Nikon D3300 entry-level DSLR focuses on portability with retractable kit lens

Nikon has announced a new entry-level DSLR, the Nikon D3300, along with a new retractable Nikkor 18-55mm VR II kit lens.

The new DSLR model tackles the common problem of bulkiness with the new lens, an approach we've seen from the likes of Olympus with its Pen kit lenses.

The Nikon D3300 features a 24.2-megapixel DX format (APS-C) sensor which has been designed with no optical low pass filter, which Nikon says will help preserve the details captured and give you plenty of sharpness. 

There's an Expeed 4 processor driving things, with an ISO range running up to 12,800 and the option to extend to 25,600, takes the D3300 over the D3200 that it replaces. Nikon is promising great low light performance, but that's difficult to verify without getting our hands on this new model.

However, it offers you 5fps, not the fastest frame rate, but typical for an entry-level DSLR and a touch faster than the D3200.

There's a 3-inch 921k-dot resolution display around the rear which joins the 95 per cent field of view optical viewfinder, which again is typical for this level of camera.

The body of the camera is compact, measuring 124 x 98 x 75.5mm and weighing 410g before you add the memory card and lens. It's available in traditional black, but also red and grey colours. It's close to the size of the D3200, fractionally smaller and lighter. 

There's Nikon's guide mode to assist those less familiar with the full range of functions of this DSLR camera, along with fun shooting effects that will replicate the sort of things that compact system cameras have become famed for. There are toy camera and retro effects, among others.

You get Full HD video capture at 50 or 60p with continuous AF.

Nikon is also highlighting the connectivity options for the D3300. By adding the Wu-1a wireless adapter (£45) to the socket on the side, you'll be able to quickly share your photos with your Android or iOS device.

With the D3200 launching in 2012, the new Nikon D3300 looks like a timely update. It's not a huge departure from the previous model, but being smaller and lighter will certainly appeal to those concerned about the bulk of a DSLR. The addition of a retracting kit lens also broadens this appeal.

The Nikon D3300 will be available from 6 February 2014, for £499.99 (body only) or £599.99 with the kit lens.

Those interested in the new kit lens will be able to get it for £229.99, also from 6 February.