Record Screens & Menus

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Please excuse the quality of the screen captures. The D3300 does not output the on-screen icons in Live View mode (other than the AF box), so we had to photograph the monitor.

Record - advanced GIF.gifAs with other Nikon DSLR cameras, you'll see the screen shown here when you're shooting in Viewfinder mode, where the scene is visible through the optical viewfinder. If you want the D3300 to work like a point-n-shoot camera, press the Lv button on the back of the camera body to switch to Live View mode. The scene then will be visible on the LCD screen, while the optical viewfinder will go blank.

When using Viewfinder mode in an advanced shooting mode (Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Program Auto), you'll see the currently selected shooting mode in the upper left corner of the screen. Virtual dials across the top will indicate the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings from left to right. Below the dials are the indicators for autofocus points, the EV, and the number of photos remaining on the memory card.

Across the bottom of the screen are boxes that show the current settings of the camera. Press the I button on the back of the camera in the lower left corner to gain access to the boxes and to change settings, which we'll discuss in detail later.

In the lower left corner you may see a question mark icon that leads to a help screen from time to time. Again we'll discuss this feature in detail later.

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When you press the I button while in Viewfinder mode, one of the boxes along the bottom of the screen will light up and the name of the box will appear on the bottom of the screen. Use the four-way button to scroll through the various boxes. When you have the setting you want to change highlighted, press the OK button on the back of the camera to open a popup window that will provide access to the settings that are available. 

The settings options available in Program Auto mode in each box of the grid are (moving from left to right and starting with the top row):

  • Image Quality - NEF (RAW) + JPEG fine, NEF (RAW), JPEG fine, JPEG normal, JPEG basic
  • Image Size - Large, Medium, Small
  • White Balance - Auto, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade, Preset Manual
  • Flash - Fill Flash, Red-Eye Reduction, Slow Sync + Red-Eye, Slow Sync, Rear-Curtain + Slow Sync
  • ISO - 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, Hi 1
  • Focus Mode - Auto-Servo AF, Single-Servo AF, Continuous-Servo AF, Manual Focus
  • AF-area Mode - Single-Point AF, Dynamic-Area AF, 3D-Tracking (11 points), Auto-Area AF
  • Metering - Matrix Metering, Center-Weighted Metering, Spot Metering
  • Flash Compensation - Between +1.0 and -3.0 in 1/3 increments
  • Exposure Compensation - Between +5.0 and -5.0 in 1/3 increments

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Keep in mind that some of these settings boxes will change or be grayed out, depending on which shooting mode you've selected, such as is pictured here when you've selected Auto from the mode dial. Half of the boxes are grayed out in Auto mode versus Program Auto mode.

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To gain access to the special effects options in Viewfinder mode, twist the mode dial to Effects, as shown in the screen with the virtual mode dial in the upper left corner. Then twist the command dial to open the popup window that shows the special effect options, which are:

  • Night Vision
  • Super Vivid
  • Pop
  • Photo Illustration
  • Color Sketch
  • Toy Camera Effect
  • Miniature Effect
  • Selective Color
  • Silhouette
  • High Key
  • Low Key
  • HDR Painting
  • Easy Panorama

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Many of the scene modes available with the Nikon D3300 are listed on the mode dial. As you twist the mode dial, you'll see the name of each scene mode appear in the middle of the screen.

The scene mode options on the mode dial are:

  • Night Portrait
  • Close-up
  • Sports
  • Child
  • Landscape
  • Portrait
Additional scene modes can be accessed through the Guide mode, which we'll discuss later.

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With the D3300 you can access the same basic settings in Live View mode that you had available in Viewfinder mode. The camera's basic settings -- such as flash mode, drive mode, and image resolution -- are listed across the top of the screen. Along the bottom of the screen you'll see the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings.

You can open the same collection of settings boxes that you saw in Viewfinder mode by pressing the I button. Again some of the options in the settings boxes will be grayed out in Auto mode that are available in a more advanced shooting mode.

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When you pick Effects on the mode dial in Live View mode, you again can spin the command dial to cause a popup box to appear in the upper portion of the screen. Continue spinning the command dial until the special effect mode you want to use is highlighted.

Record - question GIF.gifIn Live View mode or Viewfinder mode, as mentioned earlier, whenever you see a question mark icon on the screen, which usually will be near the lower left corner of the screen, press the question mark button on the back of the camera (labeled with a magnifying glass and minus sign icon). The D3300 then will bring an explanation of the current setting or shooting problem to the front of the screen. This is one of several features Nikon built into the D3300 that makes this DSLR camera a good option as a first advanced camera for a beginner. The on-screen explanations are great for helping beginning photographers learn more about this advanced camera model.

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The Nikon D3300 doesn't have a specific movie shooting mode on the mode dial. You can begin recording movies from any shooting mode by just pressing the red movie record button on the top of the camera near the right-hand grip. To stop the movie recording press the red movie record button again.

All movie recording with the D3300 must be performed in Live View mode. If you attempt a video recording in Viewfinder mode, the red movie recording button will not work.

