Skip to main content

CES 2014: Nikon unveils D3300 D-SLR camera

Nikon announced its newest D-SLR, the entry-level D3300, at this year's CES trade show, along with a number of Coolpix compact cameras and a pair of SLR lenses.

Additionally, the company stated that it is currently developing the successor to its flagship D4 SLR, the D4S. A prototype will be on display at Nikon's booth on the show floor. The D4S will feature a new image processing engine and improved autofocus, but further details are unknown at this point.

The D3300 succeeds the D3200 as the entry point into Nikon's D-SLR system. It offers some significant upgrades, including a 24-megapixel image sensor that omits the optical low-pass filter (OLPF). This sensor design philosophy omits a filter that is designed to add a slight blur to images in order to reduce the possibility of colour moiré artifacts from appearing images. This detracts from the quality of every photo, not just the occasional image in which the rainbow-like moiré effect appears. Modern software makes short work of moiré, so Nikon has opted to eliminate the filter from the last few D-SLRs that it has released.

The D3300 uses the same 11-point autofocus system as the D3200, but its Live Guide mode has been enhanced, and it now supports in-camera panorama capture and burst shooting at 5fps. It supports video capture at up to 1080p60 quality, and its ISO range is 100-25600. There's no built-in Wi-Fi, but the camera is compatible with Nikon's WU-1a add-on, as well as Eye-Fi Mobi cards. It will be available in grey, black, or red, and can be had as a body only or in a kit.

There's a new kit lens, the AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II; it's optically identical to its predecessor, but features a retracting design that makes it 30 percent smaller and 25 per cent lighter. The D3300 will ship in February. It will be available in black, red, or gray versions, and is slated to sell at $649.95 with the new 18-55mm lens.

Nikon also announced a new prime lens, compatible with its APS-C DX line as well as FX full-frame cameras. The AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G features ED and aspherical lens elements, a SWM focus motor, a and a big manual focus ring, not unlike the one found on the 28mm f/1.8G. It will be available on 20 February.

There are five new Coolpix models. The entry-level L30 is the most basic; it's got a high-resolution 20-megapixel CCD image sensor, but a short 5x (26-130mm f/3.2-6.5) zoom lens that lacks any sort of vibration-reduction technology. It does have a 3in rear display, but its video mode is limited to 720p. It will be available in red, and unlike the other Coolpix cameras, is powered by two AA batteries.

The S3600 also uses a 20-megapixel CCD sensor, but its 720p video is stabilised using Nikon's Hybrid VR system. This system, included on every new Coolpix except the L30, uses digital and optical stabilization for smoother video. The S3600 packs an 8x (25-200mm f/3.7-6.6) lens and a 2.7in rear LCD, and is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It wil be available in silver, red, blue, pink, and black.

Next up is the S5300, which sports a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor. This type of sensor generally does better in lower light, and it adds support for 1080i60/p30 video capture. Its 8x (25-200mm f/3.7-6.6) lens is stabilized, and its rear LCD is 3 inches in size. The S5300 will be available in one colour: plum.

The S6800 also uses a 16-megpaixel CMOS sensor, but its back-side illuminated (BSI) design offers even better performance at higher sensitivity settings. Its 12x (25-300mm f/3.3-6.3) lens is a bit longer than the other models, and it adds built-in Wi-Fi to the feature set. It will be available in black, white, or red.

The final Coolpix model is the L830, an updated to the long-zoom L820. Its image sensor is identical to the S6800, but its 34x (22.5-765mm f/3-5.9) lens is wider and longer. The L830 features a titling 3in LCD, and it has two zoom levers: One on the side of the lens, and the standard rocker that surrounds the shutter release. It's powered by four AA batteries and will be available in black or red.

All of the new Coolpix cameras will ship in February.