Nikon D3300 review

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Nikon D3300 comes with the new kit lens – collapsible 18-55 VR. This is a nice feature and makes the overall camera-lens combination smaller. The thing is – it is not particularly small even collapsed and compared to similar lenses for mirrorless cameras (like Sony 16-50 or new Olympus 14-42) are huge.

Nikon 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 VR II is a decent lens, optically good for the price and with an effective optical stabilization. But still, it’s just an affordable kit lens which becomes obvious on this camera. 24 megapixel sensor is very sharpness-hungry, and 18-55 falls behind in this department. It’s not a bad lens, but it will not allow this sensor to show its maximum performance.

If you are serious about your photography, my recommendation is to take a look at some nice and affordable primes like 35/1,8G for general shooting and 50/1,8G for portraiture. Both are in the very affordable 200$ range and perform much better than the kit lens, not to mention f/1.8 aperture for shallow DOF and low-light shooting.

Just keep one thing in mind: this camera can use auto-focus only with modern lenses with built-in AF motor (those with the “G” designations in model name).


Memory compartment accepts SDHC cards. Camera is very fast at writing data which came as a surprise. I expected it to be sluggish with huge 24 megapixel files, but it’s not the case. Just be sure to get a fast card (class 10 or faster).

Li-Ion battery unit is strong enough for 600-700 shots and takes around 2.5 h to recharge. This is twice as any mirrorless camera can offer; they all last up to 350 shots.

Nikon D3300 will work with both memory card and battery doors open (broken) unlike Canon cameras.


Auto focus is pretty snappy and accurate. It has 11 focus points which cover very wide area of the frame, what is excellent. White AF assist lamp is also built-in but you might consider to leave it off for street shooting – it looks invasive.

Contrast focusing in live view is slow(ish) but gets the job done.


D3300 records video in full HD with real 50 progressive frames per second which is great for fluid look of the videos. It only has a mono microphone, but you can attach external stereo microphone. Videos look quite good, but slow live-view AF makes them unatractive for “familiy” users who just want to capture memories (children, pets, etc.)


D3300 doesn’t offer any groundbreaking features, but all that’s built in works perfectly. I doubted this camera will offer clear reasons one would prefer it over similarly featured yet smaller mirrorless cameras but I was wrong. It has visibly faster response times and twice the battery life and this is enough to make a difference in real life use.

Image quality is excellent and with a good lens it can deliver D7100 image quality in twice cheaper package. For an amateur user this is excellent choice and only photographic skill might limit it what is possible to shoot. Still, some might resent the lack of direct controls or articulated LCD, but those are the features reserved for more expensive models. If you need a simple and capable camera at a competitive price, there’s no reason not to get D3300.


  • Excellent image quality
  • Fast and responsive operation
  • Fast auto focus with wide frame coverage
  • Low high ISO noise
  • Good auto-ISO option implementation
  • Battery life


  • Requires higher quality lenses to make most out of the sensor
  • Very few direct controls


All shot in RAW, processed “to taste” in ACR:

ISO 100, 1/250, F/8

ISO 100, 1/250, F/8

ISO 100, 1/250, F/8

ISO 100, 1/125, F/5.6

ISO 100, 1/200, F/7.1

ISO 5000, 1/30, F/3.5

Check prices: D3300

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