No matter which shooting mode you have selected on the mode dial, the movie recording screen will look the same. While the movie is recording you'll see a red dot and a "REC" icon in the upper left corner of the screen. In the upper right corner you'll see how much time is remaining in the current video recording as well as the current video recording resolution. Movies are limited to a maximum of 20 minutes or 4GB of memory card space. If the memory card has less than 4GB of free space or has a slow write speed, the video recording could be halted before reaching 20 minutes. Along the bottom of the screen you'll see the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings.

Finding the movie control settings can be a little confusing for photographers new to the D3300. To make changes to the movie recording settings, press the Info button on the top of the camera until you see the movie resolution icon in the upper right corner of the screen. Then press the I button to bring a series of settings boxes to the screen. Use the four-way button and the OK button to make changes to the movie recording settings. 

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To open any of the Nikon D3300's primary menus, press the Menu button on the left side of the camera's back panel. Then navigate through the tabs on the far left side of the screen to select the type of menu you want to use. 

The Shooting menu is indicated by the camera icon, which is the second tab from the top of the left side of the screen. Some entries in the Shooting menu may be grayed out, depending on which shooting mode you've picked on the mode dial. The Shooting menu options in Program Auto mode are:

  • Noise Reduction - On, Off
  • ISO Sensitivity Settings - ISO Sensitivity (Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, Hi 1), Auto ISO Sensitivity Control (On, Off), Maximum Sensitivity (200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, Hi 1), Minimum Shutter Speed (Auto, 1/2000, 1/1000, 1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1/60, 1/30, 1/15, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1)
  • AF-area mode - Viewfinder (Single-point AF, Dynamic-area AF, 3D-tracking (11 points), Auto-area AF), Live View/Movie (Face-priority AF, Wide-area AF, Normal-area AF, Subject-tracking AF)
  • Built-in AF-assist Illuminator - On, Off
  • Metering - Matrix Metering, Center-weighted Metering, Spot Metering
  • Flash Control for Built-in Flash - TTL, Manual
  • Movie Settings - Frame Size/Frame Rate (1920x1080 60p, 1920x1080 30p, 1920x1080 24p, 1280x720 60p, 640x424 30p), Movie Quality (High Quality, Normal), Microphone (Auto Sensitivity, Manual Sensitivity, Microphone Off), Wind Noise Reduction (On, Off), Manual Movie Settings (On, Off)
  • Reset Shooting Menu - Yes, No
  • Image Quality - NEF (RAW) + JPEG fine, NEF (RAW), JPEG fine, JPEG normal, JPEG basic
  • Image Size - Large 6000x4000, Medium 4496x3000, Small 2992x2000
  • White Balance - Auto, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade, Preset Manual
  • Set Picture Control - Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape
  • Auto Distortion Control - On, Off
  • Color Space - sRGB, Adobe RGB
  • Active D-Lighting - On, Off

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The Setup menu is indicated by the wrench icon on the left side of the screen. The Setup menu options are:

  • Reset Setup Options - Yes, No
  • Format Memory Card - Yes, No
  • Monitor Brightness - +5 to -5 in one-step intervals
  • Info Display Format - Auto/Scene/Effects (6 options), P/S/A/M (6 options)
  • Auto Info Display - On, Off
  • Clean Image Sensor - Clean Now, Clean at Startup/Shutdown (Clean at Startup, Clean at Shutdown, Clean at Startup & Shutdown, Cleaning Off)
  • Lock Mirror Up for Cleaning
  • Image Dust Off Ref Photo - Start, Clean Sensor and Then Start
  • Flicker Reduction - Auto, 50 Hz, 60 Hz
  • Time Zone and Date - Time Zone, Date and Time, Date Format (Y/M/D, M/D/Y, D/M/Y), Daylight Saving Time (On, Off)
  • Language
  • Auto Image Rotation - On, Off
  • Image Comment - Attach Comment, Input Comment
  • Auto Off Timers - Short, Normal, Long, Custom (Playback/Menus (8 sec, 20 sec, 1 min, 5 min, 10 min), Image Review (4 sec, 8 sec, 20 sec, 1 min, 10 min), Live View (5 min, 10 min, 15 min, 20 min, 30 min), Standby Timer (4 sec, 8 sec, 20 sec, 1 min, 30 min))
  • Self-timer - Self-timer Delay (2 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec, 20 sec), Number of Shots (1 to 9)
  • Remote on Duration - 1 min, 5 min, 10 min, 15 min
  • Beep - High, Low, Off
  • Rangefinder - On, Off
  • File Number Sequence - On, Off, Reset
  • Buttons - Assign Fn Button (Image Quality/Size, ISO Sensitivity, White Balance, Active D-Lighting), Assign AE-L/AF-L Button (AE/AF Lock, AE Lock Only, AE Lock (Hold), AE Lock Only, AF-ON), Shutter Release Button AE-L (On, Off)
  • Slot Empty Release Lock - Release Locked, Enable Release
  • Print Date - Off, Date, Date and Time, Date Counter
  • Storage Folder - Select Folder, New, Rename, Delete
  • Accessory Terminal - Remote Control (Remote Shutter Release (Take Photos, Record Movies), Assign Fn Button (Same as Camera AE-L/AF-L Button, Live View)), Location Data (Standby Timer (Enable, Disable), Position, Set Clock From Satellite (Yes, No))
  • Video Mode - NTSC, PAL
  • HDMI - Output Resolution (Auto, 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 576p, 480p), Device Control (On, Off)
  • Wireless Mobile Adapter - Enable, Disable
  • Firmware Version

Record - menu recent settings.jpg
The Recent Settings menu is indicated by a sheet of paper icon on the left side of the screen (the lowest icon). It lists the 20 most recent commands and settings you've used, allowing you to revisit one quickly.


