hands on with cameras some bodies might just feel right, some might not. There are no real right or wrong choices, everyone is different. But it's worth thinking about what friends/family are using you can borrow and use lenses and other items. Look at the practical elements of your choice too.
The removal of the optical low pass filter and slight increase in frames per second are the main improvements over the D3200, it is not a huge update over that model so if you have a D3200 you might want to look at the D5300 or even D7000/7100 to step up a bit to the next level.
Second body shooters:
The D3300 makes for a relatively inexpensive back up body, but the limitations on flash (esp Auto FP), less controls and no built in AF motor could be a factor. Look at what your needs are. This will do the job, but you might want to pick up something else if you need that.
Image quality is very good, but 24mp is stretching things a bit on some cheaper lenses, it's worth looking at lens choices to get the most out of the camera. 24mp is overkill for most users, including many serious photographers..though landscape shooters won't complain. Don't just buy the camera just for 24mp, it won't make you a better photographer, it can yield excellent prints if you have good optics and with good processing of images Low light is quite good but resolution drops off as it does on all 24mp APS-C cameras, you can reduce the jpeg image size if you wish.
So overall a pretty good entry level camera, it would be nice to see Nikon improve things a bit more esp in relation to the flash limitations and lack of bracketing (the last one has been a bit of a sore point for ages now) For the outlay it's capable of excellent results. It's also quite a bit cheaper than the D3200 was at launch.
Is there more to buy? Well that's down to you, one reason for DSLR's being a popular choice is you have the flexibility to get lenses you need or might want (macro, telephoto, ultra wide angle) You can spend a fortune on equipment, or just buy a few lenses that interest you. Building up a system takes time and can be very expensive. So take it easy for a while and learn the basics first.
on 6 January 2015
Amazing entry level camera.
Let me point out this is my first DSLR camera so i am only comparing the images to a decent compact camera and iPhones.
Not got to grips fully with the different modes, but the sports mode has a very quick shutter speed and can take images very quickly (with a decent memory card). Also copes well with indoor pictures without graining, assuming you have a steady hand and the rooms arent too dark - Would struggle at a party or festival i think.
This has been very easy to pick up and use. My skills are getting better all the time and i find im critiquing my own work when the image is framed correctly or somthing in the background isnt right - somthing i would never have normally done with a compact. People are already very impressed with the images.
The only downside is that it is a tad on the expensive side. But if you are keen to up you images from a bridge or compact, I couldnt recomend this highly enough for your first DSLR.
on 8 March 2014
Having originally gone for a Canon 1000D four years ago, I grew increasingly frustrated with the very poor image quality, so I've sold all my Canon kit and have switched to Nikon's D3300. I am a beginner photographer/astro-photographer.
This is an entry level or upper entry level camera which outcompetes Canon's alternatives in the form of the 1200D and 100D. Although slightly bigger than the 100D which was marketed as the world's smallest DSLR, you wouldn't really think so if the cameras were put side by side. In terms of image quality, you get 24mp versus 18mp resolution in those two other models, but on top of this the sensor gives you 35% more image quality, 11% more colour depth, over DOUBLE the low light ISO sensitivity (half your exposure time), and 14% more dynamic range (an image shows a greater range of light levels rather than everything either dark or light). Check Dxomark scores, which are lab tests done on cameras in a controlled environment using high tech software and sensors if you want to verify these numbers.
The body feels solid yet light, grips in the hand very nicely and has intuitively placed buttons. The buttons have a nice clicky feel to them, and I particularly like the column of buttons on the left side of the screen. It has some nice features, the most notable of which is that you can apply many fun filters to your images on the camera. One of these is a 'miniature effect', where the top and bottom bands of the image are blurred as per your input to give a cool artistic effect, and in movie mode at 1080P HD resolution it compresses time by 15x so that a 45 minute movie turns into a 3m movie - making everything appear miniaturised and fast. On the auto modes any beginners will be able to use this camera, and the auto focus is top notch. If you know what you are doing with a camera, it has all the features that you would expect, including mirror lockup (it says for cleaning) if you want to be taking astrophotos. Video quality and sound is excellent. Make sure you have a high speed memory card otherwise it won't be able to record more than a small snippet of HD video. Either get a SHXC or SDHC (UHS-I) card of class 10 speed.
