With the Nikon’s D3000 series, beginners are now given a better shot when it comes to pursuing their hobbies and interest. This series include a variety of camera models, and choosing the right one can be quite daunting for someone who is not very much familiar with the different choices available, especially since these cameras come in various specifications, features, strengths and even weaknesses at some point. Even when you are an entry-level photographer who is barely starting out, you have to closely look at these camera models and see which one will perfectly suit your needs and preferences.
Two of the most recent and popular SLR compact cameras from this series would be the D3300 and D3200. As you may have already know by now, Nikon D3300 is a bit newer as it was first launched in April 2014 compared to the D3200 which was introduced back in July 2012. At first glance, you may say or think that these two are very much alike, considering how Nikon has been producing cameras that are visually the same when it comes to color and other physical features. But don’t let this trick you further, as these cameras also have differences that may be worth-noting. First, let’s take a quick glance at these cameras main features before heading to a more detailed look.
Both Nikon D3300 and D3200 feature 24.2 megapixel sensors. This is definitely an advantage if you are aiming for a better shooting experience. Although some entry-level photographers may note that the number of megapixels does not really affect the quality of the photos, it can be also true when they say that bigger is always better. The only difference between the two models when it comes to this feature is that D3300 no longer has the OLPF feature (Optical Low Pass Filter) which means that the details and textures are now noticeably better compared to what the D3200 can produce.
The kind of processor used for the entire D3000 series actually depends on what is the latest and most updated one that is available during that time. That being said, D3300 will obviously have a better and a more recent processor than the D3200. The Nikon D3200 features an Expeed 3 processor while D3300 comes with an Expeed 4. The term ‘expeed’ refers to a processing engine for internal images and all digital SLRs use this engine. How important is it to have a better processor, you may ask? This actually impacts not only the ISO noise reduction, but also the capability for continuous shooting.
What’s a bit interesting about these camera models is how Nikon has not changed anything at all when it comes to the autofocus feature. Both D3200 and D3300 use MULTI-CAM 1000 11-point AF sensor, in fact even the Nikon D3100 offers the same, too. It may be competent enough for beginners, but definitely just a basic one for that matter. This might be worth-noting especially if you are planning to shoot subjects that are fast-moving and full of actions.
A more detailed look
Looking at all the key specifications mentioned above, you may already have decided to just go for the Nikon D3300 so you can get over with the confusion and move ahead. However, it is not always true when they say that the latest is always the best. This is especially true when trying to compare a better camera model, more so if you are looking for certain features that you intend to maximize when you begin with your photography stint. Here are other things that can also help you better before making a choice.
The D3200 offers a useful 4fps or simply 4 frames per second, which is decent enough for an entry-level camera, but then again, the D3300 comes with 5fps, which is notably better when talking about the typical speed of continuous shooting. With this kind of speed, D3300 scores more compared to D3200 especially if the camera is intended for action and sports photography.
As already mentioned earlier, the higher and faster the expeed processor is, the better. With the Nikon D3200, 100-6,400 ISO range can already be considered normal, and can still be expanded to 12,800. Then again, D3300 is surely a better bet as it offers 100-12,800 of ISO range, expandable to 25,600. This is without a doubt something that an entry-level photographer can take advantage of.
With all the advantageous features of the Nikon D3300 already listed above, you are probably on the verge of going for that one and end your quest for a new camera. Wait till you hear another advantage – and that is its kit lens of 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR. This is quite an improvement compared to its other predecessors, since the camera bodies of D3000 series were always particularly small in the past, but with kit lens that are somewhat bulky and ungainly.
This time, D3300 offers kit lens that are retractable, with a size that’s almost close to that of Olympus OM-D E M5, as well as the Lumix G6 from Panasonic. Aside from this cool feature, D3200 and D3300 also come with the VR Technology (Vibration Reduction) which greatly helps in producing sharp photos, as well as in eliminating blurs. Another thing to take note of is the SWM or Silent Wave Motor that any photographer will love especially those looking to silently capture their subjects.
Both cameras will come with a Guide Mode which will be very much helpful if this is your first time using a D3000 series camera. In this guide you will learn about the different camera settings that are needed depending on the type of photography you are planning to partake. It is interesting to note that the Nikon D3300 has been added with some effects that are somewhat new, such as the Pop mode, Easy Panorama, Toy camera, among other effects that can be very useful and even playful if you want to explore. These effects and shooting modes are not on the D3200, on the other hand, so might as well consider this factor, too, before deciding which camera to buy.