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For those new to DSLR photography, one of the more helpful features Nikon chose to include with the D3300 is the Guide mode. Twist the mode dial to GUIDE to activate this mode.

Within Guide mode, you'll be able to learn more about how the camera operates and also be able to set up a certain shooting mode. As you scroll through the various screens, you can use the on-screen descriptions to find a shooting situation that most closely matches what you want to do. The key to making the Guide mode easy to use are the on-screen descriptions, as they make it easier to find the exact settings you need to shoot a particular photo versus attempting to find the setting on your own as a beginning photographer. 

If Guide mode was paired with a touchscreen LCD, Nikon would have designed a great option for novice DSLR photographers. Unfortunately there's no touchscreen LCD with the D3300.

All of the options inside the Guide modes are repeated inside the on-screen menus discussed earlier. However I found that the Guide modes are better organized than the on-screen menus, especially the Set Up Guide mode versus the Set Up on-screen menu. Even some photographers who have plenty of experience with DSLR cameras may want to at least use the Set Up Guide mode to more easily find and activate certain camera settings.

Four Guide modes are available: Shoot, View/Delete, Retouch, and Set Up. 

Under the Shoot Guide mode, you'll be able to find tips for shooting basic photographs under the Easy Operation section and find tips for shooting trickier photos under the Advanced Operation section. The options under the Shoot Guide mode are:

  • Easy Operation - Moving Subjects, Landscape, Portraits, Night Portrait, Photograph Night Landscapes, Auto, No Flash, Distance Subjects, Close-ups, Sleeping Faces, 
  • Advanced Operation - Soften Backgrounds, Bring More Into Focus, Freeze Motion (People), Freeze Motion (Vehicles), Show Water Flowing, Capture Reds in Sunsets, Take Bright Photos, Take Dark (Low Key) Photos, Reduce Blur

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Under the View/Delete Guide mode, you can figure out how to more successfully use Playback mode. The options under the View/Delete Guide mode are:

  • View Single Photos
  • View Multiple Photos
  • Choose a Date
  • View a Slide Show - Start, Image Type (Still Images and Movies, Still Images Only, Movies Only), Frame Interval (2 sec, 3 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec)
  • Delete Photos - Delete Multiple Photos, Delete Photos by Date, Delete All Photos

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The Retouch Guide mode will help you make better use of the D3300's image editing features. The options under the Retouch Guide mode are:

  • Trim
  • Filter Effects (Cross Screen)
  • Filter Effects (Soft)
  • Photo Illustration
  • Miniature Effect
  • Selective Color

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The Set Up Guide mode is especially helpful in allowing you to conform the camera's settings to fit your exact needs. The options under the Set Up Guide mode are:

  • Image Quality - NEF (RAW) + JPEG Fine, NEF (RAW), JPEG Fine, JPEG Normal, JPEG Basic
  • Image Size - Large, Medium, Small
  • Auto Off Timers - Short, Normal, Long, Custom (Playback/Menus (8 sec, 20 sec, 1 min, 5 min, 10 min), Image Review (4 sec, 8 sec, 20 sec, 1 min, 10 min), Live View (5 min, 10 min, 15 min, 20 min, 30 min), Standby Timer (4 sec, 8 sec, 20 sec, 1 min, 30 min))
  • Print Date - Off, Date, Date and Time, Date Counter
  • Display and Sound Settings - Monitor Brightness (-5 to +5), Info Background Color (3 options), Auto Info Display (On, Off), Beep (High, Low, Off)
  • Movie Settings - Frame Size/Frame Rate (1920x1080 60p, 1920x1080 30p, 1920x1080 24p, 1280x720 60p, 640x424 30p), Movie Quality (High Quality, Normal), Microphone (Auto Sensitivity, Manual Sensitivity, Microphone Off), Wind Noise Reduction (On, Off), Flicker Reduction (Auto, 50 Hz, 60 Hz)
  • Playback Folder - Current, All
  • Playback Display Options - None (Image Only), Overview
  • DPOF Print Order - Select/Set, Deselect All
  • Clock and Language - Time Zone and Date (Time Zone, Date and Time, Date Format, Daylight Saving Time (On, Off)), Language
  • Format Memory Card
  • Output Settings - HDMI (Output Resolution (Auto, 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 576p, 480p), Device Control (On, Off)), Video Mode (NTSC, PAL)
  • Wireless Mobile Adapter - Enable, Disable
  • Slot Empty Release Lock - Release Locked, Enable Release

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