Don’t be fooled by the entry-level status of the Nikon D3300. With a 24.2-million-pixel sensor and no anti-aliasing filter, the diminutive DSLR has ideas far above its station. Richard Sibley finds out just how good this £500 DSLR really is. Read the Nikon D3300 review...
With fierce competition from CSCs, entry-level DSLRs have to offer a lot at a very competitive price. The Nikon D3300 has a fairly straightforward set of features when you look at its metering and AF systems, 95% viewfinder and no built-in Wi-Fi, but it also has a significant selling point in its 24.2-million-pixel sensor. Without an inhibiting low-pass filter, the D3300 is capable of resolving an unparalleled amount of detail for any camera at this level and price.
The sensor also provides a good dynamic range, although it is let down a little by noise levels at ISO 800. While it can be reduced in raw images, the level of luminance and colour noise is around 1EV worse than we would have perhaps hoped for. For entry-level photographers, this may be acceptable, and it should be remembered that with such a high resolution on offer, noise can be reduced by simply downsampling the image, which will naturally happen if a print is made at A4 size or smaller.
For those wanting a high-resolution camera at an excellent price, the Nikon D3300 should be seen as a contender, but for best results it should be used at between ISO 100 and 400, and in fairly good lighting conditions.
Nikon D3300 – Key features
This option is tucked away in the camera’s menu and uses the EV dial in the camera’s viewfinder as a rangefinder when manually focusing. The display highlights which direction the lens needs to be turned to focus, and shows when it judges that the AF point being used achieves focus.
There is no mirror lock-up shooting; it is only possible when cleaning the sensor. This is not uncommon for an entry-level DSLR, but it should be noted for those wanting to delve into macro shooting.
As well as optional Wi-Fi connectivity, the Nikon GP-1 module can be attached to the socket at the side of the camera so that GPS data can be added to images.
Another new addition to Nikon’s entry-level DSLR is easy panorama, which allows a panoramic image to be created by simply moving the camera from right to left while taking images. The camera then stitches these shots together.
Besides easy panorama, there are a number of other effects, including high-key, low-key, toy camera, miniature and selective colour shooting modes. In these modes there is little control available over any exposure, shooting or image settings.