As Nikon's Entry-Level DSLR Gets a Bump, Its 18-55mm Kit Lens ShrinksS

Nikon just gave its entry-level DSLR a pretty obvious spec bump, but along with the new camera, Nikon's introducing a new version of the standard kit lens that ships with the product and will probably be used by tons of beginners on this and other cheaper Nikon DSLRs

The D3300 inherits many of its new guts from the recently upgraded D5300. The most significant improvement is a newly redesigned 24.2-megapixel APS-C image sensor that doesn't have an optical low-pass filter. On older sensors, OLPFs were used to help prevent aliasing distortions in photographs; however, this safeguard came at the expense of some very fine detail in images. Nikon says its sensors have improved to the point that they don't need to use the filter any more.

Additionally, the camera gets Nikon's newest Expeed 4 image processor. It can shoot at a standard ISO of up tp 12,800, and shoots 1920 x 1080 video. Unfortunately, it looks like the camera is using the same 11-point autofocus system as the previous model—that was the D3200's weakest feature. Too bad.

As Nikon's Entry-Level DSLR Gets a Bump, Its 18-55mm Kit Lens ShrinksS

As for the lens, it's not insignificant that the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II is 30 percent smaller and 50 percent lighter than its predecessor. Beginner DSLRs are kind of a waste of weight these days as compact, interchangeable cameras that don't have reflex mirrors are often better than what you can get with a mirror box. In the future DSLRs will only be for pros. But since Nikon's made its bankroll over the last decade moving millions of DSLRs, it's not about to stop now. One way to keep them fresh is to make the lenses less bulky. Look at the difference between the old and new lenses above. It's probably not enough to save this camera. Go mirrorless.