Nikon D3 vs Nikon D3300

  • Full frame
  • 12 megapixels
  • Nikon F
  • 42
    Overall
  • 18
    Imaging
  • 42
    Features
  • 66
    Size
  • 0
    Price
  • APS-C
  • 24 megapixels
  • Nikon F
  • 46
    Overall
  • 21
    Imaging
  • 29
    Features
  • 73
    Size
  • 0
    Price

Nikon D3 vs Nikon D3300: a Complete Review and Comparison

Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!

The goal of this overview is to provide a detailed comparison of two popular camera models introduced by the same brand - Nikon. Although both products are offered by the same brand, they come from different categories. Thus, Nikon, is a camera from Pro DSLR category, while D3300 is a Entry-Level DSLR camera. Both products that we are going to review are equipped with the same type of sensor - CMOS. However, they have different resolution. The first compared model, Nikon D3, features has a resolution of 12.0 MP. Another model that we are reviewing, Nikon D3300, features a sensor with a resolution of 24.0 MP.

Now, before we can move on to our comparison, let's take a moment to look at the key characteristics of Nikon D3 and Nikon D3300.

Nikon D3 Key Features:

  • 12.0 MP Full frame CMOS sensor
  • ISO 200 - 6400 (Expands to 100 - 25600)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 11.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Built-in Wireless: No
  • Dimensions: 160 x 157 x 88 mm
  • Weight: 1300 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Replaced by Nikon D3S. Compare

Nikon D3300 Key Features:

  • 24.0 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 12800 (Expands to 25600)
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3″ Fixed Type Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 5.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p fps), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p fps), 640 x 424 (30, 25 fps)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 124 x 98 x 76 mm
  • Weight: 430 g
  • Environmental Sealing: No
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Replaced Nikon D3200. Compare
  • Replaced by Nikon D3400. Compare

Since Nikon D3 has been around for some time, it was substituted by Nikon D3S. Be sure to check out some of our other comparisons that may also interest you:
Nikon D3 vs. D3S
Nikon D3S vs. Nikon D3300

Why is Nikon D3 a better choice than Nikon D3300

Timelapse Recording Yes vs No Creative shooting
Storage Slots 2 vs 1 Extra storage slot
Sensor Area 860.4 mm2 vs 366.6 mm2 57.4% larger pixel area
Continuous Shooting 11 fps vs 5 fps 6 fps faster
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 vs 1/4000 Faster shutter speed
Screen Resolution 922k dots vs 921k dots 0.1% higher resolution screen
Battery Life 4300 shots vs 700 shots 3600 more frames with a single charge
Environmental Sealing Yes vs No Shoot at tough conditions
Dxo Low Light Iso 2290 vs 1385 Better High ISO performance
Viewfinder Optical (pentaprism) vs Optical (pentamirror) Better framing and control
Viewfinder Magnification 0.7 vs 0.57 0.13 better magnification

What are the key reasons to pick Nikon D3300 over Nikon D3

Wireless Connectivity Optional vs No Better connectivity
Sensor Resolution 24.0 MP vs 12.0 MP 50% more pixels
Built-In Flash Yes vs No All the lenses are stabilized
Flash Range 12 vs No 12 better flash range
AutoFocus Face Detection Yes vs No Very handy for portraits
Weight 430 g vs 1300 g 870 g lighter
Dxo Color Depth 24.3 vs 23.5 Better color depth
Dxo Dynamic Range 12.8 vs 12.2 Better dynamic range

Key PROs of Nikon D3 and Nikon D3300

Screen Size 3″ | 3″ Large display
Viewfinder Optical (pentaprism) | Optical (pentamirror) Better framing and control
Raw Support Yes | Yes Better image quality
Flash Sync Port Yes | Yes Port for Flash Sync
Battery Life 4300 shots | 700 shots Big number of frames with a single charge

Key CONs of Nikon D3 and Nikon D3300

Touch Screen No | No No touch screen
Screen Resolution 922k dots | 921k dots Small screen resolution
Screen Type Fixed Type | Fixed Type No flexible viewing angles
Bracketing No | No No AE bracketing
Image Stabilization No | No No image stabilization

Nikon D3 vs Nikon D3300: Comparing Two Models By Physical Characteristics

Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Nikon D3 and Nikon D3300 from the front view.

Nikon D3
Nikon D3300
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Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Nikon D3
Nikon D3300
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After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.

Speaking of weight, Nikon D3300 is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 870g less than the Nikon D3. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.

Comparing Nikon D3 and Nikon D3300 by the type of Sensor and Resolution

Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.

Are Nikon D3 and Nikon D3300 any different in terms of sensor type?

In fact, that's exactly what makes these two models really different. Thus, it is a good point to consider if your are choosing between these two cameras. Nikon D3 features a 12.0 MP Full frame sized CMOS sensor and boasts of a Expeed processor . Nikon D3300, in its turn, comes with a 24.0 MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.

Take a look below to find the comparison of Nikon D3 and Nikon D3300 by the size of their sensors.

