Four Years of Real-Life Usage: Pros and Cons of the Nikon D3300

The Nikon D3300 continues to be one of my favourite low-priced but at the same time very versatile DSLR cameras. Some call it an excellent ‘entry-level’ camera, but it is actually more than that. I am still quite impressed by most of its features after more than 4 years of regularly using it — or, rather, even two D3300 bodies and a handful of lenses. They have all served me quite well and, over that period of time, both positives and negatives have come to light. I will explain some of them below.

The good sides of the Nikon D3300 really dominate. The camera is easy and pleasant to use in most situations — for photography even more so than for video, although being able to record at a full 60fps in HD1808p with such a low-priced camera was one of the reasons for me to get one — and this is what still amazes me today after so many hours of of HD video recording time spent with it.

Other great features of the Nikon D3300 are its featherweight specs which might even make it fly on a medium-sized multicopter for aerial video shooting, if someone is so inclined and looking for a real high-quality solution and relatively big-sensor camera to take to the skies.

In photo mode, the camera can shoot JPG and NEF (RAW format) stills at up to 5 images per second.

The real-life downsides of this camera are there as well, but they are mostly hidden ones. Most of them got to do with video camera handling. For example, if you want to shoot video remotely, you actually absolutely can not, by any means, monitor what you’re shooting: the Nikon D3300’s menu simply does not allow for any control connections while set to LiveView. (That, however, is a pre-requisite for taking video on this camera in the first place though). Very annoying and partly anihilating the usefulness of this otherwise excellent little guy! I believe it is clearly time for Nikon to finally start thinking a bit more about videographers and not continue to ignore this significant market segment altogether (leaving so many chips on the table that way and really playing in to the hands of Panasonic or even Canon with their plasticky and Digital-Restrictions-laden stuff I’d never touch)… Nikon really ought to fight (and think) a bit harder in order to not rest forever upon their past rewards of having invented some great SLR technology in 1957 (their famous lens mount bayonet) and missing out on everything else after that as a result!

Wake up, guys, and turn Nikon around! (Unfortunately, Nikon continues to exhibit remainders of that old thinking even in their latest top-of-the line Nikon D850 model… Really very sad.) While everybody appreciates good still-photography tools, more versatile ones also doing decent video — and appropriate video handling and UX — are needed to keep your position in today’s market.

Edit: there is a much longer and more detailled article I have discovered after writing the above. Curiously, it includes pretty much the same complaints about handling (or actually, the lack of it!) in video mode (as well as the lack of that, as well)! Also, the article continues laying very similar accusations and suggestions at the door of Nikon (and pretty much every other DSLR maker out there) for not getting today’s market anymore. You may want to read the article, which is, in fact, a Nikon D5300 review, here. Please do let me know in the comments section (below) what you think…