The Nikon D3300 may have been replaced by the D3400, but that's no reason to discount this entry-level DSLR.
Despite the growing popularity of mirrorless cameras, the entry-level DSLR market is still incredibly popular for those looking to take the next step in their photography journey.
Nikon's range of D3xxx models has proved incredibly popular over the years for new users looking to expand their creativity thanks to their blend of easy handling and solid performance, backed-up by an impressive range of lenses and accessories.
[Update: The D3300 has since been replaced by both the D3400 and the D3500, and while both new models don't offer a huge change in features, they are that bit better. The D3300 will also be quite tricky to buy new now as well, with dealers shifting their inventory to make way for the newer cameras. You'll find plenty of used models, but take a look at the D3400 and D3500 first as these are incredibly good value.]
- APS-C CMOS sensor, 24.2MP
- 3.0-inch screen, 921,000 dots
- 1080p video capture
The Nikon D3300 features a high resolution 24.2MP APS-C sensor, which is pretty impressive when you consider the enthusiast-focused (and much higher priced) D7200 shares the an almost identical sensor with it. Like the rest of the Nikon range, the D3300's sensor does away with a low-pass filter on the sensor as well, which means even more detail can be captured.
In addition to this, the native sensitivity range runs from ISO100 to 12,800, and there's an expansion setting that takes it to the equivalent of ISO25,600, that should provide plenty of flexibility for a range of lighting situations.
Like the Nikon D5300, the D3300 sports Nikon's now second-generation processing engine, the EXPEED 4, allowing the D3300 to shoot continuously at a maximum rate of 5fps, while it can sustain this burst rate for up to 100 fine quality JPEGs. Not probably quite a match for some mirrorless rivals, but more than enough for most people's needs.
The EXPEED 4 processing engine is also responsible for allowing the D3300 to record Full HD movie footage at frame rates up to 50p/60p and with continuous autofocus. Helpfully, there's a microphone port as well as a built-in stereo mic for better sound recording during movie shooting. If you want 4K, you'll either have to look further up the Nikon line-up or at some mirrorless competition like the Panasonic Lumix G7.
Unlike some (pricier) rivals sporting articulating screens, the 3.0-inch display on the rear of the D3300 sits flush to the body. The absence of a touchscreen interface is also a little disappointing, especially when you consider how many of the camera's controls are changed via the menu system. If these are deal-breakers, then you might want to look further up the Nikon range to the D5600 or rivals from Canon.
Like pretty much every DSLR at this price point, the D3300's optical viewfinder only 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 when framing up your shot.
There are a host of Special Effects on tap, allowing you to jazz-up JPEG files and videos with a collection of styles. Nikon has boosted the list of effects to 13 for the D3300, and it now includes Pop, which increases colour saturation, Toy Camera, which creates a retro effect, and Easy Panorama. These effects can be previewed in real time on the LCD screen, so you can see exactly what you'll get once you trigger the shutter.
Connectivity options are pretty limited, so if you want to wirelessly transfer images you'll have to invest in the optional WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter to make it so. If you want a connected entry-level Nikon DSLR, you'll want to get the D3400. Featuring Nikon's SnapBridge technology, this functionality allows the D3400 to be connected wirelessly to your smartphone or tablet.