Nikon D3300 Field Tests

Nikon D3300 Field Test Part I

A welcome reunion

by Rob Taylor Case |

When I was about 12, I got a mid-range Nikon compact for my birthday. It had zoom and autofocus, it could print the date on the film and even had a little LCD screen with information I didn't understand on it! It was far better than my first compact camera that I'd been using for many years at the time, and the best camera I could imagine... Until it died, three days later. I replaced it with a cheap, non-zoom Olympus compact, and I never used Nikon again.

Until now. Twelve years later, I think it's time this dyed in the wool Canon guy gave Nikon a second chance. And so I find myself sitting here with a brand new D3300 entry-level DSLR next to my EOS 40D and T3i, tentatively prodding the back and waiting for it to explode.

I jest! It's actually quite a delightful camera. I'm coming at it as someone not only unfamiliar with Nikon controls and ergonomics, but actively accustomed to the opposite. Conversely, I'm also one of those people who can pick something up and use it immediately without instruction, just based on the practical foundations of UI/UX (user interface/user experience) design and technology itself.

Read Field Test Part I

Nikon D3300 Field Test Part I

Nikon D3300 Field Test Part II

Wowed by the kit lens and AF, less so the limited controls

by Rob Taylor Case |

As would be expected from a camera in this price range and size, the control layout can be a little limiting. Since the target demographic isn't generally expected to use quite a number of features, they've been omitted; those needing them can upgrade to the D5300 or the D7100.

IS-NO. Let's get the first omission out of the way: There is no dedicated ISO control. I know I mentioned this previously, but it really did feel to me like a standout missing feature while shooting. I still don't trust a camera to auto-ISO, which may be a hangover from the bad old days of sensor noise appearing the second you crested the ISO 200 hill. You can access it via the quick menu, but that's far too slow for my liking, so I set the Function button to adjust ISO.

For an actual real ISO button, to the D7100 you must go. If you're not loyal to Nikon, and in a budget DSLR you're probably not, you can seek greener pastures in Canon land: both the T5 and SL1 offer dedicated ISO control. Pentax's excellent K-50 not only gives you your ISO button, but also weather sealing and a host of other great features. If you intend to use the D3300 as a 'set-it-and-forget-it' camera though, the lack of a dedicated ISO button is really a non-issue.

Read Field Test Part II

Nikon D3300 Field Test Part II

Nikon D3300 Field Test Part III

Another take

by Cullen Welch |

Wow! What a brilliant couple of days I've had with the Nikon D3300. As a mid-range consumer photographer on the verge of a semi-professional hardware and skillset upgrade, the D3300 provided a well-rounded and robust shooting experience for me. The camera fired on all cylinders and continued to surprise me positively throughout our time together

My first DSLR foray was with a Nikon D40 back in 2009, purchased with little foresight and even less understanding of the craft at the time. I have since graduated to a Nikon D7000 that has exceeded all expectations and provided a superb photographic experience for almost three years now. It alone has accounted for over 30,000 of my personal images along the way, and I am keen on it continuing to serve me into the foreseeable future! That said, the D3300 presents a particularly interesting blend of commendable elements from both the nimble and compact entry-level DSLR class in terms of size, weight and cost, and the intensive and more lumbering mid- to high-end consumer DSLR range in terms of sensor performance and image processing, finding an excellent combination of portability and image quality that is friendly on the pocketbook.

Read Field Test Part III

Nikon D3300 Field Test Part III

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