Nikon D3300 review

Nikon's entry-level DSLR loses its anti-aliasing filter for more detail than ever before

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It's Nikon's policy to keep selling older models even after the launch of new ones. So even though the D3300 is newer, faster and better than the D3200 before it, you can still get the D3200 at discounted prices.

On paper, the D3300 and D3200 do look quite similar, so that means the D3200 looks like a very tempting proposition.

So what are the differences between these two cameras, and is the D3300 really worth the extra outlay? Like other recent Nikon launches, this one brings a number of small but significant upgrades. None of them will make headlines, but when you add them all up you might well decide it's worth it.

Here are eight key differences to help you make your mind up:

01 Sensor

Both have 24.2 megapixels, but the D3300 drops the anti-aliasing filter, so fine detail should be a little bit sharper. In theory there is an increase risk of moiré patterns (interference effects) in fine textures and patterns, but we've not heard of any instances of this happening.

02 Retractable kit lens

The D3200 comes with Nikon's regular 18-55mm kit lens, which is physically quite long. The body might be small, but once you put this lens on the front it loses its advantage. But the D3300 comes with a new, retractable 18-55mm lens.

Nikon D3300 retractable lens
Not convinced a retractable lens will make much difference? Well here's the 'old' D3200 kit outlined in red.

This is a lot shorter when the camera is not in use – and you press a button on the barrel and twist the lens to extend it ready for shooting. The new retractable lens is also 70g lighter than the old one. As you'll see, the D3300's new 'monocoque' construction means the body is a couple of millimetres smaller than the D3200's too.

03 Expeed 4

'Expeed' is Nikon's in-camera image processing system, and newer cameras tend to have newer and more powerful versions. The D3300 has an Expeed 4 processor compared to the D3200's Expeed 3. This delivers, amongst other things, faster continuous shooting and a higher maximum ISO.

04 ISO range

The D3200 has a maximum ISO of 6,400 (expandable to 12,800), but the D3300 goes up to ISO 12,800, expandable to 25,600). This gives it a one-stop advantage for low-light photography.

Nikon D3300 motherboard
The D3300's Expeed 4 processor gives it an ISO and speed boost over the D3200.

05 Continuous shooting

The D3200 can shoot continuously at 4 frames per second, which isn't too bad for an entry-level D-SLR, but the D3300 goes a little faster at 5 frames per second. It's not going to compete with a proper sports camera, but it's a worthwhile gain nonetheless.

06 Slo-mo movies

It's another modest gain, but the D3300 adds faster 60p and 50p frame rates for full HD movies, which means you can shoot half-speed slow motion at full HD resolution.

07 Effects mode

The D3300 has an Effects setting on the mode dial to give you a 'Pop' mode, 'Toy Camera', Easy Panorama' mode and more. You don't get this on the D3200.

08 Battery life

The D3300 and the D3200 can use the same EN-EL14 batteries, but with the D3300 Nikon introduced an EN-EL14a variant that offers significantly longer life – in fact the D3300 can take 700 shots on a single charge compared to the D3200's 540 shots.

Nikon D3300 EN EL14a battery
The new EN-EL14a battery in the D3300 brings a significant boost in battery life.