Nikon D3300

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by maryann_snider, May 23, 2016.

  1. I am new here and super eager to learn everything I can!

    I just purchased my first dslr. A Nikon D3300 that came in a kit. I have been using basic point and shoot cameras for years and always
    wanted to take my photos to the next level.
    I will be enrolling in a photography class here locally, but the next class doesn't start for a few more months.

    I am looking to create photos that I can have printed into wall art. Mostly anything bigger than 8x10. The first photos I tried to print seem a
    bit pixelated. I have the settings as shooting in raw plus JPEG. Any suggestions?

    Someone told me I should have purchased a better camera body if I wanted professional looking prints. Please tell me this is untrue?!

    I am also looking for a good telephoto lens for nature photography. What's the best for the Nikon d3300?

    Sorry if my questions are basic, but I want to learn as much as I can.

    Thank you.
     
  2. This is a great place to start. At the top there is a tab called Learning. You should start there. Professionalism is a process that is not just about your equipment. But it does help.

    As far as the pixelated photo, make sure the jpeg setting is set for Fine to get the best quality. RAW is like a digital negative that you will have to develop. You can download Capture NX-D from Nikon's website to get you started. Many people here use Adobe Lightroom, some Photoshop, some use Gimp, which is free.
    The most important thing to remember is that this is a journey, not a sprint and it will become a lifelong passion if you take your time with it.
    What lenses did you get with the camera? If you got the kit, probably the 18-55mm and the 55-200mm, yes? The former is good to learn with, the latter is actually pretty good. I've had them both. You can do landscape with both lenses. Taking the photo is only 1/2 the battle. Post processing the the other.
    Also, I've made professional looking prints with an 8 megapixel camera. The camera has no skill, it's up to you. Welcome to PNet!
     
  3. Your camera is fine. Could you elaborate a bit on what you mean by 'nature" photography? Are we talking about pictures of flying birds, big critters such as deer, distant landscapes, waterfalls, ---? Really, it's the lens that determines what you can photo and how well. You will also want to get some basic photo software. I highly recommend Photoshop Elements. That will make a far bigger difference than any camera ever will. Until the classes start, have you considered joining a local camera club? As for what is the best lens for "nature" photography with a Nikon camera, it's probably the Nikon 500mm f4. Those go for about $5,000 used. ;-) Give us an idea of what you want to photo exactly and we can probably come up with something that's a little bit lower priced if you're willing to settle for "good enough" rather than "best".
    Kent in SD
     
  4. The D3300 will work fine for making the print sizes you are wanting. So many people think that buying a "professional" camera will automatically make professional prints. Not so. Your technique and imagination has more to do with that than the camera. Let us know what your budget is for a lens and we will provide our opinions. The main thing is, have fun. Welcome to the Nikon forum.
     
  5. Hi and wellcome.
    Did you set the camera's resolution to the highest number? This setting (6000 x 4000 pixels) should gurantee that your prints, if not oversize, would not be pixelated. If the first prints were pixelated, maybe the setting was for a smaller format. Maximum resolution of a Nikon D3300 should be good for (at least) 20" x 16" prints of high quality.
    Hope this helps.
     
  6. Someone told me I should have purchased a better camera body if I wanted professional looking prints. Please tell me this is untrue?!​
    Yes, it's untrue. Lots of things go into making a good image, and even more into a good print, but Nikon did not skimp on the image quality it's capable of when they designed this camera. To make sure you're getting the best out of it, have a look at the Reference Manual, which is here if you don't have it already:
    http://downloadcenter.nikonimglib.com/en/products/21/D3300.html
    Two settings that others have mentioned control jpeg quality, and are described on pages 85-87. You want to make sure that your jpegs are both 'Fine' and 'Large'. In the raw+jpeg mode you are using, jpegs are already set to 'Fine', so you probably just need to make sure 'Image Size' is also set to 'Large'. But note that Fine/Large only applies to your jpegs - if you've been shooting raw+jpeg you can simply process the separate raw (NEF) files the camera has also written to your SD card, which are always high quality and will give you results equivalent to (or better than) Fine/Large, and with more control. I'd suggest trying the free Capture NX-D package for processing these files initially (though, as others have said, you have several options):
    http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/microsite/capturenxd/
    If you're still not happy with the results, you might want to post some samples here so someone can advise. Lots of other things can cause problems - e.g., if an image is underexposed you might be seeing noise that could be mistaken for pixelation, or a good image might print poorly because of issues with the printer settings, etc.
     
  7. Welcome to the Nikon community Maryann.
    Your 24 megapixel D3300 should be capable of very large prints (A2 or more) with no sign of pixelation. So I second the advice to make sure the image options are set to Large and Fine for JPEGS.
    As for a good telephoto lens; I don't think you can do much better than a Tamron SP 70-300mm VC lens. It's a steal at current prices. I bought mine a few years ago at around 50% more than the current price, and I still consider I got a bargain. Note: The much cheaper non-VC Tamron 70-300mm is pretty awful. Make sure you get the SP VC version.
     
  8. Most that needs to be said has been said, but I'll just add that if this camera is like the D3200, then when it's set to Raw + JPG it automatically defaults to the highest density and quality of JPG. You can't choose a lower JPG quality with that combination. So if the printing results are pixellated, I would suspect some other problem.
    I would advise, along with the advice above, to make sure that you turn off "Auto ISO" or at least set its upper limit below the maximum. If you do use Auto ISO make sure your starting value is at ISO 100. The camera's auto ISO when left at factory setting will raise ISO whenever the shutter speed goes below 1/30 second, and won't tell you what it's choosing.
     
  9. I would add one more thing, which I always like to add on these cameras: The printed manual is not the full manual. There should be a PDF of the full manual on the accompanying CD, and if you don't find that, get it from the Nikon site. The printed guide leaves much unanswered, and I think it is a shame that Nikon did this.
     

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