Your phone is likely your go-to camera to capture those everyday life frames that you can look back at anytime and share with anyone. That said, there is still huge demand for DSLR cameras, and I am certain that the demand will remain.
Nikon announced the D3300 back in 2014, and it has undoubtedly aged well. The D3000 series cameras are Nikon’s entry-level DSLRs for amateur photographers who want to learn the nuances of great photography. For me, the D3300 was a perfect fit: I picked it up for under $500 as a kit which included the 18-55mm and the 55-200mm Nikkor DX lenses. I initially wanted it for photographing gadgets for Technonerds; rather, the D3300 made me an amateur photographer and I turned it into a hobby.
To begin with, here are some pictures I captured on the D3300 (which I later edited in Polarr or Lightroom):
You can download and use the above pictures via Unsplash, a royalty free website for high quality photographs.
The Nikon D3300 is an exceptional beginner shooter. It is a lightweight DSLR with a solid polycarbonate body. It has a 24.2 MP DX format CMOS sensor without a low-pass filter, thanks to Nikon’s new sensor technology. It even packs the (nearly) up-to-date Expeed 4 image processor. The kit lenses included have good build quality and have the same Nikkor glass used in Nikon’s premium lenses. Most importantly, the D3300 has all the functionality of a basic interchangeable-lens manual camera that will let you learn photography tricks without burning a hole in your pocket.
But in this age of smartphones with killer cameras, why should you even consider buying a DSLR?
In my post “The truth about megapixels,” I wrote an explanation as to why more megapixels doesn’t always result in better quality images. One of the points from that post was that the size of a smartphone camera sensor is about one-tenth the size of a DSLR camera sensor. The larger sensor on a DSLR means that more light is captured which means higher quality images with less noise in low-light situations. And unlike smartphone cameras, almost all DSLRs can capture RAW files (a picture file format), which retains important data from the sensor without compressing the image, so you can manipulate the image better using photo editing apps.
The D3300 does an excellent job handling most lighting conditions. On Auto mode, daylight pictures look crisp and clear, and even low-light pictures capture significantly more detail than a smartphone camera. However, the camera really shines in Manual mode, where you can tweak your shutter speed, aperture and ISO for capturing the perfect low-light shot. With the right settings, the D3300 does a great job capturing nightlife, the stars and even motion blur. The kit lenses are a great pair for beginners - the 18-55mm (ƒ/3.5-5.6) lens is extremely compact and can capture wide landscape shots, while the 55-200mm (ƒ/4-5.6) lens is perfect for capturing the moon, or birds from far away.
With a few accessories, like a tripod, Natural Density filters and some great photo-editing apps (Polarr for beginners, Adobe Lightroom for advanced users), the D3300 may just be the camera of choice for everyone wanting to do creative photography.