DxOMark tests the Nikon D3300, puts it above and beyond the competition


posted Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 1:37 PM EDT


Nikon's newest entry-level DSLR, the D3300, has us all extremely excited based on its excellent seeming specs, if nothing else. But now DxOMark has put the camera through its sensor-based testing system, and shown it to be notably better than much of the competition.

As always, remember that DxOMark's tests are just one data point, and that they test under a very specific set of criteria. But even so, the D3300 performed admirably, coming 25th out of all the camera sensors they've tested. The analysis indicates that the D3300 does extremely well for image noise and color, though it struggles a bit in dynamic range. Compared to other Nikon models, it's on par with the substantially more expensive D5300 and D7100 for everything except dynamic range.

But when compared to other company's cameras is where the D3300 really shines. DxOMark claims it has a 2/3 stop advantage over the Canon SL1 for image noise, a 1.5 stop advantage in color sensitivity and dynamic range. Compared to the Sony a58, those numbers are 1 stop, 2/3 stop, and 1/3 stop, respectively. That's a substantial difference against two of the other most popular entry level DSLRs on the market. In fact, the D3300 even slightly outscores the 5D Mark III thanks to better color and dynamic range, even if it lags behind on image noise.

Given the fact that the D3300 has an asking price of just $650, it represents some truly fantastic image quality for that price. And while it may not have the same feature set as some of the other cameras that it was pitted against in DxOMark's testing, when it comes to pure image quality, it looks like it can more than hold its own.