We're hitting the ground running with this one
The Nikon D3000 series are enduringly popular cameras, and it’s not that hard to see why. Nikon pitched the D3200 almost perfectly as an entry-level DSLR, with Guide modes to help new users through tricky shooting situations but also a pleasing level of depth for the advanced photographer to tackle.
A year and a half down the line, we may well be seeing a refresh of the camera in the not too distant future – indeed the picture above from NikonRumors is possibly the first glimpse of the D3300 (we probably won’t take ours in gold). We offer six features we’d like to see in the (as of yet hypothetical) D3300…
1. Built-in Wi-fi
Nikon have been behind lagging on this until very recently. We would dearly like to see the back of that WU-1a adapter (above) for good, with Wi-fi as an option in Nikon cameras as standard, and this goes for entry-level models just as much as pro DSLRs. If Panasonic can fit Wi-fi into the GM1, Nikon can surely fit it in here.
2. Upgraded viewfinder
The D3200 boasted a viewfinder with 95% coverage of the frame. This is perfectly good, indeed par for the course with camera of this class, but definitely something Nikon could look at improving for the camera’s successor, just to stop pesky extra elements creeping into the very edges of a frame.
3. Expand the Guide mode
Even with a camera as user-friendly as the D3200, the jump from a compact to a DSLR can be intimidating to the novice user. Nikon came up with a great solution for the D3000 series with the dedicated Guide mode, which offers tips for achieving specific effects in specific situations, such as using a slow shutter speed to show water flowing. It’s a great feature, and the only thing really on our list is to see it expanded. More shooting situations, more tricks and tips – this could be just the thing to help people overcome the intimidation factor in switching to a DSLR.
4. Higher Shooting Rate
The D3200 manages a frame rate of 4fps – not exactly bad, but you can pick up a faster camera for an equivalent price. For a D3300, we’d like to see the shooting rate picked up just a little to make it that bit more competitive.
5. Precise white balance control
One thing the D3200 doesn’t allow is getting really specific with white balance settings – you can only choose from a host of presets. Given that the D3000 series is pitched as being as beginner-friendly or advanced as the user wants it to be, we’d like to see the presets retained for the beginner, but also a manual Kelvin temperature scale for the advanced photographer to get their images perfect first time.
6. Fair price from the start
Even a year and a half after its release, the D3200 is probably still the number one option for photographers looking to make the jump to their first DSLR, combining user-friendly intuitive guide modes with the potential for advanced creative depth and, crucially, a fair entry-level price. The latter of these is something the D3200 initially lacked – while you can get it for around £330 now with a kit lens, on release this combination was priced at a slightly less friendly £649. A good value entry-level DSLR is something we feel Canon currently lacks, and Nikon could definitely further exploit this market niche.