Although it might not make so much of a difference, the Nikon D3300 is also faster when it comes to full HD movies frame rates. D3200 only offers 30p and 25p rates while D3300 adds 60p and 50p frame rates, making it even more possible for the photographer to shoot half-speed movies in full HD so as to make footages that are high-res but still in slow-motion. Apart from this, both cameras also come with a microphone jack so you can also capture or record sound externally.
Battery life is another important factor to consider, so you will need to carefully examine which camera will help you produce better quality photos without sacrificing the number of shots that you can take. Although both cameras use EN-EL14 batteries, a new variant was introduced along with D3300, and that is the EN-EL14a. This battery variant offers longer life before recharging is needed, making it possible for you to make up to 700 shots, compared to D3200 which can only produce a maximum of 540 shots. So if you are going for the Nikon D3300, you are in for 700 shots before you call it a day.
Nikon D3200 and D3300 both have the same card slot which is a single SD/SDHC/SDXC, although Nikon also quoted card compatibility for UHS-1, as well. This compatibility allows one to shoot movies in full HD. This added advantage may not be very notable if you are planning to take just still photos, though.
It’s a good thing Nikon already decided to drop the tradition of producing low-resolution screens since D3100. Although D3200 and D3300 still feature a 3-inch LCD display, it is good to know that they are now made of 921k-dot LCS display. This actually started when the D3200 was first introduced in the market, and so it was followed by the D3300 respectively. This is already a great improvement if you are looking for a good screen display. However, don’t expect other fancy features such as flipping or rotating screens. Just be glad that now you are able to easily change the setting for your photos, along with other accuracy issues that you may want to clearly see on hand.
Although these two camera models do not come with easy Wi-Fi access, you can still take advantage of the WU-1a adaptor that you can easily plug into your camera’s port. Doing so will make it possible for you to control or navigate your camera using your tablet or smartphone, and also enables you to transfer photos and even upload them to different social networking sites. But then, these cameras do not offer the adaptor for free, so you will have to spend to have one of your own. Don’t worry, though, the price is relatively affordable.
Weight and Dimensions
Although most photographers won’t really care about a camera’s weight or dimension, it would not hurt to at least consider this factor, as well. Both D3200 and D3300 are considered to be very light and compact, although the body of the D3300 has slightly shrunk if you are to compare it with the D3200. The only notable difference is that the retractable lens of D3300 can reduce the overall size of the lens and camera combined, in a dramatic way. So you may feel like it is easier to carry the D3300 than the D3200. Plus, Nikon has came up with the ‘monocoque’ construction technique that saves useful weight, making this model actually lighter by 45g.
Of course, a recent brand or camera will always have a higher price tag compared to old releases. So if you are very much particular with the cost, you may want to go with the Nikon D3200, although the price of D3300 is getting closer, too. Perhaps after a few more months, you will see an even more significant drop on the price. This is a regular practice, anyway, and it usually happens each time a new model or series is being introduced in the market. Well, that just depends if you can still wait a little longer before shooting. If not, you can just decide based on these guidelines and of course, make sure to always look for the best deal possible.
The Final Verdict
If you are not on a tight budget, Nikon D3300 is obviously a great choice even for beginners. The features that it has to offer are really an advantage if you are looking to enhance your skills as a photographer. The battery life is one essential factor to think of, as it will also mean that a longer battery life will give you a longer shooting experience, too. It will also help you save a lot of time before you will have to charge your unit, hence letting you save on electricity, as well.
However, D3200 is not very much of an underdog here. It’s cheaper, but with almost the same features, too. The add-ons are not really that essential if you do not plan to explore too much and just stick with the basics for now. After all, you are just about to start out and you will need to focus first on how to take quality photos, so it does not really matter for now if your camera is not able to record slow motion movies in full HD. It will really depend on how you plan to pursue your passion, and how you want to use your camera.
On the other hand, Nikon D3300 is indeed a great value for your money if you are to consider the new features they have added for this model. The great resolution plus the retractable lens are a big plus if you aim for a better shooting experience. However, for beginners you can still go for Nikon D3200 and get all the other features at a lower price. You can also wait for a few months or maybe until Nikon releases another new model, as the price will surely go down, too. Whichever camera you decide to buy, at least now you have an idea as to what you should expect in terms of the features and downsides of each model. Don’t forget to treat your camera as your partner, for it can make or break you as an aspiring photographer. Remember to look closely first before purchasing, so you won’t have to regret anything afterwards.