Nikon D3300

Nikon’s new en­try-level D-SLR brings no gi­ant leaps in tech­nol­ogy, but many use­ful steps, as Rod Law­ton finds out

NPhoto - - Test Team -

Just weeks af­ter launch­ing the Wi-Fi-en­abled D5300 for en­thu­si­asts, Nikon has now an­nounced a new ad­di­tion to its en­try-level cam­era range.

The D3300 shares the same 24-megapixel res­o­lu­tion as the ex­ist­ing D3200, but boasts a se­ries of in­no­va­tions and en­hance­ments that will make it more ap­peal­ing not just to novices but to more ad­vanced users too. Per­haps the big­gest news of all is not the cam­era it­self but what’s mounted on the front.

Brand new kit lens

Nikon’s 18-55mm VR kit lens has been a stan­dard fix­ture on the com­pany’s low-to-mid range D-SLRs for some years. It per­forms very well, with great op­ti­cal qual­ity and an un­usu­ally good close fo­cus­ing ca­pa­bil­ity. How­ever, it’s not pretty, and it sticks out a long way from the cam­era body, so al­though Nikon’s D3000-se­ries and D5000-se­ries cam­eras are pretty com­pact, as soon as you add the lens this ad­van­tage is gone. This is why Nikon’s new ‘re­tractable’ 18-55mm kit lens is so sig­nif­i­cant. It uses a mech­a­nism sim­i­lar to the one used in the Nikon 1 range’s 10-30mm zoom to shrink the lens down to a much smaller size for stor­age and easy porta­bil­ity.

The new lens is 70g lighter than the old one, and when you com­bine this with the D3300’s lighter body, you get a con­sid­er­able weight sav­ing – and it be­comes Nikon’s small­est D-SLR zoom kit ever.

The op­ti­cal spec­i­fi­ca­tions of the new re­tract­ing kit lens are ex­actly the same as the older lens, with a max­i­mum aper­ture of f/3.5-5.6 and Nikon’s VR im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion sys­tem built in; we’ll bring you the re­sults of our lab tests on this lens next is­sue.

Sen­sor and sen­si­tiv­ity

The D3300 has a 24-megapixel sen­sor, just like the ex­ist­ing D3200, but there are some dif­fer­ences. The D3300 is the lat­est Nikon D-SLR to The D3300 will be avail­able in black, grey and red. Which colour would you choose? have the anti-alias­ing fil­ter re­moved from the sen­sor. These blur fine de­tail very slightly to pre­vent any moiré (in­ter­fer­ence) ef­fects with fine fabrics and pat­terns, but Nikon has de­cided they’re no longer nec­es­sary with sen­sors of this res­o­lu­tion. As a re­sult, the D3300 should pro­duce slightly sharper fine de­tail than the D3200, even though the megapixel count is the same.

Nikon has also added a newer and more pow­er­ful ver­sion of its Expeed im­age pro­cess­ing hard­ware (see the box op­po­site). This in­creases the D3300’s max­i­mum ISO by 1EV com­pared to the D3200.

What, no Wi-Fi?

In­ter­est­ingly, Nikon has de­cided not in­cor­po­rate Wi-Fi into the D3300, so the D5300 is still the only Nikon D-SLR with Wi-Fi (and GPS) built in. But the D3300 is com­pat­i­ble with the Nikon WU-1a adap­tor, which is both in­ex­pen­sive and easy to use – see our

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