Published on February 17th, 2014 | by Paul Edwards0
Nikon D3300 – Is It Worth the Upgrade?
At CES 2014, Nikon announced its latest refresh to its awesome D3000-series DSLR range, with the D3300. We here at TechFizz have always heralded the Nikon budget DLSR’s as a great starting point for the beginner or noob photographer with the slightly ageing D3100 still nestled within our camera bag. So, whats new on the Nikon D3300 and is it worth the upgrade?
The D3000 series all use the same DX format (APS-C) sensor, with our own D3100 running an older 14.2-megapixel version, and the D3200 and D3300 both now sporting the industry standard 24.2 megapixel count. The difference this makes is that larger prints will show a higher definition over the 14.2 version (which still produces great looking images). The Nikon D3300 has also dropped the Optical Low Pass Filter found on the D3200, which means that it should produce slightly more detailed shots compared to the D3200. This low pass filter was meant to reduce interference when photographing fine patterns that sometimes produce a moire effect, but Nikon has judged that the 24.2 MP sensor is now more capable without the filter due to the high pixel count, a move which has been seen more recently on professional DSLR’s.
Nikon has also updated the user interface, giving it a cleaner look with a bit more added functionality and so reducing the slightly clunky feel of the D3100 GUI. The D3300 uses Nikon’s EXPEED 4 engine which allows shooting of 5fps (frames per second) for up to 100 JPEG’s set to fine quality. Nikon has also tweaked the ISO settings with sensitivity running from ISO 100 to 12’800, with expansion possible right up to ISO 25’000. This means that it should operate in low light much better than the earlier versions, especially when compared to the D3100’s maximum ISO of just 3200 (although this could be increased to 12’800 but the quality of shots falls off dramatically.)
DSLR’s have become quite capable at shooting video in recent years, with many amateur film makers using them due to the quality of images produced over similarly priced camcorders. The D3300’s EXPEED 4 engine allows video to be shot at 1080p running at 50p/60p frame rates with continuous autofocus and a microphone port for better sound capture. Compared to the D3100’s max of 24fps at 1080p or even the D3200’s 30p frame rates, this is quite an upgrade and could be a great reason to make the jump. The other added bonus of 60p frame rates is that you could now shoot in slow-motion at Full HD levels with a still great 30p frame rate quality.
The in-camera special effects mode has also been expanded with 13 effects available, probably in a belated bid to get some of the Instagram style market, Nikon have also aded the effects menu to the mode dial, which it had previously reserved for the more expensive D5000 series. You can preview the effects on the LCD screen before applying.
The LCD screen saw some big changes with the D3200, as although all three models have a 3” display, the D3100 has a 230’000 dot resolution, making it look at little low-res in this Retina age. The D3200 saw a massive upgrade to a 921’000 dot screen which has been carried over to the D3300. The difference is very noticeable over the D3100, especially when shooting video.
The D3300 comes with a single SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card slot but Nikon has neglected to put any WiFi connectivity in place. This seems like a missed opportunity, as most people are used to flicking their images from their smartphone to their laptop, tablet or even TV quite easily, so replying on the SD card transfer every time seems a little 2007. Nikon have started to introduce WiFi on the D5000 series so this may make it onto the D3400. You can buy the WU-1a adaptor which adds WiFi through the camera’s accessory port, although this will set you back another £50 but it can be used in conjunction with a smartphone app to control the camera or send images. This isn’t compatible with the earlier D3100.
The battery has seen a slight upgrade with Nikon claiming that the D3300 can take 700 shots on a fully charged battery compared to the D3200’s 540 or the D3100’s 550.
When it comes to the actual appearance of the camera, it seems that not much initially has changed, but you’d be wrong. The lens supplied with the D3300 is standard 18-55mm version but it now retracts back into the body, making the camera feel noticeably slimmer when not in use. As Nikon is aiming predominantly aiming for new users with their entry level DSLR’s, the size factor could be another influencing factor over its rivals like Canon as lugging around a DSLR can be a pain.
Is the D3300 worth upgrading to over the D3200? Well, possibly not for stills shooting, but video capture maybe. The price tag at the time of writing is also high compared to the price of the D3200, although this should drop over the next few months. The price on Amazon UK for the D3300 with 18-55mm VR II Lens Kit is £545.94, compared to the D3200 with 18-55mm VR Lens Kit at £350, this seems quite a large gap considering the relatively small upgrades.
On the other hand, if you are a D3100 owner or someone looking to jump into DSLR photography, the D3300 does look like quite a compelling upgrade, although waiting for the price to drop still seems like a good idea.
To wrap-up, the Nikon D3300 is a startlingly great budget DLSR and will produce some excellent shots, even in the hands of complete novices. It comes in Black, Grey or Red finishes.
Where to buy:
Where to buy:
Link to store:
|Amazon UK||£545.94||D3300 Body plus 18-55 VR Lens kit
(Black, Grey and Red colour options)
|See more info…|
|Nikon Store UK||£599.99||D3300 Body plus 18-55 VR Lens kit in Black||See more info…|
|Nikon Store UK||£599.99||D3300 Body plus 18-55 VR Lens kit in Grey||See more info…|
|Nikon Store UK||£599.99||D3300 Body plus 18-55 VR Lens kit in Red||See more info…|
|Currys||£599.00||D3300 Body plus 18-55 VR Lens kit.
Free Camera bag.
|See more info…|
|Jessops||£599.00||D3300 Body plus 18-55 VR Lens kit
(6 months Interest Free Finance)
|See more info…|
|WEX Photographic||£599||D3300 Body plus 18-55 VR Lens kit in Red||See more info…|
|WEX Photographic||£599||D3300 Body plus 18-55 VR Lens kit in Grey||See more info…|
|WEX Photographic||£599||D3300 Body plus 18-55 VR Lens kit in Black||See more info…|