Nikon D3300 Ken McMahon, March 2014

Nikon D3300 vs Canon EOS SL1 / 100D quality

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To compare real-life performance when zoomed-out, I shot this scene with the Nikon D3300 and the Canon EOS SL1 / 100D within a few moments of each other using their best quality JPEG settings.

Both cameras were fitted with their 18-55mm kit lenses which were set to their widest angle 18mm settings (and the Nikon nudged in a tad) to provide an equivalent field of view.

  Nikon D3300 results
1 Nikon D3300 Quality
2 Nikon D3300 RAW quality
3 Nikon D3300 Noise
4 Nikon D3300 RAW Noise
5 Nikon D3300 Sample images

Both cameras were set to f5.6 in Aperture priority exposure mode, stabilisation was disabled for this tripod-mounted test and tone enhancement features were left on the default settings - Active D-Lighting on the D3300 was on and Auto Lighting Optimizer on the SL1 / 100D was set to Standard. The ISO sensitivity was manually set to 100 ISO on both models.

The image above was taken with the Nikon D3300 with the AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 VR II lens. The camera was set to Aperture priority mode with the aperture set to f5.6 and the sensitivity to 100 ISO. The D3300 metered an exposure of 1/800 at f5.6 - the same as the EOS SL1 / 100D. As usual the crops below are taken from the areas marked in red above.

The D3300 has produced a good result from this high contrast scene and seems to have overcome its predecessors inclination to over-expose in bright conditions. The colours are well saturated, though the white balance is just a little on the cool side.

The crops in the table below are taken from left to right across the test scene above. The first one is from close to the left edge of the frame and there's some distortion here as well as slight fuzziness. The second crop from closer to the middle of the frame is much improved though, there's no distortion, the edges are nice and sharp and the smaller details are well resolved.

The third crop is midway between the centre and the edge of the frame and here the detail isn't quite so sharp, but it's not far off. You can tell the time from the church clock, but there isn't quite the crispness in the lines of the previous crop and the gulls on the roof are indistinct white blobs. Finally, the fourth crop from the other edge of the frame makes for quite a demanding test, but the D3300 does a good job, the lighthouse is distinct enough for you to make out the separate lamphouse at the top, just.

Overall, this is an excellent result and the new sensor has resulted in a clear quality improvement on its predecessor. The removal of the optical low pass filter is undoubtedly responsible for some of this improvement and it's good to see Nikon not restricting it just to the higher end consumer models. The one downside is the performance of the new collapsible kit lens which is sharp at the centre, but less impressive at the edges.

Compared with the crops from the Canon EOS SL1 / 100D, I think the Nikon D3300 crops look even more impressive. The EOS SL1 / 100D gets off to a poor start with a crop from the edge that's badly affected by chromatic aberration. It's only fair to point out that the EOS SL1 / 100D has built-in chromatic aberration correction but it's turned off by default so wasn't enabled for these tests. Even at the centre of the frame, though, the EOS SL1 / 100D isn't as sharp as the D3300 and doesn't look to be resolving the same level of detail. Whether that's down to the performance of the sensor and lens, or whether processing has more to do with it we'll discover in my D3300 RAW results which follow. Alternatively, see how these models compare at higher sensitivities in my D3300 Noise results.


Nikon D3300 JPEG
With AF-S 18-55mm VR II
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D JPEG
With EF-S 18-55mm IS
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO
f5.6, 100 ISO

Nikon D3300 results : Quality / RAW quality / Noise / RAW Noise

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