Just purchased Nikon D3300 SLR camera 18-55mm G VR DX II AF-S Zoom Lens w/32CB card. I am going from a P&S to this SLR. Wondering if it is too much for a beginner.

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    I don't think there's something like a "too much camera", you can just use auto mode at the beginning and treat your camera like a p&s, then with experience you'll start to appreciate you have a dslr. Mar 19 '16 at 16:26
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    Although I don't think the D3300 is really marketed at or has features in the "prosumer" category, I think the previous question definitely addresses your main concern.
    – mattdm
    Mar 19 '16 at 17:07
  • No , the d3300 is a beginners dslr. It is not very advanced
    – Janardan S
    Jul 19 '16 at 9:47

Yes and no. :)

Yes, it's a lot of money and overwhelming as a newb coming in. Think of it like having driven automatic econo-boxes all your life, and then getting a manual-shift sports car. The cost goes up, your insurance goes up, you feel conspicuous, and then you stall a bunch of times and feel like a complete idiot. It's not comfortable.

Until you master that clutch.

And then you start to get it. And it feels pretty good going vroom.

A dSLR can be like that. You don't know yet how your P&S camera didn't let you control the picture. So all these new controls are going to take a while to get used to. Not everybody wants to move from snapshots to photography. And if you decide you don't want to learn all this weird strangeness, no harm no foul. You can put the camera on A (kind of like the mother of a friend of mine who insisted on getting an automatic transmission installed in her Porsche). Or you can sell it, and go get a better P&S.

But if you do master these controls, once you have them, going back to not having them can be really tough.

Of course, at some point, the bulk and weight of dSLRs might make you move on to mirrorless. Kinda like deciding maybe a Tesla is what you really wanted, after all. :)

But basically, is the camera too much for you now? Probably. Is it too much for where you're going? It could be not enough. It all depends on how far you want to walk down the photography path.

  • +1 for sports cars. Now where did I leave my Esprit Lotus with non-synchronized transmission?
    – Michael C
    Mar 19 '16 at 22:25
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    @MichaelClark underwater, perhaps?
    – scottbb
    Mar 19 '16 at 23:53
  • More likely in the trailer I'm pulling with my Peterbilt 379 with 18 speed non-synchronized transmission.
    – Michael C
    Mar 20 '16 at 0:08
  • @MichaelClark So... you're a double clutch afficianado?
    – inkista
    Mar 20 '16 at 2:42
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    I disagree with the manual shift bit--in auto mode a DSLR is basically a very good P&S. You can do many things that you couldn't with the P&S but it's not like a manual shift where you're not getting out of the parking lot until you know how to use the clutch. Mar 20 '16 at 4:14

Since it is a very personal choice, only you will able to answer that for yourself. It will either prove to be the camera you prefer to use, or it won't. You won't be able to carry it in your pocket for example. :) The truth is that it will have much greater capability than point&shoot can show off, it can do whatever you know to do, but it should still do point&shoot, as well or better than smaller cameras.

In comparing your results, don't just compare regular pictures in bright sun. Any camera has a chance there (however my bet is still on the larger one). But compare more difficult photos, indoors, and in dark places. It will go deeper into difficult than can compacts or phones.

Ideally, we would compare difficult photos, however a bit more skill and control (more than just point&shoot) is what really makes the difference in difficult places. Point&shoot is just a dumb computer chip, that cannot even recognize what it is seeing. Difficult needs both a little skill (knowledge) and then also better tools to use that skill. Your D3300 has the tools and allows the control. And as your photography skills increase, the DSLR continues to offer all the control that your skill knows, and allows you to grow into it.

But if our intention is specifically to never learn the first thing about photography, then maybe it does seem a wasted tool. Reconsideration might be important though, modest photography skills will be very valuable for the rest of your life.


Modern capitalism made a huge load of technology accessible for consumers. Even most basic DSLR is an advanced piece of tech that is highly excessive for photography itself.

One reason of that excess of functions and features is the consequence of capitalism: for one to make a piece of commonly used technology with profit they should make it best at least in some way among others.

Another reason of excess of functions is that if they are present in more expensive cameras manufacturer may as well place them in cheaper cameras. Same 24MP sensor is used either in D7100 or D7200 - much more expensive cameras. 32GB cards are so cheap because the microships with that capacity become cheap in production because similar technology is used in much more expensive products, like SSDs or built in storage of laptops. Same applies to interchangeable objectives - not that it is cheaper to make camera with interchangeable objectives, it's that they are present in more expensive cameras.

Answering your question: yes, you have bought too much a camera for a beginner.

However, given the state of modern technology, you may either buy something which will be excessive or something that won't be excessive for much less but that won't even support RAW recording and may have suboptimal build quality and reliability.

Ricoh GR (and some other cameras) could be an example of what can be not excessive and not bad at the same time.

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