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Review: Nikon D3300

Review: Nikon D3300

Cameras keep getting smaller and the quality just keeps getting better. Because I’m still holding on to my SLR (single-lens-reflex) roots when it comes to serious photography, I’m still the most comfortable with a DSLR (digital-single-lens-reflex).

This is not to say the even smaller, mirrorless-style cameras are not a good option, but I am not quite ready to take the leap.

dials-nikonThe Nikon D3300 camera bridges the gap if you’re looking for a smaller DSLR. The camera itself weighs under a pound, and even when you add the lens, it’s a breeze to carry on our shoulder.

The camera, along with the additional Nikon WU-1a wireless adapter, which is used for Wi-Fi remote control and sharing photos to your smartphone, should give you plenty of options to handle most of your photographic needs. The camera features a 24.2-megapixel DX sensor. The D3300 is priced around $600 with the DX AF-S Nikkor 18-55 millimeter lens. The WU-1a wireless adapter is priced at $59.95.

What makes this camera stand out is the reasonable price when you consider its compact size and very high quality. The camera does leave out the fancy bells and whistles from the higher-priced camera but gives you most of the features you really need. Let’s face it, most people just want to set the camera on automatic and take great photos.

Even though it has a small profile, I found it fit comfortably in my hand, giving me access to the shutter and various control dials. It’s pretty much the standard set of control on the back of the DSLR, along with a dial on top giving you control of your shooting modes, which include programmed-auto, shutter, aperture and manual controls.wireless It also has a variety of scene modes such as close-up, landscape, child, portrait, sports and flash-off.

The Nikon D3300 camera effects include: super vivid, pop, photo illustration, color sketch, toy camera, miniature, selective color, silhouette, high key, low key, HDR painting, easy panorama and night vision. These are effects that I rarely use on this style camera. I tend to use them more with my iPhone apps.

I prefer to leave this type of effects to post-processing when shooting with a DSLR, but not everyone is going to take the extra step.

The two features I did find missing from the camera were the vari-angle LCD monitor and auto-exposure bracketing. Because I enjoy shooting HDR (high dynamic range) for my scenic photography, the missing auto-exposure bracketing would make it a tough purchase for me. I did try the HDR painting effect but it didn’t create the same type of photo from a typical 3 exposure HDR shot.  The comparably priced and slightly larger Nikon D5200, which does feature a rotating LCD screen and bracketing, might be a better choice if these are important features you use regularly.

rose-nikonThe camera focus tracked well with its five-frames-per-second maximum rate. The colors looked great as I tested it with red flowers, skin tones and scenic landscapes. The shutter speed up to 1/4000 of a second should be fast enough for any sporting event. The flash’s fastest shutter speed sync is 1/200 of a second.

The camera uses one SD (secure digital) card and shoots full HD 1080p video at 60, 50, 30, 25 and 24 fps with a maximum record time of 20 minutes.

The Nikon D3300 does a great job of blending a small profile with plenty of controls to produce high-quality photographs, making it a nice choice to carry along on your vacation.

robert.lachman@latimes.com

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2 Comments

  1. August 2, 2014, 5:46 am

    I have a Tamron 18-270 lense that I bought for my Nikon D40X. Will that lense fit this new model?

    By: rafchavez1@gmail.com
  2. August 3, 2014, 3:38 pm

    No live view? No rotating viewer? No thanks.

    By: bluzman2@pacbell.net

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