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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Nikon D3300

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Nikon D3300 review


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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.

  1. 1. Nikon D3300 at a glance:
  2. 2. AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/ VR II kit lens
  3. 3. Build and handling
  4. 4. Autofocus
  5. 5. Metering
  6. 6. Dynamic range
  7. 7. White balance and colour
  8. 8. Noise, resolution and sensitivity
  9. 9. Viewfinder, live view and video
  10. 10. The competition
  11. 11. Our verdict
  12. 12. Hands-on review
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