The kit lens provided is a new lens released with this camera. When not in use, it compacts down to just a few inches, which is really handy when walking around or storing the camera. You just pop it out via a release button and then start focusing. The quality really is superb, and this lens if not supplied with the camera costs £170. If you are looking for your first camera, I highly recommend this.
on 22 December 2015
I never got mine from Amazon, instead getting it from a friend who had his for sale; as I was finding myself becoming increasingly keen on getting a DSLR (moving from a bridge camera and a Z3 smartphone) I decided that the D3300 would be perfect for me, so I was in luck.
Upon getting the camera, I noticed immediately how easy the camera is to set up and that the kit lens, really isn't that bad if you do not need to zoom in. The night time photos are incredible, ISO becomes noticeable at around 1,600 but usable to around 3,200 / 6,400. For a starter camera, if you are new to photography I couldn't recommend this one any more. The only issue I have noticed is in video; the autofocus (when you press the shutter button halfway) is very loud and annoying when previewing clips, however that can be sorted by purchasing an external microphone. The only other problem is the lack of an autofocus motor inside the body of the camera, the issue with this is, when videoing, you need to be with your camera all the time, or have someone else film for you. The only other option you have is to mark a set location and then set the focus to that spot.
-- But, this is a digital camera, not a video camera. This is primarily built for photography and not videography; therefore that will not affect the rating that I give to this camera. If you know someone that wants a DSLR but don't want to spend £400, this camera is perfect.
on 3 September 2014
I'm new to photography but this camera is making it a pleasure, the photos I'm getting from it are amazing with brilliant detail, I'm over the moon with its performance.
on 21 July 2014
Brilliant bit of kit, the last SLR I owned used 35mm film so this was my first SLR since the digital revolution, I wanted to get it right and this fitted the bill just right.
I had done a bit of homework and this model had some decent reviews and in the short time I have been using it I can see why.
Thoroughly recommend it.
There was a bit of a misunderstanding about the Nikon cashback but Amazon sorted it, thanks again guys.
on 4 September 2014
I'm new to DSLR's and have wanted to give one a try for many years. I read through most of the reviews on the net and decided upon this based on it being a very impressive entry level camera. I have no desires to want to produce shots worthy or publishing, but just as a hobby. So I'm in no position to go in to the technicalities as yet, but this to be a great camera. Only disappointment was that Nikon don't include a memory card with the camera - at such a small cost to them, this would have allowed me to be up and running sooner than having to order one separately. Apart from that, a great camera that I'm looking forward to using and understanding !!
I wanted to step up from my compact digital camera to something better for taking more studio quality photos and as I researched what to buy, I came across the D3300. I have a Nikon compact that I was very happy with so decided that maybe sticking with Nikon was a good option.
The D3300 has a range of impressive features, most notably the 5fps shooting speed, the 24mp and the array of auto settings to make life easy for the amateur like me. The camera body is a nice light weight for its size and still feels good quality build-wise. When adding the 18-55mm kit lens, it still doesn't feel too heavy and is nicely balanced. The buttons are logically placed and easy to hand - something that cannot be said of all cameras and they too feel like they will stand the test of time, giving good feedback when pressed.
A novelty for me, after so many years of compact camera usage, was the eyepiece. This is great to have again and you can nicely frame your photos without having to waste battery life on using the screen for this purpose. Autofocus is also a little faster when not using the screen so another bonus for the return of the viewfinder! Image stabilisation on the lens is great and very handy. It is a shame that Nikon didn't build wireless functionality in but I bought a little IR remote that does the job for a fraction of the cost of the Wi-Fi adapter and it should be less conspicuous when taking photos with me in them than holding my mobile would be. Shooting video is very easy and high quality, being recorded in full 1080p HD glory.
I am still learning what I can do with the D3300 and haven't used all of the settings - including the very interesting novelty special effects. What I do know, though, is that this is a wonderful camera for those wanting to up their game but on a budget. I am pondering whether to invest in a longer range lens but am ruling it out due to pricing. At the moment the 18-55mm lens bundled with the camera body is doing everything I bought the camera to do - family photos of a much better quality than my compact point and shoot.
This is a super camera and I am very pleased I took the leap of faith and bought it. It is giving me great joy and will continue to do so as I explore better just what it can do.
on 14 September 2015
Really impressed with this.
Was tempted with the 5300 and now I have the 3300 I can honestly say I don't think I would have benefitted from wifi or a pivot screen.
If you are tempted, BUY IT!