Nikon D3
Nikon D3300
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One more distinctive feature of compared models is the sensor size. Nikon D3 has a sensor area 0.4x bigger compared to Nikon D3300. What does it mean? This basically means that if you these cameras them with the same aperture and focal length, the first model will give you more control in terms of the blurry background and depth of field.

For Which Fields Of Photography Are Nikon D3 and Nikon D3300 Suitable?

If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.

This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Nikon D3 and Nikon D3300 in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.

Photography Type Nikon D3 Nikon D3300
Portrait Photography
83%
83%
Street Photography
76%
62%
Sports Photography
98%
60%
Daily Photography
93%
44%
Landscape Photography
94%
91%

Nikon D3 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)

Disadvantages:

  • You might not like Nikon skintone
  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D3300 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • You might not like Nikon skintone
  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D3 for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large Full frame(36 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • Big battery life (4300 shots)

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (160 x 157 x 88 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization

Nikon D3300 for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large APS-C(23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (124 x 98 x 76 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization
  • Small Number of autofocus Points (11)

Nikon D3 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Fast Continuous Shooting (11.0 fps)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2290)
  • Big battery life (4300 shots)
  • Big size (160 x 157 x 88 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Bad Max Native ISO (6400)

Nikon D3300 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Big size (124 x 98 x 76 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (5.0 fps)
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/4000s)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (11)
  • Small Number of CrossFocus Points (1)
  • Bad Max Native ISO (12800)
  • Small battery life (700 shots)

Nikon D3 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (1300 g)
  • Big size (160 x 157 x 88 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash
  • Video is not available

Nikon D3300 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (430 g)
  • Big size (124 x 98 x 76 mm)

Nikon D3 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Full frame (36 x 23.9 mm) sensor
  • Good Dynamic Range (12.2)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support
  • Nice Low Light ISO (2290)

Disadvantages:

  • Low resolution sensor (12 MP)
  • Bad Max Native ISO (6400)

Nikon D3300 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Good Dynamic Range (12.8)
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Bad Max Native ISO (12800)

Comparison of Nikon D3 vs Nikon D3300: Final Verdict

Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Nikon D3 or Nikon D3300, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.

What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Nikon D3 and Nikon D3300 here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Nikon D3300 deserves a higher Total Score than the Nikon D3. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.

Nikon D3 vs Nikon D3300 Table Of Technical Specs

For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:

Nikon D3 Nikon D3300
General
Brand Nikon Nikon
Model D3 D3300
Announced Apr 18, 2008 Apr 21, 2014
Body Type Large SLR Compact SLR
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Sensor Size Full frame APS-C
Sensor Dimensions 36 x 23.9 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
Sensor Area 860.40 mm2 366.60 mm2
Sensor Resolution 12.0 MP 24.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 4256 x 2832 6000 x 4000
Max Native ISO 6,400 12,800
Max Boosted ISO 25,600 25,600
Min Native ISO 200 100
RAW Support Yes Yes
Lens
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Nikon F Nikon F
Number of Lenses 287 287
Focal Length Multiplier 1x 1.5x
Macro Focus Range
AutoFocus
AF Touch No No
AF Continuous Yes Yes
AF Single Yes Yes
AF Tracking No Yes
AF Selective Yes Yes
AF Center No No
AF Multi Area Yes Yes
AF Live View Yes Yes
AF Face Detection No Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes Yes
AF Phase Detection Yes Yes
Number of Focus Points n/a 11
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a 1
Screen
Screen Type Fixed Type Fixed Type
Screen Size 3″ 3″
Screen Resolution 922k dots 921k dots
Live View Yes Yes
Touch Screen No No
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism) Optical (pentamirror)
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 100% 95%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.7 0.57
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 s 1/4000 s
Continuous Shooting 11.0 fps 5.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes Yes
Aperture Priority Yes Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes Yes
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization No No
Built-in Flash No Yes
Flash Range 0 12
Flash Modes Front curtain, Rear curtain, Red-Eye, Slow Sync Auto, Auto slow sync, Auto slow sync with red-eye reduction, Auto with red-eye reduction, Fill-flash, Rear-curtain sync, Rear-curtain with slow sync, Red-eye reduction, Red-eye reduction with slow sync, Slow sync
External Flash Yes Yes
AE Bracketing No No
WB Bracketing No No
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment No Yes
Average No No
Spot No Yes
Partial No No
AF-Area No Yes
Center Weighted No Yes
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Score 81 82
DxO Color Depth 23.5 24.3
DxO Dynamic Range 12.2 12.8
DxO Low Light ISO 2290 1385
Video Features
Video Resolutions n/a 1920 x 1080 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p fps), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p fps), 640 x 424 (30, 25 fps)
Max Video Resolution 1920 x 1080
Video Formats n/a MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone Port No Yes
Headphone Port No No
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity No Yes
HDMI Yes Yes
USB USB 2.0 USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing Yes No
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof No No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof No No
Weight 1300 g 430 g
Physical Dimensions 160 x 157 x 88 mm 124 x 98 x 76 mm
Battery Life 4300 shots 700 shots
Battery Type Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Model n/a EN-EL14a
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes No
GPS Optional Optional
Storage Type Compact Flash (Type I or II) x2 SD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage Slots 2 1

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