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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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Metering

Image: The matrix evaluative metering strikes a good balance between highlight and shadow detail

While the weather may have been quite dire over the past month or so, it did allow me to test the D3300 in a variety of conditions, and really put its metering to the test. It is a credit to the 420-pixel RGB sensor and the scene detection it employs that I found few instances where the D3300’s evaluative metering system needed correcting. Whether in the bright sunny streets of London or the stormy gloom of the Peak District, the D3300 performed excellently and was quick to adapt as the conditions changed.

There were times where I would adjust the exposure compensation a little, but generally this was to help me preserve or extract more detail in either highlights or shadow areas when dealing with a high-contrast scene. Overall, the metering system seems to strike a good balance between the two, although it does tend to take highlights to the point of blowing out and not beyond, which in very high-contrast scenes can leave shadow areas looking a little dark. Switching the Active D-Lighting on helps to combat this by giving shadow areas a lift to produce more print-ready images.

For those trickier situations, or when precise metering is needed, centreweighted gives 75% weight to an 8mm circle in the centre of frame, while the spot option meters from around 2.5% of the frame based on the focus point.

  • 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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