Nikon announces entry-level D3300 and development of D4S
By Simon Crisp
January 7, 2014
Nikon has revealed its latest entry-level DSLR, the D3300. The new camera has a 24-megapixel sensor without an optical low pass filter, uses the new EXPEED 4 image processor and will come with a new small and retractable standard zoom kit lens. At the other end of the DSLR line-up, Nikon has also announced the development of D4S, its next flagship DSLR.
While the Nikon D3300 looks (for the most part) the same as its predecessor, the D3200, and has the same 24.2 megapixel count, there are a number of key upgrades. Firstly, its APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) CMOS sensor does away with the optical low-pass filter, meaning it should be able to produce more detailed images than equally megapixeled cameras.
Nikon's EXPEED 4 image-processing engine is also on hand to speed things up and improve image quality at high sensitivities. As such, the D3300 has an ISO range of 100 to 12,800 (and can be expanded to 25,600) meaning it's capable of producing images in low-light conditions. The new image-processing engine also means the camera can now shoot stills with a burst speed of 5 fps, and record Full HD 1080p video at 60/50 fps.
Things that have stayed the same include the Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus sensor module with 11 focus points (only one of which is cross-type), and the three-inch 921k dot LCD monitor on the rear which is again fixed rather than tilting or rotating. It's also slightly disappointing that the built-in wireless capability we saw in the D5300 hasn't made its way down the Nikon line-up. At least the D3300 is compatible with the WU-1a wireless adapter for the transfer of images and remote shooting.
Constructed using the same sort of carbon fiber monocoque structure as seen in the Nikon D5300, Nikon says it was able to make the camera smaller and lighter than if using traditional materials, though it's just as strong and durable. The D3300 measures 124 x 98 x 75.5 mm (4.9 x 3.9 x 3 in), which is comparable to its predecessor, but it's considerably lighter, weighing in at 460 g with battery and memory card, compared to 505 g.
To keep the D3300 as a viable alternative to increasingly smaller and lighter mirrorless cameras, it will be bundled with a new AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55-mm F3.5-F5.6G VR II kit lens. This uses a retractable lens mechanism which means Nikon has been able to reduce its size by 30 percent, compared to the previous 18-55-mm DX kit lens.
The Nikon D3300 – which will be available in black, red or silver – is due to ship at the start of February and will cost US$650 with the 18-55-mm kit lens.
Nikon has also officially announced that it's preparing for the release of the D4S, the successor to its two-year-old flagship, the D4. But it isn't giving much away in terms of specifications of the upcoming pro-focused camera.
It has simply revealed that the camera will use a new image-processing engine, boast a more advanced autofocusing performance, and produce a better image quality. The Nikon D4S will be on show at CES.
Product Page: Nikon D3300