Nikon D3300 Digital SLR

Last updated date: April 10, 2019

DWYM Score

8.5

Nikon D3300 Digital SLR

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We looked at the top Nikon DSLR Cameras and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Nikon DSLR Camera you should buy.

Update as September 25, 2019:
Checkout The Best Nikon DSLR Camera for a detailed review of all the top nikon dslr cameras.

Overall Take


In our analysis of 78 expert reviews, the Nikon D3300 Digital SLR placed 6th when we looked at the top 9 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

Capture every special moment in the lifelike quality it deserves--and have a great time doing it! With its included zoom lens, the new ultra-compact AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II, the D3300 is a small, easy to use HD-SLR. Capture beautiful 24.2-MP photos and 1080p Full HD videos with vibrant colors and softly blurred backgrounds, then share them instantly with your compatible smartphone and the optional WU-1a Wireless Adapter. Whether you're creating high-resolution panoramas, adding fun special effects or recording dazzling HD video with sound, the D3300 will bring you endless joy, excitement and memories--just like the special moments of your life.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

8.1
9 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.4
1,070 user reviews

What experts liked

Point-and-shoot automatic features produce great results in most situations. Customers are happy with its very sharp photos with great color, as well as superb low light capacbilities.
- BestReviews
Plain and simple, the Nikon D3300 aims to be a beginner's DSLR and hits that mark successfully. It functions well in point-and-shoot mode (provided you don't mind shooting with flash) and has most of the right controls for those who want to test the waters in Aperture or Shutter priority mode and move beyond the basics.
- DP Review
April 21, 2014 | Full review
The D3300 has the standard Nikon DSLR design, with a utilitarian plastic body. We tested a version in matte black, but Nikon also offers the D3300 in red and slate gray. The D3300 is a little lighter than other Nikon DSLRs. It weighs 14.5 ounces for the body only, compared to 16.9 ounces for Nikon's D5300, but it also feels less sturdy.
- Tom's Guide
May 6, 2014 | Full review
A highly capable starter camera that produces great images and has one of the most friendly and intuitive interfaces we've seen. The Nikon D3300 is a well-designed camera with a lot of hand-holding features that will appeal to enthusiasts and budding shooters alike.
- Macworld
October 4, 2014 | Full review
The Nikon D3300's photo quality improves on its predecessor, and while it's not incredibly fast it performs pretty well for its price class. Very good photo quality for its class plus decent performance make the Nikon D3300 A solid choice for a first dSLR.
- CNET
With its huge 24 megapixel sensor, the entry-level D3300 continues to be one of the highest-resolution APS-C DX format Nikon DSLRs , and it still offers more pixels than any competing manufacturer too.
- Photography Blog
February 5, 2014 | Full review
The effect for a camera like the D3300 is that its high-resolution sensor is now able to capture every possible detail, putting it in the same league with more advanced (and more expensive) cameras. And with that, things get more interesting.
- Trusted Reviews
November 11, 2016 | Full review
The Nikon D3300 features a high resolution 24.2MP APS-C sensor, which is pretty impressive when you consider the enthusiast-focused (and much higher priced) D7200 shares the an almost identical sensor with it. Like the rest of the Nikon range, the D3300's sensor does away with a low-pass filter on the sensor as well, which means even more detail can be captured.
- Tech Radar
September 28, 2021 | Full review
The new camera also gains an additional ISO step at the high end of the spectrum, a 1080/60p (or 50p) video capability and an additional frame per second on the continuous shooting rate.
- Digital Camera Review
March 21, 2014 | Full review

