Making Nikon D3300 Better


Nikon D3300 is the only DSLR I've used so far and I'm really really happy with it. I cannot compare it with any other camera of similar or higher class since I have used none, but I can say that as a beginner, this model is sufficient to make you feel like you have all the gear to take great photos and it's only your fault if your photos aren't good. You don't get that feeling with a lower-end point-and-shoot camera or a smartphone camera.

Here are some stuff that I've done with mine that I hope will be useful to others with similar DSLRs.

  • Update the firmware to fix distortion in wide-angle photos. IIRC, it was fairly easy to do this. All one has to do is copy the firmware file to an SD card, put it in the camera, and choose an option from the menu. The official site lists Windows and MacOS as the only supported operating systems, but one could download the dmg file for MacOS, mount it, and then extract the firmware on GNU/Linux. It doesn't matter the firmware is an EXE since it isn't meant to be run on the computer, but the camera. (The firmware thing occured to me only after 4+ years of owning the camera.)
  • Set the fn key as ISO control. Nikon D3300 has a fn key near the popup flash that you can customize. I chose ISO control as its purpose since I noticed I had to change the ISO quite frequently and it had to be done by navingating a menu. Once this change was made, changing the ISO became as easy as changing the aperture or shutter speed, without taking your eye off of the viewfinder. (I remember having made this selection in the first week itself; it was interesting that I recently watched an old review of D3300 and it was mentioned in the video that the ISO selection wasn't super-easy.)
  • Don't be a fake pro who uses manual focus all the time. Manual focus isn't practical in any camera for certain types of shots, let alone D3300, which has a tiny viewfinder and lower AF point count (which assist in manual focus). If sticking to manual focus, make use of the LCD screen and the zoom feature when needed. But of course, practice manual focus as much as possible.
  • Protect the gear. Buy protective lens filters, silica gel packets and/or a dry cabinet. Clean the camera after every time before putting it back to storage. Of course there is an environmental aspect to using stuff longer, but there is an economical aspect also. Despite being several years old, D3300 or similar DSLRs (and lenses) are costly even in the used market (surprisingly, in online flea markets, people seem to put price tags that are slightly higher than the original even though D3300 is in not a vintage collectible yet). By the way, don't confuse protection with not taking pictures, especially if you are trying to learn photography.