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Nikon d3300 review

I wanted to get some first impressions down about my new purchase. As I've said, I'm a fairly heavy researcher so I was already pretty certain I was going to like what I'd chosen. If that many people on YouTube, camera blogs, tech reviews, etc. all think it's a good product I couldn't imagine what I'd find wrong.

So I'll say up front--after a few days of messing around with the functions, taking a few photos, and getting to know the device--it's living up to the hype. I suppose that comes with the caveat that I'm the target audience for this camera, probably. I'm upgrading from a point-and-shoot or phone camera to something nicer, I'm tech-geeky enough to make my way through some more advanced features, and I appreciate both quality and functionality but am willing to make sacrifices at a lower price point.

The d3300 is the right mix of a few features (though not all) that a more experienced photographer may look has good modes where you can take the training wheels off and not have it hold your hand...but it also has Guide Mode and a full Auto Mode that you can either fall back on or use if more advanced photography techniques feel intimidating. I could hand this camera to a family member to get a good snapshot even while I'm getting into the nuts and bolts of lenses, exposure, and shutter speeds.

Especially when you consider the value you may be getting with sales this holiday season, it's a steal. For about the normal price of the camera with a kit lens, I got a very nice Nikon camera bag included. Plus the 55-200 (also with VR) lens which will come in handy. Plus a memory card. Plus the Wi-Fi gadget. I had a chance to play with the Wi-Fi yesterday and was super impressed.

The d3300, unlike many cameras, doesn't come with built-in Wi-Fi. If you want to be able to send pics to your phone for easy posting (rather than the memory card in your computer or a card reader), you have to plug a tiny device into the side of the camera. But it's genius in having two cords and a holder that keep it attached to the camera strap so you don't lose it when not in use. And the Nikon app for Android is beautifully simple and easy to use. In fact, it's one of the most simply-designed Android apps I've ever seen. Easy button to turn the signal on. Easy to find photos and send them to your phone. Oh, and did I mention that you can use your phone as a remote shutter release then? Super handy.

In the photos below, keep in mind that it was a chilly, cloudy day. These are all jpeg so the processing was done in-camera. I'm hoping to move towards shooting RAW my next time around and do some editing myself. That photo of the spigot, especially, got my attention. The level of detail is gorgeous, which makes me wonder what the camera can do in sunlight. Photos below were all taken with the 18-55mm kit lens.

It's taken me a bit to set up the way I want all the menus and buttons. But there are some very helpful videos that will get you started quickly if this camera is in your future. I've posted a few snapshots of my kids on social media and those are stunning as well.

Absolutely no complaints so far.