What experts didn't like

Advance controls are clumsy to navigate. Video capabilities are limited and some users complain about poor sound quality.
- BestReviews
However, those who aren't very beginners may find themselves frustrated with the same performance quirks that frustrated us in the Nikon D5300, such as the inability to use the command dial in the quick menu, or that the 'Auto' ISO option requires a trip to the menu.
- DP Review
April 21, 2014 | Full review
The image exhibited a fair level of detail, but closeexamination showed some noise (graininess) in the wood paneling and shadows.
- Tom's Guide
May 6, 2014 | Full review
Program mode tends to produce darker exposures.
- Macworld
October 4, 2014 | Full review
The feature set remains pretty limited. Live View performance remains terrible, taking almost 2 seconds to focus and shoot thanks to slow everything -- slow autofocus, slow mirror movement -- and two consecutive JPEG shots takes 3.7 seconds.
- CNET
There are still a few notable issues with the D3300. The Live View mode desperately needs a live histogram and a higher-resolution feed, while the enhanced movie mode would still benefit from a truly working full-time AF feature.
- Photography Blog
February 5, 2014 | Full review
The new kit lens isn’t much for manual focusing; the ring is small and fiddly to use. If you’re a photographer who prefers to manually focus, you’d be better off with a different lens.
- Trusted Reviews
November 11, 2016 | Full review
The absence of a touchscreen interface is also a little disappointing, especially when you consider how many of the camera's controls are changed via the menu system.
- Tech Radar
September 28, 2021 | Full review
Built-in flash will overheat and shut down with continuous usage. Wi-Fi optional, not built-in. Automatic video autofocus only average.
- Digital Camera Review
March 21, 2014 | Full review

Our Expert Consultant

Jay Soriano   
Portrait photographer

Jay Soriano a headshot and portrait photographer in Las Vegas.

Overall Product Rankings

Nikon D850 Digital SLR

1. Nikon D850 Digital SLR

Overall Score: 9.6
Nikon D7200 Digital SLR

2. Nikon D7200 Digital SLR

Overall Score: 9.2
Nikon D5500 Digital SLR

3. Nikon D5500 Digital SLR

Overall Score: 9.2
Nikon D3400 Digital SLR

4. Nikon D3400 Digital SLR

Overall Score: 9.1
Nikon D750 Digital SLR

5. Nikon D750 Digital SLR

Overall Score: 9.1
Nikon D3300 Digital SLR

6. Nikon D3300 Digital SLR

Overall Score: 8.5
Nikon D5300 Digital SLR

7. Nikon D5300 Digital SLR

Overall Score: 8.2
Nikon D3200 Digital SLR

8. Nikon D3200 Digital SLR

Overall Score: 8.0

An Overview On Nikon DSLR Cameras

It wasn’t too long ago that powerful cameras were prohibitively expensive and limited to professionals. The times and technology have certainly changed. Now, families tote DSLR cameras around on trips to the playground, and many consider them a travel necessity.

It makes sense, as companies like Nikon have honed professional-level technology so that beginners and aspiring photographers alike can take stunning photographs every day. Having a high-quality camera, like a Nikon DSLR, will make a significant difference in the photos that you take, no matter how incredible you might think the built-in camera on your phone is.

Think you can’t afford a digital camera? Think again. Even if you’re working within a budget, you can still take advantage of this top-notch technology, says Jay Soriano, a portrait photographer based in Las Vegas.

“If the budget is a bit smaller, go a generation older or the next model down,” Soriano suggests.

You’ll also want to factor in the intended use of your new camera, he says. Will you be focusing mostly on still photography, or is video important to you too?
DSLR cameras were made to capture impressive scenes, minute details and everything in between. DSLR stands for digital single-lens reflex camera and was designed to mimic its predecessor, the single-lens reflex film camera. As such, the DSLR cameras have similar design features. The camera body is equipped with a viewfinder and a reflex mirror and connects with an interchangeable-lens system.

DSLR cameras come in a wide range of prices and features. If you want to take the most beautiful photographs, they are unparalleled in image-capturing technology. They boast the highest image quality, speed and user-friendly design. Similarly, they can match basically any type of photography you can dream up. A DSLR camera is generally the first step toward serious photography for many people. While there are reasonably priced models, any DSLR camera purchase will be an investment. As such, it’s important to understand the DSLR cameras available so you can select one that best fits your personal needs.

