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Nikon D3300 review

March 20, 2014

Overall Rating:

3

Nikon D3300


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Manufacturer:

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Price as Reviewed:

£499.99

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...

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Autofocus

Nikon has again used its Multi-CAM 1000 11-point autofocus system in the D3300, which was seen previously in both the D3100 and D3200. It features quite a small number of points compared to more advanced cameras. Each is spread out from around the centre of the frame, and goes just beyond the imaginary line where the rule of thirds intersections would be.

Generally, the positioning of the AF points is fine and most of the time I found that the subject of my scene was positioned under one of the AF points. On the odd occasions when I wanted my point of focus to be closer to the edge of the frame, it was usually when I was shooting a landscape scene and wished to have more of the foreground in focus. On these occasions the ‘focus and reframe’ technique works well, or I simply focused manually.

One word of warning: the new kit lens is not particularly great if you want to manually focus. The focusing ring is very small and light to the touch, which can make precision difficult. This is obviously lens dependent, and when using other optics there was better provision for manual focusing.

The AF works very well in bright light and, while I wouldn’t say it is the fastest I have ever used, it is snappy enough that most photographers will have no issue with it. In low light there was a noticeable decline in speed, with the AF hunting a little more before finding the correct points of focus.

Overall, I would say that the AF system is about average for this level of camera, and while demanding photographers will require better, the autofocus on the D3300 should satisfy the needs of everyone else.

  • Built-in Flash: Yes – GN 13m @ ISO 100
  • Dioptre Adjustment: -1.7 to +0.5 dioptre, 18mm eye point
  • White Balance: Auto, 6 presets (with fine-tuning), plus custom setting
  • External mic: Yes
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 pixels (at 60p, 30p, 25p or 24p), 1280 x 720 pixels (at 60 or 50p), 640 x 424 pixels (at 30 or 25p), MOV files with MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 compression
  • Shutter Type: Electronically controlled vertical-travel
  • Memory Card: SD and UHS-I compliant SDHC/ SDXC
  • Viewfinder Type: Pentaprism
  • LCD: 3in LCD with 921,000 dots
  • Output Size: 6000 x 4000 pixels
  • Field of View: Approx 95%
  • AF Points: Nikon Multi-CAM 1000 AF, 11 focus points (1 cross-type), individually selectable AF points
  • Focal Length Mag: 1.5x
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/200sec
  • Sensor: 24.2-million-effective-pixel CMOS sensor
  • White Balance Bracket: No
  • Exposure Modes: Auto, program, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, 6 scene modes, 13 special effects mode
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion EN-EL14a battery
  • Weight: 460g approx, including battery or card/s
  • File Format: NEF (raw), JPEG, raw + JPEG simultaneously
  • Drive Mode: 5fps
  • Shutter Speeds: 30-1/4000sec in 1⁄3EV steps plus bulb
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • Lens Mount: Nikon F mount (with AF contacts)
  • ISO: 100-12,800 (expandable to 25,600)
  • DoF Preview: No
  • Focusing Modes: Manual, single-shot AF, automatic AF, continuous AF, predictive-tracking AF
  • Dimensions: 124 x 98 x 75.5mm
  • Metering System: 3D Color Matrix metering (evaluative), centreweighted (75% in centre of frame) and spot (2.5% on focus point)
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
  • Compression: 3-stage JPEG
  • RRP: £499.99 body only or £599.99 with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II lens
  • Exposure Comp: ±5EV in 1⁄3EV steps
  • Tested as: Entry-level DSLR

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