The best camera is the one you have on you, and Nikon wants to make sure that's one of its own. To that end, it's introducing a number of new cameras and lenses today, including a DSLR and an updated kit lens with one major feature in common: they're smaller and more portable than their predecessors.
The D3300 kit is 30 percent smaller and 25 percent lighter than its predecessor
Nikon's new DSLR is the D3300, the successor to its D3200, an entry-level shooter with a good amount of power for its low price. Though the new camera's body has only shrunk down by a small amount, the big change is with its kit lens — an iteration on the 18-55mm lens that Nikon has been offering with many new cameras for years now.
The new lens, which it's calling the "Mark II," features a retracting barrel that can shrink its body down by around 20mm when not in use. When paired together, Nikon says that the D3300's kit package is 30 percent smaller and 25 percent lighter than its predecessor's — a small but significant change for anyone planning to carry it around all day. Though the changes suggest the lens' makeup is quite different, Nikon says that photos taken with its new and old versions should look very similar when compared side-by-side. Though the original lens will remain on sale for now, the Mark II is likely to become one that F-mount users are just as familiar with.
The other major changes to the D3300 are meant to improve its sharpness. Part of that comes from the inclusion of Nikon's Expeed 4 and its improved image processing, but the key difference is on its sensor: though it has the same 24.2 megapixel resolution, it doesn't include a low-pass filter, which should make details turn out clearer. Though there's often some concern that the lack of a low-pass filter could lead to moire — a type of colorful noise — Nikon says that such a pixel-dense sensor should make concerns unwarranted. It's a claim that Nikon seems to be confident in, as this is the second time in a few months that it's chosen not to include the filter on a 24.2 megapixel camera.
The camera also includes Nikon's first panorama mode on a DSLR. But while it's adding in other beginner-friendly features like photo filters too, Nikon hasn't brought built-in Wi-Fi to the new model, even though it's begun to introduce it elsewhere in its DSLR lineup. The D3300 be available with the kit lens next month for $649.95, with the lens available on its own for $249.95.
Five new Coolpix are coming too
Nikon is also introducing five Coolpix point-and-shoot cameras today: the L830, the S6800, the S5300, the S3600, and the L30. All five models are fairly inexpensive, ranging in price from $299.95 to as low as $119.95. Though their strengths vary, they all introduce a new feature that Nikon's calling Hybrid VR, which should be a big help for anyone shooting video.
The new mode uses a combination of motion tracking and vibration reduction to automatically smooth out shaky footage. That means the final footage will be slightly cropped so that the camera has room to stabilize it, but the end result should be preferable to a nauseatingly unsteady video. All five cameras will go on sale next month.
Nikon's final announcement today is another new lens, a 35mm f/1.8 FX-mount prime, which will go on sale February 20th for $599.95. The lens' introduction helps to fill out an opening in Nikon's lineup of f/1.8 primes, which it's been building piece-by-piece for a little while now. It's something of an odd-one-out for Nikon's CES announcements — which largely focus on smaller, entry-level cameras — but it's an announcement that existing Nikon shooters are more likely to be excited to see.