Nikon DSLRs are among the wide array of digital cameras available on the market today. Canon and Sony are competitive camera manufacturers. There are models suitable for beginners, professional photographers and everyone in between. DSLRs are the leading camera technology available today, and Nikon is often the camera of choice for professional photographers.

Unlike basic digital cameras, when buying a DSLR camera, you’ll likely purchase at least two parts. These two main components are the body and the lens. Generally, these pieces are sold separately, and there are specific lens options for each camera body. For beginners, you can purchase a kit that includes the body and one or more lenses as a package. Generally, these lenses are lower performance than those sold individually. The DSLR camera body contains a mirror that reflects the light onto an optical viewfinder that displays the image viewed through the lens.

It is with various lenses, not camera bodies, that you will notice the biggest difference in photos and capabilities. As such, one of the most important characteristics to think about is the system of lenses compatible with each camera body. While you may begin with one or two lenses, you will likely invest in more over time as your photography grows. Each camera body connects with a different system of lenses.

Even though Nikon is well-known as a top camera choice for professional photographers, there are plenty of beginner-friendly Nikon DSLR cameras too. These cameras, like the Nikon D3400 and D5500, are especially appealing because they have reasonable starting price points. They also have helpful automatic photography settings. That means you will have high image quality but less control over the camera settings. As such, these are aimed at beginners and could be frustrating for more advanced photographers. Armed with a variety of preset effects, you can rely on these and gradually learn how to handle a DSLR camera.

The value pick, the Nikon D3400, is an excellent first DSLR camera for beginners. It delivers solid image quality and shutter speed for its class at a good value. That means it is fast enough to capture kids and pets. For a step up in performance without a significant price increase, the D5500 offers upgrades across the board. This camera is one of the lightest Nikon DSLR cameras and features a more comfortable grip.

If you’re familiar with photography and want a bit more control and range in a Nikon DSLR, you may be ready for a higher priced and higher performance intermediate category camera. There are many intermediate options for aspiring photographers as well as professionals. If you’re looking for innovative technology, this is an exciting category.

For example, the Nikon D7200 offers upgraded features, such as the 51-point autofocus system and native range of ISO100-25,600.

The top pick Nikon D850 DSLR camera boasts many impressive features. It shoots up to 45.7 megapixels resolution, one of the highest resolutions on the market today. It also has an upgraded 153-point autofocus system, advanced 181,000-pixel RGB metering system and 7 frames per second continuous shooting speed. By design, this camera outperforms others in low-light. Overall, it’s a powerful, professional camera that commands an equivalent price tag.

Within Nikon’s range of DSLRs, there’s a camera and a price point that’s perfect for every photography skill level. As the company innovates, the cameras are constantly improving, boasting more features and improved image quality at ever more reasonable prices.

The Nikon DSLR Camera Buying Guide

  • Entry-level DSLR cameras generally incorporate an APS-C-sized sensor and polycarbonate construction. These two components help make them compact and lightweight. However, those new to DSLRs will notice they are heavier and more unwieldy than standard point and shoot.
  • Beginners should look for features like guide modes when buying their first DSLR. These entry-level DSLR cameras help teach new photographers about the controls and settings with the ultimate goal of understanding exactly how to produce specific types of imagery in mind.
  • DSLR cameras tend to have superb battery life because the optical viewfinder uses minimal power. Depending on the length of time you’re shooting, DSLR cameras can take thousands of photos on a single battery charge
  • DSLR cameras can range greatly in price. Nikon DSLR prices tend to be a bit higher than competitors because each level of camera includes enhanced performance features.
  • Be careful when changing lenses to not touch the mirror or sensor or get dust on the inner components. If anything does get on the sensor, some cameras include an auto-clean mode, or you can use specialty cloths to clean.
  • Some DSLRs have more rugged weather sealing. However, most require a separate housing to be waterproof and weatherproof. You should be careful in adverse weather conditions or wet or dusty areas to protect the sensitive camera.