Performance

  • 5fps burst shooting
  • Helpful Guide mode
  • 700 shot battery life

The D3300 has a 3.0-inch LCD screen with a 921,000 dot resolution. This is a fixed unit and Nikon is still resisting the urge to join the touchscreen revolution, which is a little disappointing given how many of the camera's controls are changed via the screen itself.

That brings us to the user interface. The D3300 has a pleasingly modern appearance, with the high resolution giving the display beautifully rounded edges and displaying the interface's colours well.

D3300 interface

When shooting, the camera displays three circles which represent shutter speed, aperture and sensitivity (ISO). These displays change as you alter settings using the scrolling dials, most obvious being the aperture circle which closes and opens to represent the opening and closing of the aperture blades. If you're new to creative photography, this is a great way to get to grips with the basics.

D3300

The viewfinder is optical and offers a 95% field of view. While it is bright and clear, not being 100% does mean that there is a chance of something appearing in the final image that you didn't notice in composition.

I was very impressed by the D3300's battery performance. After a day of shooting, checking images and then scrolling through saved images, the battery life indicator hadn't even dropped a single bar.

In the majority of everyday shooting conditions, the D3300's general-purpose metering does a good job of producing accurate exposures.

Automatic white balance is similarly impressive, managing to produce accurate colours even while shooting indoors. The only time I had to change from the automatic setting was when shooting a row of red outdoor lights, when the camera got a little confused and produced a slightly colder colour than I would have liked. Otherwise, shooting under normal household artificial lights produces images which are very close to accurate, hardly erring towards warm tones at all, which is excellent to see in an entry-level DSLR.

Image quality

  • ISO100-12,800, expandable to 100-25,600
  • No low-pass filter
  • Punchy colors

As expected, the D3300 has excellent resolving power, zooming in to images to 100% reveals that very fine details can be seen. Happily, we've not come across any examples of moiré patterning when shooting stills, suggesting Nikon's claim that a high pixel count presents less of a problem for AA filter-less cameras is accurate.

With such a high pixel count (24 million pixels), there comes the increased chance of noise appearing in images. The D3300 handles low light, high sensitivity situations very well. Noise only really starts to become particularly apparent when shooting at ISO 3200 above, and even then it's acceptable, or certainly preferable to a blurred or missed shot.

Image smoothing is something that can be seen right the way through the sensitivity run, but at the lower end of the spectrum it's not particularly noticeable, only when examining images very closely at 100% does it become apparent. When printing at normal sizes, such as A4, or sharing online, it doesn't present a problem.

One of the benefits of having a large pixel count is the ability to crop images and still retain a decent resolution, but this is something to bear in mind if you've been shooting at a high sensitivity and want to crop an image. Any image smoothing or noise may become more apparent the more you crop the image.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Photography Editor

With over ten years experience writing about cameras and photography, Phil is TechRadar's Photography Editor, writing and overseeing reviews of the latest camera gear, as well as looking after the photography tutorials and techniques you see here.